Mid-Life Crisis Diet: Day 2 - Tinkle Treats
Food is an incredibly powerful incentive. It's why so many of us have such a distorted relationship with food. Think of how we use it as a reward, as an incentive, as a way to relax in the evening after a hard day's work; so many of our ways of celebrating a job well done are to scarf down a cookie, slam a few beers, or eat pizza rolls until we're comatose. Personally, I blame it all on Tinkle Treats.
When my brother and I were being potty trained, my mom used to reward us for our timeliness and urinary accuracy with the all-American classic candy, Tootsie Rolls. And we loved Tootsie Rolls. With that sugary delight as incentive, it became a habit to expect a reward for using the bathroom. Outside the bathroom, I began to expect a reward for accomplishments both big and small - and those rewards would inevitably take the shape of food for the next 29 years.
As a result of using food as a reward from a very early age, celebrating accomplishments (usually with sugary foods) was only reenforced in the coming years. What happened when the baseball team I played for won a game? Ice cream, baby. When our football team won, we'd have pizza parties. When I got good grades, we got to go to La Senoritas with my Dad for .99 Little Amigos Day. (Remember that? What a steal! The hot fudge sundays were out of this world.) Even things as simple as doing well on a test in high school usually meant my mom baking her world famous no-bake cookies. Obviously, eating garbage after every accomplishment can be a bad way to celebrate success. Especially when taken to the extreme of celebrating every tiny thing as an excuse to have 8 cookies a day, 3 beers, and a piece of cake. When taken to an extreme, we can distort our relationship with food to an almost dystopian degree.
I'm not trying to make you hungry by reading all of this. Nor am I trying to make you feel bad for having a celebratory beer after surviving another day in the daily craziness that is our modern existence. But, for me especially, changing my perspective as a reward for good deeds done is a crucial part in living a healthier, happier life. A life where I can go to the beach and go swimming without that t-shirt on.