Thursday, June 4, 2009

Have you ever...

Bought sooooooo much stuff that you feel soooooo very guilty for having spent soooooo much money that you feel compelled to bring most if not everything you purchased back to the store?

I'm having one of them moments right now .... particularly after I saw the size of my Credit Card Bill.

Why do I do this????

I'm not talking the "thinking of bringing everything back" issue but... why do I always over-buy?

I over-buy and then I feel bad and then I put myself on a shopping diet. Once I feel that I've been good, I go back and blow it all over again.

Now that I think about it, it's really like Dieting, isn't it? And that's why Dieting doesn't work. Look at Kristie Alley, Oprah, countless other people, including myself. For years, I tried Dieting and I've tried numerous diets - everything from the Cabbage Soup Diet to Atkins to South Beach to Slim Fast. Everything! And like the time and the time before, every time I got to where I needed to be, I'd go back to eating the same way and WHAMMO! I'm suddenly FAT again and I wonder why it happened.

My shopping addition is just like when I was Fat and was trying desperately to lose the weight.

Funny, I've never thought of it that way ever! But it's true! It's soooooo very true! Every time I over-spend, I put myself on a Shopping Ban. My bans last me anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months. I try to be as good as possible while on a Shopping Ban. Occasionally, I will cheat and buy something or somethings during my Ban. Since I'm not buying much during this period of time, I feel pretty good and figure that I must have saved hordes of money. And as soon as I've gotten to the end of my Ban, what do I do???? The first thing I do is go out and blow a ton of money.

It's getting really ridiculous, really! I have hordes of clothes that still have price-tags on them. Some of them so old that I'll likely never ever wear them ever! Sad isn't it? I can't go to the mall / store / online shop without blowing through several hundred dollars in a single go. Houston, we have a problem.

For years, I had loath the way I looked and felt and despite all those Diets, I could never seem to drop the fat, that was until, I changed my lifestyle. I came to the realization that my fatness was not something I could solve temporarily. In order for me to lose the weight, I needed to change everything about me - the way I ate, the way I thought about food, my level of activity, everything!

So, if that was the answer to my weight-loss, a similar solution must be the answer to my shopping addition, wouldn't it?

Hmmmm.... Let's see... I need to structure this plan no different than I structured my life-altering, Lose the Fat Plan. I will be back with a solution. I need time to think about this.

But first, I need to go to the mall.

lol!

18 comments:

HeidiG said...

Very insightful post. Thank you! I know exactly what you mean.

RatsOnParade said...

Man oh man, do I have ever the same problem! Deprivation certainly doesn't seem to work. My husband and I even set up a monthly clothing budget so there's still money that can be spent on clothes, but I feel guilty if I use it on anything other than socks and underwear (I guess those would be considered "needs" wouldn't they? Kate Spade bags, more of a "want." Depends on who you talk to. Ha!) I can't wait to hear what solutions you come up with!

goldenmeans said...

i do this ALL the time. you are not alone! i too am sort of struggling to come up with a philosophy/lifestyle-strategy based for clothing and consumerism, but it's hard...pretty things are so, well, pretty. i think the dieting analogy is a really interesting one, i will have to think about that some more...

Emily said...

I've been there, recently too. It's so hard. I am trying to practice moderation by buying myself one thing that I really want each pay check. If I reward myself for working hard with one thing then I am usually less prone to go nuts.

Dr.danis said...

If you have fallen in the grip of overweight and obesity and are eager to trigger off weight loss, you should opt for dieting and physical exercises in the first place. However, when dieting and physical exercises fail to yield results, get hold of diet pills such as Phentermine, Adipex etc but only after getting a doctor’s prescription for the same.

ManoloChooLou said...

I do this all the time. I'm currently *trying* not to shop. I recently took a picture of everything in my closet still new with tags (just so I could look at it and remind myself that I really don't need anything new), but I still feel the urge every single day.

I desperately need to create a budget, but I know if I do it'll be a LONG time before I bring home anything new!

I think your comparison of shopping bans to dieting is pretty insightful. Look forward to reading any follow up!

Raks said...

I came across this blog: http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/

Are you an emotional spender?

