Cheat, Guilt, Listen

I have something to tell you. I cheated.

Well, actually, cheating might not be the right word. As I don’t believe in diets, don’t diet, and absolutely despise diets, I guess I could say I did something my body didn’t approve of.

I want you to know that I am bearing my soul because as a health coach some see me as living a perfect healthy life. I used to worry if I didn’t eat the “right” foods all the time, I was a bad coach. “What if a client sees me at the movie theater with a big tub of popcorn?”  I’ve gotten better with this, but still that feeling of “yikes!” comes up, so writing this post is kinda like therapy for me.  I am coming out.

So here’s the story.

A few weeks ago, I was out to dinner with my girl, Heather of Naptown Studios (she is the one who makes me look good in my photos!).  She suggested going to a cool, trendy place that serves veg dishes.  Kale, quinoa, and tofu graced the menu. I was in heaven.

So I ordered the crispy eggplant with mozzarella and tomato sandwich.  I must have forgot my old stand-by “Please, can I have a green leafy salad for the side?” because when the plate was delivered, I didn’t see that salad.  French fries.

I mentioned to the waiter that I should have asked for a salad, and he immediately apologized and brought one minutes later.

A little background info:   french fries, especially McDonald’s, was my weakness.  If you would put a chocolate cake and a pile of fries in front of me, I would go for the fries. Hands down.

(sorry, I just had to show you a picture of these things!)

In the past, I would usually order the fries, eat them, feel guilty and vow to run an extra 5 miles the next day to burn off the fat and calories. I would worry all night about my “cheating” and how I should go back on my diet first thing in the morning.  I would tell myself “I suck!” and then repeat all of this the next day.  It seemed like an endless cycle.

Since those days are long gone, I actually ate the fries. In fact, I couldn’t finish the plate, but I did eat a substantial amount. BUT the difference this time is that I enjoyed it. I ate one by one and savored them until my stomach got full.

What happened? How did I do this?

Well, the next day I woke up. I had a terrible stomach ache and felt like crap.  Literally, I had a fuzzy feeling in my head and my intestines felt like they were in knots.  Now, I don’t want to blame those little fried potatoes, but based on my experience, I know that my body didn’t like them.  She was not digging this feeling at all.

After pumping some green juices, salads, and that navy bean and leek soup I like, I felt tons better. My body was back in business, happy, and above all forgiving.

So do you want to eat those indulgent foods without guilt? Do you want to know my secret?

Listen.  It’s that simple.

I learned to listen to my body. This, of course, takes some time, but you can do it too.

As humans, we tend to let our minds control us. “Why did I eat that? That’s it, 100 more situps for you.”

We forget about our poor bodies who love us, pump blood for us, breath for us.

Your body has all the answers. All you have to do is listen.

Start trying to eat more greens, grains, and cut out all the packaged and fast foods.  Over time, you body will begin to crave all this good stuff and reject foods that don’t fuel you and give you nourishment.  Keep listening to your body.

AND as for the guilt, try this.  I have a 80/20 guideline.  80% of the time I eat clean, whole  foods and try my best to fuel my body with the good stuff and 20% of the time, I eat foods (and drink my wine~shhh!)  that aren’t as nutritious.  You can let go of the guilt because you are not depriving yourself.  There is no punishment.

Plus you can be damn sure that your body will set you straight  like mine did.

Thanks for reading … I felt strongly about sharing this with you. No one is perfect when it comes to eating so please remember to give yourself a break and pay attention to your body.

Can you relate? How can you start listening to your body? Please share with me below.

24 Comments on “Cheat, Guilt, Listen”

  1. Awesome 🙂 I’m glad you were able to let yourself enjoy the fries! I like the 80/20 and 90/10 rules. Sometimes I find that when I don’t allow myself to eat what I’m craving, I just end up eating too much of everything else until I get it! Better to have that little bit of chocolate or salty treat. 😉 xo

    1. Thanks, my friend! I agree 100% with you…when I used to deprive myself, I went overboard! It’s always nice to eat clean most of the time and then when you get that sweet tooth, go for it. xo

  2. Lisa, I love this post, because I have spent so much of my life feeling the same way! I would feel bad for eating things and then feel like I had to go run it all off and not eat the next day or whatever. I have gotten so much better with this in the last 2 years, I attribute a great deal to Yoga and becoming in tuned with my body. I rarely eat dairy because it messes my stomach up…but I had choc. ice cream sunday and it was soooo good?! I did not feel guilty but I paid for it the next day! I just keep that in mind when I’m taking a chance on eating something that I know my body won’t agree with! thanks for the post, so nice of you to share!

    1. Oh, Kate! How I LOVE you. I was a bit hesitant to write this, but I feel so much better… I am so glad that we are OVER that punishment and deprivation. I just love listening to my body because I really can tell what foods work for me or not. It’s not guilt, but sometimes I ask myself, “Do I really want to feel like shit tomorrow? I have so much to do!” Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kate. xo

  3. OH wow! I can totally relate with the “am I a bad coach” thing when I was teaching raw foods and if I ate something that wasn’t raw out in public. (Which by the way is pretty much the only time I don’t eat raw, since restaurants don’t always have raw options.) I love your way of dealing with this Lisa! You’re amazing, and thank you for sharing how your body reacted too. 🙂

    1. Nath! Whew, I am so glad you can relate and understand where I am coming from…I am so much better with this now thankfully. Thank you so much for your message and for being YOU. Love you, girlie!

