I know that it’s controversial to have a rewards system in place with regards to diet and exercise, especially when the rewards are in direct opposition to the lifestyle changes associated with the goals. But I have learned that, for me, it’s very effective. I can get through an hour-long combat class if I know that there’s a cold local IPA in my fridge at home. I can be patient through 75 minutes of morning yoga if my coffee stout is waiting at home for me.  

 My rewards are really just things I’d eat or drink normally but now have to do a certain amount of exercise to justify the treat. So if I would have had a 200-calorie beer anyway but now I’m doing it after burning 600 calories, that’s a win. Some people use chocolate or baked goods – I use beer.  

 And finally, diet does not stand during social events. I just can’t bring myself to be the kind of woman who asks for a salmon burger no bun at a happy hour event. If I can’t convince myself to go outside of my diet for an event, I just don’t go to that event. It saves me money too!