If you have been trying to lose weight or tone up then you have likely been a part of the discourse surrounding “cheat meals”. Do I allow a cheat meal once a week? Once a month? Do I allow a cheat meal only when I’ve reached my first milestone or goal? Do I not allow any cheat meals at all? Well, I am going to give you a few truths, some of which might be hard to take. You ready?
- You are not a dog. You are a human. I don’t know when we got into the habit of
rewarding ourselves with food, but it needs to stop. It is like we’ve been training ourselves like we do our pets and using food as a reward for being good and following through with intended plans. This is not a healthy mindset to have. We should be fueling our body for energy and for nutrition, not to convince ourselves to do things that we want or need to do. We need to work on our mental strength and learn to follow through on our goals without using food as a reward system. Instead, use other incentives that appeal to you as a reward.
- Eating your feelings? Big no-no. Sometimes people take comfort in food and use it as an emotional crutch to help them get through tough times. This can become a never ending hamster wheel because you eat your feelings when you’re down, gain weight, get upset because you’ve gained weight, then you go eat your feelings some more to help you deal with the weight gain. This just goes on and on, believe me, I know because I’ve been there. A LOT. What I have found is that it is possible to get past this, you just have to find something else that you can do as a stress reliever and mood enhancer to replace the behaviour. For me, this happened to be exercise. Not at first, because at first it was brutal and I felt like I was dying every time I tried to do cardio, but over time I really came to love it. I started feeling more energized after workouts, I started to be in a happier mood over all because my body was producing endorphins, and it totally changed my outlook on things. Find something that takes the pressure off, and start investing yourself in that as a hobby to help you crush this nasty habit.
- When should you have a cheat meal, you ask? Never. For real though. Take the words “cheat meal” out of your vocabulary. Does this mean that you should never allow yourself to enjoy foods that aren’t healthy? Absolutely not. If you want to have a piece of cake for your birthday, go for it. If you want to eat pizza at a family outing, by all means. BUT – this does not mean that it should turn into a free for all. The question is are you eating bad foods that can mess up your progress in excess or too frequently, or are you using a food tracker and incorporating the “bad” foods into your daily food journal? That is the difference. We need to change our mindset around food. We were born to live our lives, and if we love certain foods (ahem* poutine, pizza, and ice cream*) then we should still be able to enjoy them from time to time without guilt. It is all in moderation. If you know you’re going out to eat, you can plan ahead for that and modify the rest of your day to accommodate the extra calories from that meal. The key is sticking to whatever you allotted in your journal, so if you made room for 2 slices of pizza, stick with that and don’t go beyond. The point here is change the language that you use when talking about food. Just like this image above – replacing the way you word things can have a powerful influence!
- Stop with the guilt. So many of us get down on ourselves if we cave to temptation. This is how cheat meals turn into cheat days, cheat days turn into cheat weeks, and before you know it you’ve gained back all the weight you had lost and then some. Weight loss is a process, and there are good days and bad. One healthy meal is not going to magically make you drop 20lbs, just like one unhealthy meal is not going to make you gain 20lbs. If you make a mistake and you unexpectedly give in to temptation with food, just get out your food journal and do your best to modify the rest of your meals for the day to realign your macros. Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to say “well screw this, I already messed up once so I may as well go all out”. We need to move ourselves away from that kind of thinking entirely. This is how we end up with eating disorders, which can be very dangerous if not dealt with quickly.
- Want real results? Eat clean. If you really want to lose weight, tone up, gain muscle – whatever the case may be – you really should eat as clean as possible. I found that the only way that I could stay on track was to cut out unhealthy foods entirely. Over time I was able to gradually start reintroducing chips, cake, pizza, and other not so healthy foods that I enjoy back into my life using myfitnesspal to track my macros. It was a lot harder in the beginning, I needed complete separation from those foods. It’s like the chip slogan “you can’t have just one”, because I really couldn’t reign myself in if I started snacking. When you’re just beginning a weight loss journey, you really need to give yourself time to make that mental shift about food. You need to give your taste buds time to adapt and your body time to expel all of the gunk, sugar, and chemicals from the junk you’d been consuming. After a while you will find yourself starting to really enjoy the healthier foods you’re eating, and even to crave them in place of some of your old favourites.
- Food is an addiction for some, so treat it as such. If you’re like me and you use food to self-soothe, you need to realize that until you replace that addictive behaviour with healthy habits, you can’t feed the addiction. You should avoid going back to eating unhealthy foods in moderation until you’ve gotten to a place mentally and
emotionally when you are able to restrict yourself to that which you’ve allotted. It takes at least 3 weeks to make or break a habit – so you should wait at least that long before trying to incorporate unhealthy things.
