I think many of us get into the habit of rewarding ourselves with food. At least, I certainly used to. Had a hard day at work/school but made it through? Definitely need some chocolate. Stuck to a diet and lost 5 lbs? Better treat myself to ice cream. You get the idea.
Never mind all of the “special occasion” treating that went on. Hey, I’m out for dinner with friends, so I’d better have something fatty and delicious, PLUS dessert. I’m on vacation, so I don’t want to think about what I’m eating – better indulge at meals, with dessert, plus extra snacks, and don’t forget about the drinks! Mudslides are sure good, though, aren’t they?
Last summer I read The Beck Diet Solution, and I think it started the shift in how I view food. As part of the exercises in the book, I had to put together a list of non-food rewards. Thinking back, I was like, “What? But food is the BEST reward. How can I possibly reward myself withOUT food?” Still, I dutifully put together a list of non-food rewards, and I did start making use of it.
So, today I’m sharing a my list. I use it when I need a little help sticking to a healthful diet, getting all my workouts in, or crossing off everything I have on my to do list (particularly for those tasks that I’ve been putting off or dread doing). I posted here about my rewards for sticking to my healthy meal plan for a week. The sizes and types of rewards vary, so I pick and choose depending on the goal.
- reading a book
- a new magazine
- watching a favourite show or movie
- going out to a movie
- a new piece of workout gear (shirt, socks, shorts, etc.)
- spending time on a “guilty pleasure” website (for me, definitely http://laineygossip.com)
- getting a pedicure
- getting a facial
- taking a bubble bath (with the door locked so the kids stay out of the tub!)
- getting a massage
- downloading a new song from iTunes
- taking a nap
- a new lip gloss, eye shadow, eye liner, etc.
- going for a walk
What’s your favourite non-food reward? Do you choose something that gives you alone time (like I do), or are you more of an extrovert? When do you use rewards?