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How do you pick rewards?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm having trouble with rewards... They just don't mean much to me... its all just stuff that either you need (so eventually you will buy it) or you don't (so really, why buy it?). I'm trying it, 'cause SP is so adamant about it, but so far no big thing... A book I wanted I got in October, but keep thinking, hmm I wonder if I could have gotten this at the library; A new christmas sweater for meeting my thanksgiving weight loss goal... but, it just didn't bring a glow-- more of a chore. Well, there was one reward.... My spouse went with me on a hike as my reward in November for losing 10% of my total weight. He was a great about it, although a little bored. He's a forester so being out in in the woods exploring 3 miles of trail on a rainy day lacked a thrill for him. I loved it. He'll go with me as "my reward" again, but really I'd rather have a regular hiking buddy who loves it as much as I do... So how do you pick rewards?

The best idea I can come up with is to take clues from my nonexistant motivational collage... Haven't done that yet, but that's the my goal for this week... What movtivates me to do this? Maybe when I get a clear picture of my true motivation, I'll see what my rewards are/should be.

Lately I feel like I'm going thru the motions, but why? I'm tracking and exercising... but why do we do this-- all this work?
I like feeling muscles.
I like stretching sore calves and tight hamstrings.
I like reading everyone's blog and cheering.
I don't really like walking in the rain around town or even tracking all my calories -- but I do these things... why?
I like that there is less of me.
I like being strong.
I like having better balance.

I have my spouses support because he sees me committed to getting strong enough to ski again -- but really the idea of me skiing is scary. Last time I tried I couldn't turn because of a bad ankle (now more or less fixed)... but its been 15 years... scary. Will I get off the bunny hill, or will I disappoint him? Do I care? I am eager to be on that damn bunny hill. But its been so long since I've been in "the game" and I can't help but feel perhaps the expectations of a partner on his black-diamond adventures will not accept the realities of a day on the bunny hill.

So maybe I want my reward to be a return to my old life with my husband -- one of activity. But you cant bring back 20 lost years of inactivity. scary.

All this was going through my head today.... It was a "thinking day". (I seem to need "thinking days" fairly regularly, as in at least once/week). "Oh, by the way," sez DH. "I ordered you hiking boots online." (I've been trying to get something firm with serious water protection and ankle support, but I'm such a weird size, no one has anything in stock for me to try on. I was going to try again in a bigger town after christmas.) "I ordered several sizes to check the fit. We can send back what won't work. You need to get boots to get out in the woods in this weather." ?!?

emoticon emoticon

My best friend and true love understands better than I do why I'm doing this. I miss the woods. I miss being brave and exploring new trails. I joined a local hiking group that goes out once per month in all weather. DH wanted to make sure I wouldn't miss their next adventure -- He found on-line the out-of-stock boots I'd been looking for. He realized I need those NOW. Not a month from now. I always try to fit into the family schedule/budget -- expensive boots for me comes after the Cristmas bill have been paid. DH saw a different priority. Amazing how your spouse still can amaze you after 25 years together. I've always said you REALLY don't know someone until you've been married at least 15 years... he's still someone I'm getting to know. I like that.

I still will try to find "rewards". But I'm pretty content. I don't want anything. I have my DH, my home, my kids, and soon I'll have a good pair of hiking boots .... How do you pick rewards? Any suggestions. Is it REALLY that important? Thanks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SROBERTS82 3/8/2011 10:59PM

    That's so sweet of your hubby, what a great way to be supportive. And to go hking when he thinks it's kind of boring! That's great. My hubby is supportive too, but he just doesn't love hiking like I do. I wish you were closer :) I have had to learn to enjoy hiking with my dog, and learn to enjoy being alone a bit.

I have been thinking about rewards lately. A friend is also doing rewards for her big results, and I want to think of something to do too.

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SILLYHP1953 1/20/2011 9:04AM

    What a wonderful thoughtful thing your dh did for you. I, too, have trouble with rewards, but you and your friend's comments gave me a lot to think about. I tried skiing once (at around 50 years old) and constantly fell down while in my beginners class so never even made it to the bunny slope. The teacher wouldn't let us use our ski poles, which I think would have helped me, but who knows. I have 99.9% accepted the fact that I cannot go back to my younger self even if I do lose the weight I've gained since turning 40.

