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Compulsive spending

Monday, April 13, 2009

Okay, here's the deal. I'm in trouble. As a student with no job, my budget is pretty limited. The Finnish welfare system helps students out by supporting their studies financially (I get 512 dollars month) and I also got a student loan from the bank last October (3550 dollars for this entire year). My studies cost me about 400 dollars a month and my half of the rent is 290 dollars. When we moved here in August of last year I decided to be a grown-up and take good care of my financial situations. At first, things went well. Sure, I realized that I was shopping a lot more than before but I figured that wasn't a problem. Before I lost weight I never went shopping because the clothes didn't fit properly so I figured I deserved to buy myself nice clothes after all the hard work that finally paid off. I've always been a bit of a perfectionist - I want to look my best at all times, wear the prettiest clothes, have the thickest hair, be the smartest student on my class. It's exhausting. I think my perfectionism is a part of the reason I am in this mess right now.

My situation right now is that I'm broke. I have no money on my bank account. My student loan is gone. I've spent it all. Every single penny. On clothes, shoes, make up, bags, perfumes... Sure, I've been paying my half of the rent and groceries and my monthly school payments and other bills but I've spent way too much on clothes. I've been in denial for months but today was my wake-up call. I read an article here on SparkPeople about compulsive spending and it really hit home for me. I think I have a problem.

The truth is, lately I've been lying to people about how much money I spend on clothes. I've even hidden some of the things I've bought because I was so ashamed I bought them even though I don't have the money. I've bought clothes I almost never wear and loads of things I don't need. I get blackouts after shopping and I don't even know how much I've spent until I go through the receipts. It's this euphoric rush I get when I'm shopping - it makes me feel beautiful and stylish and happy and mature and alive. And when I come home and realize what I've done I hate myself for it. I feel so ashamed and anxious and stressed because I know I shouldn't have done what I did. And, sooner or later, I go do it all over again. I need more and more to get the original high - I'm like a drug addict. I shop more and more often. I spend more money. I'm out of control! And I know it's not fair. I owe Tommi 3000 dollars already and now I can't even pay my half of the rent. I don't know what to do! I can't work in the evenings because I have to spend all my free time studying for the entrance exams that take place in five different universities in a month! I have eight thick books to read and memorize so I just can't work. I've talked to Tommi about this and he was really sweet and understandable. He didn't judge me at all and he wasn't mad. He said he'd take care of me till I'm back on my feet again. I promised him I'd get help for my problem and I will. I have a therapy session once a month (just a check-up because of my recovery from bulimia) and I'll definitely bring this up when I go there. I haven't told my therapist about this yet even though she asked me. I was in denial.

I think I moved from food addiction to another addiction. And now I have to get rid of it. It could ruin my life! I don't know why this happened... And I never really realized it was going on. Well, actually I think I did but I just looked the other way and didn't want to face the problem. But I am facing it now and I want to get rid of it. The good thing is I don't even have money so I won't be able to buy anything. (Actually, that's not a good thing. But you just gotta stay positive sometimes...)

Ok, that's it. I just wanted to get it off my chest. I'm off to bed now. Tomorrow will be my fresh start! And I'll also eat much, much healthier and lighter than today.

SWEET DREAMS EVERYONE! I'm ready for bed!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCYGODDESS 4/14/2009 9:44AM

    Girl I had a problem with that same kind of thing, but now that I'm married (well ummm...actually had it for a while even after I was married), we are saving to have our house restained & other things household wise. It was really hard when I started cutting back, but YOU HAVE to do it.

Now, since I've lost weight & look better thanks to sparkpeople, when I go shopping, sometimes I just look. OH things still call out to me, but I try to resist. One thing that helped is when I lost weight & got rid of my old clothes and started buying new ones I only buy what I realllllllllllllly love! And I have this shop that I absolutely LOVE, Dress Barn. It is about 20-25 mins from my home and I try to limit my trips there, but when I DO go, I know that I am only go buy 1 or 2 items. Of course I hit the clearance racks first & try to go when they have promotional things going on. OH ocassionally I find things I like other places, like Ross Dress for Less, which is in the same town I live in, but now I try to get things only if I really need them or truly can't live without them (and you are still to new in this addiction to know if you truly can't live without something, because everything seems that way.) This takes practice girlfriend!

