What do diet and debt have in common?

I have struggled with my weight all my life and with the dawn of this new year, I once again, like all the years before, promised myself, that this year would be the year, I would finally get my weight under control.

I have been an extra 30-50 pounds for the past twenty years and have been ridiculed for it, both by strangers and by the people who should have loved me.

I tried every diet and every weight loss program that came across my radar. I spent so much money on trying to lose weight, that I am still embarrassed to say out loud what that figure is.

At about 50 pounds overweight for the past year, I had grown weary of carrying around all the extra weight. The heaviness was weighing me down, so over the holidays (with a piece of cake in hand LOL) I decided to have an open and honest conversation with my husband about my struggles to lose weight. What he told me was simple and yet it had a profound impact on me. He said if I was half as good with my diet, as I am with staying on budget and managing my money, I would reach my goal weight in no time.

That got me to thinking about how my struggles with my weight, mirrored what I was hearing from my clients who struggled with debt. Over the years, my clients have shared with me, that they also felt defeated and weighed down by their debt.

So then came the question: what was I doing right with money management that made me so successful at it, and can I apply that to the management of my weight?

For me, money is more than just a commodity to earn and spend. It is something that is intrinsically tied to my values and my purpose in life. How I earn my money and how I spend my money, is ultimately for the greater good – to add value to my life, to the lives of my loved ones, and to do the things that I find meaningful, such as, healing the environment and helping the disadvantaged.

Similarly, I believe there needs to be a shift regarding my relationship with food -food needs to be more than something that satisfies my hunger and makes me feel good. What if I search for a deeper meaning for why I eat the way I eat, similar to when I ask my clients “why do you think you overspend?” or “what does money mean to you?”

What, if instead of the quick fix of satisfying my hunger and making me feel good, food could be something that I eat to nourish and heal my body and my mind? What if, the way my food was grown, sourced, prepared and eaten, was in alignment with my values. Just like how the way I earn and spend money is in alignment with my values.

At first it seemed like a tall order and a bit sanctimonious, to be honest. But I had to do this. I had to take control of my relationship with food or it would forever control me and continue to rob me of my joy.

I decided to go to the very core of why I was so good with money and then use that to build a new relationship with food.

When it comes to money, I five (5) guiding principles:

  • The way we earn and spend our money should be alignment with our values and beliefs.
  • We need to show respect and gratitude to our money and to our earning potential.
  • Our money should bring us joy.
  • We need take control of our finances instead of having our finances control us.
  • We need to be more mindful of our spending.

I believe these five (5) guiding principles are the cornerstones to building a healthy relationship with money. When we can start living by these principles, it makes managing our money so much easier.

Likewise, I decided to apply similar guiding principles to my new way of eating:

  • The way my food is grown, sourced, prepared and eaten needs to be aligned with my values.
  • My food should bring me joy.
  • I need take control of what I eat, instead of having what I eat, control me.
  • I need to be more mindful of my eating.
  • I need to show respect and gratitude to my food.

I don’t know where this journey will take me, but I am prepared and determined to give it my all. It’s been about three weeks since I’ve started this new approach to my weight loss. Have I loss any weight? Maybe four pounds, but this journey is showing me that it’s not just about the weight; it’s about my total wellbeing. Just like, it’s not only about the debt, but about empowering ourselves regarding our money.

Have I stuck to my plan every day? Most certainly not, but every day, I feel closer to where I want to be.

Is your goal for 2020 to lose weight and get healthy? Do you have any tips to share? I would welcome any suggestions or advice you might have for me.

Or, maybe your goal is to be debt-free and have better control of your finances. If it is, please reach out to me because I help you.