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Old 02-09-2010, 11:26 AM   #1  
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Red face Reward for poor people

Every time I hear people saying we deserve reward ourselves every time we reach a goal, they explain how it should not be with food... and then they give you examples:
Most common ones:
Go shopping: get a new pair of shoes, new outfit, new purse, etc...
Get a pedicure/manicure; a day at the spa, massage, etc...
Go to the movies, drive-ins, etc...

Well, since when became skinny means you now have more $$$
They talk like because you lost weight now you have more $$$ to spend and spoil yourself more often...
Helloooo, I still poor!
That is why sometimes is so hard for us to find some motivation to keep going... It is so much cheaper to reward ourselves with treats=food. A piece of cake, a hot chocolate, a chocolate bar, etc...
The less than $5 reward is so much more realistic...
My point is: besides all the work to get the weight off, we (poor people) have a hard time to find something to reward ourselves with...
Specially now, during the summer when the snow is everywhere and we canít be outside.
Life is just not fair at all...

PS: I am reading this book that gives you an example of a guy who gift himself with a Ferrari after he reaches his goal, and how awesome was for him to keep focus because he want forever fit in his new carís seat...
Helllllooooo.... how many of us (thin or fat) can afford a Ferrari???
Sorry, just had to vent a bit. Had a tough weekend foodwise and now I have to get back on track and I am trying to get focus.
Maybe if I had an idea of a reward that I could afford would give me some motivation....
All ideas are welcomed!!!
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:46 AM   #2  
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Just extra time for myself is more than enough reward I have 3 kids so when my DH brought up the idea for that then I totally took the bait!

If you want a specific item like a manicure/pedicure make a bigger goal and put the money away that you would spend on a smaller goal (like if you are budgeting $5 for that put it in a jar with a picture of your goal on the outside).
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:05 PM   #3  
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I'm pretty poor. Last year I made and lived on about 7,000, with rent. I'm also in school preparing for a better job. In nine months when I graduate, my ultimate reward will be to be "at goal" and to feel that I present a good image to potential employers. I want to look and feel good.

Little rewards are easy for us poverty stricken hoi-palloy. We enjoy shoes and clothes too. Hunting and finding out sources of nice but cheap things is really part of my gig now. As rewards, I buy used books and CD's online, or get new shoes at payless, or a new hoodie at wallmart. In fact, this afternoon I plan on going to the used CD shop and browsing. I'll probably spend 3-4 dollars there. I have also found neat things at garage sales, and thrift stores. I have 2 dogs and reward myself with a nice car ride (gas costs) and then walk in a nearby nature preserve or the dog walk, sometimes downtown. Walking the dogs through a nature area is like a little mini-vacation. Sometimes I take my lunch and walk for as much as 4 hours.

I treat myself with food-- real food, not sugar made by factories. Recently I indulged in asperagus which was between 2 and 3 dollars a bunch. Expensive! I buy fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh meat. I try new things, like I had some blood oranges last week, some tangelos this week. To me, fruit is my chocolate. I enjoy chocolate, but I prefer to have hot coacoa rather than a chocolate bar, and I can get sugarless at a low price.

I know poor people with fancy cars-- you can get them at auto auctions. My land lord went to California to visit a friend and came back with a very nice used Miata convertable. We dive around wearing sunglasses, me with my Italian Greyhound on my lap-- I'll bet people who see us think we are rich. It's all about class, and style, not wealth.

Last edited by giselley; 02-09-2010 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:21 PM   #4  
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For under five dollars, I could buy - a new lipstick or nail polish or maybe a body lotion at the drug store, a bunch of flowers for my table, a new belt, a pretty barrette or headband for my hair, a nice bar of oatmeal soap or some other soap I like at the health food store, a used (or sometimes new) exercise DVD for my collection, a book or magazine that I'd like to read...

Also, a regular manicure with no fake nails involved costs just 7 dollars where I live. I realize this may not be the case everywhere...but......its a nice treat for 7 bucks if you can get it.

Or spending the time on yourself doing something you like, as someone else said.

