As I stood in line at my favourite coffee shop this morning, I became transfixed by the slightly golden butter croissants lying on a white paper doily in the glass case by the cash register.
I was hungry and croissants are one of my true weaknesses. The rich, buttery flavour and the way they almost melt in your mouth when they’re warm from the oven – it’s almost more than I can bear.
As I waited in line, staring at them, my mouth watering just a little, a familiar and persistent thought slithered into my head.
“You deserve it.”
Yup, it happens to me too.
“You deserve it,” the little voice whispered. “You’re tired, you’ve had such a busy week, you’ve got an even busier day ahead, you’ve eaten so well all week – you deserve this treat. Go for it!”
I know I’m not alone in this. I know this little voice is in your head too.
So what should you do when it starts whispering in your ear? How can you resist?
Well, here’s what I do.
I stop and ask myself, “what do I really deserve?”
Because here’s the thing, “you deserve this” presupposes that “this” (the croissant, or the donut, or the fries with gravy, or the bowl of ice cream) is a real treat, something really wonderful and a lovely gift to give yourself.
And that’s the lie.
Because here’s just a small snapshot of what foods like these do once inside your body:
- Spike your blood sugar, forcing your pancreas to quickly pump out buckets of insulin in a desperate attempt to stabilize it before you fall into a coma;
- Beat up your adrenal glands (which are likely already exhausted from stress and poor sleep) by forcing them to kick in and work to balance the influx of sugar;
- Set off a massive inflammatory response from your immune system that spreads through the tissue and joints of your entire body;
- Exhaust your liver by forcing it to break down huge amounts of fructose;
- Spike your stress hormones and cause a massive stress response through your brain and entire body.
It’s actually a pretty brutal attack. Eating these things is much more an act of abuse than love.
So, the next time that little voice starts whispering in your ear, “you deserve it,” stop and ask yourself what you really deserve?
Do you deserve to be brutalized, beaten and wounded from the inside?
Maybe what you actually deserve is a nap. Or a gorgeous, sweet fruit salad. Or a short session of juicy yoga stretches and restorative poses. Or a good laugh over the phone with your best friend. Or a cuddling session with your kids, partner or pet. Or a walk.
Ask yourself what you really deserve.