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Weight Watchers Awards

via Flickr

One of the most exciting thing about going to Weight Watchers meetings were the stickers. Some leaders gave stickers more freely than others. If you shared a short story about how you decided to have an apple instead of a candy bar at work, or how you decided to go on a walk during your lunch break, you could be rewarded with a “Bravo” sticker.

There were also stickers for five pound weight loss increments and a special, larger, sticker for losing 5% of your starting weight. In addition to the stickers, there was the coveted 10% keyring, 16 week “stay and succeed” charm, 25 pound washers, and more.

The problem I’ve always had with these weight-loss centered rewards is the concept of “un-earning” them. There have been numerous occasions where I lose that five pounds to earn a new sticker, and then I’ll slip up. When I gain enough weight to “undo” that five pound loss, I feel like I don’t deserve the sticker.

But since I do have that sticker, I can’t “re-earn” it. Instead, I have to lose ten pounds to get another five pound sticker.

The same thing happened in July when I got off track with Sparkpeople. I was rewarding myself by adding a charm to a bracelet for every five pounds lost. I never determined what I should do if there was a certain five pounds that I kept gaining and losing over and over (because we all know it happens).

I’ve decided to take a different approach this time. I’m still planning on going forward with my weight-loss makeover when I reach my goal: new clothes, hair, makeup, etc. However, I’m not going to reward myself for the number on the scale. If I reach certain goals: every five pounds, 5%, 10%, healthy BMI, etc., I might treat myself to little things (like a box of peppermint tea), but I’m not going to have a set reward system for those meaningless, fluctuating numbers.

Instead, I’m going to reward myself for the habits I’m trying to instill in my life.

Right now, I’m not completely sure about what goals I’m going to focus on trying to reach. The most current goal is completing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I’ve done about 12 days so far (I take Sundays off). I’m planning on completing 30 days by September 5, 2011. I will likely be on Level 1 still, but it’s about the consistency at this point. If I complete 30 days (excluding my rest days) then I’ll reward myself with a new novel for my Kindle.

I’m just not sure if I should check out a Karen Kingsbury title, or if I should satisfy my curiosity by buying the first book in the Mark of the Lion series that Mir seems to love so much.

(And if it’s as good as she says it is, it might motivate me to work extra hard to reach another goal… just so I can keep reading!)

So, do you reward yourself for reaching a certain number on the scale, or do you reward yourself for non-scale victories, or both? What are some ways you reward yourself for reaching your goals- in weight loss, health, fitness, or life in general?