Motivation Monday: Life Lessons Learned at Lululemon [And how to 'get over' any bad habit]

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.


In sight in mind.


I knew it would be the case.


But I did it anyway.


I walked in to…Lululemon.



Case closed.


As soon as I set foot in that door, it was a done deal—I knew I would walk out with a red manifesto bag and something in tow, a new friend to welcome to my closet, I knew this BEFORE even looking around the store.


This particular trip?


I walked out with not only one, but THREE new friends.


A peak inside my bag of goodies…A pair of new Pace Rival crops and two Swiftly long-sleeves for the Fall!

But I WILL wear them—this I DO know.


Although frivolous shopping excursions are no longer a common pastime or “to do” on my “to do” list thanks to the entrepreneurial life (confessions of a reformed shopaholic), I am still ever so as much vulnerable to the occasional “non necessary” splurge, if and when tempted.


Can anyone else relate?


Those in sight, in mind temptations?


Those things that “get you” every time?


Bueller? Bueller?


It could be:


  • Nordstrom, Anthropologie or another favored shopping excursion
  • A drive by the same Starbucks or donut shop every day
  • Creamy peanut butter jars (eaten by the spoonful)
  • Chocolate chip cookies, popcorn, or chips and salsa
  • Diet Cokes, or Crystal Light (even though you KNOW artificial sweeteners are bad for you)
  • All-you-can-eat buffet bars
  • Alcohol
  • An all-access exercise pass
  • 24-hour TV marathons of your favorite show
  • Credit card purchases
  • A flirtacious exchange with another who is already “taken”


You get the picture.


In other words: Something you can’t always control—or rather something that easily controls you.


It may be an innocent pair of pants, or a $5 cup of coffee (that doesn’t necessarily fit into your budget), or “just one bite” of a food that you know easily ends up into the whole bag or plate, or going out with friends to “just be social”—but inevitably end up drinking (too much), or playing with fire—dating guys you know your just really shouldn’t date…and without even realizing it, you’ve ‘succumbed’ to your Achilles heel.


Led away—again—from walking your otherwise “straight and narrow” path, and “sticking to your guns” on things.


Only YOU know what those ‘temptations’ or ‘weak spots’ really are in your own life.


Those areas where you seemingly struggle “every time”, or have a hard time saying “no”, or you know what you should do, but instant gratification in the moment is just so hard to overcome.


And only YOU know what you need to do to fix that, if and when, you see those temptations, those ‘pulls and tugs’ as a problem.


In my case: Do I really need anything more from Lululemon?


(HINT: I worked there for seasonal position one year, and stocked up quite a bit)


The answer is NO.


Do I KNOW that WINDOW shopping at my favorite store on earth is actually quite impossible?


Yes. Yes. And…yes.


Do I have occasional splurges factored in to my monthly budget?


Yes…and no. (I definitely do set aside money for a ‘rainy day’ and savings, and consider ‘upcoming expenses’, like Fall clothes shopping, or perhaps an event I want to attend, or a course I want to take, as part of my ‘Misc. Funds’ budget…However all these Misc. Funds must be spent within reason).


AND, lastly, is it the end of the world that I DID purchase something, knowing that I inevitably would do so anyway if I walked in the door?


No, not at all (that’s what receipts and Buyer’s Remorse are for, right?).


In all seriousness, the reason TODAY that the occasional shopping trip (and splurge) at Lululemon is NOT a BIG DEAL—is because…even though I KNEW I would end up buying SOMETHING…I NO LONGER shop there like it is a grocery store (i.e. EVERY week. #YesItWasTrue).


In other words: I have taken a step back from it, and now there is room in my life for the occasional fun shopping outing.



I won’t beat a dead horse, but this “little lapse” of a “shopping extravaganza” got me thinking about how FAR TOO OFTEN, WE ARE THE ONLY ONES STANDING IN OUR OWN WAY OF ACHIEVING OUR GOALS—making them a reality.


For instance: About 9 months ago, I made it a financial GOAL of mine to NOT buy anything I DID NOT need (i.e. Lululemon…extra spare bottles of shampoo/conditioner or makeup if I already had another type at home…shoes…etc.) for a total of 90 days.


So I did not.


I went on a spending fast, outside of groceries, gas and bills.





What I learned?


My WANT for things outside the basic necessities decreased DRAMATICALLY.


In fact, I began to recognize and realize I actually had more than I thought I had in the first place (in my closet).


