The Day After Cheat Day Blues

I’ve been doing so well in losing weight and feeling the waistline of my jeans getting looser. Too bad “cheat day” messed all that up.

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Usually on Sunday evening, my wife and daughter make a special meal for the family. This time, everyone was over, both sons, my daughter and daughter-in-law, and my grandson. We had basic fare: (organic) hamburgers (though the hamburger buns were store-bought/processed), potato and yam fries, a green salad, and of course, homemade strawberry shortcake with whipped cream.

I only had one burger and tried to keep my portions under control but I think dessert did me in…and I had a second shortcake sans strawberries and whipped cream.

And then there’s the clean up. As I was putting leftovers into containers and washing dishes, I managed to snag an extra fry or three and dip my fingers into the near empty whipped cream bowl. It’s hard to count the calories of little bites here and licks there, but I guess they add up, because the next morning, I picked up a couple of pounds.

I know that 2 pounds may not seem a lot, but I have to exercise and diet hard to lose 2 pounds. A week’s work down the drain for the sake of one, single meal.


It wasn’t that I was especially hungry (although we did eat a bit later than I wanted to and my hunger was mounting). It was just that everything was so good and, with the entire family over, I was in celebration mode. I had even planned for Sunday dinner to be a “cheat meal” and my calorie intake over the entire weekend up to that point was well controlled.

I recently wrote about managing hunger and touting my success in losing weight, but first thing on Monday morning as I stepped on the scale, it seemed all for naught.

So I decided to hit it and hit it hard at the gym, then rededicate myself to my diet. Nothing motivates like gaining back what you want to permanently lose.

Here’s what happened at the gym yesterday. As usual, I rested ~60-90 seconds between sets:

Barbell Bench Press

  1. 8x 110lbs/49.89kg (warm up)
  2. 5x 120lbs/54.43kg
  3. 5x 120lbs/54.43kg
  4. 5x 130lbs/58.96kg
  5. 5x 130lbs/58.96kg
  6. 5x 130lbs/58.96kg
cross bench pullover
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Cross Bench Straight Arm Dumbbell Pullover

  1. 15x 70lbs/31.75kg
  2. 12x 70lbs/31.75kg
  3. 8x 70lbs/31.75kg

Reverse Grip Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

  1. 8x 30lbs/13.6kg
  2. 12x 25lbs/11.33kg
  3. 10x 25lbs/11.33kg
  4. 8x 25lbs/11.33kg

Dumbbell Bench Flies

  1. 10x 35lbs/15.87kg
  2. 8x 35lbs/15.87kg
  3. 8x 35lbs/15.87kg

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

  1. 15x 35lbs/15.87kg
  2. 13x 35lbs/15.87kg
  3. 11x 35lbs/15.87kg

Weighted Decline Bench Ab Crunch

  1. 20x 25lbs/11.33kg
  2. 12x 25lbs/11.33kg
  3. 12x 25lbs/11.33kg

Weighted Cable Crunches

  1. 20x 145lbs/65.77kg
  2. 15x 145lbs/65.77kg
  3. 15x 145lbs/65.77kg

Captain’s Chair Leg Lifts (body weight)

  1. 10x
  2. 10x
  3. 9x

I spent nearly 90 minutes at the gym instead of my usual 55 to 60 minutes because I didn’t have to commute into work with my son that morning. My work schedule is somewhat flexible, so I don’t have to be at the office at a very specific time as long as I make my meetings and get my work done.

As you can see above, I pushed myself a little bit harder this time on the barbell chest presses, upping the weight 10 more pounds for the last 3 sets. It was a challenge to get 5 reps out of those sets, but I managed it. I was tempted to go up to 140lbs, but with no spotter, I figured I shouldn’t chance it.

bench press
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I still felt strong doing the pullovers, but felt my progress going backward on the reverse grip incline presses. I went to the next lightest weight but added and extra set for good measure. I’d been doing well at 30lbs on the bench flies so I added 5 more pounds to challenge myself. The decline presses are at the end of my “chest day,” so I’m just grateful I was able to push 2 35lbs dumbbells up as many times as I did over 3 sets.

Since I had extra time, I thought I’d throw a good, hard ab session into my routine. I was doing as expected up until the leg lifts. By then, my abs were getting tired, and I couldn’t even do 10 reps on the last set.

And again, because of the extra time available to me, I did 30 instead of 25 minutes cardio, including a one minute sprint just to get things moving.

I have to say that even after all of that, once I showered and got ready for work, I was feeling energetic. When people greeted me with “How are you doing?” at the office, I was authentically able to say “Really well.”

May this be the start of a terrific week where I stay on track and progress in my plans.

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything.

Arnold Schwarzenegger


4 thoughts on “The Day After Cheat Day Blues

  1. Seeing an extra 2 pounds on the scale after a cheat day does not always indicate you gained 2 pounds of fat. Your bodyweight can fluctuate afew pounds from day to day. This is sometimes caused by the fact that you retain more water on some days.
    So don’t let that give you the blues because it may not be fat that you gained.
    I can relate to the feeling you have after an early morning workout before going to work. You feel fitter and more alert. It’s what I recommend to people that tell me they don’t have time to work out in the evening. Get out of bed earlier and do your workout.


    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Gilbert.

      Actually, I’m more motivated to workout in the morning. After a full day at work plus a nearly hour long commute home, I don’t think I could deal with a crowded gym.


  2. I do a couple of cheat MEALS throughout the week, instead of a whole day. And I keep my calories within my meal range, so that I’m not going over my calorie limit for the day. It works for me.


    1. Greetings, Wanda.

      I did a cheat meal today since I had a business lunch out, and the Reuben sandwich I consumed is sitting like a rock at the pit of my stomach. I guess I’ll eat like a bird for the rest of the day to compensate. 😉


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