Saturday, September 26, 2009

In Session: Treats

It makes sense that clients that in come to Foodtrainers for weekly nutrition sessions clients learn a lot about themselves and their eating. What has been surprising to me, over the past 10 years, is that as I counsel clients I learn a lot too. There are so many times when I hear little pearls of wisdom from my clients and jot them down. Without violating privacy, I thought I’d share some of these anecdotes so that you people out there (who will soon come to read my blog and share your “pearls” via comments) can benefit as well.

This week, I was in a session with a new client. We’ll call her Rose*. I was encouraging Rose to make a weekend trip to the farmers’ market for produce and Rose said “I already stop at the farmers market on Sunday because I get flowers for my apartment.” I commented that it was such a nice habit to get fresh flowers every week. After all, I had just learned that Rose was an early riser who commuted out of the city each day for work. She often returned home late at night. Rose said “I love having the flowers in my apartment, it’s my treat.”

I later found myself thinking about Rose and her flowers and how she referred to them as a treat. And I started thinking about treats. For many people, I would bet the word treat conjures up visions of heavily frosted cupcakes or freshly baked cookies……but does a treat necessarily have to be sweet? And maybe if we consciously indulge ourselves with non-sweet treats, for some maybe a massage, for others a warm bath, maybe even taking a break during the work day and walking around the block, maybe we’ll satisfy that part of ourselves that wants comfort or a break from the day-to-day. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll crave fewer edible treats.

Most of us run around packing 30-plus hours of stuff into a 24 hour day. We’re overworked and over-stressed and this carries over into our eating. Perhaps we can each schedule in one or two treats each week. I took a tennis lesson on Friday. It was so nice to think about nothing else other than that fuzzy yellow ball for 60 minutes. Today (yes it is Saturday), I sat at the table and ate breakfast with my children rather than unloading the dishwasher or checking email or doing all of the other things we tend to do because we don’t think to stop and sit and enjoy some of the everyday treats available to us.
So try it, think about little ways you can treat yourself. You can even start a treat memo on your blackberry so that you can add to the list as treat ideas strike you. Next, look at your calendar and plug a couple of these treats into your schedule for the week. Enjoy treating yourself, commend yourself for taking a break and letting go, even if it’s for a minute or two. And when you’re tempted to grab a cupcake or a cookie, try heading to the farmers market instead.

*Name has been changed to maintain protect privacy


  1. I love the idea of making a list of ways in which to treat yourself and the plan to do so whenever possible! Just to add a twist to the idea...I have a brilliant client who keeps a list of treat ideas- big and small-- in a notebook at her bedside. Everytime her husband wants to do something nice for her he knows he can go and find a brilliant idea in the notebook. Needless to say she gets wonderful gifts and is always satisfied.

  2. Love the idea. I do, however, think it's important that we each treat ourselves and not wait for husbands and birthdays for this to happen. I guess in an ideal world a little of each is fine.