My New Secret to Keeping Healthy

At the end of a long day, I used to sit down with a piece of dark chocolate.  That was my "reward" for working so hard.  But after awhile, I started to rethink my idea of "dessert."  Often, when I was working out my clients, they would remark how good it felt to stretch, and I would say, "That's your Pilates dessert." (For example, after Teaser on Reformer, when you drop the straps into the well and arch back, that's dessert for doing Teaser).

So, what if my treat at the end of a long day is to reward my body?  To thank it for the hard work it did to carry me through my workout, run around with my kids, fuel my brain?  What if "dessert" meant taking care of myself?

But who has the time?  Don't I deserve a few minutes to sit?  As a Pilates teacher, I'm constantly on my feet.  As a mother of two young kids, I'm rarely sitting down (unless I'm driving them somewhere or reading a book to them).  Who has the time?

Then it hit me.  I love to eat my little bit of chocolate while watching TV.  You know, those shows you're addicted to?  (And I've already shared a lot of myself on this blog, but I'm not ready to share my guilty pleasure I like to watch at the end of the day.  Let's just say we all need a mix of high and low culture).  What if I use my time watching TV to use my roller?  That's 22 minutes treating myself really well, stretching my muscles (and I always feel really good after).  My kids are already in bed, I watch my shows on the computer when I wouldn't be hard to just change what I'm doing while I'm watching. 

And that small change made a difference in my life in that I'm rethinking what a "reward" is.  A "treat"  treats myself well.  A dessert doesn't have to come in a tub of ice cream.  And I've started looking forward to my roller (almost) as much as I look forward to my chocolate (hey, I love a good dark chocolate).

So has this helped me drop 10 pounds?  No.  But it's changed my thinking about my body, and that's just as important to me.

And the chocolate?  Yeah, I still eat that too.  It's all about balance.  Only I don't label it as a "treat" I've earned.  I think the more we separate ourselves from food labels, the better.  If it's not a treat, then I don't eat it just because I had a rough day.  I eat it because I want to and I enjoy it.  I'm aware that it's what I desire, not what my emotions dictate.

So, what's your definition of Pilates dessert?

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