As the saying goes above, it stands true for your kids, too!!! Being a mom of two very strong-willed boys, it's hard not to use the old, "if you behave, you'll get a treat!" Luckily, I've changed my tune with my 6 year old, and now it's, "if you are good," - "we'll go bowling" or "we'll head to the kids' gym', or even, "you can have your iPad a day early". It's so easy from a parent's perspective to know what your kid loves and craves (outside of food) and make those a reward. There are even some states that have made lists for educators, so they pick something else, instead of food to reward their students in class!!
How is it we have a hard time rewarding ourselves in the same way? In the diet world, we learn about "cheat days" and "free days". We reward ourselves for eating right and exercising all week long, only to pig out and sit on our butts these days. What a way to defeat the whole purpose of trying to live a healthy lifestyle!
Don't get me wrong! There is nothing wrong with enjoying a little temptation in moderation, but we need to stop looking at it as a reward for our hard work. That would be like doing a paint by numbers picture perfectly all week, and on the weekend just splattering colors all over it. In the end, they both ruin and sabotage all your hard work, and can sometimes make you want to give up.
Find things that YOU enjoy and reward yourself with those! Stayed on track all week? Reward yourself with that new lipstain, leggings, top or dress you've been eyeing. Plan a ladies night to do something fun or learn a new sport or activity! It doesn't always have to be monetary, either. You can reward yourself with a bubble bath, or an extra few hours of sleep, or even make bets with your kids and/our spouse that if you reach a certain goal, they have to take on some of the household chores that you usually do!
The point is, get creative!! Align the rewards with something that is actually REWARDING, not sabotaging your progress by giving you tastes of overindulgence... literally. I know you can do it! Much love!! - Cheryl