People do NOT like the word diet. It’s like a bad 4-letter word that’s offensive in all countries. Everyone has a different definition of diet. I admit I use the word all the time, but I never think of it as a bad thing. To me, diet means results. It means healthy food, smart food. It means perfect portions, not overeating, not eating junk. It means practicing self-control and it means feeling great.
When did practicing self-control become so scary and bad? God ENCOURAGES us to practice self-control. There are countless scriptures on the importance of controlling our body, cravings and desires.
As you know, I like chips and salsa. I can’t eat it every day (but I WANT TO), but I do eat it. What if you let your kid eat whatever they wanted to eat every day? That’s a scary thought right? Well, it’s not too much worse than a grown adult eating whatever they want to eat every day. It might “look” healthier than PopTarts and Happy Meals, but it’s not much different when it comes to self-control.
Stop looking at dieting (or practicing self-control) as a horrible thing. Instead, look at it as empowering! Every time you resist your favorite cheat food, you are reminding yourself you are strong, you are one step closer to your goal, you are in control, you are not letting food rule your life, you are bettering yourself, you are doing the right and healthy thing. Every time you are eating healthy, you’re fueling your body with the foods it needs to help you reach your goals. Be proud, be excited!
Self-control requires sacrifice. Sacrifice requires being uncomfortable at first, but pleasure follows. Lack of self-control is the other way around. Pleasure first followed by discomfort that typically way outlasts the pleasure. Dieting (eating right, practicing self-control, managing calories) is investing in your future – and it’s SO worth it!!
Download the LoseIt app today and start taking control of your eating – and your body!
Should Fitness Leaders Encourage Cheating on Your Diet?
My Answer: A Big FAT No!
WARNING: This is a rare rant, but I believe it’s necessary and could be helpful. Here is the email I got in my inbox today that is sparking this topic.
Here, I have another one for ya! How about: “Cheat on Your Spouse (Without Getting Divorced)”. Or, what about “Cheat on Your Taxes (Without Getting Caught).” I wonder how that would work out for ya. All I know is that title would never fly if it were about any other subject other than diet.
Have you ever wondered why we treat dieting differently than anything else? Cheating is cheating. Instead of teaching people to cheat, let’s teach people how to eat right and maintain a healthy balance so they don’t HAVE to cheat (which I’m sure was their intensions, but still sends a bad message).
I personally believe if we can teach people how to improve the issues that CAUSE cheating, we wouldn’t need to cheat to begin with. I also believe people need to know the difference between cheating and treating.
Why We Cheat
Why do people cheat on anything?
- They feel like they are missing out
- They are deprived, they aren’t getting what they want, or feel like they need
- They are greedy
- They lack discipline
- They are looking for happiness
- And many other issues I’m sure a psychologist would tell us our real issue is
Strict dieting (and depriving) can absolutely cause some people to cheat and binge. It’s caused from extreme short-term discipline, or extreme (but typically short-lived) self control. Just because you have good discipline for a period of time doesn’t mean it won’t backfire on you. Ask your spouse to not have sex with you for a few months and see how that works out for ya. If you do that, you are putting them in a very bad and unhealthy place, so why would we do that to your own body?
While some issues are caused by extreme yo-yo discipline, other issues that cause cheating are from the opposite, a lack of discipline and self-control altogether. People who never really work on improving self control will continue to struggle until they really commit to making permanent changes. Instead, people will dabble in eating better for a period of time, but they never really stick with it long enough to learn a new long-term disciplined behavior. Self control is difficult in any area of our lives – it will not be easy, and it will take constant practice, but it is most definitely healthy.
Think of all the areas of our life that require constant discipline. If we have to constantly control our tongue, control our anger, control our desires, control our thoughts and control our spending, why would we think we would ever get to a place where we no longer have to control our eating? Self-control is required in all areas of our life if we want to live fruitful, healthy lives.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
Cheating vs Treating
Now that we’ve talked about why we cheat, let’s talk about how we cheat. First, I think people misuse the word. Instead of looking at having a piece of cake as “cheating”, we should look at it as “treating” – BIG DIFFERENCE. The same way we make room in our budget to treat ourself to a new pair of shoes or a new purse, we need to learn to make room in our budget for a dinner out or a piece of pie. As long as we aren’t doing it all the time, it’s a healthy way to have treats. Unfortunately, many people are not treating, they are cheating. They are not making room for that treat. They aren’t shaving calories off somewhere else. They aren’t working it off now, and they have no plans to work it off later. They aren’t working to “buy” that treat the good old-fashioned hard-working way.
People are just taking what they want, when they want – whether they can afford it or not. Anywhere else, that would be called stealing. In the dieting world, it’s called cheating – but I’ve got news for ya. People are NOT getting away with it. They are imprisoned in body fat, tight pants, insecurities, depression and despair.
American Needs Stronger Leaders
WARNING: The following content is rated M for mature. Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense truths, unpleasant news, offensive and/or strong language. Caution is advised.
I am so tired of seeing headlines suggesting dieting is easy and fast. It’s not. While it doesn’t have to be awful (and when done right, can be much easier than you think), practicing discipline isn’t easy. It takes some level of effort – and results are rarely fast.
