I really believe in the reward system for successfully achieving anything, so I decided to give myself rewards for reaching health goals that are not food. At the beginning all my rewards were food related.

I ate well all week and then stuffed my face with junk food on a Friday.

That was a great reward at first but I found it slowed down my results after a day and night of eating junk food. Plus, I always felt terrible after eating junk food. Bloated, uncomfortable and lacking in energy.

In fact at first just eating well all day used to give me an excuse to reward myself with bad food (usually something like a doughnut or chocolate) in the evening. So I have come a long way.

Now, I have decided to find rewards for reaching health goals that are not food. Things that are fun to do and/or will contribute to my health.

I am basing the following 10 rewards on the fact that I have 5 stones – 70lbs / 31 kilos left to lose. I have already shed 3 stones (42 lbs / 19 kg).

1. An item of clothing

I have never been a big fan of clothes shopping but as my body becomes slimmer I do need to start changing my clothes. Rather than wait and have to do loads at once, for every 14 lbs (6kgs) I lose I buy myself something new.

2. An accessory

I love earrings and as I used to have very short hair I would go out of my way to find chunky earrings. I recently threw away quite a few of them so now I will buy myself a new pair of earrings or some other type of accessory for every 14 lbs I lose.

3. A massage (can be self-massage)

I would like this to be a monthly treat but for now it is one of my rewards for reaching health goals. Usually my just for today juice cleanse that I perform every month. If I manage to stick to whatever goal I set for myself.

4. Long Weekend Off

I am self-employed. It means work is around me 24/7. I am getting better at switching off over the weekends but not always. To celebrate a goal I will stop work by mid-day Friday and not get back on my computer until Monday morning.

5. An exercise bootcamp (my next reward coming up soon)

This reward is actually a gift from my daughter. I am attending a boot camp in March 2015. It is a three day exercise and healthy eating bootcamp in the Cotswolds run by Hillmotts. This is my reward for having already shed 3 stones (42 lbs / 19 kg).

6. Buy ready made vegetable juices (1 stone reward)

No, this isn’t technically food, it’s juice! Sometimes I get tired of having to make my vegetable juices and stuff the fridge with vegetables. I thought it might be nice to treat myself to a 3-day or 5-day juice cleanse that is ready made.

This will be my treat for getting 4 stones (56 lbs / 25 kilos) down or more (another 14 lbs to go). It also means I will be below my 2010 weight of 17 stone 9 lbs (247 lbs / 112 kgs) and from that moment onwards I have hit new territory. I can’t remember the last time I was below that weight.

It costs around £99 for a 3-day juicing package and I have my eye on Jason Vale Juice Master / Plenish / and The Natural Juicing Company

7. Gym membership (2 stones reward)

I am not a fan of attending the gym but I used to belong to a really lovely one. It had a swimming pool and sauna room. You could sit in the cafe and talk to people/eat healthy food, plus they hosted loads of events for members. There is a Bannatyne’s gym in Luton. I think it has a swimming pool/sauna but I need to check that out.

I want to treat myself to a really lovely gym membership and am currently saving for that. I want to treat myself to this goal when I am 5 stones lighter (70 lbs) or more. Hopefully that will be by April 2015 after my boot camp experience.

8. A Personal Trainer for two months (3 stones reward)

At this point I will have managed to shed a total of 6 stones (84 lbs) and the last two (I am guessing) might be quite a challenge. To help motivate me I will book myself a personal trainer for two months who will teach me some great techniques.

I may get them to workout with me in the gym or teach me some workouts to do at home because I don’t want my fitness to depend on me having to get to a gym.

9. A new hairstyle (4 stones reward)

By the time I am 6 stones (84 lbs / 38 kilos) down or more I want to look at  getting myself a new hair style. Right now it just grows and I twist it, nothing very exciting. At this point I will either cut it all off and go super short or look at extensions (but not a weave I don’t think) to make it super long.

10. A weekend away (5 stones reward)

I am currently saving for this for when I am 7 stones (84 lbs / 38 kilos) down or more. I fancy time in the country but it has to be at a time of year when it is hot. I love the beach and am looking to take my youngest with me.

As I am single and my children are all grown up goals like time alone and a long bath are not really rewards for reaching health goals for me. I can do them every day, but they might be for you if your time is taken up with partners and young children.

I do try to do as many free things as possible. I love walking but that is part of my health regime and so not really a reward.

No time limits set

Usually with goal setting we are encouraged to set a time deadline. The SMART acronym says that my goals should be time-bound, however past experience has taught me that being time-bound just sets off my self-sabotage routine.

So there are no limits. With this journey it takes as long as it takes and that’s it. Being this relaxed about it has really helped me to stay on track.

I have given myself until March 2016 to get to my ideal weight – that really is the only time limit I have set but it is not set in stone. So I could say that I will enjoy most of those rewards during 2015. At least it gives me something to look forward to but as I said, there is no real time limit set for this.

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