Rewards | My 180

During the five years I’ve owned my yellow lab, Killian, I’ve probably spent hundreds of dollars on treats. Peanut butter, beef or chicken flavor, she’s not discriminating. Just like any dog owner, I’ve discovered that these treats have the power to control and reward my dog’s behavior. In our house, rewards are used sparingly so they maintain their “special powers.” If I gave Killian a treat everyday, soon she’d become expectant and these rewards would be routine.

During a recent trip to the pet store to buy more treats, I started thing about how we as humans reward ourselves. As kids, it was Happy Meals, ice cream, cookies and candy. For most adults, nothing changes from childhood to adulthood. At my office birthdays, baby showers and holidays are all celebrated with food. While hosting Team Member Appreciation Month for my staff, I found myself rewarding them with gourmet cupcakes and candy.

While I’ve learned how to make most of my favorite desserts in accordance with the Paleo lifestyle, I still sometimes find myself rewarding myself with food. I have a weakness for anything containing peanut butter and for Ben & Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream. When I do something “reward worthy,” I have been known to break and head for the ice cream, not stopping at a spoonful, but instead consuming the entire damn container.

Then it hit me: You are not a dog. Stop rewarding yourself with food.

Instead of rewarding yourself with food, try the following alternatives:

  • A professional massage
  • A long walk with the dog
  • Build a fort with the kids
  • Carve out 30 minutes and read
  • An extra session with your Personal Trainer
  • A nap

Some will say a massage or paying for an extra session with your Personal Trainer is just too expensive. Really? You’d never have second thoughts about spending $25.00 or more for dinner and drinks. Save your cash and do something that will truly reward you and your health.

Join the conversation: How do you reward yourself in a healthy way? Submit a comment and let other readers know.

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