Discussion- Getting What We “Deserve”

88olds
88olds Posts: 4,174 Member
I worked in the court system. Lots of talk about what people deserve in the court system. But I tried to stay away from it. My standard line- I don’t think it’s up to me to decide what other folks deserve. (I wasn’t a judge.)

But then I got involved in weight loss. And something somehow clicked for me about what I deserved. I decided I deserved to realize my goals. Specifically a healthy BMI.
When I needed to dig down for some extra determination, that’s how I defined it- I deserved to make it. I was my own worthy cause.

On another board there’s a thread about “deserving” dessert for “being good” all day. I was struck by the competing payoffs deserve to make goal v deserve dessert. Deserving dessert appearing to undermine getting to GW.

But this was my seemingly contradictory approach. I lost the last 30 lbs on Weight Watchers. My only time on WW. When I started I did this mental exercise- I can do this program if_____. One answer was- get a treat every day. So I embarked on a search for a satisfying plan friendly treat.

The thing I settled on was a WW brand diet modified ice cream. Unfortunately they quit making it but there are a number of workable options now. If it’s a frozen treat, I’ve likely tried it.

So I set about having a planned portion of ice cream every evening about 90 minutes after dinner. But I never thought in terms of deserving it or saw it as a reward. It was something I did to avoid feeling deprived.

Another way it helped was the ice cream represented my daily treat budget. If I ate those cookies at the office, there were no calories (WW points) for ice cream. Ice cream won this battle nearly every time. But it wasn’t that I didn’t deserve ice cream because I ate cookies, it was that I didn’t have anything left in the daily account to cover ice cream.

Now that I’m writing this it seems that thinking about “deserving” a treat is just a another way to think I deserve to be punished (losing a treat) for eating the office cookies.

All that thinking is counterproductive. What I deserve is a healthy BMI. It’s what I decided I want want for myself. What I eat is just today’s menu- a means to an end.

End of rambling. Thanks for reading. Any thoughts?

Replies

  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,296 Member
    Well, I have learned that we do not have to treat ourselves with food...we aren’t dogs!...( personally, I think this is pretty funny).... but in reality if some special food is a reward for losing weight and it works and keeps you motivated, why not?...one persons idea of a little treat might not be what another persons idea of a treat is...my idea of a treat usually leads to a 3,000 calorie binge lol....
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    Interesting.

    What I want and what I deserve may not be in close proximity. :grin:

    I am not sure what any of this really means yet. A healthy BMI sounds reasonable but I don't know if falling short of that is really that big of a deal. I know I can do better than the way things are now. I can get lighter and I can get more fit. Eventually I will be at least mostly satisfied with my progress or I will hit a time where things will all need to move to more of a maintenance phase to maintain a positive life balance. I know I can get my fitness higher but I am not paid to work out so eventually my time in the gym and exercising will be locked into a certain reasonable amount. I can still make some progress from there but it will be really just tweaking I think.

    With weight loss if I stop short of a healthy BMI and I decide later I want to try for it again that is also a reasonable plan. It might even be better if my weight loss has slowed down to a place that begins to tax my patience. If I stop and have another 10 pounds to lose it will still be there to lose if I go into maintenance for a year and come back to it.

    I do not think of getting treats as something I deserve. I think of it as getting something I need. It makes my weight loss easier. One of the first rules I decided to follow was that I would never cut out anything that I could successfully moderate. That doesn't mean I have to eat everything I did before. There have been some things I simply have not wanted again (yet) but I am not allowed to rule any of them off-limits.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    Well, I have learned that we do not have to treat ourselves with food...we aren’t dogs!...( personally, I think this is pretty funny).... but in reality if some special food is a reward for losing weight and it works and keeps you motivated, why not?...one persons idea of a little treat might not be what another persons idea of a treat is...my idea of a treat usually leads to a 3,000 calorie binge lol....

