Real Rewards: Putting Food in Its Place
By Deborah Bohn and Amy Cotta
Consider how often we reward ourselves with food. Do you eat cake at every birthday party to celebrate the occasion? Do you often enjoy a drink or two at social events? Do you reward yourself with snacks and desserts because you’ve had a rough day? Does every holiday become an excuse to overindulge? What about weight loss rewards? Is there a better alternative to celebrate then food?
If any of the above situations sound familiar, you’re not alone. For most of us these days, we’re still celebrating with food more often than is good for us. Food rewards work great for dogs, but you are not a dog!
So ask yourself, “Do I really have to have a piece of cake at the party?” Why should you gain weight just because someone had a birthday? And if you’ve taken time to get dressed and dine out in a restaurant, ask, “Is this really a good reason to eat three courses of bad food choices?” What about barbecues? Would it be terrible if you drank water instead of beer and wine? And would girls’ night out be ruined if you didn’t share that giant chocolate volcano dessert but had a nice cup of after-dinner coffee instead?
Now that we’ve identified all the wrong reasons to celebrate (like because Friday rolled around again this week? Really?), let’s talk about valid reasons to pat yourself on the back, and how to use tangible, non-fattening rewards to say, “Good job!”
How to Celebrate?
Instead of eating Belgian waffles to celebrate at Sunday brunch, download a new song to add to your workout mix … or to your relaxation mix!
Instead of spending $18 for two glasses of wine during dinner at a restaurant, use that money to buy a new workout top as a tangible, useful, and reusable reward for meeting a weight loss goal.
Instead of chocolates, get a message, pedicure or manicure or take time to enjoy a hot bath and good book. Give yourself a feel good treat.
Instead of picking up a cookie potato chips and basking in your achievement, treat yourself to a fresh flowers. They’ll last all week and looking at them will remind you of what you accomplished!
Instead of ordering extra-cheese pizzas, just escape with a great chick flick with your favorite flavored tea!
Instead of a couple of beers, get a new body lotion or special soap to feel fresh and fabulous after your workout, or consider these other wonderful, fat-free rewards:
• Trip to the bookstore for a new book
• Scented candle
• Splurge on high-end athletic socks
• At-home facial
• How about getting your car detailed?
• New book for your Kindle
• Handmade coupon book for your own treats
• Add your own idea’s