Carrot and stick

I’m back in London after a very luxurious and relaxing spa weekend at Stobo Castle with my friend Sammie. I hardly thought about brains and The Big C at all – I was too busy being pummelled, kneaded, buffed and polished, and stuffing myself with the excellent food. I returned to London extremely calm, well fed and without a scrap of dead skin on my entire body.

B said he missed me quite a bit which was nice. My absence seemed to speed his recovery (strange, isn’t it) as his cough is almost completely gone.

Now I’m back in my clothes (lounging around in a robe and slippers all day is pure bliss) and even worse, back on the scales.

After the run I did for charity in September I did no exercise for over a month. I did not even step onto the treadmill. Shameful.

When I crossed the finish line I seem to recall that I had brief, lofty ambitions of improving my outdoor running and regularly entering into 5km events. I’ve calmed down a lot since then. 4-5 short runs a week in front of Netflix will suffice at this point. Even that is going to be a struggle at first.

When it comes to reward and punishment as motivation, I respond much more to the threat of punishment. The stick is where it’s at. I already have so many rewards in my life. I’m lucky enough to be able to afford most things I want and I’m married to B, the ultimate reward. I told him ‘You’re my big carrot’. I think he was pleased.

After considering various threats that potentially have the power to get my ass into gear on cold winter days, I came up with a beauty. If I don’t meet my exercise goals for the week (put up on the fridge each Sunday night and therefore unretractable) I cannot drink any wine during the following week.

B’s response on hearing this was to raise his eyebrows and exclaim ‘harsh!’ Then he asked ‘Even on the weekend?’ Yes. Even on the weekend. In our house the ‘weekend’ for wine-drinking purposes has always been defined as Thursday-Sunday. Fair and reasonable, I’m sure you’ll agree.

So far it seems to be working. For the past few days I’ve managed to run 2.5 miles when I get home in the evening. At this rate my Pinot Grigio allowance is safe, although it’s early days.



  1. So if I have this right, no relaxing with vino after work……..mmmm seems a big stick to me!

  2. Tatielane · · Reply

    That’s an interesting idea. Maybe I should threaten myself with Pointless-deprivation if I don’t exercise enough.
    I’m for the carrot myself. While I can afford things, I still want to deserve them. My present carrot is that if I keep with the treadmill for a whole month, then I will buy myself a coveted DVD boxed set… episodes nicely 40 minutes long and a perfect treadmill length… which will then engender further activity as I view the series. At the moment I am watching my way through the back catalogue of “Alias” and won’t worry too much about whether I deserve my carrot until I am nearing the end!

    1. I wish that worked for me, as I quite like the reward idea, but I’m weak – I would just end up buying it anyway and convincing myself that I deserved it. Brutal punishment is the only thing that gets me moving.

  3. Glad you had a great weekend of relaxation. Your blogs make me smile so much and laugh out loud x

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