The Power of the Cheat, Staying in the Game

A Cycle of Failure
A Cycle of Failure

Our mind is baffling and confusing in the way it processes information from our experiences and actions. The way we perceive different actions and results can make us a success or a failure in our attempts to reach certain goals.

Stay with me, this is deep!

I have clients that have been so emotionally beaten up, they have lost all faith in their ability to lose weight or overcome their lifestyle related health issues. They have failed so many times, they have lost all hope. This emotional beating is self inflicted most of the time. Lets stop self-bullying forever!

I am just going to state this up front; there is power in variety and spontaneity.

Today, lets look at the effect of dieting plans and programs and the restrictions they place on your lifestyle.

Have you heard of the “Fade and Fail” theory? Probably not because I just coined it! It is caused by the destructive power of deprivation.

It’s basically when dieters get so dedicated to a strict routine both with their food intake and exercise, they don’t allow a break occasionally. Normally, these new routines are way outside of their everyday routines, which, they have been doing for years. Now, they are into a routine that is DEPRIVING them of what was once an enjoyment in their life. Eventually they begin to fade in the routine; they begin losing their zest. Suddenly they find themselves secretly eating a chocolate chip cookie or a piece of their favorite pie. They quietly beat themselves up for failing and commit to never cheating again. In the next week it happens again, and in a few more days again. Now they sense failure coming. While indulging in the forbidden, they have a great sense of relief. They begin to feel anger for cheating and then the self-bashing begins. “I am a failure, I can’t do this, I have no will power”. The fade leads to out right failure because after fading 2 or 3 times they are out of the game and feeling ashamed and beaten. Next year, yes they try it again, and have the same results. I practiced the art of fade and fail for years, eventually gaining 220 pounds from it.

Yes, I advocate cheating. But lets call it “treating“, in dietary delights from time to time and or taking a break for a day from your exercise routine! There needs to be room for spontaneity in life. Living within the confines of a strict dietary neighborhood is boring, limiting and not good for us emotionally. Occasionally we need to visit other delights in the dietary world as a treat. Many times these delights can be healthy. Also, that occasional piece of pie is very emotionally fulfilling. It’s the pressure relief valve of life! We can enjoy these treats with a friend or family or just savor it by our selves on the back porch (with a hot mug of hot chocolate or tea).  It nourishes us emotionally and we need that sometimes. It also has enormous power to help us stay on the path of wellness. I call it the Power of the Cheat! Ultimately, it keeps us in the game of developing a healthy lifestyle!

Remove the Ch in Cheat and replace it with TR which now makes it a TREAT and you turn a destructive action into a positive action! Its all about how your mind perceives the action.

Let’s also be real about this. This is not an endorsement to go crazy just because I say it’s OK to treat yourself to an indulgence. I use the 80/20 rule.  This is how you do it. When you feel the urge to have an unhealthy snack, have it and be smart about how much of it you eat. Then, the next time you eat, have a healthy snack or meal. This eliminates the powerful destruction of deprivation in your diet and lifestyle.

I see segments of the weight loss and fitness world developing into such strong followings, they almost exhibit cult like personalities. They certainly aren’t cults but their following of people get so rabid about the approach, if you don’t follow the guidelines you will be looked at as unfaithful to the process or philosophy. In their view you are doomed to failure. Now, this isn’t with everyone or every program but I do see it in many situations.

Lets get this one fact straight. All approaches to weight loss can work for some people, some people temporarily, and not at all for others. Weight loss is about burning more calories than you take in. Anyone can diet and lose weight for a while. Through exercise you can make pounds go away even with a poor diet. You can lose weight in a wide variety of ways BUT 95% of those gain it back over the next couple of years.

Part of the problem is not allowing room in your plans to have an indulgence. Indulgences keep us happy because they are usually your comfort foods. We enjoy them. Frankly, we need them to keep us mentally and emotionally in the healthy living game.

If there is a particular program or plan that seems to make sense to you feel free to modify it, add treats, breaks and spontaneity. This allows you thrive instead of experiencing the fade and fail syndrome that 95% of Americans experience.

Have your treats but keep them to less than 20% of your diet and eat healthy 80% of the time.  Nourishing your body with healthy foods will set it free to build health!

Only a lifestyle change is going to give you a healthier, leaner body that is permanent. It must include treats, dietary pleasures, and plenty of spontaneity so life can be fun and not so regimented.

If you are on a quest to lose weight and get healthier do it the smart way. It comes down to the foods you put in your body. Choose nourishing foods, drink plenty of pure water and move more.

Diets fail and Healthy Lifestyles Excel!

Happy Treating and Healthy Wishes,

Wally Bishop C.N.C.



The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor. Before exercising get your doctors approval.



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