What do you deserve?

What are your treats? Photo Cherry Laithang from Unsplash

What are your treats? Photo Cherry Laithang from Unsplash

One of the most toxic thoughts I hear regularly from clients who have decided to eat healthy foods is: “I deserve a treat.” 

Women who work hard at being moms, business owners, or employees continue to believe it is a pleasurable activity to put something sweet in their mouths, even though it sets them back from achieving their long-term pleasurable goals.  Not to mention that the action of going off their chosen meal plan creates a flurry of negative thoughts and opinions about themselves. 

Women who are retired use this toxic thought because they think they have earned “treats” after living a long, and sometimes trying life.  "Isn’t it now time to kick up my heels and do what I want?"  "I have earned this!"

Unfortunately, if you are carrying an extra 50-100#s there is no kicking up your heels!

What is actually in this so-called treat? It is usually hyperpalatable food created in a lab that is not meeting any nutritional or biological requirements and is resulting in a dopamine reward for our brain. 

The dopamine reward plus the thousands of cues that are set up before we even put this “treat” into our mouths create a hamster wheel of cause and effect -- desire, reward; more desire, more reward – and round and round we go.  Everywhere you look you see the pleasures of processed foods displayed in drippingly gorgeous photos and sounds.

It appears that we are choosing from a conscious mind and we can’t understand why we are unable to stick to our long-term goals.  "I deserve a treat!" - we exclaim, even though that thought kills our dreams.

How do we use this knowledge to our advantage? 

Why doesn’t the thought in our brain, “I am a fabulous human being who deserves nutrition!” provide us with a dopamine hit equal to that of a snickers bar? 

Because we are humans with a brain!  The dopamine reward system is a human one.  It was created to keep us alive, and our modern world has hacked into the pleasure centers and the result is 70% of Americans are overweight. 

Because we are humans with a brain, we now know we can retrain our brains to respond to real rewards. We can decide ahead of time what our rewards will be.  Retraining is the key word here.  Retraining takes knowledge, practice and repetition.

Calling out and becoming aware of the sophisticated trickery from advertisers and food designers and the hidden innocent beliefs in your own lifestyle are good places to start. 

Ask yourself:  What do you deserve?

Create new input for your reward center.

Turn it around and put these thoughts into your brain, and practice, practice, practice:

·       I am a fabulous human being with a body that deserves nutrition!

·       I deserve to retire in good health. 

·       I deserve the real pleasures found in friendship, play, nature, and vitality.

·       My children deserve a mom who is healthy, kind and loving to herself.

·       My grandchildren deserve a grandma who is filled with joy and able to have fun!

Add your own new thoughts …….