Updated: Feb 14
Rewarding your efforts is a crucial part of this weight loss process. This works on a cognitive level and studies prove that by providing incentives, we're much more likely to achieve our goals. An example of this is to buy a beautiful outfit that sparks happiness in you, that's slightly too small. That way you will work towards putting it on and feeling confident and comfortable in it.
By rewarding yourself for eating well, exercising, practising stress management techniques, getting to bed at a reasonable hour etc., your brain elicits positive emotions. This trains your brain to believe that your efforts result in a positive reward. By doing this continuously, your brain will start to link pleasure to doing the thing and move towards it in the future. Eventually you'll no longer need to reward yourself because the action will be a reward in itself and it will have become a part of your healthy habits.
When people like Tony Robbins talk about rewards, they believe that every time you complete a task towards your goal, you should reward yourself. They talk about this being a physical reward. However, having a physical reward for every healthy step you take, is almost too much. Try giving yourself a mental pat-on-the-back, a positive thought, complimenting yourself, or congratulating yourself on a great workout. And start scheduling in some time for yourself for an hour once a week, for a physical reward. Because, with all your hard work, your mind and body could use a little love!
Here's some rewards that support your weight loss:
Get a facial, wax, mani/pedi or other beauty treatment (or DIY)
Take a class or workshop
Go bowling, go-karting, golfing, mini putt-putt, indoor rockclimbing, dancing etc.
Buy a new book or magazine and chill out
Buy a new workout outfit, shoes, equipment or water bottle
Make something from one of your Pinterest boards
Plan a holiday, or even better, get away for the weekend
Attend a sports game or event, a live band or local performance
Go for a hike, a walk in the park or on the beach
Get a massage or go for a haircut
Start a garden, go fishing or camping to get back to nature
Get someone to take some beautiful photos of you
Take a day trip and check out the sights around your city, or a surrounding town
Go for a swim, lounge by the pool or beach - getting some vitamin D
Go to a comedy club, improv performance, or open mic night
Buy yourself flowers, a piece of artwork or decor for your place
Learn a new skill or sport
Can you think of any others that would encourage your progress and therefore, weight loss success? Finding new ways to reward yourself that don't include food, is a huge step; one that I had to learn. And once I did, I learnt that I couldn't find true and deep happiness and purpose in food. It may be a source of joy - creating it, eating it, sharing it - but it will not be long-lasting if there are others voids in your life.