Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Am I the only one who, as a child, was disappointed to find that the answer to this simple question was, "To get to the other side,"?  No?  OK, well, I was.  And why is that?  Because I like rewards.  Prizes.  Swag.  Call it what you will, I like it.

Reward yourself with this.....
I blame my childhood for this superficial aspect of my personality and I doubt that I'm alone in this.  How many of us were rewarded with things like ice cream when we got an A on a test?  A cupcake when we were the good citizen of the month?  Yes, childhood is filled with food rewards which can become problematic when we grow up.  Have a hard day at work?  Make yourself feel better with some chinese take out for dinner.  Get a promotion?  Go out to the trendy new tapas place and stuff your gullet.  And don't get me started on the holidays.

What does this have to do with your fitness?  Simple.  Stop making food a reward.  Make it to the gym 3 days this week?  No, calling Pizza Hut is NOT the way to celebrate your success.  Yet so many people fall into this trap.  What starts out as a cheat meal soon becomes a cheat day and then becomes a cheat weekend and next thing you know you're shocked that your pants still fit exactly the same.

....not that.
I learned this lesson many years ago and have a fabulous fitness wardrobe as a result.  One day I decided to stop rewarding myself with a creation from Coldstone as big as my head and instead, once I kept up my new fitness habit for 3 weeks, I treated myself to a new piece of workout wear from Lululemon.  Is it expensive?  Hell yes, absurdly so.  But I'll be damned if I wasn't more motivated to stick with it knowing there was a pretty new tank top to show off my strong looking lats if I hit my goal for the week.

I chose 3 weeks because I can't afford to shop Lulu every 7 days, but you can pick smaller items so that you can reward yourself weekly.  Want the new Nicholas Sparks novel?  Ugh, first, get some taste, but then, hey!  Can't have it til you eat protein with every meal from Monday to Friday.  Dying to download Adele's new album?  Go to spin class 3 times and it's yours.  You're still working towards a happy weekend treat only this one isn't going to leave you bloated and craving even more salt and sugar come Monday.

Try it out and give yourself a weekly fitness Christmas only without the stress and obnoxious relatives!

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