    But you should not accept that as your permanent fate. It may be a battle that you should put off but eventually I think you need to fight it. You may win you may not. The one thing we should all learn is never to accept the way things are right now as the way they absolutely have to be forever.
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,296 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    Well, I have learned that we do not have to treat ourselves with food...we aren’t dogs!...( personally, I think this is pretty funny).... but in reality if some special food is a reward for losing weight and it works and keeps you motivated, why not?...one persons idea of a little treat might not be what another persons idea of a treat is...my idea of a treat usually leads to a 3,000 calorie binge lol....

    But you should not accept that as your permanent fate. It may be a battle that you should put off but eventually I think you need to fight it. You may win you may not. The one thing we should all learn is never to accept the way things are right now as the way they absolutely have to be forever.

    What you said is very true and I am old enough to know you should never say never...thanks for reminding me because 8 months ago I never thought I could do what I am doing.....losing weight!
  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 3,098 Member
    for me personally, I have a very difficult time saying I deserve anything. Even if I've worked hard, I don't really feel like I deserve the payoff, let alone a treat or a special reward. In regards to my weight, I struggle with celebrating each milestone because there's that little part of me in the back of my brain that tells me that I should never have gotten so big in the first place, and therefore don't deserve accolades for my hard work as I should never had had to be expending that work.

    But that's most likely do to the fact that I probably could use some serious counseling when it comes to my views of myself *shrugs*
  • maiomaio71
    maiomaio71 Posts: 231 Member
    I'm not 100% sure I understand the premise being argued but I'm thinking that if you want both the ice cream and the cookies you could earn them both by exercising and getting extra calories to spend? But I seem to remember WW not liking you to exercise in order to eat...you could only eat a certain number of exercise points per week. I think using the word "deserve" is what stumped me. i wasn't sure how to interpret it. I know what I'd like, and what I need, but I'm not sure what I deserve...if anything. And my wants and needs are very, very different! Hence my weight problem. However I'm working very, very hard at closing that gap.
  • maureenkhilde
    maureenkhilde Posts: 850 Member
    for me personally, I have a very difficult time saying I deserve anything. Even if I've worked hard, I don't really feel like I deserve the payoff, let alone a treat or a special reward. In regards to my weight, I struggle with celebrating each milestone because there's that little part of me in the back of my brain that tells me that I should never have gotten so big in the first place, and therefore don't deserve accolades for my hard work as I should never had had to be expending that work.

    But that's most likely do to the fact that I probably could use some serious counseling when it comes to my views of myself *shrugs*

    Yes I have a little voice, saying excuse me, you do not deserve anything. You let yourself get to this point. Same little voice yells at me about you let yourself get to point of being a type 2 diabetic. And you deserve it. Those are hard to overcome, and say yes I can treat myself in some way and I have worked hard to be able to do so. I so get where you are coming from, you are not alone.
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,174 Member
    I didn’t start out thinking about a healthy BMI. At 285 I started out thinking about 204 lbs for reasons I didn’t even understand. I started WW at about 215 lbs still aiming at 204. I kept being surprised. Still am.

    The point of this? I’m not sure. Sometimes I find it helpful to look into individual words. Sometimes I find it helpful to write things down as I’m thinking about them.

    I frequently post that weight loss is about problem solving. There may be research about how many food related decisions we make in a day. It’s a lot. But I don’t even like to hang the label “bad choice” on things that clearly are. I prefer “unhelpful” to reaching my goals. It seems less judgmental and less emotional.

    Deserve seems to be a moral judgment. A path that I think is unhelpful in the small ball nuts and bolts of the day to day.

    But that’s small ball. In the big picture, I’ll argue that everyone on here deserves to make their weight and fitness goals. No one deserves to live in their neighbor’s house. But we all deserve to realize our aspirations for ourselves. The self love thing didn’t work out for me. But self respect did. I sort of stumbled across it. Like the proverbial blind pig finding the nut.

