WritersButt Wednesday: Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater!


Today folks, we’re going to cheat. Yep, you heard me. Sometimes, you just have to let loose and have a little indulgence. Not a LOT of indulgence, I said a ‘little’. No need to go on a twinkie rampage. But if you’ve been disciplined with your nutrition, and you’ve kept up with your workouts, even if only the mini-breaks I’ve given you to incorporate into your daily routine, you have earned the reward of a ‘cheat’.

Now, honestly, I don’t really care for the term cheat, because that makes it sound like a negative and it’s not. I’d prefer treat, reward, or how about a goodie, like a goodie-bag you get at the end of a birthday party.  Woo!

Yesterday, Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser, released his new book, The Skinny Rules.  Ok, full disclosure, another term I’m not a fan of , skinny, especially when used as a compliment because I don’t picture success or beauty when I hear skinny but it’s what most people think they want. ~sigh~ In my world, Strong is the New Skinny, but I digress.  Outside of the title, Bob’s book seems to offer some great advice, if his top 5 tips represent the rest of the book.  (I have not read the book, so I can’t review it in its entirety.)

In this video from his appearance on The Today Show, he talks about his top 5 tips to get Skinny Awesomesauce.  You may have heard some of these tips right here at WritersButt.  ~huge grin~

  1. Water. Drink a glass of water the moment you get out of bed and drink a glass before every single meal. He wants you to get at LEAST 8-12 glasses a day. Let’s do that math, 12 glasses would be 96 ounces, which is pretty darn close to the WritersButt rule of 100 oz a day.
  2. Protein at every meal. All kinds. Make it easy, like always have hard boiled eggs ready in your fridge.  These are easy to carry with you to work. Good quality deli meats are good too.  Just get your protein.
  3. Berries and Apples every day. They both are a great source of fiber and antioxidants. They will make you feel satisfied. Plus, the natural sugars may offer some relief if you’re battling a sweet-tooth.
  4. Meatless day every week. His reasoning for this is that it encourages you to eat more veggies and fruits. He said, “No one gains weight eating vegetables.” (Bob’s quote—not Ginger’s!) But he is right that it’s hard to eat too many veggies, as long as your reaching for the leafy greens, those veggies with deep vibrant color like squash, peppers, broccoli, asparagus … make a rainbow of color on your plate with veggies. Maybe a day without animal protein isn’t such a bad idea. I might try this one.
  5. Go to bed hungry. Late night snacking is a bad habit and it inhibits restful sleep. You don’t want your body working to digest your food while you’re trying to tap into your REM cycle. Plus, you want to wake up hungry. Bob suggests not eating within 3 hours of going to bed. That will be hard in my house but he makes a great point.

So, why have I called this post Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater?  Because another thing that Bob talked about, which I also agree with, is the 80/20 rule in terms of discipline. He suggests that it’s a very small percentage of people who can be 100% disciplined 100% of the time.  He admits that he can’t even do that.  For me, I’d say I’m more of a 90/10 girl with occasional 20% vacations.  The point is, do well with your choices at least 80% of the time and you will have earned the splurge/cheat/ treat/goodie/reward!  Bob suggest a splurge meal a week. I think that’s excessive.  Haha!  Surprised? I’d say a couple times a month or a small reward every week, but not a whole meal every week.

I know, WritersButt Ginger is so mean!

Typically, in my 10-20% gray area, I drink wine and indulge in really good chocolate, like Lindt’s dark chocolate with sea salt and very occasionally some gourmet cheese.  YUM!  I read something on Facebook yesterday that made me laugh and I’ve edited to suit my tastes.

“I’d give up drinking wine … but I’m not a quitter.”  Hee hee!

So my question is what is your cheat? You know, that thing that if I told you you’d earned a reward meal or treat, what would be the one thing you’d choose?


Lately for me, it’s Popcorn. I don’t know what’s going on but I’ve been craving popcorn something fierce.  Popcorn is one thing that I always allow myself when we go to the movies.  I just love its crunchy goodness.  I do not feel guilty eating it in the least because I’ve been disciplined 90% of the so I get that 10% reward.

Spill it – what’s your indulgence?


About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on May 16, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. You know, you have the best advice on here! After reading your sugar post my trainer Nicole and I decided to banish sugar from our diets. We talk a LOT about what’s good for us and what we should avoid and she’s a huge proponent of the 80/20 rule. I told her your quote ~ you gain weight in the gym, but lose pounds in the kitchen. I’m not sure, but I might’ve seen that tattooed on her arm the other day. Kidding, of course, but she did love it.

