Any of us who are trying to build a healthy relationship with food may want to give this a careful read. Similarly, those of us trying to stop smoking or other substances, can probably remember convincing ourselves that “I deserve this reward.”

I understand that seeing a slice of chocolate cheesecake as a “reward” might be easier to understand than looking forward to inhaling a couple lungs full of soot, but “reward” is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe a cardiologist or dietitian looks at cheesecake and sees high cholesterol and plaque-clogged arteries!

After a long day, a tough task, or any sort of challenge, indulging oneself in a treat or reward seems reasonable. And perhaps more than seeming reasonable, it feels good! It’s true. Life is challenging and a well-placed reward can keep us moving. But we really owe it to ourselves to reexamine what kind of reward we deserve. As for me, I am pretty confident that I never deserve a lung full of arsenic and polonium! (YIKES!) So if we still think a cigarette is a “treat,” we need to remember that we deserve better!


Life’s journey ought to have rewards and treats and even indulgences along the way, but let’s try to be sure that the choices we make to reward ourselves are positive and health and truly serve us! A piece of fresh fruit and just a small bite of dark chocolate can make me feel like I had dessert. That’s actually a dessert I deserve (and even the dietitian would probably agree.) A quick five minute walk around the block, counting how many different kinds of birds I see or hear is a “break” that a cardiologist would be happy about.

It really is up to us, isn’t it – to decide how we choose to see things? Challenge your idea of treat, reward, and what you deserve and see if there are choices that would serve you better.

We deserve to be free!

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