My Journey: Cheaters Never Prosper

protein_shakeNow that all of the Holidays have passed, I am back to work and back into my routine. Wake at 4:45 am, have a shake, get my meals together, check my email and twitter and then I’m at the gym for the six am opening.

This week I was going to talk about my training with some help from JC and tell you all about how it has evolved since working with him. I was going to explain how my workouts have changed and my training now varies week-to- week. I decided to save that for another week as I feel there is something far more pressing and important to talk about; diet. More specifically, going back to Christmas and how I not only did not weigh in, but went a little overboard on dinner.

Thursday of this past week will be myself and JC’s refeeds, as well as weigh ins. I won’t delve too deep into this topic as that is JC’s side of things, all I will say is that I had doubts going in as to my progress. I feel leaner, stronger, than before, but not weighing in and “cheating” with Christmas planted a seed in my subconscious.

You ate too much. You’re not doing enough cardio. You’re not lifting intensely enough to deserve two days off. You’re going to fail. These were all whispering in my ear leading up to this weeks weigh in.

I learned that I need to stick with my Dietdiet and routine as much as I possibly can. It might feel good to cheat, you might be dying for a burger or turkey dinner or whatever it may be, but do not give in, because you will regret it! I will not ever be tempted to cheat again knowing now how I felt the next day. Let me tell you, I do not wish that feeling on anyone, because it is awful, but also hard to describe.

Before the Christmas break, I weighed in at 177 pounds, which at the time was a record low for me. After Christmas, this past Thursday to be exact, I weighed in at…ready for this? 173.6 pounds! I couldn’t believe it, I checked the scaled three times! I cannot remember the last time I weighed under 180 let alone this close to 170! Did I screw up my weight loss? No. Did I screw up my confidence? Absolutely! I need that confidence in order to pursue this, and I’m not going to do anything to risk losing it again.

So my advice to you is stick with it. It will be hard. Your friends will razz you, try to get you to “try this”, Doughnuts-640x425“just have one”, and yes, “one” will not alter your goals, will two? Three? Half a dozen? Afterwards, how will you feel? I’ve been there at Christmas, and while I did enjoy my family and relaxing while eating dinner, the aftermath was constant stress and a couple of sleepless nights.

I haven’t told JC about my extreme paranoia, but when he reads this he will find out. What I can guarantee him and all of you reading this right now, is that this diet is the hardest thing both mentally and physically I have ever done in my life. That is even including overcoming the effects of a stroke.

I will not jeopardize how hard JC or I have worked on it for any amount of junk food or delicious sugary treats in the world. I feel better knowing that I can overcome a day of bad eating and still reach my goals, all the more reason why I know I need to steer clear of them and stay the course. What would I be at if I hadn’t done that on Christmas? Lesson learned.

Happy Lifting!

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5 comments for “My Journey: Cheaters Never Prosper

  1. January 5, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Another great article. I am not a fan of the cheat concept…it sabatoges confidence as you say and fosters the diet mindset. When nutrition and fitness and all related goals are lifestyle motivated and applied, cheats just don’t work and aren’t even needed or desired 99% of the time. Cheat meals work with diets but in the end diets don’t work anyway…lifestyle does…

  2. January 5, 2013 at 8:29 am

    I have a tendency to binge when I give myself permission to, so when I get serious about fat loss I basically put a lot of foods off limits. If I let myself eat pizza, I eat an extra large pizza by myself, so during those times I just have a ‘don’t touch’ list of items. Whether this works for others I don’t know, but it has always served me well.

    • JC
      January 5, 2013 at 8:56 am

      I do the exact same thing. Just like you, I cannot have just one or two or five pieces of pizza. When we order pizza, I order a 16 inch to myself – and it is usually accompanied by wings or followed with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But this is of course a binge that I have allowed myself to have. In diet mode it is as if someone flicked a switched and reversed all of my bad habits. The cravings and desire to eat like a monster still exist, but for me, during these times it is as simple as saying “don’t touch.” I don’t want to have a SINGLE event in prep that will have me doubting that I gave it 100%

      • January 5, 2013 at 9:03 am

        Exactly! Although in the past or present even, my goals haven’t been in relation to something as time sensitive as a competition, but I know exactly what you mean about that internal switch. The challenge for me now is using that switch when there is no pressure to do so. In the past there was always a season to get ready for, or a series of shoots to tighten up for, now it’s purely a hobby/health/vanity (I admit it) issue.

  3. JC
    January 5, 2013 at 8:05 am

    The first time I did something like this was just before my first show. I was only a couple weeks out and we went to Medieval Times for a family birthday. I brought my own food and ate before we went in, but the feast that taunted me while I was in there was just too tempting. I had a trainer that would have lost his lid if he knew what I had done, so the stress and anxiety was almost instant. This was back in a time where I didn’t even know what a refeed was, and neither did my “trainer.” I was so depleted anyway that I came in much lighter on my weigh, my first experience with the metabolism boosting properties of a refeed of “free meal.” I’m not surprised you are still on track, since we did forego the scheduled refeed and after all, it was just one meal. What I want to make clear to you and your readers however, is that these stresses over a small stray from the plan can do more damage than good. First and foremost, you must maintain a healthy relationship with food. We don’t want to go to any extremes that ultimately lead to eating disorders. Secondly, stress is catabolic. That’s right. You can literally worry yourself sick. If you stray again, keep calm and pick up on the next meal.

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