Great post (and screen name BTW!) - I'm not a fan of the term either due to its negative connotations. It's also the terminology one uses when dieting in the traditional sense and as we know, Keto is a way of eating (WOE), not a diet. It's a choice; every meal, every day.
I've only been following this WOE for 8 weeks and it's been wonderful. For the first time in 10 years it's all finally starting to make sense and come together. For many, we've struggled with diet after diet to no avail, or worse, further gained weight over the longer term. The thought of another failure can be scary, particularly when the memories of uncontrolled eating are still so raw and often accompanied by intense feelings of shame, guilt and hopelessness.
So I suspect that those who use the term "cheating" are more often than not, still reasonably new to Keto and are seeking support and encouragement to, as everyone's favourite 2 Dudes say, "keep calm and Keto on" (KCKO). Whether people have accidentally fallen off the wagon, or made a conscious decision to eat non-Keto, the end result is the same. Just like when you take up a new sport, hobby or job, there is a learning curve and we all need to learn to navigate our own "n=1".
I'm hoping that this forum will be another means of encouraging people to adhere to the Keto WOE and view it for the marathon, not sprint, that it is. By doing so and discouraging both the use of the term and the action, cheating per se will be both consciously and subconsciously discouraged in the forums and, by extension, in our lives.
As for me? I'm taking the following approach: Own it, Learn from it, Relinquish it.
I'm not perfect, I'll make mistakes and sometimes I may even choose to eat that bun with my burger, and then what will I do? I'll acknowledge and accept that it was the result of a choice I made. I'll ask myself why I made that choice and really drill down to find my truth so I can understand how to avoid future outcomes I will be unhappy with. Then lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I'll take a deep breath, forgive myself and exhale. With the expulsion of breath is the expulsion of all negative thought and feeling associated with that choice.
OLR my Keto friends, O.L.R.