I wanted to chat about a topic I feel is important when it comes to health and fitness, and especially if you are transitioning into a healthier lifestyle.
It's easy to get started on a healthier journey, but oftentimes it can be hard to keep going. What do you do to keep the momentum going?
Reward your accomplishments.
Okay, so does that mean I have a big fat burger and fries after a killer work out?
No, not exactly. I wouldn't recommend it, anyway.
Here is an example.
After the Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon a few weeks ago, I wanted to treat myself for accomplishing that goal. I had spent months logging in the miles, getting the time on my feet, and I felt that I earned something. Kind of a high five to myself, if you get what I mean.
So, I enjoyed my weekend in Vancouver and made wise choices when we were out to eat. For my post-race meal we went to a cute breakfast cafe downtown, and I chose to have an egg and veggie skillet instead of the eggs benny with that deliciously creamy Hollandaise sauce. Nope, I chose wisely, because I knew that my reward was coming.
What did I reward myself with? A spa afternoon with my sister. We got massages and pedicures, and I felt so relaxed and content. It was just what my mind and body needed. Additionally, during the Seawheeze weekend I also rewarded myself with a few new work out pieces and some yoga to keep my body feelin' good. This was my celebration of all the time put into training for the race.
Setting goals is great and everything, but what happens after you reach your goal?
Some people want to celebrate with food, and that's great if that's what you are into.
However, I'll tell you why I don't personally like to reward myself with food.
Rewarding yourself with food, especially when it is something high sugar, high fat, or highly processed can aid in undoing all of your hard work, especially if you make that reward a regular thing.
What do I mean by this? If after every time I went to the gym I went to Starbucks and got a frappuccino and a donut, eventually that would start to catch up to me. Those extra calories would add up, and (knowing my body) I would get super bloated and end up feeling down on myself and wonder, why did I eat that? Ja feel? Choosing a whole food option post-workout is always a better idea from a nutrition stand point.
Are you saying you have never rewarded yourself with food? Nope, that's not what I am saying at all. After my bikini competition last year I had a meal out with my family, and it was damn good because I hadn't had a meal like that in seven months.
On the other hand, food is fuel for your body and should be used as a tool simply to put engine in your tank. Personally, if I want a glass of wine at the end of the work day, I will have one (if we have my favourite reds in the house). However, I cut myself off after a glass or two, because I know that if I have anything more than that I will A) be drunk and B) not feel great. Keeping your balance of food treats and whole foods in check will help keep you on track if you have a health or weight loss goal. Of course there are several other factors, but I won't get into that right now : )
What I am saying is that there are other options when it comes to rewarding yourself.
Why should you reward your accomplishments?
Rewarding yourself for accomplishing a goal can help you stay motivated to achieve your next goal. Mentally, you will know that you have something just for you at the finish line, and that will propel you towards your goal. These are some of the biggest reasons why I reward my accomplishments, even if it is with something small.
A few ideas for non-food rewards:
- Book a spa treatment such as a massage or pedicure (my personal favourites!)
- Buy a new piece of work out gear
- Participate in a relaxing yoga session
- Take a nap! Seriously. So nice
- Take a bath with your favourite bath bomb, bath salts or bubble bath. Or all three!
- Paint your nails
- Have an at-home spa evening
- Unwind with your favourite movie
- Plan a road trip, vacation, day trip, etc
The list goes on and on! Sometimes you gotta get creative with it, but at the end of the day as long as you are doing something you love, that's a reward in itself : )
Disclaimer: Keep in mind that everyone has their own way of rewarding their accomplishments, whether that is buying a new lipstick or going for a full on shopping spree. Rewarding yourself shouldn't break the bank, either. It's important to mindful about how you are rewarding yourself as you do not want it to become harmful to your finances.
What are some ways you reward your accomplishments?