Threats, punishments, bribes and rewards

You did what you did then, now you know better, you do better. – Maya Angelou

When I first writing this blog, my intention was to talk about my struggles with food and exercise, and learning how to balance the two.  My true intention was to keep weight off and hope that writing about it in a blog would keep me accountable. I have come to realize is that this blog is not about that at all anymore. In the last year I have begun a new journey in my life which encompasses more then food and exercise. It is about learning balance, but more then that, it about rediscovering myself in a whole new light.

Let me explain. ( This is not a post about kids. Just keep reading.) 

In the last few months I have been struggling. Mostly with the kids. I have found myself doing things that I would NEVER do (that is me talking… pre-kids). Too many bribes , too many rewards, too many threats. Yesterday I picked up a book called “Kids are worth it” and started reading it. Epiphany! Not only did I learn why I was struggling with the kids, I also learned why I was struggling with myself.

Threats, punishments, bribes and rewards

Have you ever heard yourself say, “If I go for this run then I can have a ____ (insert food item here)” or ” I deserve a _____ (junky food item) because I’ve been so good this week” or ” I’ve worked so hard today I deserve a _________(insert beer/cupcake here)”.

I don’t know about you, but I give myself rewards ALL THE TIME for a job well done. I think I may have even blogged about it in the past. I am always looking for an external reward for doing well, or as the book calls it, I am Reward-Dependent. Like Pavlov’s dog, it is a conditioned response from years and years of living this way. This is not the way I want to live. This is not the way I want my children to live.

How do I teach myself, and my kids, that the reward is intrinsic? The reward for eating healthy? Good health. The reward for working hard with the kids? Happy, confident, compassionate kids. The reward for going to the gym and working hard? Functional strength, increased cardio output, a strong body, increased confidence etc…

So as I started to say, this blog is more then about food and exercise. It is about transformation. Can people change? Yes. Is it easy? No. From this point on, this blog is going to document those changes. It will be less about food and exercise, and more about the internal transformation that goes along with it. I have discovered a lot about myself in the last few years and now I am on a mission to change the things I can, and to be the best I can be. Maybe by following my journey you will learn things about yourself that you didn’t know existed. The good, the bad and the ugly.

In my 20’s I tried to be the person that I thought I wanted to be and in my 30’s I am discovering who I am.

About fitlikemia

Trying to live a balanced life to the extreme.
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5 Responses to Threats, punishments, bribes and rewards

  1. hh says:

    awesome Mia – this was truly inspiring for me – intrinsic rewards it is….Not the chocolate bunny this weekend!

  2. Jane Menard says:

    I am just home from the gym Mia. I bought organic gummy bears on the way home. Who new such a thing exists. I wanted something sweet b/c I have quit smoking. It helps me to have rewards. I quit smoking b/c I want to live. The good the bad and the ugly with intrinsic reward.

  3. Lis says:

    Apparently this reward driven way of thinking is a problem in business and in our society. A popular book I recently picked up called “Drive” calls this the “if-then” motivation (or unmotivation..lol).

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