Monday, October 15, 2012

The Risk of Self-Rewarding

I'm a big fan of thrifting, of pretty shoes and clothing, and also of chocolate, potato chips and cheese.
There are times when life circumstances are stressful and during those times, I tend to self-reward.
Sometimes, I can go overboard and over-reward myself for surviving a particularly difficult experience, a rough weekend or for achieving an big goal.
There are risks to this.
Even thrift shopping has its boundaries;  yes, its good to find wonderful things at dirt cheap prices, but every budget has its limits.
Food rewarding also has its limits and I can honestly admit to myself and to all of you that my current weight and out-of-proportin butt are the result of over-rewarding.
I am at the age where food should be viewed as nourishment and not a reward.  At least not on a regular basis.  I'm not saying its bad to occasionally reward one's self, but when this becomes a habit instead of an occasional practice, it begins to tread on dangerous ground.

In this post, I am sharing some of my recent thrifted treasures and in doing so, I feel that my words and my actions are incongruent.  I'm saying one thing and have done another.
As I was driving home from my thrift adventure, I was excited about all I had purchased...and on the other hand I was also disappointed that I didn't have better self control. 
I am, of course dealing with some grief and have experienced a very tough weekend, but still, I should be especially aware during times like this that I am self-medicating through shopping and food.  
I should be aware of how easy it is to go overboard with the self-rewards.

I did need to find an "in between" coat, that can be worn in cooler, but not super cold days; that's why I went shopping. I found the beautiful leather and I am grateful for that.   I also needed to buy a winter coat (which I didn't find).
What I didn't need was to find all of this:


Donald Pliner Italian shoes, $20.00 at a consignment shop
but because they were great deals, and I could used them to upgrade my fall wardrobe, I did buy them.  And I'm thrilled to have them, but I'm worried that I won't be able to say no to other 'great buys' when I am under pressure or stress.

Grey knit skirt, $7.00, consignment

Perfect, mint condition Italian leather coat by Laura Clement


Fedora....I added the feather.


Beautiful poncho, purchase at retail price at a from-frou gifty shop...because I have been looking for the perfect poncho for 5 years...

Pretty Eddie Bauer button down shirt, $5.00, Goodwill (under the Talbots sweater I purchased last week)

poncho detail

My photographer, Peyton, who insisted I take and post this picture....

Wilson's Leather blazer style jacket $10.00 at Goodwill after $5 coupon; love the mahogany color.

Jacket detail.....by the way...I washed this coat in the machine!  It came out perfect, but had to be washed alone!!!!!

Cole Haan, air nike technology shoes, in perfect unworn condition, $19.00 at consignment


I din't buy anything frivolous, or anything that isn't practical and won't be used well...but I just needed to stick with my original plan for purchasing.
I don't want to own anything frivolous.  I want to have a well curated wardrobe.  I think I did a good job choosing my wardrobe additions, but it could so easily get out of hand...and in the past it has.

I just want to be more careful, more purposeful.

This applies to food rewards too.  I'm a stress eater.  I will reward myself with a Reese's peanut butter cup when I'm stressed or tired or have competed a large research project.  Generally I choose healthy meals...but then I eat the extras too...like a candy bar a day.  I always have an excuse to eat something chocolate.

Today, I called mightily on my will power and won the battle of the candy bar.  I did not cave.  I did cave, however when it came to potato chips.  I had a heaping platter of them with my chicken noodle soup.
 I know its not practical to cut out all bad habits at one time so I've made a decision;  I'm going to try my best to avoid chocolate during the week.  I will allow myself one candy bar per week and I'm going to ask my husband to bring it home for me on a specified day each week.  I'm not going to cut out salty treats like chips, but I will try to sub popcorn on most days.

As far as the shopping goes, I'm going to try to stick to a wardrobe plan.  I'm going to try to fill in gaps, but not give in to the temptation of every beautiful bargain.

I'm going to give it a my best shot.  Here are my goals:

1.  To save more money by not buying, not save money by buying more things thrift
2.  To eat healthier and lose a few pounds
3.  To make more purposeful choices, fewer impulse choices
4.  To learn to resist over-rewarding


Wish me luck...and if you want to help me out by prompting me to remember my goals....I won't be offended at all.

Thanks for putting up with my rant!  Love and Hugs.


28 comments:

  1. Ah, yea..............food should be nourishment, but I just can't get that into my head either. I LOVE chocolate (you probably figured that out by now). I forget that I am not my skinny 25 year old self :-( I love to shop and eat chocolate. Sometimes I buy things for others and sometimes for myself. I think those 2 vices fill a void in my life. Good Luck to you!!!

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    1. P.S. Peyton is adorable! he sounds like quite the boy.

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    2. I agree that these things can fill a void...but they cause other problems too. Its a battle...sometimes a daily battle.

      I'm going to do my best to change this. I know for me..its a stress response..but its not a good one.

      Peyton is my little love bug. He's joyful and fun.

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  2. I struggle with many of these same issues myself, Lisa. One of the things that works best - especially with food - is to set specific boundaries, like you've done with "only one chocolate bar a week." That's awesome. A goal like your second one is commendable, but hard to actually implement - it's too vague. If you can make it more specific, you have a better chance of doing it. So, for example:

    2. I will eat 5 fruits and veggies a day.

    It's specific, it's doable, and if you can do that, you will probably lose weight.