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MMNICKS 12/29/2010 8:12PM

    My rewards are never tangible things. If I have a great week I reward myself with a play day with the grandkids, or a special movie night with the hubby. I pick rewards way in advance and then get excited as I get close to being able to do the thing I planned!!!

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MUEHLBBO 12/29/2010 7:51PM

    I think all the ideas offered are great ideas, and I agree with you that sometimes we reward ourselves with things that maybe we would have gotten anyway. I love what your husband did and that in itself is a great reward. Because I'm like you and don't really need things, I'm rewarding myself by helping others. For every pound I lose, I buy one pound of food that I can donate to a food pantry. I donated 40 pounds at Thanksgiving and am now putting more aside. My big reward hopefully will come someday when I have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Good luck to you and Happy New Year.

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REALLYHOPIN 12/29/2010 1:31PM

    I used to think a lot like you... and my weight would go up and down and up and up and down and up... and I would dread doing the right nutrition and exercise routines... and because I dreaded the healthy things I would avoid them and my weight would go up...

On December 1 of this year, one of my teams put out a monthly water challenge. I decided I NEEDED to do SOMETHING and that maybe joining this challenge would be the thing to get me rolling. I decided that I would give myself a new bubble bath at the end of each week that I successfully drank 64 ounces of water each day. The first week I was successful. Off to walmart I went and bought my $4 bottle of bubble bath. I took the time to actually take the bath and enjoyed it. It was time for me. Time to think. Time to relax.

So the next week I decided I would add 20 minutes of exercise every other day to my challenge... and again at the end of that week I met with success...

Now I've completed four successful weeks, each week adding new challenges to the old ones and all the while creating new habits that are foundations of a healthy lifestyle.

I found that by focussing on a reward at the end of the week, it changed my outlook and therefore my motivation.

Before I would think how I'm fat and ugly and feel like crap and food is the only thing that easily makes me feel good, even if just for a little while, it's still yummy and I enjoy it. I deserve the goodies. I am worthy of some sort of enjoyment in life (even if it is bad for me). Exercise is a pain. I don't want to do it. If I have to do it, I'll hate it, but I'll still do it... and then I didn't...

Now... my mindset is such that I know that as long as I do these challenges, I am going to take the time to reward myself. I deserve my reward (my bubble bath). I'm being good to myself, TRULY GOOD TO MYSELF. These habits that I'm forming are going to help me along the way. I look forward to meeting my goals. While I still don't look forward to eating my veggies, I do it so that I can honestly meet my goals. It's not so much for the bubble bath now, but it is for ME. And while the activities are all the same as they were before, my attitude about doing them is all new and improved.

So... whatever you choose as a reward, make sure it is something for YOU. A gift you can give to yourself for being good to yourself. Maybe it's time in a bubble bath. Maybe it's a manicure. Maybe it's a new shade of fingernail polish or makeup. Maybe taking the time to go to the salon and let them just wash your hair (I always loved how it feels to have someone else wash my hair).... just something that's for you... maybe a new song... maybe a new candle... maybe a new air freshener... new hand lotion... a new kitchen gadget (I love my Ninja food processor)... a new pen... new paint for your bedroom... a new houseplant... some of the better dark chocolates that tend to be a little more $ than you'd normally spend and aren't bad for us in moderation...

the reward in the long run will be that you'll build good habits to last a lifetime...

Be good to yourself...

~ Barbara

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NEELIXNKES 12/29/2010 10:39AM

    I'm not rewarding myself as much as I should be but my rewards of choice are not items but events. Like getting the much needed manicure but I don't like to spend the money on it so it is one of my rewards. When I break into Onderland I am going horseback riding because I miss doing that. When I finally reach my wedding weight again... I should have already been there, we are getting a formal portrait taken as we haven't had one done since our wedding 10 years ago. The little things are just extra clutter to me but this are things that are nice events and the big ones will create memories.

