There was a time in my life when I was bingeing every day and I was also in a lot of debt.
I thought they were two separate issues, but for me, getting to the bottom of my relationship with food also helped me heal my relationship with money.
Both food and money are life-supporting, and without both, we’re pretty screwed.
They are sources of fuel to help us thrive. If we are in a space of resistance to Life or under the false impression that either money or food are bad or dirty, we block ourselves from receiving what Life yearns to give us.
Many of us may not realize that we hold negative views towards money or food. I invite you to reflect on this.
I also invite you to reflect on how safe you feel in general. If you feel afraid most of the time and resist the flow of Life, you are inevitably resisting the flow of abundance. I know I did. I felt so unsafe in my body and in nature, that I blocked the beauty Life offered me, and the only things that made me feel safe were eating to the point of discomfort and spending money to give me a false sense of wealth.
What's more, our relationships to food and money are very much determined by how much we are willing to let ourselves receive. If we think food is wrong and we shouldn't eat, we may starve ourselves then end up bingeing when we’re feeling sad or helpless. Similarly, if we think money is dirty or threatening, we may block ourselves from receiving it or get rid of it as soon as we do, driving ourselves into scarcity and debt.
Furthermore, the more we stress about money, the more likely we are to overeat. According to Harvard Health, "Stress, the hormones it unleashes, and the effects of high-fat, sugary 'comfort foods' push people toward overeating. Researchers have linked weight gain to stress, and according to an American Psychological Association survey, about one-fourth of Americans rate their stress level as 8 or more on a 10-point scale." [Source]
And why are Americans so stressed? "A 2015 survey by the American Psychological Association found that money is the leading cause of stress among Americans—especially for parents, younger adults ages 18 to 49 years old and, not surprisingly, those living in lower-income households.” [Source]
Food and money are inextricably linked. When we stress about money, we’re more likely to stress eat and gain weight.
I came from the opposite end—I was more concerned with losing weight than anything, which is why I focused on healing my relationship with food before I even thought I had a money problem. Little did I know that healing my relationship with food would affect my money story so much.
For me, it all started when relearned how to feel okay in my body again.
For most of my life I hadn’t felt okay. I felt scared, terrified, threatened that Life was going to swallow me in its terrible grip. I was scared I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough… That no one would love me. I needed to change, lose weight, buy prettier clothes so people liked me. I was running on an idea that I couldn’t feel okay until I [fill in the blank]. Can you relate?
In order for anything to change, I had to learn how to feel okay without changing myself. Ha! The irony! But seriously, I had to realize that I could feel okay without buying shoes. I had to learn how to relax, to slow down, and just be. To feel good again AS IS. Because the more I tried to change myself, the worse I felt, and the more I would eat or spend to find satisfaction outside myself.
When I started to feel good again, just being in my body, I was less likely to spend money on things I didn’t need in an attempt to feel better. When my priority became feeling good in my body moment to moment, my behavior and choices were a natural expression of that good feeling, as opposed to acting out any “shoulds” I was putting on myself.
Of course sometimes I feel terrible and it feels like nothing—NOTHING—can lift me from the depths of despair. But the truth is, if I feel off, it just means I’ve bought into a story that isn't true.
If I feel off, I can place a hand on my belly and offer myself kindness.
If I feel sad or depressed, I can comfort myself with sweetness, give myself a hug, and remind myself I’m doing the best I can.
When I feel bad, I can remember that my natural state of being is feeling okay—I am ALLOWED to feel okay. I don’t have to earn it, change, or do anything differently. I can just take a breath and remember.
I used to think I needed to earn feeling good… Just like I needed to earn money. But the truth is, feeling good is available right now.
The truth is, you don’t need as much money or food as the part of you that’s stressed out thinks you do.
The truth is, you’re actually okay.
The more you allow that truth to settle in your body, the more you can actually receive the goodness Life has to offer, the more you can relax and feel safe in Life’s embrace, and the more you can allow yourself to be nourished by yummy food, fresh air, warm hugs, and financial abundance.
Financial abundance doesn’t come from what you do—it comes from how youare.
Are you beating yourself up for the extra cookie you ate after lunch on Thursday? Or are you leaning back, letting Life hold you, and trusting that your body knows exactly what to do with that cookie… Trusting that you were doing your best at the time you ate it. Trusting that the sweetness the cookie gave you was exactly what you needed then.
Are you feeling bad in your body… and beating yourself up for feeling bad in your body? Schedule a Discovery Call with me where I can guide you some simple techniques to bring you back to feeling okay.
If you are ready to step into a new relationship with food and your body, you can absolutely expect your relationship with money to shift. They are inextricably linked. They are fuel for Life.
I’m not saying everything will suddenly be “fixed.” Our money story is still important to examine on its own. As Geneen Roth says, “The only people who don't have insane relationships with money are those who were willing to examine their insane relationships with money.”
Instead, I am saying that money and food are connected. They can both be deeply pleasurable, abundant, and life-affirming—if you allow. They can also feel dirty, evil, corrupt, and cause you guilt and shame, if you allow.
The difference is whether or not you’re letting yourself feel okay first and making choices from that space. The difference is whether or not you’re prioritizing your emotional and physical needs and choosing to see the beautiful truth of just how abundantly supported you really are.