Today I will have crossed the “I lost 5 pounds!” line, and don’t get me wrong I’m happy about it, but it sucks that it took 7 WEEKS to get here. It doesn’t help that I’ve made this journey before and done it much better. When I lost 40 pounds in 2006 I lost on average between 1 and 2 pounds every week, and I went from 225 pounds to 190 in 4 months. Now I’m lucky if I lose .2 each week and that is maddening! One can only say “At least it’s a loss and not a gain!” so many times before one wants to actually buy smaller sized clothes or jiggle less.

So the question at hand today is when enough weight loss is enough for a reward. Is 5 pounds enough to feel good about your progress to move on? Do you buy a new shirt at 10 pounds? New pants at 15 or 20? When I did Weight Watchers they said that you can usually start to notice your own weight loss at ten pounds and others typically begin to notice and comment on it around a loss of 20. That’s all well and good to keep members coming back and paying, but how do you get through 4.2 pounds? or when you’re at 11.7 lost? How do people keep going when all motivators seem hollow in the face of chocolate brownie ice cream? When you can’t fit into the next size down even after you’ve lost 10 pounds, what do you use to motivate yourself? Everyone says you aren’t supposed to use food to reward because, well, you’re trying to manage food intake and when you worked your butt off to lose one pound you probably shouldn’t have 4 pounds of pizza to celebrate.

I know people read this blog (all 4 of you!) so what could constitute an acceptable and enjoyable reward for simply losing weight? When you aren’t at a recognizable milestone like 10 or 15 pounds, how can you motivate yourself to keep going? And when the real goal is fitting into size 14 jeans, what can jewelry or movies or other things do during the rough spots to help get you there?