A Bigger Closet said...

Oh dear, it sounds like many of us relate to this post, myself included. I tend to do most of my shopping online, and for clothes mostly at JC. It's SO hard with each new sale or product roll-out to say no to those must-have pieces! I look forward to your follow-up post of ideas. :)

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss A said...

Love the post, and blog. I'm going through the hole dieting thing and will have to listen to your advice- since I can follow a plan, but it's when I get OFF the plan that I crash and burn. Please add me to your reader list!

Lady Jane said...

I hear ya! I need to go on a shopping diet too ( BTW..love that name...shopping diet) I am gonna steal it! Here I am first time to your blog and I am stealing things. Sorry! Glad I came!

Paper Bag Princess said...

What a great post!! The diet/lifestyle analogy is a good one! I've been thinking about this too. I think if I accept that every two weeks or so, I'm gonna need to treat myself to a little JC sumpin-sumpin, then maybe I can prevent a big fall-off-the-wagon style binge...

Zoë Moët said...

Though I've managed to keep my shopping addiction in line (I'm in college and broke so I can't overspend or I won't be able to pay rent) but I struggled my whole life until about 2 years ago with disordered eating. Ironically, I only began to lose weight when I no longer really wanted to lose weight. I had started to just eat when I was hungry and stop when I was full (fancy that). I'm not sure if you can apply that same philosophy to shopping...perhaps if you just start shopping when you need something (a dress for a party, new work clothes, etc.) and just focus on getting that thing and nothing else...maybe that will help?

gigiofca said...

I completely know what you mean. I have no solutions to offer. I have tried everything I can think of to stop the habit. Having each other to support is helpful at times, but I still give into temptation and then OFF I go!

lilac cupcake said...

I absolutely relate to the shopping-as-dieting analogy. I am an emotional eater and an emotional shopper. I have been trying to approach both things differently, but it's so easy to revert to old habits.

Both with food and clothes, I have been trying to exercise portion control. Food is going ok, although I recently made a lot of work-wardrobe-related purchases , so pretty much everything else I have bought recently just went back to the store. I have another batch of returns to make this weekend. And when I say batch, I mean like 10 items. All to J.Crew. I think they hate me there now, haha.

So yes, I can totally sympathize :)

cK said...

Definitely food for though! ;)

It's so true with me that as I lose weight I start to buy more clothes! Okay I'm also having to buy new hangers to put them on! So lots of new duds

JNJ said...

I'm pretty type A myself. As far as better managing spending this year and to purchase more thoughtfully, I've created an Excel spreadsheet since January to keep track of all my orders in one place especially with so many J Crew purchases. (J Crew makes up about 50-60% of my current wardrobe.) I have columns for confirmations #'s, order date, credit card charges, shipping fees, etc. I also keep other separate Word documents (one listing by groupings what the items specifically are by type, material, color and price; and the other document is a picture of said item as a visual chart). It's all really helped me keep track of how often I am placing orders and what kinds of clothing I am buying and if I need to buy less blouses and more skirts and pants, or if I need other colors in my wardrobe and such. It's not time consuming and I always update with every new order. The Word document with the pictures also helps me think about how well each piece integrates into my current wardrobe. To avoid any compulsive shopping, I also ask myself - 'Do I love it?', 'Do I really need this or do I already have a similar item at home?', 'Is it a quality/staple piece that I really wear?', 'Will I be willing to maintain it if it’s a special care item with dry-cleaning, ironing, hand washing, tailoring, etc ?'.

Once I buy a certain amount of items, I make sure to go through my closet on a regular basis and take out older clothes for donations. I want to make sure I don't have piles of clothing in there such that I can't see everything readily.

Sorry for the super lengthy post! I’m sure you'll find a system that works best for you to help you keep track of spending and help you evaluate how much you love an item of clothing that's worth integrating with your wardrobe.

newyork0311 said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one with this problem of overspending! I'm also trying to control myself...I knew I had a problem when I stopped keeping track of what I buy! It's scary! Let's help each other to be responsible buyers! After all, I know I don't need so many items that have still have tags sitting in my closet!