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MEMARE 12/29/2010 8:25AM

    What a sweet DH you have there! I think your DH would take a week of days on the bunny hill with you if it was necessary.

I'm pretty much the same as far as rewards... and felt the same way you do at the beginning of my SP journey- confused about the focus on rewarding myself. If I need something I get it. I'm not frivolous when it comes to things either, I can be very practical. I don’t ‘get’ the rewards of manicures-pedicures –I’d rather save the money and do it myself. I’m that way about many things.

My rewards are the satisfaction that I’ve done the deed, accomplished the goal. Everyone is different; some need the physical presence of a ‘token’, others just need the satisfaction from the knowledge/skill gained.

I like your idea of returning to the ‘good old days’ with your DH – you can attain that. 20 years of inactivity can be reversed, it won’t happen overnight but you can do it. I applaud you on eyeing this as a reward. I think I may join you! I want my relationship to be a more active one with my DH; it seems after 27 years we’ve gotten lukewarm and I want to reignite our own spark to become the best friends we used to be.
Thank you for this very insightful blog.
I think 2011 is going to be a good year.

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SEAWAVE 12/29/2010 7:32AM

    I'm the same way about rewards: most seem frivolous and just more clutter to me. One thing I do want is to get out in the woods more when Spring comes, and sometimes I get plants as rewards or gifts (e.g. I got a tree for Mother's Day). The other thing that may work for me is the challenge of SparkStreaks. I think trying to keep the streak going may fit my personality (I'm rather new at this, so I'm not sure...). I've seen some people buy a song on I-Tunes (if you have an I-Pod) as a weekly reward. Cheap, and goes towards enhancing exercise. Maybe something like that would work for you?

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DAV128 12/29/2010 3:36AM

    About those rewards - Maybe just acknowledging your own JOB WELL DONE is it's own reward!

Good Job - emoticon

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Christmas Expectations... Magical or Draining?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve. Its raining here -- but then we have NO expectations of snow on the Oregon Coast. My spouse cooked thanksgiving -- it was NASTY and made me nauseous (smoked lamb... I hate smoked food and I hate lamb, but he was SURE I’d like Smoked Lamb... ). Don't worry, I'm not talking behind his back -- He had to go get me soda crackers and pop so I could deal with the cooking smells that day... too funny. But I'm sooo not into Christmas cooking, that here it is Christmas eve, I haven't even been to the store 'cause I'm hoping he'll cook, (surely no holiday meal could be any worse than that last one-- although I didn't tell you what he made for Easter... beer pancakes with bourbon syrup. Try to image a smoked porter beer in buckwheat pancakes...). Holiday meals can get contentious here... Others household I hear have ham or turkey. I'm not against breaking tradition, but I would like something edible, call me crazy.

I haven't spent Christmas with any extended family for years, since my spouse is so adamant against it. He dislikes all the hoops he must jump through--all the expectations. I do agree that Family Expectations can kill us, but no expectations may kill us too... or will it allow something new and magical to happen? I don't know, but I'll let you know what I find out.

To make it, we might have to fake it, girl. So my plan is to just move this day. Go to the store. Make peppermint dessert. Wrap gifts that have been under my bed for weeks (kids are going to hate them -- spouse bought suitcases and clothing... how very practical). The New Year starts in a week. I do have a sense of humor about it all-- and I choose to be here with my stubborn hubby who tries so hard. The kids are teenagers now and understand their dad's gift-giving strategy and meal planning quirks. We can shop after Christmas together for what they like. I look forward to that and I will make the DH go too, so maybe he'll get a clue... or not. We'll have fun together as a family, because we always do-- we laugh a lot when we're together with the kids. The LOVE part is working, if we don't all agree on the season details.

So, I guess, Merry Christmas everyone. May you be with your loved ones and feel cherished.


"Bring It!"

Thursday, December 02, 2010

So, I'm suggesting options for a family evening activity, (scrabble, cribbage, movie...) and am finding no support or enthusiasm since everyone is cranking away on their electronic item of the moment. I'm cranky. I leave the room. My spouse (DH? What does that stand for?) takes over... and the family evening activity is (large sigh) -- Arm wrestling.

