Gluttony for the Downtrodden

The second reason my diet’s not working: The whole world is a hot mess.

It’s not just MY troubles that worry me, it’s everyone else’s. And the world is full of troubles. I worry about my children, my family, and my friends. I know people dealing with severely injured children, financial problems so severe the future looks bleak, illness that saps the colors out of life. I know caregivers caring for terminally ill loved ones, whose days are filled with adult diapers and repeating the same explanations over and over. And over.

I have friends with marital problems so severe they don’t know if they can stay married and sane at the same time. I have friends dealing with old age, watching their formerly strong selves bend and weaken, their bones crumble, eyesight fade and their minds slip.

And I feel the pain of every last one of them, because I don’t know how to look at pain and not feel it too.

And it’s enough to drive me to…well, cookies, apparently. The maple cream-filled kind. And chocolate lava cake. And peanut butter cups…let’s not forget those.

Ah yes. Gluttony. It’s going to do wonders to help my sick friends, the exhausted caregivers, the poor and desperate, the elderly and fragile.

What makes me think indulgence will be the antidote to misery? No, really…I can laugh at myself for being a moron or I can think about what it is I really feel when I choose to eat something phenomenally bad for me.

I think it goes something like this: Woe. Despair. Awfulness.

“Ahhhhh!!!!” (That’s very high-pitched, by the way…angels singing here.)

“Ray of sunshine! Oh joy! Delight will be minnnnne!!!”

Chomp. Chomp. chompchompchompchomp.

Here’s the deal: Bliss is mine for about…10 seconds. That first bite is wonderful, the following bites…not so much. And about 15 minutes later…

Oh agony. Oh my tummy. Why did I do that?

Hm. That was helpful.

A quick googling of depression & overeating shows that overeating has a drug-like effect. We actually do get a little “high” from snarfing down heavy foods…but then the let-down afterward (like a blood sugar drop!) can lead to further depression. (And further overeating.)

Okay, so I need to change. I’ve got to find fun (inexpensive!) things to do other than eat when I need a pick-me-up.

Here’s my ideas: have a hot cup of unsweetened tea, read a book, take a walk, give myself a library break, ten minutes of exercise, give myself the awesome pleasure of finally cleaning out that downstairs closet, ummmm….

Anyone have suggestions? What do you do when you’re trying not to stress-eat?




Why My Diet isn’t Working, Part 1

I promised I’d tell you about the diet. It’s not vegan, it’s not gluten-free, and the candida diet thing isn’t going so well, either.

What I would like to do is hide myself in a corner and pretend I never mentioned the word “diet,” let alone outlined an eating plan. But I did announce my intentions publicly.

Ah. How dumb was that?

So here’s the thing: I’m gonna lay it all out there. Here’s why my diet isn’t working:

1. Life stinks right now. No, really, it does! It’s winter. The sky is grey most of the time. It’s cold and miserable and I live in the woods, which means there is virtually no sunlight and no greenery. (If you plant the right kind of grass and shrubs, you can have greenery year-round…but that doesn’t work in the woods!) The greyness, the cold, the short days and the grim, bare trees, have me rather DOWN.

Ok, let’s tackle reason Number One:

1. Life stinks because it’s winter and cold and grey.

Yeah…but is the sun gonna shine BECAUSE I OVEREAT?

No. It’s still grey, dark and cold. And I’m looking at the grey, dark and cold feeling more “down” than ever because my stomach is bloated and my jeans are tight.

What could I change?

1. Here’s the thing: I crave greenery, and I can put it on my plate. Beautiful salads evoke SPRINGTIME. I may not be able to plant a beautiful garden out here in the woods, but I CAN buy one and eat it.

It can be springtime in my kitchen. Eat green. (And orange, and blue…all those bright, colorful fruits and vegetables will brighten up my mood and feed my cells!)

What else can I do?

2. Anything possible to soak up sunshine and greenery. Take every opportunity to get outside and enjoy a little sunshine. Schedule walks into the day if necessary. Take a walk to see the neighborhood goats, horses and cows. Stop…even for fifteen seconds, to really feel the sunshine on my face.

3. Try scattering my houseplants throughout the house. (I presently have them in one “jungle room” fighting over the little bit of available light.) Seeing greenery as I go about my day might help make a difference. (If nothing else, it will be a reminder that I am TRYING to make a difference!)


4. Plant a moss garden. Planting moss would embrace my woodland home, but give me some green for cheer! There’s enough moss in my woods to harvest and plant…I can do this cost-free. And a moss garden won’t vie with the other plants for the available window space!

5. Bright, light-therapy lamps are available for people with SAD…Seasonal Affective Disorder. They are a little pricey and take up space, so this isn’t something I’m going to do right now…but I’ll keep it in mind for the future. (I just get a little down; it’s not debilitating.) In the meantime, I may choose to shell out $5 or so for a session with a tanning bed. A tanning bed’s bright lights can help set off a cycle of cheer…just gotta be sure to make it brief. A sunburn in January is a foolish, foolish thing!

Anyone else out there fight with the winter blahs?

What do you do that helps you deal with the season?

Cell Phone Service that Works!

Gotta simplify…that cell phone bill!

Here’s one frugal tip that worked like a charm. A friend recommended a new cell phone service: Page Plus, in case you are wondering. (Full disclosure: I am NOT an affiliate!) They use the same cell phone towers as Verizon, but at a cheaper rate. You simply prepay for whatever service you want and SAAAAVVVE over the typical Verizon bill.

Here’s how this breaks down for us: on our previous Verizon bill, the cheapest deal we could get was about $100/month. As we never had an actual bill from just the two of us, (there were three or more lines on our bill during the life of our service,) I don’t know exactly how much our monthly total would have been with all the little added fees. But suffice it to say, we’d have paid $100 OR MORE for the two of us on Verizon.

With Page Plus, we pay $42. Even for the math-deficient among us, that’s nearly 60% savings!!!

How does that break down? Well, for my phone, I have 1200 minutes of talking time, which I will NEVER use, unless there is some enormous family emergency. Nobody, but NOBODY calls me, they all text. And I have 3000 texts available to me per month. I didn’t think that was going to be enough, but my thoughtful husband pointed out that I have 100 texts per day.

“If you did nothing else but text, could you use up 100 texts per day?”

He had a point. Some days I might use 100 texts. Other days, perhaps three. 3000 texts ought to be more than adequate! My monthly plan is $29.95.

Rusty, who uses his phone very little and almost never texts, has the 12-dollar, 250 minute + 250 texts plan. He’ll have no problem with those limits…and if he does, he’s almost always with me, and can use my phone. 🙂

We anticipate no problem with those limits, and if our needs change we can upgrade our service.

Previously, our monthly cell phone bill with three lines was in the $137 range. By dropping the third line and changing our service, we save $95/month. That’s $1140/year, or $11,400 over ten years.

Worth doing? Oh yeah!

Cell phone service that works, and a cell phone bill that doesn’t give me a headache. Good stuff!