You are not a dog. Don’t reward yourself with food. This meme resonated with me internally. But following it externally was another challenge in and of itself. It’s so easy to give into the myth that you deserve a cupcake or poutine after working out. It’s so easy to make this mistake time and time again to the point where you don’t get the results you want. Running on this hamster wheel of a vicious cycle only leads to more harm than good. That’s not to say that you don’t deserve a reward. Hard work always merits a reward. But there are much more beneficial ways to reward yourself.
Natural Bath Products
If you’re going to work up a sweat then the first thing you’re most likely to do afterwards is take a shower. Why not shower yourself with a reward such as a yummy natural product. Your skin and sore body will thank you for it. These days, I’m really digging natural soaps by local businesses such as Crate 61, Rocky Mountain Soap Company, Purple Urchin, and Mains de Mariposa.
Fun Healthy Food
No this isn’t an oxymoron and yes this does exist. I’m still learning more and more about this as I improve my relationship with food. One advantage for me is that I’ve been blessed to grow up loving fresh healthy food. If I gorge myself on too much sugar, salt, and fat and don’t have a balance of fresh fruits and vegetables, then I know that something is off. If you are at a loss for ideas on what to enjoy, try downloading apps like Cookspiration to keep the healthy juices flowing.
In this age of Instagram, healthy food is trendy and so very photogenic. Take Nadia Damaso’s Instagram. Stunning, Blueberries never looked so beautiful. Instead of baking up a batch of brownies, try making a delicious smoothie or a pretty salad and post a photo on Instagram to boost your moral support.
Fun Workout Classes
Again, not another oxymoron. You may feel burnt out after an intense workout but that fatigue shouldn’t stop you from moving. Instead, keep that momentum going and reward yourself with movement that makes you happy. Dance like no one’s watching in a Zumba class, try a new sport like stand-up paddleboard (great for the core), or dial it down with a relaxing and impactful yoga class.
A Shopping Trip
Okay, so maybe you don’t need an excuse to go to the mall. But maybe you’re someone like me who dreads going to the mall these days because it’s just smack in the face of the reality I don’t like to face. For me, it’s that my body has changed in a way that I never wanted. Recently, I went to the mall and decided to take on a different perspective. Maybe in a few months down the road, with all the hard work I put into eating healthy and working out, I can start to feel good again about trying on clothes I like in the stores. Maybe that day has come for you and maybe you can indulge that sale.
Celebrate your accomplishment. You deserve it. Even if it’s a small accomplisment, celebrate it. Celebrating the small accomplishments keeps you in a positive mind frame to set yourself up for the bigger accomplishments! Now if that isn’t something to chew on, then I don’t know what is.
I have been guilty of rewarding myself with unhealthy food after a workout many times. That being said, I’m no authority or expert on this matter. I do however feel that writing about this topic and sharing some of my ideas will help me to be more accountable. It also invites the opportunity to share more ideas and share more love.
What are some ways you have rewarded your workouts in a healthy way? Leave a comment below!