  • merph518
    merph518 Posts: 701 Member
    I don't really do "rewards" for progress other than clothing. I tend to shop for clothing in the next size down and have it all available on one side of my closet. That way I can check in every few weeks and see if I've earned any new clothes for the "it fits" side of the closet.
  • ConfidentRaven
    ConfidentRaven Posts: 1,428 Member
    edited February 2020
    I deserve rewards for all my hard work and staying in calories. I deserve to be able to walk up a flight a stairs without getting winded to get my haircut. The haircut, at a nice salon, was my reward for staying in calorie and losing weight. My next reward is getting my hair colored or maybe my nails done. All things I stopped doing for myself because I was just too big.

    My point here? Food is food and it's okay to have a dessert as part of a celebration, or even daily if you find a way to fit it into your food plan, but I try not to view it as a reward. I did that once as part of a diet plan and in a month gained 5 pounds because I would overeat because I deserved it and it was my reward for going to the gym, or parking further, or really anything that I thought earned a calorie break.

    That isn't to say though that I have dropped all desserts and never eat ice cream or cookies, because I do. I just try to have them in moderation and understand my limitations with them at this point in time.

    So tldr: I'm pro rewards, such as splurging on a new outfit, or doing something for yourself, but it should not be food, in my opinion.
  • hansep0012
    hansep0012 Posts: 383 Member
    @88olds
    Deserve is a word that I think is worthy of reflection; thank you for posting the topic.

    Your intro certainly had my mind thinking about not only the criminal justice system ("Yup, they got what they deserve") but also being a child and hearing adults around me using the word negatively, such as: You got what you deserved for 'X' (put in whatever situation applies, perhaps not studying enough, not listening to your parent / teacher / other adult) and then followed with the negative consequence 'bad grade' etc.

    It's great to be an adult with some perspective on life and I resonate with many of the positive posts for 'deserve'. Like @conniewilkins56 mentioned, I am not a dog, deserving of a treat, lol! In all seriousness, I have stopped rewarding my dogs with treats as they, like me, deserve to be fit and healthy (and like me, need to lose some weight!). Now they get hyper-happy-mommy-voice as I scratch behind their ears or throw a ball for them to chase. Heck, I now even look deeply into their eyes, tell them something nice and give them a hug. Perhaps a bit overboard.

    So, here is my virtual Valentine to all of us at LL: A gentle smile, an unwavering gaze from my eyes to yours, and a heartfelt sentence, "We deserve all opportunities to succeed that we reach for, go get 'em!"
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,296 Member
    I deserve rewards for all my hard work and staying in calories. I deserve to be able to walk up a flight a stairs without getting winded to get my haircut. The haircut, at a nice salon, was my reward for staying in calorie and losing weight. My next reward is getting my hair colored or maybe my nails done. All things I stopped doing for myself because I was just too big.

    My point here? Food is food and it's okay to have a dessert as part of a celebration, or even daily if you find a way to fit it into your food plan, but I try not to view it as a reward. I did that once as part of a diet plan and in a month gained 5 pounds because I would overeat because I deserved it and it was my reward for going to the gym, or parking further, or really anything that I thought earned a calorie break.

    That isn't to say though that I have dropped all desserts and never eat ice cream or cookies, because I do. I just try to have them in moderation and understand my limitations with them at this point in time.

    So tldr: I'm pro rewards, such as splurging on a new outfit, or doing something for yourself, but it should not be food, in my opinion.

    Sigh....I have punished myself for not feeling “ worthy” or “ good enough” by neglecting to get a haircut when needed or wearing baggy clothes and my hair pulled back in a horrible pony tail...not using face cream or not wearing make up because I felt like, “ why bother?”...we punish ourselves in so many ways that others ( thin people?) would never understand...it’s the same way I used to eat...I would think, what difference does it make if I eat an entire package of cookies instead of one or two because I am not dieting and a few more won’t make a difference!...I felt so resigned to the fact that I was always going to be overweight that I had given up on everything...my depression and overwhelming sadness was taking more of a toll on me than I realized...now there are days I struggle and days I wonder if I can really make it but I am so much better....we are like butterflies finding our wings!...little things like waking up looking forward to the day and even getting dressed and putting on make up are little things that I find so rewarding now...I have begun to accept that, Yes, I deserve to be “ normal” and I deserve to do all the things that regular sized people take for granted...

