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Here is a definition of “Reward”: a thing given in recognition of one’s service, effort, or achievement.

I believe that all of us have, at times in our lives, received rewards and also have given rewards to others.  

First, let’s break down that part of the definition that states: in recognition of one’s service, effort, or achievement.  Sometimes, rewards that we have been given or we provide to others recognize major achievements such as a retirement after 30 years of working, a graduation from a higher university, a very impactful achievement at work, etc.  Often, rewards are received/provided for smaller accomplishments such as our children cleaning their rooms, our spouse coming home from a hard day at work and we want to reward him/.her for this difficult day, etc.

Rewards come in different forms:  The person being recognized for a long career may get a wonderful plaque and a cash gift.  Our spouse coming home from the difficult work day may get a foot massage that evening.

We all tend to “reward” ourselves for what we feel are accomplishments on our part.  These self-rewards come in different forms: Buying the newest smart phone, a new car, an item that supports our favorite hobby…these are examples of self-rewards.

On an immediate basis, the most available and least costly rewards are the ones that damage our weight control efforts.  When you come home from a long and difficult day of work, buying a new car, taking a vacation or ordering that new golf club does not provide that “immediate” reward.  However, getting the wine bottle out of the cabinet or going into the pantry for a high-sugar/high-caloric snack will be an instantaneous reward and most certainly will not break the bank.

Take a step back and analyze your self-reward systems.  Are these based on foods and drinks that derail your weight loss efforts?  If so, do your very best to find other rewards that will not harm you.  At the same time, also think about how you reward others.  If some/many of your loved ones are also battling weight control , do you really want to reward them with things that cumulatively will harm them?

Rewards are important and should be a part of our lives.  Let’s make sure these rewards truly help us.

Any “The Boss” fans out there?  Here is Springstein’s take on “Rewards”…My Beautiful Reward