Local gyms start the New Year by offering special incentives and rewards for joining the gym. So, you join and your name is put in a drawing.If you win, your ecstatic; if you don't, your disappointed. But have no fear! You see a weight loss competition advertised. Wow! It sounds great. You came to lose weight and, after all, you didn't win the membership drawing. What do you have to lose? So, you join the competition.You bear your soul, so to speak, with your measurements and weight loss history. You get your tracker to stay motivated. For 12 weeks, you bust your butt in a weight loss group with the personal trainer shouting out "motivation". UGH! It's a Boifreeze night. All you want is to lose weight and win the prize. Prize? Let's go!!! Sometimes you lose and sometimes you gain. At the end of the 12 weeks, did you get the prize? Wait. What is it you really wanted?
As a personal trainer working in gyms for several years, I can assure you the scenario above is a true composite of what I've witnessed. In fact, some of the participants gave up before the 12 weeks were over. The workouts were so intense for them. They hurt and were starving. Then after a few rounds, they decided the prize wasn't worth it. Sometimes, someone would get sick or injured. When the pounds came back on while they were out, disillusionment set in. They gave up. The ones who really needed the motivation to lose the weight many times didn't get the prize they hoped for. Why?
I have a secret for you from a personal trainer's perspective: Stop working like a dog! You've heard of Pavlov's dog in psychology. "Here, Fido, fetch! Good boy! Here's your treat." Rewards and incentives certainly have their place for behavior modification. But the true prize is not the goal, it's the WEIGHT LOSS. The people who usually win the prizes are people who don't need outside incentives in the first place. If you are sick of working like a dog, here are a few tips toward your real reward:
Nothing worthwhile happens overnight and besides, who needs another "I did it!" T-shirt anyway. Don't give up.You can do this! May the Lord bless you abundantly.