Recently Dr. Oz did a show entitled “Guilt Free” in which he allowed audience members to share their “guilty pleasures”. The theory of the show was that participating in these pleasures may ultimately be good for your health. Women described activities such as: reading gossip magazine, buying doughnuts for their family and getting a box just for themselves, and watching a stretch of TV punctuated with a glass of wine. One over-worked woman even stated, “I went to lunch alone”. Oh my, really?? It reminded me of the commercial where the woman quickly cleans her kitchen floor with a new high-tech mop and then picking up her coffee cup shockingly states, “I’m going to drink this on the front porch?”
What struck me about the “guilty pleasures” which the audience shared was their interpretation of guilty. Anything that was done strictly for themselves and no one else was described as a “guilty pleasure”.
It seems that in a world obsessed with being productive, health often takes a backseat. We’re too busy and as a result don’t schedule or even allow healthy outlets into our day. After all, it would be selfish to take time for exercise or relaxation. Our boss, spouse, children, friends, and community all must come first. Otherwise, we are surely selfish.
Sadly, even when we do take time for such activities, the benefit is often out-weighed by the guilt we feel. We must realize that caring for ourselves assures us of a healthier body and the end result is a more vibrant person. There’s a pretty good chance that we will also be around a lot longer to take care of everyone else as well.