Let’s talk rewards. In this fast paced world, we can feel pressured to be everything to everyone and to do it all in our home life and career. Whether you’re a working mum or full time homemaker, a dad providing for his family and diy-ing everything around the house, a student trying to get good grades or a young person trying make your parents proud, in the modern world the weight of the traditional stereotypes still bares heavy. All these things build up into stress, which for me was one of the reasons I ended up at a very unhealthy weight. I take full responsibility for myself. I just didn’t make good choices about what I ate or did.
Making the decision to change my lifestyle was the first achievement. As I’ve mentioned before, the achievements that come along during the long journey need to be recognised. Whether just mentally noted or written in a journal. I’m a visual type of person, so seeing my progress on paper, in a chart or comparison photos helped me to realise how far I’d come. I believe achievements should be celebrated in a practical way. There is no harm in giving yourself rewards.
It’s important to be kind to yourself and take the time to do something for yourself. Essentially we need to love life and enjoy the present. I learnt to be kind to myself by using treats and rewards for reaching small targets/goals and celebrating non scale victories. The main thing here is that these treats and rewards would not include food. I had to break the cycle of food related treats, I used to think, “I’ve had a great exercise session, so now I’ve earned a chocolate bar”, sounds crazy but true. Besides my food treats can be worked into a daily meal plan as part of a balanced diet, this way I stay in control. I try not to make them an extra thing because this can get out of control and lead to overindulgence.
Some of my favourite treats are baths with a new bubble bath on the market, scented candles, nail polish, make up, costume jewellery, a book or a new cd/music download – somehow life feels better to music. Some treats have helped to enhance my healthy lifestyle, a new pair of shoes/trainers/walking shoes, leads to new socks or sports wear which spur me on to exercise more. Then there’s gadgets and technology which I see as investments into my healthy lifestyle, or just a simple bunch of flowers or a plant that brighten my day.
Rewards and treats don’t always have to be new things. I’ve enjoyed rediscovering clothes, cosmetics and toiletries I had stored at home and not used. There were also the clothes that were too tight or small that now fit. I even had new clothes that I couldn’t quite fit into or didn’t like how they looked. As my body shape changed, I would try them on and be delighted when the day came that I was more comfortable in them. This sort of thing also gave me a little target to aim for. Whatever you’re choice of celebration is, the thing to remember is to mark the moment……..after all, you’re so worth it!