A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Rewarding yourself along the way

on September 18, 2013

One of the more difficult parts of this journey for me was finding ways to celebrate my successes in weight loss and in other parts of my life without resorting to food. Food has become such a huge part of celebration in our culture and for me it was certainly part of how I rewarded myself. Part of the problem was that I was rewarding myself for something every day. And with a whole pan of brownies.

At the beginning, I drew out a plan of rewards for various weight milestones to help me learn how to celebrate without food. A lot of the things I chose were things that invested in my new healthy lifestyle (like cute new workout gear) or invested time in myself. As a working mom, an hour to myself really is a huge reward. Here are some of the things I used personally:

– New workout clothes: Clothes that actually fit and were designed for working out made me feel better about myself when I was exercising and were very motivating (plus, buying them meant I actually had to use them!)

– Earrings: I am sucker for dangly earrings, especially now that O is old enough to know not to pull on them (Ow!). This pair was from Anthropologie to celebrate 20 pounds down (from their sale stash) and I still smile about that every time I wear them, even though that was 90 pounds ago. I also used the Target clearance earring rack for rewards.

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– Bath time: I love time in my tub with a book and some bath salts. Unfortunately, I rarely make the time for this anymore, so setting this as a reward was really celebratory for me. Home mani/pedi and facials also worked – time alone is a reward for this working mama!

– A spa facial: I hadn’t had a facial in 10+ years because my first facial was a scary experience with a European woman in a New Orleans spa berating me for not using a facial scrub regularly. I decided to schedule one at the spa I go to for pedicures as my 10% weight loss reward and it was such a lovely relaxing experience!

– Emptying the closet! For my 50 pound reward, I spent the afternoon going through my closet and getting rid of all of the clothes that were too big. I also found several things that were too small before that now fit, which was great. It took a couple of hours and I piled up 10+ bags of clothes for Goodwill, but investing that time in myself and believing in myself enough to get rid of that safety net of big clothes was a really nice psychological reward.

– A library book I’d been anticipating (I love to read!)

– My goal reward was the one fairly pricey reward I allowed myself: A Coach purse, the first really nice bag I’ve owned. I do love it.

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Weight watchers also gives you stickers for every 5 pounds lost, which is fun at the beginning. It did lose some oomph over time. I also got washers (see below) for every 25 pounds lost and I do really appreciate the reminder of those. They gave us a key chain (not well made – mine exploded pretty quickly) and charms for goal and lifetime, but I really don’t have those out where I see them each day. The washers, though, are on my messenger I bag I carry to the office and when I travel. I like the physical weight of them as a reminder of how far I’ve come.

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This was discussed on the Back to Basics Facebook page last week and some other ideas contributed were:

– Free local tourist options (like museums, etc)

– A stroll

– Asking someone to donate their time as a babysitter so you could get some time away as a reward (loved this one!)

– There’s a great post on Fit and Free Emily about her weight loss rewards as well.

It’s important to reward yourself, not just for your progress on the scale, but on the steps you’re taking to make a healthier lifestyle, so don’t just tie rewards to the scale. Reward yourself for exercising each week or going binge-free for a week or whatever it is that you’re currently working on. I put a foil star on the calendar every day I work out and at the beginning, would give myself rewards for every 30 stars I collected (yes, like a toddler’s behavior chart – it worked for me!).

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Giving yourself credit for all of the things you’re doing on this journey is so crucial! I plan on keeping these things up during maintenance, where is it almost more important to reward yourself for your work because you’re no longer getting the reward of the scale going down. This isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

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2 responses to “Weight Loss Wednesday: Rewarding yourself along the way

  1. nancykerins says:

    Definitely agree! I have one of those pandora charm bracelets. I’m going to get a new charm for every goal I make.

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