The last week or so has been rough for me emotionally. Two events have loomed on the horizon that have forced me to examine how I live my life, how I perceive myself, and how I interact with others. Such socially focused situations, like these two obligations, have always been hard for me, as a majorly introverted person.
On a recent Friday night, with one event down (which I was still recounting in my mind and obsessing over minor imperfections), I left work with the upcoming event on my mind. This anxiety was topped with traffic stress–after leaving the supermarket with some provisions for a Friday night meal, my favorite go-to road was significantly stalled by a highway closure detour. I took a bad turn into another suddenly congested traffic area, and I began to lose hope that I would get home anytime soon.
After crafting my own not-so-swift detour, I finally made it home, and food was on my mind. On Fridays, I usually buy or thow together a fun meal for my family–ribs, a crab legs feast…you get the picture. Today, a nice steak was on the menu. After all I had been through that evening, and what I knew was to come, I argued with myself about getting a really good treat for dinner–several servings of French fries to go with my steak, some sort of decadent dessert–anything that would make me feel better.
But before I got to work in the kitchen, I made a detour to my bedroom. When I entered the house, I got the idea that I should try on the outfit I have lined up for a concert outing with my husband, to get perspective on why I needed to stay on track with my eating.
My goal, on which I had embarked earlier this month, was to look good in the outfit. I’ve had the pants, a pair of black jeggings for some time, but I’ve never worn them because I didn’t think they looked good. I didn’t know what to expect when I put on the outfit. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
The jeans fit me much better now. Not perfectly for a pear-shaped body in low-rise denim, but much better. And the hip-grazing shirt with which I intend to complete the outfit will go a long way toward making it look as good as I had envisioned.
By putting on the outfit and looking in the mirror, I did myself a favor by making my goal a big, clear billboard in my mind. That night, I didn’t go overboard with my eating, and I talked away some of my bad mood with my husband.
I was happy with what I had seen in the mirror. I was proud of my progress. And, most of all, I was elated that I had found a way to diffuse the emotions that had simmered to a boil during the drive home–and that I didn’t sabotage myself, as I would have in the past.