Self control is the worst.
The brain is a funny thing, isn’t it?
I just completed my second Whole 30 and it definitely did all the good things again. I slept better. My stomach felt better. I had plenty of energy. I totally saw all the benefits happening. It’s not a myth. I’ve lived how it’s not a myth.
On Day 31, I was like, it’s cool, eat whatever you want, Mel. Then on Day 32, eat the healthy things again and just appreciate that when you go out with friends or for special occasions, you can eat what you want.
Well Day 32 came and I ate ice cream and cookies all day. And a sandwich that was slathered in things that I realized I couldn’t’ve eaten a single part of during the Whole 30.
Day 33 didn’t go much better.
Day 34, I restocked up on Girl Scout cookies (even though they were sold out of Thin Mints… WTF, Girl Scouts?).
So today is day 35 and I thought, well… another Whole 30, maybe? I seem to actually do ok at extremes. It’s moderation I suck at.
The real question though, is why can’t I seem to operate in a healthy balance? This morning, I forced myself to make a veggie egg scramble – breakfast staple of the Whole 30 – and, incidentally, also a breakfast I like just fine and isn’t all that difficult to make. I then made some coffee and decided that it’s not the end of the world to actually use a flavored creamer and enjoy my coffee – since no Whole 30 version I’ve made has ever turned out ok, merely tolerable.
And here I am, post first acceptably balanced meal, both wondering why that was so hard and knowing at the same time that it’s probably going to be just as hard tomorrow.
So why am I rambling about food so much?
Well, it kind of reminds me a lot of personal finance. In a weird way, taking on a ton of debt for grad school really helped me get in the personal finance groove. It was an extreme amount and I went kind of extreme with paying it off. Even going extreme, it was two and a half years to pay back all that money (between Sallie Mae, my credit cards and an amazing zero interest loan from grandma) and you learn a lot about personal finance, frugal living, thrifty tips and side hustles if you immerse yourself extremely for 30 months of your life.
With personal finance, I’ve always had goals. One of the best tips I learned from the pf blogosphere was to have goals. When the debt was finally gone, I splurged on repackaged pudding cups and a bottle of fancy nail polish and then got to work setting up savings goals.
However, I still sort of suck at moderation. If my spending goes a little off track for a month, it’s likely to go way off track. If one pretty well ingrained thrifty habit slips, the next thing I know, several others disappear too.
I’m sure I’m not the only who is constantly battling their own brain to make any progress. I’d actually bet it’s my #1 battle – and possibly yours too.
Fortunately, a few years into my personal finance journey, I’ve found that I don’t slip nearly as far anymore (so maybe a few years into healthy eating and I’ll be able to claim the same? Fingers crossed).
Also on the plus side, between healthy eating and health budgeting battles, I’ve learned this – you can always make a fresh start right now.
It’s easy to think – oh, I’ll start eating healthy on Monday. Or I’ll make the phone call to knock down my internet bill on the 1st of the month. Or May will be the month I’ll get started on that side hustle.
This isn’t wise.
TODAY IS THE DAY PEOPLE!
The future starts now.