I’ve Had Enough

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If you’re unhappy with some significant portion of your life, at some point you have to wake up in the morning and simply say that you’ve had enough.

That key decision often leads to some further difficult ones. It will probably lead to some personal challenges. It will require you to make some changes in your life.

On the other hand, that key decision gets the monkey off your back. You know, the thing that keeps you wondering what your life might be like if you weren’t saddled with this thing holding you back? That monkey. Get rid of him.

What have you had enough of?

I’ve had enough of all of this debt. Set up a debt repayment plan, and that starts with consolidating and minimizing your debts. Cut your spending hard, sell off the junk in your closet, and get rid of the debts. Most of all, don’t rack up any more debt along the way.

I’ve had enough of being sad. You’ve got to make a fundamental choice of whether you’re happy because of the good things in your life or you’re sad because of the bad things. Tossing out some of the bad things can help, but we all have bad things in our lives – every single one of us. You have to choose which parts of your life you’re going to dwell on, and I’d encourage you not to dwell on the sad elements. Sometimes, professional counseling can really help with this.

I’ve had enough of this job. Right now, throw all of your energy towards the career you really want. Look at your current job as merely an exchange of your energy for money and try to maximize that exchange so that you can put your energy towards a much more suitable career. That might mean schooling. That might mean starting your own business. Whatever it is, that should be the focus of your energy.

I’ve had enough of this relationship. If a relationship in your life is making you feel like less of a person, end that relationship. You deserve better than to be treated in a constant negative fashion. Move on – and take your energy, time, and financial resources with you. (The only exception I’d point out in this would be the parent and child one, because children need their parents, even if they’re being difficult about it.)

I’ve had enough of being broke. Stop buying stuff. Every time you buy anything, you push yourself towards being broke. Just stop buying anything beyond what you actually need and the sense of being “broke” will start to drift away. Use that new cash surplus to get rid of the debts and other expenses holding you back.

I’ve had enough of being fat. Start taking walks. Eat like a vegan most of the time. Doing those two things alone will start making a tremendous difference in your weight. Every single item of food you put in your mouth is a choice. Every single time you choose to exercise – or to not exercise – is a choice.

I’ve had enough of this house. Sell the house (or apartment or whatever). Move to somewhere else that’s more palatable. However, you might be shocked to find out that most people are made happier by downgrading than upgrading. Houses with unused space that seem to constantly need work is a sure sign that you need to downgrade, not upgrade.

Do this stuff now. Today is the day to get started on the rest of your life.

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35 thoughts on “I’ve Had Enough

  1. Wow. It’s like you decided to speak directly to me today. I’ve decided that I’ve had enough of one of the items on your list. You just reminded me that it’s not only okay to make a change, I MUST make a change. Thanks for the boost.

  2. I won’t post a link because I’ll get moderated, but google “the fantasy of being thin” and see the first page that comes up. It’s specifically about fat/thin, but I think the basic idea could be relevant to some of the other “monkeys” in this list.

  3. I’ve had enough of your derogatory comments about fatness Trent. You would never say “I’ve had enough of being Jewish” or “I’ve had enough of being Italian,” but you continue to put fat people down in this blog. Not everyone can be thin, nor should everyone try to be. Not everyone who is fat is unhealthy, just like not everyone who is thin is healthy. Diets don’t work 95-99% of the time, and they can be incredibly dangerous in many ways, including when you gain the weight back. There are numbers of academic and cultural articles and books out there about this and about stopping fat oppression. I suggest you open your mind a bit more and rethink your oppressive attitudes.

  4. Stefanie, I don’t believe that Trent was being derogatory to fatness. Many people (including me) are truly sick of being fat. Also, for every article I’ve ever seen about being fat is OK, I’ve seen 10 more about the health dangers of being fat. Numerous studies have shown that you drastically shorten your life by being obese or even overweight. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and a myriad of other health problems have risen along with obesity.

    While not everyone can be rail thin, most people can get to a healthy weight and stay there. 100 years ago people didn’t have the issues we have. They also moved more than we do and ate less.

