photo by Jamieanne at Flickr

Yesterday, a really interesting conversation popped up on my food blog. I used the word “splurge” twice – one to jokingly say I’d eaten a whole bolani instead of my usual half. And then again when I had a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich after lunch.

In reality, I don’t consider EITHER of these things “splurges” and if I’d been talking out loud I would have used air quotes. But it prompted Mish to ask:

What do you think of the idea of ‘splurge’? I find that it can be a good thing to do, but also dangerous for me..because for me I find it’s wrapped with guilt.

Just wondering what you think of that.

To which I replied:

What do I think of “splurge?” Hmm. That is such a good question. I think I don’t use that anymore. For example, I had ice cream and cake on my birthday. But I didn’t think of it as “splurging.” I just thought if it as “ice cream and cake, which I am enjoying” rather than “something I don’t normally do.” It has the same emotional weight as “juicy plum.” It’s just one thing I’ve photographed in my day.

Does that make sense? I’ve never really thought of it in that way. I definitely USED to think of “splurge days” (Ha, usually the night after my WW weigh-ins!) but I just realized that I do not think in those terms anymore. Although a lot of what I eat would probably be considering splurging to other people (I’m writing this word so many times now it looks crazy, what a funny word). Fried food. Sweets. Cheese. To me, it’s all food.

I like that. :-)

Then Mary chimed in and said:

Interesting. I don’t use the word splurge at all. In fact, it’s one of the words I hate. I really honestly don’t think of food in that kind of way. I read a food blog once where a girl ate a hamburger with some sides (beans? don’t remember) and she talked all about how it was a splurge but she enjoyed it so it was okay. I was thinking about how for me that was a normal meal – the idea of that being a splurge just made me feel like it’s a word I don’t want to be using for myself or in general.

Sorry, that might not be totally on topic, but I hate the word. And possibly the idea. ;)

I know that many people incorporate the word, and the concept of “splurging” in their weight loss habits. I I used to.  Back in my earlier WW days, I used to splurge (ie eat with abandon) the day or two after my weigh-ins.

But I realize I really do not think so much that way anymore (even though! I know! I used it twice in one blog post -it was sort of ironic). If I’m coming up to a big event — a birthday or wedding or something like that – I’ll plan for it. I’ll never go all-out and eat everything in sight as if it doesn’t matter. And like I said, if I eat cake, I’m just eating cake. Another time I’ll eat cherries. No one is more splurgey than the other.

I’ve really tried to stop thinking of foods as good or bad, as splurgey or everyday. Each day is different. Today I had “real” cheddar cheese on my English muffin instead of my more usual Laughing Cow Lite cheese. Did I splurge? (because I’d just done a 2 hour workout? :-)) Hmmm, I think of it as doing a little math in my head and deciding that I’d go for the real cheddar. Just because.  Because I wanted to.

I think this is a real shift (and a good one) from the way I used to think before. What do you think? Do you still think in terms of splurges? What about “treats?” (another very provocative word)

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