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Old 05-23-2013, 12:00 PM   #1
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Food Rewards Rant

I was replying in another thread and it triggered a thought. I did not wan't to hijack the thread so I started a new one.

I am often told that I should treat myself every once in a while with something as a reward for my hard work. These are often passive-aggressive comments that suggest some sort of food reward for a job well done. Perhaps it's after a marathon workout session and for some reason I am supposed to go and celebrate that by eating like a pig.

Does anyone not get that food rewards are a large part of how I got fat to begin with? Perhaps, it morphed into comfort and some sort of weird addiction. I do not "deserve" sugary, fatty foods because I accomplished something. However, I do "need" to restore my nutrients and electrolytes and I am capable of doing that without indulging your incessant need to see me eat a piece of cake.

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Old 05-23-2013, 12:03 PM   #2
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Couldn't agree more.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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Ugh this so much! I know exactly what you mean! I have to keep reminding myself that food is NOT a reward. It's fuel. It's hard though.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:46 PM   #4
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batlou, we live in a food-obsessed culture. I agree, it can be annoying at times.

It would be like telling your toddler, yay, you peed in the toilet! As a reward why don't you go pee your pants like you used to before you knew better. We are not little children who need a sparkly sticker on a chart to celebrate every little thing we do that's responsible and good for us.

I would assume that after a really long bike ride and/or run, you feel like completing that and feeling the endorphins is its own reward. Weight loss and keeping it off is its own reward. Food can be enjoyable, it doesn't have to only be fuel, but for many of us it can mostly be fuel and that's fine with us.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:10 PM   #5
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I agree. Just today at work, this came up. We have a teacher that likes to bring in sweet treats for the staff to enjoy. She will leave the items in the teacher's lounge for everyone to help themselves. I do not partake, obviously.

Today she brought me a 'treat' she thought I could eat (squash casserole). As it turned out, the it contained items I do not eat (carrot and sunflower seed), so I had to pass. The coworker started asking me about what foods I can eat so she could bring me a treat some time. I told her that not all treats in life are food related and it would be safer not to bring me any food of any kind since I am so specific with my food plans.

It is difficult for people that are indoctrinated in our food obsessed culture to understand those of us that have broken out of the mold.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:01 PM   #6
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I've heard these comments many times. I honestly believe that most people mean well; they don't fully comprehend the importance of changing one's mindset in order to successfully lose weight and therefore do not realize that their comments are annoying I do believe in going off plan once in awhile but I do it because I want to (for whatever reason), not because a naggy friend/relative is insistent upon it.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by peanutte View Post
batlou, we live in a food-obsessed culture. I agree, it can be annoying at times.

It would be like telling your toddler, yay, you peed in the toilet! As a reward why don't you go pee your pants like you used to before you knew better. We are not little children who need a sparkly sticker on a chart to celebrate every little thing we do that's responsible and good for us.


A classic comment and so apt !! Made me chuckle.Thanks for the post and the chuckle.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:26 PM   #8
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I'd rather have Money or clothes as a reward then food! LOL!!!
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:49 PM   #9
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Food as a reward is imprinted in our brain. It's the same for every animal, in every human culture, and it always has been. It's not worth my energy to try to go against that, so I just politely decline and move the topic along.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:59 PM   #10
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I agree with what you are saying and there is a distinction I would like to make based on my own habits: Food is never a reward, but food is sometimes a treat. I confess to treating myself every now and then but it is not in response to how clean I've been eating or how much I've been exercising. It is in response to my wants and giving in every now and then to keep my sanity
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by peanutte View Post

It would be like telling your toddler, yay, you peed in the toilet! As a reward why don't you go pee your pants like you used to before you knew better.
now that is hysterical and sadly very true!!
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:05 PM   #12
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I did think of food as a reward before. but that is changing now. food is not a reward.