  5. Stefanie, being Jewish or Italian is not a choice, but, barring medical issues, being overweight does involve choice. I don’t see anything in Trent’s post that’s derogatory to fat people nor do I see him advocating going on a diet. You’re right–diets as we know them don’t work. But choosing healthy foods in moderation and exercising does work. Fat people can be healthy, but I’m betting those are people who are younger than 50. As someone who has maintained a 100 lb. weight loss (by eating less and exercising more) for four years, every day is a choice and some days I don’t choose so well. I really didn’t know how bad I felt or how hard life was until I lost the weight.

  6. Trent has been open about some of his own weight /health issues on this blog. It’s something that many of us struggle with. I don’t think he was being derogatory in any way. I know I don’t start eating healthy and exercising until I get fed up and angry. For me, the I’ve had enough attitude has been a great motivator.

  7. Lately, all I see is these BS posts and none that are actually of any value. Maybe my priorities changed or maybe Trent’s posts are becoming monotonous and boring instead of being inspiring…

  8. Long know-it-all comment coming up. Ignore if you so choose.

    “Doing those two things alone will start making a tremendous difference in your weight.”

    My biggest problem with the paragraph about weight is that sentence, because it’s simply not true – at least not for everybody, and maybe not for most people.

    When I went from eating like a vegan none of the time to eating like a vegan all of the time, my weight did not change. When I started taking swing dance lessons, my weight did not change. When I *stopped* taking swing dance lessons, my weight did not change. The only time since I’ve finished puberty that my weight has changed was in grad school when I was finishing my dissertation – I was so stressed out, I basically stopped eating, and I lost 10 pounds. Then I gained it all back once I finished my defense and started eating normally again.

    (I should note, as an aside, that I am not overweight – my body mass index is in the “normal” range. But at least some women my size and smaller do call themselves “fat” and strive to lose weight.)

    Based on my own experience, what I have heard of other people’s experiences, and what I have read of the scientific literature, the impression I get is that many people, probably most, have a weight or range of weights that their bodies naturally tend toward. The size of the range might be different for different people (for me, I think it’s about half an ounce). If you eat lots of junk food and don’t exercise, you might be at the upper end of your natural range. If you eat lots of vegetables and exercise, you might be at the lower end. But getting your weight to go lower (or higher) than the end of your range is very difficult, and keeping it there permanently is almost impossible. And it is not healthy.

    So yeah, a “lifestyle change” might cause some weight loss, that doesn’t mean that that loss can be continued indefinitely. And it’s entirely possible that the lower end of your natural weight range might still be, technically, “overweight” or even “obese.”

    And there may be some people who are exceptions to this, who can gain or lose weight by choice over a wide range of weights. But they’re just that – the exception, not the rule.

    As it says in the “fantasy of being thin” article I mentioned earlier, a lot of people who “struggle” with their weight attach a whole lot more significance to their weight than it really merits. And at the risk of sounding all Mister-Rogersy, learning to like yourself, and make the most of the person you are, whatever size you are, can be the better thing to do. Won’t you be my neighbor?

  9. Trent, I’d really like you to look at the website for Overeater’s Anonymous (which BTW is for ALL addictive food behaviors, including anorexia and bulimia. Be open-minded. Then we’ll talk about how being fat is a choice.

  10. I guess there’s no pleasing everyone. I think Trent included weight because that’s his personal issue. I weigh 98 lbs. but I smoke a lot. I was surprised that smoking and other substance abuse issues weren’t mentioned, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t know that smoking is still the monkey on my back. Trent just gave some examples, and only said that they are issues if they are making YOU unhappy. The post didn’t seem to be referring to anyone else’s standards but your own.

  11. I’ve had enough of my kids…can’t do much about that!!!

    Obviously, recongnizing the things in your life which need improvement is a great thing…these are good ways to begin the actual improvement.

  12. I read this blog every day and I like it, but I’ve had enough of personal finance writers equating fatness and indebtedness. There are very very complicated biological mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years to keep organisms within about 30 pounds of their usual weight, and that is why no diet has a significant long term success rate. They all work in the short term and they all fail in the long term for the vast majority of people who want to lose more than a few pounds.

    Please stop perpetuating the harmful myth that you can eliminate weight just like you can the credit card balance.

    For more, check out the book Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata.