    We’re making this summer the ‘All about health’ summer by implementing nearly all of those five tips up there. The only one I have no problem with is eating after dinner. I just never have so it’s not a problem for me.

    I think my cheat right now is soda. I know you hate, hate, hate diet soda, but since we’ve gone sugarless it’s like a tonic for me. I’m working down from one a day to one a week (that’s where I am now) and eventually none at all. So far sparkly flavored water is hitting that bubbly sweet spot. Got any other suggestions? I know it’s because I’m sugar detoxing, but sometimes that craving is insane!

    By the way, I was making dinner last night (healthy fajitas) and got this wild craving for your kale chips! I need to get to the market and buy more kale. They were SOOOO good.

    • Tameri, thanks so much! Way to go to you and Nicole on the sugar thing. It’s really one of the hardest things.

      Ok, I have to get technical and say that the quote was, “You gain muscle in the gym but lose fat in the kitchen.” BUT— gain weight in the gym and lose pounds in the kitchen basically the same thing. The one difference is the focus on the scale when dealing with words like weight/pounds vs. muscle/fat. A small sticky point but if looking at it with the correct perspective, as I’m sure you and Nicole are, it’s the same thing.

      Oh my gosh, I LOVE the “All about health” summer. Can I be ‘in’ with you two? I’m not perfect either and I love a team!

      You know I’m biting my tongue over the soda … that said you are doing it exactly right, slowly weaning. Even as you’re having your one a week, picture what it really is … Toxic! 😉

      I love sparkling water. That’s what I use as a treat drink as well. The other thing you can experiment with is different herbal teas. You can even do sun-teas, especially in CA, infuse them with citrus. (But drink fast because you don’t want them to collect bacteria and I’ve found that sun-tea does that.)

      Finally, after the longest comment reply ever, (haha) I have a huge bunch of fresh Kale in my fridge from my local community farm box. Wish I could have you over. 🙂

      • Ack! I’m totally that kitty right now! I know the quote is gain muscle… why did I say weight? Must’ve been thinking gym/weights.

        You can totally join us! I’ll email you what our plan is ~ I think you’ll really like it.

        Enjoy your kale!

  2. prudencemacleod

    All such good advice. My cheat? An ice cream cone on a hot day once or twice a month. mmm drool Chocolate doesn’t count as it is a food group. Right?

  3. Cool post! I like what you said about strong being the new skinny (I also dislike that word as a compliment!)
    My indulgence is chips. Specifically, Kettle Chip’s Spicy Thai or Jalapeño Cheetos. Yummers! =)

    • Hi Ellie! Yay, another Strong is the new Skinny girl! Love it. It’s funny, normally I could pass up chips any day, except, our family will do a ‘deli-night’ every once in a while. I’ll usually skip the bread unless I’m feeling really rebellious. If I buy good kettle chips, like jalapeno flavor, oh yeah … I’ll have a few. So crunchy and yummy! But it can’t be any chips. Oh, unless you’re talking chips and salsa, that’s a whole other story.

  4. I know you despise reduced fat items, Ginger, but I use “lite” Alfredo sauce on days when I’m too busy to spend much time in the kitchen. I mix the lite sauce with salsa or with pesto and spoon it on chicken breasts before they go in the oven. Easy peasy.

    I mix a little–a very little–pomegranate/blueberry juice into my water.

    • You have found a quick fix on a time-restrictive night. Of course, I don’t want you to do this too often because in addition to the ‘light’ version, just a jarred version is going to be over-processed. Because this is cheat-day, I’m not going to bust you on this too bad. Aren’t I the nicest thing ever? Just agree for kicks.

      Full disclosure, I pretty much suck at cream sauces, mainly because anything creamy usually means dairy and it’s hell on my stomach. BUT– it’s pretty easy to do fast if you know how. From what I know, melted butter, sprinkle of flour, add in cheese. If you learn how to do this using whole ingredients, you can do this fast and custom spice it in the same time it takes to open a jar.

      Don’t shoot me!

      Love your little addition to your water. Not bad and so many people aren’t used to plain water and what a great way to ease into it. Super great tip!!

  5. Agh Ginger you are tough!!! as are your WODs (yes, I am hurting from yesterday). Ice Cream is certainly my indulgence (usually late at night too….o-o). Ice-cream just somehow becomes paleo in the summer for me. hehe.

