Hi all! Brianna here!
Raise your hand if you are a reward-driven person! I don’t know about you, but personally, when I know there is a reward on the line, I am 100% more committed to earning said reward, especially if it’s something I really want. Today I want to chat about using rewards to help us celebrate milestones in your weight loss journey.
First, let’s talk about how to earn our rewards. There is of course the obvious one, which is rewarding ourselves for weight loss. Every 5 pounds a little something. Every 10 or 15 pounds a bigger something. While that is a completely acceptable way to reward yourself, I want to make sure that weight on the scale is not the only metric you use to decide to celebrate your progress. Yes, it can be incredibly motivating and rewarding to see the number on the scale go down, but there is so much more to this journey than that number.
My personal favorite reason to reward myself is for my consistency in a habit that will get me closer to my goals. For example, if I stick to all of my planned workouts for the month, get a certain number of steps two weeks in a row, or stay within my BITES budget all week long. Rewarding yourself for consistency rather than weight loss keeps all of the progress within your control, meaning you aren’t at the mercy of scale fluctuations (which are totally normal by the way) to earn your rewards for a job well done. Rewarding your habits, regardless of what the scale says, is a great way to ensure the new habits stick long term. Try it.
Next, let’s chat about what type of rewards you could earn. Obviously, this is different for everyone based on your personal preferences, but here’s one rule I stand by: do not reward yourself for progress in your weight loss journey with food that you’re otherwise restricting. For example, “Oh I lost weight this week therefore i can go to Cheesecake factory and eat whatever I want.” This mindset results in disordered eating behaviors and we don’t want that. If Cheesecake Factory is your jam, you should be learning how to work it into your program as you’re losing weight, but that’s a conversation for a different day.
Now, the loophole with food related rewards can be something that will help or enhance your journey. Are you a big coffee drinker? Maybe a smaller reward can be buying a bag of special coffee to treat yourself with and a bigger reward for a major milestone could be that Nespresso machine you’ve been wanting for a year. Another food reward that could enhance your journey might be a new protein powder you’ve been wanting to try. As a reward for getting in all of your workouts this month, how about treating yourself to a new workout outfit?
Of course, your rewards don’t have to be directly related to your journey either. Maybe you want to reward yourself with a new book, a luxury perfume or lip gloss, or even an experience like going to a museum or taking yourself to the movies. Whatever the rewards are, make sure they are rewards that drive you to want to continue to succeed.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that on a weight loss journey, losing the unwanted weight should be considered the ultimate reward all on its own, and while it is, for many of us, we need positive reinforcement more frequently than the fickle scale will sometimes grant us. Rewarding your consistency is one way I have helped cultivate the habits necessary to stay on this journey long term.