I was doing a Beachbody on Demand workout the other day and the trainer was talking about having healthier relationships with food, especially when it comes to using food as a reward. She said that when you’ve accomplished a fitness goal, instead of rewarding yourself with a cupcake, reward yourself with some new gym clothes…
Cue my forehead dropping into my hand. What this trainer (who had nothing but good intentions) didn’t understand was that rewarding yourself with new gym clothes can be as destructive as rewarding yourself with a cupcake.
When we use clothing as a reward, we are encouraging the idea that we aren’t worthy of investing in unless we accomplish something. To buy gym clothes as a reward for achieving a fitness goal implies that if you don’t achieve that goal then you aren’t worthy of new gym clothes. If you’re like me, you already know the struggle of putting your worth into your accomplishments and how damaging it can be for your self-esteem and general happiness.
Instead of a reward, clothing can be a tool to help you say, I’m worthy simply because I’m showing up. And I’m investing in how I show up to help me be my best self, regardless of what I accomplish today. Take the workout clothes for example. Instead of using clothing as a reward, what if we used it as a tool instead. This way we can buy ourselves a killer outfit that we know will make us feel good and make our workouts more fun. In this scenario when we meet our goals, we’ll have the innate reward of feeling proud that we accomplished something we wanted to but we’ll know that our worth doesn’t depend on it. Doesn’t that sound better?
There is a real power to this attitude and approach to everyday life. I’ve found that I can best step into my power when I say things like, Today, I’m worthy regardless of how many errands I run, how many emails I answer, how packed my schedule is, how many likes my photo gets, even how well I love those around me. Because, girl, some days you’ll mess up. The things you carry will be too heavy and all of your mess will fall onto the floor. But guess what, you’re worthy anyway.
For me, clothing is a tool to help me step into this truth and own the simple fact that can be so hard to wrap my mind around: I’m worthy anyway. When we invest in our clothing as a tool to help us show up as our best instead of creating rules and restrictions around whether or not we are worthy of new clothing, everything changes.
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