Monday, December 10, 2012

Non-food rewards

I'm back to sleepless nights, apparently. At 4:45 this morning, I decided to just get up and get some stuff done before the kids woke up, because I couldn't sleep for the life of me. I started some laundry, and then decided that I might as well get my run over with as early as possible, too.

Jerry was at work, so I had to do the treadmill. I haven't run on the treadmill in a while! It was kind of a pain to drag everything around to get my set-up the way I like it (I put the cat tree in front of the treadmill, and then put my laptop on the top of the cat tree, so it's at eye-level).

I rearranged my schedule a bit this week because of yesterday's race, so today I was scheduled to do five miles easy. I wasn't sure what to set my "easy" pace at, because the last time I used the treadmill my easy pace was 6.0 mph--and I've been going faster than that outside. After testing out a few different speeds, I settled on 6.5 mph.

I finished 5 miles in 45 minutes, and then took a shower, dressed, and blew my hair dry before the kids even got up. It was strange to be up that early and have gotten all that done. Once I got the kids off to school, I went to the post office and then to shop for some prizes for the virtual 5K.

I've been so unsure of how to do the prizes, but I knew I had to get a move on it because I'm going to be insanely busy with Christmas and then the Ragnar. I've decided to that what I'd like to do is get 31 prizes (because I'm turning 31), and all of them will have a theme of "my favorite things". While I wish I could actually give away some of my truly favorite things--Garmin Forerunner, Under Armour clothing, etc.--there is no way in hell I can afford that.

I went to Ollie's, a discount store, first, and I actually had a lot of luck there--I bought a few books that are perfect for prizes. I'd also like to make some of the prizes, since I love to craft, so I went to Hobby Lobby to pick up some supplies there. I also made a stop at Dunham's.

When I got home, I got to work on some of the crafty stuff. I spent all afternoon working on it, and I was happy with how they turned out. I'm being vague, because I think I'll wait until I have all 31 prizes ready before I reveal what they are :) 


Q. Do you have any suggestions for non-food rewards, or non-food ways to celebrate reaching a goal?

A. I was always really bad at this while losing weight. I would write down rewards for certain goals, but once I reached each goal, I felt guilty spending the money on things I typically didn't need. I didn't want to splurge on clothes as I was losing weight, because I knew they'd soon be too big.

I did buy a few things as rewards, however. Most recently, I bought those muscle tights for getting back into the 130's. When I lost 100 pounds, I got a new laptop (but that was really needed at the time--so I just used the weight loss as an excuse to finally buy it). When I kept 100 pounds off for a year, I bought a fancy schmancy bike (which was stupid, because I've only put about 10 hours on it in a year and a half!).

My family has been super supportive of my weight loss. My sister planned something really great for me when I reached 100 pounds lost. She took me to a nice salon to get my hair cut, highlighted, and blown out (my first (and only) blow out, and I was super impressed). Then we went to Macy's, where a woman did our make-up, and my sister bought me the make-up she used. It was so fun! We spent the whole day together, and I felt like a new person afterward.
After hair and make-up, with the woman who did our make-up at Macy's. She was a riot, and we asked to get a picture with her.

Many years ago, when I was in college, I told my family that I wanted to lose weight for my wedding. My dad told me he'd give me $5 for each pound I lost. Well, that never happened. Fast forward to 2010, when I had lost 100 pounds, I asked him if his deal was still good. After some hem-hawing, he said yes--and he paid me $500! So I took that money and used some it to fly out to Minnesota and run the Ragnar Relay with my brother.

When I reached the 120's (for a minute back in 2010), Jerry bought me an iPod Nano so I had something to listen to while running.

Those are all kind of extreme examples, but there are lots of things you can reward yourself with for each goal--new clothes are an obvious choice (maybe new workout clothes?). Anything that may help you reach your goals, like a food scale, exercise equipment, a gym membership, or a race entry are good ideas.

47 comments:

  1. That make up lady looks like a hoot :) Haha those are such fun memories!

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  2. Those are some great rewards that you got. That was so nice of your sister too! I don't think they're extreme examples, you've had amazing success and deserve all of it! :)

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    1. Yes, my sister was probably my biggest cheerleader throughout my entire weight loss!

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  3. I always had it set in my mind that when I reached my 100 lbs lost that I would go shopping for a really fantastic dress and maybe new jeans etc. Then I reached 100 lbs lost and decided against it, who wants to buy an expensive dress to have it only fit for a short time? Plus I reached 100 lost just before October, and it was cold out!

    I still haven't rewarded myself, but I'm okay with that so far. Maybe at 110? haha. Awesome post! A Makeover sounds like a great idea!

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    1. I did the same thing, Daphne. I would reach a goal, and then say, "Well, maybe in 10 more pounds." Reward yourself, you deserve it! :)

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  4. When is this virtual 5k contest? would love to participate!

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    1. Would love to have you! You can find the details here: http://www.runsforcookies.com/2012/12/virtual-5k.html

      I'll be posting more about it over the next month.

