This past weekend, I had a friend visiting from out of town, and I definitely ate differently than I normally do. We had more “treats” than usual in the house, and we took her to the Arizona State Fair, which is definitely an experience for someone coming from New York City.
At first, I was going to write this as an observation on the food at the fair, EVERYTHING fried, or dipped in chocolate and covered in sugar, or both. I personally do not see a need to EVER eat a deep friend cheeseburger, or twinkie, or chocolate covered bacon. Maybe I’m lucky that this just doesn’t appeal to me, but based on the lines at the fair this does appeal to a lot of people. Maybe this was their “special treat” for the day or the weekend, or maybe they just didn’t care, but for someone who wanted to eat healthy at the fair there didn’t seem to be an option.
So although I didn’t really find anything to eat at the fair, I certainly had more “treats” this past weekend than I normally would. I had a donut (I can’t even tell you the last time I ate one) and a bunch of other things I wouldn’t normally eat. And at the end of the weekend I just kind of felt… off. I didn’t eat enough to gain weight, or send me on a massive downward spiral, but I can tell you I did not feel good about myself. Although I kept up with my workouts, I still felt sluggish, gross, and just overall eh about myself. I am not saying this to beat myself up over what I ate, but how I felt after the weekend made me really start to think about “treats.”
The definition of treat in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is:
- to deal with or think about (something) especially in a particular way
- to think of and act toward (someone or something) in a specified way
- to pay for someone’s food, drink, or entertainment
So first of all, none of these define a treat as junk food you eat on special occasions. The definition that struck me most is “to think of and act toward (someone or something) in a specified way.” Specifically, I am thinking about how I think and act towards myself in a specified way. A treat is something that should make you feel good. My treats this weekend made me feel physically bad. I get way more joy and satisfaction out of a run, a spin class, a really good meal (kale salad, I’m looking at you) than I did out of that donut. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted good, but the way I felt after really made me regret my decision. I’m not saying we shouldn’t ever eat sweet treats, but in most cases, can’t we replace that “treat” with something that “treats ourselves better”? This way, every day can be a treat day, and by treating ourselves better we will all have many more days to celebrate. From now on my treats are more yoga classes, more delicious nutritious meals, and better health for me now and down the road.