In turn, my magnetic pull towards my beloved Lululemon also decreased—for the better.


While I still love the store and people who work there, I can keep my shopping within my ‘splurge budget’ now because I ABSTAINED from it for some time.


Consider a few other examples:


Exhibit A: A 52-year-old woman wants to lose those last 10 lbs., she’s been ‘holding on to’ for most of her post-pregnancy life. She ‘knows’ all about clean eating, and how good exercise is for her. She’s bought Jillian Michaels DVDs, the P90X program, signed up for the Tone It Up Bikini Challenge, and paid a personal trainer hundreds of dollars—all at various points in her ‘endeavors.’ She meticulously keeps tracks of her food log through My Fitness Pal, ensuring she stays within her calorie goal most days, and tries her darned hardest to order more salads at lunchtime and eat fruits and veggies throughout the day to fuel up with some good eats.


However, she also knows her ‘downfalls’ are TV time + 2 glasses of wine + popcorn with Parkay butter spray practically every night when she comes home from work, ready to unwind. The TV clicks on after dinner, and not long after, the popcorn is popped, wine is poured, and she’s kicking back on the couch, mindlessly snacks on her treats…still wondering why, oh why, her ‘efforts’ outside of this nightly ritual are not paying off.


Another one…


Exhibit B: A 23-year-old in recovery from an eating disorder. She knows all about what she needs to do—the motions to go through—for her recovery: Nourish her body throughout the day; refrain from binge running for 5-10 miles every single day; throw her scale out the window; stop obsessively researching about food on the Internet…however, ‘in sight, in mind’ happens when:


  • A friend asks her to join her for a run in the morning, followed by another sweat date with another friend a few hours later at a yoga studio, followed by her usual 5-10 mile run later that evening after work ;


  • Two hours pass by before she looks up at the clock, and realizes she has been mindlessly researching the latest facts and nutrition information about health and food on the web, as opposed to doing her work she needed to get done;


  • She keeps Diet Cokes on tap at all times—it’s a comfort food—even though she knows water is better for her;


And thus, she stays ‘stuck’—wondering when and if freedom will every truly come?!


And lastly…


Exhibit C: She’s been swearing she’s going to start the Whole30 SOON…real soon. Eating real food. Her skin has been breaking out…her allergies flaring up…her digestion sucks…her energy is drained…and she knows it’s because she:


  • Doesn’t take the time to meal prep;


  • Can’t control herself with a spoon and jar of almond butter in hand;



  • Can’t find “anything” other than chicken tenders and French fries or Mac & Cheese on the menu when she goes out to eat (despite a BOOK FULL of options);


  • Comes home every day after work—instead of heading straight to the gym—and inevitably finds the couch to pull her in and keep her glued to the seat;


  • Is “too busy” to take care of herself (i.e. real-food based meals, a regular fitness routine, carrying and drinking water throughout the day), but somehow finds the time to not take care of herself (i.e. drinking more alcohol than she ‘should’, watching 2-3 hours of TV or surfing the web nightly, cooking convenient foods and frozen dinners, or waiting an 30-60 minutes from call-in time to sit-down time to eat a takeout meal rather than cooking herself)


Ultimately, in all these examples, it’s always “tomorrow”—“tomorrow things will change”; tomorrow will be the day to…

  • Focus on ‘setting things straight’;
  • ‘Trying harder’;
  • Make recovery happen


…But, for today, comfort and/or gratification is key—and in all these cases, the individual is comforted and instantly gratified by their Achilles’ heels.




Like the old saying goes: “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.”


In order to see things as they are, or gain (or re-gain) a healthy control over something, often times ABSTAINENCE is the way to go (and grow).


While we will always have those ‘thorns in our flesh’ here on this earth (we ARE humans people—easily gratified and swayed by fleshly, worldly desires)…We can begin to see clearer when we cut the things out of our lives that are holding us back (at least for some time).


Abstain. Reflect. Grow.


What is something in your life (even if it’s not ‘that bad’) that is hindering you from getting to where you want to be?


What greatness could happen if you let it go (even for a time being)?


(I’ll give you some ideas: financial freedom, movement towards your weight or body fat loss goals, a greater sense of freedom and healthy control in your disorder or struggle, more mindfulness around meals rather than uncontrollable cravings, etc… just to name a few).


Happy Monday.

Make it a GREAT day!




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