I got a big surprise today -- the first actual crave I've had in at least a couple of years! Of course I didn't give in to it, but it was quite a few moments. I've been working crazy hours (already have close to 50 in from Monday through Thursday) and on Monday I started Nutrisystem. I'm in the Turbo week 1, so not eating a whole lot. The good news is this is totally doable -- the food is actually pretty good, it's measured into portions, it gives me the nutrients I need, and I don't have to think too much about it. However, this morning I was working at my computer and feeling hungry and stressed with all the deadline pressure, and I suddenly realized I was having a major smoking crave! It was more than a memory and less than a compulsion, but I realized that if I didn't have all the education I've gotten and the support I know is always there, I might have succumbed. It wasn't even a thing where I needed to get on here with a HELP message -- I knew I wouldn't smoke. But the lesson here is every other time I've been stressed and the kind of hungry I was this morning, I smoked and it felt like it was filling me up. So just like Young at Heart blogged after Virginia Beach when she was standing at the window of her room and realizing the thought of smoking popped up, I had yet another experience that hadn't yet played out with the new and improved me. How about that!
Life has been full of stresses for the last month or so -- I thought I would be able to get bariatric surgery to deal with my burgeoning weight, and checked with my insurance company before I went to the information session and was told I was covered for it. I made an appointment with the actual bariatric surgeon, and the morning of my appointment they called to say that although United Health Care does cover bariatric surgery, my plan has a specific exclusion. So of course I went out and bought a cake. And other stuff to eat. But knowing I can't let this get any more out of control than it is, I signed up for Nutrisystem. I have high hopes. I'm also participating in a group support thing that is offered through my health insurance, so I'm doing my best to get on the road to losing 100 pounds.
I also realize that I can't continue to work this hard for a whole lot longer. I think I've confessed before on EX that I never planned well for retirement, so here I am at 68 with a few assets and way too much credit card debt and trying to figure out a way to really lower that debt before I do retire. I get offers in the mail ALL the time, and I have very good credit, so I finally contacted a company about a refi with cash out. Long story short, I've been given the run-around for a month and last night I couldn't sleep so I sent them an email (they're in California and everything is done electronically) saying I did not want to proceed and to do nothing further on it. So, in this respect as well, I just have to look at the problem differently. My sister says I need to meet with a financial planner, but I'm not sure how to find one who doesn't want to look at my "portfolio." I don't HAVE a portfolio. But I sure could use someone to crunch the numbers and talk about options.
Don't get me wrong; I'm blessed that I have a good job and a lovely place to live, and everything I could possibly want (and way too many pairs of shoes, to tell the truth). I'm grateful for the people I love and who love me, and for everything I've earned or been given. I'm happy I don't smoke. I'm lucky I don't drink.
So the moral of this story, for all the newbies is this: Don't be discouraged that an elder tells you she had an actual crave -- be encouraged that when you're working your forever quit you will hit surprising challenges -- different for all of us -- and experience the power of knowing that no feeling can make you do anything you don't want to do, and every time you get through it, it's so much easier the next time. But I have said all along, you can't do something every day, many times a day for years, decades, in my case half-centuries and not expect to find it in you at the oddest times. No, you're not going to smoke, but you can acknowledge your superior education and understanding that allows you to accept the feeling calmly and let it go. And it does go. Until maybe the next time. We're addicts for life, but only smokers until we choose not to be.
Happy 4th to all my lovely EX friends.