  13. As someone who has wanted to be “thin” for her whole life, and managed to get there three times (for years at a time; subsequent weight gains afterwards were stress-induced), I will say this: it takes a helluva lot more work to lose weight than most dieticians and “healthy living” advocates would have you believe. For me, being an otherwise young, healthy, not-overweight (but not skinny), nonsmoking woman, losing weight would require daily two-hour exercise and eating ~1400 calories/day (I used to run 7 miles a day, and then ride my bike to work). If you’re very overweight, then possibly any little bit will help, but I suspect that for most of us, just eating right and walking an extra 30 minutes a day won’t do diddly-squat. I mean, I eat right and bike for almost an hour every day. I’m not losing weight. I’ve been working on this, though, by adding about 30-40 minutes of running several times a week, with the goal of upping it to every day. For me, though, the end point is no longer being skinny (although that’s nice, too), but rather to feel that sense of elation and happiness after a long run that I used to get. They don’t call it “runner’s high” for nothing–and it’s a real, sweet, kick :-)

    My bigger quibble is with the “unhappy” bit: yes, we all have bad stuff in our lives. But I don’t think unhappiness comes from dwelling upon the bad stuff, as it does from not being in control of your life. Between my friends who have been seriously depressed and myself (I’ve been on medication for 3 years and counting), a strongly contributing factor to our unhappiness was being in situations that someone else had decided we should be in. For me, it was not really wanting to be a doctor but being stuck in medical school anyway. Once I did something about it–i.e., packed my cats and moved to the Netherlands–a large part of that depression went away.

  14. Unfortunately, it seems to take getting to this point for a lot of us before we will actually do something about these areas of our life. The same thing happened with me and the following: my finances, my weight, drinking, and my relationships. All at differing points in my life.

    The question is: how long does it take before we get really “fed up”?

  15. Excellent post, and all of it true. Life consists of choices. Every day there are dozens or more choices: “Should I eat broiled scallops or cherry pie for dinner?” “Should I take the bus or bike to work?” The accumulations of decisions to the multitude of daily questions determines our life. “Rob a convenience store or go to the library to study for tomorrow’s spelling test?” is a decision, so is eating more calories than we need to sustain us. One’s body is the best, the most accurate accountant in existance. Eat 350 calories a day more than you burn, and in 10 days you’ve gained a pound. Look at photos of concentration camps during WWII and you see no fat inmates, they are rail thin because they received less calories than they needed to sustain their weight. Americans have lost sight of the size portions of food they should eat. For a woman of moderate activity, multiply your ideal weight by 11 and you will get the (sadly rather small) amount of calories you need to maintain your ideal weight. After you’ve eaten that amount of calories, STOP EATING UNTIL THE NEXT MORNING. Don’t diet, never diet! Go directly to maintenance, and don’t cheat, you will lose weight. Exercise doesn’t burn as many calories as you think, but it does stimulate endorphins in your brain (makes you feel better) and firms you up by developing more muscle. Why were the posts about “fat” so vitriolic when the comments on all the other bits of the article were more relaxed? It’s because you can control fat by calorie control and a bit of walking, but it’s hard, no fun, and most people don’t exercise self control (the most important exercise of all!), they prefer to blame fat on anything other than the fact they eat more calories than they need. Eating vegetarian or eating vegan doesn’t have an effect on your weight, there can be fat vegans. It’s all units of energy (calories). You take in less than you need to sustain the extra weight (fat) by eating the amount of calories required to maintain your ideal weight, and you will lose wieght. Get a postage scale and weigh your portions, you will be horrified by how many more calories you are eating than you think!

  16. Yeah, what you said about walking and eating vegan making such a tremendous difference isn’t quite true for most people.

    Maybe if you are very overweight (which I think you are/were?), sure, going from a couch potato to doing *some* sort of exercise, that might help shed the pounds away. Likewise for the diet — if one had really bad eating habits, when they switch to a good diet, that generally makes a difference as well. I remember something about how much soda you used to drink — of course replacing that with water will make some difference.

    But not everyone is a couch potato, or eats meat or drinks 10 cans of soda everyday. Lots of people – including the overweight ones — probably have some decent eating habits (not perfect, but decent) and do some sort of exercise already (and sometimes, way more than just plain walking) without that leading to “tremendous” weight loss.

    For example, I am car-less and I walk *at least* a couple of miles everyday as part of my errands-running and my commute, not for purposeful exercise. On top of that, I go to gym, I run, I bike and go on long-distance hikes. There is not a tremendous impact on my weight — when I exercise more, I am fitter, not thinner. I am in the normal range, and I also believe that there is a range that people gravitate to. Kate Harding talks about that a lot on her FA blog.