    I love this group of Larger Losers so much because you all know what I am talking about even though I don’t explain it completely!
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,296 Member
    hansep0012 wrote: »
    @88olds
    Deserve is a word that I think is worthy of reflection; thank you for posting the topic.

    Your intro certainly had my mind thinking about not only the criminal justice system ("Yup, they got what they deserve") but also being a child and hearing adults around me using the word negatively, such as: You got what you deserved for 'X' (put in whatever situation applies, perhaps not studying enough, not listening to your parent / teacher / other adult) and then followed with the negative consequence 'bad grade' etc.

    It's great to be an adult with some perspective on life and I resonate with many of the positive posts for 'deserve'. Like @conniewilkins56 mentioned, I am not a dog, deserving of a treat, lol! In all seriousness, I have stopped rewarding my dogs with treats as they, like me, deserve to be fit and healthy (and like me, need to lose some weight!). Now they get hyper-happy-mommy-voice as I scratch behind their ears or throw a ball for them to chase. Heck, I now even look deeply into their eyes, tell them something nice and give them a hug. Perhaps a bit overboard.

    So, here is my virtual Valentine to all of us at LL: A gentle smile, an unwavering gaze from my eyes to yours, and a heartfelt sentence, "We deserve all opportunities to succeed that we reach for, go get 'em!"

    I could not agree with you more!..all of us deserve our chance to shine!
  • bmeadows380
    bmeadows380 Posts: 3,098 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    michne16 wrote: »
    I use to give myself presents for reaching weight loss goals but I stopped. It was yet another form of deprivation for me that I just didn't need to do to myself. For me, it was like I was saying you are only worthy of these things if you can be thin enough. I had to stop. I didn't reward myself with food because the ones I wanted were the real trigger foods for me (sweets) so that's out as well. Now, I think of rewards in terms of what I can do that I couldn't do before. I have sought out activities that before I was either weight or size restricted, or for which I was afraid to do because I "might" be weight or size restricted. Over the past year I have gone horseback riding and to Disney/Universal and rode EVERYTHING! For this year, I plan on going ziplining, compete in several 5Ks (not sure if I am just going to walk or try to run), white water rafting, and on a trip all by myself. The last one wasn't necessarily a size issue as much as a confidence issue. I feel more confident to do things and be out in the world. This is what I deserve-to live the life I want to live. I still struggle with the concept at times and have to remind myself that if I am not doing or pursuing something, it's not because of my weight. That is not excuse not to do things anymore.

    I agree. The reward for me is living the life I was depriving myself of. Some people do weight goal rewards. I don't. I did food rewards in some of my failed attempts. It took my eye off the bigger prize. It kept me thinking that my reward was the food and the sooner I got my weight off I could get back to eating whatever I wanted as I wanted.

    Food is a necessity of life. Treats help grease the wheels. While I am not one of those "food should only be viewed as sustenance" people I do think that downplaying the role food has been in my life has been beneficial. The first role of food is to provide the energy I need to live and move. The second role is to provide nutrition. The third role is enjoyment. If I try to move enjoyment to a higher priority I diminish its effectiveness to provide it. In other words if I always eat like it is a holiday then it just makes it ordinary eating.

    Weight loss for me is about assessing what I can control and making those parts easier because some of the parts I cannot control will be hard. Treats are something I can control (most of the time).

    This gets to me thinking of a conversation that my friend and I had a while back. Both of us grew up in very conservative "tea-totaler" households. We realized that we were raised in this culture where all social events from family functions to church functions revolved around food. Whether its birthday parties, summer gatherings, church socials, whatever - food was the primary driver of any function we attended, and it was always the pot luck style food, too - mayonnaise based salads, dense casseroles, and desserts filling a table by themselves.

