Sunday, 21 February 2016

What do I do when I fancy something a bit naughty?

…I sit and think about how bad I need something sweet in my life, and then I leave my apartment, get in my car, drive to Krispy Kreme and devour a dozen donuts…….
….just kidding (well very occasionally I do – maybe not a dozen but 2 or 3 haha) although that’s exactly what I feel like doing most of the time. But obviously that’s not an option so I revert to one of my three alternatives:
1)    Focus on my cheat at the weekend
2)    Find a healthy alternative
3)    MAN UP!
So I’ll approach each of the above in order:
1)    Focus on my cheat at the weekend
This is something new that’s been re-introduced into my life as of this last week. Since January my diet hasn’t supposed to involve any cheats; 100% clean. And I’ve stuck at this in the main but I’m not going to lie occasionally I have had something a bit naughty either a pizza or some chocolate. And I’d craved them so bad and it was frustrating the hell out of me having nothing bad especially when my diet was quite plain during the week too.
I talked about the ‘mind f**k’ stage a couple of weeks ago and last week was a bit of a wake-up call for me. I picked up a bit of a virus a couple of weeks ago (I think from the Winter Warrior event I did which I wrote about on here) and for the week after my body felt a bit weak and depleted and that’s when I really felt I hit the ‘mind f**k’ stage. By the following weekend the virus had fully taken hold and I was sofa bound for 3 days. Off work sick. Unable to train. I had a lot of time to think about things and I’d known in the days leading up to the weekend that my body didn’t feel right. For the first time in a long time I actually didn’t want to go train because I felt so weak that I just dreaded putting my body through a weights session. I felt depleted and I felt miserable and as much as I tried pushing through my training I knew I was going to get sick.
Now don’t get me wrong everyone gets sick now and again and you deal with it. Normally I’m a pretty good patient and dose myself up on meds and I’m good to continue with business as usual. But last weekend my body just said NO. It would usually drive me crazy being laid up indoors all day but it didn’t as my body just craved some rest. And I ate ‘normally’ for a few days and my body just devoured every bit of food I was feeding it. You can’t help picking up a virus but I knew that my body had struggled to deal with it so much more than normal because of my excessive training and because I wasn’t feeding it enough. It sounds stupid but I felt so guilty for what I’d put my body through and so I knew I had to just rest it for a few days and give it what it needed.
You know your own body more than anybody else and you know when something just doesn’t feel right and that’s exactly how I felt. I’d started to get to a point where I wasn’t looking forward to training, where I absolutely despised my diet, I didn’t want to go socialise with certain people because it would be too difficult, I was moody and I was struggling to maintain concentration. Here I was doing all this stuff that was supposed to make me look and feel amazing and instead I felt so bad on myself.
I’ve gone a bit off topic anyway but because of all this I knew I had to change something that I was doing. It came at a time when I was supposed to be hitting my next calorie drop and that just seemed so unthinkable to me when I was feeling as rubbish as what I did. So I had a chat with my PT and decided that I would give the new diet a go but I would need to have a cheat meal planned in on a weekend that would keep me focused and also give my body a bit more of what it needs and allow it to re-feed up again after a tough week of training and dieting.
Mentally I feel much happier with this already. For someone who is a self-confessed foodie and loves all things sweet and fattening I’ve found it so much harder than I ever thought with not having any cheats. So once I was back on track last week I stuck to my diet but also looked forward to my cheat on the weekend and that kept me going. And after enjoying that last night I now feel 100% able to stick to the diet for another week. And my body feels good. I’ve trained hard the last few days to earn my cheat and my body feels better for it.
So it’s important you make your diet achievable and sustainable. Don’t completely deprive yourself as you will get fed up and you won’t stick to it. As soon as you cave a little you’ll find you go crazy with the naughty food as happened to me when I was ill. Enjoying a lasagne to get some homemade goodness in my body soon developed into having a garlic bread with it and crème eggs to follow. Which I know isn’t the worst thing in the world but I was just having it for the sake because my body wanted it whereas if I know I’m having a weekly cheat I’ll plan that properly and only get what I need and be satisfied with that.
It keeps you on track. It keeps you motivated. And there’s actually a lot of research out there that supports the theory of a weekly cheat meal to ‘re-set’ your body and keep your metabolism guessing.
2)    Find a healthy alternative
There are some good healthy alternatives out there which can satisfy that sweet tooth. A couple of my go-to ones are protein pancakes or the chocolate mug cake. I said I would share my recipes for these so here they are:
Protein Pancakes
1 scoop unflavoured protein powder
1 egg
1 banana
1 teaspoon chia seeds
Directions: Blend all the ingredients together, heat up some coconut oil in a pan and then add the pancake mixture and cook on each side. Top with some blueberries, raspberries and some Agave natural sweetener.

Chocolate Mug Cake
(taken from fitness guru Becky Lomas @strongisthenewskinny94 on Instagram)
1 egg
2 teaspoons truvia
2 teaspoons coconut flour
2 teaspoons cacao
Almond/coconut milk
Directions: Mix all the above ingredients together in a mug. Microwave for about 1 minute or until all mixture is blended and looks a bit like a cake. Tip out onto a plate and drizzle with some healthy chocolate sauce (mix some honey and cacao to create this).
These are my two favourite options as they actually do taste naughty. Many of the alternative healthy options I’ve tried (and believe me I have tried lots over the years!) just taste awful. They taste dry, flavourless and definitely do not taste anything like the real deal. So give these a go and see what you think.
3)    MAN UP!
Sometimes it’s just as simple as this. Man up!! Dieting is hard and it can suck at times. But you’re doing it for a reason. You’re doing it with a goal in mind. You’re doing it to be a better version of you and sometimes you just gotta put on your big girl boots and suck it up. It WILL all be worth it; that’s what I tell myself every single day.
It’s all about the mental strength and getting in a good shape says so much about you as a person because it’s one thing in life that no one else can do for you. You can have help and support but ultimately it comes down to you. You have to be the one that gets your ass out of bed to go train. You have to be the one that turns down the chocolate when it’s getting passed around the office. You have to be the one that resists putting a bag of sweets in the shopping trolley even when no one else would ever find out about it. But you’re also going to be the one that has an amazing sense of satisfaction when you reach your goal. That develops a mental resilience when things can be tough. That looks smoking hot when you step out poolside on holiday. You can have results or excuses. You can’t have both!!  Have a good week guys!!

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