We all have moments when we want to reward ourselves with something or it may be an event that needs to be celebrated. Many times, this celebration or reward revolves around or involves some type of food. There is nothing wrong with this approach as long as we can be mindful of our choices. Each goal and milestone deserves to be celebrated, just think outside the realm of food.
As we adopt healthy eating behaviors, one strategy is to think about non-food rewards and celebrations. A reward can be anything that makes you happy, something you enjoy doing; it doesn’t always have to be a food item. For example, I enjoy photography and using my camera gives me immense pleasure but I do not get to do it “for fun” often. On my birthday, I am happier taking pictures with my family vs. going out for dinner. I would rather have a simple meal at home if it meant I could spend more time taking pictures. While on vacations, I can pass on the dessert, buffets, or food-related activities if that means I can take more pictures! Food isn’t necessary to make an occasion special for me; my camera is. Other activities that serve as rewards for me are hiking and shopping.
Think of activities you enjoy but aren’t able to do on a routine day. These can be used as a reward or on special occasions. It can be gardening, taking a nap, going out for a movie, calling a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, etc. Keeping a list of some of these activities is a great way to pick something when you need to without falling back on a food-related reward because you couldn’t think of anything else in the moment. Print out our Non-Food Reward List to get you started.
What makes you happy when you need to reward yourself or celebrate? Share your ideas below.
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