Monday, November 17, 2014

Rewards/Bribery

Does anyone else do this for hard things?  Or things that you just aren't that excited about, but know you need to do them anyway?  I've always done this, from rewarding myself (back in my pre-diet days) with a trip to Coldstone Creamery after going in for my mammogram, to better-for-me options like a pedicure when I reached a certain number on the scale (back when I used to weigh myself), or allowing myself guilt-free knitting time once I completed certain tasks around the house. 

When I was training for my first half marathon in 2010, I had to do my long runs with the marathon group because I was trying to ramp up my mileage for an earlier race than what my running club was training for.  Because there were so few of us in that group, I did all of my long runs alone - sure, there were others ahead of and behind me, but I never had a running buddy to get through those miles with.  Some of our runners used to think about what splurge meal they would have that day, but I would - and I'm sure if you've read my blog for any length of time, you won't be surprised to read this - think about what I'd buy for myself.  Once it was a yoga mat...obviously it didn't have to be particularly expensive items, but more like little indulgent splurges.  I didn't feel the need to do this once I started running with friends, because I wasn't solely focused on how many more miles I had ahead of me and why was I doing this and OMG WHYYYYY???

But I've had to get through a couple of long runs mostly on my own lately, and Saturday's 11 miler was one of them.  I was by myself for the last half of the run, and while I felt fine in that nothing was hurting, it was a huge physical and mental challenge to keep running.  I tried to buckle down and not think about where I was in relation to the finish, and that worked for a while...and then I was at mile 9 - ugh.  Two miles to go.  Two miles isn't a lot, until it's the last two of eleven.  I started feeling, well, not exactly sorry for myself, because obviously I'm choosing to put myself through this torture do this, but I was definitely needing some motivation.  I recently bought a pair of Adidas "boyfriend" pants that I loved, and decided that was it - I'd get a second pair as my reward for completing the 11 mile run.  I kept thinking "boyfriend pants, boyfriend pants" as I ran on, and the funny thing is that my last mile was the fastest...coincidence?  I think not.
(not my body (HA!) - image swiped from Zappos)
The official name is "BF 7/8" because these are supposed to hit just below the calf.  On my short legs, they are full-length, and super comfortable to wear around the house.  Nicer than sweats, but cozier than jeans.

I don't always need to reward myself for doing hard things, but I like to have a bribe as an option, just in case I really start to falter.  It used to be food, but aside from a cinnamon twist, food rarely motivates me these days.  Back when I was dieting, promising myself a new top once I lost a certain number of pounds was a great motivator/reward.  I think the act of acknowledging when you are doing something challenging is important, and having a bribe on hand doesn't hurt, either.  What say you?

25 comments:

  1. I do think of rewards sometimes too but to be honest I buy it anyway even if I didn't deserve it :) Or I buy something in advance because I will do something. Ending up with what I wanted to buy and not doing what I should have done for it.

    The only thing I do too is doing things around the house first before doing anything else for the same reason like you: so I can do things for myself without guilt.

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    1. I do wait until I've earned the reward...otherwise, I'd never do it but still manage to justify why I deserved it, LOL.

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  2. ALWAYS.
    and now more more more more so with another move at hand and MORE PACKING AT HAND.

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    1. Packing for a move is its own special kind of hell. Reward, reward, reward!!!

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  3. Well you know what they say don't you? If you have time to thoroughly clean your house and do lots of cooking and shopping then you clearly aren't knitting enough:) Since I took up knitting a bunch my house cleaning has er well slipped, to the minimums.:) I'd rather be knitting. As for exercise I still like doing it so I don't have to bribe myself there hmm wonder if that would work to get myself to clean more and declutter? I'm all for what ever gets you to workout as long as its not a "food" reward:) except your Blue Baker on Saturdays of course.

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    1. LOL - I need that knitting saying on a sign!

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  4. I've never rewarded myself, ever. I think it's that perfectionist streak in me that says whatever I did wasn't quite enough therefore "no reward for you!"

    I do however believe strongly in running mantras because as we know, it's not just about the physical with running - more often it's mental (and yes we are probably mental to do it). I think if you can use "I get a treat! I get a treat!" as your mantra, you are spot on, whether or not you actually buy the treat :D

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    1. I'm kind of sad for you, that it's never good enough. :( You do a lot of amazing things (BLACK BELT, for one) and should absolutely feel like you deserve that feeling, along with any kind of reward.

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  5. Thinking about this. I think I still at least THINK about food as a reward. Don't too often actually GET the food. Of course there was that reward bracelet...

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    1. Oh, a milestone reward is completely different in my book (see my 50-pound ring and 100-pound boots, LOL). :)

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    2. Have you shared the 50lb ring with us?
      It's not *ringing* a bell...
      Chrissy

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    3. I did share, but it was over six years ago (this month, in fact): http://www.myjourneytofit.com/2008/11/milestone.html

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  6. Meant to say I love the look and idea of those boyfriend pants. Gotta check them out!

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  7. At the beginning of my weight loss journey I promised myself a new Pandora bracelet & a new bead to mark each 5 pound loss. Happily I have a trip to the Pandora store on this week's agenda to mark another 5 pound drop [26.2 in total so far!]. So ....I combine my guilty pleasure of choosing a new bead along with a skinny latte with a 5 mile return walk to the local mall.

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    1. Weight loss = jewelry + walking to buy it + skinny latte...it's the perfect set up!

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  8. My "rewards" are more along the lines of a magazine, jewelry or something for home. I don't do it often...but it's a cute little game I play with myself. PS: LOVE those pants!!!

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  9. Yeah - I bargain with myself a lot. Many times in the evening when I want to sit and play the Playstation , I will say - "do x, x and x chore first and then you can play'. The reward isn't always food, but sometimes it is :D

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  10. I haven't really used rewards. Maybe I need to begin doing this. Maybe start off with some mini goals and rewards. Apparently the way I have been doing it isn't showing the results I need, so this won't hurt. :))

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  11. I'm not much of a rewarder for myself, but my dietitian recently recommended that for every 5 Zumba classes I go to, I should buy myself a new piece of workout wear. I've got 3 classes under my belt already. I get a treat in another week - woohoo!

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    1. Love the idea of workout wear for getting to the class--its a reward, plus having new workout wear makes you want to go to the class even more!

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    2. I think workout clothes for completing a certain number of workouts is an excellent reward...win-win all around!

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  12. I do that all the time - like I'll tell myself if I actually fold the laundry AND put it away, I can screw around on Facebook for 15 minutes without feeling guilty - it was my reward! :D

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  13. I have myself set up on an "allowance" system where if I accomplish all of my goals and tasks in two weeks I get $20 to spend as I please or save as I please. If I don't accomplish a particular task I lose a dollar. these are broken down to daily tasks. Seems juvenile I know but whatever works.

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