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Do We Need Rewards?

Remember as a child being motivated by our parents into some action we did not want to do, such as clean our room, wash the dishes or pick up the dog doo from the back yard?  That “motivation” typically came as some sort of “reward” such as getting a great dessert, some extra allowance etc.  Very often, these rewards, in fact did propel us into action.

Fast-forward to our adult years when no one is really offering us any “rewards” for taking part in activities that we do not necessarily enjoy.  We still like to be rewarded for our diligent/hard work and these rewards are often self-provided.   There are many different types of rewards that make us feel good, such as taking a vacation, purchasing a new car or going on a shopping spree at our favorite store.  These rewards can obviously cost lots of $$$ and usually do not happen immediately.

Probably the most inexpensive and immediate rewards we can provide ourselves are a food/dessert we crave or a glass of our favorite alcohol.  Five double stuffed Oreos are a great reward after a long day and that costs less than a buck and can be obtained within 2 minutes of entering your house if they are sitting in the pantry.   Two glasses of wine?  Similar to the Oreos..depending on the type of wine, this will be no more than 2 bucks at home and also, available within minutes of coming through the doors.

During your long-term weight control journey, it is important to evaluate your self-reward systems and ensure that you are not derailing your efforts by using those foods and drinks that got you into the weight program to begin with.

Now, with Valentine’s Day approaching, we all need to evaluate the gifts we are giving our special Valentines.  More to follow!

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