Cheat, Rest, and Vacation Like You Mean It

“Kim takes her cheat days as seriously as she takes her whole diet,” I overheard my co-worker say to another coworker earlier today.


I smiled. I do take my cheat days seriously. I have to, because it’s critical to the success of my diet. Many people who use cheat days feel like they should only cheat “a little bit.”


Moderation is the most overrated concept in our culture. Moderation gets you mediocrity. Let me repeat: Moderation leads to being average. I’m not sure what your standards are, but mine are higher. “A little bit” is a lot of bullshit. Commit.


Cheating a little bit in your diet gets you nowhere. If you don’t use your cheat days in your diet, then you will start eating junk on non-cheat days. You can justify that you can cheat a little bit because you didn’t cheat on your designated cheat day. Don’t do it. Eat the damn cheesecake! And the ice cream! And the beer and the potato chips!


Diet is not the only place this applies. People do the same thing with resting. They assume they will go to class and take it easy. Who has time to have a crappy, four hour long training session? It’s a waste of your time and all you’re doing is building bad habits because you’re too tired to do it right. Go to one, maybe two hours of training if you’re in good shape, and then leave everything you have there. Don’t train every day. If you are training as hard as you should be, your body needs rest, and sleep.


When you take a vacation, don’t train for pole (or check your e-mail or do work stuff, for that matter). Relax and do vacation-y things. Enjoy your family. Meet new people wherever you are. Broaden your horizons. Leave pole alone. Your body will appreciate the rest, and you will come back stronger and at lower risk for overtraining.


Rest. Cheat your diet. Vacation. Be as serious about it as you are about pole.  Commit fully instead of embracing mediocrity. Your dancing and your life will be better for it.

Vacation like you mean it! No smart phone here.

Vacation like you mean it! No smart phone here.

Leave a comment


  1. I have gotten to the point where I no longer feel the need for a cheat day. I tried to stick with it for a long time, but after a while I noticed that I would just feel bad, both mentally and physically, after eating something overindulgent, and so I stopped. I’ve tried to change my mentality to where I can treat myself with berries or pineapple or nuts, or a fruity drink or glass of wine, and it’s worked a lot better for me than letting myself eat chocolate and fries and food that I know is “bad”. But I think that’s the beauty of dieting (or eating healthy – I don’t really feel like I’m on a diet), it’s different for everyone 🙂

    I completely agree with you on the training and vacation aspect though – I definitely need to get better at completely disconnecting from my phone and laptop when on vacation!

    • The point of cheat day isn’t to make yourself sick- although I’ve done that! The point is that you shouldn’t feel guilty. You should eat whatever you want- that is the point of having a cheat day.


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