This month's post comes from my friend and local Life Coach, Krista Harris. She's amazing and has some truly powerful tips below.
Let’s be real - food has always been a part of a celebration - and it’s never healthy food.
Labor Day/Memorial Day/July 4th = Time to grill hotdogs and hamburgers all day!
Thanksgiving = Turkey is the star of the show technically - but we all know it’s all about those sides.
Christmas = Big dinners with family, Christmas ham.
Easter = Chocolate and candy!
It’s my birthday, or your birthday, or the dude down the street’s birthday = time to eat cake!
Wedding day = Yes it took all the force of your friends to pour you into the perfect wedding gown - let’s celebrate with endless appetizers, entrees, and the public cutting an enormous decorative cake so by the end you feel so bloated you give up...on life.
Big promotion at work = The Boss takes you out for a big, decadent dinner.
It’s easy to see where we’ve trained our brains to believe that food = a celebration or a reward for completing a task or a job well done.
However, if you are on a path of trying to live a healthier lifestyle, this is a pattern you need to work on breaking. It’s a form of emotional eating, and if this is an issue for you - then you should address it and come up with alternative ways to reward yourself. Food should not make things better - remember that we eat to live, not live to eat! And if you are on a quest to lose weight, rewarding yourself with food for hitting your weight loss goals will just perpetuate the 'one step forward, 2 steps back'.
Rewarding yourself with food can also lead to bigger problems. Every time you experience something great then you’re going to think about food, even outside your workouts. You could go from “I got through that yoga class, time for fro-yo” (which isn’t a healthy way of thinking about working out to begin with) to “what a stressful day at work, I’m ordering my favorite pizza when I get home”.
Let’s be real, getting through the day is not something to celebrate.
On the other hand, what if you got through your FIRST yoga class and you did need a little reward? Well, don’t make it food! Learn to create alternate rewards based on:
The difficulty of the task you completed or goal you achieved. So your first hot yoga class should equal a reward like, for example, allowing yourself to watch an hour of trashy tv, or buy a new book, or get an hour of mani pedi time
"Splurges" that will motivate you. Trashy TV and books not your thing? What is? Come up with something that is and that will motivate you to complete tasks in your life.
Here are some ideas of alternate rewards you can use to motivate you to keep up your healthy lifestyle and achieve your health goals:
Take a day off from work - use that personal time for actual personal time!
Spa treatment - pamper yourself! Massage, mani, pedi, facial...
Buy a new outfit or gadget - fitness inspired or not. Finished your first 5K? Treat yourself to a new pair of running shoes. Added walking to your daily routine? Get a fancy fitbit so you can see what a difference you are making.
Plan a vacation - for a night, weekend or longer. Heck, it can even be a vacation where you stay home but try new things in your city.
Plan a day or night out with friends – movies, hiking, shopping, museums, blow drys
Hire someone to do that household chore you hate. There are so many services out there right now where you can hire people to clean your house, pick up your groceries, etc - treat yourself to not lifting a finger on that task you loathe.
Give yourself a set amount of time to binge watch that Netflix show everyone keeps talking about.
Thanks, Krista! You can learn more about Life Coaching @ lifecoachingphilly.com. Did y'all find this helpful? Write to me and tell me about the changes you've made - I'd love to hear from you! <3 Jess