Weight Loss Support - Goal rewards vs. self-care

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08-10-2008, 01:21 PM
I'm approaching weight loss from the aspect that I need to take care of myself and show myself love and respect regardless of my weight, and taking care of my body is a form of showing myself love and respect. As such, over the past couple of weeks I've gone out and bought some nice clothes, new undergarments, nice bath supplies, a CD I wanted, etc. I've been making it a point to build some relaxation into my day. Over the past two weeks, I've lost two pounds. Not a huge weight loss, but it is a weight loss.

However, I haven't been able to come up with any rewards for mini goals or even for my ultimate goal. I get stuck on trying to figure out whether the reward I think of should be something I "earn" through weight loss or whether I should think of getting it or doing it as long as it fits into my budget, as a form of self-care regardless of my weight. Like, when I read about Bio Oil helping stretch marks, I thought that I would really like to try that. Then I thought that maybe I should use that as a reward for a mini goal. Then I thought that would fall under self-care, doing things to make myself look and feel good.

I'm just really feeling confused.

08-10-2008, 02:03 PM
I think it all depends on your personality. I had a few mini-goal rewards lined up, but they were all really hard to resist. I felt like I was doing something terrible to myself if I don't make the goal.

So now my goals are my rewards. I alternate mini and major shopping trips by every other size, rather than weight. Size 18 is a mini trip, and size 16 is a major trip. With these, I figure I'm a good enough seamstress to take in clothes on "off" sizes - I can belt my size 20 pants when I'm an 18, and take in shirts that are too baggy.

I have a necklace that I get to wear when we go out to celebrate my size 16 victory. Whenever I'm really down, I pull it out and remind myself of the awesome new wardrobe I'll have to go with it and how proud I'll be to wear it.

As far as self care, I don't think those should be denied if they fit into your budget. If you're having a really lousy day and feel like getting a facial or manicure or whatever will lift you're spirits, there's no reason to say that you can't have it because you haven't met some arbitrary goal. It will only sour your mood even more. Taking care of yourself is part of it, after all.

08-10-2008, 02:19 PM
Self care is good. Additional rewards at milestones motivate some people to continue when the going gets rough (or slow). I didn't use any rewards along the way except shopping trips for clothes (which I needed since I religiously donated any clothes that were to big for me immediately). I scheduled trips to second-hand stores as needed. Whenever I filled a bag of clothes to donate, I replaced it with more clothes. This worked well on several levels. It wasn't too expensive, I got new things (new to me), and wearing clothes that fit helped others notice my loss - which was very motivational for me.

My final goal was a complete new wardrobe (shopping spree at the outlet mall) which was purchased last weekend. It was the perfect goal for me.

08-10-2008, 02:49 PM
Weight loss is the easiest, most obvious change I have going on, but the truth is my real goals are health and a great life. I'm changing so many things. My eating and activity are a priority, because they have such a big bang for the buck.

But treating myself better in whatever ways I decide I should be - I incorporate those changes as often as I can. I can't do it instantly, because even good changes can be overwhelming. But a lot of things you've mentioned as rewards are things I would think of as things I should always be doing for myself! By happy coincidence, so many of these new things I *should* be doing *feel* like rewards :D.

So I haven't really been thinking in terms of rewards, just in terms of always trying to add more good things to my life ;). If I did reward, it would be for new habits, not numbers on the scale.

Apple Cheeks
08-10-2008, 02:49 PM
My rewards could be lumped in as self-care, but many of them are somewhat pricey and aren't something I would ordinarily buy for myself even though I would like to. A lot.:p

For instance, one of my favorite rewards for myself is buying new shoes. And I mean fabulous shoes--not just sneakers or flip flops.

I can always go out any time and just buy those shoes, of course, but I find it much more exciting and satisfying when I have met a goal and earned them. It's the thrill of anticipation while I browse through catalogues, waiting to reach my goal and finally order that special pair, that I love.

To me a weight loss reward is a treat. It's something that I probably wouldn't ordinarily buy due to cost, frivolity, or sheer decadence. (Do I really need another set of fashionable footwear? No....but it's a treat!)

The rewards are something I could realistically do without, but I really, really want and will work for. (A visit to a day spa, new shoes, a piece of jewelry, etc)

So it's up to you to decide what is a treat, and what is something you can't or won't put off buying.

If you are having trouble deciding what is a necessity for self-care, and what you would like to be a reward, make a list and look over it carefully. What on your list would you be able to go without completely, even though you might really want it? If your list is like mine, it will probably be most of the things you've written. Those items, then, would probably make fantastic rewards. ;)

08-12-2008, 01:46 AM
These are some interesting responses. Thanks.

08-12-2008, 03:07 AM
a lot of my personal self care has come from my weight loss....
its like before id make no effort to dress up to go into town....
or wear no makeup quicte frequently....
or not wash my hair as often....

the weight being shifted has brought a whole new me....
nowasays i wont go out unless i think i look ok....
i buy special bath creame to make my skin smooth....
i even do my nails more frequently!....

08-12-2008, 10:47 AM
I look on it as buying a gift and give it the same thought as if I were buying a gift for a friend.

08-12-2008, 03:35 PM
I try to look at my weight loss and exercise goals as a way of pampering, not depriving myself. While I'm on a tight budget, I "splurge" on some treats that are healthy, low calorie, but a little expensive. This may be a jewel case of fresh blackberries, or a large package of frozen shrimp.... But the day to day efforts of trying to make healthy changes can become monotonous (at least for me).

