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May 22, 2012 at 10:31 am #31030LaurenKeymaster
I just wanted to tell you about my weekend and what a terrible shock I had when I decided to sort out my wardrobes in preparation for Summer (I know, bit presumptive of me!)
When all my clothes were laid out on my bed ready to either be packed away for the winter or given to charity shops/support groups etc, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks that I might have the start of a a new addiction other than food. CLOTHES.
I’m being totally serious here. Hardly any of it was expensive stuff but the volume was overwhelming. I fear I had begun to swap my addiction to food for clothes/bags/shoes. I’m not talking replacing clothes that no longer fitted as I have been the same size for over a year now.
The past year has been very, very stressful for me including: my almost 80 year old Father almost dying twice, my Mum who has COPD in hospital with pneumonia, my Sister going through a nasty divorce (she has a child with several special needs who we all help to look after) a lump under my arm removed, a stalker and being diagnosed with Arthritis. I had prided myself on never once turning to food to ‘help’ me get through it as I had in the past. However, when I saw all those clothes, bags and shoes I realised that I had practically swapped one addiction for another.
It’s not that I couldn’t afford it and got into debt, it’s just ridiculous. I feel selfish and vain. There are people in THIS country who are really, really struggling and I have more clothes than I could ever justify. It stops NOW. No more watching QVC, no more trips to outlet centres, no more online shopping. I have decided instead to learn to swim properly. I have booked lessons and by the time I go on holiday, I should be able to dive to the bottom of the pool to pick up an object I have thrown in it!! I will then re-join my health club and swim, swim, swim.
I wanted to post this as a warning of how things can appear perfectly normal until they are noticed for what they really are. Yes, I have had a stressful year and yes I didn’t turn to food, but NO, I haven’t ‘dealt’ with it properly. Now that I know I have a problem, I can solve it. It just goes to show that more often than not, people cannot see what is right in front of them. I wanted to share this to prove that we all need each other all the time. None of us are perfect and nor should we strive to be. If I’d taken more time to really look at myself, I could have nipped it in the bud sooner.
OK, so having too many clothes isn’t a hanging offence (half the people in LA would be dead!!) but for people like us who never do anything by halves, it is a slippery slope. I’m so grateful for my wls as it had forced me to become more self aware. It has helped me to recognise a problem before it became an addiction so deeply ingrained into my brain that I couldn’t stop. It hasn’t hurt anyone (except my pride) and I’m not in serious trouble. My wls has helped me to really look inside myself and actually SEE me as I really am for the first time in my life.
I hope this thread helps any of you who are worried about the future without our old ‘friend’ food to rely on. I managed not to turn to food and to realise that I had a new burgeoning problem that needed stamping out. I caught it in time and am dealing with it. I am going to replace all that negative energy with a positive one: swimming. I want to be able to swim like David Walliams and maybe even raise money for charity. Now THAT’s the sort of addiction that champions are made of! How ironic that I’m doing it in the London Olympics year?! I could never manage ‘Race for Life’ due to health problems but I certainly could attempt ‘Swim for Life’. Just have to learn first lol!
Now, do I need a new swimsuit….just kidding :-))
Doodah xMay 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm #47059NettieMember
Doodah a fantastic post as always, I was actually warned of this as a possible side effect of WLS, the lovely Stacey told me that she was addicted to buying clothes, to be honest I don’t think it’s that much of a sin and I for one can’t wait to be a stable weight so I can stuff my wardrobe full.
Nettie xxMay 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm #47058GannyParticipant
Serious post and so very true, I am only 14 months post op and now nearly 11 stones lighter and with only about another 2 and half stones to go before I will be happy with what I weigh and when I loked in my wardrobe the other day I realised for someone who is still loosing weight I have a lot of clothes and shoes that I have brought and I know I have not a hope in hell of wearing them all before I get to small for them. There was not a week go past without me buying something and I must admit I was beginning to get a little in debt with it, but I realised that I had swop one addiction with another one and I have made a consious decission not to buy anymore clothes or shoes this summer and I have stuck to it this past two weeks, it has been very hard and I found myself wanting to turn to food but I haven’t given into food either, I have had to find other things to keep me occupied and I have thrown myself into my garden, my swimming and I start training this weekend for the race for life. I guess I just have a personality that can easily get addicted to something but I am now realizing this and I am fighting it.
It is scarey that how easily you can swop one addicition for another.
Elaine xxMay 23, 2012 at 8:46 am #47057LaurenKeymaster
I had the same realisation when I was taking labels off things that I had bought LAST YEAR and hadn’t even worn yet. I have several wls friends who have done the same.
Although it can seem light hearted to start with, it really can become a serious problem if not addressed as with any compulsion/addiction.
Nettie, Stacey has been my partner in ‘crime’ for the past year and we have both realised that we need to stop if for no other reason that we had started to take over every other family member’s wardrobe space!! I have usurped my husband from his double wardrobe and even have a few things in my daughter’s. Not actually ‘normal’ is it lol?!
It is symptomatic of our generally addictive personalities I guess. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t equate with being a drug dealer or an armed robber but these sort of things are incidious – they creep up on us like thief in the night and steal our resolve. Sorry, but we flippin well need that resolve to get through the rest of our lives without returning to food as a way of coping.
You guys are doing brilliantly and I just want everyone to be on their guard. Head hunger comes in many guises so if we are all aware of it, we can keep an eye out for each other and keep the nasty blighter from sneaking up on us in fancy dress 😉
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