The pressure I feel to eat right, especially when dining out, is huge. I'm aware that people are watching me. And I'm good with that, however, enjoying a cheat meal or a reward snack seems to require covert operations. I've yet to figure out how to cheat guilt free.
For instance, several months ago, the family and I were having a little party at a local restaurant. Everybody was ordering from a menu full of comfort foods. There wasn't a healthy dish in the joint and I could not wait to try a few. So I whispered to BJ,"I think I'll have a little cheat meal today," scanning the menu and spotting the special; meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy. Man-oh-man, my tummy went to growling, just anticipating that awesome, fattening, calorie engorged goodness. I was salivating, as the waitress rounded the table.
When she got closer to me, I noticed an older couple, sitting across from me. The man was reading the local newspaper. What do you think was on the back of that paper, facing me? My story, the whole shebang; complete with bold inspirational headlines and a photo of me at 600 plus pounds. What a view. What a buzz-kill.
When I refocused, the couple had spotted me. And I could tell by the way they were tossing sideways glances back and forth--first man to wife, then to me, and then back again. They're read the article. They knew exactly who was sitting across from them. And I could see only one question forming in their eyes: What will he eat?
No way was I going to order Meatloaf! So I quickly opened the menu and opted for the grilled chicken and broccoli, my stomach protesting the entire time.
That's when I knew; I seriously needed a new game plan. So, days later, I regrouped and tried again. I hit a quick burger joint--a popular Hagerstown joint (Hint: A couple of guys run it, five of them I think) on my way to a Batman movie. This time, my splurge went off without a hitch. So I thought. Until I went to the gym the next day and my buddy/trainer Thomas asked me what foods I'd eaten over the weekend.
Are you kidding me, I thought. There's no way he knows. Yup, he knew! Someone had spotted me and spilled the proverbial beans. I was busted--again!
Cheating, in moderation, is essential to your success. I don't have to tell ya, I like food. I get emails all the time from other food loving people, all asking me if they must give up all their favorite foods. It weighs heavy on their minds. And in the beginning, it did mine too. Good news! NO. You don't have to stop eating your favorite dishes. YES! You can have those cheat days. But you must work hard for it before hand and indulge carefully.
And above all else--make sure you have an escape route in place. You just never know who is watching! It may even be me.