Some time shopping alone if you usually bring your kids...a day trip somewhere that you like to go... a trip to a flea market...a museum...a free with a friend you haven't seen in a while.
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:02 PM   #5  
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I don't have much money either. For $5 you CAN find rewards for yourself. For example, Walmart has movies for $5 that are pretty good (I LOVE movies!!). Or Blockbuster will have used movies on sale for the same price. Make-up is also a nice reward-and cheap.

Shopping at TJ Maxx and Marshall's I can find tops and bottoms on sale for $5. Maybe $7. It's all about bargain hunting! I don't like to spend money. It makes me sad. Lol. Cause then I don't have it anymore! So for me, doing things cheap is rewarding in itself. I don't know. Just saying I feel you on the no money thing-but that you can reward yourself on the cheap. You just have to work a little harder at it!
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:43 PM   #6  
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There are so many free and cheap rewards that every one is limited only by their imagination.

It's important though not to strip your life of rewards in order to reward only weight loss. I think it's an error that many folks (regardless of income) make. If you have to earn every nice thing you do for yourself, you'll drive yourself insane.

Mindset is a huge component of success or failure.

I've been raised and taught to see weight loss efforts as inherently punishing. I think it's an idea that is still taught and encouraged today. Dieting is a necessary evil. If it isn't horrifically unpleasant, you're probably doing it wrong. If it isn't your first and/or only priority - you're probably doing it wrong. If you're having any fun that isn't a direct reward of a large weight loss you're probably doing it wrong. (And perhaps not even then. Maybe only when you reach goal weight are you entitled to enjoy yourself).

It took me decades to escape that mindset, and it's still a trap I can easily be pulled back into, because those messages are still there (and not just in my own mind). It's still a message that I see and hear, directly and indirectly online, on tv, radio, in magazines, in the comments of friends, relatives, and strangers.

Fat or not, you're entitled to a life - and all that entails. Putting your life on hold usually only makes the situation worse (because as you withdraw from all the potential rewards that a normal life offers, food can easily become your only remaining source of pleasure).

Not every aspect of weight loss is fun and exciting, and that's ok. I don't brush my teeth because it's fun and exciting. But I also don't punish myself if I forget to brush my teeth. Nor do I decide that because I forgot that I'll never brush my teeth again, because what's the use. Or hey, maybe I'll just knock all my teeth out so I don't have to brush them ever again.

Yet, we do that all the time with weight loss and eating healthy. I ate too much at breakfast, well I might as well eat as much as I can force into myself for the rest of the day, and start over tomorrow, Monday, next month (or never, because what's the use, I'll always be fat anyway).

These aren't "natural" messages. These are messages we've learned by watching other people try to lose weight. It's embedded in our culture. Positive, healthy role-models for permanent weight-loss are rare, so it takes some swimming upstream to find a healthier way.

Eating healthy does not have to be a deprivation (it doesn't even have to be expensive, though it's a challenge to do cheaply).

Rewards can be anywhere and everywhere. Eating healthier can be fun and exciting (it isn't always, but it can often be).

Choosing to "splurge" on a piece of exotic fruit (or even not-so-exotic. Spending the extra time/effort and sometimes cash to learn which apple varieties I like the best, and maybe paying an extra .25 per pound to get them).

It doesn't have to be about spending money, and it doesn't have to be formal rewards. Just a mindset change can be motivating. Looking at healthy behaviors as a way to reward (NOT PUNISH) myself. Creating my own weight loss spa retreat in my own life.

Seeking out healthy treats I can afford, even if that takes me to unusual places. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I found a couple really fun treats for myself in asian groceries: Nori snacks (strips of crispy seaweed in teriyaki, hot and spicy, and salted flavors), sardines in chili and curry sauces (only 99 cents per can).

Speaking of cup of tea - flavored teas another inexpensive indulgence. I wasn't much of a hot tea drinker, but I like slightly sweetened ice tea (I had to teach myself to like ice tea by making a pitcher of half Crystal Light and half ice tea, and gradually reducing the amount of Crystal Light in the beverage).

