Inspired by this ladies plight to spend less, or in fact, spend nothing, for a whole year, I am looking at how we can all benefit from spending less and living more.
I’m not going to lie, the reason I started this post is because I live in a teensy cottage and have soooo many clothes (and shoes, and bags..) that my boyfriend is forever nagging me that we haven’t got enough space. He’s right, but during my clear out, it did get me thinking..
“The average consumer is now purchasing 60% more clothing in 2014 than in 2000, but each garment is kept for half as long”
Why Do We Do it?
We are all guilty of spending too much and on stuff that we probably didn’t know we even needed. A well placed advert appears whilst scrolling through the internet one minute and there you have it, a full trolley on Asos the next. We are constantly reminded to spend at every corner. On the TV it is more advertisement than actual content. When I read the sunday suppliment in the paper there are pages dedicated to flogging us the latest cream or a smelly candle that costs upwards of £40.00.
The big companies are good at making it look as though you need to buy something. They focus on human pyschology to hook you and give the illusion that your life will somehow become better and more enriched from buying their products.
What are we actually getting out of it?
We are getting stuff, obviously. We’re also feeling that buzz of having something new which is exciting. But, we are also losing space in our homes, money in our purses and worst of all excess consumerism is contributing to pollution. According to the World Resources Institute fast fashion has allowed us to consume more. “The average consumer is now purchasing 60% more clothing in 2014 than in 2000, but each garment is kept for half as long”. Now that can’t be a sustainable way for us to live. I know when I was doing the rounds at the shopping centre I wasn’t thinking about the environmental impact of the top I just bought from a fast fashion retailer, but I will now.
What could happen if we stopped?
Spending less could not only save you a load of cash, it will help the environment also. Making a small change like re-thinking where you buy your clothes can help make an impact. Second hand shops and vintage markets are a good start. Even if that doesn’t appeal to you, you can make a start by ensuring to recycle your unwanted garments. Big companies have already started to take responsibililty and H&M have introduced a garment collecting initiative in their stores, so you really have no excuse!
So, I’m not saying I’m going to go all out and spend nothing, but I am certainly going to give it a good try and implement some new tactics in my life to help reduce my impact on the planet. It’s also been really nice to have more space at home. Like us all, I get attached to my clothes and stuff, but queue some mass-ebaying and the little cash injection every time I sell an item and I am convinced. I have still got a full wardrobe with lovely stuff in it, so I really don’t need anything else. I’m not going to get drawn into ‘fast fashion’ this year.
1) Before I buy something, ask myself if I really need it
2) Spend less in fast fashion retailers and more in second hand/vintage shops
3) Keep looking at what I already own and if I haven’t used it, donate or sell it
Spend less & live better is definitely my new motto!
Today is a pretty sad day..
Just kidding, it’s been a totally okay day (or actually, even better than totally ok, because it’s only the best day of the week..FRIDAY!).
But there is something to be sad about, a little dramatic, but my gym gloves have finally kicked the bucket.
I know, I know, ‘Chrissy, they’re just a nasty old pair of gym gloves..just get some news ones’. I do have some new ones, they’re actually much better quality than this lovely zebra print number. But that’s not the point.
The point is that this pair of tatty gym gloves have been with me since day one. From the humble beginnings, when I first joined a gym not having a clue what to do, this pair have travelled the timeline with me. They’ve stopped more calluses and blisters than you can shake a stick at.
It’s just a small reminder of how, before you know it, you can change for the better. I bought these on Amazon for as cheap as possible, clearly picking fashion over function and used them for every weight I have lifted, every pull of the rowing machine, many kettlebell snatches and the occasional bike ride (and crash!). That’s four years of excellent service from these lil guys!
When I think about it like that I can’t quite believe the amount of hours of excercise and training I have achieved. Without trying to blow my own horn, I’m pretty proud of my progress so far.
So I say farewell to my little buddies that have seen me through till now. They’re frayed at the edges, theres damaged bits of fluff from where the velcro picks at the design, and all around the grip the stitching is ripped..but I will miss them!
I might even just keep them at the bottom of my gym bag for another few months..just to get the absolute maximum use from them. I clearly have attachment issues!
So next time you pick up a dumbell say thanks to your gloves, or if you don’t have a pair..you know what to do..
Till next time,
Like a lot of young people, at the start of it all, when I was about 18 and studying at college, all I wanted to do was unlock the key of how to get skinny and more importantly..STAY SKINNY.
Now I look back I realise that my thoughts on having a nice figure were a little off-kilter with a healthy lifestyle, but this is how my un-balanced (and to be quite honest, un-happy!) day would pan out.
Eating: Every calorie counted, every little bit of food to cross my lips had a value and was getting me closer to my oh-so-small daily allowance. I wasn’t working out at all, so aside from the long walk to and from college, I wasn’t giving my body the opportunity to burn off the food I was ingesting, so in my mind, the calories I got through had to be minimal..or I’d get fat.
Mistake To Avoid: Don’t starve. Don’t focus on calories like they are the key. Diet is very important, but remember your body burns an amount of calories in each given day just to function (your basal metabolic rate). Make sure you always have enough fuel to keep your body running like a well oiled machine.
Exercise: Non existant. To give myself some credit, I was studying far from where I lived so by the time I’d taken two trains and walked a couple of miles with a guitar and books (the joys of being a music student..), I’m sure it accounted for something. But I had nothing else going on. No gym classes or hobbies like netball.
Mistake To Avoid: Thinking that exercise isn’t important. Yes, you can lose weight without it, but it’s much better to incorporate some light exercise into your life, not just to keep your body looking nice, but to keep your mind healthy. I can’t believe what I was missing. It’ll be really hard to start with if you’re new to it, but as time goes on you will value this key part of your life that was gone for so long!
The Goal: 18 Year old Chrissy’s top priority was to have no fat and to weigh in as small as possible, the scales don’t lie, I thought.
Mistake To Avoid: Don’t set unrealistic goals. It always led me to disspointment, eg: the scales say I’m three pounds lighter that my goal weight, so why do I still have a paunchy belly?
It does not work that way. Your body is a machine with lots of elements that cause the dial on the scales to move. Water weight before your period, does that count? Also, muscle development will add weight but doing excercise will make you lose fat, so it’s hard to get an overall assessment just from a weigh in. You’ll know when the going is good from what you see in the mirror.
Looking back at where I stumbled, it all seems so obvious now, but when you are just starting and have no guidance you do it the hard way, learning from your mistakes.
Does any of the above resonate with you? Start to learn your bad habits and try to retrain your mind to think about them in a different light.
So you want to be skinny? Ask yourself, is that really what you want? Can you maintain your life so you look that way? Would you rather be healthy and the weight loss comes as a result?
Get your thinking caps on!Yum