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?