Jim, my spouse is taking out the boys in the 'left arm event', since he is the only lefty in the family. My youngest son (14, a swimmer) challenges me...I almost walked away. But I thought of a male friend who had shared his experience on FB of sitting through his daughter's beauty pageant with good grace. I queued up. It was the first activity in a long time that the boys didn’t dash out off as soon as they were able. What we parents will do to stay relevant in our teenage children’s lives...

And what does this have to do with SP? I won as many matches as I lost-- I was a player. My boys (oldest 17- basketball, spouse-forester who's up and down hills all day, and my youngest, the 14-yr-old swimmer) were amazed. The almost 50-year-old former librarian mom who never has participated in sports, was a player. My spouse and I have told the boys how I USE to run (ski, rock climb, hike, etc)... but the kids have really never seen me do those things. I'm the mom-who-stays-home-with-the-baby, or the-sick-child, or the-child-who-had-an-event-to-attend, etc. I never went. And then I was the mom-with-the-bad-back and the-bad-ankle. I cheered, but I never participated. So, they assumed I never have done those things.

I'm sad beyond belief I let this happen. My spouse has been on me about it for awhile. But I guess, it just had gotten easier to stay at home... And I will admit, those days the guys would go off hunting, I DID enjoy having a quiet house to myself... but still. The kids have seen me volunteer in school, but they haven't really seen me ski or backpack... or even run.

To my credit I did have physical issues. Ten years ago, a broken vertebrae was repaired. A year ago, I INSISTED that my doctor order blood work to gain some understanding of what hormone issues I had. And finally, sick of not moving, I had surgery to repair my ankle in March, 2010. .. so I did all the pre-work and as soon as I was out of the cast, 3 months later, I was walking. A month later (and down already about 20lbs from the previous year) I found SP.

Now the mom moves. I HATE that this fact is still somewhat novel to my kids. I'm sorry my spouse has had to go without another adult all these years in all his adventures. I'm determined to be a player now.

My sons were asking for a re-match... I say "bring it Boys!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RENAKITTEN 12/9/2010 4:42PM

    Awsome job! It's wonderful that you are able to join in with them =)

DH = Dear Hubby
DS = Dear Son
DD = Dear Daughter

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MSSTACYJ 12/5/2010 7:13PM

    Ooh nice! Maybe one day you'll outrun them too! I have no idea what DH stands for :) emoticon

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GOINGFOR20 12/5/2010 2:54PM

    That is awesome-- you GO GIRL! So excited for you to find your MOVE again:-)

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IONA72 12/2/2010 5:35PM

    Good for you, what a great blog!

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DUFFYDYER 12/2/2010 8:46AM

    Awesome blog! Thanks for sharing!

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BIZZYMOM06 12/2/2010 1:58AM

    You bring it girl! You can do it! emoticon

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Small moments and a goal line crisis, averted

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Amazing how fast I post weight losses at SP vs. how SLOW I post gains. I'll usually wait a day or two, just to see if the weight will go away, before I post a weekly gain-- so my normally "Wednesday weigh-in" might actually be a Friday weigh in, if I get better news in those extra 2 days.

This past week, I did post 150 (1/2lb gain) for my most recent Wednesday's weigh-in, (which was really a Friday weigh) in, for a small gain. But I checked again this morning, and, GOOD MORNING, there was a scale drop! So of course, first thing this Sunday morning, I'm off to SP to add that weight to my Tracker -- I want to SEE my weight loss tracker race car show 148! hah! Next, I check my goal line, the red line that sez I'm on course to make my goal weight by my 50th birthday May 1, 2011. ... only, damn. The blue dot is still bouncing above that red goal line. Damn! First time since starting SP I'm above that red line for more than two weeks in a row. I hate goals. I hate failing. I hate that I get down on myself for a couple of weeks of slower weight loss... its a life time change, I tell myself, what does a slower loss matter? ... still. My happy login moment is gone, all because of a blue dot above a red line. I mentally take away my little gold star. sigh