So, I created a "game" for myself. I made pages and pages of charts (that look a bit like a bingo card - four rows of five columns of squares. For one set, each square represents a pound lost. And I put a sticker in each square when I reach that weight. At the end of each row (5 lbs) I have a space to write a reward. These are usually very small things, with a $0 to $5 value. I usually don't just write "a paperback book," or an itunes download, because I might buy something like that "just because" making the reward nothing special. Instead, I write the specific title of the book or song. The "rule" is that once I write it down, I cannot buy that song or book (or check out from the library) until I lose those 5 lbs. Periodically, I choose a bigger reward (like for 50 lbs, I got an MP3 player for myself). My next bigger reward is a GPS unit for geocaching (since my hubby lost ours).

Because I don't have direct control over the weight, I also have a game that I have more direct control over. A similar chart for exercise. I give myself a sticker for every exercise session of at least 20 to 30 minutes of medium instensity (sweatin' and breathin' hard) or 45 minutes or more of low intensity.

My TOPS group also runs contests and incentives for weight loss and exercise. We're starting a new one that is TOPS wide. It's called "The President's challenge" and there are large prizes attached. I also recently joined a United Way walking challenge (I have to walk 160 miles by Christmas) for charity (a tshirt and pedometer are included with registration, but I haven't picked mine up yet). And I volunteer at the humane society walking dogs (at most centers, it's as simple as filling out a short application). I can't have a dog in our small apartment (we begged the landlord to be allowed a cat), so the humane society allows me to get in some doggy time. The geocaching, dogwalking.... for me exercise has to be fun or I don't do it. But the thing is "fun exercise" isn't exercise, it's "having a life." Being a person who has an active hobby, and does fun things. So often in the past, I put my life on hold, waiting to lose weight. Instead, I'm incorporating losing weight and improving my health INTO my life. I think it will be much more sustainable that way.

08-12-2008, 06:13 PM
kaplods, you have really cool ideas! Way to make losing weight not only a part of your day-to-day life, but making it fun too. Great motivation - I might try some of these.... :D

08-12-2008, 07:33 PM
Thank you. Though I chalk it up to having the mentality, patience, and attention span of an 11 to 13 year old.

Luckily, and quite disturbingly, I'm the "mature one" in the house, as we figure my husband is probably 8 or 9 (at best).

08-12-2008, 11:36 PM
Thank you. Though I chalk it up to having the mentality, patience, and attention span of an 11 to 13 year old.

Luckily, and quite disturbingly, I'm the "mature one" in the house, as we figure my husband is probably 8 or 9 (at best).

My soul sistah!! :lol3:

08-12-2008, 11:44 PM
When I told me 3 year old nephew that "Uncle David" loved cartoons and watched "Sponge Bob," and "Chowder" and many of the cartoons he and his 7 year old brother watch, Jayden's mouth dropped open, and he said, "but he's not even little."

I wish we were closer, to spoil the begeebies out of them.

08-12-2008, 11:50 PM
I have the same mentality about rewards. All of the stuff people recommended, like new nail polish, or a new cd, or book, or pair of jeans - are all stuff I'd give myself anyway - so even if I put it off until I reached a goal weight, it doesn't feel exciting. What I would do if I had more money, was plan a vacation for a year or so in the future. And every 10 lbs, I'd buy something to go with that vacation. For the big milestone weight "25" "50" what have you, I'd book the big stuff. An excursion. The airplane tickets. The hotel room. And for the little stuff "5", I'd get a new outfit, or a new travel book on where ever I decided to go.

I have a HUGE phobia of driving. And as it turns out, my boyfriend and I are planning on getting an apartment next April. So what he's doing is, if I spend x amount of hours per week driving, I'm allowed to buy one thing for our apartment. That way, we're still getting stuff that I'm not used to buying, and it's something for the future that we'll use. Because it's something I wouldn't normally buy for myself (like a set of dishes, or queen size sheets since I'm in the dorms) they feel more like treats.

I still haven't found a good reward for weight loss yet though. I was thinking lingerie, or new snow boots - but those, again, are all things I don't want to deprive myself of, and they wouldn't feel like a real treat either. :/ Maybe I just spoil myself too much too often. ;)

08-13-2008, 12:23 AM
Maybe have some professional pictures taken of yourself when you get to your goal weight-you can usually find a photographer in training that will do it for a good price.

Maybe go for a whole new hair do- I'm not at goal weight but, I'm not far off and I chopped over nine inches off my hair and it made me feel so refreshed, sort of like a huge part of the old me was gone and I loved it.

Treat yourself to a day at the spa-the works, massage, nails, hair, facial.

08-13-2008, 12:41 AM
I do periodic splurging anyway, but for me, that's why the writing it down is so important, and the "can't buy it until I hit THAT goal" rule. It makes that little treat more important than all the impusle purchases I could do for "no reason."

It's the game, not the actual reward that has the value. It's sort of like geocaching (love it) the search for the treasure is the fun part - the actual reward is just a trophy (and usually a pretty silly one). Walking for me, seems so "pointless" that I give up too easily if there's not a purpose or reward in it (no matter how small or silly).

In geocaching, you know that the treasure you find is not going to be worth anything, and nothing in the treasure box is something you would waste money on to actually buy for yourself. It's the hunt, that's the fun part and the trinket (key chains, state quarters, plastic animals, MardisGras beads, erasers, plastic compases....) you choose is just a memento or souvenier of the event.