“I deserve it.”
I frequently hear this reason offered for over-eating, over-drinking or zoning out in front of the television. And all I can think is “Really? Is that really what you deserve?”
Let’s look at it another way. Would you say:
“I deserve to keep gaining weight and feeling bad about myself.”
“I deserve to sleep poorly and wake up feeling groggy and slightly hung over.”
“I deserve to zone out and ignore my real needs.”
In all seriousness, we have to look at it that way. People sabotage themselves with that argument, justifying negative behaviors that keep them stuck and not achieving their health and weight loss goals. It’s ridiculous, but it’s been ingrained into many of us.
Remember the decades-old McDonald’s ad: “You deserve a break today.” Would you ever say to yourself, “I deserve cheap, sub-par, nutritionally questionable food today?”
I think what we really mean when we say “I deserve it” might be closer to:
“I’ve had a long day and I’m tired.”
“I’m feeling overwhelmed with the challenges at work/home.”
“I don’t have much fun or enjoyment in my life right now.”
And if that’s the case, I want you to know that you deserve much better than over-eating, over-drinking or zoning out in front of the TV. I believe that most people deserve far more than they settle for. So, what does that look like? Ask yourself the following questions to determine what self-care would be for you in these situations:
“What small thing have I wanted to do, but haven’t taken the time to do?”
“What small step could I take to nurture an important relationship rather than surfing the web?”
“How can I best care for myself in this moment?”
When you ask yourself these kinds of questions, your brain will seek empowering answers. You may decide to call a friend or family member for a short chat. Or play a game with your kids or spouse. You might take a soak, read a book, drink some tea…keep digging and discover what truly rejuvenates and comforts you when you’re exhausted at the end of a long day, or when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
If you identify and take steps that nourish you, you’re more likely to avoid sabotaging behaviors and engage in ones that are positive. Ones that get you a better result.