…THAT is the Question
That title (and pic!) got your attention right? There is something about the word “Treat” that evokes some serious emotion! For some people it’s fear…for others it’s sheer joy. I think I fall right in the middle of the two. Whatever you might feel I’m going to break it down for you today. Well, I’m going to at least share with you what works for me.
This last year of maintenance has been a HUGE lesson in balance and boundaries. I’ve learned that “depriving” myself is actually not a bad thing. Yep, that’s right I said it. I feel like the diet industry is always saying “don’t deprive yourself”, because it will lead to binging. I agree & disagree with that statement. Let me explain. Basically, I still want to eat a cupcake for breakfast instead of egg whites…EVERYDAY!! I know that I will struggle with food choices the rest of my life…it’s just a fact. It’s taken some time, but I’m ok with that. Everyone has a cross they carry daily & this is mine. So, I get up every morning & I choose the egg whites. I do this because I know it will yield the results I’m looking for…AND I know it gives my body what it needs. Call it what you will, but this is “depriving” my desire for the cupcake. I choose to look at the word “deprive” as positive because I have found POWER in those choices. Every time I make a good food choice…even when I don’t want too…I gain strength & power over my weakness. I know that I’m a food addict & just like an alcoholic I will struggle with this till I die.
Ok, this is a blog about treats right? Now, does this mean I’m never going to have a cupcake ever again? Ummmm….NO WAY! Everyone needs treats in their life!!! That being said…it’s my opinion that if you have ever had a weight problem…like me…we have to be a little more strategic. (at least in the beginning) I try to always stay present while I’m eating…no more mindless decisions in that department. So, Hannah & I decided very shortly after The Biggest Loser that we would in fact have treats, but we would plan them. That’s right I schedule my cupcake liaisons…no seriously, I put it in my calendar.
I know it sounds a little crazy & controlling…but hear me out. How many times have you had a treat on the fly? Even if it was totally deserved & maybe it was the first treat in a long time…you felt guilty after…right? Right. You probably immediately thought…”that wasn’t worth it” or “Ugh, that was so many calories” or my favorite “why did I do that”! Trust me that is NO way to live. Hannah & I have found that by planning out our treats really allows us to not only enjoy them, but there is no guilt because it was planned for! How often you decide to treat yourself is up to you…but plan it out. We usually have a treat once a month…that might change over time, but for now it works really well. It gives me something to work towards. Remember it’s a TREAT…think about what you really want…don’t make it just an after thought. I literally keep a running list on my phone…I’m not kidding. If I see something throughout the month that looks amazing it goes on the list. That way when treat time rolls around I go to the list and pick what I really want. If I’m waiting a month for a treat I’m not wasting it on a candy bar from the gas station. Just sayin!
So, go forth and TREAT yourself…but plan it out. If this is a new concept for you try it & let us know what you think. Tell us in the comments what you think about treats! OH, and my favorite….let’s chat about our favorite treats!! I’ll go first…I love double chocolate cookies from Levain Bakery here in NYC!!! Yummo!!! Now your turn…and GOOOOO!
25 replies on “To Treat or Not to Treat…”
What a great idea! Frozen yogurt is my biggest treat and I almost always allow myself to have that after a half marathon.
I used to eat a big treat once a week and it was too often, I think. But I did initially lose 15 pounds that way. Now, I will do a 55 calorie dark chocolate most days and I plan that into my calorie intake. It’s not random sugar, it’s healthier and it’s not a big calorie item so my nutritional balance isn’t overwhelmed by sugar intake. But the planning part REALLY works since there’s no guilt. It’s not emotional eating, and you really enjoy it. It is great to choose something really special instead of the random chocolate bar.
It doesn’t always work, and now I have a new addiction that is fine in moderation, better than sugar, but still problematic calorie-wise: WALNUTS. I could eat well over 30 walnuts in a day if left to my own devices. That is SO MANY CALORIES! But I want to eat them…. I mean, I’m really addicted. I THINK about them…. Lately I’ll allow myself walnuts if I WALK to the grocery store and pick out 15 from the bulk bin and THAT’S ALL.
Maple bacon biscuit from The City Bakery. Add it to the list! (good thing I live in Oregon)
This has been my favorite blog post so far. Maintenance is the hardest part. I lost 59 pounds and for six months did pretty well keeping it off. I would fluctuate between 3-6 pounds but in the last TWO weeks I have gained SEVEN more pounds. One bad day has turned into one after another and another and without any “rules” for maintenance I can’t seem to get out of this downward spiral. So thus blog really helps. I’m good with rules and a plan so I love any tips you guys give because you’re living out maintenance and making it work. Thanks so much for sharing!!
