Carrie Underwood: you’re not cheating on holidays, you’re enjoying yourself

Carrie Underwood has been open about the fact that she struggled with her body image and fitness following the birth of her second baby, Jacob, in January of this year. She also has son Isaiah, who was born in February, 2015. Carrie is a performer, she lives in the public eye and she has a fitness line out. I completely understand why she felt out of sorts and also why she continues to talk about this. In a new interview to promote her activewear, Calia, Carrie again said that things were tough for her, fitness-wise, after Jacob was born. She also talked about “cheat days” vs. just having a good time over the holidays. I liked that sentiment and wanted to talk about it.

“After having my first kid, I felt like I bounced back fast. And then with Jake, it was like my body took a minute to get back to me. It was frustrating, because I’m like, ‘Why wasn’t it like the first time?’ ” Underwood shared with PEOPLE at the CALIA by Carrie Underwood winter getaway in Aspen this month, celebrating the label’s new winter collection.

She added: “But I’m four years older. That also helped me shift my mindset — I’m still working hard, wanting to be the best me possible, but cutting myself slack and just thinking, ‘Be kind to yourself.’ It’s amazing what we [women] do to ourselves. We’re probably all our toughest critics.”

Underwood also shared that she thinks it’s important to ban the phrase “cheat days” from modern-day vocabulary.

“I don’t like to call them ‘cheat days’ — you’re just enjoying life,” she said. “I feel like holiday time can be stressful when it comes to health and fitness, but it doesn’t have to be. You can just say, ‘I’m going to enjoy myself on the holidays.’”

“It’s all about friends and family and food and parties, and indulging responsibly,” she added. “And when New Year’s is over, get back on the horse. It’s like, ‘Okay, I’ve had my holiday fun. Now it’s time to get back on my path.’”

[From People]

A fitness instructor told me that she gets so many people telling her they’re “cheating” when they eat something normal like a cookie or a piece of cake. She really dislikes that because she says it’s not cheating it’s just living. It’s also like people feel they have to check in with her at parties and they feel guilty for eating normal things. That’s how I feel every day. I love ice cream, I love candy, and I try to budget for those things and not feel bad that I ate that cookie. I also like how Carrie said that she just gets back on track after the holidays and doesn’t feel bad about it, and also that we’re our own worst critics. I try so hard to be objective about myself and to just treat myself like a best friend would. I would never tell my friend she looks bad after a minor weight gain, and I would never think that about her either. Why do I do it to myself?

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16 Responses to “Carrie Underwood: you’re not cheating on holidays, you’re enjoying yourself”

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  1. Some chick says:

    I love her obvious adoration for Linda Ronstadt. Linda deserves it! Carrie looks absolutely smitten. <3

    And that's a cute cagoule. Would wear. I hope she does well with her line and her music.

  2. manda says:

    I like her comments on enjoying life. Food and eating and fitness and body image can be so stressful. I know I think about it all very frequently. I just try to eat right whenever I can. So like this week, we have a bunch of christmas cookies, and each day this week, I have totally blown off my intermittent fast and eaten cookies at like 10 am. But then, each day I had a little bit of roast chicken and a salad for lunch. And tons and tons of water. So I feel like that’s ok. I know I can basically eat what I want as long as I don’t do it ALL THE TIME. And eating right isn’t torture. I am totally digging arugula and apple salads right now. Ooh, and spinach and pear!

  3. BANANIE says:

    I hope no one gets up upset about her equating being fit with “being the best me I can be.” Because I don’t think she’s saying that’s true of everyone, but it’s what she wants for herself.

  4. Lily says:

    I recently gained the weight back that I lost and going back on a diet is extremely difficult. Feel# so much harder this time around. I just want to cry and eat sugar

    • Kebbie says:

      What works for me when I’m trying to get back on track is starting slowly. All or nothing is so much harder and so much more frustrating when you fail. It makes you want to spiral.

      Just focus on making one healthier choice a day to start. Broccoli instead of potatoes, salad instead of a sandwich, toss half the bun on a hamburger, etc. At the end of the day, even if you had too much ice cream, you also have that one good choice to be proud of. The small changes add up over time. Also, it feels good to make better choices, and it ends up spurring me to be better more often.

  5. Deedee says:

    That woman is so self absorbed. I’m sick to death of her.

    • LindaS says:

      I agree. Self absorbed. So busy talking about herself. Annoying already. Just go away and stop trying to promote your clothing line and book.

      • JHDC says:

        @deedee and @LindaS
        She’s being interviewed for her clothing line specifically, with fitness-related questions. So yeah, she’s going to talk about her routine. I’ve read and seen many interviews with her, and she doesn’t talk about her body and book and fitness line in every interview. She answers questions depending on what the interview is for–like if it’s a promo for her music, etc… I think she’s one of the few celebrities that isn’t constantly in your face shilling for herself daily.

  6. Michelle says:

    Do any of you wear her workout attire? There are a few pieces that are pretty but the prices aren’t worth it for something I am going to be sweating in. I will just stroll on down to TJ Maxx and find something much cheaper.

