Friday, July 03, 2020
A Sparkie friend blogged recently about not going to MacDonald's for her usual breakfast -- and how hard it was to substitute in eggs or oatmeal prepared at home, even though that would be faster and less expensive for her.
I commented that maybe her home breakfasts didn't feel like a treat: and suggested she might find it easier to forego the MacD's if she prepared something at home that DID feel like a treat. For me . . . that might be fresh raspberries with Greek yogourt or an egg-white omelette prepared in my microwave pan and stuffed with spinach, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, a little sprinkle of cheese. (I didn't mention: everything tastes better in my bright red dishes!! And a little scrawl of sriracha on top of that omelette makes it even more appealing!!)
Treats. For so many of us, the only kind and indulgent thing we ever permit ourselves to do for ourselves is food.
Which has to mean that food takes on disproportionate "weight" (so to speak!!)
My DH gives himself at least one treat every single day, without fail. And sure, he enjoys his favourite food (which by and large is not MY favourite food -- tending towards the carnivorous). But he has always been able to stop eating at the moment he's full, to put down his fork without regret. Half a succulent medium rare BBQ strip loin steak . . . goes back into the fridge. And will be enjoyed at a subsequent meal as a "cheese melt" on bread -- yup, that involves melting sharp cheddar on top. Also apparently very delish.
More typically DH's treats are not foods but activities. Heading out to the golf course, even if there isn't time to play, just to hit some balls. Listening to music cranked up in his car (an eclectic mix of country and western, classical, old rock.) Or taking time for some Ruzzle on his cell phone. Or reading a few pages of one of the historical biographies he likes most.
Henry loves his treats, too. Walks with unlimited snuff time. Lots of pats and tummy rubs. Throwing his ball around the back yard for him to retrieve.
Food treats for Henry? We have to be very careful not to over feed him so that he slims down a bit more and stays slim, as the vet recommended. However, when it comes to enticing him to give up something he's not supposed to have that he's snatched off the counter: yeah, mostly it's going to be a food treat. I buy them specially for just those moments . . . a tiny organic salmon or venison nugget . . . exotic and tasty but pretty low in calories.
So treating Henry does sometimes involve what looks like rewarding bad behaviour. And he's quite capable of a multi-step heist: such as snatching that oven mitt which he really has no use for at all and bouncing around the kitchen with it tauntingly just so that he creates the opportunity of diving after something he REALLY does want . . a temporarily unguarded piece of chicken off the kitchen table. Which typically makes us burst out laughing . . . not exactly effective doggie discipline!! Henry knows we're laughing and he laughs right back with his black lips spread into a grin and panting and tail wagging. He COULDA got it if he really wanted to, ya know . . . he's just keeping us alert and nimble and happy. . . really providing a service!!
Disciplining myself? My experiments with intuitive eating and three principles have indicated to me that disciplining and sternness and self-deprivation and berating me by me is highly over-rated.
Forgiving myself, laughing at myself, and even rewarding my own "bad" behaviour with fond treats seems to be more effective for me too!!
What do you think? Favourite food treats? Favourite non-food treats?