I am going to send you some links of spark articles I found on budgeting your money. Hubby & I are trying to do this. When we paid our taxes this year & saw how much we had made & then exclaimed (Where did all our money go) we knew it was time to do something.

Also, I think it is a super idea for you to let your therapist in on this. You have good gut-instincts girl. Just use them. Rember...

I believe in ya! You can do this!

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MSLZZY 4/13/2009 5:41PM

    Any addiction is awful but you seem to be thinking acout getting help. Admitting you have a problem is the first step. You CAN do this with help from therapy and your Spark friends who support you. Keep working at your problem. Denial only hurts you in the long run. I have faith you can overcome this and in the end, you will be a better, stronger person. Thanks for sharing. Write if you need to talk about anything-I'm here for you! emoticon

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BEL_RIOSE 4/13/2009 5:19PM

    ARG! I too am a bit of a compulsive shopper, I just don't know how to SAVE money, there's always something I want, it's usually more in the electronics section at the store, but it's really hard to stop spending.

One thing that may help is when you do get your money from welfare, pay your rent and bills, and then have some one you care about keep the rest (like make a savings account in your boyfriend/husband/friend's name and have him keep the money there) that way you can start saving and paying off your debt, and you'll feel like you have no money to spend because the money isn't in your hands/checking account.

Good luck! emoticon

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Back at home

Monday, April 13, 2009

We're back in Lahti now and I should get back to my normal eating routines as well. I had so much chocolate yesterday and I've already had a lot today too. IT'S EVERYWHERE! Easter is like that, I guess. But it's so hard to stop eating once you start. BUT I HAVE STOPPED NOW and everything will be okay again. I'm getting back to my healthy diet again.

Other than that, I had a lovely time at home. My sister seems to be doing a lot better already. She ate almost normally all the time I was there which made me so incredibly happy! Hopefully she'll leave those eating issues behind once and for all.

I've done nothing special today - yet. Tommi and I were planning to go to the movies later this evening but we'll see. I'd love to do something special to enjoy the day off - tomorrow it's back to the normal daily routines again.

I'll update later. There's something I need to get off my chest but I don't have the time to write about that now.

HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYONE! I hope you had a wonderful Easter!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEL_RIOSE 4/13/2009 10:51AM

    I'm happy your sister seems to be doing well, let's hope she keeps it up. But it sounds like you didn't do too bad yesterday, so congrats!

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MSLZZY 4/13/2009 10:08AM

    So glad you have a wonderful weekend with your sister and family! I'll be looking forward to your next blog-you have perked up my interest! Have a great Sparking Day!

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LUCYGODDESS 4/13/2009 9:28AM

    Girl you think you did badly yesterday??? Just check out MY food log from yesterday. I had a whopping amount of calories for my lunch yesterday. Hubby & I went to this wonderful BBQ place called Boomerz and I had almost half a rack of ribs, pulled pork, salad with ranch, baked beans, and then we split a dessert called a gooey bar that had ice cream on top!!! OH & forgot to log the big piece of cornbread & butter I had with it.

But oh was Easter. Glad the sister is doing better. I wondered about her several times this weekend & said a silent prayer for her...also said a prayer for her in church yesterday.

OK...more spark stuff to do so later gater!


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Weigh-in day!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Since we don't have a scale at the flat, I usually only get to weigh myself here at my parents. I was really nervous to step on that scale today because it had been such a long time since I last weighed myself and I fell off the wagon somewhere along the way. I had mentally prepared for some weight gain so I was really surprised to see that I hadn't gained ANY weight since the last time I was here! I'm still solidly at 154 pounds!! Granted, I haven't lost any weight either - BUT I DON'T EVEN MIND! I'm so happy I haven't gained a pound!!!!

