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  1. #1
    LET'S RIDE!! IndianaRecRider's Avatar
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    Motivational rewards for weight loss

    What, if any, rewards and/or motivations do you use to help you lose weight?

    Recently I had a bad experience with my diabetes; my blood glucose level was at 496 and as a result I got to spend a night in my local hospital being pumped full of insulin.

    After getting a royal chewing-out by my doctor, I decided it was high time I got serious about dropping the 48 to 50 pounds he wants me to shed.

    Seeing that I sometimes have difficulty keeping my eyes on the prize as it were, I decided to come up with a couple of rewards for motivational purposes to help keep me focused.

    I currently weigh in at 249. I have a ADA Red Rider jersey from last year's Tour de Cure ride I did. Didn't wear it however, because I looked like a red beached whale while wearing it. I have decided to participate in the TdC again this year, and if I can get down to 210 pounds, I figure I'll look a lot better wearing it, and will do so for my ride.

    As an additional goal reward, if I can make it down to 200 pounds, I am going to treat myself to a new bike. Not sure what make/model yet, but I'll figure it out by the time I get to 200.

    So, I was just curious if anyone else uses rewards as motivational tools to help meet their goals, and if so, what they are?

    My latest attempt at blogging...Big Guy On A Bicycle :~) (updated 5-30-14 with pics)


  2. #2
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    i would like to know too! i really want to drop 50lbs by August for a back to back century ride. ive done the ride this year but i dont want to just survive the ride, I want to "own" it.

  3. #3
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    This may sound counter intuitive but my friends and I reward ourselves with food. After any long ride we always cook something very delicious (but mostly healthy) and gorge ourselves. I'm the heaviest member on our cycling team and they don't slow down for me, so I do get quite a work out! Even though it sounds silly, I've lost almost 9lbs so far so something must be working!
    Goodluck to you, i hope you lose the weight, get a new snazzy bike, and get healthier along the way!

  4. #4
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Not directly. However, a huge benefit for me, due to losing weight AND getting faster, was I got to ride with other people instead of by myself, which makes it a bunch more fun. In this case, the "other people" are other people out having fun like me, not serious roadies training for something or other.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  5. #5
    Senior Member RunningPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaRecRider View Post
    I currently weigh in at 249. I have a ADA Red Rider jersey from last year's Tour de Cure ride I did. Didn't wear it however, because I looked like a red beached whale while wearing it. I have decided to participate in the TdC again this year, and if I can get down to 210 pounds, I figure I'll look a lot better wearing it, and will do so for my ride.

    You nailed it right there, for me. Don't get me wrong: Now that I've about 5 to 10 lbs to go, I'm glad that I'm healthier and have more energy, etc etc...but my primary driver is vanity. If I weigh less (read: If I am slimmer) I look better.

    ...mind you, that don't always keep me out of the chocolate chip cookies, but still
    There's nothing for you to see here...just move along, now...

  6. #6
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    rewards:

    I want my knees to stop hurting
    My back to stop hurting
    Look better
    Feel better
    Get faster on my bike
    Climb better
    Increase distance

    And finally.... to have a better relationship with food.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Crazydad's Avatar
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    Financial rewards like a new bike have never worked for me because something always came up and we didn't have the money to do/get the reward. When I started riding, it was strictly to drop some weight so I wouldn't have to buy new shorts for the summer. Doing that I rediscovered how much I really enjoy riding so I just kept going. More motivation came when I started keeping a record of my rides and noticed I was getting faster, going farther, and my clothes were starting to get loser. So it became, "Can I get my average speed up another .5mph and add another 5 miles?" kind of thing.

    I also found my body was craving good (for you) food and my portions were becoming smaller. It is funny, I was definitely trying to eat better but when I would fall off the wagon and eat something I shouldn't have (or ate too much) I would feel like garbage. I still have a long way to go to having a completely healthy diet, but I do eat a 1000X better than I used to.

