Hi friends! Happy Friday! Another week in the books, are you eating better? Working out more consistently? Less stressed? More well rested?
I love thinking about places that I can improve each week. I don’t find it to be defeating, I find it to inspire my next week.
For today’s post: let’s talk about treats! This may not be the post you are hoping for…it is about being TOO generous with yourself.
I want everyone to have a very HEALTHY relationship with food. Food is your fuel for life. Eating well means that you will feel better and that you are running on good fuel 🙂
Many people treat themselves too often with food. If you killed it at the gym or you completed your long run for the week…you might slip into the mindset: I worked hard, I deserve a treat. You then unleash on a doughnut the size of your face and all of your progress toward your goal is POOF. You may rationalize it, and do it again.
This mindset is even sold to you as T-shifts that say “I run for food” “I run for chocolate” “Will run for wine”. Obviously those are supposed to be funny, but a lot of people do have that mindset. Additionally, they may have an inflated idea of how many calories they are burning on their run…but, that’s a story for a different day.
Heck, you might not have even exercised or thought about exercising…but, you treat yourself to a glass or wine and a chocolate ice cream because you had such a stressful day and “deserve it”.
Jobs can be stressful, so I’m not being insensitive. My nursing job can be very demanding and my husband has definitely had his fair share of stressful business moments. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not much of a stress eater because it typically makes me feel worse about the situation. I have been known to have a bag of SunChips when the night is really not going my way though 😉 Over the years, Drew has gotten much better at leaving work at work and not being a stressball. He used to indulge in pizza or ice cream after particularly stressful days. We even called it his Bridget Jones’s diary routine because he would eat his feelings.
A few summers ago I worked in my only office job ever as an assistant. I was in nursing school and it was kind of just a job. I was seriously shocked by how many treats were in the office AND how almost everyone would thoughtlessly indulged at every opportunity. I can definitely understand what some of you are dealing with on a daily basis.
Although I thought that office could NEVER be topped, I then entered nursing. As a student nurse and now as a professional, I can tell you that break rooms have an overabundance of treats. Co-workers, patients, and doctors share the love mainly through baked goods. Again, I’ve been surprised on how often people take treats. It’s not like I’m watching everyone’s every bite, but it’s pretty hard to miss when people line up for doughnuts.
I cannot get on board with this. There is no need to try to “eat perfectly”. I don’t think anyone even knows exactly what that is. Indulgences are a must and I would never recommend going without the occasional one. But, I’m a huge fan of being conscious about what you feed your body. We have to think about the frequency and what exactly an indulgence is. I think if we asked 5 different readers what “occasionally indulgence” meant they would easily give you 5 different answers. The answers would vary on how often that meant and what that meant. I reached out to two friends. One said “meaning like a piece of chocolate or like a full sundae?”. My other friend said, “Occasional indulgence means once a week dessert or something”.
There are individuals that are pretty strict with their diet (meaning what they eat, not a particular diet) and some that aren’t at all. No matter what category you fall into, I’m going to talk about some normal splurges that people may be hitting a little too hard.
Treat yourself examples and how you can improve:
- Beer, wine, alcohol: If you have a goal of being a healthier person, but you are drinking a beer or a glass of wine (or a few) every single night…this is an overindulgence. This is a place where you could save a lot of calories and get yourself on a healthier track + save yourself some money. Alcohol effects almost every body system and the list of negative effects is long. Skip the office happy hour, or go and have a water instead. You don’t have to make an excuse just state: I’m actually working on being healthier. People seriously respect that and probably will respond with…oh maybe I should too. If they razz you, be strong and realize that you are the one that has to live in your body…why would you want to feel like crap?
- Sweet or salty tooth: If you have a sweet tooth and are eating every sweet that comes across your path, you can work on decreasing the frequency. If you are more the salty type, you might be reaching for the bag of tortilla chips a little too often. Be honest with yourself and think about how many times you have sweets or salts and then think about where you can cut back. Also, maybe you can get your hands on something healthier that feels like a treat. Almond butter is my favorite and one spoonful can be a satisfying experience. The salty girl in me knows that I cannot keep tortilla chips in this house. I like to think I have good discipline, but from experience I know my frequency goes up too much with my favorite indulgences are on hand.
- Eating out: I simply love eating out. It is my favorite date night. Someone else preparing the meal and time spent with my husband enjoying good food. It’s important to think about your frequency here too + what you order of the menu. Do you eat out every single day?! Stop it, seriously. 😉 Bringing food from home or preparing your own dinner is the best way to know what is in it and how it is prepared. Work on decreasing the frequency of eating out to save yourself lots of calories + moola.
- Soda: By now, you guys know my stance on soda…including the diet variety. This is another one that you can eliminate the frequency of your consumption to see health benefits. Try to replace it with something that you also enjoy. I love sparkling water. My favorite combo lately is Grape Spark (mixed with water) + a 1/2 can of Sparkling water.
One thing that I try to do is save my indulgences for when I can fully enjoy them. Having a doughnut at 7:30 in the morning after a night-shift while walking to my car is not a smart indulgence for me. I don’t have the time to savor it when it is unplanned. When I think about a treat, I think about a every two week trip to the cute frozen yogurt place down the street, a hunk of chocolate cake on my anniversary or birthday, or tortilla chips with guac when we go out to eat 🙂
Overall, I always think the best tip is to not keep unhealthy foods in your house. You won’t be tempted by them or have instant access at a moment of weakness. Also, be conscious and honest with yourself about what you are treating yourself with and how often.
As always it is about health and balance! Have a great weekend! -Ames