cripsy13

Musings, mutterings from the misguided.


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It’s been an interesting week on my new ‘less self indulgence’ lifestyle plan.

I’ve been keeping a written journal of what I eat, what I drink – and what I spend.  At the very least, an eye opener.  Yikes.

I met with one of the leading experts in obesity in the country last week – he was amazing.  If you’ve been following my blog, I’ve been involved with a local “Weight Wise” program, which is geared towards those who are considered obese or morbidly obese.  I’ve met with a psychiatrist, a nutritionist, a nurse and now the doctor.  The whole premise behind this program is to find out if I am a candidate for lap band surgery.  I have to go through a whole series of hoops and jumps before they will even consider it.  The best part of this whole experience is finally having someone understand that it’s not all ‘eat less, exercise more’.  This program is more than that.

He asked some questions that I really never considered a part of being overweight, but afterwards I realized – wow, those questions made complete sense.  He asked me if I had been promiscuous at any point in time in my life, and I will admit – I did go through a phase (of which I’m not particularly proud of) in my early 20’s.  I realize now that I wanted love – and I had confused sex with love (wouldn’t it be nice if we could figure that shit out WHEN we’re doing it?)  He asked me about my relationships with my parents and my sister, friendships…etc.  He asked me if I had a tendency to binge eat (which thankfully, I do not) and if I used alcohol as a ‘crutch’ (oh yes), did I overspend beyond my means (sigh, uh – YEAH) and a few other questions.  The questions he was asking had very little to do with my size or my weight, they were more geared towards my thought patterns and my personality, which can be defined in one word:  ADDICTIVE.  I was addicted with trying to find love, I was addicted to instant gratification and I was addicted to alcohol.  2 out of these 3 things were easily obtained by overspending (yet, another addiction).

Now, this is interesting.  There was an article in the paper this morning – “Weight loss plan can curb spending” (Postmedia news).  There was a line in there that jumped out at me:  “While the authors say not everyone who struggles with weight also has money problems, [Demetre] estimates over 50% of the population has issues with both.”   Wow.  I’d never thought to put the two together per se, but it makes sense.

We live in a society of instant gratification.  We want what we want, and we want it NOW.  We don’t budget for things like our parents did, we put it on credit.  We don’t scrimp and save our pennies, we just buy it and worry about it later.  We don’t do without – we all ‘need’ the new TV, the new iPhone, the new tablet, the new…(insert vice in here).  When I want to eat something, I want it NOW.  I don’t mean binge eating – I just mean regular, day-to-day living.  If I want sushi for lunch, I’ll got and get it ($15.00).  Then, if I want steak for dinner, I’ll go and get it ($15.00) and maybe a few more groceries that I really don’t need, but want ($25.00).  I’ve just spend $55.00 on things I don’t necessarily NEED.  Repeat that every day for about 5 days.  That’s $275.00 just on FOOD related items that I probably only need about $30.00 of.  Let’s add some wine on top of that ($60.00/week) and maybe a shirt or pair of shoes ($100.00) and I’m up to $435.00  For one week.

Great – so now I’m fat AND in debt.  But I can see how it goes hand in hand.  I eat and overspend to compensate for the things that I don’t have, which in turn creates more problems and gets me farther away from where I DO want to be.  It’s a vicious circle and I’m doing everything I can to get off the giant hamster wheel and back on solid ground.  Because the things that I want most – to be happy, healthy, a normal body weight – and to buy my own home – are things that only I CAN do myself.  It won’t happen right this very minute, but with some time and patience, I think I have a pretty good chance.

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Like they say, good things come to those who ‘weight’.  🙂


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SELF INDULGENCE

Happy New Year!

So…how many of you made New Year’s Resolutions – hands up!  Right…now, how many of you are still following them?  Oh…yes, well, that’s to be expected.

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Every year, I vow to lose weight, drink less, do more, get out with friends, be more organized…the list goes on.  Most years I make it until about mid-January and then slowly everything starts to weaken…and I’m back to where I started, angry at myself for failing and then I wind up making things twice as hard for myself because if I’ve failed, I’m going to do it with a vengeance.

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Which ultimately means I eat too much, drink too much, slob out on the couch, ignore everyone and find myself looking for my bankcard at the bottom of my purse (because there is no way in HELL I’ll have put it back where it should go).

Bah.

Just prior to Christmas, I had a (as my father would have put it) a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with my landlord.  I’ve been wanting to purchase my condo for a long time, but kept putting off attacking the mountain of personal debt I’ve accumulated in about the past 9 years.  She’s given me until the middle of the year to prove that I AM working on it and if she’s happy with the results, she will bend over backwards to assist me with the purchase – WAY above and beyond what a normal landlord would ever do.  Our meeting was extremely intense; not since my father died have I had such a conversation about my debt and my addiction to self indulgence.

