Archive | July, 2012

Deconstructing the Bribe

2 Jul

Well, it’s day five of the five-day bribe and the carrot is just inches away from my greedy little paws.  I DID have some fried pita bread with hummus for dinner last night, and lunch today, but [sing it with me friends] it isn’t chips.  I’m even having girlfriends over for dinner tonight, and I have a safe dessert-ish type thing planned for myself to have; fresh raspberries with Trader Joe’s Vanana yogurt.

The short-term, BIG ticket bribe is pretty effective [and as my husband has mentioned to me, quite generous].  It’s definitely easier to keep your eye on the prize.  It’s like having the carrot dangling from a fishing pole attached to a helmet on your head…each day you reel it in a little closer, always in your sight line.  Whereas, the typical  LONG-term bribe (say an I-pad or a long weekend in Vegas after losing 20 LBs) feels more like a six foot stick attached to the helmet that remains the same distance from your face no matter how hard and fast you run.  This prize has been inching closer each day.

I was talking to my therapist a few weeks ago about her suggestion to post signs in various places around the house [and maybe one in the car], that say, ‘Is it worth it?’ Just to remind myself, when I’m in the throes of a craving, to stop and think.  Accompanying this question would be a picture or statement about the reward I’d set for achieving a certain goal.  As with most suggestions [even ones I come up with myself] I thought it sounded good, but did not follow through when I got home.

Well, with this STBT [short-term, big ticket] bribe, I realize that’s precisely what I’ve been doing every time I think about putting something in my mouth that is on the current ‘no’ list; not in any conscious way.  I mean, I’ve not been asking myself that direct question.  But, because the spa trip is right at the end of that fishing line, it’s been easier to turn that dilemma into a decision.  Okay, maybe those signs are something I need to incorporate soon [tomorrow’s to do list]!

What do I learn from this?  Let’s see…short-term goals and rewards seem to work for me.  I am a little concerned about putting my toe across the finish line and saying, ‘Okay, what can I eat now that I’m done?’  In other words, focusing more on my actions than on a behavior change.  But, as they say in [hmmm…is it 12-step programs] ‘fake it ‘til you make it;’ ‘act as if.’  Maybe if I have enough five-day stints of goals in a row, I’ll get there anyway?  I’m also hoping that there will be some behavior shifts as I get closer and closer to my ultimate weight loss goal.

AND, since I don’t have the budget of say, Oprah, these bribes can’t all be spa days.  But, they do have to be something I really want.  Perhaps my next assignment [yes, yes, after I make the signs] will be to assemble a list of bribe prizes to choose from as I continue.

In the meantime, I’m struggling with picking a new date for my 50by…[since the other fifty has now come and gone], but I’m scared to commit.  I was toying with Thanksgiving or Christmas, but then I’ll have to get serious since I’ve still got about 22 LBs to go.  I’m trying to convince myself it will be easier now that it’s summer and there is so much more fresh produce…

Stay tuned…I’ve got to give it some more thought…