Friday, September 23

Reward Yourself

You just nailed a difficult presentation. Made a tough sale. Negotiated a raise. Or got your picky toddler to eat carrots. Woo hoo! It’s time to celebrate. What do you choose?

Pop the cork on some nice vino? Splurge with dinner and dessert at your favorite restaurant? Or, skip dinner and just go for dessert?

When I think of rewarding myself it’s always with food. Why is that?

Just yesterday, I caught myself in the following internal dialogue. I had just completed a hour-long cycle class and on the drive home said to myself,  “Wow, you did  a great job, probably burned a lot of calories. You should stop by Chick Fil A and grab your favorite drink—a large half-sweet, half-unsweetened iced tea. You’ve earned it.”

You might be thinking, so what? Right. How can one big ol’ tea hurt?

Well, I know from experience that once I start that kind of self-talk, I end up in the drive-thru lane every day for about a week. And my workout schedule does not compensate for the huge amounts of tea I will drink. Thank God Chick Fil A is closed on Sunday, that usually breaks the spell.

I’m learning to reward myself differently. I’m trying (sometimes not so successfully) to break this cycle because it’s sabotaging my healthy habits.

If you’re struggling with the same issue, here are some ideas on non-food related rewards.

     Schedule and hour-long massage or other spa service
     Get a manicure or pedicure at your favorite salon
     Buy some new exercise clothes
     Buy a new shade of lipstick (Or for the boys, a new cologne. I guess boys can buy lipstick too. I would just stick to a clear matte finish. Just sayin’.)
     Purchase some new jewelry or other fun accessories (belts, purses and oh my God, shoes! New shoes are the best.)
     Download some new music
     Plan an active weekend getaway (Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway are less than two hours away and beautiful!)
     Go to a sporting event (just steer clear of the nachos and beer. And the hot dogs. And burgers.)

Got any to add to the list? I’m always looking for new ideas.

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