Have you ever had a McDonald's milkshake? They are often sold as the beverage to accompany a meal. They taste pretty good. Better yet, Culver's offers a chocolate milkshake that I think tastes even more delicious. Then I found out that a medium McDonald's shake has 580 calories and the medium Culver's shake has 912 calories! As a life-long dieter, those numbers are burned into my brain and I will never be able to enjoy one of those frosty concoctions again. Same with the 680 calorie bread bowl that does't even include the soup. Once you know these things, you can never un-know them.
For most of my years, my head was in the sand about the way I purchased clothes. The money thrown away, the time wasted and emotional turmoil it caused was just put in the back of my mind like knowing that probably the chocolate shake has a few more calories than a diet coke. The year I spent living with the poorly chosen purchases is burned into my brain like the calorie counts. I know that I used to buy clothes that I didn't need. I treated them like throw-aways. I figured out that I liked to control how my kids looked by constantly adding to their wardrobes so they would never venture out to make their own choices. I finally understood that my grandson is so cute, no outfit in the world could make him cuter. Now these things-- I can never un-know them.
I sit here in February evaluating the first month back to the mall. I have purchased some things but fewer than I had anticipated. The truth is, the thrill is gone. I can no longer enjoy a milkshake when I know it has 912 calories. I don't enjoy clearance shopping because I know where the clothes will likely end up (in the donation bin). I don't want to spend money that I don't have to spend. And, frankly, I have better things to do than wander around the stores. I now buy what is necessary and do so thoughtfully.
During the Buy Buy year, I had to find diversions to lessen the pain of not shopping. No longer diversions, I would rather (yes, really rather!) read, keep up on organizing, have time for working out and write. I enjoy my cleaner, less cluttered home. I spend way better quality time with my family.
I was tested last weekend. We were invited to dinner at a very nice restaurant. Yay! I like to get dressed up and eating out occasionally is a treat. I pulled out one of my favorite dresses, which looks a little better on now that I have been going to the gym more often. I curled my hair and wore eye shadow. Then I went to the closet to select a pair of shoes. I remembered that I had no basic black high heeled shoes. I have red, orange, bone, silver, fuchsia, and multi-colored versions, but nothing in a simple black shoe. Instant thought: Can I get to DSW, find the perfect shoes and still get to a restaurant on time? Of course I can! I am super-shopper! I can find the perfect shoes, on sale, is less time than it takes to ... wait a minute ... I could, but should I? Did I have shoes? Not perfect shoes, but passable shoes. Would anyone even look at my shoes? Probably not. Do I really want to rush around and be stressed before a nice evening out? No. So I put on the unseasonable peep-toes and went to dinner. And it was goooood.