It starts with a sniff. Maybe even permission. You've been given free reign to have a cheat meal, or a re-feed, or "free" meal...what ever you want to call it.
Usually you have some parameters set around this meal. A time limit, or a suggestion of what to have or when to have it. If you're just starting out, you might be left to learn a lesson on your own though.
This can be a slippery slope. I've learned all kinds of lessons about my cheat meals along the way...over the years. Here are a few of my biggest "a-ha" moments:
- Never waste it on something crappy. That fast food thing you got pulled into by the flashy new marketing...it's going to taste crappy and you will have wasted your meal.
- Don't eat it in the morning. You simply can't control the rest of your day.
- It isn't necessary to be completely and totally stuffed. I can actually stuff myself. It's true. I have fed myself into a very uncomfortable state. I never thought that was possible. It is.
- This meal needs to be planned. You can't wing it. If you can wing a cheat meal you have the wrong stuff in your house. Period.
- I don't like this meal at restaurants. Like everything in life, it's personal preference. I want what I want...in my pajamas.
- You need a time limit. Without a time limit, your meal turns into 3 days of binging. This is the slippery slope.
- It's not a contest to see how much sugar and fat you can cram into your pie hole.
- The meal serves two important purposes: to give you a mental break if you need it; and to train your body to accept the fuel you'll carb up on prior to your show.
- Re-read the second half of number 8 until you understand the reason you require this meal.
So, no I don't go to the Piecake Factory (I actually just threw up a little) and chow down...or any other fill in the blank gross chain place. Can you tell I don't like that kind of place? I don't eat piles of sugar or bowls of ice cream. I don't drink alcohol.
What I eat is exactly what I will eat the days up to my competition. I'm watching for changes, and we're training my body to take the fuel at just the right time. We are determining how much fuel, in just the right quantities and how far out. It's a science.
The re-feed is about the science. It's yummy science, I won't lie. I look forward to it, and dance around in the kitchen over it. I lock the door, draw the shades, and eat. EAT!
I hope you'll begin to eat your re-feed with more purpose and less "slippery slope". I hope you'll see it as an opportunity to put the right fuel into your body to see how that changes your look. I hope you'll consider not having cake and wine.
Think about the fuel you take in not only on your diet but during your cheat, or re-feed, as having a purpose. What I see is people doing a week of work, then three days of damage during their cheat. You never make any progress. How frustrating?
I don't have anything different than anyone else. In fact, I see a lot of people with better structure and potential. The challenge is they keep sliding down the slippery slope.