Last night at book club, we were talking about food rewards a little bit, and I felt compelled to come straight home and write down some thoughts on the topic. I think this is something worth thinking about since I see it often when speaking with people about their health changes. Many people are trying to lose weight, stick to a rigid regime, exercise routine, etc. I have heard many times “I did so good for 30 days, so I wanted to treat myself to chocolate cake.” Or “I did so good this week, so I am rewarding myself with mac and cheese. Mmmmm.”
I’m going to be a bad guy here and force you to think about what you are saying. If your child came home with a straight A report card, would you REWARD him or her with the next 3 school days off?! I hope the answer is “no.” But why not? That’s where the answer is…because you want to FOSTER the behavior that keeps your child liking and doing well in school, not tempting them with how nice it is to have summer break in the middle of the year! So, instead, you may reward them with something that will continue to encourage their journey. Maybe they’ve wanted a special backpack, or new shoes for basketball, or a kindle. The last thing on the list you would REWARD them with is days off of school. So why would you REWARD yourself with bad food if the journey you want to foster is a healthy lifestyle? Just something to think about….
Instead of rewarding my hard work with McDonald’s or ice cream, or a big bowl of my former favorite pasta, I like to reward myself with things to enhance my journey, taste amazing, and make me smile…and make me feel like “this is exactly why I put in all the hard work.”
I often use things that are NOT food, like massages or new workout clothes, any new kitchen gadget I have been stalking on amazon, or a new cookbook. BUT…when I reward myself with food, these are the top of my list:
1. Some grassfed filet mignon! My favorite!
2. A container of Coconut Bliss Ice Cream from Whole Foods…any flavor will do because they are all amazing!
3. Some expensive wine
4. Fancy chocolate…like this Mast Brothers Chocolate
5. Exotic coffee….’cus I’m obsessed with coffee.