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Why Wait? Buy It Now!

At the office today I was talking to a woman about weight loss, congratulating her on the fact that she did not gain any weight since her last visit, especially since she had been on vacation. But she was in a grouchy mood and couldn’t seem to find anything positive about my comments. She was only able to focus on a number she had seen on the scale, a number that hadn’t moved down (and she couldn’t be happy that it hadn’t moved up!) Then she said “I saw so many nice clothes I wanted to buy on this trip —I can’t wait until I lose another 20 pounds so I can buy myself something new.”

Sadly, all I did was sit there and not say anything. I suppose since I had already congratulated her on not gaining weight I simply did not feel I could add anything to the conversation. I really didn’t want to repeat myself. When I think about it, though, maybe I should have reminded her that maintaining her weight, while on a cruise, was an amazing accomplishment. But instead we discussed goals for her next visit, including continuing her activity, maybe increasing her walking, planning for her son’s Bar Mitzvah, and then she left.

Afterwards, I started to wonder: why do we wait until we see a number on a scale in order to think we deserve a reward? Why do we feel the scale has to show a certain number before we are allowed to go to a nice store and get something pretty and comfortable? What is the need we have to punish ourselves? Why do we feel we have to walk around in clothes that don’t feel right, are too tight, and make us feel unattractive?

And suddenly I realized —we don’t.

I have decided the next time this woman comes in to see me for nutrition counseling, and talks about what she is going to buy AFTER she loses more weight, I am going to tell her to “buy it now.” I want to make sure she hears me tell her she absolutely deserves something new, something she likes. She had three full time jobs —as a mother, a wife, and a school teacher! In my book, that alone entitles her to a buying spree.

When you feel good about yourself, you treat yourself better. There are too many times, when I was younger, that I used food as a punishment when I wasn’t feeling good about myself. I felt undeserving of any type of attention, any type of reward. I was overweight and that made me unworthy of trusting myself to treat myself with anything besides food. It’s as if I was saying “see, I told you so, you can’t take care of yourself.” In reality, I am doing the best I can. Some days are more difficult than others, but I do my best. We all do.

So don’t wait to buy that dress, those pants, that skirt. Buy it —now.

 

Become At Peace with Food: Stop Dieting and Lose Weight

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