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The importance of rewards

Looking better and feeling better about yourself are definitely incentives for losing weight.  However, losing weight takes a lot of hard work, discipline, and sacrifice… and it is important to reward yourself for your efforts so you don’t end up feeling deprived and/or resentful from all the sacrifices you need to make to lose weight.  Rewards can be small or big, and can even be free.  For example, for busy people, taking 1 hour out of your day to sit and read a book in the shade would be a real treat.  Having your spouse take care of your kiddos while you take a long bath, go on a leisurely walk, or spend time with a friend  can also be a special and low-cost reward. I personally think it is a great idea to indulge in one of these low-cost or free rewards each week if you lose any amount of weight.  Even if you only lose 0.2 pounds, the scale is going down, and that is a really good thing!

For bigger milestones (i.e. 5 pounds lost, 10 pounds lost, etc), bigger incentives should come in play ( if your budget allows for it).  I did some poking around on the internet and also got some great ideas from my Weigh 2 Go! meetings for rewards (both big and small).  Here they are:

  • Massage or other spa treatement
  • Manicure and/or pedicure (alone or with your friends)
  • Try some new activity you’ve always wanted to try (i.e. stand-up paddling, skiing, surfing, horseback riding, rock climbing, etc.)
  • Buy a new exercise outfit that makes you feel and look good, which will in turn  provide an incentive to keep up your workouts!
  • Candles
  • Expensive pair of jeans you’ve had your eyes on…
  • New lipstick or make-up. Get a makeover at the make-up counter at the department store!
  • Fun jewelry or another accessory
  • New book release or shop for yourself off of your Amazon wishlist
  • Go see a movie with a friend (maybe a chick flick your significant other wouldn’t want to see)
  • Get a new haircut
  • New shoes
  • Get some new fitness gear (i.e. treadmill, heartrate monitor, new ipod, etc)
  • Get a new kitchen gadget like a fancy veggie slicer or an indoor grill.
  • Buy a new CD or new workout music, which will keep your workouts more fun!
  • Schedule a session with a personal trainer
  • Go away for a skiing, yoga, or spa weekend.

The  most important thing is that you actually follow-through with your intended award. It is really common for people to get too busy to follow-through with their plans, or think that they don’t yet deserve a reward for their efforts.  I highly recommend sharing your plan for a reward with your friends and/or spouse. That way, they can encourage you and hold you accountable to  actually follow-through with your reward!

Have another idea for a way to reward weight loss? Share it here at happydieter.com!  We would love to hear from you.

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