Weighty Matters

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Reward System

on July 25, 2012

I still haven’t decided what nice thing I’m going to do for myself as reward and recognition for my 100 pound/six month milestone.   I’ve been considering the matter on and off all day.  You all had some good suggestions, but some of them I already do pretty regularly.  I get a manicure every two weeks, a pedicure every month, and facials several times a year.  That’s not to say that I can’t retreat myself with more spa services and that option is definitely under consideration.

I’ve also bought fresh flowers every couple of weeks.  I love them and they make me happy.  Right now I have the last two blooms from some truly glorious stargazer lillies open in front of me, perfuming the air.

The nail treatments and facials are rewarding, but I also consider them essential treatments.  Seriously.  When you live in a hot climate and wear sandals 355 days of the year, it’s really important to keep your feet in good shape and also looking nice.  Right?  As for the facials, well, I have pretty good skin and since I’m soon going to transition from my early 50s to my upper 50s, I’d like to keep it in good condition for as long as possible.  😉

So, I’m pondering other reward options.

This is a somewhat unfamiliar experience for me because, not surprisingly, I have a long history of rewarding myself with food.   A memory flashed into my head earlier today of the last time I lost 100 pounds when I was on a medically supervised diet.  For pretty much a full year, I lived on 9 ounces of protein — mostly chicken and turkey — and a cup of salad a day.   I think I eat more spread out over a day now, even with my tiny stomach, than I did on that highly restrictive plan.  I do not know how I managed to sustain that effort for as long as I did!  Anyway, I had to go to the weight loss center three times a week for weighing and monitoring.  Today I remembered that after the successful Friday weigh-in, I would reward myself with a bagel!

On past diets, I’d pick certain success points and when I reached them, I’d celebrate by allowing myself a cheat.  They were often huge cheats — like a milkshake or an ice cream sundae.  Usually some super high calorie, super rich food.  Afterward, if I was lucky, I’d get back on the diet wagon.  Often, I’d just bomb out completely and eventually put the weight back on.  In the end what was intended to be a reward ended up leading to self-sabotage.

It’s past time to improve my mindset and find different, effective rewards.

I suppose the argument could be made that sticking to my healthy lifestyle of eating should be a reward in and of itself.  It is.  Living well is a terrific reward, and so are all of the wonderful changes I’ve experienced.  However, I don’t see anything wrong with truly celebrating a big milestone.  It’s not like I’m looking for the grand gesture every five pounds.

I don’t need to justify positively reinforcing myself.  I just want to do it in a way that doesn’t involve eating off of my plan.  Instead, I’m leaning toward a little splurge — like some new earrings perhaps.  Nothing wildly expensive, just a pair that I find pretty and will enjoy wearing.

As it happens, I need to visit my favorite local jeweler to pick up the chain they repaired for me.   Perhaps when I casually peruse their display cases, I’ll find the perfect reward.  Wish me luck!

8 responses to “Reward System

  1. hoperoth says:

    I know you’re not a shoe person, otherwise I’d suggest shoes! Jewelry sounds like a great option.

  2. Skye says:

    I think jewelry is always a nice treat, as is a piece of clothing or a new mug. It sounds like you get yourself pretty much what you want; do you have an e-reader? That would be a good reward. Those are my suggestions. I hope you find a pretty piece of jewelry!

    • Mary Stella says:

      I LOVE my Kindle. I try to treat myself well, within budgetary reason. If I find a pair of earrings, I will post a picture. Still need to get a friend to take one of me at my 100 pound milestone!

  3. pinkpelican says:

    I’m also at kind of a loss on rewards for big milestones. My first thought tends to be towards a really nice dinner at an especially nice restaurant, which is cool in that it’s not the “face first into a pan of brownies” kind of “reward”, but it is still food based.

    I tend to do things like manicures, pedicures, visits to the hair stylist, etc. as the budget and my schedule allow, so those don’t seem like special rewards. In fact, my husband and I tend to do fun or special things when the budget, schedule and opportunity all intersect.

    I do have an idea of something I want to do when I stabilize at whatever my “final” or “goal” weight will be, but it involves putting some money aside. I have two wedding rings, both of which are too big (as I’ve lost weight). I’m now wearing one of my grandmother-in-law’s wedding rings. I have several wedding/engagement rings from my husband’s side of the family and from mine. I’m thinking of selecting several of those rings, taking them to a jeweler, & having him/her design a wedding suite (band, engagement ring, & possibly earrings) that can combine the different metals & gemstones into something unique; a wedding suite designed uniquely for me, made from the loving tokens of both sides our families. Not only would it be a big reward, it would be a reminder of the biggest reason I took this journey — my desire for a long, healthy life with my beloved, one not cut short by preventable illness; as well as a motivation to maintain the healthy life style — so I don’t gain back the weight, because then my rings wouldn’t fit anymore.

    In the meantime, I’m thinking when I reach my “under 200#” goal, which looks like it should happen hopefully in the next month to 6 weeks or so, I’m going to get my ears pierced again – it’s been 20 years or so since my original piercings closed up. That opens the way for pretty earrings.

    So many of the things that are non-food rewards seem to involve a fair amount of money, though. Grin. I would love to travel, but finding the time & money can be a challenge. I do like the idea of using bucket list items as rewards. I’ve always wanted to go up in a hot air balloon; although my beloved wouldn’t be with me (he has issues with heights, which I find amusing for a guy who is 6’6″), it would still be an amazing experience.

    Best of luck in figuring out how you plan to celebrate your achievements!

    • pinkpelican says:

      I also just thought of something else I want to do as a reward — I want to get a professional photo portrait of myself & my beloved. Something done by a gifted photographer who will find just the right image of us both.

      Apparently I have a lot more ideas than I realized I did. Thanks for posting this. I’ve been thinking off and on, and apparently just needed the catalyst. Here’s DEFINITELY hoping you get some excellent ideas … I’m certainly all excited now. Grin.

      • Mary Stella says:

        As one who has “repurposed” jewelry in the past and had something newly fabulous created, I wholeheartedly support this idea!

        I also love the idea of you and your beloved having a professional portrat session. What a wonderful way to show what you achieved.

  4. Mary says:

    I think jewelry is a nice idea. Every time you wear the earrings you can remember your success.

    I recently read an article about money and happiness. After a certain point of financial stability, money brought the most happiness to people when spent on experiences, not things. You could consider doing something from your weight-loss bucket list. Is there something you’d like to do?


    • Mary Stella says:

      There are several things on my promise list, but I’m not quite where I want/need to be to do them. I’m looking forward to them in the future as I continue to lose weight. Hmm. Perhaps I can add to the promise list with something that’s current-weight-appropriate. Good thought. Thanks!

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