Thursday, May 28, 2009

Making Peace with Food and My Finances

It just occurred to me that this process of making peace with food is having not only a mental/emotional/health impact, but a financial one as well. As I worked to get my finances under control, I came up with a series of habits that really helped keep me on track. Chief among them were the habits related to food shopping. I almost always had a shopping list and I found it very helpful to shop for two weeks at a time, with very few if any in-between forays to the store. I did get fresh produce delivered on the off weeks to keep that stuff stocked.

However, over the past couple of months I’ve started to see a shift. Part of that is a conscious move away from meticulous money tracking – a gift I gave myself for having resolved most of my issues and gotten into an established saving pattern. With that, came a more relaxed shopping list and more frequent trips to the store. The additional cost was not significant at first, which was gratifying. Even going on autopilot, I spent about the same as usual.

Over the past couple of weeks, though, I’ve noticed that I’m stopping at the store a LOT. This is mostly to indulge cravings and round out meals I planned to prepare. In my effort to make peace with food, I have been indulging whims in my eating and shopping habits in a way that I have not in a long time. I have not totaled up with amount of spending but it “feels” like I’m spending more.

I know that this phase is just that, a phase of my healing where I need to indulge myself a little bit. I need to feel like nothing is off limits and what I want really is worth an extra trip to the store. I am fortunate to be tackling this issue at a time when money is not nearly as tight as it once was. This gives me a freedom for which I’m grateful.

At the same time I know I’m out of balance. I can feel it. I am eating a bit too much and I’m spending a bit too much. After taking some time to really let loose, I feel pulled toward the middle. I crave the feeling that comes with being in tune with not only what my body wants (ice cream!) but what it also needs (vegetables!) What’s different now is that instead of looking to some program (Weight Watchers/counting calories) to tell me how to find that balance, I’m looking inward to find the answer. Now that I’m actually listening, the message is starting to get through.

Although things (my eating/finances) are a bit out of whack right now, it’s OK. I realize that’s just part of how this process unfolds. I need to trust myself to move through this in whatever way feels right to me. I think I’m finally starting to really trust that food will always be there for me when I’m hungry – that the days of restriction are over. Once that completely truly sinks in, I know that the urge to eat half a box of Grasshoppers will subside :D

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