“Treat” vs. “Cheat”

How often have you said to yourself that you “cheated” on your diet because you had a piece of cheesecake? No doubt this resulted in guilty feelings, self-punishment and contributed to lower self-image thoughts about yourself. In fact, I’m sure that many times the self-punishment ended up leading to more over-eating and a vicious binging cycle. These negative thoughts and actions stem from the guilt that arose from the fact that you felt that you “cheated” on your diet. It is a fact in life, that when you cheat someone or do wrong, and you are caught, a form of punishment is handed out. This is what you do to yourself when you feel that you “cheated” by having a piece of cheesecake. I have told countless number of patients over the years that when they would like to have a little dessert, for example, change the word “cheat” to “treat”. This will break the guilt vicious cycle, because you are telling yourself that you are “treating” yourself and as a result, good feelings and thoughts will come about.

Some patients have been worried that they might convince themselves that they can have dessert anytime because they will want to treat themselves all the time. I believe this won’t happen because you will know that doing it all the time is not a treat – this behavior would revert back to being a bad habit. Remember a “treat” is a special event, occasion or a pleasure given.

Another way of remembering this concept is in this catchy phrase: If you “legalize” you will “equalize”. In other words, if something is allowed, and it is all right to do it, no guilty feelings will result. You will feel good about your little “treat” and carry on with positive thoughts about your weight control efforts.

So, from now on, throw away those guilt thoughts by remembering to convert “cheat” to “treat” when you have that “little extra”. One last comment: both “treat” and “cheat have the word EAT in it. (Very interesting!!!)

Category: Recent News, Dr. Lefebre's Motivational Letters Comments Off on “Treat” vs. “Cheat”

Comments are closed.