I spend money the same way I eat… excessively.

Since my appointment last week, I have become hyperaware of myself and my thoughts around food. I am constantly pausing when an unhealthy thought comes to mind. I have been parenting the shit out of those thoughts, and haven’t binged since. That doesn’t mean the unhealthy thoughts are gone, they’re ALWAYS there. Constantly poking at me, telling me to eat ALL THE THINGS. I asked my therapist, Brian, something I had been thinking about since we first met: will I have these unhealthy thoughts the rest of my life? He said yes, they’ll always be there but they will become less and less loud overtime, and you will hold the power over them because you have started to replace those unhealthy thoughts with healthier ones. I am the boss, I am in charge. That is an affirmation I have been telling myself, and I’m feeling pretty damn powerful.

Last week, Brian told me that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy could be used in all aspects of my life. Since getting a better grip on my beliefs around food, I have become more and more aware about other aspects in my life that are not serving me. A huge revelation has come about in the last week, and that is my relationship with money. I met with Brian yesterday, and told him about what I had discovered. I realized my relationship with food is very similar to my relationship with money. I am constantly buying unnecessary things to make myself feel better if: I am down, had a stressful day, I feel like I “deserve” it, when I am bored. I am in a state of constantly paying my credit card balance off. That sounds good because it’s paid off each month, but that also ends up leaving me with no money in my bank account. While I don’t have debt, besides a mortgage, I also lack any sort of savings and this is not okay for me and how I want to live my life. It’s a vicious cycle and I am DONE with it.

I have thought about why I am this way, and my unhealthiest thoughts around money likely come from growing up poor. My mom was a single mom, with three kids. She didn’t have much financial support and was always working to support us all. She herself is not great with money, so we didn’t pick up any money skills from her. My dad, who I would say is better with money, never educated us. It’s like money is a taboo subject for him. I would say their own money issues stem back from their own childhood, but that’s not my story so I will just leave it there.

My thoughts around food and money come from a place of NOT ENOUGH. I eat in fear that I am not enough, or I spend more than I should because I feel I don’t have enough. Since working with Brian, I realized these are OLD, unhealthy thoughts that I need to replace with NEW, healthier thoughts.

This is my next step in becoming my authentic self. I want to let go of old, unhealthy habits, and replace them with new ones.

I will say that having a money conscious spouse has taught me a great deal, but I am also stubborn as shit and have always viewed my money as MY money, and I can do what I want with it. He has respected that, but MY way is getting me and us NOWHERE! We have our own bank accounts (highly recommend this), and we have a joint account for our monthly payments. I am still figuring out the best way for me to budget my money, and allow myself to come up with a good amount of savings, and emergency savings. I will start small, and work my way to a bigger goal. I definitely have some work to do.

 

What about you guys, do you struggle with money too? Do you have any tips for me?

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another step forward to being my most authentic self

hey guys!

I thought I’d share a little (or a lot) about myself and some of the stuff I’m learning and doing so that I can live my best life.

I recently started going to therapy, to address my disordered relationship with food. I am an emotional eater and have been since I was a child. This relationship with food, at times, created a negative body image in my mind. I’ve worked on the body image issues in the last few years, and feel pretty good with how far I’ve come with accepting my body, in whatever size I am, at any given moment. I have realized in the last 1-2 years that just because I’ve become more accepting of my physical self, doesn’t mean I have the greatest relationship with food. I decided to enlist a therapist.

I have been to therapy before, but never for this. I believed I didn’t need the extra guidance, and that I could conquer it on my own. I also very much struggled with the fact that I actually do enjoy food, most of the time. I like going to the new restaurants (and old favourites). I enjoy meeting friends over food or coffee. I think I assumed that because I am a bit of a foodie, that I couldn’t also seek help for something I enjoy.

I’ve only just recently realized that these traits I have are separate. I did need to seek help from a third party to find out why I do what I do and how to change. I know my poor relationship with food has been holding me back from being my truest self.

I went to my first session last week, my therapist is an older man. I’ve never had a male therapist before and was a bit nervous, but we hit it off and it’s a great fit for me. I’ve already noticed some positive mental shifts since meeting with him last week.

Previously, if i had a stressful day or moment, I would tell myself to eat something “bad” because I deserved it. It would help me cope with whatever I was feeling. I would turn to food, usually something sweet and everything would be better.

After seeing the therapist, i’ve come to realize that it was the unhealthy thoughts telling me to cope with food and I never once questioned these thoughts, i just dove into the food as i was told. These thoughts stem from childhood. I have comforted myself with food, overeating when happy, sad, bored, etc. My unhealthy thoughts are childlike because they stem from my childhood, so I’ve been calling these thoughts “a little girl”. He’s got me working on “parenting” these unhealthy thoughts. An example of this would be the unhealthy thought telling me to eat a bunch of chips/cookies/insert random junk food because I had a shit day, my healthy thought needs to then parents that thought with telling it to shut the EFF up, and that I make the decision on what I want to eat, and it’s not chips right now. My unhealthy thoughts tell me to eat whatever I want because I ran that day, My healthy thought replies that I am in need of something nutritional and beneficial to get me closer to how I want to feel.

I know some people may think it’s a bit weird to talk to yourself in your head, but holy shit it has helped so much. I have unhealthy thoughts around food all day, everyday, but only once in the last week have I overate to cope with something. That is a huge accomplishment for me. My therapist gave me homework last week, it was to write down on one side of paper all the unhealthy things I found myself thinking, and then on the opposite side of the paper to write down all of the “parenting” thoughts in response  to the unhealthy shit I tell myself. It was mind blowing to read the kind of shit i let myself tell myself.

I saw him just today and read him my inner dialogue that he gave me as homework and it felt so good to read them aloud. Every time an unhealthy thought has popped into my head, I have been able to catch it and parent the fuck out of it. He has helped me figure out that I am the one in control of myself. For better or worse, I am responsible for my actions. I feel better knowing that I’ve gained another tool in my mental toolbox. I know this is a life long journey, but if i can keep on showing up for myself by replacing unhealthy thoughts with healthy thoughts, I know I can do great things.

 

if you have any questions about the above, let me know in the comments and I’d be happy to answer.

 

hello, is this thing on?

WHEW!

So last week I decided to make it official and tell people I was starting a blog. I wanted to hit publish with a goal of… yesterday, but fear took over soon after I made that decision and immediately I felt like I should abandon my plan because I didn’t think I could do it (a lifelong issue), once I recognized that it was fear I was feeling, I knew I would just let it pass and then plow ahead as soon as it did… so here it goes: 

Hello!

My name is Amelia and I was born & raised in Edmonton, Alberta.

I decided to start a blog to share my thoughts, mostly for myself, but also for anyone else who may be interested.

I plan to write about: my everyday life, travel and upcoming plans, my passion for running and trying new things in regards to fitness, food/restaurants, bettering myself so I can live my best life, learning more about myself and my struggles with food and body image, goals, and anything else I think might resonate with others.