End of Week 17 – Reward Yourself!

Report: Weigh-in date Friday September 14, 2012.  Weight 274.0.  Down 2.0.  Total loss at the end of 17 weeks, 26 pounds.  I’m averaging just over 1.5 pounds lost per week.  Most of what I’ve read about losing weight says that rate is just about perfect.  I just hope it keeps up!

 

There’s something about breaking through that first 25 pounds.  There’s a sense of accomplishment; not sure why.  I certainly have a long way to go, but now, when asked, I can say, “I’ve lost 26 pounds,” and mean it – no fudging, no rounding. 

When I saw my weight Friday I wanted to reward myself somehow.  Of course, the first thing that came to mind was forbidden food.  That will never do.  I don’t want to get into the habit of lapsing into old ways of eating as a reward.  That would defeat the purpose of trying to change my lifestyle.  It would make the self-developed plan I’m on seem like punishment, when I’m really trying to develop better habits.

Ok, in all honesty, I suppose the plan is a type of punishment.  Punishment for spending so much time eating too much and not moving enough.  However, I don’t feel like it is punishment.  I’m not overly hungry between meals and the food I eat is balanced, nutritious and tastes good.  I’m at the point where if I don’t go to the gym, I miss it.  It is no longer a struggle getting there in the morning.  This is a plan that will work as a permanent lifestyle once I get to the point of maintenance.

Ok, so I don’t want to eat as a reward.  What else can I do?  What else could be a reward?

I had my usual Saturday errands to run, so I went to the new bookstore in town and bought a couple of books.  I love bookstores.  This one is called Acorn Books.  It is the only retail bookstore in our county.  It just opened and I highly recommend it.  It was a real treat to go in, browse, and buy.

Next I went to an optical store and ordered new sunglasses.  Then I went to the mall and got my hair trimmed.  Books, new glasses and a haircut – at that point I felt I had done something for myself; I felt rewarded, and none of it made me gain any weight!

I was lucky I had the budget for these things at this time.  I often don’t.  How can we reward ourselves when spending money is not an option?

The most obvious way is to give yourself some time to do something you like.  Go to a favorite outdoors spot and take a long walk.  Or, take a book and read in the fresh air.  If you can afford the gas and the time, take a short trip to visit a relative or friend you haven’t seen in a while.  Put your feet up and listen to some favorite music for an afternoon.  You’ve worked hard to lose that weight.  You deserve to relax.

There is also something to be said for delayed gratification.  Shoot, our whole plan revolves around waiting for good things to happen.  If you can’t spend money on yourself right now, make a plan for a time when you know you will have the money, but don’t put it off too long.

Finally, share your good news with a diet buddy or someone else who supports you in this monumental effort.  If you can’t do anything else for yourself, at least let yourself hear some compliments about what you have accomplished! 

Two of my diet buddies have been on vacation.  I’ve missed them.  Telling them about losing two more pounds will be more of a reward than all the stuff I did today.

Until next week….

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