Its been a long day. You're tired, frustrated and just want to forget about the day or week you had. The last thing you're thinking about are your health, weight and fitness goals. As a matter of fact a cold beer, glass of wine, a slice of cake, a tub of ice cream, a plate of french fries, anything fried or covered in cheese, sounds really good right now. After all, you DESERVE it right! After the day or week you've had, right?
But do you really DESERVE it?
Sure those things will taste great and there's a reason you reach for them. They're comfort foods. They immediately send off those happy endorphins that make you "feel" relaxed, due to the emotional response you have to them.
Then reality sets in, as you stare at the empty fry plate, the grease coagulating on the plate, the empty ice cream tub, the hang over the next morning, or the bloated, overly full, heavy feeling you get from eating foods that have little nutritional value and just sit in your gut. "What have I done?"
You were human. You thought that after a bad day or bad week, that you DESERVED to "treat" yourself. But were you really treating yourself or were you just beating up your body some more? Thing is, you didn't know better. Its what you've always done when encountering a bad day or what most people you know when having a bad day. There's a reason we say TGIF, "I need a drink." or "Its 5 o'clock somewhere." Food = comfort and after a long, stressful day or week, we seek comfort and most of us can find it in food.
We do it in good times too. Celebrations after races = cake or something involved. A tough workout accomplished = 500+ calorie smoothie from the juice bar. Completed all your workouts that week and ate well = a "cheat" day or meal.
The thing is, our bodies don't "DESERVE" it. Lets be honest, that's just what we tell ourselves to justify the guilty pleasure.
What our body really DESERVES is good, real food free of artificial colors, preservatives, saturated fats, sugars, GMOs, antibiotics and hormones.
What our body really DESERVES is to move, to be used to its fullest capabilities, to be challenged.
You can get the same endorphin release from a heart pumping, challenging workout as you can from eating your "comfort" food. That same endorphin release can happen over laughes with friends at a movie or game night. Those endorphins can help release the stress of a hard day or week, through prayer, connections with family, participation in your community and being of service to others.
Thing is food, comfort food, is a real big draw and its easy to turn to when times are tough, when we feel down, alone, beat up or scared. But you can break the habit, because do you really "DESERVE" it, or do you just want it? Will it really help you feel better or reach your goals or will it only add to the guilt, loneliness and failure you may already be feeling?
So before you indulge in that "DESERVED" drink, sweet treat or cheat meal, think of what you could do that your body really deserves and that would make you feel equally as good without the guilt. Then next time, when you think you "DESERVE" that ........., do the alternative you've planned out. Afterall, a few laughs with friends or a group sports activity can feel equally great and up lifting!