Chronicles of the two voices inside my head, installment #2 – Before the Cheat meal

Client Amy:

Today, this feels hard!

Trainer Amy:

Okay we’re going to need to get a bit more specific than that! What feels hard?

Client Amy:

I am in food prison! I just want to eat and not think or care about the nutritional value of what is going into my mouth! In fact, this is feeling daunting enough that I even took a bite of my kid’s pizza and had like eight spoonfulls of homemade Mac and cheese, yesterday!

Trainer Amy:

Okay, it’s not the end of the world. You’ve been very diligent in your nutritional approach for over two weeks now. That’s huge! That is a long time to stick with a strict regime when before that you were eating whatever your taste buds desired.

Remember that in order to meet specific goals, we need to follow specific rules to get to that point. You’re following a specific nutrition strategy which, you have seen, is actually working to change your body composition for the better.

Let’s pause and look at the bigger picture for a minute. Tell me, what do you feel you are doing well within this process?

Client Amy:

Okay… well… I’ve planned, food prepped, and stuck with a meal plan for two whole weeks. Even though it has felt like a lot of work, I do see the value in those efforts as they’ve helped me stay the course. I’ve also diligently logged my food intake each day. I usually hate food journaling, but doing so is helping to keep me on track. Also, I’ve exercised about 5 times each week, and a few of those days I’ve done two workouts!

Trainer Amy:

That’s awesome! Those are all habits which will lead you to success. Now, tell me what areas you feel like you can improve in your weight loss process?

Client Amy:

Well… For starters, I had those unplanned bites of “non-strategic” foods yesterday…

Trainer Amy:

OK, let’s talk about that. Was that your first unplanned food indulgence? Where did you end up in your calorie and macronutrient targets for the day?

Client Amy:

Yes, that was my first time eating something that wasn’t in my plans. I really tried not to be obsessive about it once I had a little taste. Ya know, “let it go”, “brush it off”, “quickly stay the course on my food plan”, and all. But I did manage to stay under 1700 calories. The only hiccup with my macronutrients were that my carbohydrates landed around 40 grams higher than I intended (Stupid Pasta!).

Trainer Amy:

Let’s celebrate this! Yes, you took a few unplanned bites of food, but you didn’t turn that into a binge-fest, and you stayed under your calorie goal! You should totally feel good about those things! Did you enjoy those tastes of pizza and homemade Mac and cheese?

Client Amy:

Yes! It was just enough to be able to enjoy the flavor without eating too much to carry frustration and guilt! Thanks for pointing that out!

Trainer Amy:

You’re welcome! Are there any other areas that you feel like you can do a little better in to take your efforts to the next step?

Client Amy:

Perhaps adding more foods to my weekly meal plan that will help me get enough potassium and iron so that I don’t worry about supplementing. Also, not beating myself up when I do happen to miss a day of working out.

Trainer Amy:

We can work on that the potassium and iron foods, no problem. But yes, be kind to yourself! If you are unkind to yourself you will lose your focus on why you’re taking on this journey. You’ll have negative feelings toward the process, and lose your desire to continue to push through. This is a journey of self love, where you are learning to instill habits which will help you feel your best both physically and mentally. You’re human. There’s room in life for “oopses”. Just as you did with the pizza and Mac and cheese, you pick yourself up immediately and keep placing one foot in front of the other. And you’re doing that! Have you seen how your body has changed over that last two weeks? Between following your nutrition strategy and doing your five days a week of exercise you are making progress!

You say that you feel like you’re in food prison. Let’s remember that you have a planned indulgence meal in three days. You’ve already made it through 19 days sticking to your eating strategy. Let’s talk about the indulgence meal, and review what the rules around that are.

Client Amy:

Uggggggh…. More rules!

Trainer Amy:

I know, I know, but rules are the safety nets which help us meet our ultimate goals! Rules are our friend. We become our best self when we adhere to rules!

First, we don’t call this a cheat meal because cheating has a negative connotation. Cheating is being dishonest and disloyal. When it is planned out, you aren’t being disloyal to your plan, it’s literally built in! There is a plan in place which invites you to have a meal which helps you feel a little bit more free. You can eat anything that you want, all within your set hour. Itching for those Crumbl cookies? Go for it! More Mac N Cheese? Down it! Really! Whatever you want, eat it! No measuring! No Tracking! In fact, I discourage you from journaling because we are working on being balanced and not obsessive about the numbers.

Doing this also acts as a psychological break. Listen to your body through this meal. Be super mindful, slow down, and stop when you feel like you’ve had enough food. But don’t make yourself sick! Remember that this will not be the last time you get to have these foods! Beginning this next week, you get to have an indulgence meal every week, if you want! Once your indulgence hour is over, you’re right back to your weight loss nutrition plan for the next seven days.

With all this in mind, will you commit to three more days without any food indulgences?

Client Amy:

Yes, I know I can do that. And I can commit to giving the indulgence meal the respect it deserves.

Trainer Amy:

Awesome! Let’s review your “why’s?”. Tell me the reasons that you’re working on losing weight.

Client Amy:

  1. I want to be my healthiest, eliminate gross tummy aches, feel my best.
  2. I want to eliminate risk of developing cancer and heart conditions that run in my family.
  3. I want to have energy to play with my very active boys.
  4. I want to feel my best in my own skin, and like the way that my clothes fit on me.
  5. I want to teach the world that this process works, and is totally doable (even for those with binge eating tendencies).
  6. I want to inspire others to make their own healthy lifestyle changes.

Trainer Amy:

Is this enough to help you focus on three more days of intentional food intake before your planned indulgence meal.

Client Amy:

Yes. My head is in the right place. I’m excited for the additional progress I’ll see on weigh in/measurement day on Thursday morning. I’m also excited to show myself that I can last all the way until Friday evening before eating my indulgence meal.

Trainer Amy:

You’ve got this! I can’t wait to hear all about that indulgence meal! Talk to you soon!


Want more info on indulgence meals? Check out this link from the University of Colorado.

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Amy Bellamy

What's up everyone?! My name is Amy Bellamy and I am a wife, a mom to three boys, and a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. I am an avid distance runner and love lifting weights. As someone who has struggled with being overweight in the past, I know how hard it can be to find the right process that works for you to lose weight. The frustration of starting and stopping and starting again, wears on you mentally and physically. That's why I want to share with you what I have found to be a game changer for me in my weight loss journey. Through experience and study, I’ve learned the tools required for losing weight permanently. I have the education and experience to help you overcome any insecurities you have, from that worry of everyone looking at you because you don't know how to use the exercise equipment in a gym environment, or simply not knowing how to use what you have at home. I also have the training to help you stay focused on your goals when that plate full of cookies is staring you down and you find yourself saying "Well, I will allow myself to eat just one" and end up eating the whole plate (oh, the number of times I have been there). I’m excited to help you find the right approach to your food consumption, give you the template on how to build a strategy that works specifically for you and then help you stick with it. On top of that, I will show you how to help you increase your flexibility, strength, muscle growth, cardiorespiratory abilities and achieve your fitness goals. Let me help you in your commitment to living your healthiest lifestyle and lose those last 15 pounds for good!

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