yeah, go me!

yeah, go me!

Don’t I?  I mean… I’ve been eating better, exercising every day, counting my calories, staying positive and being disciplined… doesn’t all that deserve an award of some type?

I know of so many people who would agree with me there.. We build “free days” into our diets.  Since we’ve been good all week, we get one day “off.”    And trust me, I’ve taken my share of days off… especially in the beginning.  I had 3 days off of exercise in the beginning, then I put it down to 2 by adding in what I called a “bonus day”… Saturday exercise.  What a way to feel absolutely super about myself!  So then on Sunday, I could truly feel guilt free as I ate whatever the heck I wanted.  I mean.. I worked out on SATURDAY for crying out loud!  I DESERVE A REWARD!  And gosh darn it, someone better pat me on the back!

Right.

See, I got to thinking the other day that there is an odd parallel here between my attitude towards being rewarded for my new eating and exercise habits and a program they implemented a few years ago in the school I work for.  One tiny facet of that program had us giving kids compliments for showing up to class on time, for showing up to class prepared, for being attentive during class… etc.  A lot of us rolled our eyes… why on earth would we compliment kids for doing what they were supposed to be doing?  Shouldn’t we compliment kids for going above and beyond?

And that right there is where it gets complicated.  See, if there is a student who struggles to show up on time, or always comes unprepared, or has difficulty paying attention… well gosh, they’d feel super if you mentioned how great it was that they went above and beyond their normal one day.

And what are we hoping will happen with all that recognition?  Naturally, we’re hoping they’re going to form better habits and showing up on time, prepared, and paying attention will become second nature.  So, after they form these habits… it would be silly to keep rewarding them.  I mean, eventually the kid is going to look at you like “sheesh, I get it, I’m on time every day now, enough with patting me on the back for it.. back off crazy lady.”

So what does all this mean for me?  It means that, if I truly feel I’ve formed new and better habits… I shouldn’t feel as though I deserve an award for exercising every day and eating well every day.  I shouldn’t want an “off day” if it’s a habit.  My eating well and exercising daily is a lot like showing up for class on time.  It’s expected, and I can only pat myself on the back for doing it for so long…because otherwise, I’m not really learning new habits… I’m just doing tricks to get my treat.

And I guess I feel ok saying this and putting it out there because I’ve noticed lately that I don’t have urges to “go off-plan” anymore.  I don’t look forward to the weekend for my “off-day”.  I don’t really have an off day.  I’m also not looking for a break from the exercise anymore, even though I’m doing it 7 days a week.  I’m not doing anything overly taxing, mind you… but still… it’s 7 more days a week than I used to exercise 2 months ago.

I still have treats.  I mean, I have no desire to live a life without ice cream and birthday cake and special occasion food.  But I definitely don’t feel entitled to them anymore… and that fact right there… is kind of exciting to me.  It means my mentality is changing, and that right there is fan-freaking-tastic.

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