Let’s face it. We belong to a culture that encourages us to use food to feel good, to celebrate, and to reward ourselves. One of the biggest challenges for women trying to lose weight and take control of emotional eating is finding new ways to take care of themselves or to indulge.
Many of the participants in my emotional eating program initially come up empty when they try to generate a list of non-food rewards. While you might feel stuck too, having a list like this is an essential step to taking control of overeating and your weight. When you are making these kind of life changes, it’s simply not enough to know what you DON’T want to do anymore (i.e. overeat). It’s essential to know what you will do INSTEAD. In case you are feeling rusty, here’s a list of non-food rewards to get you started.
How to reward yourself without food:
- Announce your accomplishment to others and allow yourself to hear and soak in the congratulations.
- Buy yourself some new songs for your mp3 player. A few of my clients have created entire inspirational playlists made up of songs that each represent a specific accomplishment or milestone.
- Get a pedicure or manicure or give yourself one.
- Buy some incredible smelling lotion.
- Give yourself the gift of browsing in a store you never feel you have time to visit. One client I know gives herself a tour of her favorite nursery and dreams about her garden. Another client gifts herself with a trip to the scrapbooking store.
- Take a nap.
- Stop in the middle of the day, put your feet up and read a book or a magazine.
- See a movie.
- Take a day off—really off. Only do things you truly want to do.
- Subscribe to a magazine you want. You’ll be reminded of your reward at least once a month.
- Give yourself a free pass to say “no” to something you wouldn’t normally say no to.
- Keep a list of items you really want and purchase one when you have a win to celebrate.
- Sleep in.
- Get a massage
- Take a bubble bath
Okay, it’s your turn. What can you add to the list?