Squat Jumps to the Sweet Treats

3 Oct

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I read the tweet once, and then read it over again. It said something along the lines of: “Food is not a reward. You are not a dog.”

This tweet came from one of the many fitness accounts that I follow, claiming to inspire and motivate; to help you be the best person physically and mentally that you can be. But this tweet was far from motivational and I took it like a punch to the face.

I have been rewarding myself with food since the day I decided to eat right and workout back in high school. I wasn’t overweight, but I didn’t like the number on the scale. I knew I wanted to lose a couple pounds and be a little more toned, so I made the change. I taught myself a lot about diet and nutrition and truly developed a passion for a healthy lifestyle. Yet, while being healthy is so important to me, I cannot mask the fact that I am undoubtedly obsessed with sweets.

Before I became a health freak, I ate treats without thinking much about it. They were not exciting, they were just there and available and delicious. I cut them out completely when I made my lifestyle change because I realized I couldn’t have that “one cookie” health experts always claim we should allow ourselves. There is so much warning about attempting to cut foods out completely, about how important it is to allow yourself a small slice of cake, or a handful of chips. Well, I can’t remember the last time cut a small slice of cake for myself or walked away from the pantry satisfied with a handful of greasy crisps. It just doesn’t work like that for me…and for most people I know for that matter. So what do you do when you can’t stop yourself? You don’t eat anything bad for you at all and you don’t keep any sweet or salty temptations in your house. That’s just the way it has to be.

With that being said, I keep myself healthy all week (or two weeks, or month) with the light at the end of the tunnel being a huge pizza or an extra -large chocolate chip cookie. That cookie is my REWARD. If I am good all week, I get that caloric and carb-packed circle of heaven. I deserve it. If I didn’t have the ability to look forward to something yummy after kicking my butt for an extended period of time, I don’t know if I’d be able to do it. Whether it’s one, two, or 5 cookies, or a full bag of potato chips hung over on the couch, I enjoy every second of it. And if anything, it motivates me to get up the next day and get back with my routine until my next little reward comes around.

So, fitness twitter account keeper, while you’re posting motivational quotes and eating only organically, I’m sitting over here enjoying a post-workout veggie omelet and fruit, while checking out pumpkin dessert recipes for next weekend. Whether this makes me the ultimate paradox or a dog, I don’t care. I’d rather be a dog that enjoys a big biscuit than a human failing to enjoy the sweet treats in life.

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