You’re An Adult, So Why Act Like a Child With Your Health?
By Tami Racaniello CPFT-HFI, RM
“This dessert must have 1000 calories, so I have to add 5 miles to my run.” “I can’t believe I ate those fries. I’ll have to fast tomorrow to make up for it.” I was “bad”, so there must be a consequence.
“I walked 5 times this week, so I’m going to buy something for myself.” “I stuck to my diet program all week, so I’m going to have this cheesecake.” I was “good”, so I should reward myself in some way.
We’re adults, so why are we still using the idea of reward and punishment?
As a kid, if I got a low test grade or didn’t clean my room, I was punished by being told I couldn’t hang out with my friends. If I did my chores, or got good grades, I would be rewarded with something like a comic book, toy or candy.
As an obese, unhealthy adult, I loved the concept of the reward. I wanted that boost to my self-esteem, that approval. Right after my weigh-in, I went for whatever I wanted to eat, because I was a good girl all week, and lost a pound or 2. Whoo hoo…Party up!! If I didn’t lose weight (or didn’t feel I lost enough), I became depressed, and would skip meals or exercise more, so I could get approval of the weight loss the following week. That thought process was so detrimental to my success, and no matter what program I tried, the weight always came back.
I know this resonates with some of you. We judge ourselves, and then reward or punish based on what we decide. Isn’t it time we stop the judgments? Let’s move our bodies because it feels good. When we don’t exercise or move as much as we want, we know we will find a way to fit it in, because we love ourselves, and want the best for us. This includes the food we put into our bodies. We can eat a piece of cake or candy, or have a great meal out, and allow ourselves to truly enjoy it, because we know that we also enjoy and want to give our bodies the best nutrition we can. This is why I don’t like the concept of a “cheat day or meal”. After all, who are we cheating on?? It’s a negative concept, and “you can’t keep it positive with a negative”.
As adults, if we have supervisors at work, they judge us based on performance. Outside of the workplace, what other Earthly being can do that?? No one. We are the hardest on “us”, but there is no reason to be. When I let go of the judgments and loved myself unconditionally, is when I was able to keep the weight off. Not that I don’t have setbacks…I do. It’s life, and things happen. When my mom passed, I went up in size, but was able to go back down without struggle. I allowed the grieving process without judgment, and then went back to moving my body regularly, and eating nutritionally dense meals. Change your mindset, and see how “you” change.