  17. Fat is a choice. Thin is a choice.
    The near-Auschwicz weight advocated by the religion of fashion, with any variations harassed Islamic-style, takes either incredible amounts of exercise at one end and near-starvation at the other, or a drug addiction. Drug sellers run the fashion industry, and like to make their customers look good. End of story.
    The rest of us are going to be 10-30 lbs over the drug addict look. Yes, I need to lose 25 lbs, because I will feel better, and now looks like the best time to start. No, my weight still will not be fashionable. The 25 lbs is not a monkey on my back, it’s just the result of self-indulgence, a back injury, and an ankle injury. The fashionistas are monkeys, and either we wear them on our backs or have them all over our a**es. Adding 2 hrs/day exercise to my manual labor job will not solve this problem.

  18. #16 and #18 have it correct. Weight loss is more about a decrease in calories rather than exercise.

    Trent is somewhat correct. You walk 30 min a day, this will probably burn 150 calories. That equates 1 pound every 24 days. But if you have one more cookie, Gatorade or soda because of the walk, then weight loss will not occur. Even an extra banana or apple would push it to about 40 days to lose a pound.

    If you want to loose weight through exercise, one should focus on HITT or Tabata cardio. Three 4 min tabata sets over 30 min of carido 3 to 4 times a week would be plenty. I wont go into the specifics but you will burn a tremendous amount of calories during the cardio session and you increase your resting metabolic rate for the rest of the day.

  19. It doesn’t matter what size you are. You can choose to eat well and you can choose to exercise. These lifestyle choices help determine your risk for disease, your energy level and how you feel.

    I think we need to leave the labels of “fat” and “thin” out of the equation. Forget about looks. Make decisions that will improve your health.

  20. DiscoApu, those “calories in, calories out” calculations are pure nonsense. It’s easy to see that they are when you read things like “Americans eat 100 calories a day more than they did 50 years ago, which is enough to gain 10 pounds in a year.” Those specific numbers are made up, but it’s something like that, and 100 calories a day does, theoretically, work out to about 10 pounds a year.

    But the average American is pretty clearly not gaining 10 pounds a year (i.e., 100 pounds every ten years). As Andrea says, your body has mechanisms that keeps stuff like that from happening, because evolutionarily, we wouldn’t last very long if small changes in diet could really make someone gain or lose huge amounts of weight over time.

  21. Unfortunately too many people simply end marriage relationships. Perhaps in that scenario we should remember the promises we made and look inward at what we should end before we terminate our relationships.

  22. A year ago last January I decided to go on my first diet, ever. I was already an active person, (dancing, mostly) but I was about 60 lbs over what I thought was my ideal weight. Since I knew that I would not be able to find time for additional excercise every day for the rest of my life, I changed my eating habits (less crappy food, less food overall, no drinking calories, period) and in about 4 months I had lost 55 lbs. My face looked so gaunt I decided that that was ‘too thin’ and put about 5 lbs back on. At the end of next month it will have been a year.

    I’ve given up a lot – potato chips, fast food, Dr Pepper, etc. I’ve gained a lot, too… My GERD is gone, all (and I mean all) of the numbers that a doctor checks have dropped down to the normal/healthy range, I look better, I sweat a lot less when I dance, (the ladies prefer that) I’ve taken up rock climbing, which is something I flat-out never could have done when I was carrying an extra 50 lbs.

    Maybe not everybody can do it, and maybe people here are right about me gaining the weight back eventually (I really don’t see how, I haven’t found the maintenance of my weight this past year to be difficult) but I’m glad that I got motivated to change.

  23. Good grief! Some of you are so busy projecting your own issues into this post, and being offended for the sake of being offended, you are completely missing the point that Trent is trying to make. That point is that if YOU are unhappy with something in your life (your job, your happiness, and yes, some people are not happy with their weight), YOU have to make the choice to make the change FOR YOURSELF.

  24. @MattJ: Feel free not to answer if this is none of my business, but how exactly did you go about regaining the 5 pounds (and then maintaining exactly that weight)? What you’re describing sounds like an ability to fine-tune your weight that most people don’t have, so I’m wondering if you know something the rest of us don’t.

