Too many splurges

I have a problem. I am a major splurger. Worse yet, I am a major justifier and can rationalize nearly all of my impulse buys. Including my house. (Who the heck buys their house on impulse? Um, that would be me. “Honey, it’s my birthday! I want to go look at new construction model homes to get decorating ideas! Don’t worry…we are not buying anything!” Except we did.)

My biggest impulse buy

As if my house wasn’t a large enough example, here is another one: I am writing this from our brand-spankin’-new laptop that we didn’t necessarily (or even remotely) NEED, but really wanted. With Jon in school, he can use a laptop while on the train to get homework done, and I can use it while he’s doing homework on our PC. I can also work on my digital scrapbooks at friends’ houses, instead of dragging all my print stuff. But still: with him working only sporadically, this was certainly a splurge.

This splurging tendency not only affects me financally, but weight-wise as well. Just as I splurge on major purchases and justify everything to the point of insanity, I also splurge on treats. Only a “treat” implies that it is rare, whereas I seem to splurge more often than I don’t.

I’m tired of it. I DON’T deserve it. I deserve to NOT eat it and feel great. I deserve a long run that makes me feel proud, a home-cooked meal that shows me I’m worth taking the time to cook something nice. I deserve to see the numbers drop on the scale. Why is this so hard to remember when I’m looking at a carton of ice cream?

If I could get rid of the tendency to splurge, I think I’d hit the self-improvement trifecta: improved finances, healthier eating and less clutter from all of the impulse purchases. I’d also probably become a decent cook, because I wouldn’t rationalize a(nother) stop at Chipotle on the way home from work.

As soon as I figure out how to stop this madness, I’ll report back–but don’t hold your breath. It’s going to take major work to rid myself of a 28-year-old tendency.

PS: That picture is me at my very heaviest. I can look at that picture and remember exactly how I felt at the time–and it’s a great reminder of exactly why I shouldn’t be splurging.

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About Kristen K

My life has always been pretty darn fantastic--except for one thing: my weight. Not too long ago, I tipped the scale at 283 pounds. I'd gain some, lose some and gain some right back, and I was so frustrated. When I saw a notice for a Biggest Loser-style contest in my local paper, I applied on the spot and I felt like I won the lottery when I found out I was one of the five contestants chosen. We worked out four times a week with trainers and followed a clean eating diet, and my life completely transformed. I've lost more than 60 pounds and I'm feeling confidence for the first time in my life. I'm 29 years old with a great husband, a rewarding job, two adorable dogs and fantastic friends. Weight loss continues to be a struggle now that the contest has ended, but this time I know that I can do it and I'm fully committed. This blog has seved as an accountability tool as I journey from a happy, but fat, person to a happy and confident person. And for the first time in my life, I'm no longer putting it off until tomorrow. This time, I'm starting this minute.
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5 Responses to Too many splurges

  1. Rachel says:

    I totally know what you mean! I use the “treat” excuse way too often or even small splurges like a new book/magazine here or new nail polish/makeup or knick knack for the house. It’s always something! This reflects in my food choices too. We live in a small town, population 1500 and virtually no restaraunts worth writing home about, yet I still seem to make hurried decisions in the check out line like grabbing a bag of chips, or soda or candy bar. I do love to cook but even that can be dangerous when you have memorized Rachael Ray’s ultimate brownie recipe! Good luck and hang in there. Let me know when you find out the magic answer! And thanks for writing down your true hearted thoughts!

  2. Beth says:

    Oh my gosh, I had this exact conversation with a coworker yesterday about myself. For me, I think the trick, boring as it may be, is going to be planning. When I don’t plan my dinners, I don’t grocery shop off a list, and it becomes a lot easier for me to leave the house in the morning and stop at Starbucks for oatmeal and a skinny latte (those are “healthy”, right??? ::sarcasm::), and then lunch out with my coworkers (because I deserve it, I’ve had a rough morning ::more sarcasm::). So now, I’ve started planning out all my dinners (and subsequent lunch leftovers), purchashed breakfast on the go foods, and have promised myself lunch out on Friday. Hopefully this helps, because my waistline and my wallet sure could use a break!! Oh, and I totally hear you about rationalizing everything. A few weeks ago, I logically explained to my husband why we couldn’t afford to spend $100 on baseball tickets. The week after, I explained (with rationalized logic) why we *deserved* and how we could afford a week-long vacation, which we subsequently took. Sometimes I think I need to stop outsmarting myself.

  3. Nota says:

    I’ve found that creating context through QUESTIONS has been a key to avoiding a lot of splurges for me – I’m not nearly perfect at it yet, but it definitely helps. Hot breakfast and post-work beer are my eating downfalls. We have a grill at our office cafeteria that makes it VERY easy to get bacon and eggs every day if I want. As long as I start asking questions instead of making statements, my willpower stays intact. For instance – “I’ll just have a salad at lunch to balance this out. It’s going to be a hard day, I need a good breakfast.” are statements I would have used. Now I ask “What’s the plan for lunch and dinner? What’s the protein count looking like for the day? Do I need the protein from this? How many calories is my workout burning today? When was the last time I hit the grill for breakfast? Why doesn’t the oatmeal in my desk drawer meet my needs this morning?” I do the same thing with the post-work beer: “What’s my carb count looking like for today? How long since the last workout? (Carbs are better in the golden hour.)

    And the mother-of-a-justification-killer:
    Nutritionally, what am I about to put in my mouth?

  4. Valerie says:

    I think one of the best things you can do, if you can’t resist the temptation, to just not have it around. If you know you might splurge on something you don’t need (laptop, restaurant food, house), just don’t go looking for one. It’s easiest to do this with food you keep in the house, but a good thing to do with restaurant eating is just to say, “no matter how much I might want it or think I deserve it, only go out to eat once every two weeks.” That’s the rule Dave and I just put in place; it kind of hurts, but it had to be done.

  5. Kristen K says:

    Val, seeing “house”in the same list as “food” when it comes to splurging is so horrifying that it’s comical–I am truly a crazy person! It all seems so obvious how to fix; it’s just a matter of saying no to myself when I try to violate the rules and that is where the problem comes in. When I don’t restrict myself, I tend to behave better. When I do, I want to fight against all the rules. Maybe it’s because I never went through a rebellious stage and now I’m making up for lost time!

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