Then it hits me... my INTERMEDIATE Goals, "Size 10 by Thanksgiving" AND My "Fall 10% Loss Challenge"! I'm wearing size 10s! I started Aug 30th at 165 and I've lost 10% of my overall weight since then! The goal was 148.5... I'm AT 148! I made it! I did it-- TWICE! I hear cymbals and celebration! Shopping for the first time since this whole SP thing started (cause I had decided NEVER to buy anything over a size 10 again). Sigh. OK, I say to myself, you're pretty shallow if all I care about are sizes and scale numbers. So I turn down the music in my head and go clean kitchen. ... And I plan a quick trip before grocery shopping to get a holiday vest to wear to work ;)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUEHLBBO 11/28/2010 4:40PM

    I think you are doing great! I had a couple of weeks where I bounced around on a four pound up and down and the scale is finally moving in the right direction again. I felt just as euphoric as you did. Both of us, and most others also, that we will experience those ups and downs, but dang, those downs are tough. Be proud of the size 10, the 10% weight loss. Buy that vest and enjoy. Good luck.

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IONA72 11/28/2010 3:24PM

    Sounds like you are doing great, my weight loss has become SO slow, not ideal with Christmas fast approaching!

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A page from my SP diary: Week 7, Day 5

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I cheated. I stepped on the scale 3 days early, just to see...

I'm sore from increasing the weight I use during exercise sessions, and I'm HUNGRY. I've been eating at the upper end of my calorie range this week. I've been having strange cravings -- eggs, milk and ooh la la, a metRX whey protein shake! ... who craves eggs, milk and a crappy, watery, gritty protein drink?

When do you stay strong and get past cravings and when do cravings signal a real body need? I'm still not confident seeing the difference between the two, but these cravings also came with the "low food" warning light fuzziness I get some times when I'm truly not eating enough food. I checked my foodlist and knew I certainly wasnt' starving myself... but I did feed these cravings.

Last night I watched a biggest loser video clip online. I heard that cardio workouts burn fat, so these workouts use a lot of what you already have (fat). But muscle building requires lots of protein and nutrients that our bodies don't store... i.e., the hunger and protein cravings!!

I'm glad I saw this cravings as something my body needed... But still I worried with all the extra calories I've been eating this week-- I might be slowing down my weight loss. NOT!

It looks like I DROPPED 2 LBS so far and I have 3 days to go before my official weigh in! "momma said I'd have days like this" but I never believed it until today. I have NEVER lost 2lbs this quickly, even on The Adkins Diet. More food and more weight gone = Amazing. I may flex my calories some, try to eat at the lower end of my calorie range, for a day or two, just to make sure the weight isn't just water. But if I'm hungry, I'm eating... I just don't "do" the low blood sugar headache well...

Oh yeah, this loss makes a total of 10 lbs I've lost since joining SP! Yes!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOINGFOR20 10/19/2010 6:23PM

Good for you! I'm not good at doing strength training. I see it as causing my body PAIN and so I avoid it. I could do cardio everyday but somehow the strength training is just so difficult for me.
I think you're right about feeding your cravings. If you craving healthy food then you must need it. I think it's just the cravings for JUNK we can't give in to.

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MCKATIE2 10/6/2010 9:25AM

    Congratulations on the weight loss!

I haven't weighed in yet since I've only been here 2 weeks. I think I'll weigh in monthly on my monthly anniversary. I feel better though and move easier.

Sometimes I eat at the high end and other days it is difficult to eat enough. My fat intake looks like a heart attack with all the zig-zag spikes. But, I eat what I'm in the mood for and amazingly enough that seems to always fall within the boundaries. The more I workout, the hungrier I get. Plus, I like to eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a prince and eat dinner like a pauper. I don't always. Sometimes I feel like I'm grazing all day and still come in under my requirements.

Have fun today!

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RENAKITTEN 9/28/2010 11:33AM

    Congrats on feeding the good cravings! It’s really hard to know the difference between what your body needs and your taste buds want. When you give it what it needs, it rewards you in good ways!

Hurray for the ten pound loss!

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