Did I ever tell you how I came to buy my favorite shirt? It's a super-long gray maternity and nursing hoodie. I impulse-revenge bought it from Zulily, a flash deal site, the night the first house we put an offer on sold to someone else. I was so angry. At our Realtor, at Matt, at the world, at God. So I selected a size, put it in my basket, and flew through the checkout. I slammed my computer shut and stared at the silver lid, immensely smug; that shirt purchase equaled my middle finger to the world. Zulily takes forever to ship, so after the anger and pride wore off, I was left feeling guilty at my foolishness for the week or two it took the shirt to show up at my front door. It sat in the package on my dresser for a few days, a package I wished I could "undo," as it was a very price revenge buy. Thankfully it turned out to be my favorite shirt ever, so I am "getting my money's worth," so-to-speak, but it's an example of what people with money struggle with: shopping to fill holes.
I've realized a while ago that I've been shopping to fill the "I hate my body" hole. It's an ongoing series of battles. I'll be browsing OldNavy.com in order to avoid doing the dishes and find some athletic pants I totally love on sale! I want to buy them so bad! I already have five pair of athletic pants or capris, so I definitely don't need more, and my clothing budget is in the red, so I don't even have money for more. "But, oh my gosh, but I love them and they are a great price!" But the truth is this: I don't want the pants, I want the body of the girl in the pants. Buying another fitness magazine or breezy tank or heavier kettlebell will only make me happy until I use it the first time. I am incredibly uncomfortable with where my body is right now (2 babies in 2 years). If I want to be happy with myself, I need to log off the Internet (walk away from the nail polish section of the grocery store, get up from the marathon Making a Murderer session) and pack up the kids in the stroller. (I also need to stop sneaking chocolate chips when the girls are playing in their room and have a few carrots from the 2lb bag I bought, but that's a different topic.)
Even though I know this, of course it is still easier to type my credit card numbers into the online form than it is to break out a Jillian Michaels DVD after the kids go down for the night. One takes work, the other doesn't. So sometimes I win the battle, sometimes I lose. They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step, but there are still many, many steps after that. I guess the joke is on me for assuming that meant the first step was also the hardest step.
Matt and I were never much for partying in college, so we never did the whole clubbing thing. So for a date, we want to split up, get dolled up, then meet up at a club as if we don't know each other. We'll flirt and dance and woo each other. We'll get a hotel and in the morning, instead of doing a "walk of shame," we'll get into the car and drive home to our three kids, hahaha. After I had Eleanor, I bought a super cute, flirty, fun dress to wear, but I got pregnant with Theodore before I could wear it (and before Eleanor was old enough to go without mommy for the night). That pink and gray dress still hangs in my closet, rather taunting me. I want to feel sexy wearing it. I'll get there. I know I will because I know I am not going to be this size for the rest of my life. I need equal parts self-forgiveness (setback happen) and discipline.
In Slim For Life, Jillian Michaels uses the example that when you slip up and eat a bunch of junk food, it's sorta like getting a flat tire. There is no need to slash the rest of your tires, or, give up and eat a bunch more junk food. A screw up doesn't mean you're sunk. It means you gotta get back up. I had brownies this morning for breakfast (I don't even know how many I ate). But that doesn't mean I need to eat the rest of the pan. I need to have a healthy lunch and dinner and take a nice long walk this evening. Steps 2 and 3. The hard steps.