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  5. Ah, I miss my bike so much. As soon as I get a good job, that's the 3rd big ticket thing I'll be investing in (after a washer and dryer, of course! Miss those too :P)

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    1. I wish I loved biking. I think I'd use it more if we had good bike paths here, but I have to drive to get to any of them--and my bike is a PAIN to get in my Jeep!

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  6. Your Sister and you look so much alike! Is this the one that is in Illinois? I love those rewards! I had small ones set for every 5lbs with a larger one at 10 lbs. I had new pair of jeans at 20lbs, which now I had to replace with a smaller size. But I also had pedicure...which I have never gone to do yet.

    I think non-food related goals are completely the way to go, look and feel great and then to get a bonus for doing it....score!

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    1. That's funny, usually people say we look so different! She's the only blonde in our family (and yes, she's the one in Illinois--my only sister).

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  7. which one is your sister? the one with the blonde hair or the one with the blue hair? just kidding! ;-)

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    1. Hahaha, I guess I should have been more specific ;)

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  8. I've been reading your blog for ages but haven't commented before (it's inspirational but also intimidating at the start of losing weight to read about those who have done it). Those muscle tights made me laugh (in a good way, I promise) when I read the earlier blog post - a great non-food reward!

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    1. I know that intimidating feeling VERY well--I used to feel the same way! But I hope to get across the message that if I did it, ANYONE can. I really thought I was destined to be fat forever, and I never believed I'd lose the weight one day... until I did! :)

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    2. Thanks for the words of encouragement - believing it is possible is a huge mental wall isn't it. I recently googled "what is it like to be thin?" because I just can't even imagine what it feels like. Thanks again :)

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    1. I always feel guilty registering for races, because they're expensive--but they keep me running, so I feel it's justified! :)

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  10. Thank you so much for the non-food reward ideas! I struggle with things to reward myself that aren't food and that won't break the bank, so thanks!

    And I hope some of the things you've been crafting for the giveaway are sparkle running skirts! I love your skirts, but don't know how to sew...I'd LOVE to win one of those!

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    1. Make sure you're ready to run or walk the 5K next month, because a sparkle skirt is definitely on the list! :)

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  11. I was all, "Your reward was to meet Candace Cameron Bure?!" Your sister looks a lot like her in this picture :)

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    1. Hahaha, I've thought the same thing many times!

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  12. Gosh, you're wearing me out, just reading about all your accomplished before 8 a.m.! I had a donut as a reward, when I lost 100 lbs. But you know what--I couldn't swallow it. I ended up chewing it and spitting out each bite. Haven't had a donut since, it's just not worth it I decided. I also got my hair cut and colored. I went from long straggly gray to medium length light brown. And then my hair started thinning. First I thought it was due to the drastic weight loss. I started taking multi-vitamins and even tried pre-natal vitamins for a while, along with some other vitamins that are supposed to help with hair re-growth. Nothing worked. I kept thinking that after my body adjusted to the weight loss, the hair would come back, but it's not happening. Then I read that one-third of women lose their hair as they age. GREAT! But I still keep it medium length (since it basically never grows, but actually just seems to get shorter and shorter, esp. in front), and colored. My niece does my hair and worries that the dyes she uses might be causing the hair loss so she uses the gentlest products she can find. And that's more info than you ever wanted on MY HAIR!

    As a retirement gift to myself (SIX MORE WORK DAYS--WOOHOO!!!) I'm going to buy myself a girl's bike. I hope I ride it a lot. The one I have now belonged to my Dad, who's been gone now for over 5 years. I share it with my son. So I want a bike that is all mine. I probably won't ride it much more than you ride yours. I got an exercise bike early on in my weight loss journey and I never used it at all, hardly. I hated it. And I know the bike won't get much use for a few months, it's just too cold and snowy and icy around here. Was that enough excuses for not biking? I can't believe I'm making excuses for not using the bike before I even buy it. I might have to re-think this.

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    1. I'm so excited for you, Pam! I know you've been looking forward to retirement for a long time now :)

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  13. I to struggle with setting goals and rewards. Clothes are usually a no unless I have to have them because I don't want favorite things in a size I don't intend to be in long.
    Wish someone would offer me 5 dollars for every pound lost!

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    1. Non-food reward ideas are hard to come up with! But the comments here have given some good suggestions :)

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  14. I need to work on setting up some goals. Like you said when it comes to it I end up thinking I don't really need it or want to spend the money.

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    1. Someone below suggested saving gift cards to use for rewards, and I love that idea! Then you're not using your own money, and it *truly* feels like an award.

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  15. I just bought myself a cute drinking cup with a straw from PetSmart as a reward for getting back to my goal.
    I have a thing for hair accessories, so sometimes they wind up being little rewards.
    I did go to Lululemon and bought a pair of their panties, which I thought were a crazy price, but they are awesome, so they are definitly a reward thing.
    When I was really losing weight, I would go buy a pair of cheap jeans each time I lost 15 pounds. I figured that was the amount of weight to fit into a new size. I would just buy them at Value Village or something. I didn't care if they were used, they were new to me, and a smaller size.
    It is hard to come up with rewards that are cheap, small and meaningful.

