Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Creating Rewards for My Fit Journey

I want to share some of the good stuff... the bits and tidbits that help me stay motivated and on target.... Little things I've learned on this fit journey.
I'll warn you... I believe I've crossed the line in this My Fit Journey series to the point of oversharing.
If you love a good "over share", then grab your coffee and enjoy!
[Need a quick catch up? Click for all the Fit Journey Posts.]

To start with- I'm a goal oriented person. I love crossing things of my To Do List. I also love getting gifts. I quickly found one of the greatest motivators for me was Rewards.
Oh yes, you heard me.
Rewarding myself.
Not with food.
Never with food.
Okay... not never. But make it a seriously rare occasion.... there was that one time Sam and I went biking and stopped for ice cream and I basically used up every calorie I burned off with a chocolate chip cookie dough waffle cone.
I'll say this- it was worth it. *wink*

After those first fourteen weeks of this journey-- when I felt I was going nowhere fast.... I created a reward system for myself for every five pounds lost and for certain milestones.
Five pound rewards being smaller than milestone ones but very effective in keeping me keepin' on. In the beginning it was all about the milestones... we had to get this party started after all.
First 10# loss: a beautiful dress I'd found from Lands End (one size smaller than I was currently wearing)
15# lost: amazing black shoes to go with that dress
Hitting 159# (a weight I hadn't seen since a few months after having The Boy): another beautiful dress from Land's End
My 159# dress
>>> Side Note: I'd like to mention that I ordered these two dresses when I got serious about this journey back in May. They were on sale and I splurged. I hung them in my closet and would look at them often and tell myself- "that's my 10# dress, that's my 159# dress. I will wear it this summer!" For some women it's a bathing suit they want to fit into, for me it was a dress. Due to my ahem... gut.... I've avoided wearing dresses, especially form fitting dresses for years. YEARS.
(And these dresses had pockets! Oh for the love!!!)

One of my 5# goals: new workout clothes
Another 5#: set of 8 pound weights
Another 5#: awesome hair cut
When I hit 149# it was a custom Farmgirl Paints leather cuff. That cuff sat on my dresser, wrapped all pretty, for about 4 weeks before I was able to make that goal and wear it.
I was tough on myself, I would wait until I'd spent three days at that certain goal before I'd believe it was really real and then I'd enjoy my reward.
I had a friend say to me: Honey just put on the cuff and wear it. And I smiled and told her I just couldn't do it until I hit that goal. I was focused!

Now you may have noticed- my rewards are totally me-focused and mostly about clothing.... which at the time was quite comical to me because when it comes to clothes and such necessities for myself- I've always put myself on the back burner. Last one to get new shoes or winter boots etc. (In fact, up until one of my 5# rewards, I hadn't had real winter boots in about eight years! Somebody else is always in need of boots around here and, ahem, I wasn't going outside to do much in the winter.) I will tell you this- in the last ten + years, in more ways than just my weight, I've been pretty awful about self-care. Now don't get me wrong- I've always enjoyed looking good and dressing nice, but honestly, it had become quite the mental struggle for me. I found clothes shopping for myself to be a real trial and in no way enjoyable.
So- these goals were not just about "rewards" and tangible gifts to myself but also about telling myself I matter. This was a weird concept for me in some ways... 

I am always practical. By the end of August, I was down twenty pounds and it was very apparent that my clothes weren't just not fitting, they were ill-fitting. So I made my weight rewards about updating my closet. Self-care. I'm not good about regular hair cuts. I hate to admit it, but I get a hair cut on average, once a year. Gasp! I know. So a good hair cut went on my list. And I decided to try a new hair cut... something bolder than my norm. I wanted something that fit with the new ways I was feeling about myself.

Let me say this.... there is power in a new hair cut, people. Seriously. That new hair cut felt about as amazing as the five pound goal I'd met that "allowed" me the reward. Ha!

Perhaps we've reached a point where you are wondering just a wee little bit about my grand finale reward. What did I give myself for reaching my thirty-five pound goal?
The truth is I haven't rewarded myself. I've thought of one or two rewards but they just didn't seem "big enough" for such a major milestone for me. 
I'm not rushing it.
I can wait on this one since its extra special.

And the oversharing continues.... 


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