Seeking Validation and Instant Gratification

We all like to feel validated, and some of us need it more than others.  I used to be among the neediest people I knew, and as I sat with Jeff and Shannon last night at Starbucks, we reflected on the changes we’ve all gone through over the last year.

Jeff got married, and Shannon met someone worthy of an exclusive relationship with her.  We’ve all taken different steps, but we’ve all grown. My relationships with God and people are significantly different than they were one year ago.

I talk about it a lot here – I know who God is.  I know what He did for me (in sending Jesus to pay the ultimate price for me and save me from myself,) and knowing that gives me peace, hope and validation that never existed before.

I still like attention, but I don’t need it anymore.  Now my biggest struggle comes from my need for instant gratification.  Whether I’m shopping or eating or dating, I find myself looking for the quickest way to achieve all of the fast, happy feelings.

My need for instant gratification has become evident over the last several years, but I never considered the possibility that it was tied to my weight gain.  It makes perfect sense, of course, and now I have to figure out how to replace the desire for immediate gratification with the contentment that I’ve experienced in other areas of my life.

I don’t know how to combat this issue yet, but I do know that there has to be a way.  I know that I should pray about it, but I haven’t yet.  I’ve become so accustomed to feeling like a failure in weight-loss, that it has become an excuse to stay this way.

I want to continue to change even though it doesn’t always feel good, and I want to learn to be content with everything that I’m already lucky enough to have.

Does anyone else struggle with the need for instant gratification?

 

 

5 thoughts on “Seeking Validation and Instant Gratification

  1. karan

    Wow never thought about it until now but yes I do! For most things in life I have patience but you brought to light that I dont with food or a small to medium purchase desire! I will need to pray about this contentment. I’m honestly never quite sure how to measure where contentment should be gauged. Do we plan vacations when others can’t , do we save for a new car, how about new clothes for that vacation or a dinner out when there is food at home to cook……….

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    1. Kenlie Post author

      I think that moderation is the key to success in almost everything, Karan. It’s okay to enjoy life, but it’s not okay to enjoy it constantly at the expense of our health. That’s just my opinion as I sort through all of these things too.

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  2. Andrea

    Food has always been my instant gratification. It’s easy to get, eat and enjoy! And I can do it when I’m happy, sad, bored, frustrated, angry. Yes, it’s emotional eating.

    Before I could lose weight, I had to figure out why I was eating (a) what I was eating; and (b) why I need to be eating. So that meant a trip to the doctor for a referral for mental health services (psychologist to help me better manage stress) and it was the doctor that told me point blank: “You won’t lose any weight until you get your sleep under control. If you can sleep, you can manage stress / depression and then you can address your weight.”

    It was a lightbulb moment that helped me figure out my own chicken and egg dilemma. So she addressed my sleep issues, the psychologist helped me address why I was eating (poor stress control mechanisms) and now, 14 months later, I’m 145 pounds lighter. It was a chain of events that led me to use food effectively, not destructively. The food changes were not radical, just common-sensical. And I took exercise out of the equation until I could manage weight loss through my food, since it was all tied to why I was over-eating in the first place.

    Going forward, I’m concentrating on exercise to help maintain this weight loss and I still need to focus regularly on my sleep and mental / emotional health to keep healthy. I’m currently in a very stressful situation (military deployment) and it’s east to default to the instant satisfaction of food. But the feel-good factor of eating does nothing to address what’s going on in my mind. It turns out what I need validated are my feelings – fatigue, frustration, joy, etc and it’s a work in progress to satisfy them differently.

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