[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We all do it. We achieve a goal and then we go out and reward ourselves with a meal or treat that makes us feel happy. Personally, I still find myself in this mindset to some degree; I just treated myself in this way after our annual Burn Athlete photo shoot. I put months and months of hard work into my training and my meals, and then right after the shoot thought, “I earned this pizza!” …Not even 30 minutes after it was gone I felt terrible and I NEEDED to work it off!
Daily on my Facebook news feed I see my friends and family using food as a reward. I also see women in my gym using fitness as a “punishment” for overdoing it on the weekend! This deception isn’t easy to escape, but then again, nothing in life that is truly impactful is usually easy, is it? This particular cycle is crucial to break because, once we do, we can open up the door to a better life.
Food Is Not A Reward!
And while we’re on the topic, neither are adult beverages! I know my ladies love their wine! When we continuously rewarding ourselves with food or beverages, instead being mindful and only indulging in moderation, we begin to affiliate food with whether or not we’re worthy of success. We associate foods like pizza, chocolate and wine as treats for our “good behavior” – but that association is short-lived. After we indulge we often have feelings of guilt and failure and we shift our association to “bad behavior” for eating something that we believe we should avoid. The truth is, this association between food and our behavior doesn’t really exist, and by creating it we put ourselves in an unhealthy mindset.
Fitness Is Not Punishment
I get it… I used to run on a treadmill for what seemed like hours to “burn off” whatever I did to my body over the weekend. You see, the problem here was that I hated running! It was so boring to me and I knew I needed to find a workout that was fun for me – something that I looked forward to doing, something that involved people that have similar goals as me! You want to make sure that fitness is just a part of your daily routine, where you get to face the challenge of becoming the best version of yourself!
5 Tips to Change Your “Food Reward” Mindset
I am going to give you 5 tips to change your mindset on rewarding with food and viewing workouts as punishment…
Tip 1 – Find a Different Reward
This might seem like a given, but I wanted to give you some examples of different rewards I use for myself that don’t include food…
- Get a massage and take care of your body and muscles.
- Go get a manicure or pedicure, pampering is fun.
- Schedule an outing with a friend and set off on an adventure.
- Treat yourself to a new pair of shoes.
- Try out a new hair style.
- Buy some new workout clothes that help motivate you!
Tip 2 – Reminisce o a Fun Workout
Think about the most fun you have had during a workout! Maybe it was a partner workout with your best #Swolemate or Burn Beats Live!
Tip 3 – Be Mindful
When find yourself trying to rationalize food as a reward, stop yourself right there. Take three deep breaths and remind yourself that your behaviors don’t determine what you can and can’t eat. Then, think why you want the food. For example, you might say, “I want chocolate, because it tastes good – not because I do or don’t deserve it.” If the reason you want the food is because it tastes good, there are healthier options that taste good as well. Reach for some strawberries, or some watermelon!
Tip 4 – Meet Someone New at the Gym
When you make connections with people at the gym you begin to not only want to go because of the workouts, but also because of the relationships you have built! This helps hold us accountable and makes us want to go back day in and day out!
Tip 5 – Get Creative With Your Food
Oftentimes, junk foods feel indulgent simply because we don’t know how to create healthy options! Below I have attached a recipe for avocado pudding. I make this when I feel like indulging without reverting to junk food!
WHAT YOU NEED
• 3 large avocados, soft and ripe
• 1/4 cup organic, high-quality cacao powder
• 3 to 6 Tbsp. of unsweetened almond milk
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 2 tsp. coconut oil
• 2 Tbsp. raw honey
Combine avocado, cacao powder, almond milk, vanilla, coconut oil and honey in blender. Blend on high for 5 minutes or until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then enjoy!
Always remember that you should not feel discouraged if you’re not on your “diet A-game” 100% of the time! Small progress is still progress and food should always be thought of as a way to fuel your body with vital nutrients and protein. Try not to put yourself down for indulging in a treat every once in a while… but remember to make healthy choices along the way.
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