Tuesday, December 13, 2011
There is this thing we do where we tell ourselves we deserve something.
I've worked hard, I deserve a new car.
I've finally graduated, I deserve a nicer apartment.
I'm cute, I deserve the $17 lipstick from MAC.
I'm the best great dane mommy ever, I deserve a third great dane. Nevermind, scratch that last one.
When I'm at the mall shopping with my husband and I admire some fabtastic, gourmet swanky thing, like an obscenely expensive purse, or a light fixture (I have an obsession with light fixtures it seems) or something else that I don't need, deserve, haven't earned and will never be on a "need" list, my husband is incredibly helpful. He says, "buy it, you work hard, you deserve it."
So when I say my husband is helpful, I really mean that he isn't.
The same thing happens when I am all gooey at the idea of macaroons (the French kind, not the coconut kind) or cheese, or naughty food in general. Go on, you've worked hard, you've lost lots of weight, indulge... you deserve it.
I'd like to say that it's always my husband telling me I deserve the naughty food, but the reality is that it's usually my internal Jenn muttering in my brain, "you deserve those 100,432,224 fat grams, you've worked hard. You DESSSSERRRRRVE it!" It's like the damn basilisk in the wall, and I'm the only one around who can speak Parseltongue. Or maybe it should be called FatTongue. (For those who don't know what Parseltongue is, get thee to a Barnes and Noble posthaste and buy all 7 Harry Potter books immediately, start at page one book one and read until there are no pages left.)
When it's a $500 dollar purse, smart Jenn kicks in and when hubby says I deserve it, my response (unless I want it, covet it, can't live without it, refuse to go on with life without acquiring it) is this: "I deserve to retire one day too." Too many expensive purses, lights, itunes songs, whatever... they all add up to me having less money in the bank for retirement.
Have you ever noticed when we start to use the word "deserve" we are usually talking about something that is not a need, but a want?
I deserve a piece of birthday cake, I've been good.
I deserve some fried chicken, I've lost five pounds.
I deserve dinner in a restaurant, I haven't cheated all week.
Just to clarify, all of the things we "deserve" seem to be contrary to our overall goals, desires and wants. Well, I speak for myself really, royal we and all that crap.
Right now, I deserve a nice freaking vacation. I haven't saved up for one, but dammit, I deserve one. I need to work at earning that vacation, so that deserving it is a moot point.
Anyway, as per usual, I digress.
Deserving it thinking is dangerous thinking.
I did an hour on the treadmill, I deserve cheesecake.
I stayed within my points all week, I deserve some movie popcorn. And Milk Duds. And a leaded soda.
I didn't overeat this week, I deserve pizza.
For me, when I start to hear NaughtyJenn or someone else talk about deserving things, it's time to run. Run far away. Run like a sissy girl, run like a marathoner, doesn't matter, just run.
Deserving is code for "I know better" and "I should not, but I will" and lots of other things. Not good things.
Now to be clear, when you start to get in shape and get your sh*t straight, you will have moments of "I DESERVE BETTER!!!" and you do. You may deserve a better person in your life than the one you have. You do deserve to be treated with respect. You do deserve to have a spouse who loves you. You do deserve to be healthy. You deserve a normal BMI. You do deserve to have an hour to yourself to work out.
You deserve good things for yourself, things that make your life better. Absolutely. without a doubt.
So, how often are the things you "deserve" things that will actually improve your life, and how often are they things that are standing between you and your goals?