Motivation Monday: Real Rewards

Today's Motivational Monday serves as a kick in the rear end and a reminder of what happens so often as we journey towards a healthier lifestyle. I have seen so many tweets, Facebook statuses, and picture uploads of my friends who have a fitness or health goal, accomplishes a milestone, and then chooses to "reward" themselves with a big slice of chocolate cake.

Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with chocolate cake if that is your thing (I prefer a heavenly slice of strawberry cheesecake myself); what I am saying is that if you lose a pound, or cut a few seconds on your 1-mile run, or you increase the weight on your power-lifting, that is awesome... but do not go feed yourself as a result, especially with junk food.

I love the quote above because it accurately compares how we reward our beloved four-legged friends and we reward ourselves. We treat them with food. Anyway we choose to treat ourselves should always be in line with our goals, not go against them.

My gift to you this week are my five favorite ways to properly reward myself when I succeed:

5. Try a New Healthy Recipe - For someone who does not LOVE cooking with all of her heart, I do get excited when I find a new recipe that is both healthy and delicious. New recipes get me excited about cooking, and sometimes help pull me out of a slump of repetitive meals. I have not tried it yet, but I would recommend taking a cooking class with some friends. I know it would be a fun time, and of course, learning something new is always a plus!!

4. New Digs for the New Shape - A great way to reward some weight loss success is to purchase a new outfit, pair of shoes, or bathing suit (something to show off that slimmed down figure). I personally do not do this for every pound I lose, but maybe for incremental goals. For example, for every ten pounds, you can purchase a new pair of jeans or shoes. You can also keep the reward within your goal by purchasing a new pair of workout pants or dumbbells. You always feel more amazing in new clothes after you have worked for it.

3. A Visit to the Salon - A perfect addition to celebrating your fitness goals is with a new 'do. Treat yourself to a new cut, some fresh highlights, or just a basic shampoo and style (because there is nothing like having some one else massage your head for you during a wash). It does not have to be dramatic or expensive, but it will make you that much more confident in your other goals and give you a pep in your step.

2. New Cosmetics - A great way to show off a new look is with some of your favorite cosmetics, mine obviously being from Artistry Cosmetics & Skincare through my marketing business, Rivers Empire. Once again, you do not have to go crazy and break the bank, but a simple purchase of your favorite lip color or mascara will give you that boost of confidence to tackle your next health goal.

1. Get a Massage - This is my personal favorite. I call them my "Monthly Monday Massages." I make sure to get at least one, once a month; usually at the end or beginning of the month. I choose to reward my hard work in the gym weightlifting with some much needed relaxation. The awesome thing is that I do not splurge by any means. I have standing monthly appointments with the Houston School of Massage, where I can get an hour long massage for only $30 from one of their students. Everyone wins!!

People who reward themselves with food, have a higher chance of overeating, feeling guilty, and giving up on their goals. Find other ways to celebrate your successes in the gym that keep you focused and fresh! Come up with your own list of rewards to motivate you to push harder and go farther.

Remember, fitness and wellness are supposed to be fun!!

In Health,
~ Q. Olivia 

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