  7. usedtobe says:

    I don’t like the expression cheat days, I prefer treat not cheat.

  8. Aimee says:

    I am almost 50 and was always petite but I have gained weight in the last 10 years or so and it’s so hard to get it off. I work out regularly but don’t diet. I want to enjoy life and eat what I want (within reason). It’s hard for me to see these women who are thin and make it sound like it’s so easy. Well, when this is your job (to be thin and beautiful) then yea, sure. But most of us aren’t living that life and it can be depressing.

    • Michelle says:

      Amen!! I turned 50 this year and it has been HORRIBLE!! I hate to paint a dark picture but when you work out and watch what you eat and you STILL gain weight for no medical reason at all, it’s so depressing. Thanks pre-menopause/menopause!! No one talks about this stuff and the replacement hormones make you gain weight and if you cannot take them because your family history has breast cancer, well….you are just SOL. I guarantee you that if this was happening to men, there would be all sorts of medicines and support groups for them!!

      • Jaded says:

        I found some herbal remedies that seem to work – I had breast cancer 3 years ago so had to go off HRT immediately. I’d been on it since my early forties when I had to have a total hysterectomy so surgical menopause at the age of 64 was BRUTAL!! My hot flashes were literally painful, 20-30 a day and forget sleep. I’m taking a black cohosh tincture and pueraria mirifica (a herb found in southeast Asia) in cream and capsule form twice a day. Seems to work, I’m down to about 3 or 4 heat waves a day now. For sleep I’ve been using a herbal sleep aid called U-Dream ( for insomnia and it works really well with no sleeping pill hangover the next day. I work out hard 4-5 days a week, a mix of weights, cardio, pilates and yoga and that keeps my weight down so there is light at the end of the tunnel!

  9. T says:

    I always get the feelings she’s parroting things she’s heard without actually believing them or following the advice touted.

  10. Ash says:

    Fitness instructor here, who’s dealt with a weight issue in the past, as well as a former model who’s seen every kind of strange diet/food strangeness that’s out there. There’s so much to say on this topic!
    I’ll start with one thing that I see daily, I’ve got fellow instructors who come in each morning and announce that “they’ve been so bad” or “ate a pint of ice cream so we’re working hard today”. I hate that! I too want to enjoy life and want my students to enjoy theirs! It’s not cheating! It’s eating! Food tastes good! What I try to instill is please listen to your body, yes this cake tastes great, but what if it makes your tummy hurt after a few bites? What if 4 rolls at dinner puts you into a carb coma where you feel terrible for the rest of the night? I pretty much now eat what I want with reasonable portions (most of the time!) and just try to make decisions on how it makes me feel. If it makes me feel tired or yuk, I stay away, or enjoy a bite. I feel you can really do well by listening to your body’s signals.
    I also know women are hardest on themselves. I see my girls working so hard in class, showing up tired/sad/mad/going through a tough time and I admire them all. I try to encourage that behavior, that you are here, working hard, showing up and giving your all, lord! Eat the pizza! I wish the women in my class could see themselves like I do. I admire them so much and they will always do way more for me that I ever do for them. We put ourselves down constantly and feel guilty for our choices. I don’t like that mentality and feel my own relationship with food completely changed when I started asking myself (when I felt no so great about my body) “are you doing everything you can to be healthy? Good food, exercise/water/sleep?” If that answer is yes then I move on, it it’s no, I still move on most of the time bc I’ve been enjoying my brunches/lunches with friends/cocktails on weekends, whatever! If I need to tweak I tweak! We are so so hard on ourselves with this subject! Women are badasses, we do it all every day and get up and do it again the next day! You can eat a cupcake! Just don’t eat 12! I’ve try to instill this in my daughter as well, she has skin issues that show up when she’s been eating processed foods. So we try and focus on healthy choices for feeling better, not punishment! She loves it all, candy, chips, sodas, all of the junk! But I try to focus on the fact that she also loves raw veggies, salads, seafood, sushi, and fruit! It’s a balance.
    I’ll get off my tirade, but I promise you all, I wish you all could see yourselves how I do (not really me but you know what I mean, from someone that witnesses self sabotaging behaviors daily) and be so proud of all that you I know all do daily, which whatever you do, I know is a lot! You’re way stronger than you think, I know this! So if you’re down because you gained some weight off your diet, please don’t be hard on yourself and go into a sugar bowl to make yourself feel better. Know that you don’t have to give up everything you love, I love what the above poster said about, eat cookies for breakfast, have a salad for lunch! Eat a slice of pizza, with some veggies on the side! Your worth isn’t tied to the extra 10 lbs on the scale bc you had Pina Coladas every day on your beach vacation! You are worth so so much more than that! ❤️

  11. Abby says:

    I don’t believe she actually has a healthy mindset about enjoying food at all. Nor do I think she probably has more than a cookie or single piece of pie over the holidays. She was completely body dysmorphic about her facial injuries and she’s been interviewed while holding onto a protein bar wrapper so she could make sure to enter the caloric content into her food tracker. She’s clearly a perfectionist and I doubt she allows herself much slack at all.