Reward Conditioning.

Many of us have been given or chosen food as a reward for good behavior, a job well done, a long day, etc. The media and advertising also helps us with reward conditioning.  “You deserve a break today” was the slogan for a leading fast food chain. The commercial showed a woman with two children who were running everywhere, washer overflowing, toast burning, and obviously overwhelmed.  The commercial touched on the emotions of all who watched it but it did not promote healthy outlets—it promoted easy and even worse unhealthy eating practices. What happens with the person that has a rough day and wants to be healthy?

I Deserve It!

The “I deserve it’ thought process usually stems from two directions. The first example I will use is when we feel as though we have done something good and “deserve” to reward ourselves with “a treat.” Many of us have been conditioned to do this through sports, home or school activities as a youth when we have won a game or worked hard to achieve some level of success. The way that many of our brains work is that we get “locked into” telling ourselves that unhealthy food is a good reward. When we have had a good accomplishment in our day, gone through a tough exercise session, or worked extra hours it is very common for some of us to reward ourselves with unhealthy practices such as food.

The other “I deserve it” is created when we have not had such a great day or feel as though we have not been recognized properly, feel overwhelmed by events of the day, or feel as though we have been “done wrong” in some way in our lives. Having stress, anxiety, and sadness during our day will lead to the “I deserve it” response because of our automatic (brain locked in) way of coping with discomforting situations in our lives. The advertising geniuses at companies that promote unhealthy eating practices play on our emotions to billion dollar profits for them and poor health for many of us.

What You Truly Deserve

Everyone that I know works hard and are generally good people. They devote their lives to career and families and often neglect personal health and self-care. The “I deserve it” that you do actually deserve is a healthy life. You deserve to spend your hard earned money on vacations and things that you can enjoy with long term good health practices. You deserve to play with your grandchildren, to walk normally and without pain, and the happiness that good health brings. Your family and those who love you also deserve someone who cares for their health and does not cause extra work or burden prematurely.  Begin to create the life and health you deserve as soon as possible. Begin to be your own miracle!


The eyes are the window to the soul. Seeing good things in life  is healthy and is an evidenced based way to long term happiness.

This Week’s Miracles

Congratulations to all of the people who are changing their lives by changing health choices:

  • Juan is down 26 lbs and fitting into a size he hasn’t since high school despite working two jobs
  • Joyce is down 18 lbs. and getting stronger by the week in spite of injuries and a busy work schedule
  • Darla is maintaining her 70+ lb. weight loss and at age 71 feels better and is stronger than she was at 61. She also works full time.
  • Jacqi has not missed one workout in six months, has quadrupled her strength levels in most exercises, feels less pain and is changing her life through focused, intentional choices. It is amazing to watch!

There are so many more stories of life changing, miraculous people who no longer will give into the self-defeating talk that has been their history. Each and every person knows that they are valuable and that health matters. If you struggle to stay on track with your health practices, it is okay to ask for help. Many of us are glad we did. As the people I mentioned above, you are valuable and deserve all of the benefits that healthy choices will give you. Please start as soon as possible to work on increasing or keeping the strength you have. Begin to set daily boundaries with food and use each day as a learning experience for the day after. #beyourownmiracle


It is so important to educate yourself if you are going to continue to move forward in your wellness journey. One thing I ask of my fitness clients is to bring articles that they have read that are fitness and/or health related. It helps them to educate themselves about wellness and to “stay in the game” mentally outside of the gym. We have discussions while we exercise and we grow in both health mindset and knowledge.

This week we learned (again) how important it is to stay strong physically as we age. We lose muscle mass, bone density, clearness of mind, and sex drive as we get older (we know). Strength training will not only help us to be as strong physically as we can be past 40, but also strong mentally. Yes strength training! Exercising with weights can improve strength in bones, muscles, focus, sex drive, and even memory if done correctly. That in turn will help you with self-esteem, create a happy and healthy mindset, and reduce the length of recovery if you have an injury or illness. Walking is great and necessary but do not neglect the strength training.

The second article that I will share is how important outlook is when exercising.  Researchers had two groups who exercised in the same manner but were told two different things about the exercise. One group was basically told it was a “workout” while the other was given music, told to be social, and were educated regularly about the benefits of the exercise. The second group not only had better results physically but also made better choices with nutrition. “The way we see the world creates the world we see.” Please see exercise as beneficial. Most of the time exercise is more about learning how to cope with uncomfortable situations in life more than anything else. Learn how to work through 30-60 minutes of discomfort with exercise and it will help you learn how to deal with a lifetime of uncomfortable situations. Our coping skills need a workout too!

Another article that really touched me and our groups was how much more money it is going to cost children who are obese in health care spending as they get older. Some estimates are predicting that those who struggle with weight and making good health choices as a child will spend 2-3 times more on medications, surgeries, doctor copays, and other medical needs related to lifestyle choices. Overcoming childhood obesity is so hard and if you develop a food based reward or coping system your struggles may last forever. Please teach your children about the importance of good health choices and lead by example. It will save a life and money!

I hope that the articles inspire and educate you! I know that making good health choices in today’s world is hard, especially if you have had years of making less than healthy choices. Feel free to contact me if you struggle with making good health choices, food or other addictions, depression, lack of direction in life, ADHD issues, or harsh self-judgment. I struggled for years with many things and had the greatest teachers to help me grow. It is okay to ask for help. I needed to. If you need an ear that listens or just a different workout based on where you are in life, contact me @ The prices are the most affordable anywhere and the programs are evidenced based and highly successful.