You hear a lot about people that have transfer addictions when they have weight loss surgery and lose a lot of weight. Unfortunately weight loss surgery doesn’t heal the emotional problems we have that make us compulsively want to over-eat, so when we can’t do that anymore, we transfer the addiction to something else. For some people it is a relatively harmless shopping addiction, for others it can be more serious with gambling, alcohol or drugs. I think I have come up with a whole new category of addiction, a ‘lifestyle’ addiction!
I have spent my entire life obese and I was basically scared of life. I had no confidence and I thought I couldn’t do anything because my weight held me back. I was never one of those ‘fat and happy’, living life to the full, type big girls. I let my weight stand in the way of doing all the normal things that girls my age were doing, from playing team sports, doing my debutant ball, back packing Europe and getting my drivers licence. I made excuses not to attend my friend’s 21st birthday parties, university pub crawls, winery days with friends, getting frocked up for a day at the races or fun spa days with the girls. It goes without saying that life was pretty miserable.
So now I am 50 kilos (110 lbs) down and I have become addicted to living life to the full. Now that I am not scared of life anymore I want to attend every event I am invited to, I want to try every new restaurant or bar in town, I want to go to concerts and dance all night, I want to attend fancy cooking classes, I want to spend weekends away exploring the countryside and plan exciting overseas holidays. I spend my lunch breaks at work googling all the places I want to visit, ogling menus of the lovely restaurants where I want to eat, looking up food and wine festivals in regional areas and planning holidays that I will never take.
Now this might not sound like a bad addiction to have because it’s all about embracing life and being happy. Wrong. My credit card has taken an absolute beating in the past 12 months. I was so excited to finally be living life that I made some very irresponsible decisions and lived a lifestyle that I can not afford, especially while I am currently making a lot less money that I am used to having. Sigh.
I’ve come to realise that just because I feel like I can do anything now, doesn’t mean I can afford to do everything! It’s hard because now that I have had a taste of life, I just want more. I know I just have to focus on some debt payments for the next 6-12 months and then I’ll be back on my feet again and planning the next big adventure. In the meantime I’ll be googling Parisian holidays and keep dreaming…