January consumption diet check-in

by Jessie K on January 22, 2013

I’m nearly 3 1/2 weeks into my consumption diet and so far it’s going well…save for two glitches.

The first was forgetting to pack underwear for my trip to New York to appear on The Katie Show. I suppose I didn’t have to admit this lapse on national television before an audience of 2.5 million, not to mention to Katie Couric herself, but where is the fun in that?

I broke down and bought some Jockeys after the taping once Katie Couric herself gave me permission to treat myself like the high class lady I am and go buy some skivvies already. I feel like a pampered princess now.

The other glitch occurred about a week ago as I attempted to clean the living room and was met with a powerful burning odor accompanied by billows of smoke coming from our 1982 vacuum cleaner. I don’t know what I sucked up — a ball of twine? a small person? — but whatever it was, it killed the vacuum. It’s just as well because that thing was a piece of crap; for every four Solha hairs it sucked up, it left six behind.  Because living amid great piles of white dog hair is not an option, I broke down again and after some careful research invested in this sleek, red baby right here. Fierce, right?

That’s when you know you’re riding the silver bullet of sophistication and glamour — when you purchase Jockey underwear and a new vacuum and call it “fierce.”

Other than those two lapses, call me Obi Wan Kenobi. The surprising thing is, I don’t feel deprived. It hasn’t been a full month so it’s still too early to extol the virtues of ascetic living, but so far, I enjoy not shopping and selecting and deciding. I feel slightly more clear….less burdened. Once the acquisition of new stuff is off the table, the desire for it goes away. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway. You buy it?



{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen Stanley January 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm


Those vacuums always seem to die at the most inopportune moment. We’ve had excellent results from the Miele vacuum we bought several years ago. Great on pet hair, lightweight, and it’s also a “fierce” red color, but it’s a canister vacuum. We call it “ladybug”. It was expensive, but had wonderful reviews and so far it’s lived up to everything. My mother-in-law also bought one, she liked ours so much.
I’m still working on the purging part of my new year’s resolution. But I’m also trying not to bring anything new in for myself. I’ve done well so far not buying any clothing or luxury items. Thanks for the inspiration!

Julie January 22, 2013 at 12:55 pm


Sounds like you’re doing great! I too had to buy a new vacuum a couple of weeks ago. Mine is a used (craigslist) Rainbow. Seems kind of gross to buy a used vacuum but I grew up with a Rainbow and they work so well. The new ones are priced like a used car(well, maybe 20 years ago) and my budget would not allow. Ah well.
I love that photo : ) Best of luck!

sarina January 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm


I am getting ready to get a new one.. I have a bagless version right now.. and it seems to clog too easy. I swear that the canister is hardly 1/2 full and it stops up! It also has this filter thing that needs to be banged clean.. and I have to do it outside.. or I undo all the work (plus.. how gross is it to think that the filter is catching all that stuff like animal dander.. skin and all sorts of other unsavory “dust”).. and it flies around as you try to clean the filter.. I tried washing it once too.. not so successfull with that.. and it isn’t a replaceable item.. will choose more wisely next time!

Ellen H. January 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm


“riding the silver bullet of sophistication and glamour” – this made me laugh out loud! As for buying stuff, I find the desire for it goes away when I put an item in my online shopping cart and then don’t check out. I’ll go back a few days later and find that I really don’t want it anymore. Something about putting it in my shopping cart satisfied my buying urge, even if I don’t buy it in the end.

Paula January 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm


Trust me, you’ve bought nothing but necessities. What is it with the vacuum cleaners? I need to get one sometime this year, too. At least my husband says I do every time he notices me cleaning with a vacuum held together with white duct tape.

Molly O January 22, 2013 at 6:44 pm


I’ve heard that there is research to show that the more decisions you have to make, the worse you get at making them! I heard this on an interview with a journalist who had followed the president around for a few weeks. Apparently Obama had read about this research and decided to take all the small decisions out of his life so he could focus on the big ones – he threw away all of his suits except for two so he doesn’t have to think about what to where everyday!

Molly O January 22, 2013 at 8:13 pm


I do actually know the difference between where and wear…

Jessie K January 23, 2013 at 9:59 am


I read the same story and was equally fascinated by that bit of reporting. It’s SO true! The more decisions we have to make the more we wear down the will power by the end of the day. It can be overworked and overused like any physical muscle. And we all know you know the difference between where and wear, Molly O! http://www.npr.org/2011/09/18/140516974/resistance-training-for-your-willpower-muscles

Janelle January 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm


What does one *really* need anyway? Much less than one really thinks. Congratulations on continuing on a positive path with your consumption diet.
PS – Haven’t heard anything on Solha lately save for the four hairs that your vacuum sucks up. Any updates coming down the pike? How ’bout that book? Any thoughts on dates for that?

Leah January 23, 2013 at 8:37 am


What did Solha think of snow. That must have been something to see.

Jessie K January 23, 2013 at 9:54 am


Thanks for asking about the book, Janelle. These things can be a long slow process. But I’m happy to report that many pages have been written and the proposal is with my agent. I don’t want to jinx myself by saying more than that! I’m superstitious, I guess.

Janelle January 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm


Good luck! I’m waiting anxiously!

Mich January 23, 2013 at 9:39 am


Hi Jessie!

Greetings from the Philippines! I just stumbled upon your blog and I can totally relate to “Rurally Screwed.” Just like you, I also lived in the city but had to relocate to the countryside because the person I was to marry already relocated due to work. People like you make me realize that there are many people like me. I even stumbled upon another blog called “Everyday Ruralty” — similar situation, too! I wonder if there are other blogs with the same kind of theme…maybe there can be some kind of link-up one day! And oh, I liked your post about the consumption diet…I feel the same way! (To this day, we don’t have a vacuum cleaner…but OK, that one, I believe is a need that we gotta buy someday!) Am glad to have stumbled upon your blog! God bless you!

Jessie K January 23, 2013 at 9:51 am


Great to hear from you, Mich. I’ll have to check out the blog Everyday Ruralty — too funny.

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