I know I am not Olivia or Hannah but I just wanted to share two things I have learned on my journey. 1) Dolvett says each day is a new day and you get to start fresh. This keeps me from regretting yesterday and living each day like Day 1 (we always do our best on Day 1). 2) Accountability. When I don’t have a work out partner, one who pushes you to do your best, I count on my FB/Twitter friends to give me that push. I try to post my workouts on my FB page (www.facebook.com/triumphfromted) and tweet them. The encouraging comments I receive is what keeps me going each day! Good Luck in your journey!
THANK YOU for writing this!!!!! Perfect timing!
Okay. I just have to get it off my chest. I LOVE CINNABONS! The closest location to me is in the airport. I have seriously contemplated buying a plane ticket to nowhere just so I could go through security and buy one. I’d sell my right arm, basically (Wait, scratch that..then I couldn’t really eat it seeing that I’m right handed..) ANYWAY. You get the point.
Sugar/treats/sweets/etc are my TOTAL vice. I can say no to salty foods in a heart beat, but give me a chocolate chip cookie and I’m yours. I have had some serious heart-to-hearts with myself about my apparent ‘need’ for this, and EVERY time it has nothing to do with the treat itself. I am doing a lot to create new thinking in my life–instead of using a sugary treat to cope with stress, I have tried to find joy in reading a good book, taking a hot shower, or going for a long walk. Instead of taking a friend who has had a terrible day out for a ‘sympathy shake’, we hit the spa for a pedicure, grab a drink, and have a long chat.
Like Hannah said–“It might take months or years to change your body, but it takes one second to change your mind!” I’m working daily to create new thinking in order to enjoy making choices that support my goals and health in the long run. Good health IS a choice.
Seriously love you both.
I understand the Cinnabon thing. In my local grocery store there’s a Cinnabon and they always have samples. I will allow myself one of those so I can have a tiny treat without killing my calorie count and throwing my sugar off…. Tempted to buy a whole one but they are SO calorie heavy it’s just not worth it. But I understand the slippery slope thing. Walnuts are my problem that way. Sometimes I just can’t have them in the house because I will keep eating them.
Fantastic article! This is your best so far! Challenging, yet totally doable!
Thanks for posting this! The timing was perfect 🙂 Did you eat treats during weight loss or did you start once you began maintaining? I have lost about 60 pounds and still have about 25 to go and this is the biggest question on my mind these days…. I would love to hear what your diet was like during weight loss (especially the last 20 or so pounds) and how strict you were with eating sugar, salt, etc…
I too would love to hear about how you lost the last 10-20 pounds. Did you splurge during your weight loss? Or only now in maintenance?
Once a month?! That’s so wild…. My “treat” is like once a day… Haha. I have these intense cravings for chocolate or something sweet after each meal (minus breakfast). It’s usually not a giant treat, but like 5 m&m’s or something do the trick. I eat healthy for all of my meals, for the most part, so for me, it isn’t an issue to have a little bit each day. If it makes it any better, I eat an apple for my snack during the day 🙂
Usually after an intense workout, though, I get frozen yogurt or make a smoothie with our Yonanas machine. That thing rocks my world. Google that bad boy, it’s fantastic and all it uses is fruit (unless you add the unhealthy stuff, which I don’t).
Favorite treat – I have no idea what they are called because it’s a homemade thing, but it’s rice crispy treats with chocolate in the center and peanut butter mixed throughout. Oh my goodness… I cannot explain the awesomeness of these! These are definitely special treats because they are sooo not healthy. These are like twice a year treats.
CONGRATULATIONS on your year anniversary of healthiness!!! 🙂 That’s something to be extremely proud of and you’re such a wonderful example for so many people!
i love the idea of keeping a list of temptations on your phone. somehow writing it down can be a bit of a reward in itself. i keep lists like crazy — so that i’m productive — and there’s such reward in checking off the box when a task is done. writing down the things that are tempting me might work similarly? i’m going to try it. and schedule a treat day. every other week.
there are silly, boring things that tempt me — like right now, i like dairy milk chocolate entirely too much. and really anything (refined) sugar. but my real treat temptation is probably pizza from famoso, this a-m-a-z-i-n-g neapolitan pizza place in my city. the pizza is crazy good. pears and artichoke hearts and mushrooms and zucchini and pesto and things.
congratulations on your year of maintenance. that’s a feat! it’s fantastic. thanks for being inspiring, as well.