    The biggest motivation came last summer after I had dropped about 25lbs from my heaviest and was kind of stuck at 255-260. I went to the dr and was diagnosed with diabetes. My numbers were right on the border (130 and 6.5) so not too bad. My dr wanted to put me on a reduced dose of metformin, but I did not want to be on anything. So I talked him into giving me 6 months to drop more weight and see if I can get my numbers down that way. Since then I have dropped another 20lbs and was at 100 this morning.

    I just pray everyone finds their motivation and sticks with it. Life is meant to be lived and you can't do that feeling miserable.
    James


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  8. #8
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    I have a "goal" tee shirt I want to fit in: a gift of a ManU/Rooney shirt that is just too tight to look decent. My son gave it to me on the spur of the moment (unusual for a college boy), so I have to drop another 10 pounds or so for it to work. It is my 200# shirt.

    Yes, Vanity.

    My next goal step is to buy a slim fit jersey and not look like a bliffit in it. And not black - red is what I want. So that piece of vanity is my incentive for 180#.

    I am tired of extra large shirts when I have a medium body hiding under the fat! Vanity, oh vanity....
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

  9. #9
    LET'S RIDE!! IndianaRecRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazydad View Post
    Financial rewards like a new bike have never worked for me because something always came up and we didn't have the money to do/get the reward. When I started riding, it was strictly to drop some weight so I wouldn't have to buy new shorts for the summer. Doing that I rediscovered how much I really enjoy riding so I just kept going. More motivation came when I started keeping a record of my rides and noticed I was getting faster, going farther, and my clothes were starting to get loser. So it became, "Can I get my average speed up another .5mph and add another 5 miles?" kind of thing.

    I also found my body was craving good (for you) food and my portions were becoming smaller. It is funny, I was definitely trying to eat better but when I would fall off the wagon and eat something I shouldn't have (or ate too much) I would feel like garbage. I still have a long way to go to having a completely healthy diet, but I do eat a 1000X better than I used to.

    The biggest motivation came last summer after I had dropped about 25lbs from my heaviest and was kind of stuck at 255-260. I went to the dr and was diagnosed with diabetes. My numbers were right on the border (130 and 6.5) so not too bad. My dr wanted to put me on a reduced dose of metformin, but I did not want to be on anything. So I talked him into giving me 6 months to drop more weight and see if I can get my numbers down that way. Since then I have dropped another 20lbs and was at 100 this morning.

    I just pray everyone finds their motivation and sticks with it. Life is meant to be lived and you can't do that feeling miserable.
    Way to go!! I long for the day when my numbers are around 100-110 without medication and my A1C is below 7.0.
    My latest attempt at blogging...Big Guy On A Bicycle :~) (updated 5-30-14 with pics)


  10. #10
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    It always is a bit difficult when you are in control of the reward.

    Half way through my weight loss I bought a new bike. It was very rewarding but I should have bought it whether or not I had met my first goal because my original bike was too big, too uncomfortable, to ride much.

    When I reached my final weight goal plus some exercise goals I was going to buy a nice road bike. I ended up getting the bike early because the frame I wanted was not going to be available next year. I'm glad I got it early as I got to ride a new bike in early fall and enjoy some great road rides.

    One big reward for me was new clothes. While I was losing weight and ditching old clothes I did all my shopping at thrift shops as I knew the clothes were not going to last long. That turned out to be kind of fun as we were doing a lot of traveling at the time and I hit up many, many such shops hunting for deals.

    The biggest reward when losing weight was the thrill of watching the scale and the pounds drop, seeing myself in the mirror and looking thinner, the complements from people I knew after a significant amount of weight was dropped. And most of all, just feeling better with less pounds and more activity. Now that I am where I want to be these rewards are not the same as I am adapted to the new me. I am now getting used to not being fat. I think reinforcement for keeping the weight off is harder than for losing weight. The drama of it all is gone.

    When I recently hit my final goal weight I did buy some new clothes. I got a couple of very nice Ibex wool sweaters, a jacket from a local maker (Wintergreen) that I had always lusted for and never got when I was fat because finding clothes that fit was difficult when I was fat, and a bunch of cool cycling jerseys.

