So, I just finished reading 1PeaceBunny's latest blog about mini-goal rewards and why she doesn't have any:
and I started to write a comment to her blog -- but my comment got longer and longer and longer...and then I realized I should probably just turn this into a blog myself.
(It's kinda like back in the day when a rapper would put out a song and a second rapper would come along with a "response" rap -- except this ain't no rap battle, cuz I heart Bunny and respect her opinion, and she's awesome. Plus, I.Can't.Rap.)
For those of you who have read me yammering on and on about my damn new shoes, you know that I believe in mini-goal rewards. For me, rewards are part of my re-training myself to be a healthier person, but they're also a part of re-training my idea of what the word "reward" means.
In the past, I've always rewarded myself with food. Well, cigarettes and food:
"Clean the kitchen and you can have a granola bar."
"Finish this script and you can have a smoke."
When I quit smoking ten years ago, my reward system narrowed down to all food, all the time. In fact, the last time I was on Spark, I didn't reward myself at all -- not because I was opposed to rewards, but because I couldn't think of anything to reward myself with other than food.
Let me say that once again, and loudly:
*** I COULDN'T THINK OF ANYTHING TO REWARD MYSELF WITH OTHER THAN FOOD! ***
I mean, seriously.
That's some kind of crap when you realize that NOTHING makes you happier than food!
That's why, this go-around, I decided that I needed to address this particular perverse little corner of my effed-up-edness. This time, honest-to-god rewards were in order, both to give myself "atta girls" for reaching milestones, but also to reinforce the idea that a real reward isn't a snack (or a cigarette, for that matter). But what would be an appropriate reward?
Clothes were out. As we've already discussed in this blog, I wouldn't drop a size (and therefore need new clothes) until I was 30-40# lighter. I'd need a reward well before then!
In theory, pedicures and massages and that sort of thing were viable rewards, but both come with a little tension for me. I've never had a massage, and I'm afraid paying someone to press on my fat would make me totally self-conscious about my flabbitude. Pedicures I like, but they're always sort of awkward because I have psoriasis and I have to go to the place and tell them what my deal is, and that always makes me feel like a leper. So, while pedicures and massages are still technically on the table, they probably shouldn't be engaged until later in my weight loss efforts, when my flabbitude has lessened and when the dieting has calmed my psoriasis a bit.
So, what do I need/want? I puzzled over it for a week.
Then I pulled on my tattered New Balances for the very second run of my C25K program, and I realized that my first reward should be for really good shoes. It was something I needed and something that would support my weight loss efforts. Then I found out about Big Peach Running Co. and I was intrigued and it was a done deal. Shoes would be my first reward (and as you know, I got 'em last night and they ROCK!)
I'm now toying with the idea of making all my rewards somehow center around fitness -- cool gadget-y things like shoes and watches and tech shirts, running skirts and the like, in some sort of attempt to help me "fake it 'til I make it".
My freakish logic is like this: while I may not look like a runner, I can at least be equipped like one while I work my way into this sport and into fitness. But -- and here's the key -- I have to *earn* every piece of my gear!
There was this Auto Mechanics School that used to advertise on TV when I was a kid, it was, like, a two-year vocational program where you were given an empty toolbox on your first day of class. As you learned how to use each tool, you were given one to put in your toolbox -- the idea being that at the end of the program, you left with a degree *and* a fully-equipped toolbox with which to start your career.
I kind of feel like this is what I'm doing with my rewards.
And while I know eventually, I'll run out of gear to reward myself with -- running is, of course, fairly minimalist -- I guess I'll just have to puzzle my way into new, non-fitness centered rewards. Like massages and pedicures and clothes and whatever else comes my way!
So, Mini-Goal Reward or not to Mini-Goal Reward? I say yes to rewards -- but YMMV! We've all got to find our own way with this challenge, and I, for one, am gonna need all the incentive I can get!