How long has it been since you indulged in your favourite treat without inwardly telling yourself off because “it’s ruining your diet,” or “you’re breaking your resolution,” or “you’re bad for doing this”? I’m here to tell you to stop that. Don’t get me wrong, a steady diet of donuts and sugary coffee drinks does no one any good, but rather than cut yourself off completely, why not make a Treat Date with yourself every week? More importantly, anticipate with delight the pleasure you’ll have at that time. Look forward to it. Personally, I know that if I have a venti iced caramel, caramel macchiato every day, I barely even taste it. But oh! When it’s been a week, it’s purely decadent delight!
Just last week, I found myself craving a candy bar. So I went to my usual grocery store, but all I could get there would have been a packet of four or a baggie of bite-sized pieces. I chose to wait until I could find my candy bar of choice as a single bar. That only added to the build-up of anticipation, you know. Yesterday I found exactly what I wanted, and into the basket it went. Here’s the thing, I chose to wait until I got home to make the most of my little treat. I could certainly have eaten it in the car, and that would have been fine, too. The key is not to rush the experience. I found myself a quiet moment yesterday afternoon, brewed up a cup of tea, and settled in to consume my treat slowly and with pleasure. I inhaled the scent of the candy, I admired the chocolate coating, and I let it melt on my tongue just a little. Had I gobbled it down while working on my book, watching TV, or doing housework, I would barely have tasted it and probably ended up instantly wanting another.
Slowing down to savour a goodie is beneficial on so many levels. For one, we all tend to rush at living and do so very distractedly, so being able to put on the brakes and drop into the present rather than careening wildly down the road to the future is a very useful skill to learn. Second, distracted eating is just not good for any of us because we can easily overeat when we’re not paying attention to the scents and flavours before us. Third, consuming less costs less, so your bank account is happier. Explore appreciating having enough, it can feel pretty good. And finally, why wouldn’t we want to take control of the experience and actively create a pleasant moment for ourselves? Meal times are such a great opportunity to do that. We all need to eat, why not make an occasion out of it? Imagine how you would feel if even just one meal a day was anticipated, savoured, and properly enjoyed! I bet you’d want to find ways of adding a little peace and pleasure to every meal.
So, start small and see how it goes for you. It takes practice to live with intention, but the results are so worth it.