    I continue to regularly weigh myself and have exercise goals. My plan is to do something significant for myself every six months that the weight remains off. It might be N + 1. It might be something else. I am only a couple of months into six months so I'm still new at this. My problem with this plan is that when I was fat I pretty much bought whatever I wanted anyway once I retired (except for the clothes) so distributing my purchases into rewards is kind of like punishment. But if the rewards are things that relate to being fit and active it might work out because I won't want them and can't use them unless I am fit and active.

    Next fall, after a year of weight loss, I think it will be a ICE recumbent trike. Full suspension. Or a custom build touring bike. I would like to do an overnight bike tours. That is something for me to work for that has meaning and I can't just make happen by pulling out the credit card. So, the reward has no meaning unless I am meeting my goals. I also have the goal of riding a Habitat for Humanity ride, 500 miles in seven days. Being able to do that is a reward. Plus, I probably can eat all I want over those seven days.

  11. #11
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Not really into rewarding myself. Not really into watching weight. If I do, its usually because someone on the forum said "you're too big to ride" or "I bet you're slow" type comments. These are the thing that motivate me to lose weight, mostly for climbing.

    Big reward is saying, "Dang Dude, Mr. Beans just kicked your ass!"

    That's usually enough reward for me!

    Other than that, give me a big wet burrito and some lasagna.

  12. #12
    attacking the streets!
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    i use to reward myself with a pint of beer, but i really don't pay attention too much to that anymore. i changed my lifestyle so i'm not really in a tug of war.

    i keep the suit i wore to my daughters communion (the heaviest point in my life). i put that suit on about once a month to remind myself of where i was and how far i've come. it's pretty trippy to put on suit pants without unbuttoning them.
    Last edited by jimnolimit; 12-27-11 at 05:03 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I am at 1465 in biking miles for the year, my first year of biking. This is motivating because I am close 1500 miles. I am only 35 miles away!

  14. #14
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Definitely trying to improve my speed on the bike is a motivator. I want to be fast enough to keep up with my friends and not get dropped/lost. I have much work to do on my power:weight ratio so I am not always the slowest up the hills. I overheat much faster than the others in the summer, being thinner will help. And I do have a competitive spirit, so I am always comparing myself to the faster riders and trying to figure out how to get there from here.

    The idea of being small enough to wear more stylish/revealing clothes isn't really a motivator. It would take surgery to get rid of the saggy skin and I've still about 60# more to lose; and I'm cold much of the time anyhow when off the bike. I have trouble finding some women's clothes that fit even at my ideal weight. (eg: socks, boots, and cycling tights are way too tight on foot/ankle/calf)

    I do find food bikerides to be fine motivators. If I'm going to ride another 10-25 miles right after eating, I am not inclined to load up my plate and then slog the rest of the ride on a full stomach instead of being able to play chase after faster riders. The wait for food to arrive allows for more socializing than is easily done while riding.

    I also post my monthly bike mileage with my bike club. That helps towards the end of the month to try to put up some "respectable" numbers.

    4 years ago I realized I was on the verge of an unescapable downward spiral. I was so unfit that I got breathless just walking from my bedroom to my garage. When I tried to rotate a mattress (with help), I got all sweaty/nauseous and had to flop down and rest. That's not living - its just existing - and I didn't have energy to do anything.
    Last edited by nkfrench; 12-27-11 at 05:18 PM.

  15. #15
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    i'm hoping to buy a felt Z5 when i get down to 200. first, it will be AWESOME, but second, it might help me get to my ultimate goal weight (and presumably it will be harder to keep losing at that point)

  16. #16
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    rewards:

    I want my knees to stop hurting
    My back to stop hurting
    Look better
    Feel better
    Get faster on my bike
    Climb better
    Increase distance

    And finally.... to have a better relationship with food.
    Why are your knees hurting? This seems to be a long-standing problem for you. What have you done to try to lessen or eliminate knee pain? Weight loss will help, but perhaps weight isn't the problem.