    I'm currently thinking hard about what I'm going to do when my own challenge is over (and you've seen my hauls, you know I shop like you do!). I'm considering a "no shop" year, but then I get a lot of comfort from shopping, even if I don't buy much. I also thought about a limited budget each month, or a fixed budget for a year, to see how I do with that.

    But anyway, aside from all that - you got some beautiful things (love that poncho), and I love the self-reflection. Keep it up! You are strong, girl!

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    1. Thank you Sheila...I agree the second goal is too vague. I appreciate your input and I'm going to write my replacement goal just as you stated it.....I will eat 5 fruits and veggies a day.

      I get comfort from shopping too...and I always justify it because its thrift. I need to work on it.

      Thanks for the encouragement. :)

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  3. Maybe you might switch it up for the type of chocolate you eat? I eat dark chocolate everyday and have grown to love it. I don't believe dark chocolate makes you gain weight. I don't think it's the chocolate so much as the processed state and that it is made with white sugar like Reese's:). If you want to know a good stepping stone, give up wheat:)) Wheat is horrible and causes you to crave sugar:) I don't have the blood sugar drops I used to have when I was eating wheat. We are all told how great wheat is for us...but it's not true:) If you want some more info on this just email me, I'm telling you you will be a different person and will lose tons of weight:) I now live on a low carb diet and I'm so much happier for it. I really don't miss the processed foods. Your thrift shop purchases are awesome. You shouldn't feel any guilt about these great purchases:))
    http://dividingmoments.blogspot.com/

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    1. Joanna...my brother tells me the same thing about wheat!
      I'm going to try and eat more fruits and veggies.....

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  4. We all reward ourselves, which is good, but need to guard against overindulging. You seem conscious of where that line is. Best wishes for your effort.

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    1. Thank you....I'm trying to toe the line...but its not easy!

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  5. LOVE LOVE the hat and the leather coat from Wilson's. we should all reward ourselves. We gave you a blog award, go check it out!

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    1. Thank you! I love the leather coat too...but today its not looking so good after the washing....:(

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  6. P.S. We think you are strong and will achieve these goals you have set for yourself. Shopping, even thrift shopping, can be dangerous! You have recognized something and you have made it your goal to work on it. We didn't want our comment above to sound the wrong way. We were just excited to give you a blog award, lol!

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    1. Oh....I'm going to have to go check out the blog award!! I missed it...thank you!

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  7. I need to try washing leather...i've been too chicken! Both pair of shoes are wonderful finds. You won't regret them.

    I've been having a craving for chocolate lately myself. My solution was to buy a big bar (divided into smaller squares) and leave it in my desk at work. I only get to eat sweets there and try not to keep any sweets at home.

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    1. Well...Terri..this jacket is not drying so well...so wash with caution. There are a few streaks and the sheen is gone. I can take it to a leather specialist and they can re-pigment it and that costs about as much as cleaning it does.

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  8. Some wonderful buys and if you look at their future cost per wear then you have made some good choices. I know how you feel about the shopping habit though - I have it too and even though I had a year of not buying (www.workthatwardrobe.blogspot.com) it didn't change my habit of shopping once the year was up.
    Good Luck with your resolve.

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    1. I'm going to check your link out! Its a habit and I'm going to try hard to change it!

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  9. Great buys and great photos! I can so relate to self rewarding. I do it all the time. When I am stressed, the first thing I want to do is shop or eat. I usually do both. Self rewarding can be a really good thing as long as we keep it in check.

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    1. That's the trick isn't it, to try and balance rewards vs, indulgence...

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  10. Those shoes are very nice, and would not have been able to resist them either. I think they are very appropriate for academic office wear. However, I know the feeling - that you feel that you have shop too much or eaten too much. I suppose we should try to focus on the positive outcomes, instead of forbidding ourselves, it is really great when there are more money on the bank account or the clothes fit better, not to speak about when they are a little too big! You can do it, but don't to hard on yourself, after all you have grief and it takes time to heal!

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    1. Thank you for your input....you are right, I need to take time to heal. I'm working on it. I appreciate your comments and encouragement.

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  11. Great post!!
    If you want, we can follow each other!! let me know!

    http://estilohedonico.blogspot.pt/

    xoxo

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  12. Self-rewarding -- what a stroking phrase. I am going through a period right now where I am doing that way too much. Hmmm, you've given me a lot to think about!

    Good luck with your plan! I'll be seeing how you succeed.

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    1. Now I have to just do what I say I'm going to do! Hopefully putting my intent on the blog page will help me stay on track!!!!

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  13. Firstly I applaud your efforts to be more purposeful and less impulsive on shopping - I have been trying to do the same myself recently and can totally relate to what you're saying about going overboard with self rewards and retail therapy. It's a very easy trap to fall into.
    But on the other hand - those leather jackets and feathered hat HAD to come home with you - fantastic finds!

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    1. Haha! I do agree...they had to come home with me!

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  14. Lisa, like you I am also a self rewarder.
    If you don´t believe me... look at my monthly shopping. It's too much. I have all i need.
    I guess in a way I feel it provides comfort.
    I am going to work on a budget for next year, and try to stick to it. Maybe we can try together.

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    1. Yes.....we should be a support team for one another. Maybe a special blog challenge...

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"When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"--Mark Twain