I went to the mall with the kids this morning. It's a rainy day "activity" that allows us to get out of the house and play a little, plus I had some clothes to return. Usually the biggest stressor of the trip is keeping the kids from throwing a fit when it's time to leave. Today I was faced with a whole other demon.
I've been going through some horribly difficult emotional issues in my life lately. A lot of things from my past resurfaced at the mall today. Every where I looked there was either some thing I wanted to eat or some thing I wanted to buy. I found myself 'jonesing' for clothes for myself. If you know (the current) me, you'd realize how odd this is. While I love shopping for the kids and admit it's a bit of an addiction, I rarely actually crave stuff for myself.
I quickly crabbed my phone and started texting my husband. Even with his help talking me down, I finally just had to leave the mall. I had to get away from the temptation before I craved. I overwhelming saw today how much I used to rely on food and retail therapy to solve my emotional problems. It's no wonder I racked up a significant school loan debt (bought way too much in college) and credit card bill. I was constantly seeking things that I thought will fill the void, solve the problem, make me feel better.
I've done pretty well at getting my food cravings under control lately. I rejoined Weight Watchers last summer and am currently in the middle of my 6-week maintenance for my lifetime membership. I've had to learn to "budget" my food much like I budget my money. I'm usually 95% successful with that approach. The other thing I had to do was admit that I'll never be back down to the weight/size I was before I had 2 kids. Today I got a glimpse at how quickly all that hard work could slip away from me.
Without careful attention, I could easily down the 1/2 pound of fudge while spending hundreds at Victoria Secrets. It would be an easy thing to do. What we have to remember on the journey is that it's just that... a journey. Even after you reach your goals, you still have to maintain them. It's not a punishment. It's simply a reality. If you change your habits, you'll find success. Recognizing your weaknesses and developing positive coping techniques, however, is the key to maintaining that success.
So... what are your weaknesses? Do you consciously keep these in mind? What positive ways have you found to avoid those temptations?