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Indulge, don't Cheat

So apparently it's April.  I'm not sure when or how that happened, but the calendar on my phone is telling me we are firmly in the middle of the month of April and I guess I have to believe it.  The only times it has been wrong so far has been when driving directions have been involved (but if I'm honest, it could just be that I screwed something up.  Zero sense of direction, right here!)  Anywho - April!  Summer is just around the corner and that makes me think of a whole slew of fun things.  In no certain order, here are some of my favorite things about summer:

- Sitting in my front porch with a good book
- Camping with the family
- Not needing to bundle up to go outside
- Being outside playing games or just hanging out
- Bonfires
- Grilling
- S'mores

Yep, I went there.  I said s'mores.  They are one of my very favorite things during the summer and I have NO shame in admitting it!  Do I eat them every day?  No.  Even every week?  No.  When I do have a s'more, am I likely to have two of them?  Absolutely.  As a Beachbody customer I lost 65 pounds before getting pregnant and I am back in the game to get some of this baby weight gone!  As a Beachbody coach my job is to help other people live healthier lives and get to their own health and fitness goals.

So how can I admit to eating s'mores?  Because, for me, s'mores are a health food.  (Keep with me here, please!)  I'm not trying to say that the ingredients in s'mores are good for you or that a diet full of s'morey goodness will help you lose weight.  In fact, the exact opposite is true.  But including them in my diet will not completely ruin my progress (unless I let it) and it will not negate my workouts for the week (unless I sandwich my s'mores with other unhealthy choices.)

Some might say that s'mores, during the summer, are the 'cheat meal' component of my meal plan, and I don't completely disagree with them.  But I do kind of disagree with them, because I really hate the idea of a cheat meal.  We have all been raised to know that cheating is bad.

If you cheat on a test, you'll get in trouble when you're caught.   If you cheat on a significant other you will most likely get dumped when you get caught.  Cheating, according to Wikipedia, is "the getting of reward for ability by dishonest means or finding an easy way out of an unpleasant situation".  The very idea of cheating in our society is that it is a negative thing - it's a weakness - it's a solution we use when we don't want to work out a problem for ourselves.  Why, then, do we talk about cheat meals on our meal plans?

By creating a meal plan of healthy food and allowing ourselves a bit of wiggle room for an occasional s'more, drink or cheese dip are we really doing something so wrong?  No!  We are allowing ourselves to enjoy something fully with the full intention of staying on our healthy meal plan outside of this one thing!  As long as we don't allow our "cheat meal" to become something larger than an occasional indulgence, I think it is a GOOD thing to incorporate into our lives!  Hence why I call the s'mores I indulge in a health food - they help me relax a bit and I enjoy them - there's nothing wrong with that! When I do have them I enjoy them without going overboard, and that, to me is NOT a cheat - it's simply a less-healthy part of my meal plan.  It is all about a balance, and unless you have the largest reserve of willpower in existence, I think allowing a little not-so-healthy indulgence into your meal plan is a good thing!

By changing my mindset from these treats being a cheat to an indulgence, I feel like I have more control over my everyday eating and I am more likely to stick with the healthy food throughout the week instead of wanting to turn every meal into a cheat meal.  By indulging instead of cheating I don't have the negative connotations swirling around after I've eaten my s'more (or whatever it may be that week) - I simply feel happy, relaxed and ready to kick butt the next day!

What do you think?  Do you prefer thinking of these things as cheats or indulgences?  And, perhaps most importantly, do you like s'mores too?

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