- It IS okay to say NO to junk food. One thing that I have learned upon making some positive changes to my life is that others tend to take offence to those who make such drastic lifestyle shifts. It is like they know they should make the change themselves, but they don’t want to, so they subconsciously try to sabotage you and bring you back to their level. This happens with quitting drinking, smoking, and more. It is unfair, and it makes things harder for you when you’re trying to do the right thing but your friends, family, or coworkers keep egging you on and trying to tempt you to give in.When that happens you need to establish clear boundaries and let them know that if they value you and whatever relationship you have with them, that they need to support you as you make this transformation. If they are unwilling to support you on this journey to a healthier version of yourself, then they don’t belong in your life. It really is as simple as that.
- If you fail – try again. Honestly, I have failed so many times when it comes to proper nutrition that it’s a wonder I haven’t given up. I’ve failed with weight loss because I allow life stresses, heartaches, ailments, hardships, and more to get in the way of my progress. I’ve probably lost upwards of 200 pounds in total with all of the yo-yoing I have done when it comes to weight loss. The thing is, I know what I am capable of when I put my mind to it, and you can do it too. It is just a matter of changing the way you think about food and use past failures as a learning experience. You haven’t failed until you’ve given up, so keep trying. Get help if you have to. Email me if you need to talk or want an accountability buddy, I am happy to help. Just don’t give up on yourself, because you are capable of much more than you know.
Changing your mindset around “cheat” foods is one of the biggest keys to success. However, I’m living proof that this is easier said than done lol. It’s a process. As I wrote this blog post, I wrote the whole first point using “we” throughout, and I debated on changing it. Upon consideration, I realized that I am writing this from the perspective of someone that knows that this is unhealthy and that the mindset needs to change, but I am also still working on making that shift myself…. for the hundredth time.
This is something that you really have to work on consistently and build it into the foundation of your life. It needs to become a lifestyle and not just a weight loss routine or some kind of temporary diet, otherwise, you doom yourself to failure. I am a constant work in progress, and I accept that!
I WILL achieve my goals, and I would love to see you do it alongside me.
Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged and fall off the wagon simply because things aren’t progressing as quickly as you had hoped. Results will come over time and effort. Even if you don’t see the changes as drastically in the beginning, they are happening within you regardless. Over time, you will start to really notice those changes, but you won’t if you allow yourself to give up before you reach that point in your journey.
If you set a goal to reach a certain point in 3 months, and you don’t quite hit that by the end of the three months, should you give up? Absolutely not, because if you stayed on track for three months then you would have made progress to varying degrees. That progress is something to be proud of, regardless of whether or not you hit your intended goal.
If you wait until you hit your long term goal to be proud of yourself, you are less likely to be successful. You should be proud of yourself every time you do something you previously couldn’t do, or up your weight in exercises, or even just for forcing yourself to do a workout on a day when you really didn’t feel like doing it! Being proud of yourself and what you have accomplished helps you stay motivated to keep going. Always remember to be proud of the small steps forward, because even though they are small, they are still steps moving forward.
If you haven’t started your journey yet, but you’d like to, visit us in my FREE Health and Fitness group to join a group of people learning how to lead a healthier lifestyle and incorporate activity into their lives. We’re voting now for the July Challenge, so you definitely want to get in the group ASAP!
One of the biggest objections that I get from people that I approach about my Network Marketing opportunities is that it is a pyramid scheme, and/or it is not a real job. Well, I am here to dispel these misconceptions and tell you exactly why that line of thinking is just plain wrong.
I think the biggest issue with these network marketing professions is that people tend to think that if you just join, you’ll be able to start making a LOT of money fast without actually putting in a lot of work. If you think of it as a get rich quick scheme, chances are, you are NOT going to find success in this industry. These businesses DO work, and they can provide you with unlimited earning potential. However, it is not a magic money tree that is going to continue giving you money for little to no effort – at least not in the beginning. Just like any other job, you actually have to WORK at network marketing in order to be successful. This means that YOU and you alone are responsible for your own success or failure with your business. The tools and training are all at your fingertips, and if you join under the right upline and with the right team, you will have the support that you need to be successful. However, the rest is completely up to you when it comes to putting in the time and the effort that it takes to sell your products, and build your team if you hope to move up through the ranks to be successful.