If I ''want'' a piece of cake, I am eating it I don't cloak it under any disguise anymore.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:18 PM   #13
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I think eating for pleasure--because it tastes good, because we enjoy a particular food, because it's a celebration, because we just plain want it and like it--has its place. In general, most of the time, I try not to view food as a reward or treat any more or less than I view other routine things. Sometimes a hot shower really hits the spot like nothing else, but most of the time you just take a quick shower to get clean. Other times you break out your favorite shower gel or fancy soap, take your time, or add something that makes that activity feel more luxurious than just functional--and then it is kind of a treat. That's the kind of balance I strive for with food. Sometimes it's more special, but most of the time it's just there.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:46 PM   #14
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I love this thread! It took me about 3 years to finally develop a good relationship with food. I can honestly have brownies or cake in my hands and not take a bite with very little difficulty. It's just not worth it. In the past I really did think I deserved it. Now I think, I will be just as (maybe more) satisfied with a hand full of cocoa almonds. Food rewards make me very sad. Especially for children. I hope so much that I am doing a good job of teaching my kids how to eat to live......not live to eat.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:38 PM   #15
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Well, this is a BIG subject, w/many personal and cultural complexities. But to narrow it down to just me, I will say that I do consider a good meal a celebration of sorts---whether it be just a nice end to a long hard day, or the mark of a special occasion. But then I've never been a "fueler"---one who just eats to live. I enjoy the community of a shared meal, no matter what everyone's chosen to put on their plate. For instance, when my husband and I travel, we love to explore new and different foods, and we love to discuss our day's traveling adventures over a good meal in whatever restaurant we've never been in before.

Of course, I do understand that using food as a reward is dangerous. But enjoying food, and sharing a good day over a good meal does not have to be dangerous. Food is not the enemy, and we don't have to be victims of it. WE HAVE CHOICES, every time we sit down to eat. And boy oh boy, how lucky are we that we do have those choices. So many in this world don't.

I would not argue for a minute w/those who decide to take the category of food out of any celebration or reward. I assume they have good reasons to do so, and we all gotta do what we gotta do. But for me, I have to find a way to continue to enjoy a good meal, albeit w/making better choices for my health. In fact, my LC woe has opened up new things for me---like brussel sprouts for instance, which I've hated all my life. Now, I've tried them, roasted, caramelized and dandied up a bit, and well, they're kind of good.

I can't celebrate or reward myself w/a carb extravaganza like I used to, not if I want to be healthy. But I can celebrate new tastes and flavors and different choices---and still enjoy the coming together over food.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
It would be like telling your toddler, yay, you peed in the toilet! As a reward why don't you go pee your pants like you used to before you knew better. We are not little children who need a sparkly sticker on chart to celebrate every little thing we do that's responsible and good for us.
Peanutte, your comment really struck me because it seems like toddlerhood is the age when we start programming our kids (as we were likely programmed by our own parents) that food IS a reward. This is particularly on my mind as I have a 2 year old and it is just soooo easy to use food as bribery to get him to do something/reward for good behavior. I am very consciously trying to not do that.

Batlou, good for you for wanting to change this for yourself. You said you are sick of this idea and its part of what got you into weight issues, right? This conditioning, probably started when you were a kid too? It's part of our culture and becomes part of parenting too I think. My own parents were born in Europe after WWII and I think for them they wanted us to have what they didn't, etc. You can ponder what brings you happiness and satisfaction in non-food ways and use those as rewards, because you still deserve one!
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:57 AM   #17
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I keep telling myself, "I am not a dog. I do not need a treat for being a good boy."

Now if I could just stop wagging my tail!
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:57 AM   #18
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Yep, that waggin' tail is a dead give away.

Reminds me of a cartoon from the ealry days of the internet (yep I am easily old enough to remember!) . . . It shows a dog using a computer with the caption . . . "On the internet, no one knows you're are a dog."

But you've given it away!
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:05 AM   #19
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LOL....lots of funny stuff here.
I agree.
Using food as a reward is what the chronically obese do.
So long as we feel "deprived" by our new woe, it is doomed to fail.
That's why it has to be a lifestyle change to be ultimately successful.
Good for you!
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:29 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Geekin' in Utah View Post
I keep telling myself, "I am not a dog. I do not need a treat for being a good boy."

Now if I could just stop wagging my tail!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Skies View Post
Well, this is a BIG subject, w/many personal and cultural complexities. But to narrow it down to just me, I will say that I do consider a good meal a celebration of sorts---whether it be just a nice end to a long hard day, or the mark of a special occasion. But then I've never been a "fueler"---one who just eats to live. I enjoy the community of a shared meal, no matter what everyone's chosen to put on their plate. For instance, when my husband and I travel, we love to explore new and different foods, and we love to discuss our day's traveling adventures over a good meal in whatever restaurant we've never been in before.

Of course, I do understand that using food as a reward is dangerous. But enjoying food, and sharing a good day over a good meal does not have to be dangerous. Food is not the enemy, and we don't have to be victims of it. WE HAVE CHOICES, every time we sit down to eat. And boy oh boy, how lucky are we that we do have those choices. So many in this world don't.

