tuesday tip — triggers.

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.


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.

8 thoughts on “tuesday tip — triggers.

  1. Yes that is so important to know about oneself…most definitely…..so is self-forgiveness for lowering your standards of self-love. I like to take this perspective…I think that our spirits existed in a heavenly spirit sort of realm before birth into this world…and I think we were allowed to look down into this world and choose our parents or that there is some kind of divine connection there…in so doing…we chose our gene pool, we chose our physical characteristics to some extent…I do not believe in randomness….I thought this out when I was 12…when I questioned my own body image…There is a divine force that creates all of us… that it involves the hand of God is hard to deny and we should all come to respect what he has created or has allowed to be created…we should love ourselves, our beings…with this fixation lifted from us and love replacing it…we then are free. …signed, been there/done that xo

  2. How great. My trigger used to be Victoria’s Secret. I discovered that back in college when one was sent to me unsolicited and I spent 20 minutes screaming and crying and ripping it to shreds in my dorm room. Thankfully my roommate interceded with a trashcan, tissue, and a glass of water. She didn’t judge…just listened as I confessed my own feelings of inferiority and self repulsion. YEARS later, I can now walk hand in hand with my husband past the wall size models plastered in the windows at the mall and not hate them with everything inside me. THAT is the power of Christ!

    p.s. I’m seriously considering taking your quotes to each “trigger” and posting them on appropriate things around my house (ie scale, tv, etc.) I know I’ll never look in a dressing room mirror the same again- drab lighting, do your worst! 😉

  3. OH, one more thing….*business plug* if you had one of my reusable grocery lists you could take half the list and Dan could take the other (exercise pushing your own cart full of groceries)
    and while he’s putting the stuff on the belt you could check the list to make sure you didn’t forget anything….let me know if you’re interested in one!


  4. The dreaded scale does it for me. No matter how many times I tell myself NOT to step on it every day, I always find myself weighing in. Every day. Every morning and if I’m particularly crazy one week (Aunt Flow in town) every night. I try to convince myself that this isn’t obsessive behavior and when I read articles that say weighing in once a day is helpful for weight loss and maintenance, my thinking is reinforced. But I still know that it’s obsessive. And sometimes seeing those numbers go down is such a great feeling, but if it happens to swing the other way… forget it. HAM-city up in the bathroom. That is until I can compose myself with the fact that it’s JUST a number and I’m doing amazing things at the gym every day that just might make that number go up but OTHER numbers go down. I like seeing my clothing size and body measurements go down way more than the scale because it’s the best proof of all my hard work. But I still feel like the scale is my really bad for me security blanket that reassures me I’m still on the right track.

    /End cray-cray

  5. Pingback: tuesday tip — consume wisely. | fueled by diet coke

  6. Pingback: secrets, secrets are no fun. secrets, secrets hurt someone. | fueled by diet coke

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