A word to the wise: don’t go grocery shopping with me. I am no help.
When Dan and I go shopping, I try my hardest to help out. I’m really great at making the list, but my helpfulness stops there and I end up just taking up valuable aisle space. Dan takes my list and actually goes to retrieve all of the items, while I simply bark out on which aisles they can be found. Then, to add icing on the grocery-shopping cake, I totally space out at the checkout counter. My eyes glaze over, and I zoom in on the magazine racks, taking in headline after intriguing headline on each tabloid. As my poor husband piles our groceries onto the conveyor belt by himself, I turn into a magazine-flipping zombie. I read about celebrities I don’t even know. Celebrities I don’t even care about. What is she wearing? What movie is she in? Who’s her new boyfriend? Where’d she get that bikini? What is that–
“LINDSAY! We’re leaving!”
My trance is broken by an undoubtedly irritated husband who has just purchased, bagged, and carted all of our groceries on his own.
“Oh. Right. Uh. I knew that. Sorry. Uh. Coming.”
The magazine phenomenon seems harmful at first; apart from feeling bad for holding Dan up and offering up no assistance at the checkout counter, I feel pretty fine. But twenty, thirty, forty minutes later, something changes.
“What’s wrong?” Dan asks.
“You look… sad. Is everything okay?”
“Oh. Yeah. I just. I feel really fat and ugly right now.”
“Why? What happened?”
“I don’t know, but I wish I looked like [insert the name of the celebrity on the cover of the magazine I looked at earlier.]”
I don’t know why I seemingly come down with amnesia each time we go to the grocery store. The outcome is always the same, but like a dog that keeps eating its own poop and hoping not to throw up, I can’t help but consume images in magazines and hope they don’t make me feel bad about my appearance.
TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS.
Triggers. We all have them. Maybe your trigger is magazines, too. Celebrity gossip sites, perhaps. Romantic comedies, maybe. Or, maybe your trigger is a person who talks badly about their body around you. Maybe it’s an abusive partner. Whatever it is for you, it is imperative you recognize it to become healthy.
In a perfect world, I would rid the planet of these trashy magazines that cause me to think poorly about myself. I would call up Publix and Winn-Dixie and Walmart and Kmart and Retail Store X and use my endearing charm to convince them to burn magazine shipments on delivery. Then, I’d live happily ever after in my tabloid-free world! But, as you are well aware, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a broken world where avoiding our triggers completely is unfortunately impossible. All I can do is recognize that tabloids are a trigger for me, confront these magazines, and steal their power.
Tabloid magazines, you are just paper. You have no power over my self-worth.
You can do it, too. Analyze your life and find out what it is that can set your mind in a negative whirlwind. Sometimes it happens so fast, we don’t even realize it. But it is so worth it for you to work to discover what triggers your negative self talk. Recognize your triggers and then rid them of their power.
Negative people, you are just insecure about yourself. I am beautiful.
Advertisements, you aren’t a representation of reality. I am real, and I am lovely.
Abusive boyfriend, you just want to have control over something. You can’t control me or my body.
Fitting room lighting, you’re trying to make me look bad on purpose. You’re failing.
Scale, you are just an electronic box. You have no dictation over my health or beauty.
Once you are able to take control of your triggers, they lose their control over you. And oh, how freeing it is.