On Friday I decided to have a cheat day on my diet. If you followed my progress, I went from over 200 lbs. to now a healthy 166, and I have mentioned what I learned about working out has to do with being a better person. As I munched down on this wonder of a sandwich, I was thinking about what cheat meals can teach me.  I will put some pictures of how I made it and the final product so you can enjoy it also.  

  1. Balance is important: When you deprive yourself of things you enjoy, often you get frustrated and angry and almost resentful. The word diet has become a negative, but technically your eating style is a diet.  We only use the word diet when losing weight, but bodybuilders use it for building mass, athletes’ diet for better performance.  Finding a balance in your diet allows you to hit goals but enjoy it. In life, you cannot deprive yourself of things you enjoy, you build resentment. No relationship, job or anything should demand so much that you cannot find to enjoy life. Do not be too busy building a life to enjoy one
  1. Life is more like a Rollercoaster than a Carousel:  It will have a series of ups and downs, it will not be simple and easy, and not boring.  With a cheat meal you will not have the energy or have a crash unlike a well-balanced diet.  You will feel that downswing and will allow you to feel the upswings of eating healthier. 
  1. Listen to your body: When eating a cheat meal, or a meal incomplete in nutrition you often still feel hungry even though you ate a lot of calories. This is your body telling you that you are missing nutrients. Your body is wonderful at giving you alerts; the expression listening to your gut and listening to your heart does have some science behind it. Your body will tell you things, including yes, a cheat meal is a good thing.
  1. Rewards are a good incentive: You need to reward yourself for progress, and a cheat meal is one way.  Purchasing new clothes as you hit that goal is another.  Finding the right rewards for your fitness goals helps the progress continue. Rewards are helpful for other facets in life also (besides fitness.). You should reward yourself when you get a promotion, hit a milestone etc.   Even words of thanks and gratitude to someone else who obtained something are rewarding to them.  
  1. Do not overuse rewards: The cheat meal is on the bad side, and having too many disrupts it. Use these things sparingly, as if you reward yourself too much it is no longer a reward. This is true not just with cheat meals but any other reward or goal. When at a previous company they would promote people ‘yearly’ which eventually people were thinking it was an entitlement not a goal or achievement. 
  1. One bad meal or day should not ruin the rest of your plan: If you have $86,400 dollars and someone took $600 from you, would you throw out the other $85,900?   Well, there are 86,400 seconds in a day, a bad meal is what a 10-minute decision. You are going to throw out the other 85,900 seconds (just short of 24 hours) you made a good decision.  I do think you would. Think of it of spending that money on something frivolous you never use, but the rest you spent wise
  1. Build some flexibility into your life: My cheat meal was on a Friday, next week it will be on a Wednesday as my sister is coming into the city. Having the ability to be schedules and regimented in a way that you can always have some flexibiity make success easier. Consistency is one key to success, and having a structure and schedule helps. But occasionally this flexibility does not break you, the cheat meal is just that. 
  1. Willpower is a muscle: You need to work it out like any other muscle.  But you do give your muscle a rest day, and a cheat meal is a rest day for your willpower.  Just like Steve Jobs wore the same clothes all the time to improve his decision-making in other areas, scheduled meals and the schedule cheat mail will reduce your decision-making.  If it is not your cheat meal, then you must eat healthy (choice over). People do complain they do not have the willpower, and it is more they have not developed it.  Thinking of it as a muscle they need to work on and the cheat meals as the rest days make it easier to train

Well Sorry I am not giving ten plus an extra, but it is interesting to start looking at myself and figuring out why things work and how what I did to get healthy relates to my life as a parent, my job and me being a human being.  I wonder what lessons are in store for me in 2024. 

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them. 

This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book.  With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path.  I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content.  I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip.  I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.   AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information.Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them.