I can't say I've spent as much time thinking about the intricacies of how one rewards oneself as I've spent thinking about other aspects of my diet and fitness self, but I think it's an important thing to start thinking about. Research even shows that using food as a reward or punishment with your children sets them up for poor eating habits as adult (DING DING DING!!)
A friend noted to me the other day that, in the few years that we have been friends, she's noticed that I regularly reward myself for food or fitness successes with food. I've spent lots of time sitting in weight watcher meetings talking about reward alternatives to food and here I am not thinking about or implementing any of that. When I have a good week, I celebrate with chicken wings. Or my favorite Hawaiian joint.
Frankly, I never REMEMBER to do it any other way. It's so ingrained. Just like sometimes, it honestly never occurs to me to order grilled chicken at a restaurant when I can order the cheeseburger (no joke, it rarely crosses my mind). But I'm making some really big and drastic changes in my life right now in regards to health and fitness and I need to be able to reward myself for milestones. A reward for my first 10 lbs. A reward for my first pant size lost. A reward for a month of consecutively showing up to have my arse kicked at 7am 4 days a week. But I don't want to continue to enforce poor eating habits by having those rewards revolve around food.
So I'm kicking around some ideas and would love yours as well. Mani/pedi is common for us ladies. Maybe a new book or some new yarn I really want. If I lose enough weight to have to buy new clothes, then a new outfit! I also thought of putting $20 aside for each milestone so when I hit a big stride, I can do something really special like a 90 minute massage or a spa day or a night at the coast. I believe rewards should build on each other... each one getting a little bit bigger and better with each goal you achieve.
So, I think my first reward, which will come when I lose my first 10 pounds or 30 consecutive days (whichever comes first), will be that I can go to Powell's and browse for however long I'd like and I can pick out a new book that I find there. I love going to Powell's and getting lost and reading backs of books and it can take me 20 minutes to 2 hours to find just the right thing. I'll even go to the Powell's downtown instead of cheating and going to the one on Hawthorne. I can't wait!!
What are your non-food rewards?