Hi, guys, I thought I would share with you today about my experience of not buying any clothes for half a year. Crazy right?For some people, this might seem quite an easy thing to do for others it's like their left arm has been removed and they don't know what to do with themselves. I am about in the middle of the range of this. I love to shop, but it's not my life. While I am not a fashion blogger, I am a mum who loves to shop for clothes. I think once I had kids the shopping factor got worse on some levels. I ended up hitting the shops because I was bored, sick of being in the house and needed some time outside of my four walls. This lead to walking up and down the halls of our local shopping center which in turn ended up in me buying something more often than not. I found if I were bored or depressed I would hit the shops and look for something to buy to make myself feel better. Did it work? Well for a little while until the purchase high ended and I looked at the bank account and saw the numbers dropping. I will preface this by saying I only spent the money I was allocated as my "pocket money". That's part of our family budget for both hubby and me to have our personal spending money to buy whatever we want. I always bought clothes, shoes and goodness know what else. After a particularly bad month of constantly buying things I knew I needed to stop and take a hard look at myself as to why I was buying things to make me happy. There came a time in May 2015 that I felt like shopping had become and an outlet for making myself happy. I was still in the midst of losing pregnancy weight and wasn't happy within myself; I was struggling with the baby blues from Little Miss, I was feeling tired, run down, had no motivation and felt quite miserable with life in general.
Time To Make Change.....I knew I had to try and make a change because materialistic things are not the answer to life's problems. So I sat down and took a hard look at myself and diagnosed the underlying issues as to why I constantly wanted to buy things and what I needed to do to try and help myself. My solution to stop myself buying things was to write myself a contract for the remaining six months of the year that I wasn't allowed to buy myself anything until the 1st of January 2016. If I did end up caving and buying something I would lose $100 to hubby out of my personal spending. If I lasted, we would have a lovely date night at one of our favourite local restaurants. He viewed my contract, and I signed off on it. Was it silly to write something up? Maybe but I felt that something tangible that could be held and read was better than a verbal agreement. The only condition as part of this agreement was that I could purchase a pair of runners with part of my birthday money (My birthday was in May) to help with the first part of my self-healing. Getting back into exercise. I found going from one child to two was a massive change for me. I struggled with juggling day to day life let alone trying to find time for myself to exercise and if I did I did not feel one ounce of energy to slap the runners on and go for a walk. Walking for me was the best thing that I could do for my physical and mental well-being. It always makes me feel like I have more clarity, gets the endorphins going and adds a spring to my step. Plus it makes me feel good about myself.
RUN RUN RUN!So I bought a pair of runners and started trying to go for a couple of walks a week but by this time we were in the throes of deep winter where I live and the wind chill was getting a little crisp around the ears. So I took the plunge with my sister and joined a ten week Mum's boot camp in June that was housed indoors. Oh man, those first few weeks of boot camp just about killed me, but I persevered through the ten weeks even though there were times I felt like curling in bed and not moving. While I was happy about losing a couple of centimeters and toning up it was more about the mental exercise to and making myself feel better through other things. Not shopping. However I still struggled with my energy and felt pretty average health wise.
Time To Get Healthy!The next step to helping myself was making an appointment with my doctor. We chatted about my symptoms, my health issues and how I was feeling. He ran a multitude of tests to me to help me get to the bottom of my funk. Over a period of three months, he worked with me to help increase my energy, reduce my anxiety and depression and make me want to live again. The results most definitely did not happen overnight but slowly as the weeks turned into months and the months turned into half a year I could see the old me slowly reappearing from behind a dark cloud. I could see my energy returning; I was laughing more freely and feeling well more often than not. I also learnt during this time to say NO, get back in touch and spend time with my maker, learned to be kind to myself and to take time out just for me even if it was just to read a book for half an hour by myself. No shopping was included during this season! :-)
New RoutinesI did have to get a bit more creative with my time to exercise once the boot camp had finished at the end of August. While I didn't mind dragging the kids along with me to these workouts while they were looked after I knew I wanted a simpler solution. I came across a friend of mine who was running early morning boot camps just for women. It started at 6.00am, and this was beyond my comfort zone for exercise times. I was not a morning person at.all! I took some courage and signed up for the first of many boot camps. The first few weeks exercising at such an early time did not agree with me. I think the first few weeks I came home to lie on the floor to stop myself from throwing up! No pain no gain eh? However I got used to it, and now I found I can't wait until I have those 30 minutes to myself with a bunch of crazy girls in the early morning. I finally found the energy I'd lost and gradually learned to be at peace with my new body after having two kids.
I Learnt A New Hobby.
During the six months of "no clothes shopping," I started having severe clothing withdrawals. We had a formal function coming up that we were both going to attend, and I didn't have anything appropriate to wear. I asked hubby if he would allow me to sew something for myself for this particular occasion without it interfering with my contract. I am not a great sewer, oh I can sew cushion covers, chair covers and quilts but don't ask me to make something to fit my body. I think I may have been delusional when I set out to do this. Thankfully my mum is a great sewer so with a lot of encouragement and direction from her I ended up being able to complete a snazzy little skirt to wear for this event. This started my love affair with sewing clothes for myself. I ended up making a shirt, two dresses and this skirt at the end of six months with plans to make a few more things in the future.
What Happened?We are now in March, and I'm sure you wonder how did this long story end? I ended up reaching my no shopping target up until Boxing Day where hubby let me off the hook early to snap up a couple of bargains. Isn't he so sweet? Did I find it hard not buying anything in six months? I sure did. It was hard at times, especially if I was feeling particular down and wanted to buy something nice for myself to cheer myself up. I chose to examine why I was feeling like this and learn to deal with it differently. Am I a shrink with all the answers? Most definitely not. Did I go and buy a million pairs of clothes once I finished? No. Would you believe that? Well, it's true. During the last few months of my NO shopping spree I gradually realized I came to love certain pieces in my wardrobe and that wearing the same things over and over is a great way to see what you like and don't like. I become more at peace with my style what I liked and how I looked in these clothes. I stumbled across the Capsule Wardrobe in December 2015 and knew this was the way I would now go with my clothes shopping. At the start of this year, I ended up throwing out three large garbage bags of clothes out of my wardrobe and virtually halved it. It was so freeing. I added a couple of new pieces of clothing to my wardrobe for the season, but overall I am mainly wearing my favourite things I learned to love
over the past six months. I didn't follow the Capsule Wardrobe to a T such as have so many pairs of shirts, shorts and pants. I simply kept each type of clothing to a minimum and made sure everything I had could be relatively mixed and matched. It makes getting ready SO much easier. Even hubby commented that I get ready much quicker for Church on Sundays than in years gone.