But it’s soooo easy to do, right?
I hear you. But here’s the thing: when you reward yourself with food it’s “typically” a goodie. Something that you crave, enjoy and hits that sweetspot. Aaaaand let’s be very honest here, but if you are like most people – it’s probably got *something* to do with sugar, am I right?
Here’s the problem – or are the problems.
I’m sure you know that when we eat sugars, carbs….our blood sugar level is elevated. But what happens our blood sugar then plummets and guess what? We get hungry again and guess just once more; but what do you reach for again when hungry?
You get where I’m going with this. If you reward yourself with food; it’s typically sweet and tends to “most likely” not stop at one of whatever the reward is. With the sugar comes insulin that is released into our system – and for women (especially the 40+ crowd) it settles mostly at our waist if we don’t do something about this (not to mention the cortisol that doesn’t leave our system through stress *whole other blog!*. Not where we want it to settle; not just because it makes our clothes that bit more snugger, but because when it settles there it actually is dangerous since it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, high [blood] cholesterol, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Also; when you reward yourself with food; you are elevating it’s importance (I get it; food *is* important…..) in that you are reinforcing within yourself that, this is the way to do something good – so you can get more food. These calories tend to be calories lacking healthy nutrients – and if you have little kiddies at home? You are teaching them the same and sending them down the same garden path.
So what can you reward with?
So many things! What do you like to do? What do you like to wear? Who do you like to be around? Who lights you up? Is like sunshine to you?
How about giving yourself 20 or so minutes doing your favourite thing or spending time on something you love but don’t normally get to?
Make the reward about the *feeling* rather than the flavour! Make it experiential instead of food-focussed. Perhaps you get to make a phone call to a loved one; or you get to have a lovely, candle-lit bubble bath with no screaming kids about. Or go for a walk. Or meditate. Or do a crossword, or……
You get the idea.
Actions become habits. The more you reward yourself with food, the more your brain needs more of that. It will only get it’s “high” with food after doing something worthy of celebrating. Get into the habit with feel-good activities and you will be feeling so good, no one will be able to hold you back!
The less you can head to the pantry and the more you can make it about making your mind happy, fulfilled, the more you will benefit: body, mind and soul.