Monday, March 27, 2006

Diets, Aging, and Other Fun Stuff

This weekend my sis and I turned the big 3-0. We are thinking of it less as a traumatic event and more of the start of a new part of our lives. Or, I should say, that’s what we are telling ourselves. For my part I don’t feel any different, except that about once an hour, I have a mini panic attack as I remember my new age. The upside to getting older is that I don't care if I look frumpy at the gym. The downside is that I look frumpy at the gym. Also, my whole body is falling apart.

My last semester of law school is barreling towards its conclusion, and that also has me mildly panicking, because I’m very used to school. It’s a sort of comfort zone. And law review, as much of a pain as it is, is also very familiar. It’s something I’m good at. I don’t get to do things I’m good at very often. Ask me a Bluebook question. Go ahead. The Bluebook and I are friends, man. We’re tight. We’re like this [picture me crossing my fingers]. The good news is, I talked to my boss last week about life after law school, and he assures me that this general feeling of incompetence only lasts for, oh, four or five years. After that, he assures me, I’ll feel pretty confident in my ability to do my job unsupervised. I’m happy to know that at least at some point I will not feel like I’m getting everything wrong.

In terms of the home front, I’ve been working out more regularly, but compensating for it by eating as though at any moment, they will stop making processed sugar and cooking oil. That has to change. Hopefully, that will change a little bit now that rr and I are doing the Self Challenge and our own personal version of the debt diet.

You may be thinking to yourself, “wait, she’s listening to Oprah?” Well, no, only sort of. I think she’s a little full of herself, so she's not the first person I turn to when I need advice. But I do think the debt diet is an idea whose time has come, and in fact it's something that rr and I have been talking about for some time now. RR and I used to look around at people we knew in our age group and wonder how they managed to afford such nicer things than we had. We just figured they were better with their money. Later we realized that many of them lived beyond their means by living off of credit cards. We as a country are a little too credit card happy. Did you know that if you pay off your balance on your credit cards every month, the credit card industry’s name for you is a deadbeat? They want you to carry balances and miss payments and accrue fees, but they also will wreck your credit if you get in over your head (which is what they want you to do). We have become a nation too worried about having things.

RR and I don’t have the swimming in debt problem (other than student loans), in that we don’t use credit cards except for things like car rentals. But we do spend way too much money on little things, and so we don't have nearly enough in savings, and we can almost never afford any big purchases. How often do I buy coffee at Starbucks? Or put that extra junk food item in the grocery cart? Or go out to eat with my friends at lunch because it sounds more fun than eating what I brought from home? How often do we buy something extra to celebrate some special occasion, or it’s been a hard day, or it’s been a good day, or any excuse we can come up with to buy those cinnamon rolls/ice cream/coffee/dvd/new c.d.?

So now we are trying to go just one pay period without buying anything other than necessary groceries and gas. We’ll just see how this goes. If it works, it should make my actual dieting easier, because I can't cheat. Say a prayer for us! Or better yet, join us! Misery loves company . . . I mean, there's safety in numbers! Come on! Won't you just hate it if I have lots more money and am much thinner than you?


Katie said...


the last sentence is my f.a.v.o.r.i.t.e

and yes I will

hmmm debt diet I must investigate

Lia said...

hippo birdies two ewes.

EmmaSometimes said...

Happy Birthday! I gather you are a twin or you mom has REALLY short and enviable pregnancies?

Oprah is full of herself, but it is silly not take advice from someone because you think they are annoying. I think Dr. Phil said that..haha! Just kidding. Good for you to be able to pick out the bad and go for the gusto.

I'm also in that rare group of living within their means. I had a humbling, embarrassing bankruptcy years ago that reminds me to do as such. I have a mortgage and a $15 a month visa if it's not paid works and now I can afford sending my FOUR kids to college so they can support me when they become doctors, right?

As for competence. I see you doing very well in your career..thin and rich even...hehe.

Amstaff Mom said...

I ALREADY know that you are much thinner than me, and I'm not sure about the money one.

Good for you though! We Americans do live WAY beyond our means. And it's good to remember that the Jones' that we're trying to keep up with probably have mounds of credit card debt. Something we strive to stay away from, and avoid at all costs.

Congrats on being almost finished with Law School! YEA!

Happy Birthday again to both of you. So 3-0 isn't THAT bad after all? Because I only have a few months to go.

*begins weeping uncontrollably*

JLR said...

KT: do investigate! Join us!

Lia: Thank you! I mean, thank ewe.

Emma: your Dr. Phil comment--ha ha! I find him annoying yet intriguing at the same time. As for finances, I got into all kinds of credit card trouble in college, and so I decided that until I can behave with fiscal responsibility, I can't use credit cards. And apparently, I'm not there yet.

AM: I am not much thinner than you. In fact, if you would like to compare the circumference of our tummies, I bet I win. Or lose, I guess. As for the 30 thing, no, it's not bad at all. I mean, whenever I think to myself "I'm 30," I have to fight back the urge to do that nervous laughter thing ["I'm 30." (burst of nervous laughter), but other than that, not so bad. I think I may be in denial, though.

Amstaff Mom said...

I've come to realize (in my 29+ years) that denial is not such a bad thing after all!

Deals On Wheels said...

Can the debt diet thing please wait until RR and I are back from Beaumont? Because, otherwise, she has eating nothing but peanut butter and honey sandwiches, peanut butter protein bars, and oatmeal (assuming there is a coffee pot in our hotel room, of course). The hotel chain isn't known for putting microwaves or refrigerators in their rooms, so our options are limited. Very limited (again with the pb&h sandwiches, protein bars, and oatmeal). I'm starting to wish that we HAD agreed to go to all of those conference breakfasts, lunches and dinners - at least our food would be covered that way. Now we are just going to starve (unless we trust the hotel room service).


Maybe if we split the money that I will make driving to the conference?...than can we eat out once or twice? Please? Pretty please?!

Amstaff Mom said...

I think Deals is crying for help.

PB & H? blech.

RR said...

AM, it's tasty. Really.

I guess we can eat out once a day, Deals. I'm sure there's an establishment in Beaumont that can feed us for under $10.

Katie said...


I'm from Beaumont, oh wait maybe I shouldn't admit that. But I am. And what is drawing you to Stinky B by the way?

JLR said...

Katie: she has to go to a conference for work. Another one.

Stinky B? Yet another reason I keep thinking how glad I am it's not me who's going.