    • Hi Sophie … one of our CrossFit Georgetown victims, oh — I mean — FAMILY! Thanks for commenting on my blog my friend. FYI, I’m hurting from yesterday’s workout too. Summer = Paleo Ice Cream. Interesting. Ok, here’s my challenge to you. Create a coconut milk ice cream with little to no sugar. Sweeten with berries or vanilla or mint or something. If you do that … well I don’t know — Ok — a free CFG t-shirt of your choice. haha!

  6. My indulgence? Hmmmm. I like my adult beverages. Sweets I can avoid, but chips and salty snacks, don’t tempt me with those. Potato chips are my absolute downfall. I refuse to buy them, but whenever there’s a big bowl at a party or backyard BBQ, watch out. I’ll hover near that area.

    Wash the chips down with a frosty beer – heaven! Throw in a yummy juicy bratwurst and I’m beyond heaven.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Girl, I love an adult beverage too! I can avoid sweets as well, especially baked goods. Yawn! I can just picture you hovering over the chip bowl at a BBQ. This image makes me smile.

      Ok, and sometimes there is nothing and I mean NOTHING like a frosty beer on a hot summer day.

  7. Hi Ginger, not sure if you remember me from UCHS…I love your blog and all of your practical fitness/healthy eating advice. Just wanted to stop by and say “hi”…and thanks for all of the insight and motivation too! My indulgence…a strawberry margarita and fries with ranch dressing!!

    • Hi Carolyn. I totally remember you. Of course! How fun that you found my little home on the web, or one of them. haha! I really look forward to reconnecting with you.

      Alright, I can totally pass on the fries w/ ranch but sometimes, there’s nothing like a margarita! 🙂 I take mine classic, frozen with salt, even though I drink them through a straw and never have the salt, I just like the look of the salt-rim.

      Hugs friend!

  8. Oh gosh, Ginger, I thought you were going to give us a pumpkin pie recipe! Do you have one to share?

    I love Bob’s tip number four, to go meatless once a week. We try to do that every week, although we’re not totally consistent with it yet. My indulgence? I’d have to go with popcorn, too. 🙂

    • hahahah!! Oh Sheila. Admission, I’ve never made a pie in my life. My idea of dessert is a great bottle of wine. I’m really going to explore a meatless day of the week. If anything, it’ll save money since I have a family of five, two of which are teenage boys who can power down some meat!

      Yay for popcorn!! 🙂

  9. Tameri, you weren’t ‘busted’ at all. I actually think it’s cool that technically, both saying are the same. It’s just that sensitive to people hyper-focusing on the scale. I know you wouldn’t do that! 🙂 Yes, email me. ginger @ crossfitgeorgetown dot com — There’s nothing I love more than a team effort. I’m totally in.

  10. Hey Ginger! I love the 80/20, gray area, too. I tell people with “black and white” personalities to aim for dark gray rather. Really helps to allow our bodies, souls and appetites some wiggle room! Hope you enjoyed that popcorn big time. 🙂 I’m a chocolate girl, so my treats often take the form of dark chocolate brownies or ice cream. Thanks for the tips!

  11. lynnkelleyauthor

    I can’t resist movie popcorn either, and I don’t feel guilty because we seldom go to the movies. My one choice is a banana split, hands down. I haven’t had one in about a year. I think I’m due for one soon!

  12. “We’re going to cheat. Yep, you heard me. Sometimes, you just have to let loose and have a little indulgence.” NOW I can finally get into your program with my whole heart and body!

    Meatless meals no problem we’ve done that for years. But there are too many M&Ms and popcorn around to be successful before. Around here M&Ms, popcorn and wine are a full meal deal. Having to cut them out altogether was way too much for my old body. If I can indulge occasionally than I’m on the program.

    • Judy, you kill me!! I really do love some M&Ms. They are just so good! Wine is a must. It’s a good thing that I’m SO disciplined at least 90% of the time so that I can indulge is these treats occasionally. It’s all about balance and what you can manage. Sure, I could be 100% strict, 100% of the time. And I’d be miserable. What’s the point? I need that wiggle room for some fun and ‘life-management’.

  13. Well you know my “indulgences” or “weaknesses” are way too many to list. I wouldn’t say I’m 80/20 but, I’m at least better than 50/50 😉

  1. Pingback: WritersButt – Thank You and a Field Trip! « Ginger Calem

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