Indulging and Budgeting


I feel the sweat bead up on my face and roll down my neck. The air in the gym can’t seem to keep up with the army of self-torturing lunatics like myself. Well, OK. Maybe that is being a little harsh. Some people actually enjoy this bizarre ritual. As for myself, I am paying penance for weeks of self-indulgence.

Hello, my name is Tricia, and I have an issue with moderation. If I don’t keep track of my calories, I will over eat. If I don’t keep track of my money, I will over spend. If I don’t keep track of the time, I will binge watch Netflix all day long. In general, if I enjoy something, I will do too much of it. The only way to save me from myself is to keep track of things with meticulous detail—and I hate it.

Ok, so I have to work on that personal narrative a bit. It just feels so exhausting to record every calorie, estimate every penny, and measure every step. All of the budgeting feels like that ever present parental “no!” Ah, but that is my internal child speaking. I am an adult. I can do this.

I know in my heart, I equate indulgence with freedom . . . liberty! Viva la croissant! Indulgence is also fun, like getting away with something you’re not supposed to. Well, until it’s time to pay the consequences.

So how do I rewrite this self-defeating story? Just ticking off the benefits is not enough. I know the benefits. Educating me on proper portioning, budgeting, or exercising, is not enough. I already know most of what the experts are going to tell. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? I often resist it on the mere grounds that I know it is trying to manipulate my behavior. (How dare you!) The only way to motivate myself, and create long term change, is by constructing a story where I not only see the value of applying the appropriate strategies, but I also enjoy it.

I am open to any suggestions here. What kind of story do you tell yourself?

5 thoughts on “Indulging and Budgeting

  1. I used to be downright obsessed with counting calories–calories consumed, calories expended, and if the balance was way too far off–well, then anything went and I’d binge and start again the next day. I had lists of menu options to choose at each restaurant and lists of everyday items and their calories. It was so exhausting! And confining, like I was tethered to rules that I thought were very educated. And if other people could do it (like the perfect women in magazines), so could I, darn it. I was convinced that if I didn’t write it all down, I would go overboard and didn’t trust myself one bit. I am so free from that now, it’s like I don’t even recognize how to start caring about calories again. I used a lot of prayer (God, release me from this bondage!) And a preacher on TV–Joyce Meyers–is awesome; she talks about everyday life and dealing with stress and making decisions with wisdom. I also found that I did so much better with a structured schedule so my mind was well-occupied at times that used to be triggers (like late afternoon). I got rid of all my lists and stopped reading labels completely and taught myself to eat sensibly and be okay with throwing away food if I was full (which was absurd to me at one time).

    Good luck. I think if you start telling yourself you have self-control, you will start to trust yourself more and won’t need to trick yourself into it. Just like the saying “you are what you eat” also applies to your thoughts: “you are what you think.” Think powerful thoughts instead of powerless, and it will be life-changing.

    Liked by 1 person

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