Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Favorite Non-Food Treats and Indulgences

In the past, I have looked to less healthy foods as a primary way to treat or indulge myself to the point where I overindulge and do not feel so good afterwards. And then, I wonder why I'm having such a hard time losing weight.

As I've mentioned in at least one previous post, I'm not interested at this moment in banning chocolate or other sweets or food treats from my life forevermore, but I am interested in doing two things that I think will help tremendously as I go forward:
  1. If I am going to enjoy something less healthy, from now on, it has to be delicious, I mean absolutely and completely delicious. I have wasted too many calories on less healthy food that was available but not especially good such as mediocre store-bought cookies at a child's school function, or a candy I think is so-so but ate because it was offered and I didn't say no. No more of that. If I am going to eat something that is less than fully nourishing, it has to pass the high bar set by the chocolates my daughter sends from Finland. In other words, it has to be mind-bogglingly good. 
  2. When I indulge in a food that passes the high-bar test of those Finnish chocolates, I am committed to eating it especially slowly, savoring every bite as if the act of eating that indulgence were the ultimate meditation. 
I'll be honest, I still have some work to do on the goal I made last Saturday of slowing down to treat  all eating as a form of meditation. And I am committed to doing better, but I want to be especially conscious of slowing down when I eat something rich and less nourishing, enjoying it as a sensory experience without overindulging.

For me, another step for putting food indulgences into perspective (relying on them less for a feel-good experience) is to develop a go-to list of favorite of non-food treats and indulgences. Here's my starter list:
  1. Enjoying A Massage. I confess I have an unfair advantage in terms of cost and convenience when it comes to getting a massage. My oldest daughter is training to be a massage therapist and she is fantastic. I think the world would be a much happier place if everyone could get a regular massage. I feel completely relaxed and content afterwards. 
  2. Diving into a Fantastic Novel. I think of reading as a mini-vacation. I can go anywhere with a good book - back in time, to another country, even another world. Sometimes it's hard to find time to read, but well worth the effort. I always feel refreshed when I return to the real world. I'm an eclectic reader, reading all over the map. Here's a few of the novels I've enjoyed - The Light Between the Oceans by M.L Stedman, Wonder by R.C. Palacio, and The Road by Cormac Mccarthy. 
  3. Watching a Terrific Movie or Television Series. Sometimes watching a movie or a terrific television show is the best possible getaway. Some of my favorites include Le Petit Nicolas (French w subtitles), Interstellar, Gravity, Saving Mr. Banks, Captain Phillips, Merlin, Downton Abbey, and Granite Flats (a fun BYU TV show).
  4. Meditating for Relaxation. I rarely find I have time for 30-minute meditations, but I can usually find 3, 8 or 15 minutes which can make a huge positive difference in my stress level and sense of well-being. Click HERE for the simple, straightforward meditations that have made a positive difference for me. I am more relaxed, and focused when I meditate. I sleep better too.
  5. Playing a Board or Card Game with My Family. I love to tune out technology and turn off the ringer to enjoy some focused time with my husband and children. We like Cranium, Blink and Cranium to name a few.
  6. Going for a Walk. I love to take a walk along our wooded greenbelt. I always come back feeling better, more relaxed. There's just something about being out in nature that soothes my spirit and makes me eat less.
  7. Listening to Good Music Snuggled Up next to my Husband on the Couch, a fire burning in the fireplace. We enjoy a variety of music, anything from John Denver to Vocal Point. Listening to music brings back good memories and helps us to make new good memories.
  8. Reading or Browsing My Way through a pile of Magazines or Newspapers: As much as I love to read, sometimes I'm not up for a longer work, so I will enjoy reading through a pile of magazines and newspapers, compliments of my mom (who hands her magazines on to me) and husband (who brings back terrific newspapers from his travels).
  9. Taking a Long Soak in the Tub. I do not do this often, but when I do, I relax and sleep better.
  10. Discovering a New Fun Place in Town. I am always amazed at how many places there are to discover in our city. We live in Oklahoma City and since living here, I have enjoyed discovering the amazing Oklahoma City Museum of Art (a real thrill if you love the Art of the extraordinary artist Dale Chihuly), the Paseo District, the Oklahoma City Zoo, and Bricktown among others. I am sold on staycations when going out of town isn't practical.
Invitation to Act:Make a list of non-food treats and indulgences you enjoy and place it where you will see often. Post it where you can see it. Let the rest of us hear some of your favorites. 

Sneak Peek at Tomorrow's Post:Getting Back in the Saddle after a Bad Food Day!


  1. I have to say that #9 is a favorite of mine; in fact, I take a nice, hot bath every night! It's fun to choose a different bubble bath or oil for that evening's relaxation, and even if it's just a ten or fifteen minute retreat, it's wonderfully relaxing and refreshing.

    I would add another non-food treat: nourishing skin care. My new favorite is Cerave (very affordable, sold at our local grocery store). It's enriched with ceramides to plump up aging skin, and that's what I need now that I am so estrogen-deficient. I add a little scented lotion (there's a new lemon pomegranate from Bath and Body Works) to the jar of Cerave, and it makes for a delightful treat every morning and evening.

  2. A nice, hot bath every night? I love it. The world would be a better place if everyone allowed themselves more relaxing soaks in the tub. I'm inspired. I will definitely have to check out Cerave. Is it a whole skin care system - cleanser, toner and moisturizer? I'm intrigued and could definitely benefit. Thanks for the suggestion.