I don't know about you, but I like to think of myself as a "delayed gratifier" (as opposed to an "instant gratifier"). I pride myself on not being an impulsive buyer and on having the self-discipline to say no to things I'd like to have (food when I'm not hungry, a cute new outfit I have no need for, a trip I can't afford, etc.). But one day a while ago I noticed something was happening to me that I didn't recognize in myself. I realized that I had been doing a lot of online shopping, not denying myself anything. If I wanted it, I bought it. What was happening to me? Who had I become? A person who usually lives in moderation just giving in to every crazy whim? I was kind of ashamed of myself and thought, "This has to stop."
But the bigger thing for me was WHY? Why was I doing it in the first place? Turns out that shopping is called "retail therapy" for a reason. I had enough sense to realize that I was trying to escape an undesirable present reality, but I didn't completely understand what was going on...until one day I was sitting in a class where the trainer asked the question, "Why do we use 'retail therapy' when we're upset?" All kinds of answers arose... "It makes me feel happy." "I forget about my current situation." "It helps me numb the pain I'm experiencing." "I get a rush of good feelings."...to which he replied, "Those all might be partially true, but it's ultimately about control."
My mind was blown as I sat there and thought to myself, "Yep! That's what it is, Leah! You didn't feel like you could control your present situation so you did something mindless that made you feel in control." Even though I knew it was wrong, I knew there were better alternatives, I knew where I could go for help, I CHOSE to behave in a way that I was ashamed of simply so I could be in control (even though I couldn't have told you that while I was making those poor decisions!).
We call those behaviors "self-sabotage."
That's because "we know better," we know we're taking steps down a harmful path that could ultimately ruin us, diminish our hope of success, keep us from living up to our own potential, even destroy our relationships...but we do it anyway.
Then when it's all said and done we feel guilt and shame. We might beat ourselves up and have a real soul cleansing confession, repenting of going astray from the path that's best for us, and committing to stay in-tune with God for peace, comfort, guidance, direction, solace, and joy.
So I would ask you today in what ways are you sabotaging your health?
What are you choosing over your health?
Do you feel out of control with your current situation so you just binge eat or eat mindlessly to feel good in the moment? If so, I know you're not chomping on a bag of carrots, Friend! ;) That's because the junk food you're turning to is numbing and lightens the blow of the pain you're feeling. It even produces a little serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you to feel calm and relaxed.
I know it's hard to "do the right thing" when everything feels wrong. You might even feel bad yourself (depressed, inflamed, in pain) and you know that certain foods will only make you feel worse but you still turn to them because they seem to help you in your moment of need.
Or maybe you're like me, just wasting your hard-earned money on another thing you don't need. Have you got your priorities all wrong?
Are you choosing material things over your own health?
I get you. And I also want you to know there's a better way to cope.
You see, once I understood WHY I was doing the things that were ruining me, I felt empowered to make a change. Sometimes you just have to understand before you can see your way out of the pit of despair.
It's kind of like a trap...once you see how it was put together and how you got caught, you can...not only get yourself out, but you can avoid getting trapped again!
That's what I want for you, Friend. I'd like nothing more than for you to experience the freedom that awaits you on the other side of change. I want you to know there is hope and sometimes it just takes hope and belief to motivate us to action.
I believe in the power of emotions, which is why I put together The Stress Solution, to help you understand your emotions and move past toxic thoughts and a life of stress. While you can't control every aspect of your life, you might be surprised that you actually have more control than you give yourself credit for.
So empower yourself to transformation now and check out The Stress Solution. Instead of buying another "thing" you know you don't need, invest in YOURSELF by investing in your health. I know you won't regret it!
In Love & Service,