The reason I’m so fat is I eat a lot of crap as a ‘reward’. Bad day? Poor you, you need to feel good about yourself. You’ve out up with so much. Have this packet of biscuits, bag of sweets and a burger to make yourself feel good.
Had a wonderful day? Hey, you need to celebrate! Have this packet of biscuits, bag of sweets, burger….
You get the picture.
The thing is that eating never makes you feel good. It starts of tasting good, then pretty quickly your munching away like it’s your job to finish that cake, biscuit, tub of ice cream – whatever. Then there’s the guilt afterwards.
As for the celebratory type of reward eating – have any of you actually done the type of ‘celebration’ where you buy a big cream cake and then stuff it in your face in the car? Or lots of chocolate etc and ‘celebrate’ by yourself at home? Now, that’s a party.
It really brings to mind Jesus’ words;
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Food has actually become a burden for me, both literally in the weight I carry and figuratively in its emotional impact.
The run of the mill diet advice is to reward yourself in other ways – great idea. Except with food I’ve pretty much learnt to expect relatively immediate rewards and, as the advice is ‘when you’ve lost 1/2 a stone’etc, this won’t work. I’ve begun to think I need a reward system where
* I immediately give myself recognition for my efforts to reinforce positive behaviour
* The recognition mounts up to some pretty satisfying rewards
So this is my idea – a reward jar. Yes, I am aware that what I’m about to share is pathetic as its what I do for my five year old. I plan to reward myself at the end of each day based on the following criteria. So I put in the jar….
€1 for when I eat only at mealtimes
€1 for when I do my workout (I’m not introducing these yet, but I will in the future) or when I walk 10,000 steps
€1 for when I don’t eat chocolate/sweets/biscuits/cakes that day
€1 for each pound I lose
So for each day I could ‘earn’ up to €3 or €5 (the latter on a, hopeful, weightloss day). This may sound a lot, but when I think of all the money I spend on junk food it just seems to be a reinvestment. You can, of course, spend these rewards on getting your nails done, getting your hair done, a new accessory etc.
But my mind is going back to the quote; I will give you rest. I need rest from the cycle of eating and as a Catholic though I think I’ll only really get that rest from the I AM. I believe in prayer and fasting; it can bring about miracles. Well what if I turn this diet into prayer and fasting? What if I say I’m going to dedicate the money to charity? Near me is a food bank – it would be eas to turn my daily rewards into physical help for others.
I’m going to commit to this.