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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bye Buy Clothes: Five Months Post-Challenge

Time flies! It's been 5 months since I completed the year-long Bye Buy challenge (NOT buying shoes, clothes or accessories for an entire year). As I noted at the end of the challenge, it can be easier to avoid something altogether as opposed to restraining yourself. Such is the case of dieting, we can't simply not eat: we are faced with food choices every day. I was so changed at the end of the challenge year, I furiously began putting the experience to paper in hopes of compiling a guide book. It didn't take long to realize that the challenge was one thing, what happens afterward is entirely different. Would I truly change for good? Or would this be like another failed diet attempt, successful in the short term until life sets in and I revert to my old ways.

So here I sit, 5 months later, happy to report that the changes that occurred during the challenge have stuck. Really. Not just saying this to sell a book. I do buy things, but nearly nearly like I used to. I am tempted but a little voice has stayed with me. A little voice that asks, in an oh-so-nice way, "Do you really need that? Will you wear it? Does it fit properly and is it well made? Can you afford it? Do you have a place to wear it?"
 9 times out of 10, the answer is no. I have plugged my ears a few times and sang "la la la" to quiet the voice. Then I return the items to the store. The voice and I have become friends. 

The Bye Buy year made me realize that we had too much stuff altogether. Part of the year was spent sorting an organizing my collections of dishes, candles, cooking utensils, knick knacks, party supplies, toys, games, and holiday items. I donated everything except what we really use. And, miracle of miracles, I didn't replace it all. We have so much less and we don't miss it at all. No one seems to mind if I used the same plates for entertaining. The decorations are not rotated. And my grandson seems to prefer a bucket of water, some sponges and some cups to the fancy new toys. 

Here's the bonus part-- the stuff I learned has translated into weight loss and fitness. Again--not even kidding. The patience I learned, the self control I learned and that little voice that I actually listen to has led to a slow but steady success. I learned that it takes months, not days to change habits. But the investment in time is so worth it. 

Did the Bye Buy challenge work? Yes. A million times, yes. Not just for clothes but for everything. Something has to be working if I can resist buying cute clothes for my smaller self!


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