Today’s guest post by Karen:
As it turns out, it’s hard to hide a 22kg weight loss when you’re only 159cm tall so I’ve had quite a few comments (all lovely) and more than a couple of questions.
Actually, it’s been just one question… “How did you do it?!”
And I’ll get to that, eventually.
But first I want to tell you about Jane. Jane is a figment of my imagination. But let’s pretend she’s a smart and lovely woman in her thirties with a few adorable kids and a gorgeous hubby. Oh, and she’s drowning in debt. Ugly debt that’s piling up no matter what she does. It’s making her anxious about the future and it stops her from enjoying normal stuff like taking the kids out on weekends or getting her hair cut. She’s started to feel ashamed at her lack of control and wonders how she ended up like this. So she has decided to tackle it head on. Go Jane!
Someone in her office told her that if you stop buying clothes your debt disappears. So she did it! And it worked! Well, okay, that’s a load of rubbish. It worked for a month or two but then the seasons changed and the kids grew and she got invited to a wedding and before you knew it, she was buying clothes again (who knew?!) and the debt continued to mount.
Then she heard about this other plan where you don’t spend any money at all for an entire week, and you do this every couple of months or so. And another where you only barter for goods and services until midday every day, at which time you switch back to cash. Or better yet, she was told about companies who (for a small fee) completely take over your bank account and pay your bills until you’re back in the black. After that you’re on your own, baby.
These people are freakin’ geniuses!
Just think for a minute about the discomfort Jane has been spared. Living within your means, sticking to a budget, resisting impulse buys and reading the fine print on financial commitments is just so damn boring! Isn’t life there to be enjoyed?
But who is the genius now? Living in the moment and ‘enjoying life’ had left me more than 30kg overweight with no real idea of how to fix it. So I got some help. And unlike Jane’s help, the advice given to me was as simple as dirt. I needed to get real, grow up, and stop living like a petulant teenager who can’t get her own way. I love that old nugget from Thomas Jefferson: “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
So how did I lose the weight? I ate less and moved more. Shocking, I know.
Self-control is a difficult concept to nail down in a world where our every whim can be gratified at the swipe of a screen. We congratulate ourselves on learning, experiencing, having or discovering more and better things faster than our friends can manage. And we’re told that we’re worth it.
Well I’m out. At the age of 37 I’ve finally decided to live within my nutritional means because I want to be around for a very long time. My grandchildren’s Nana won’t be the slimmest or the prettiest one at the playground. She won’t have the coolest blue rinse or the flashest electric scooter. But she’ll be there. And she’ll be playing hard.
Bring it, kids.
Additional Author’s Note: Just like you can’t tell if that person with the designer wardrobe is a great budgeter or if she has debt collectors around every fortnight, you can’t tell how healthy a person is by how they look.
And just like you can’t tell if that guys Porsche is the fruit of a huge income, or if it was a gift, or if he stole it, or if he will eat baked beans at every meal for five years to pay for it… likewise you can’t tell what someone’s nutritional needs and metabolism are all about by looking at them.
I believe that for most people, weight control is about energy in versus energy out – just like for most people, financial control is about living within your means. But there will always be exceptions and exemptions and, just like our social security net is there to help people live with financial dignity, it’s up to us to afford the same dignity to everyone regardless of their appearance.
What do you do to keep in your optimal health? Have you mastered self control? Have you tried a fad or a diet, only to find it didn’t work?
Note: Karen is writing about her own personal situation, not the situation of others. Any offensive comments will be removed.
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Karen has written 5 posts.
Sometimes I’m just Karen. But mostly I’m his wife, their mum or that person banging on about footy or uni or food or the decline of modern civilisation. Karen blogs here.
Follow on twitter: @SometimesKaren