The Psychology of Cheating

I want to start with a quick Scale Victory (SV). This past Monday, I was at the clinic for my annual mammogram and blood work. I had been at least partially on Trim Healthy Mama (THM) for a little over 2 weeks and was wondering if anything was happening. Out of curiosity I asked if I could step on the scale quick while I was there. I had been having the strange sensation at times of actually feeling like I was shrinking, but was convinced it had to be my imagination. To my surprise, I had lost 4 pounds! Scales never move in that direction for me. Even though I hadn’t noticed my clothing being looser or a visible difference, knowing things were going in the right direction was very encouraging.

Now, on to my latest THM ponderings.

One day after eating out, my husband apologized for taking me somewhere that “required me to cheat on my diet.” I just shrugged and told him that I don’t really view it as cheating. It’s making an informed choice, and sometimes that choice is doing what I know is not the best but I am willing to take the consequences.

I don’t know why, but giving yourself permission to “cheat” seems like it results in less damage than trying to avoid cheating completely. On Friday, one of my daughters chose Noodles & Co. for lunch which is a THM disaster. You can get some of the dishes “In the Buff” (on a bed of spinach rather than pasta), but I really wanted the mac and cheese. I know that isn’t good for me, but that’s what I wanted. So, I got it in a small rather than a regular, enjoyed it, and moved on. If I had chosen something else, I would have been grouchy all day that my diet didn’t allow me to eat what I really wanted. Then, I probably would have made a lot more bad choices in the form of eating a bunch of other stuff that wasn’t good for me in what amounts to throwing a temper tantrum to get even with the diet for denying me. And this would do more damage then just having what I wanted in the first place.

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