Weight loss, especially healthy, sustained weight loss, is more like a marathon than a sprint. It takes time, patience and a whole lot of effort to get to that finish line.
Think about it this way; it may have taken many months, even years to put that weight on, so it’s only reasonable to expect that it will take some time to wave it farewell for good.
The problem is however that we often expect instant results. When we decide to commit to a weight loss and healthy eating plan or a lifestyle overhaul, we get caught up in the excitement and anticipation of what’s to come. This first flush of motivation usually carries us through those first few, difficult weeks, but as time goes on, the excitement can diminish somewhat and if we’re not seeing the results or numbers that we were hoping for, motivation levels can dip to dangerously low levels.
While we can’t change how fast you lose weight (remember, Lose Baby Weight isn’t a short term, fad diet type plan, we’re aiming for healthy, sustained weight loss that stays off for the long term), we can help keep you inspired and motivated for as long as it takes you to reach your goal.
People find motivation in different places but a system of rewards is one strategy that appears to work for a large majority of people. It is human nature to enjoy rewarding ourselves for a job well done. We learn this behaviour very early on in life, usually as toddlers and it is only reinforced when we start school. Our minds become wired to see the reward at the end of the hard slog.
The only issue with this, especially if you’ve relied on food for a long time, is that rewards often equal calorific treats in today’s society. Whether it’s a decadent slice of cake or a large glass of wine at the end of an especially harrowing day, we’re almost hardwired to look to food to soothe and placate ourselves.
This can make it hard to implement a reward system when trying to lose weight as we don’t want to reward weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes with the very thing we’re trying to cut back on. While the occasional treat is absolutely fine, falling into a pattern where every kilogram lost is rewarded with a caramel slice isn’t going to make for great results!
The good news? Non food based rewards work just as well, possibly even better as they tend to have longer lasting, more memorable results that you can call upon when you’re finding things tough. How often do you remember eating a piece of cake? I’m guessing not all that regularly? A gorgeous facial or long soak in a hot bath however will generally be a much stronger and more potent memory of celebrating success.
5 non food reward ideas
- Treat yourself to a professional manicure or pedicure. Pick up a copy of the latest weekly magazine, sip your favourite hot drink and sit back and relax while the experts take care of your tired tootsies or neglected hands.
- Buy a coffee or delish tea blend from your favourite coffee shop…and drink the whole thing. If you’re like me, you often make your hot drinks at home or pick one up from wherever you happen to be. I also struggle to finish my cup most of the time as distractions always arise. Paying a visit to your favourite cafe for your favourite blend and savouring the whole thing is a well deserved treat and while coffee and tea are technically ‘food’, they sit very low on the calorie table.
- Enjoy a hot bath – While baths may not be for everyone, if you’re suffering sore muscles after your newly implemented exercise routine has started to take effect, soaking in the tub can be a God send. If you’re really feeling decadent, light a few candles and maybe add a few drops of your favourite bath oil or soak to the water before hopping in.
- Catch up on some reading – When you’re a mum, finding time to pick up a magazine, favourite book or surf your favourite websites is rare. Ask your partner to watch the little ones for 45 minutes, slip off your shoes, close the door and relax with your favourite.
- DIY pampering – Your skin is probably flushed with a healthy glow from your new eating habits but if it’s looking a little less than rosy, a face mask is a great instant pick me up. Likewise, a sea-salt or sugar based body scrub will leave your arms, legs and torso looking and feeling soft and smooth. Take the time to really work in the scrub or paint on the mask then relax while it takes effect. You’ve earned it!