I would not argue for a minute w/those who decide to take the category of food out of any celebration or reward. I assume they have good reasons to do so, and we all gotta do what we gotta do. But for me, I have to find a way to continue to enjoy a good meal, albeit w/making better choices for my health. In fact, my LC woe has opened up new things for me---like brussel sprouts for instance, which I've hated all my life. Now, I've tried them, roasted, caramelized and dandied up a bit, and well, they're kind of good.

I can't celebrate or reward myself w/a carb extravaganza like I used to, not if I want to be healthy. But I can celebrate new tastes and flavors and different choices---and still enjoy the coming together over food.

i too view the gathering of family and friends over a meal as a celebration, however, i’ve come to realise that it is the actual “gathering” that is the celebration, not the meal itself. it doesn’t matter what the “meal” and activity is, a sandwich, a burger, a wedding, after an afternoon of playing ball or frisbe in the park, after a visit to the museum etc. it’s the gathering of the group, the celebration of family/friends that are the focus not the food or for that matter the activity.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:35 AM   #21
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Of course, I do understand that using food as a reward is dangerous. But enjoying food, and sharing a good day over a good meal does not have to be dangerous.
Food is not the enemy, and we don't have to be victims of it. WE HAVE CHOICES, every time we sit down to eat.
And boy oh boy, how lucky are we that we do have those choices. So many in this world don't.

...I can celebrate new tastes and flavors and different choices---and still enjoy the coming together over food.
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:35 PM   #22
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I work in a group home for the mentally ill, with 8 schizophrenic men. The subject of food is the main topic of everything that goes on around here. I am the shopper and cook, and I can predict that I'll have a line of guys in the kitchen at 4:59 asking me when dinner is, over and over again, since dinner is scheduled to be served between 5 and 5:30. Sometimes it seems like a feeding frenzy. These people are not mentally retarded, they know what is going on, but for some of them food is their main focus. There is wheeling and dealing between the residents to see who will go to the store after dinner and get all kinds of "goodies". Sometimes the residents will eat 2 or 3 sandwiches at 4 O'clock, and then supper at 5. Other times one of them will eat a whole dinner and then take a cab to McDonald's and go through the drive through an hour later. I think a lot of it is the fact that they are bored and the focus on food is the only thing they enjoy, and they do see it as a reward.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:25 PM   #23
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I still struggle with the "food as reward" mindset. Like after a hard day at work my mind is telling me "hey you didn't eat that Cinnabon pretzel with icing that you wanted at lunchtime, so you can have a blizzard from DQ now. You deserve it" (unfortunately, I did cave on this one) But now I am starting to look forward to taking long walks as a reward instead of food. It's a heck of a lot more relaxing and a LOT less guilt!
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:31 AM   #24
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there is a blog written by an obesity doctor here in Canada that really speaks to how food obsessed and food reward driven our culture is. google "weighty matters" or Dr. Yoni Freedhoff- I read it daily....( he's also quite funny)
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:35 AM   #25
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I work in a group home for the mentally ill, with 8 schizophrenic men. The subject of food is the main topic of everything that goes on around here. I am the shopper and cook, and I can predict that I'll have a line of guys in the kitchen at 4:59 asking me when dinner is, over and over again, since dinner is scheduled to be served between 5 and 5:30. Sometimes it seems like a feeding frenzy. These people are not mentally retarded, they know what is going on, but for some of them food is their main focus. There is wheeling and dealing between the residents to see who will go to the store after dinner and get all kinds of "goodies". Sometimes the residents will eat 2 or 3 sandwiches at 4 O'clock, and then supper at 5. Other times one of them will eat a whole dinner and then take a cab to McDonald's and go through the drive through an hour later. I think a lot of it is the fact that they are bored and the focus on food is the only thing they enjoy, and they do see it as a reward.
Makes me wonder what would happen if the carbs were removed from their diet for a period of 6 wks or more? In other words, would ketosis dampen their need for food? There is are some interesting hypothesis that ketosis is very good for some mental disorders.....
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:06 PM   #26
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Yes they have been.

What confuses me is people on this forum continuing to use them. They gotta stop people. Retrain your mind and you body will follow. Rewards for food equals bad.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:12 PM   #27
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I grew up in a home where food was love, it was a reward, and a comfort and solution to whatever is going wrong in life. As a result, I found that once I was an adult dealing with grown-up life, I turned to that old habit, and it seems that I "deserved" a lot more than my body could handle! Now, I'm fat.

As a mother, I have never - not even ONCE - used food to motivate or reward my children. The only food-related emotional memories they'll have are around the holidays. But I've never said, "sorry you had a rough day... here's a doughnut."
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