To get it off my chest

There’s something I want to talk about that I don’t feel 100% comfortable with. But I know I need support and advice so I’m reaching out.

Let’s start with some background.

When I was a kid,  I had no problem spending money on snacks. Actually that’s all my pocket money was destined for. Occasionally I had higher abitions for it of course, but more often then not a protion was pre-destined for a special treat- ice-cream, chips, juice.  My parents were health consiouse, so since sweets were a rarity rather then an every day occurance I always looked forward to my special treats.

Totally me back in the day 🙂

Then came a time when food and everything involved with it became an enemy. Spending money on something like food was absolutely inconceivable.  Aside from the mental battles and struggles that simply eating it caused, it seemed like something so unimportant and unnecessary.

Of course, that’s sheer stupidity – because food is fuel and we need it to function. But now I’m faced with a dilemma.

Coming from a big family means that a college fund was not in my future.  Were it not for the fact that I got a grant from the university I would not be able to study – it’s to expensive. With the finantial situation all over the world being what it is, and my parents starting a new business to boot , they simply can’t afford to help me finantially. And I wouldn’t extect them to for the world.

The problem is the university grant BARELY covers living expenses. Meaning unless I’m EXTREMELY frugal, I won’t make ends meet. The rest will have to come out of my pocket, which is not too full at the moment. I have a part time job (I co-organize kids parties) but that’s not really a regular thing at the moment.  And my study schedule right now would allow for it even if it was.

Why am I saying all this? Because the past week or so I’ve come to realize I’ve been restricting my food intake. Not to lose weight – far from it! But I feel I can’t afford to eat more then what I have “planned” out for the day. I feel guilty every time I go shopping, because a part of me can’t understand why I eat so much. I know it’s a flash –back from my old mindsets, because I don’t eat more then the average person – but it still bothers me.

At the same time, my restricting bothers me even more. My hair is falling out, my skin is dry and I’m having trouble sleeping at night – all big warning signs from my body. I don’t want to ignore them, at the same time I struggle to obey them.

Also, I’m not willing to settle for eating junk just cuz it’s cheaper. I’m not willing to completely give up on veggies, just because they don’t fill you up as well as white bread does. Nor am I willing to give up real food for ramen noodles every day, or eating just rice cakes and cheese like my roommate does. I don’t go for fancy EVER ( you see some of what I eat on here, and I think you’ll agree), but I still try to eat real food – even if the processed stuff is cheeper

Today I went shopping, and for the first time this week I let myself eat as much as I really wanted. It was A LOT, but I felt so good right afterwards.  I knew it was my bodies was of saying thank you for me giving it what it needed. But then later on I had some nasty tummy troubles- my body just wasn’t used to handling that amount of food at once.

Anyhow – please feel free to give advice or knock some sense into me. I NEED to hear it.

And sorry if this wasn’t such an up-beat post. There will be happier ones coming 🙂

PS: Also, pls don’t take this to mean I’m starving or not eating at all. I AM ,just not enough I guess

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13 comments

  1. I think you’re me! I’m so frugal it hurts, even though I have a job. And I don’t know, I don’t think there is much wrong with it- unless it is restricting your intake. I’ll say this, that food is the most important thing, especially once you’re in recovery. Don’t let life get away from you. Food needs to come first. Food needs to be purchased and enjoyed. There are plenty of ways to be frugal on a budgit as well though, markets, reduced sections in supermarkets. If you’re like me and you like to eat good quality things, save up. Put money aside to buy that expensive flour or the organic milk. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself. I find taht I feel good about eating things that are better for me. Talk to your parents too; mine have assured me that it is even okay to get the more expensive soy milk because it is higher quality in nutrients and tastes better.
    best of luck and feel free to email me to vent! I know just how you feel.

  2. I would love to give you some advice, but unfortunately I am currently at the same “place”, actually I could write my name under your post, that´s how much it relates to my current situation :/ However I am sure you would handle this, you have proved many times you are strong and you really want to take good care of your body and your whole self. So I can only wish you a good luck and eagerly wait for those happy post you promised 😀

  3. Awww I can totally understand not wanting to spend a lot of money on food when you’re on a tight budget and eating healthy can be hard!

    Not sure if it helps but I just made Angela’s (Oh She Glows) barley risotto yesterday and it’s feeding me for days but it’s super cheap ingredients!!!!

  4. Oh my word, I can relate SO much!! I too get insanely frugal when it comes to my groceries. I feel bad sometimes paying more for healthy foods, but in the end, I know I’m saving lots of money on the medical costs associated with poor diet. You totally deserve the good stuff my friend. I’m so happy you know when there’s a problem and the fact you tackle it! Way to go!! 😀
    Ps– I find a ton of organic food coupons on a site called Mambo Sprouts, they always have healthy coupons and it rocks!