    I'm not sure how one breaks that cycle, either, as permeates the local culture. When I lived in PA, the culture was a bit different - it seemed that most social gatherings revolved around alcohol, which isn't any better calorie-wise.

    I've thought about starting a book club where we could meet, keep the snacks to a minimum, and focus on the book as the impetus for gathering together, but I live in such a rural community, unpopulated community that its hard to find anyone who'd be interested in such a thing, especially considering the type of books I'd like to discuss!
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    michne16 wrote: »
    I use to give myself presents for reaching weight loss goals but I stopped. It was yet another form of deprivation for me that I just didn't need to do to myself. For me, it was like I was saying you are only worthy of these things if you can be thin enough. I had to stop. I didn't reward myself with food because the ones I wanted were the real trigger foods for me (sweets) so that's out as well. Now, I think of rewards in terms of what I can do that I couldn't do before. I have sought out activities that before I was either weight or size restricted, or for which I was afraid to do because I "might" be weight or size restricted. Over the past year I have gone horseback riding and to Disney/Universal and rode EVERYTHING! For this year, I plan on going ziplining, compete in several 5Ks (not sure if I am just going to walk or try to run), white water rafting, and on a trip all by myself. The last one wasn't necessarily a size issue as much as a confidence issue. I feel more confident to do things and be out in the world. This is what I deserve-to live the life I want to live. I still struggle with the concept at times and have to remind myself that if I am not doing or pursuing something, it's not because of my weight. That is not excuse not to do things anymore.

    I agree. The reward for me is living the life I was depriving myself of. Some people do weight goal rewards. I don't. I did food rewards in some of my failed attempts. It took my eye off the bigger prize. It kept me thinking that my reward was the food and the sooner I got my weight off I could get back to eating whatever I wanted as I wanted.

    Food is a necessity of life. Treats help grease the wheels. While I am not one of those "food should only be viewed as sustenance" people I do think that downplaying the role food has been in my life has been beneficial. The first role of food is to provide the energy I need to live and move. The second role is to provide nutrition. The third role is enjoyment. If I try to move enjoyment to a higher priority I diminish its effectiveness to provide it. In other words if I always eat like it is a holiday then it just makes it ordinary eating.

    Weight loss for me is about assessing what I can control and making those parts easier because some of the parts I cannot control will be hard. Treats are something I can control (most of the time).

    This gets to me thinking of a conversation that my friend and I had a while back. Both of us grew up in very conservative "tea-totaler" households. We realized that we were raised in this culture where all social events from family functions to church functions revolved around food. Whether its birthday parties, summer gatherings, church socials, whatever - food was the primary driver of any function we attended, and it was always the pot luck style food, too - mayonnaise based salads, dense casseroles, and desserts filling a table by themselves.

    I'm not sure how one breaks that cycle, either, as permeates the local culture. When I lived in PA, the culture was a bit different - it seemed that most social gatherings revolved around alcohol, which isn't any better calorie-wise.

    I've thought about starting a book club where we could meet, keep the snacks to a minimum, and focus on the book as the impetus for gathering together, but I live in such a rural community, unpopulated community that its hard to find anyone who'd be interested in such a thing, especially considering the type of books I'd like to discuss!


    For me the problem was never the food/drink-centric social gatherings. The problem for me was that I ate or drank without any event at all. I would try to make ordinary weekends special with food. I would run through a fast food place and have a high calorie nostalgia meal for an ordinary lunch. Other than gaining weight the other downside of this behavior was that special events had to be ramped up even higher because of so much "special" eating all the time. This often made these events less special because it was either too much food or too costly trying to outdo already ridiculous behavior. Oddly enough we did learn a long time ago that we like to eat lighter on vacation.
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,174 Member
    I actually did reward myself for losing the first 25 lbs with a new suit. Then I repeated that by at about 50 lbs. That’s when I met Harry the tailor. The 1st new suit was an eye opener. But Harry was a game changer.

    It wasn’t a weight loss reward any more, it was living. And I was playing dress up. I was in my late 40s. Great fun.