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    1. I've heard great things about Lululemon, but we don't have one around here. Probably a good thing, because I'm sure it would be a tempting place for me to go spend money!

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  16. I love all your non-food rewards - those are great! I LOVE that your Dad kept his word on the reward, and really love that you spent it on something that probably made him super happy in the end anyway. :)

    I got a bodybugg as a reward after losing 25 lbs last year (and it's helped me lose so many more in the mean time) and when I get to my "ultimate" goal I'm wanting to get my nose pierced. We'll see if my husband actually goes for it. ;)

    Anyway, thanks for always being such a huge encouragement. I always look forward to reading your posts!

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    1. I wanted a BodyBugg in the worst way for a long time! That's a great idea for a reward.

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  17. I'm a long-time reader and first-time commenter, but I just wanted to comment since this is such a great question!

    I definitely feel guilty spending money on anything I deem a "luxury," so I think those things can be good non-food rewards. Here are a few things I do as a reward, and also some things I will likely do in the future:
    * I love the Bath and Body Works lotions and body spray, but they definitely qualify as a luxury to me. Using them after a workout, and even when I haven't worked out, seem like such a reward to me, since I have worked hard to get to a point where I love my body. I use them liberally, and I don't feel guilty buying more when I run out, because it's a reward for all of my hard work. Fig and Brown Sugar is my favorite!
    * My husband bought a nice Vera Bradley bag for me as my gym bag. We bought it from a friend, so got it for cheaper than they sell in the store, but I think the important thing is to have something that is beautiful to look at or makes you feel pretty at the gym. I absolutely look forward to using my bag each day, along with all its fun pockets!
    * Whenever I run out of my favorite perfume, that will definitely be a reward. Mostly, just the letting go of the guilt for spending the money is the reward on that.
    * Splurging on buying myself some new nail polish. Nothing too fancy; I'll just pick it up at the grocery store, but it will still be a nice reward.
    * Here's something you can do for free: run a bubble bath, light candles (lights off), play soothing music, sip a hot tea, relax and reflect on all you've accomplished!
    * Anything related to making your exercise experience better: new headband, new tunes, even new shoelaces!

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    1. Those are awesome ideas! I especially like the Bath & Body Works idea--I love their products, but I only use them when I get them as gifts. I just may reward myself with those :)

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  18. I love the idea of new gym clothes as a weight loss reward! Another I use are massages, especially after race training. MY DH and I have our appointments made already for after the Big D Half Marathon, it will be my first so I am sure I will need it.

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    1. That's a great idea, to book your massage now. Toward the end of your race, it will give you something to look forward to in a major way!

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  19. How cute is that picture of you, your sis and the makeup artist! Love it. you are getting quite speedy by the way :-)

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    1. Thanks! I've been working super hard at it, and it's definitely paying off :)

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  20. Hi - I'm new here. You are such an inspiration. I loathe running, but I'm really trying to learn to like it. I've started by walking/running on the treadmill. I feel like a hippopotamus when I run, and thought eventually I would take it outside. When you said you put your laptop on the cat tree at eye level - what did you watch on your laptop while using the treadmill? I've found I can't read (magazines) while on the treadmill. I need to lose 20+ pounds and wish I'd been here long ago when you started your transformation. I would have probably benefited from seeing how you learned to love running. Take care.

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    1. I know what you mean about feeling like a hippo on the treadmill! Even at my current weight, I sound like a hippo on that thing.

      I have a hard time reading while running too, so I pick something on Netflix to watch on my laptop. I really like to watch The Biggest Loser, because it seems like Jillian is yelling right when I need it most ;)

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    2. I *heart* Jillian Michaels. Thank you for the feedback.

      Also, in regards to todays post, I've been exercising (mostly) consistently for the past two months and my weight is NOT budging. But, I see the changes in my body, so I'm not too concerned.

      Take care.

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  21. I'm excited for your ideas for prizes!

    I've written a post on Weight Loss Rewards and NSVs (non-scale victories) because you can celebrate things you've accomplished (like your first 5k), too!

    One of my favorite things to do is use a nice-smelling body wash after I workout. If I don't workout that day, I have to use regular old soap (even if it's a rest day). It gives me incentive to workout!

    I save gift certificates that I receive as gifts and save them to use *only* when I reach a goal. Similarly, if I see a groupon for a massage or something and the location is near me and I know I'll complete a goal by the expiration date, I'll buy that, too. ;-)

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    1. These are fantastic ideas!! I really like the idea of using the gift certificates as reward *only* after reaching a goal. I'm going to do that from now on :)

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  22. What a good sister - and an awesome blowout! I know of the dreaded sleepless nights. I have a couple of those every week, it seems. Hopefully your schedule will go back to normal soon. It seems like the less sleep I get (always this time of year, too) makes me even more susceptible to viruses. Rest when you need to during the day, if you can.

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  23. Man! If I could get up an run at 4:45, that would be so great! It is so hard to exercise with a baby in the house!

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)