I don’t want to sugar coat this part because I think you need to be prepared for the fact that it is not always going to be sunshine and rainbows, and there are going to be a lot of people that are going to ignore your invitation to learn about the opportunity or straight out reject it. It can be scary at first, because nobody likes rejection, but you just have to realize that it doesn’t matter! If you believe in your products whole-heartedly like I do, then you just move on to the next person until you find someone that can understand and appreciate what you have to offer. It is really a numbers game, so the more people you get the opportunity in front of, the higher the likelihood that you’ll be successful. Anyone can make some extra income with network marketing, but if you really want to be successful, you need to step out of your comfort zone and get over your fear of approaching people about your business opportunity and/or products. Our team actually does challenges to motivate everyone to step out of their comfort zone and do something new and different to take their business to the next level, and that is a huge help. Small little steps compounded over time can make a BIG difference.
Again, you need to think of this as a real job, because it is a real job and a real business. Too many people out there are looking for something free to join in the hopes of making some easy money, but in most cases, that just isn’t going to happen. It is super unfortunate, but way too many people join a company thinking they’ll get rich, and then they quit before they ever get to experience the results of their small steps compounded over time. You should commit to at least one full year with a company before you throw in the towel, because a breakthrough could be right around the corner. Furthermore, with a real business, you have also got to be willing to invest something! If you’re going to join a company and promote their products, you kind of have to know what it is that you are promoting! For example, with Younique there are no monthly fees and you don’t pay a “startup fee”, but you do purchase a presenter’s kit that is full of our most popular products at almost a 50% discount. This allows all of our new presenters to try out our products so that they can market them to others appropriately and really gain a passion for the products and the company. Most other direct sales companies out there will have the same kind of system with their products, and it really is a valuable investment.
Thinking of a network marketing opportunity as a real job also means that you need to designate some time each day to working your business. Honestly, that can be as simple as taking 15-20 minutes out of your day here and there to make a few posts on social media, respond to a couple emails or messages, or make a simple blog post. A lot of us waste hours of our time on social media without even noticing! Why not use that to our advantage and use some of that time to take steps that can further our success with a given company?
“You work just hard enough to keep them from firing you and they pay you just enough to keep you from quitting. You are in a prison.” –Rise of the Entrepreneur
The fact of the matter is that our system is flawed because so many people are going to school in the hopes of finding a good job, but then end up struggling to find a job after graduation and being saddled with debt for years to come. People work sometimes 2 and 3 jobs just to make enough money to get by, and instead of going away for vacations, most people are stuck at home on their vacation days because they don’t have the money to do anything else. That is why network marketing is an amazing solution to these issues. It is something that you can do from home on your own time, and it is without all of the risk that usually comes from starting a business. Most companies have relatively low startup costs, and you aren’t responsible for coming up with the product to sell because that is already established for you. You aren’t responsible for producing the product, shipping the product, fixing issues, etc. All of these things are taken care of by the company, and you are just the third party tool that spreads the word about what you have to offer and brings in the new clientele and you get paid to do it. I find it so ironic that people are willing to spend 50+ years of their life working for someone else and struggling with money, yet they aren’t willing to spend 3-5 years working a business with unlimited earning potential and making enough money to not only get by, but to thrive! With network marketing, we get to be the CEO of our own business. How awesome is that?
Probably the biggest issue that I wanted to address was the common misconception that network marketing opportunities are really pyramid schemes. This one drives me craaazzzyy. It is one thing for people to genuinely ask about this, but it is a whole different story for a person to try TELL YOU that your company is a pyramid scheme. I am sorry, but in my opinion that is just childish and ignorant. Please do your research and learn the definition of a pyramid scheme before you insult someone like that, because though there are pyramid schemes out there, the vast majority of network marketing opportunities are legitimate. Honestly if you think about it, Corporate America is actually a pyramid scheme because you have the top people getting richer and richer while everyone else stays relatively at the same income level. Now, with network marketing, it is actually more of an INVERSE pyramid. Instead of the top earners doing well while the rest of us stay at the same low income, the top earners GET to where they are by helping those below them to do better. Our success is really the product of our team success, so in order to do better ourselves; we first have to help teach our team to be successful as well. This means that everyone on the team that is putting in the work will be moving upwards with their business!
“Think of your dream as a balloon on a string. Are you going to reach out and grab it, or are you going to let it slip through your fingers?” –Rise of the Entrepreneur
Are you willing to work and to learn? Could you benefit from an opportunity that would allow you spend more time at home? Do you need or want an extra source of income? If so, I would love to chat with you about the opportunities that I offer. I highly value both of my companies for different reasons, but fitness and beauty have become huge passions of mine. If you’re a woman that loves makeup, ask me about Younique. If you want an opportunity that would allow you to work on your health and fitness, ask me about Beachbody.
Network marketing IS a better way, you just have to be willing to take a chance and try it.
Don’t let other people tear you down. There are going to be people out there that are going to try to discourage you from making positive life changes and/or tell you that you can’t do it. This may even come from someone close to you, like a friend or family member. This hurts, but you can’t let them beat you down to their level.
