“Are you going to tell the diet police, or are you going to retain your right to remain silent?” That was the question posed by my boyfriend after I stepped off the scale this week and announced the result.
I gained a kilo!
Don’t get me wrong; this didn’t come as a surprise! I have no disillusions as to how it happened. In fact, I can think of a number of reasons – the chocolate and banana milkshake shared with colleagues after school, the packet of Whispers that was just lying there, the second packet of Whispers that was sought out and not to mention the copious amounts of “thank-you” chocolates I received from teachers. Each and every “cheat” was justified in my mind. “I deserve this!” or “I’ve been so good up to now, what’s one more _______________?” The problem was not “one more _____________” the problem was that it was really “5 more ___________”, but at the time, I was not thinking that.
So what have I learnt? Don’t use food as a reward! If you think about it, we’ve been conditioned to see food as a reward from an early age. From the mother who is trying to get her child to eat all their supper in exchange for dessert and the doctor who gives the child a lollipop for being a “brave boy/girl”, right up to colleagues buying chocolates as thank yous. I’m guilty of it myself! Just last week I gave a group of girls in my science class each a packet of Whispers for coming first in the quiz (hence the extra packet of Whispers lying around). This is not a novel idea. When I did a simple Google search, I found numerous studies and research that has been done into the topic. Bottom line: using food as a reward perpetuates a bad psychological cycle.
So this week I’m going to try and avoid using food as a reward. I might have the odd “nice-to-have” (remember the balance) but it’s going to be just that, a nice-to-have, not a reward. Instead of the reward, I’m going to focus on how far I’ve come and how good I feel and try to take that as reward in itself.
Happy moving and munching!