You can reward, comfort, and indulge yourself with food...or you can choose other ways of being kind to yourself. Buying nice things for yourself certainly isn't the only alternative to junk food, but right now I like the practice of tying small purchases to good behavior (the behavior I'm tracking is abstinence from dessert). The way I see it, I would buy myself mascara, shampoo, and conditioner anyway--but why not wait until I have a reason to reward myself before making the purchase? And why not spend a buck or two more on a nicer product, instead of spending as little as possible and then turning around and buying overpriced junk from some coffee shop the next moment?
I can't tell you how many times I spent about $8 on shampoo and conditioner at Wal-mart, then drove straight to Starbucks and dropped $10-$12 on a latte and pastries. Wouldn't it be better to spend $20 on fantastic hair products?
Looking at my records for December 2011, I see that:
I ate desserts 18 days out of the month, and skipped them 13 days. So I reached for food when I wanted pleasure and stress relief more often than not.
The longest streak I had of skipping dessert was 4 consecutive days.
The longest streak of eating dessert was 7 consecutive days--the last week of the year.
I know I can do better this month!
DECEMBER 2011 DAY-BY-DAY
Dec 1: glittery snowflake ornaments (1-0)
Dec 2: had sweets (1-1)
Dec 3: glittery star ornaments (2-1)
Dec 4: a book about the plants associated with Christmas (3-1)
Dec 5: nice soapdish for bathroom (4-1)
Dec 6: small fiber optic Christmas tree for guest space (5-1)
Dec 7: had sweets (5-2)
Dec 8: had sweets (5-3)
Dec 9: good shampoo and conditioner (6-3)
Dec 10: had sweets (6-4)
Dec 11: new mascara (7-4)
Dec 12: had sweets (7-5)
Dec 13: space heater for my freezing cold bathroom! (8-5)
Dec 14: tree topper for fiber optic Christmas tree (9-5)
Dec 15: had sweets (9-6)
Dec 16: had sweets (9-7)
Dec 17: had sweets (9-8)
Dec 18: had sweets (9-9)
Dec 19: got manicure(10-9)
Dec 20: downloaded a movie on my laptop (11-9)
Dec 21: downloaded another movie on my laptop (12-9)
Dec 22: had sweets (12-10)
Dec 23: had sweets (12-11)
Dec 24: went to the movies (13-11)
Dec 25: had sweets (13-12)
Dec 26: had sweets (13-13)
Dec 27: had sweets (13-14)
Dec 28: had sweets (13-15)
Dec 29: had sweets (13-16)
Dec 30: had sweets (13-17)
Dec 31: had sweets (13-18)