  17. #17
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Not a huge fan of rewarding yourself with a bike or other fitness stuff when you reach a goal. That just seems horribly backwards to me.

    Bikes are the tools I use to get where I want to be. The resulting fitness is the reward.

    And really, it has to be. If being in shape isn't reward enough, you're going to be in an endless cycle of bribing yourself to try and maintain some arbitrary number on a scale.

  18. #18
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    Why are your knees hurting? This seems to be a long-standing problem for you. What have you done to try to lessen or eliminate knee pain? Weight loss will help, but perhaps weight isn't the problem.
    I know this isn't addressed to me but I can sympathize with hurting knees.

    Before I started cycling I could only walk or stand for about an hour before one of my knees started swelling and hurting. It was a combination of a slight sway-back, old knee injury, lots of weight, deconditioned legs and "long standing" -- just being on my feet. The docs just said not to do anything that hurt and to find non-weight-bearing exercise and avoid walking, standing, stairs, etc.

    On any given day I could either do grocery shopping or go to another large store (department store, Home Depot, etc) -- not both. Working in my kitchen was hard on both back and knees. At least I only do "recreational" cooking so I can sit or stretch as needed.

    When I was in college (pre-injury and lower weight) I did work standing up in a kitchen. Fortunately we had rubber mats and small stepstools so we could put one foot up to rest the back; and we could wear comfortable/supportive shoes such as they were. Now you can find shoes designed for that type of work -- if you're fortunate to have normal-sized feet.

    Cycling has strengthened the muscles around the knee and has greatly improved the joint stability; and losing weight has decreased the load. There is still no way I could take a job requiring a lot of time on my feet due to the old knee injury. The desk job introduces its own set of problems but at least my knees/back don't hurt at the end of the day.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Climbing hills is easier with less weight.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  20. #20
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    You know what motivates you better than any of us. For some, a new bike is a great carrot. I wouldn't suggest however that a bike be held in abeyance until you reach a goal, even an intermediate one, if it means you have no other way to exercise, or no other way you'd enjoy as much. It worked great for me because I already had a good road bike, albeit one that no longer fit me as well as it once did. I was able to ride it a lot, and enjoy it immensely, but knew that when I reached that first major goal I'd have a new one that fit properly and had modern componentry.

    If, on the other hand, your only form of exercise is walking on a treadmill, I'd say it would be foolish to put off the bike purchase.

    Be prepared, though, if you tie that purchase to a specific weight milestone, should you find yourself with a spouse who, even jokingly, suggests that the bike must go back if your weight creeps back up, however temporarily, over that milestone number. DAMHIKT.
    Craig in Indy

  21. #21
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    Neil: I think (think that is) it is because of the weight. I think I am getting to the point in my life that the weight is really taking its toll. I am working on that. I just need to find a happy medium with food. I am working on it.

  22. #22
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Hope your joint pain eases with the weight loss, Chef...I'm too old for that particular benefit. In fact, I'm in more lower body pain now than I was when I weighed 300+ pounds. 30 or more years of excess weight (mostly in the 260-270 range) and a genetic propensity for arthritis have done some irreversible damage I'm afraid.
    Craig in Indy

  23. #23
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    My motivation is a promotion at work. That will also bring in more money for my newly found love of cycling. So far I have lost 25 pounds since the 26th of November just by cutting my calories and staying more active.
    Last edited by jlp1976; 12-28-11 at 06:27 PM. Reason: spelling error

  24. #24
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlp1976 View Post
    My motivation is a promotion at work. That will also bring in more money for my newly found love of cycling. So far I have lost 25 pounds since the 26th of November just by cutting my calories and staying more active.
    There's a promotion at work that's tied to your weight loss?
    Craig in Indy

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    There's a promotion at work that's tied to your weight loss?
    In the military there is. I was found out I have a leg condition a few years ago and had to have some surgeries that caused me to gain weight. Now that I am able to at least ride a bike I have been losing the weight to get promoted.

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