Monday, October 14, 2013

monday musings: on food + money - part 1

Monday is the day I veer off topic and muse about something other than wholefood...

It occurred to me recently that dieting and budgeting have a lot in common. For instance, many people find both dieting and budgeting difficult and arduous because in their minds both of these concepts scream: restriction, sacrifice, deprivation and missing out.

The irony is, the aim of dieting is a healthy body weight and the aim of budgeting is a healthy bank balance and the truth is we can have neither of these things without making some changes to current behaviours and habits. It is by trying to make these changes purely by willpower that most people fall short.

As Albert Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result".

So if you're battling with your weight and finances and you want to break the cycle of going on a diet or starting a budget and breaking them, I have the answer. It's an inside job: inside your head and heart.

First step is to change your mind - this may involve a bit of trickery. By steering away from the words diet and budget you can remove the emotional connections you have with these words from your past.

You are not going on a diet and you are not sticking to a budget (breathe sigh of relief). Forget bathroom scales and calculators, personal finance books, lists of foods to eat and not to eat there is another way.

We women are emotional, no point pretending we're not or feeling bad about our sensitivities and being in tune with our emotions, it can be used as a strength not a weakness. Therefore in transforming our relationship to food and money we must first consider our emotional connection and come from a place of love: not guilt, blame, shame and regret.

How do we transform this relationship?

Well it is so ridiculously simple that I won't be surprised if you don't believe me when I tell you.

We do this by breathing. By bringing our awareness regularly back to our breathing, we become conscious of the moment, otherwise known as being mindful.

So instead of dieting, become lovingly mindful about what you are eating, how often you are moving your body and instead of budgeting become lovingly mindful of what you are earning, spending and investing.

I can hear your scepticism. But truly by moving your emotional state from one of guilt, blame, shame, fear and regret to one of self-acceptance, love and positivity miracles will happen, your life will change. It sounds a bit airy fairy I know but just give it a go you have absolutely nothing to lose - except maybe those last 5 kilos!

Now of course we all know 'magic' doesn't just happen all by itself, it does require action. To get you started, choose which is the most emotionally charged for you at the moment or the one you would like to change the most - your relationship with food or your relationship with money.

For the next week keep a journal of the food you eat (include details of where you were, who you were with and how you were feeling before and after), or of the money that you earn and spend, every single dollar - a coffee here, a magazine there, an op shop find no amount is too small. Do this exercise with loving mindfulness - no shaming yourself, no guilt, just noticing and note taking.

Next monday I will add some more tools to your kit and before you know it you will be on your way to where you want to be without dieting or budgeting. Good huh?

If this made sense to you and you think a friend would like it too please share using the share buttons below. And leave your comments I love hearing from you.


  1. Interesting, I want to learn more about mindfulness, meditation etc, I think it can be a powerful tool if you know how to use it (which I currently don't!!).

    1. Thanks Liz for your comment. Meditation, mindfulness can definitely be a powerful way of being to bring into your life and you can start immediately! My mother-in-law who has been doing yoga and qi gong and meditation for many years now told me that she started practicing by lighting a candle and focusing on the flame and then on her breath, she said that this is an easy way to start because your mind has a focus. The Power of Now is a good book to read too. Give it a go!

  2. Great article. I have steered away from the "dieting" for myself but didn't think of applying the same rationale to "budgeting"

  3. Thanks Mands. I hadn't thought of it either but when it jumped into my head it made perfect sense.

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