In 2006, I lost my Dad to a stage 4 inoperable glioma - a brain tumor. I gave myself 6 months to wallow and grieve in whatever way I saw fit, and that was it. When I came out of that 6 month tunnel, I found that I had gained a lot of weight. On January 1, 2007, my weight hit an all time high: 304 lbs. In the 3 years that followed, I lost nearly 90 lbs through diet, exercise, and accountability provided by my local Weight Watchers.
My life changed in 2011. Things got rough and I couldn't keep up. I started eating to compensate. Now we're in 2016 and I've reached a new all time high weight: 315.4 lbs. I will be documenting the process as I follow my past steps to lose the weight and reclaim my health once and for all.
First step: Goal Setting.
This was a huge part of my original success.
I choose goals that are attainable for me.
Over the years, I've figured out which things are road blocks for me.
Parties and buffets are a big trouble spot for me because
I have a tough time tracking what I'm eating in such circumstances.
If I know I'm working toward a reward that is far better than the food in front of me,
I track what I'm eating and it isn't a problem.
Maintenance is an oft forgotten accomplishment.
Just because you reached your goal doesn't mean you're done.
It definitely doesn't mean you should stop celebrating your success!
Now that we know our goals,
let's move on to planning rewards for success!
Rewards do NOT have to be food
I'm a big fan of rewards that don't have calories.
Rewards that have calories usually lead me to eating more
and more and more - and the rewards aren't beneficial
to my health. If they were, they wouldn't feel like rewards!
My ultimate goal is better health.
Some people are big on only allowing things like
new running shoes when a certain goal has been
met, but I'm not a fan of that and I'll tell you why:
Sometimes you need those tools in order to reach
the next goal. Don't deny yourself a tool that
you need to succeed!
Rewards are important
I plan lots of different rewards for various
accomplishments and they wouldn't all fit on the graphic!
One of my first rewards will be that when I've tracked my food & activity every day for a month, I get to try out Daily Burn. Daily Burn is a fitness video streaming service kind of like Netflix or Hulu.
They've partnered with Hulu to offer 30 days free.
I'm eager to try it, but I want to make sure that my head is in the game before I sign up.
Do you use Daily Burn? Let me know how you like it!
I intend to reward myself with something from the merch table at the
Metric concert I'm attending next month! I love sweatshirts, so if there's a good one,
I'll get the largest size and work toward fitting into it before the weather gets nasty again!
The same thing will happen this summer with another concert I'm attending!
2016 is my 6th year volunteering with the Sundance Film Festival,
so I went ahead an ordered a cute XL shirt to earn, too!
Hot Topic carries super cute nose rings and I'm still wearing the
jewelry that was put in when my nose was pierced.
New me, new jewelry!
New clothes are a necessity when you lose a significant amount of weight.
These can be like good sneakers - you might actually need them in order
to reach your goal. That said, you can absolutely reward yourself with
super cute shoes or a pair of jeans that look stunning on you when you
reach certain goals! I'm looking forward to lingerie and cosplay options!
Don't forget new undies for a quick mood boost!
Haircuts, makeup, and such are great confidence boosters!
No calories, great feeling. Yes, please.
Don't forget the value of relaxation items.
LUSH makes bath bombs that can help you relax sore muscles or get a better night's sleep.
I'm a big fan of their Softy lotion, too. Perfect for achy feet.
Trying a new activity can be scary, but it can be a lot of fun, too!
Among my anticipated rewards: Horseback riding, skydiving, zip-lining,
taking a pole fitness class, and surfing. If you're like me and don't
live near an ocean, there may be a FlowRider near you!
Check FlowRider.com/Installations to find out!
Come up with something you want to try.
How about rock climbing?
How many of us find ourselves avoiding cameras
because of our weight? I know I'm not alone here.
Try scheduling a photo shoot for yourself or your
family when you get halfway to your ultimate goal
and when you reach your goal.
Maybe you'll get a little daring and do a boudoir shoot!
Don't forget to take progress photos of yourself throughout
your journey so you can look back and see how far you've come!
Progress pictures kept me going when I would plateau for
a few weeks. Those weeks are tricky and deceptive.
It's good to have a plan for how you're going to cope with them.
Spa Treatments are a wonderful reward!
I've written before about how much I adore the Sego Lily Day Spa
here in Utah. Wherever you are, find a place that offers great
massages, facials, pedicures... whatever you're into.
Remember that a massage can be a great recovery
tool after a hard workout.
The last time I lost a significant amount of weight,
I stopped just short of getting under 200 lbs.
This time, I won't stop until I hit the goal my doctor
has set for me: 175 lbs. With this in mind, I'm planning
on getting a "Onederland" tattoo when I break through
the 200s once and for all! I promise I'll post photos
once I get there!
I've always wanted to participate in a RunDisney race.
When I get to 190 lbs, I'm going to do it!
Your rewards don't have to match mine. Ask yourself what you want and work it out so it's attainable. Almost anything can be worked into a reward. I've been wanting a big, floppy hat from World Market for my gardening days when the summer sun is right in my eyes. You know what? I'm going to get it. I just have to lose 10 lbs first.
This makes my rewards solid incentives.
I space things out so that I can get the things I want when I'll want them,
so long as I'm willing to push just a little harder.
Keep an eye out for what excites you.
Maybe it's a special handbag.
Maybe it's a swimsuit from a company that
simply doesn't make plus size swimwear.
(I'm coming for you, Maaji Swimwear!)
Maybe your best incentive is the allure of a
trip with friends or family or a Girls Night Out.
It's all up to you.
You can do it.
We'll do it together.
If you've enjoyed this post, please share it.
Leave me a comment letting me know which ideas are your favorites
and let me know if you have other ideas that you've used for rewards!
Update: It took me a little while to get this one posted. I've already lost 3.8 lbs!
I'm excited to start reaching my goals and earning non-food rewards!