There are so many reasons to treat ourselves, like a bad day, a good day, job promotion, job loss, exciting news or a disappointment, celebration and tragedy. In my self appointed role as Health Ally, I’d like to encourage you to think about rewarding yourself with something other than food.
What? But that’s what we always do, isn’t it? Since we were kids, we’ve been conditioned that if you’re good, you’ll get something delicious to eat. If you behave yourself today, we’ll get ice cream on the way home! If we’re upset about something, we get food to make us feel better. Bad fall on the playground? Here, have a cookie. I even remember as a kid, the dentist’s office handed out a sucker to us after surviving our dental appointment. How does that even make sense?
I’m not saying don’t ever eat yummy food! To do it every time life throws us a curve, good or bad, that’s a lot of treats. When we’re having a bad day, instead of reaching for the pint of ice cream, box of cookies or *insert favourite food here* which will make us feel worse the next day (or in a few hours) why not go for a walk with a loved one? Go for a bike ride, a swim, make a visit to the gym or yoga studio. The best place for me when I’ve had a bad day is the dojo. It’s amazing how much better you feel after punching and kicking people. (not that I’m telling you to do that!) The best part is, you’ll feel physically better, which will help you mentally and emotionally.
I know your inner voice (or maybe your outer one) is yelling in protest right now that you love your yummy junk food and that you deserve it! Do you deserve the side effects to your body and your health that come with eating those things? No. I’m telling you, no. You’re still resisting and saying you’ll put up with the side effects (digestion issues, weight gain, joint inflammation, stress on your heart and organs) because it’s just so darn yummy! Really? Do you deserve to treat your body badly? Do you think you deserve illness?
Of course you deserve to treat yourself or reward yourself throughout life’s ups and downs BUT MOST OF ALL, you deserve to be healthy. You deserve to feel good, to physically do the things you want to do and be as free of health problems as you can be. There are health issues we can’t control, of course, but we can do everything possible to look after ourselves. You’re a good person. You deserve to be healthy and happy. Treat yourself that way.