Have you ever heard of, “shop therapy”? Of course you have. That was a rhetorical question. I was listening to the book, “Boundaries In Marriage”, and something he said kinda hit me in my weak spot! I’m paraphrasing, but he was talking about this man’s wife, who dealt with hard times by shopping with her credit card. If she was having a bad day or if something stressful happened, she would go out and spend some money on herself. Money that they didn’t have in the budget for her to just be spending. He was saying that he needed to set a boundary for his wife because it was causing financial distress on their marriage. The husband didn’t want to take her credit card away, (setting a boundary) because he knew it would upset her. However, he did end up taking it away because of her irresponsibility, and he feared the worst. The next thing that happened was pretty surprising. She was forced to actually deal with stress in a healthy way instead of trying to cover it up by making herself feel better. She was able to grow once she was forced to kick her unhealthy habit. She was forced to learn some self-control.
I am 100% guilty of this and I know i’m not alone!
Self-control is one of those things that sucks to put into practice. It’s the prude of the fruits of the spirit. It’s the yellow starburst that no one wants. It demands that you restrain yourself from the things you want to do, the things you want to eat, the things you want to say, to wear, to … you get the picture. In almost all aspects of life, self-control is required if you want to be a respectable person.
Self-control builds character.
I’m able to justify things to get what I want. I’d like to think it’s like a super power, but it’s more like a super-dumb-thing-to-do. It literally gets me nowhere in life! Anytime I justify something to get what I want, I end up getting further away from the goal I actually want to achieve.
For example: “I would like to look in the mirror and see a body that I don’t hate.” Is that really what I want if I can justify eating my fast food cravings every day? No. The only thing that’s happening is that i’m telling myself what I want, but refusing to be intentional about getting it. No one is going to lose the weight for me. Justifying my food cravings is only going to get me further away from the body that I want. Something that I’ve learned is that there’s power in saying, “No.” and that’s such a hard thing for me to do. But when you learn how to say no to something because you know in your mind that you’ll achieve victory, it becomes a little bit addicting. You will start to respect yourself when you start forcing yourself to mind your healthy thoughts. The mind is a powerful thing and it can make you or break you. As you start to say no to the bad things, you’re basically rewiring you’re brain. It’s like scientific and stuff and i’m not even kidding!
Sometimes we get in this habit of preaching one way but living the opposite. Our actions define us, not our words. I can talk all day about what I WANT. But if i’m doing nothing to get it, what’s the point? You might as well quit saying that you want it because in the end, no one believes it, not even yourself. You know, the whole, “idle words” thing. Do you really WANT it if you aren’t willing to work for it? That’s the painful question I had to ask myself when I finally stopped making excuses for why I “couldn’t” lose weight. No one was ever going to lose it for me. Sadly, I would tell myself in my mind that ONE DAY I could get surgery. ONE DAY I would have health insurance and I could get the gastric sleeve and then I would lose the weight. I didn’t WANT to work for anything. I wanted the results without the sacrifice. That’s such a lazy way of thinking.
If you stop and think about it, anything worthwhile in life requires some sacrifice on your end. If it’s not important, you usually don’t have to do much to achieve it. So I ask this question. If you were able to determine your own success then would you be willing to do it? Maybe it would require you waking up at 5:30 am to get your work out in or to read your bible or maybe both. Both of those things will make anyone more successful! I for one have a habit of rolling out of bed at 7 am and telling myself that I should stop doing this! The hour and a half of sleep that I would be sacrificing to make my life more successful would totally be worth it!
There’s so many examples I could use for this, but the issue of weight is always my go-to.
So if you’ve made it through this blog post, i’m calling YOU to action with me! Instead of spending money on THINGS for yourself to make you feel better, change your habits from the inside out. Forget the shop therapy or the comfort food and let’s work on fixing the root problem instead of covering the problems up with band-aids.