  5. If your body is telling you you need sustinence then there’s got to be a way to address this problem, especially if you’re planning to go to school full time for a number of years. Keeping a nutritional ‘diet’ has got to be one of the most difficult things for a student. Most people compromise their eating habits for education. It’s like most students are at the mercy of eating whatever is convenient due to lack of funds and weird scheduling because of classes, studying and part-time work. And judging by the comments the problem is somewhat systemic, not strictly individual. I’m just going to brainstorm a few crazy ideas at the risk of being outrageous. Definitely ask parents or any other relatives that you may think that could give any $. Especially during the holiday season folks may be in a giving mood. Find a church or some food pantry sympathetic to student needs? And then look for the healthy stuff. Maybe there’s gov’t benefits for students? It could take a while to find but maybe there’s temporary assistance. Keep sharing! You have a great heart and that photo of you with the ice cream face is so cute!

    • Wowww this seems like a tough season in your life!! But I know that you will be well because I believe that God will take care of you. And I agree with Rick’s suggestion about getting some kind of help!! Although your parents are struggling somewhat, I’m sure that they would be happy to help you at least a LITTLE bit! Or having accountability next to you with friends, relatives, etc….I’m not saying that begging is what you should do, but make sure you walk through this with somebody 🙂 And perhaps they can help you, and IF you want you can always give back to them in the future. Hang in there!

      Ps: And I’m not sure if you’ve done this, but would buying bulk foods help if you just prepare WAY ahead of time?

  6. Perhaps you have friends in work in food-related industries (a restaurant or cafe or supermarket?) and they could somehow get you foods that they would be able to as employees but probably don’t or never even thought about it. And I agree with Rick, maybe there’s a food pantry for the needy… as a student, you should feel no shame in using something like that or even asking local churches for resources they might be aware of.

    The way I earn extra cash is by selling my clothes and old textbooks — clothes I sell to a store that takes them and hands me cash for whatever they want, and textbooks through Amazon.com or something. But if you’re the kind of person who keeps all of your books and doesn’t have a lot of clothes to sell, this probably wouldn’t be the best idea!

    And while this might not be a very wise decision in the long-term… a credit card that you could pay off portions of might be considered? I mean, if you STRICTLY used it for food, and were good about making payments, then I don’t think it would be too terrible… especially once you eventually get a different job and could then pay it off no problem.

  7. I actually think a lot of university students go through this. I know my university offers a student-run “pantry” where students can go in and not have to say anything about why/or how they’re there, and they’re allowed to take like 3 items a day. Local businesses donate breads, cereals, granola bars, and staples like that. It’s probably truly helpful to these students.

    Check to see if your university offers something like this. Or perhaps you can start one? It can only help 🙂

  8. I am really frugal, too. I can understand not buying food when it’s so hard to pay for things. I wish the world didn’t revolve around money. It’s ridiculous. It’s another reason why I refuse to go to the doctor here in America because you have to pay a butt load for it and I don’t want a price on my life.

    • Does anyone have the energy to start a commune where the weather is warm (California – or some place close to your school). We could grow our own stuff and everything. You college kids could plan everything out and I’d do work if there was a schedule to follow. I don’t know much about starting one of those things. But you gotta have the brains and then there’s me. I’m sick of being 99%. writingandrecoving what’s your name? I see concerns in your note about health. I think it’s OK to put off medical attention when you’re young and in basically good health. But what if something happens? Having no money in a world where the money only lines the pockets of those 1% is evil. And what Natalie brought up, what about the hair loss? That’s pretty extreme. Sorry if some of this note should have been addressed in other venues. However, I like this one. LeeLu201 is very open and cool about sharing. Kudos to everyone taking this all to heart! Great support!

  9. It definitely is a really difficult situation to have to worry about being nourished and at the same time having to worry about finances. But if you think about YOUR energy and health as kind of a life currency, something that enables you to really live your life to the fullest and do the things you want to do WELL, then that spending your money making sure that you ARE well-nourished is a totally worthy investment! I definitely think that nourishing yourself can just entail making to get ENOUGH food – maybe you can buy cheaply but eat bigger portions? Because if your hair is falling out and skin is brittle, I don’t necessarily think that’s because you’re not eating the right KINDS of foods – it COULD be just because you’re not eating enough!

    • As much as it’s hard for me to admit this to myself – this MIGHT be true. Between classes I get so busy that really some days I eat very little. It’s hard to realize it at the time, but in hindsight it’s all too clear. Thanks for mentioning this, because it’s probably very true!

  10. I was like this in my first year. I literally would set myself the lowest possible target for spending and actually gleefully text my mum when I spent less. I’m actually quite horrified by it now but at the time, it was the most important thing in my life. I was in ED though, so it’s not quite the same situation. However, my restricting of food and money restriction/stress were related and came from the same anxieties I think.
    The only advice I can give is just to try and make sure you are eating enough and not stressing over money too much. I look back at the first year and regret some of the stuff I did (or didn’t do more to the point). The biggest thing is the time I spent worrying – it took over my life and it was like a vicious circle; the more I worried, the more parsimonious I would get. It’s tough finding that balance between counting the pennies so you can make ends meet until the end of the academic year, making sure you eat well and trying not to overthink the budget. You can do it though, you achieve whatever you put your mind to! 🙂 Just make sure you are fuelled well otherwise your studies will go out the window and all your energy will seep away! 😦 Lots of love my dear. xx


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