  4. You’re too funny! This is a cute post … I wish I would have learned a long time ago to listen to my body. Better late than never! Let’s do it again soon (we can order the salad)! xo

    1. Ha! I thought you would just find this post funny! I can’t believe how sick I was…but the fries were SO good at the time.:) Let’s make sure to visit there again…and salad, oh, yes, salad!!! xo

  5. Hi Lisa,

    We all have those cravings of foods that we know just flat out, aren’t good for us. What I find though, is that I’m not necessarily craving the food, but the memory that goes along with it. Just two nights after my first-ever detox which I completed on July 23rd, I was feeling especially low because my oldest son had been at Boyscout camp in Rhode Island for the past 6 days. We had no contact with them. He was to come home the next evening, which just also happened to be my birthday. Although I was anxious for his arrival knowing that it was just a few hours away, I was also sad that he would not be spending the day with us on my special day, first time ever. So I went for my comfort food…ice cream! As a child, we spent a great deal of time with my Italian grandmother. Our lives centered around her small kitchen full of wonderful Italian foods and smells. After dinner was finished and all was cleaned up, my grandmother would settle down to watch her nighttime programs and would do so with a bowl of ice cream, her favorite dessert. She would treat us to a bowl as well. It was truly a special treat as my mother did not offer dessert every night but often when she did, it too was ice cream. Ice cream takes me way back to a happy, nurturing, safe and loving time in my life. It is my comfort food.

    Not sure if this is the case for you but I find that I can forgive myself for this one, not-so-healthy indulgence. Oh, and the night that I had that bowl after my detox…I also had gotten into the habit of adding a half of Whole Food’s gluten free vanilla cupcake to my nightly ritual. The icing is the best part. I ate it but after I did, my stomach felt very queasy from all of the sugar in the icing. I have had some ice cream since (not every night) but I have not added the cupcake. My body very quickly rejected it and I listened. So far, it doesn’t seem to mind the ice cream so I’m allowing that to fall into my “20%”. Still eating the foods from the detox and adding more healthy recipes so I’m not going to beat myself up over my one indulgence. After all, you gotta have a little fun!

    1. Kim, I had an Italian grandmother too! AND she was the best cook! I can see how ice cream is your go-to food when you want comfort, nurturing, etc… AND yes, the is no forgiving really…just ENJOY! Just like with my fries, I enjoy them but my body doesn’t! Good for you on listening to your body and being easy on yourself. You did a FANTASTIC job with the detox, and I know you will be ready for the fall one in September! I’m so happy your son is now back with you, too. Mucho love and gratitude for all your wonderful insights!

    1. Mayo! LOVE it! Thanks, my Hannah. I was a bit hesitant to write this, but I am so glad I did… we are all in this together french fries and all!xoxo

  6. Agreed! The 80/20 rule, well, rules. I say if you want something “bad,” make sure it is the best “bad” you can get. Don’t settle for generic ice cream or boxed brownies. Get the good stuff – premium quality or homemade – and savor every bite. And yes, when you listen to your body, you will hear it say, “thanks. I’m satisfied now.”

    1. I really love this, Suzette. The “best bad.” You are so ON with this…if you are going to go for the chocolate, grab the 70% or more real cacao and eat slowly, savoring each bite (as you say). Good stuff! I need to remember this for the par-tay on Sunday! Can’t wait!

  7. Love me some fries and cheeseburgers! Now when I have a craving, I make sweet potato fries in the oven and black bean Burger. I’ve learned how to recreate most fattening foods I love. Except enchiladas. Also, I love your site! Its so pretty!

    1. Oh, Moncia! How I just LOVE sweet potato fries…such a great substitute! We are so alike, I have been experimenting with ingredients to make things healthier. Especially for baking! Mucho thanks for your message and your sweet compliment! You are so wonderful!

  8. Lisa I love your honesty!!! French fries are a weakness of mine too! I just loved reading this because you always make me feel better about myself 🙂

  9. Such a great story Lisa!! I think I live by that 80/20 rule by default. We can’t be 100% perfect! That would be no fun. I love me some fries too, and salt and vinegar potato chips. Sometimes I just gotta have em!! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Liz! You are so right on, sister! Who wants to be perfect? AND I forgot about salt and vinegar!

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  11. Thank you Lisa! I hate when I “cheat” and don’t even enjoy it — that is the worst! Yesterday, I went to a dive bar/grill with Frank and we ate burgers with really crispy fries and drank beer. I felt really bad about it – down on myself. I am not sure if it was the guilt of eating it that prompted my not enjoying the moment or my knowing that my original plan to go to yoga was quashed. I also know that letting go of all that chatter and enjoying the moment — we were in a dive bar/grill, something we haven’t done in ages — is so important! And, the company was awesome, and it was a rainy day. Guilt can ruin the moment. I love the 80/20 principle and giving yourself credit. I just needed to let go a little yesterday. Today is a new day! Thanks again.

    1. I am with you! I don’t even enjoy the “cheat.” That guilt can sure be a downer.:( I can totally see how going to a dive bar indulging in summer food can be fun; it’s the little voices in our head that get in the way. Thanks so much for sharing, Candace! We will have to keep each other on track with the positive self talk and trying the 80/20 principle. xo

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