This gives me hope. This time last year I weighed 190 pounds. Now I weigh 154. I've lost almost 40 pounds already! That's A LOT! I forget to give myself credit for that. I only have 24 pounds to lose and I know I will shed those extra pounds and meet all my goals before I know it. I feel so happy and hopeful right now! I CAN DO THIS.

Today's been a great day so far. Amanda (my sister), Tommi and I went shopping and had some coffee earlier today. We had such a great time - I couldn't stop laughing! I'm so thankful for my amazing sister and boyfriend. They mean the world to me. Speaking of my sister, I think she's doing a little better already. She had a milkshake and half a cookie today and she's just having lunch. She's been herself this weekend. I know she still struggles constantly to eat normally and it's not easy - but for the first time in months it really seems like she's trying!

Thank you all for encouraging me to come here this weekend. I think my presence has made things clearer for her and she's cheered up a lot!

That's me feeling happy and relieved that I hadn't gained any weight!! :)


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEL_RIOSE 4/11/2009 12:50PM

    That's so great! Congrats on maintaining, and now that you're back on track I'm sure the rest of your weight will be off in no time!

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MSLZZY 4/11/2009 12:42PM

    Wonderful! I hope your sister really is getting better! You are a good role model for her! Enjoy your time together with your family! emoticon

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At my parents' house

Friday, April 10, 2009

We arrived here this afternoon and I'm really glad I came. I missed my sister and she apparently missed me a lot too. It's always so good to see her! I don't know what the deal is with her eating issues since I haven't been here that long yet but seems to me that it hasn't gotten any better. I hope I can be a good role model to her and get her to eat normally again. I would love nothing more!

We have no special plans for tonight: we'll just stay at home and watch some movie. I bought some lowfat candy (Friday has always been the one special day of the week when I can have my guilt-free fix of my favorite treats! But, of course, in moderation). I might go a little over my calorie limit today but I'll stay well below 2000 calories so I won't gain any weight. But I won't be losing either... I have to be careful though! I don't want to lose my grip this time!

I'll eat really healthy tomorrow and I'll also work out. But today I'll focus on spending time with my sister and enjoying a good movie in great company.

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCYGODDESS 4/10/2009 2:57PM

    I will say a prayer tonite that...and actually now...since we are in different time zones...that tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday, you are able to break through her shell & convince her to take care of herself. Of course this could be tricky, since she made the comment she would just as soon as die...didn't you say that once? Anyway, I pray that God gives you the strength & knowledge of what to say or not say & that other people will come to your defense & join forces with you to help her.

Have a great Easter, ladybug!!! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/10/2009 2:58:38 PM

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MSLZZY 4/10/2009 2:13PM

    It is so wonderful that you can spend time with your sister and family. You made the right decision to go and maybe your healthy eating habits will impress her that her eating issues are very dangerous to her health. Be persuasive but not pushy. She needs a good role maodel and you can be that for her emoticon

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Today's outfit

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Here's what I was wearing today:

I had a great day today! Confessions of a Shopaholic WAS ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS! So funny! I loved the character of Rebecca Bloomwood and could definitely identify with her! If you haven't seen it yet then you absolutely should! Marley & Me was great too. Very touching!

I had some popcorn and nonfat candy at the movies. I had healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner but went a little over my calories for today. I didn't go over any other nutritional goals though, which I'm really happy for. I had about 1700 calories today (I shouldn't go over 1500 calories) which isn't that bad - could've been better but it's okay, I made my decisions and I stand by them. I'll make up for it tomorrow!

The main thing is that I had a lovely day with my friend and my darling, I saw two good movies, had some popcorn, worked out and I'm really happy right now.

I'm off to bed now. Have a wonderful day!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEL_RIOSE 4/9/2009 4:23PM

    Super cute!!!

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