  25. I’ve had enough of being unemployed! I was “downsized” at the end of August 2009.

    Any suggestions? Besides what I’ve been doing – applying for five to ten posted jobs A DAY, going to every hiring/job fair for miles around, registering with every agency in town, and volunteering?

  26. @Joanna:

    I find it interesting that you assume basic biology–eating and weight–are set in stone, as it were: that you cannot change how you look and moreover, that as long as one is healthy, you shouldn’t even try. And yet you insist that our minds–just as primitive, given that the neocortex is “only” a few million years old (being a feature of mammalian brains)–should be so flexible and immune to the laws of nature that we should all be able to change our minds about race and gender and what-not at the drop of a hat.

  27. @Johanna:

    I don’t know about ‘exactly’… (I believe I used the word ‘about’, actually – twice) I went from about 245 lbs to about 190 lbs. What I mean by that is that my weight around 190 lbs varied day-to-day between 185 and 195 – I drink a lot of water, which tends to make my weight quite variable. When it briefly got down to below 185 I was disturbed by the look of my face so I relaxed my diet for a couple of weeks until my weight went up to 195 +/-, where it has stayed ever since. Whenever I see it rise above 200 I ‘healthy up’ my snacks for a while until it drops back down. (Carrots & broccoli instead of an apple or banana at work, green beans instead of corn at dinner time, etc)

    It’s possible that I could stand to lose a few more pounds, I don’t have a six-pack or anything, even when I got below 185 lbs I had a little extra flesh, but my face freaked me out. It’s possible that that was just because of the rapid change, and now that I’ve had a year to get used to 195-lb MattJ’s face, 175-lb (or whatever) MattJ’s face wouldn’t bother me. I may try to lose a little more weight over the summer to see if I like it. Or I might not. I still think my face (except the chin and neck fat) looked better when I was 245, though. My features were just more handsome when they were fleshed out, IMO. The belly was not.

  28. If Johanna were right about everybody being their natural weight already, and it being near impossible to change that, then why are Americans of European origin so much fatter than Europeans are? Why are Americans of African origin fatter than Africans are? Why are ALL Americans fatter than they were a generation ago? And why are poorer families fatter than the well-to-do?

  29. I took this post to be about change. Not an entire post about being fat as the comments would make you believe( note: I am about 50+ overweight). If you are happy being fat do nothing . If you are unhappy being fat eat less /exercise more. It sounds easier than it is but as I know from experience it is basically sound advice.
    I thought this was a good motivational post for making changes in your life! Short, Sweet and to the point.

  30. I really enjoy this blog. I have been reading it since a few months shy of it creation several years ago. I am what some my call a lurker.. I enjoying reading the blog and comments to educate myself, however I rarely post a comment. However, I find myself needing to speak this today:
    Johanna, I have noticed that you leave many comments daily and have for many years. A very large amount of your comments are very negative and you hardly ever agree with anything written in the daily blog. It is very very rare that I read something from you that is informative or uplifting. Why do you do this? Wouldn’t it be a better use of your time to read a blog that you would agree with more often? I am all about free opinions and comments however yours never seem to be inspiring. Well just thought I would use this ” Had Enough” blog to bring my thoughts to the comments.

  31. After reading the abundance of criticism focused specifically on Trent’s comment about weight (and overlooking the generally positive message throughout the rest of the post), the one thing I have taken from it that no one mentioned is this:

    If you are unhappy with something (yes, including your weight) and your own attempts to make a change have not helped, then maybe it’s time to invoke the assistance of a professional.

    If you’re overweight and can’t tackle it, get thee to your GP and get your thyroid and blood sugar tested. If you’re just lazy, get to the rec center and sign up for an exercise class or join a sports team. If you can’t quit smoking, look in to cessation programs. If you can’t take your marriage any more, look in the couples therapy. If you can’t see how to make the positive change to get out of your funk, whatever is causing that funk, track down the specialists who can offer guidance on the best route to take.

  32. Everyone got all worked up about the “fat” comment, and no one had anything to say about this?

    quote: “(The only exception I’d point out in this would be the parent and child one, because children need their parents, even if they’re being difficult about it.)”

    Seriously, some of the most toxic relationships in people’s lives are parent-child ones, because so much of the relationship is based on guilt and obligation rather than any kind of affection. No one else has a parent (or in-law) that they would happily cut out of their life if they could do so without massive guilt?

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