Which started after my dad died.  I just put that together.  Interesting.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but my dad was everything – dad, best friend, mentor – I admit, I was definitely daddy’s girl.  He did everything for me – got the oil changed in my car, bailed me out of stupid monetary decisions – the stuff most dads do.  I never panicked – or paid much attention to things, because I knew dad always had my back.  I’m embarrassed to admit that he helped me out financially WAY too many times.

My dad died suddenly in February 2005.  It hit me like a fucking sledgehammer.  If you were to ask me what the rest of the year looked like, I can’t tell you because I was in a complete fog.  My sister and I had to start caring for our extremely needy mother, who made our lives a living hell.  I had lost my dad, my best friend and my support.  My safety net, as it were.

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That’s when things started getting ugly.  I started drinking too much, spending too much – EVERYTHING was too much.  I didn’t care, nor did I think of the ramifications of my actions.  It made me feel better.  It stopped the hurt.  I started spending like I had an unlimited trunk full of cash.  I didn’t buy big things; it was the little things – $40 here for a new shirt, $25 here for groceries and I’m not even going to get into how much I’ve spent on wine over the years (that in itself is embarrassing).  Maxed out more credit cards than I can count.  Managed to get myself back on track by paying them off, only to get myself back into trouble – time and time again.

I just didn’t care…I didn’t stop to think that all those little purchases added up to one big, hefty bill.  Oh, I made payments regularly and was always very conscious about doing that, but it was all peripheral; it never entered into my mind that I was paying 13%, 15% or 17% and throwing a few hundred at it each month wasn’t getting me anywhere.  I was managing it and I didn’t have debt collectors after me and it was all good.  Carry on!

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After my mother died in 2010, there was a small inheritance left to me and I used most of it to pay off debt.  Yay!  A credit card with a zero balance!  Whoo!  I can start spending again!

Just before Christmas I got extremely sick and have only just started feeling marginally human again.  I had a lot of time to just sit and ponder things…when one day, I had what I like to call – a jelly donut moment.  A jelly donut moment is when you stick your finger in the middle of the donut and watch everything ooze out the sides and top.  Basically – my psyche started oozing, but with that came clarity – a sense of calmness that I hadn’t felt in a long time.

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I realized that for the past 9 years, I’ve been obsessively self indulgent.  I bought things because I wanted them RIGHT NOW and I drank too much because it made me forget all of my problems – but, I deserved it – didn’t I?

No.  Well, maybe.  My point is that all of the money I’ve spent, all of the wine I’ve drunk didn’t replace my dad – it only created a different dependency.  A dependency on being self indulgent.  ‘Poor me, I’ve had a bad day, I should go look at shoes.’

So, tucked at home in my jammies on New Year’s Eve, with some cold medicine and Netflix – I made a different resolution.  This is the year that I become less self indulgent.  I’m going to take care of myself by eating better, getting a bit more exercise and by not drinking.  I’m going to think before I spend.  Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be absolutely 100% ‘perfect’ – but what it means for me, is that those moments of self indulgence are going to be the exception, rather than the rule.  Because I deserve it – don’t I?


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46 Shades of Grey (hair)

I don’t remember getting here, but I have arrived!

Yep, in less than a week, I will be 46.  That’s one year closer to 50.  

I’m afraid.

To be honest, I’ve never thought about getting old.  I mean, I knew it was going to happen (eventually and obviously) but I’ve really not sat down and thought to myself ‘well, here you are.  I guess it’s time you started buying polyester pants and sweatshirts with kittens on them.’  Or, ‘Don’t forget to put orthotics in your shoes, because you know how much your back hurts when you forget.’

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I think that the big reason that this has come to a head is that I found my very first grey hair about two weeks ago (pun intended).

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Now, I always thought that was stupid.  Really?  A grey hair?  Big deal.  Well, to me it was a big deal.  It made me stop and think that hey, I am getting older and it’s time to stop putting off things that I need and want to do.

Like lose the weight I’ve gained over the past 10 years.  Take myself to Ireland.  Scrimp and save so that I can buy the condo I’ve rented and called home for the last 10 years.  Get my affairs in order (okay, yes I know I’m 46, not 106) – but some of these are things that I’ve never thought that much about.

I’m also realizing that as I get older, my body is starting to rebel against me (okay, let’s just call a spade a spade – it HATES ME).  I went to the doctor yesterday for one issue, and came out with two.  I am scheduled for a minor surgery in two weeks.  Next week I have to see a new doctor about something else.  I’ve some weird rash on my face that I’ve never had before.  In there are more appointments for my Weight Wise program.  Let’s not forget my counsellor!  

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All of it a bit overwhelming to someone who has the memory and attention span of a drunk fruit fly.  Which is where the problem lies.

I’ve found myself this past week trying to take too many things on.  I’m worried that the person I rent my beautiful condo from will want to sell as soon as my lease is up and thanks to my addictive personality, I haven’t saved enough for a down payment.  I’ve finally got a date for my surgery, which is a good thing, however not something I’m looking forward to.  I’ve got a crap load of weight to lose and I’m struggling with that and how I need to make some very serious changes to my lifestyle and I’m not sure if and when I’ll be ready to that (thankfully, next week I meet with the shrink from my WW program and she’ll be able to provide some help).