I’d like to encourage fitness leaders to choose their words carefully and, may I boldy say, challenge American to QUIT cheating. We need to encourage people to be accountable. We need to speak truth in love and, for once, actually tell people “it may be your fault”. It’s not a fun message to give, but at some point, people need to hear the truth – even if it isn’t as fun.
Could you imagine if Magazines used headlines like:
- 10 Ways to Practice Self-Control
- Learn How Balance Diet and Treats (not Cheats)
- Get the Foods You Need, So You Don’t Fall Off the Wagon
- Overweight? Then Move More or Eat Less
Of course those don’t sound near as fun as “have your cake and eat it too”. And “get off your fat butt and burn off that cake” would not only offend half of American, but it probably wouldn’t sell magazines. Sadly, America spends so much energy on being politically correct, and non-offensive, they don’t have the guts to use headlines that people really need to hear. Instead, they tell people what they want to hear, even if it’s not true, unhealthy, only partly true or even damaging. We live in a “feel-good” society that preaches “if it feels good, do it” and “you deserve it”.
Fitness leaders needs to help people get to the root of the problem and fix it, instead of encouraging followers to find ways around the problem, or mask it. Personally, in my opinion, we shouldn’t teach people how to cheat, or even appear to. That is just a bad message to me. While teaching practical eating tips so people can ENJOY life, and not be miserable on a diet, would ultimately teach people how to FEEL like they are cheating (which I am sure is what the magazine was doing) – I don’t think we should even use the word cheat in a positive sense. Why? Because the uneducated dieter could be led to believe that some people are getting amazing results by “cheating right” and doing whatever they want. NO! People get good results by eating right and practicing self control.
“…people always want to see what they can get away with first…”
People are already looking for every way to lose weight besides the right way. I see it way too much at the gym. People work really hard at the gym, only to blow it on poor choices because they basically want to see what they can get away with and still get the results they want. If you are dieting that way, I’ve got news for you – you can’t get away with it for long. Living like that is risky. It’s no different than stealing and hoping to get away with it. You have to be ready to get caught and face the consequences. The best thing you can do is just live right – and, in this case, eat right.
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28
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Manage Calories with LoseIt this Thanksgiving! Manage cravings by having a shake before your meal so you’re not starving come dinner time. Starving people are like drunk people – they make stupid mistakes when intoxicated with hunger. Be the Boss! #getafterit
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I see tons of people sweating it out at the gym – sometimes twice a day, working so incredibly hard. Why? It’s not because they have some photo shoot or competition. It’s not to get shredded. No, they have this insane dedication to working out because they have no dedication to eating right.
Me? I’m too lazy for that non-sense. I’d rather eat less than workout for 3 hours a day. As I always say, I don’t live to workout. It will always be a push for me to get my workout in. So, I choose to be careful with what I eat so I don’t have to do it any more than necessary.
However, there are many people who don’t mind working it off at all. I actually believe it’s therapy for them – and not really the good kind. Since many of them live at the gym, they know good and well they shouldn’t drink a twelve pack on the weekend and eat whatever the heck they want. So, come Monday it’s punishment time. It’s time to erase their sins.
They don’t get mad, because they know they don’t deserve to get mad. In their mind, they deserve as many brutal workouts as they can squeeze in. The sweatier, the better. The workouts help them to become proud of themselves again. When they know they aren’t proud of how they eat, the can at least be proud of what they do. And even if they hold 40 extra pounds, people around them would never call them lazy – because they work so hard.
Don’t get me wrong. If this is you, you are stronger. You are healthier. You are likely more tone. BUT, think of how amazing you would look and feel if you gave your plate the workout you gave your body.
This yo-yo lifestyle is not healthy. It’s not good for you emotionally and it’s not teaching you how to live healthy long-term. You can’t continue all your life beating your body up day after day because you can’t control your eating. Moderation is key to long-term success. Don’t punish your body for your mouth’s mistakes. The mouth is what needs taming so your body can begin enjoying the reward for once.
Even with extreme workouts, remember, extreme workouts can never erase extreme eating. Food always wins.
pFIT TIP: It takes approximately 10 miles to run off one average size restaurant dinner.
Does food have a grip on you, or do you have a grip on food?
I can’t tell you how many people tell me they are so sick of themselves. Sick of not controlling their food intake and weight. Food clearly has a grip on their life and they are eating themselves unhappy. Today we’re going to dive deep into the seriousness of letting food control your life. Get ready, because this isn’t going to be pretty!
Gluttony: to gulp down or swallow, means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth.
You don’t have to be FAT to struggle with food
When I think of gluttony, I think of seriously overweight people like “Fat Bastard” in the Austin Powers movie. However, you don’t have to be morbidly obese to struggle with gluttony. Just ask Steve and I. We’ve seriously gulped down hideous amounts of food at times, and not once did we ever push away from the table feeling good about it. And we make a boatload of excuses to match the boatload of food we consume.
“We deserve it”. “We’ve been training so hard”. “At least it was all healthy”. But no matter what our lame excuses are, too much is too much – and it’s not healthy.