This is EXACTLY what I needed to read right now!!! Oh my gosh, you’re reading my mind 🙂 Haha. I am in the “why did I just DO that?!” camp. I get so frustrated and upset with myself after I treat on the fly or over treat.
My husband, bless his heart, knows that I love Peppermint paddies and bought a giant costco sized box of them (there are like 150 paddies inside!!) and put it on my night stand when I was out one day with the kids. Gees. I mean I love the guy, but boy oh boy was this a bad choice. I have lost 30lbs this year and have another 30lbs to go. I am a food addict, but he doesn’t truly understand this. He think I can just choose to have one. I can’t right now. It’s like an alcoholic “choosing” to have a sip and no more.
I get so frustrating with my will power because I do so well all day, and then after the kids go down to bed I start having this feeling like I just “NEED” something sweet. I have done extra gum, and that was great and I have a zero calorie soda sometimes like Fresca but I know that’s not exactly great either. I just try to trick my mind into thinking I had a treat, you know? SIGH. Anyway. It is going to be my struggle for the rest of my life, I just wish so badly I was free of it. I’ve come so far this year, starting out a size 18 and now being a 10/12 is something I couldn’t have dreamt for myself last year!
Thanks Olivia and Hannah. I just moved to a new city and don’t know anyone yet, so it’s great to have a girlfriend-like support, you know?
I guess people are like animals. Say “Treat” in my house and my dogs go wild, and hang out by the counter where I keep their “treat” jar.
My fav human treat though is Red Velvet cake, i’m a sucker for it, if somebody put it in front of my face, I can’t not eat it.
I need pizza in my life!
I absolutely love this post! I have a terrible addiction to sugar and always feel like I overtreat myself after every meal. I eat really healthy until I have chocolate or peanut butter sitting around my apartment. I just cannot buy or have these things in my site because then I won’t eat them. But I seriously LOVE the idea of planning out your treats instead of just shoving them in your face mindlessly. You can then truly appreciate your treat instead of ooh hey just ate all that unhealthy stuff and then feel terrible about it afterwards. I am definitely going ot try this starting today! Just like planning out my exercise and meals, I will plan out my treats too 🙂 THanks for this! You two are soo inspirational to me!
I just read your treat post. I’d heard about scheduling it and I love the once a month idea. I think i may adopt this one. Love the blog 🙂
This was a fantastic post. I really enjoy reading both of your thoughts on eating healthy and living well. Those are the parts of your blog that really resonate with me.
Having said that, when I have an Oatmeal Cream Pie, I have to have two. I eat the first one so fast, I don’t actually taste it. And that’s exactly what I thought of when you mentioned mindless treating.
When do you allow yourself to have a treat? I have a major problem in this dept. I find myself always saying ‘i need something sweet’ !!! I tried the Lars bars that you and hannah recommended and I try to have a sweet treat with those , and i really like them! My hubby and i both love the pnb cookie 🙂
I LOVE this! What a fantastic post. I think this is a great idea and one that I am now going to adopt…
So glad I found this site it will be my new favorite site!!! I loved watching you both and your by far my favorite BL contestants. I could always relate to things you went through on the show. I have lost 100 pounds now and have about 30 left to go. I just know these blogs will help.
I try to treat myself once a week but I have gotten into the habit of scheduling any indulgences I make. It is amazing how if you eat a piece of candy on the fly you easily feel guilty and this can often turn into a hinge but if you say your allowing it that day it comes guilt free! Thanks for the great blog! !!
My favorite treat would have to be Vanilla Tofutti ice cream scooped into a wafer cone! Either that, potato chips. I’ve stopped buying these things because I know that I’ll eat it all up if it’s in the house!
I have lost 235 lbs on my weight loss journey – and for me – I HAVE to have some kind of treat each week. I need it to sustain myself. I have done this since the very beginning of my journey. I also do a lot of working out… to counter balance it. It’s really all about balance, isn’t it?
My favorite treats are cinnabon, peanut butter pie… or peanut butter whoopie pies. Or any kind of cake, lol. I never feel deprived and to be honest, I never crave treats, because I know that once a week I get to have something. It’s just what works for me.
Also just wanted to say that I am a big fan of both of you. I have watched the entire Biggest Loser series from the beginning, while on my treadmill – losing all this weight. I just finished your season and I can’t tell you the number of times I cried with the two of you along the way. You have both done amazing. You are both inspirational. Thank you for sharing that with all of us.
Thank you for this post! I have been struggling with treats and timing. I think I allow them too often! I love that its ok to plan the treat and work towards it 🙂 Thanks for the great tips!