I'm not kidding - this really is something you should be doing.
It is important to do good things for yourself when you start and maintain a fitness regime.
As a personal trainer one of my jobs is to tell my clients when they've done a good job. I praise them, thank them for working hard, shout out to them on Twitter and occasionally throw them a high five. It is important they know I see how hard they have worked. As their PT I appreciate that it isn't easy to show up every week and give 100% for that hour they see me.
In life we are praised in a whole host of different situations. When we do well at School, when we do well at work, when the dentist tells us we don't need a filling or when we make someone a cracking cup of tea. A lot of our self-worth is built on the praise and acknowledgement we receive from ourselves but more importantly from others.
One of the most common ways we reward ourselves as humans is with food.
We are excited to indulge and 'treat' ourselves and this becomes even more prominent when we restrict what we eat and don't allow ourselves to have food we enjoy because diet culture has deemed it as bad. When you give control of food to a diet at one time or another, we just can't help but rebel against it.
However, when you allow yourself to eat anything but choose to have the things you know will make you feel 'good' (not sugar high good) you no longer need to forbid yourself food. Easier said than done I know.
You'll notice that the more successful diets, workouts and fitness app's will all contain an element of reward for completing workouts or staying on track with nutrition. Whether that's points to indulge in food or a glass of wine, a badge for losing weight, a tick for completing a workout or a buzz on your phone to say you've achieved your goal. Those moments of celebration and acknowledgement are what keep people engaged and coming back for more.
Anyone with a FitBit knows we love to hit a step count, right?
I thought perhaps some new ideas on how you could pat yourself on the back after a workout to keep you on track and help stop you rewarding a workout with food which you'll punish yourself for later.
1. New Gym Gear
In the same way that we feel good in a new pair of jeans or a new pair of shoes - I find the same rules apply when it comes to getting some new kit to wear to the gym. Nothing makes me feel more confident when I train clients than a new pair of leggings that fit nice and flatter my figure.
2. Spa Day
There are some awesome offers and discounts you can get for solo or group spa days online, why not book a little pamper session in for you and a mate or your significant other and spend a few hours really indulging yourself.
3. A Book
Maybe something you've had your eye on for a while, a real page turner. Something that you can look at on the bookshelf and say you treated yourself for because you're bossing it down the gym.
4. Coffee with a friend
I mean nothing beats a proper chin wag does it? Some time spent with a good mate putting the world to rights is time well spent as far as I'm concerned.
Why not get away for a night or for the weekend? Go and explore somewhere different and really enjoy the time away knowing you've worked hard to get where you are and help you rest up to keep going.
Whatever it is - choose it for yourself and really enjoy it.
As someone who struggles to accept praise and any sort of vague compliment I understand that it is easy to brush off or dismiss feedback that you get when you're exercising consistently, and people are starting to see changes in you. You walk that bit taller, look that bit brighter in the face and seem that bit more comfortable in your own skin. Embrace it.
It isn't smug to accept praise for something you're really working at. Take it and enjoy it, you earned it.
I have to ask; how will you reward yourself? Comment below!