We humans like to rationalize pretty much everything. We’re the first people to judge someone else’s “sin” and then make excuses for our own. Of course, most of us don’t think of ourselves as gluttons, but if you are gulping down too much food, then you are indeed a glutton. Sorry, but it’s true.
If you can’t control it…
Sure, it would be super easy to look at someone addicted to crack and think “wow, I can’t believe someone would do that to themselves”, yet you maybe addicted to food. Just because food is legal, doesn’t mean we should abuse our bodies with it.
This is not a fun topic, but I think it’s important to address. Coming from a strong Christian home, I was taught to take care of my body – and treat it like a temple. However, I’ve treated my body like a saloon, garbage dump, and smoke stack in the past. I would have NEVER brought some of the things I put in my body into a church. Ironically, when I was the least disciplined with what went into my mouth, I was also the least disciplined in other areas of my life.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to target alcohol, cigarettes and drugs as the evil things you should get rid of – but what makes us think we can continue overeating and not practicing self-control with the rest of our life?
It’s not about Vanity
Interestingly enough, most of us know better. We know we should be working out and eating healthier, but we don’t do it. Did you know that just knowing what to do and not doing it is wrong? I’m not just suggesting it is not good for you, I’m saying it’s flat wrong.
“It is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4:17
You don’t have to believe in God to benefit from scripture – and I believe most of us want to do the “right” thing. I think the problem lies in that we don’t think of eating poorly as right or wrong, but just a matter of vanity or choice. I mean, there are no food police giving out tickets for poor eating. We have the “right” to eat however we want – right? We may have that right, but that doesn’t make it right.
Maybe, if you’re struggling with self-control around food, you should treat the problem less like a vanity thing, and more as a right and wrong thing. You probably know what’s best for you, now you just need to start doing it.
1.) Decreases self esteem
2.) Increases jealousy
3.) Causes us to hide (especially from cameras)
4.) Makes us tired and lazy
5.) Makes us look and feel unattractive, which can be harmful in relationships
6.) Makes us physically ill
7.) Can be expensive (dining out/cocktails)
8.) Makes us unhappy
9.) Causes depression and added stress
10.) Makes us insecure and lack confidence in our work
If those are just a FEW things unhealthy eating habits can do to our lives, then why would even hesitate to get help and get healthy? It’s time to get healthy and happy again!
NOTE: If you think for one minute I’m judging you, or anyone struggling with eating – think again. We ALL struggle. I struggle. If you put a basket of nachos in front of me, I’ll out-eat any of you if I don’t practice self-control – and even my best self-control will still be overeating I guarantee!! The only difference is, I may go run it off. This is something I will continue to improve and manage for the rest of my life. When it comes to my body, I don’t want to look bad as much as I don’t want to disappoint God by mistreating this body he gave me. I want to be a good steward of my physical body as well as my life. When I’m done with this life, I want Him to say “Well done”. I will never be perfect, and I will always fail, but I will never stop trying – and I think that’s all He asks for. 🙂
We all stumble. We all mean well, and still mess up. We try, and we fail – time after time after time. However, stumbling requires something: it requires action. Meaning, you can’t stumble if you are sitting down. Another words, as long as you are trying, you will stumble at some point. The key to success is to keep getting back up and moving forward again.
One of the biggest ways we stumble starts with our mouth. As our pastor reminded us yesterday that our tongue gets us in a heck of a lot of trouble. Then it got me thinking. My tongue doesn’t just get me in trouble with what comes OUT of my mouth, it gets me in trouble with what goes IN my mouth too.
I looked up the word tongue on my Olive Tree Bible app and I got 115 hits on the word tongue alone – most of which are very convincing words of just how powerful our tongue is – both for good and bad.
James wrote “Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.”(James 3:2). Basically he’s saying it’s impossible to control and that we’d have to be perfect to tame it – and last I checked, the only time we’ll be perfect is when we are dead in Heaven. With that said, even knowing how hard it is (actually impossible), we are still encouraged to TRY to tame our tongue.
I believe when things are SO difficult, that we often are tempted to just give up – and give in. Listen, dieting is difficult and eating healthy can be challenging. We are not perfect and we are not always strong, BUT that doesn’t mean we quit trying.
Taming the tongue is something we should work on every day, every hour, every minute and every second of the day. If we can’t always say what we want, what makes us think we should be able to eat what we want. The answer is control, control, control!
10 Tips to Tame the Tongue
1. Use small salad plates instead of dinner plates to control portions.
2. Avoid dining out to prevent eating hidden calories cooked by a chef who cares more about how you think food tastes than your waistline.
3. Cook whole foods instead of casseroles and multi-ingredient dishes.
4. Eat 5-6 small snacks and meals a day instead of a couple large meals.
5. Eat prior to going to parties to avoid being hungry while surrounded by unhealthy foods.
6. Hang out with other Tongue Tamers. It’s easier to eat healthy around like-minded friends.
7. Split dinners when dining out to cut calories and cost.
8. Carry a protein bar with you for emergencies to avoid temptations.
9. Bring your lunch to work.
10. Just say “No”.