verb (used with object)
1. to defraud; swindle: He cheated her out of her inheritance.
2. to deceive; influence by fraud: He cheated us into believing him a hero.
3. to elude; deprive of something expected: He cheated the law by suicide.
verb (used without object)
4. to practice fraud or deceit: She cheats without regrets.
5. to violate rules or regulations: He cheats at cards.
6. to take an examination or test in a dishonest way, as by improper access to answers.
They say that cheaters never prosper, so why do people do it? Partners step out on their significant others, students copy the answers of someone else on tests, businesses break laws or falsify numbers to gain a competitive edge or an athlete takes a banned substance to improve performance. But why? For a bit of extra attention, a higher mark, a better result or more money? Is it low self-esteem or self-confidence? But is the “reward” or end result deserved or will it last? Is it worth it for the truth to be discovered in the end and then you lose it all?
So why do we “cheat” with our health and diets?
I read a lot of posts where people proudly talk about cheating on their diets. The meals they had that weren’t on plan, the days they swapped the couch for the gym and the plans they’re going to get around to some other date in the future as they have last supper after last supper before getting back on track.
But this is a test you can’t really cheat on. Yes, it’s an affair with food that you can have and get fulfillment from, but the scale always finds out, or laboured breath during activity will rat you out or your pants will tell the tale.
So why do we cheat ourselves out of a healthy lifestyle?
Fleeting fulfillment? Filling a void? Fear of missing out on something?
I don’t have the answer. I don’t know that you do either. I just don’t get it. I know that it’s different for everyone and the ah-ha (or uh-oh) moments are varied and amazing, or the resources that people turn to are inspirational for some and craptastic for others.
There isn’t a one size fits all, but there’s only one answer key for cheating on a diet.
The key is not to cheat. We only cheat ourselves.
Now if all tests were only that easy.