Did you catch The Biggest Loser last night? It was makeover week. The week where the remaining contestants, some of whom have lost over 100 pounds, get a professional makeover and see themselves in a new light. Tim Gunn of Project Runway does the wardrobe, and puts in his two cents about how fabulous everyone is, and some big name hair guy oversees color and cut. At the end of it all these folks looked fantastic, and they got to show off their new looks to their happy families.
Now I have to say, this is a fine looking group of people to begin with. The network chose them carefully, and they didn’t pick anyone who wasn’t handsome or pretty, even with the extra weight. They had plenty to work with, if the casting call I attended a while back was any indication. Hundreds of people wait for hours just to be glanced at for a moment at these calls. People also submit videos of themselves pleading their cases. Yes, there are a lot of fat people willing to sweat it out in front of a national audience. These are the ones who were picked and managed to stick around long enough to make it to makeover week. Good for them. It isn’t easy.
I would love to have my own makeover week. I would love to have a day when I grab some hot outfit off a rack in a size I haven’t seen since high school or earlier, and look in the mirror astounded. I would love some top notch stylist to study my features and hair and design a style that brings out the best in both. I would love to see a new version of the old me. But the thing is, those contestants earned that makeover day. They didn’t just stroll in with a credit card and buy it. They earned it with workout after workout, fruits and vegetables, sweat and tears. Good for them.
I hope to earn my makeover day sometime in the not so distant future. I want to feel that I deserve it too.
If you’ve ever trained a dog, you know that rewards go a long way. The look of anticipation, the concentration, and the willingness to do something that goes against their impulse is astounding. Given the right treat, my dog would do almost anything I ask of her (except coexist with cats, but that’s a whole different post).
Treats work great with children too. I’ve seen kids do remarkable things for the chance at a jolly rancher candy. This, of course, was back in the day before the state decided that our children were too obese to have an occasional piece of candy at school. I know of teachers who have gotten good results with pretzels, animal crackers, goldfish, and m & m’s. I may have even used some of those myself. The thing is, you can get desired behavior fairly consistently when there is a prized reward available.
Understanding this concept, I decided to apply it to myself. I’ve decided to reward myself at each ten pound milestone. I’ve already lost over ten pounds from my start date, but I’ll call it ten and count from this point forward. I’ve decided to make my reward something meaningful and beautiful and lasting. What I’ve come up with are beads for my bracelet. I have a Pandora bracelet that is pretty much full, but I also have one that is completely empty. I polished it up and put it on. This weekend I hope to get my first ten pound bead. From this point forward, I hope to commemorate each increment of ten with a new bead. I expect that seeing that bracelet fill in will be extremely motivating. I will have those beads with me, reminding me of where I’ve come from, and how difficult it has been. These beads aren’t cheap, but my health and well being are worth it. I’m looking forward to bribing myself and building my bracelet.