Monday, June 7, 2010

What To Do Instead - Running The Numbers, Part One

Sometimes I just need to be distracted from eating, thinking, ruminativing, obsession, whatever is bring me down. That being said, the distraction shouldn't be destructive - first, do no harm. I don't want to turn to food if I'm obsessing and I don't want to turn to excessive shopping to distract myself from over-eating. I don't want to acquire "stuff", so recreation shopping isn't an answer - it creates clutter AND reduces your finances. We all need financial freedom and power in our lives. There are, however, ways to spend a little something on an item that is actually useful, so I've included those here.

As an example, when I was trying to quit smoking, the worst time was evenings after work. So my strategy was when I couldn't stand it anymore, I would get in my car and drive to the garden center and buy a 6-pack of pansies (I quit in winter, so they were in stock) and come home and plant them. The cost was gas, obviously, and about a buck forty eight for the pansies. Plus, it took more than an hour to complete the task. If I was still craving, I would repeat the process. It didn't cost me a lot of money, it did do some good for the "curb appeal" of my home and most importantly, I had a plan of action to take. I KNEW what to do - a little re-wiring/re-programming was happening. So here goes my list so far:

1. Crosswords - I do several onlines and have a big NYT book
2. Walk To Target - dinner prep
3. Go to bookstore to browse
4. Go to library to borrow
5. Starbuck's for a Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte (rare treat)
6. Bike Ride
7. Go to the park and feed the ducks
8. Buy a new pair of panties - okay, this one just hit me yesterday and I think it's absolutely brilliant. Yes, we all know that I love my patagonia panties, but I like having some fancy-pants, too. Not that anyone but me will ever see my drawers, but that's not the point. I can go shopping at Ross, Target, Marshall's, wherever and buy myself one pair of fancy panties - probably for less than 5 bucks on the clearance rack. And then I can come home and toss that saggy-assed, raggedy pair with the bad elastic. One item in, one item out.
9. Read a book of fiction
10. Go to the gym

That's the first ten. There are more where that came from.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Distraction is the better part of valor.



  1. I love that you buy undies to distract yourself LOL!

    The key is to not replace one addiction for another. That's the easiest thing to do, so bravo on having a great list of alternatives!

  2. I love this list. Most of them are things I'd have on my list (and I'm going to make one now) except for #8. Until I'm much smaller, buying a pair of cute panties in a big size? Nah, but I can't wait till I can add that to my "what to do instead" list :)

  3. Wow. I totally need to come up with a list like this. Excellent Roxie!

  4. I love the list and will use it. Plus I love your last line. I might try the undies over my head. That could provide distraction.


  5. We've got a lot of the same items on our list...crosswords, reading, bookstore browsing. I've added Farmville, which I know is goofy, but it doesn't cost money -- I'm with you on aimless shopping -- and isn't fattening. I haven't added underwear shopping, but some of mine have seen better days and the Filene's Basement half a mile away would be a good destination. Thanks for a great idea!

  6. Good idea and nice list. I used to do cross stitch, which kept me from eating (hands have to be clean to not soil the fabric/thread) and I had to concentrate since I was following a pattern. Haven't done it in years, but I suspect that the computer has taken over my cross stitch time.

    Love the new panties idea...I suspect that most of us could do with replacing some old pairs, plus the hunt in the clearance racks would be fun.

  7. Brilliant and exceptionally well-timed post. At least from my perspective, as I'm sitting here feeling the call of BadThings e'en as I type.
    Off to buy some pansies/panties/chocolate nononojustthefirsttwo...

  8. I love this list. Especially the panties one. Totally brilliant!

  9. Well there's a 2x4 to the back of the head. I did a similar thing when quitting smoking - had that whole list of distractions I used regularly to derail the urges. Worked marvelously too.

    But you've found that it isn't a one trick pony! Thank you for pointing out that these tools are NOT single purpose items.

    I need to create a new list of healthy alternatives to some irritating replacement habits.

    I will be skipping the purchase of new panties though. T-shirts I could use but panties just wouldn't go over well.


We'll try this for a while.