If you’ve watched Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell over the years like I have, you’ll have learned that sometimes the people closest to us will try to prevent us from being successful on our journey simply because they aren’t ready to make those changes themselves. Sometimes they do it without even realizing it, and though they would never intentionally do something to hurt you, their subconscious wins the battle and they say or do things that can set you back.
Making the shift from junk food to healthy food and from inactivity to activity on a regular basis is not easy. It takes hard work and dedication. This process is made much more difficult if you don’t have a support system to lean on. For example, if you live with a spouse or significant other that doesn’t want to make healthier choices, or if your friends constantly invite you out to places where you’ll be tempted to eat poorly.
What I would recommend that you do moving forward is to start analyzing the people in your life. Think about the people that mean the most to you, and the people you spend the most time with. Once you’ve figured that out, you should then have an open and honest conversation with each of those people. Say, “listen, I have decided to start eating better and working out because it is very important to me that I get healthy and/or lose weight. As my family member/friend, I was really hoping that you would support me on this journey.”
If they are the type of person that says or does things that bring you down and work against your health and fitness goals, you can add something like “You are very important to me, and I don’t want to damage our relationship. However, I feel like you sometimes say and/or do things that make it more difficult for me to stick with my positive life choices. I would love for you to join me on this journey, but if you aren’t ready, I at least need that discouraging behaviour to stop. Otherwise I might have to take some time away from you for a while until these new life choices have had the chance to become habits”
This isn’t always an easy conversation to have, but it is important if you want to be successful. If you’re open and honest with them about what you want and how you are feeling, they will likely be open and honest with you in return. It may be just the push they need to agree to these changes themselves, and it could really strengthen your relationship. However, if they refuse to join you and they continue the negative behaviour, you really should consider taking some time away from that person to work on yourself. You need to surround yourself with positive people that support you and your health and fitness goals, otherwise your chances of being successful tend to dwindle.
As for household relationships, like children and/or spouses, think about who does the grocery shopping. Is it you? If so, just gradually start reducing the amount of junk food you have in the house! Your family might not like it at first, but if you replace the junk foods that they enjoy with some healthier options, they will get used to it over time.
You need to be a positive role model for your friends and family. SHOW them that it is possible to make these life choices and what kind of results can come from making those choices. Invite them to join you on your workouts. Talk to them about how you are feeling now that you have started this awesome journey, and make them want to join in.
If you have children, this is more important than ever, because children will model after you when it comes to food choice in most cases. If you constantly eat junk food and allow them to eat junk food, they are going to learn that junk food is good. If you don’t eat junk food regularly and you don’t keep junk food in the house or allow your kids to eat it regularly, they will learn that junk food is not good for you and that they can only have it as a treat once in a while. The problem is that many people are eating junk food ALL DAY every day. For example kids get sent to school with chips, cookies, fruit roll ups, lunchables, gummies, etc. Instead, send your kids to school with healthier snacks like fruit and veggies.
If you teach your children healthy habits early in their lives, they are less likely to become overweight or obese going into adulthood. I wish that I had been forced to learn healthy habits when I was a child, because I could have avoided all of the years that I spent depressed and in self-imposed isolation because of my weight.
Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “I’m ready to transform” if you would like to make me your free Beachbody Coach. I look forward to speaking with you, and I can’t wait to watch your mind and body transform over the course of your health and fitness journey.
I agree with this quote 100%! As coaches we are in this business to help others be successful, not to shove our success down people’s throats. Sometimes I see people get upset or angry when they see people with fit bodies, and they say things like “well that person probably never had a weight problem to begin with”. You CANNOT make that judgment without knowing a person’s story. I know plenty of people that were really overweight, and went on to compete in fitness competitions after a TON of hard work. Do you think they let small setbacks keep them down? Definitely not.
You can’t let failures or setbacks get you down, because if you fall into that trap you won’t see the progress that you’re hoping for. Everyone has small failures here and there. We are only human, so you are bound to slip up in your diet at some point or skip out on a workout. You have to learn to forgive yourself for those mistakes and not let it keep you from moving forward. Sometimes people have a tendency to think “well I messed up, I may as well go all out”. Then they binge for the day on all of the junk they’ve been missing out on, and that cheat day can easily turn into a cheat weekend, which can turn into a cheat week, and so on.
What you need to remember is that ONE bad meal and/or missed workout is not going to make you GAIN weight, just like ONE good meal and/or workout is not going to make you LOSE weight. Don’t get upset over a setback and let a little mistake turn into a big mistake. Try to stay positive and always push yourself to be better than you were yesterday.
Click Here if you are ready to start working toward your own success story.