Food and Money have a lot in common. Yes, really!
Have you ever been on a diet?
One where you had to count calories, follow a strict meal plan or restrict yourself so much that ALL you could think about was your next meal?
Thankfully it’s been a long time since I have. These days I much prefer to eat intuitively and practice body positivity (although that’s still a work in progress). However, just because I am no longer dieting that doesn’t mean that I haven’t in the past, or that I don’t occasionally fall into diet mentality.
The financial diet
Diet culture is ALL around us. Unfortunately, it doesn’t just negatively affect our body image, it also has the potential to affect our financial situation.
Essentially, diet culture is just a set of beliefs and thought patterns. Those exact patterns can also play out in how we think, feel and behave with our food and money. Let me give you some examples:
The I’ll Start On Monday Mentality – Fear of the discomfort you anticipate is what drives this thinking. While from a dieting perspective that discomfort is restriction, managing your money doesn’t have to be restrictive. In fact, addressing it can actually help free you from the discomfort of stress and anxiety over your financial future.
The I’ve Fallen Off The Wagon Mentality – If you’re a black and white thinker (hint: you can change this!) or a bit of a perfectionist, then you might be tempted to think that you’re either “on a budget” or not. Actually, with my process, I encourage you to think about having a budget and use it as a supportive tool. It should never be a whip to flog yourself with!
The When I’m Skinny I’ll Be Happy Mentality – I promise you, whether you’re aiming to be skinny or rich, getting there won’t magically make you happy. Happiness is an inside job. And ironically when you address your happiness from the inside out, your finances fall into place.
The Morality Police Mentality – being “good with money” or eating “good food” does not make you a good or a bad person. Your value does not lie in how much money you have or what the number on the scale is. Removing a moral judgement from your money situation will help you approach it from an objective and empowered position. You are worthy and valuable exactly as you are.
Letting go of control
When we think the answer is control and restriction, it ends up one of two ways. Some women feel so afraid of it that they actively avoid budgeting and looking at their finances. Others use budgeting to impose strict rules on themselves and either make themselves miserable or feel so deprived that they end up binge-spending as if they were Miranda eating chocolate cake from the bin (only SATC fans will understand this!).
Ironically the solution is actually a more feminine approach. Instead of restricting and controlling ourselves, we need to understand ourselves and trust ourselves to make decisions that are best aligned to our values. We need a budgeting system composed of guidelines that work with who we are as individuals and what’s most important to us.
Self love is always a good idea
Like eating, budgeting and managing your money can be done from a place of self-love and trust. It can be done intentionally with power, not force. It’s not always easy, but it’s the most peaceful and sustainable way.
If you (or anyone you know) would like help to improve your relationship with money and manage your finances with a more feminine approach, book in for a free mini-session with me here.