And, the more these things pile up, the more I push people away and just want to be by myself.

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The Dragon of Depression is breathing fire at me once again and I’m doing my very best to dodge out of the way.  There are so many things I have to do.  There are so many things I regret doing.  There are so many things that I wish I had the courage to do.  There are so many things I wish I could do, had I the self esteem to do them.

There are so many people I miss, who are not here with me as I travel over the hill, but the one I miss most, is my dad.  He’d be standing with me at the top of that hill, holding my hand – smiling – imparting his wisdom – “Kid, sometimes ya just gotta sit down and separate the pepper from the flyshit.”  

And then you know what he’d do?  He’d push me head first down the hill and laugh his ass off.

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Miss you dad.

 

 

 


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LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD…

As a kid who didn’t often get what I required emotionally, I turned to different sources of comfort – usually, food.  Of course, I didn’t realize that at the time.

I also have a very addictive personality.  I become addicted to something very quickly, with great intensity.  I’ve gone through addictions to food, to alcohol, to relationships – but the worst thing, frankly, is spending.

Now, I suspect I’m not the only one in the club.  Buying material things to fill an empty void is very common, especially amongst those of us who are depressed or suffering from some sort of other mental disorder.  Speaking for myself, I use these addictions to make myself ‘feel better’.  Who here hasn’t bought something ‘because I’m having a shitty day’?

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It’s very true, the saying that ‘the more you make, the more you spend’.  I am very lucky to work in a province where most people make a higher than national average wage.

So why am I still ‘financially challenged’?

Well, since I was old enough to hold down a job (I started working when I was 14), I spent my money.  Savings?  What savings?  Why do I need to save money?  Now that I’m in my 40’s, I’m in debt up to my eyeballs.

Why?

Because, I buy things without thinking.  I want nice things.  I buy expensive clothes.  I have an expensive vehicle.  I spend a disgusting amount on rent, so I can live in a nice place.  But most of my debt comes from little things – dinner out, gas, groceries – things that don’t seem harmful, but when it comes time to pay off my credit card – GULP!  How the hell did I do that?  I look at my statement and am shocked by my blatant disregard for being fiscally responsible.

(I am going somewhere with this; trust me).

So, I have a nice vehicle, a lovely condo with a great view, nice clothes.  Yet, I’m still unhappy.  All that money I owe now (okay, a good percentage of it) was spent trying desperately to fill the void that I have felt.  To replace the sadness and loneliness I experience being on my own.  To make me feel better after a crappy day at work.  And – to show the world, that I am successful and happy and make lots of money and life is good.

Up until now.

I spent a week in my very favourite place on earth about two weeks ago.  For three days, I was in a secluded cabin on the ocean, with no technology – just me, some books and the sea.  I walked, I thought, I read, I cried, I slept and I dreamed.  It was, without a doubt the best three days I’ll spend all year.

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The last part of my vacation was spent with a very wonderful and dear friend.  She is lucky enough to live there and part of the reason for my going was to help her celebrate her 50th birthday (which we did, in style – I might add!)

My friend is one of those people who just calms the soul.  She’s funny, gentle, smart and is always at peace with herself and her surroundings.  She just ‘is’.  She’s never been one to fall for the ‘must have extensive amounts of material possessions’.  Up until this last visit, I always thought it a bit odd that they didn’t have a television or buy new things.  She gets most of her clothes from second hand shops and I’m pretty sure that nearly everything in her home (that she shares with her partner) was bought second hand.

And yet, she’s one of the truly deep down in her soul – happiest people I know.

What?  But she doesn’t have fancy things!  She doesn’t have a brand new vehicle!  She buys her clothes at Goodwill!  How can she possibly be happy?

Because what she has, comes from inside of her – not what she can buy.  She couldn’t give a rats ass about anything materialistic.

OH.  I GET IT.  Well, I’m starting to.

I knew as soon as came back home, that I needed to move to where my friend lives.  However, because of our ‘higher than the national average wages’ where I currently live, I’d have to take about a $15k to $20k cut in salary to do the same job there that I do here.

But I’m in debt up to my eyeballs.

For the first time in my life, since I can remember – I’d be willing to forego the expensive vehicle, the fancy clothes and the other crap that I’ve bought over the years – to live there.  I feel a sense of calm when I am by the sea.  My physical body feels like it loses about 15 years and I can walk for miles without hurting.  My emotional being feels free, light and joyful.  It is a place that I can truly be ‘me’ – without caring what anyone thinks of me.  I am whole.  I am good.  I am love.

So, my goal is to follow my dream and hopefully – in the next few years – find my way out there.  I’ll have to work hard to rid myself of the financial burden I carry – because not only does it make life difficult, it reminds me of all of the money I’ve spent over the years to make myself feel better.  And, it did – in those moments – but now, I’m trying (trying is going to be the operative word) to find happiness from within myself, not from a new pair of shoes.