Weight Loss Rewards and NSVs


It’s no secret that I’ve been wavering around the same 5 pounds all summer long. That’s not weight loss.

That’s maintenance.

My friend Terri and I reason that sometimes the struggle lies within the fact that there are so many events in the summer where we like to indulge in a few extra cocktails. 😉 I also believe it’s the spontaneity of such events that throws off my meal planning. I need to learn to improvise a bit better. I’m sure you can tell by my most recent restaurant posts that I haven’t been making the healthiest choices.

Despite all that, I’ve officially, finally reached 35 pounds in weight loss!

So it’s time to celebrate. I’m almost to the halfway mark. My goal is to lose, when all is said and done, 75 to 80 pounds.

So how do I celebrate?

With rewards!

At each 5-lb milestone, I treat myself to something {not food related}. Some may say that the weight loss in and of itself should be a reward. Why, yes it is! But there’s something about knowing that I’m working toward that next little reward that won’t take forever, that really helps. One step after another gets us to the finish line, right?

What kind of rewards?

An argument I’ve heard is that it’s just too expensive to reward yourself every time a goal is reached. It is hard to buy a new wardrobe if you are in the middle of your weight loss trek. Well, I’ve found some inexpensive ways to treat myself:

  • I bought Groupons for massages or pedicures for salons nearby in which the expiration dates were at a late enough date that I could accomplish a goal before redeeming. These were often more than half off! A $95 massage and foot scrub for $29? Hell yeah!
  • I held on to gift cards that I earned {more on that below} or received as gifts. I wouldn’t use them until I’d hit a milestone. Oftentimes gift cards don’t have expiration dates.
  • If there was something I was going to do for myself anyway {i.e. needed a pedicure}, I wouldn’t let myself do it until I hit a milestone!

Weight Loss Rewards

I reward myself for every 5 lbs I lost. When I get closer to my goal weight and it becomes more difficult, I will most likely do it for every two pounds.

Here are the specific rewards I’ve given myself:

  • 5 pounds lost – used a Groupon for a pedicure
  • 10 pounds – used a $50 Kohl’s gift card I received for Christmas
  • 15 pounds – used a Massage Envy gift card I received as a birthday gift
  • 20 pounds – bought myself a Polar Heart Rate Monitor. I had been wanting to buy one for a while. I tweeted my weight loss milestone and my intention to buy one and Polar gave me 30% off!
  • 25 pounds – bought more Feetures socks {cotton is rotten!} and sports bras with a Runner’s Gate Groupon
  • 30 pounds – used a Groupon for a hot stone massage. I had never had one before. It was great!
  • 35 pounds – used a $50 gift card that I earned through MyPoints {through taking surveys and such} for TJ Maxx*

So you can tell that I prefer pampering rewards as well as rewards that encourage me to keep working out!

Rewards for NSVs

It is just as important to reward yourself for you Non-Scale Victories (NSVs) as well!

One of my favorite ways to reward myself daily for working out is this simple:

  • If I work out, I get to use my wonderful smelling body wash when I shower afterward.
  • If I don’t workout that day, I have to use regular bar soap.
  • There’s something about thinking about lathering up in something sweet and/or floral-smelling that helps get me through a {or encourages me to} workout.
  • It’s a simple, but rewarding and pampering gesture to myself.

Here are some other NSVs I’ve celebrated:

  • My First 5k – I got a pedicure. I knew I needed one for our trip to Hawaii, so I delayed it until after I completed my 5k. This is an example of a reward in which it was something I was going to do anyway, but waited to do it until after I completed my goal.
  • My latest 5k PR – I used another Groupon to Runner’s Gate to get new running shoes!
  • My first ever 5-mile run – This wasn’t a race, but a big accomplishment for me! So I signed up for Birchbox to pamper myself every month.

Is weight loss a reward in itself?

Sometimes when we are just starting out, the scale matters most because we don’t see the progress quite yet. But eventually, it does become a reward in itself.

  • Things that made us winded in the past don’t as much anymore.
  • We feel more confident and have more energy to do things.
  • We accomplish things we never, ever thought we would. {Like running a mile.}
  • Clothes start to fit better and then we start to move down in sizes.

I experienced a significant NSV last weekend.

*I wasn’t very successful finding anything I really wanted with my TJ Maxx gift card that was supposed to be my reward for my 35 pound weight loss. I hate shopping and felt defeated that day, just as I had always felt when shopping for clothes. But I needed pants for my upcoming trip to Ireland. The ones from last season were way too baggy. So I decided, instead, to take my Kohl’s ad that rewarded me a 20% discount and $10 off a $50 purchase and put them to use. I combined those with a $10 gift card that I received from Kohl’s to reward me during my birthday month!

It was one of the best shopping experiences I can remember in years.

Lately, my race t-shirts I’ve chosen have been a little too baggy that they’ve turned into night shirts. So when I was picking out clothes to try on at Kohl’s, I picked all of them to be a size smaller than I would normally try on. I even picked out one shirt two sizes smaller just because I knew the fit of the style. Besides, it was a clearance item and they only had the one size.

Everything I tried on fit me except for one item!

I’ve never had that happen to me before. I usually go into the dressing room with ten pairs of jeans and am lucky if I come out with one pair to buy. You will never know what good of a mood I was in when I went home with a bag of new clothes… new clothes a size smaller.

That was a NSV that was rewarding in and of itself.

I’m looking forward to coming up with some great rewards for my next few milestones. Got any good ideas?

  • 40 pound weight loss (although fitting into the pants I wore the night I met my husband will be thrilling!)
  • My first 5-mile race (in October)
  • My first 10k (Spring)

How do you reward yourself when you accomplish a goal?



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