I remember, not so long ago, I needed to shop at least once a week, for this new pair of shoes or that new dress I saw in Elle Magazine. I needed it all and I needed it right away. I had a strong urge to possess all these things and really believed they would help me feel happier.
The excitement I felt at the very moment I bought something was tremendous, but also extremely short, less than a few seconds for me. It was like an adrenaline rush, very intense and very quick. One thing was sure though, I did not have a true compulsive buying disorder (an impulse control disorder recognized by some mental health professionals). I was really the casual shopper, who clearly found it challenging to exercise self-control at the cash register.
Of course, possessing all these clothes made me feel happy, or at least I thought so, and the search behind each single purchase was like a treasure hunt highly motivating.
More and more, I realized that, once the shopping was done, and once I had the clothes in my wardrobe, I was no longer interested in it. Needless to say, I have quite a number of tee-shirts, dresses, high heel shoes, etc.. which I have never worn. There were simply there taking a lot of space in my wardrobe, and at some points, also artificially filling up my life.
And the fuller my wardrobe got, the more empty my whole life became. As my whole life turned upside down last year (sharing post about that) with my moving to a new home and separating from my spouse, the following questions arose:
Why do I shop so much?
Was I hiding behind all these purchases?
By buying all this stuff, was I compensating for something?
Oh for sure!! But what?
It was while I walked my El Camino de Santiago de Compostela (St Jacob’s walk) that I shared in the post ( Link to post) my realization that I was clearly wasting my time, money and energy in shopping so much, and that it did not bring me the fulfillment I thought It would. It was during that month of walking that I realized, I needed to exercise more, be outside more, feel the nature and simply move my body.
Upon my return from el Camino, I drastically changed my attitude toward shopping and spent much more time doing sport, being outside and enjoying nature. And one of my favorite outdoor activities is running.
Every other day I get up at 05.50am and leave for a 1 hour run. Wherever I go, I am taking my running gear with me, whether I am travelling for business or for leisure. And trust me, running in the morning through a foreign city is a very nice and different way to discover a city. I did that during my business trip to Milan early this year, which allowed me to go through small streets I would have missed, had I stayed comfortably in my hotel room.
I know it is sometimes hard to get out especially when it’s raining or cold outside, and I still do it and feel really good once it’s done. After the run, I feel a huge amount of positive energy running through my body which fills me for the whole day.
Together with my niece and a good friend, we recently did the Basler Frauenlauf 2019 running 10 Km. The three of us, and me in particular, felt really proud when we completed it. It was hard and I struggled with the steep march of the track. However I pushed my limits and did not stop running and finished the race under the allocated time. Despite the cold weather, it also felt really good to be outside so early in the morning.
Had my niece or my friend told me a year ago, we would go and run together, I would have said
“ Oh! Come on you know this is nothing for me!!”
And here I was asking them to let me know when they would join another run so that I would sign up with them.
I cannot tell you when my last shopping race was, but I can share how I felt coming back yesterday morning from my one hour run.
I simply realized the shift in energy I was going through, being outside, being energized by the contact with nature, challenging my limits, pushing myself to go further, and finally going the extra mile.
This is how I moved from being a shopping queen to being a running queen and how this transformed my life.
Have you ever experienced such a shift?
Do you wanna share?