Setting goals is vital to your health and fitness journey and it’s equally important to recognize and celebrate your healthy eating and exercise accomplishments along the way. It’s a good reminder to yourself that you are strong and capable of anything.
The problem is, we often convince ourselves that we deserve to indulge in food. A fancy dinner, brunch date, or dessert are the most common ways to reward ourselves. Of course, ordering take-out from time to time isn’t going to hinder your progress, but how do we celebrate without involving food? Food rewards are counterintuitive when you’re celebrating a milestone in your health and fitness journey.
Also, if you view food as a reward, you’re more likely to develop a bad relationship with food, which could quickly spiral out of control. Remember, everything is just fine in moderation! Severe restriction could lead to binging, so why not have a small piece of chocolate every day to satisfy the craving?
Though I am guilty of treating myself with food as a reward at times, here are some other things that I like to do when I earn a treat:
Treat yourself with a new gym outfit. There’s not much more motivating than new gym clothes that make you feel all the confidence in the world. You deserve to wear things that make you feel unstoppable.
Invest in self-care. Go get a massage. Go get a facial. Go get a manicure or a pedicure. Investing in self-care is always a good investment. It can get expensive real quick, though, so I like to treat these things as rewards every now and then. You could even make DIY hair and face masks.
Play hooky. Call in sick to work. Skip class and watch the lecture online instead or get notes from a friend. A healthy lifestyle is not just about your physical health, but your mental health, too.
Take the time to do your hair and makeup. Sometimes the look-good, feel-good technique works wonders.
Book yourself a personal training session. You’ve already made great strides in your fitness journey, let a personal trainer push you to make even greater ones.
Allow yourself to have a lazy night. Being a couch potato is not common practice in a healthy lifestyle, but if you’ve accomplished a ton this week and your idea of a perfect night is cuddling up on the couch and binge watching Netflix, you do you.
Take advantage of the non-athletic stuff that your gym has to offer. Does your gym have a hot tub, steam room, or sauna? What about a massage bed?
Take a nap. Reward yourself with a nice nap after work instead of tackling your never-ending to-do list. Sleep is very important.
Run yourself a bubble bath and turn in early. Spend some time pampering yourself with things that make you feel good. Take a bath, shave your legs, moisturize, change your bed sheets, and go to sleep early. I mean, is there a better feeling than crawling into bed with fresh sheet, wet hair, and shaved legs?
Buy yourself flowers or something else that makes you smile. Adding a little lively color is enough to brighten your day even a little bit every time you walk through the door.
Go on a romantic date with your partner. Try attending a local event or a live show. There are so many things that do not involve food!
Perhaps, most importantly of all, praise yourself. We are so, so hard on ourselves the majority of the time so take time to give yourself meaningful compliments and believe them. You are unstoppable.