Have you ever noticed times in your life when you have gone on mass spending sprees over indulging in material goods, and around the same time a few extra kilo’s were gained as a result of over-indulging in food particularly through binge eating. Think the opposite effect also, times when you are saving those pennies depriving yourself of anything beyond the absolute basics, and found yourself on some crash diet depriving yourself of naughty foods and probably food groups in general? If this sounds all too familiar then read on. If not, still continue to read…
I recently read a thought provoking article which detailed this exact psychological whirlwind we call the Money Diet – the control issues surrounding money and food. It drew on examples and quotes from Geneen Roth’s best-selling book ‘Women, Food & God’; which touches upon this Money Diet phenomenon, so many people face as by-product of anxiety and control disorders.
Feeling out of control of our life is a common feeling many of us have from time to time but when the feelings become more prevalent in daily life this is when things start to get out of control (see what I did there). Control or lack there of is a pre-cursor for many anxiety disorders, which often lead a range of mental illness. Control issues are most often the core of many eating disorders (ranging from binge eating to anorexia), think about it – if you feel you can’t control any thing going on around you, what are the two major things you can somewhat control – 1. how you spend your money and 2. what you eat. Therefore this whole idea of the Money Diet has provoked psychologists, health professionals and writers to explore this concept deeper.
Often people will experience the two parallel forms, the first being over-consumption – which as you guessed involves over eating and over spending. The opposite stands as under eating and limited spending. Both are equally damaging inducing self destructive behaviour and create feelings of guilt, self-loathing and regret. In the first scenario the individual may feel a sense of adrenalin and a temporary rush from blowing thousands of dollars on miscellaneous items, once that rush has peaked – the crash begins. Much like an addict experiences, therefore the need for the next ‘fix’ creeps up. Usually feelings of guilt start to arise, anxiety due to the crashing feeling also creep up and the next fix can be found in food. Over-indulging of food then results – then comes the crash, the self loathing, disappointment and despair all flow through – and the cycle goes round and round. The opposite effect occurs in under-consumption; some may find they are not worthy of love or appreciation, so they punish themselves by restricting on spending, holding their pennies so close to their pockets the Queens head is almost tattooed on their thigh. The same goes with the food – thoughts like ‘I need to cut out this food group, or that particular ingredient because I am not allowed it’. Both types all comes down to one fundamental factor – control.
So how do I break free from the Money Diet you ask? I am not a qualified psychologist but psychology and counseling play a huge part of what I do as a budding Nutritionist and Health Coach. I believe these three fundamental things can be of help to begin with:
1. Practice self love & be kind to yourself!
2. Accept who you are – read here for tips!
3. Realize life is impermanent – it is always changing and evolving – nothing is forever, so there is no point trying to control things beyond you.
What do you think of this topic? I know this may be a little confrontational. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment or sending me a private email via the contact page.