The Day After…

19 days to go!

… a cheat meal.  Most experts agree, it’s OK to have a cheat meal every now and then.  Some even say you should budget for it every week to be sure your body doesn’t think it’s in starvation mode.  But what nobody seems to address is the aftermath of a cheat meal.  You know what I’m talking about – that bloated, sluggish, un-motivated feeling that sticks around for days.  Or worse, the sugar cravings that come back with a vengeance.

I actually did quite well over the weekend.  My junk-food cravings had all but disappeared and it had become quite easy to eat healthily.  My husband and I spent the entire weekend volunteering at the Rev3 Triathalon – a school requirement for my husband, and just curiosity for me.  I actually really enjoyed it and was so inspired after seeing all of the cyclists, that I had my best ever 18-mile bike ride later that evening.  The down side of being out of the house all weekend, however, was the limited availability of healthy food options (yes, even at a fitness event, surprisingly).  So we packed a cooler each day with almond butter and banana sandwiches, pretzels, and apples, and did OK.  We did go out to eat once and I managed to stick to my bowl of fruit while my husband polished off this monstrosity all by himself:

 

So that’s all well and good, but Monday was a long, rough day without time for the gym and we ended up splurging on a cheat meal later that night at Litton’s (a cult favorite around here) – burgers, fries, and red velvet cake.  A very rare meal combination for me, especially since I rarely eat meat, but it just sounded good.  We even had the red velvet cake as appetizer!

 

I didn’t feel guilty afterwards – incredibly full, but not guilty.  But today I had trouble getting up and feel sluggish, bloated, and completely un-motivated to stick to my healthy habits.  I did drag myself out of bed and manage a workout this morning, and packed my healthy snacks, but I know it will be days before I feel normal again.  So is the cheat meal really worth days of feeling bad?

Lunch was yet another land mine.  We had our monthly birthday lunch celebration and today’s theme was “Italian Feast“.   Yikes!  I will never complain about free food, but these situations definitely make it more difficult to make good choices.  I did OK though… choosing a big helping of salad, plus a small serving of pasta with as little cheese as possible.  I did have a few bites of the dessert also – cutting off a small chunk of each one (3 total).  Here’s the spread…

 

So what do you think?  Is the cheat meal worth it?  And if so, how do you deal with the day after?

Ruby TUESDAY (Cinch Core, day 4)

Today’s Menu: Same as yesterday

Today’s Workout:  Tri-weekly marathon training run (6 miles) + Power Yoga! 

*****

Happy Tuesday!  I feel amazing and have been on a high for about 4 days now, overflowing with energy, and feeling smaller in my clothes.  Even my skin has cleared up, and that’s even more exciting for me than losing weight!  I am on the same menu today as yesterday, although I worked out early, so how do you handle breakfast when you work out at 6am?  Thankfully, Cynthia addresses this question on her website.  Basically, you split up the breakfast, having the carb & produce beforehand, and the fat & protein afterwards.  So today, I had the toast with almond butter and blackberries at 5:30 am, then the cottage cheese at 8 am.  I wasn’t sure how to save the almond butter for afterwards, so I went ahead and had it early with the toast, and thankfully it did not upset my stomach during my run.  Then I’ll resume my normal eating schedule with my 11 am snack, and etcetera. 

A lot of you have commented that I work out a lot, and yes, that’s true, but don’t feel that you need to do the same for this to be successful.  I truly enjoy my daily workouts, although Cinch’ is primarily designed for light workouts – preferably 30 minutes walking per day.  I am blessed to work for a company (Ruby Tuesday) that encourages us to stay fit and allows for a 1.5-hour lunch break in order to workout, plus we have an on-sight gym and are right next to 20-miles or scenic running trails.  I personally don’t understand people that don’t take advantage of this blessing!!  My husband is also very passionate about exercise and it’s often something we do together, mostly P90X videos or Cycling.  Just do what you feel works best for you!  I usually add a little more calories in the form of whole grains or healthy-fat a couple meals a day to offset my calorie deficit, so if you workout a lot like me, you should do the same to prevent starvation mode.

Maryville Greenbelt, "The Duck Pond"

... Now who wouldn't want to enjoy this every day!?

I read an article once that said they didn’t know anybody that lost weight from exercise alone.  Yep, that’s me.  I’ve been a dedicated gym-rat for about 5 years now, but it’s your diet that truly makes the difference.  Your body is like a machine and you have to feed it right for it to operate at maximum efficiency.  Cinch is working wonders for me in this regard, and I’m eager to see how much better I perform in my upcoming physical challenges – including another haf-marathon in April, a 300-mile charity bike ride in July, and possibly my first triathlon this Fall.  Off to a good start so far!