Dieting doesn't have to be horrible, and I think because it does end up being like brushing your teeth or showering (something you'll do for a lifetime) you've got to find a way to make it not horrible. If you can make it fun, even better.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:17 PM   #7  
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The Dollar General Store has inexpensive items. Goodwill or thrift stores have some really great finds sometimes. My daughters love to look there, even if it's just a cool T-shirt to wear while exercising. A lovely bubble bath is a nice treat. How about a new haircut - there's some pretty cheap places for that. When I was a poor student, I used to go to a beauty school for my haircuts. They also do manicures there pretty cheap. Used book stores are nice if you like to read. Matinee movies are pretty cheap here. I love to getaway in a great movie. Lots of great ideas in these responses!
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:31 PM   #8  
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I'm rewarding myself with stuff i kinda need anyways. Like right now I REALLY need a hair cut. I can get it when I reach 50 lbs lost. At 25 lbs lost I got myself a new work pants, that I really needed anyway for job interviewing. Pick something you'll have to spend the money on anyways and tell yourself you have to reach your next goal to get it!
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:31 PM   #9  
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I use a good, long, hot soak in the bathtub as a reward. Sometimes I might add music or candles.
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:02 AM   #10  
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i agree with the long hot bath. usually my little extra splurge will be a magazine to go along with it. and hey- i can do my own nails for free at home, which is a treat for me.

i think that the concept of rewards for weight loss is about putting time into appreciating yourself and what you can accomplish more then about stuff.

A date with yourself is nice! take some time to relax and do something you enjoy- reading, watching a favorite tv show. For me- I have a real hard time with my time off just not doing anything. I always feel like i should be cleaning, cooking, doing some sort of household drudgery... so a reward for me is just not doing anything!
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Old 02-10-2010, 04:11 AM   #11  
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You know I just started this weight loss program I am doing and while we aren't poverty poor I have nothing new. Everything is second hand because we have just enough to pay our bills and that is it. We don't even live in a decent place, our (given to us) trailer is falling apart and we don't have the good credit to move. So I feel you. I decided that for every four dress sizes I would go buy three new BUT CHEAP outfits. That means Walmart Jeans and T-shirts lol. Once I get down to a size 14 I am going to buy me a dress (from the thrift store) as I haven't worn one in forever doue to my weight. This Summer I want to fit in a decent sized swimming suit so if I can get to even half my goal weight I'll buy myself a new swimming suit (again at walmart.)
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:07 AM   #12  
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I'm a college student so believe me when I say I understand poor. When I am trying to treat myself I like to go hunt around the Goodwill or other thrift stores. It is amazing what you can find for $5, usually the one near our place has really good shoes, my weakness.
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:02 PM   #13  
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kaplods originally posted Not every aspect of weight loss is fun and exciting, and that's ok. I don't brush my teeth because it's fun and exciting. But I also don't punish myself if I forget to brush my teeth. Nor do I decide that because I forgot that I'll never brush my teeth again, because what's the use. Or hey, maybe I'll just knock all my teeth out so I don't have to brush them ever again.

Colleen, that is hilarious and such a good description of what we do to ourselves. I will be stealing this illustration to use!
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:14 PM   #14  
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This is a GREAT thread with so many good suggestions! Personally, I prefer to indulge in the smaller things. Instead of getting regular hand soap for the house, I'll buy a scent that smells good. I enjoy painting my nails, so I'll take an hour or so and do a self-manicure - hey, it's not as good as the salon, but I'm getting better. I'll eat breakfast out on the porch on a saturday morning with music on. I'll watch a movie that is one of my favorites. I buy a fruit I haven't had in a while (I LOVE fruit).

Besides, it seems like the smaller things make me happier to do than some of the big things.
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:55 PM   #15  
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Originally Posted by rachiebach View Post
Shopping at TJ Maxx and Marshall's I can find tops and bottoms on sale for $5. Maybe $7. It's all about bargain hunting!
I was thinking along these lines too. Or if you have decent thrift shops in your area, shop there. You might find a lot more options in a smaller size. Or heck, just go into a store and try on clothes in your new smaller size! It can be an awesome self-esteem booster to see how great you look, even if you don't end up buying the clothes!

For me, it will be a wonderful, FREE, reward to be able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes again, which I have saved under my bed and in the garage. And in addition to getting a free wardrobe, I'll get all the space back from storing all that stuff and getting rid of my fat clothes!
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