Don't worry, you're not a cheater.

Good morning! I'm venting today. I have been noticing a common trend amongst online publications and that trend is the labeling of certain foods as "cheat meals". I know this is not anything that is new, but, it's really something that's been bugging me lately. Perhaps it's because I hoped we were past that. I at least hoped that fitness/health professionals and fitness/health writers were past that.

First, let's review the definition of CHEAT:

cheat: verb \ˈchēt\
: to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something
: to take something from (someone) by lying or breaking a rule
: to prevent (someone) from having something that he or she deserves or was expecting to get

Before I go off on my venting session, I would like to say that I understand that sometimes it's easy to get caught up with common words or phrases and there isn't a whole lot of thought put behind saying "I cheated, I had pizza for lunch". HOWEVER, maybe it's something that we should put some thought into. Being a cheat is a really bad thing (see definitions above). Aren't you better than that? Do you need to feel bad about yourself because you ate a damn slice of pizza? No. You made a conscious decision to consume something that you craved and it probably tasted pretty fantastic. You did not cheat. You are not a cheater. Stop bullying yourself.

I've seen a handful of articles and blog posts lately that are headlined with titles such as:  "When To Eat A Cheat Meal" "Cheat Meals from the Weekend". Most of these articles talk about when it's "OK" to eat "cheat foods" and how to counteract said "cheat foods" with exercise. "I ran 10 miles so I didn't feel so bad about eating a donut". Oh dear. Please, no. I hope that running 10 miles was fueled by the desire to be fit and lead a generally healthy lifestyle, not because a donut might be in the future. 

There are two main reasons that I get frustrated with these articles:
1. Calling yourself a cheat is disrespectful to yourself. You deserve better than that.
2. Other people are reading these articles and thinking that they too, are cheaters because they ate a donut. Then, they feel especially bad because they didn't work out that day to counteract said donut.

It's not right. There's enough pressure out there to stay fit and slim. Stop calling yourself a cheat. The happiest, fittest, healthiest humans that I know eat healthy most of the time and have some unhealthy foods 20% of the time. It doesn't mean that 20% of the time, they are "cheating". It means they are just enjoying life. Donuts, and all.

I hope you all have a spectacular week! xo