Like dogs and kids, my ears perk up when I hear the word TREAT. The problem is, a treat is usually something I put in my mouth. Something that has too much sugar and fat. Something that I regret eating later on.
When growing up, the word treat was usually synonymous with “reward”. A day long bike ride across the border into Illinois from Wisconsin was rewarded with ice cream. A good grade in school was rewarded with homemade chocolate chip cookies. An extra hand helping Ma grocery shopping was rewarded with a piece of candy.
Eventually, I got to the point where I was rewarding myself on a daily basis. From theater-sized boxes of Spree candy to 4 scoop ice cream sundaes with chocolate syrup and nuts, I ate it all up. Until the day I went cold turkey.
I stopped eating any desserts for one month! I don’t remember just how difficult it was to last the whole month. What I do remember is what happened one month later.
I had one of my most vivid eating memories one month later After an intense absence, I allowed myself a one-time dessert extravaganza called “Offering to the Goddess“. A smorgasbord of chocolate fondue, marshmallows, bananas, and grahams over an open flame, the Offering was truly god-like.
What I learned from my experience is that treats are not the same thing as rewards. A treat is a momentary pleasure. A reward can be a long-lived pleasure. Ten years later, I can still taste the Offering.
Why you eat something is just as important as what you eat. How many times have you eaten something just because it was there? Or because you were stressed, or bored, or even angry?
When choosing to lose weight, you have to realize the difference between treats and rewards. Once you do, you take one step closer to reaching your goals! Feel free to share some non-food treats that you enjoy!