I’ve been giving some thought as to what my motivations are for the next year/going forward (in the spirit of thinking of these as life adjustments, rather than short-term goals).

There’s a few things swirling around right now but I think what it boils down to is a combination of moderation, mindfulness and balance.  I want to bring a few key things in my life into balance, by practising a lot more moderation and mindfulness.

Moderation when it comes to eating and spending money.

Mindfulness when it comes to eating and moving my body.

Balance when it comes to all of the above.

I’ve spent much of my life focusing on the wrong things, trying to achieve certain outcomes…I swing from hyper-motivated and organised to inert and depressed within days and I never seem to get a handle on it.  Now I am getting a bit older, I’m finding about a week a month is a hormonal disaster zone too, so it’s much harder to try and hold onto the threads of a balanced mindset.

I’m not sure how I get around this or solve it but clearly what I’ve been doing hasn’t worked, or only partly worked, so I need to figure out what my best motivation is in order to achieve a life I can be comfortable in.

Many years ago, my Mum finally gave up smoking after over 20 years of trying.  In the end, it wasn’t health concerns that tipped the scales for her – it was money.  As the price of cigarettes began to skyrocket in Australia, she finally found the motivation to quit.  It was pretty surprising, as all previous attempts had met with failure and she never really seemed to have that internal drive to NEED or WANT to quit…but faced with the hip-pocket pain, suddenly the conditions were right.

The reason I’ve been thinking about this is that I’m wondering if I can harness the desire to get my finances under control in other areas of my life – not consciously, but as a flow-on effect.  For example, I’m really sick to death of wasting money on food, and despite this profligacy, not really nourishing myself properly.  I know how to eat well, and I know how to cook – those things aren’t my problem.  The problem is fear – I fear restriction, I fear denial, I fear insufficiency and meagreness.  So I buy food to fill those gaps, so I don’t have to worry about going without.  But then…I just waste it, either by letting it go bad or over-eating to assuage my guilt at the waste.  It’s not very healthy, mentally or physically.  How can I combat something that is so deep-rooted in me?

Perhaps instead of focusing on the food I need to focus on the waste (and by waste I mean of the food itself and the money spent on it).  Bring my life into balance by bringing my spending into balance.

I’m not even going to try to deal with the movement part right now – as an active plan.  I want to get out and about more, now that I can (or at least THINK that I can…we’ll see what my foot has to say about that) but for now, I want to spend the next month focusing on the FOOD:WASTE nexus and see if being mindful of what I spend, I can be mindful of what I eat.  It’s the opposite way around to how I’d usually approach it – normally I’m trying to cut my food intake to achieve a certain weight loss goal, but frankly that’s never really worked for me and besides, I just can’t seem to lose weight any more so why start with something that is a proven failure?  Time to try something new.

Plan for the rest of this week and next week:

I don’t get paid until next Thursday which is when my new year budget plan will swing into action, so I’m really just trying to get through til then when it comes to money and food!  I’ve already spent just shy of $100 on groceries in the past few days just to get by – and this was money I didn’t really have (stolen from my Fitbit fund and my loan repayment account…yeah I know, this is how it goes right now…see why I need to change things?) and given I’ve budgeted $200 a fortnight for groceries this year, I’m going to need to get really serious about meal planning and only buying what I NEED.

(I also spent $15 on a bottle of wine yesterday…that was my response to finding out my work situation is, once more, in a state of total flux. More on this another time perhaps…)

(And in the spirit of complete honesty, I also jammed together some Christmas biscuits with ice cream and ate these EVEN THOUGH I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE IT AND IT MADE ME SICK…so, yeah…emotional eating and drinking…clearly another big issue.  But I’m putting that to one side for now…and possibly throwing out both the biscuits and the ice cream)

So all that said, what am I eating until next weekend, using ONLY what’s in my fridge and pantry right now?

Today (Jan 5):

  • Breakfast – Fruit (nectarine, mango & blueberries) with yoghurt and homemade granola (I use this recipe and it’s the BOMB) & coffee
  • Lunch – Poached egg on toast with avocado, goats cheese and homemade dukkha
  • Dinner – Left over fried rice
  • Let’s face it I will probably finish that bottle of wine too…it’s Friday so…yeah
  • I’ll also freeze the rest of the fried rice into 3 x lunches for next week

Saturday (Jan 6):

  • Breakfast – same as Friday
  • Lunch – same as Friday
  • Dinner – Buttermilk marinated chicken leg with potato wedges and salad

Sunday (Jan 7):

  • Breakfast – Poached egg on toast & coffee
  • Lunch – Buttermilk marinated chicken leg with salad
  • Dinner – Steamed fish-in-a-bag and vegetables
  • I may be forced to go out and buy a few pieces of fruit for next week’s breakfasts – i’ll head down to the markets toward midday and see if I can pick up some bargains with the few shekels left in my wallet)

Monday (Jan 8):

  • Breakfast – Fruit, yoghurt and granola and homemade iced coffee for the trip to work (coffee, ice, soy milk and agave)
  • Lunch – Fried rice
  • Dinner – Buttermilk marinated chicken leg with potato wedges and salad

Tuesday (Jan 9):

  • Breakfast – Same as yesterday
  • Lunch – Buttermilk marinated chicken leg with vegetables
  • Dinner – Lettuce wrap ‘hamburger’ (beef patty, cheese, tomato, mustard & sauce wrapped in lettuce)

Wednesday (Jan 10)

  • Breakfast – Same as yesterday
  • Lunch – Fried rice
  • Dinner – Same as yesterday

Thursday (Jan 11)

  • Breakfast – Same as yesterday if I have any fruit left.  If not, i’ll make an egg on toast and take this into work and eat it (I leave home at just before 7am and this is too early for me to eat) or grab one of the two pieces of banana bread left in the freezer.
  • Lunch – Fried rice
  • Dinner – Same as yesterday

Friday (Jan 12)

  • Breakfast – Egg on toast or banana bread and iced coffee
  • Lunch & Dinner – I have no idea what will be left at this stage…stay tuned

Saturday (Jan 13)

  • I go shopping and the whole exercise really begins…

Right…now that’s all sorted, I’m going to work up the motivation to go for a swim. More of a paddle really, but I’m loving being in the sea right now.  And best of all…it’s FREE!!!

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