I love it when I get that lightbulb moment -
that ah-ha sensation as a new idea, a new way of looking at an old issue, reveals itself to me in perfect clarity. This morning Spark People sent me one of those treasures in Dean Anderson's article "How to Use Rewards to Get the Results You Want"
Rewards have always been one of my struggle issues. I find it conflicting to refuse to give myself something I can afford and somewhat neurotic to deny myself something because I have decided I am bad or a failure. The "bad" and "failure" designations are ... well, not me.
Of course, I find the idea of "giving" myself something I can't afford sets up a conflict of such proportions in my head that I see it sort of explodes and becomes an impossibility. (Love me some money management, you see.)
When all is said and done, I am more like Ruskin who said, "The highest reward for a man's toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it."
So how do rewards fit into a weight loss/weight management life? Ahhh - by not tying it to a scale. Not tying it to numbers. At least, not tying it ONLY to the number on the scale. Tie the reward to actions needed to live a healthy life - in other words .... get this ... Reward Those Healthy Choices!
Okay I know. You already got this. But for me this message was like a firework display, shedding colorful light on an issue that has eluded me.
And it's particularly apropos in light of the work I'm doing to get stronger. Working with my personal trainer yesterday I pushed through some amazing physical barriers. There was a moment when I began a lift and hit a feeling of added resistance and then pushed through without any pain at all - though it took additional mental and physical effort I didn't realize I had. It was a magnificent experience - a Lifter's Push akin to the Runner's High.
As I read Dean Anderson's article I thought - Oh. Yes. That's the sort of thing that deserves a reward. A magnificent action chosen by me that took 100% of my abilities - and ... I did it! And best of all is that - having made that extra effort I am walking around, 24 hours later, still feeling so proud of myself.
And I think THAT is the greatest reward I could give myself.