Posted by: cmittermeier | March 4, 2012

Food Budgets and ADHD

Today my hubby had to quickly check our finances and it was an opportunity for us to see how we were doing on our new plan for 2012.  Finances and Food have the same basic principles – INs versus OUTs.  If you don’t regulate, you will have major issues.  Both are ultimately measured by a single variable, however, diversity must be addressed because its not just a single variable that counts.  For food, ultimately its the total calories and for money its the total amount that matters.  Problem is, if you ignore the types of calories and things like vitamins and other aspects of food, you’ll still be malnourished.  Similarly, with money you need to balance the mini-budgets in order to make the big budget work.

As we went along, I found myself getting very agitated.  Too agitated.  We were supposed to all go over to a friend’s house this afternoon, but I was too frazzled to go.  As I sat trying to relax, I kept thinking to myself: its the same darn thing!  There are too many variables for me to hold onto at once.  It got me thinking about how over time, the margin for error keeps getting smaller and smaller and how much more I need things to be simple.

There used to be a time when I could handle a tonne of different categorizations of food.  I could learn new ways in seconds – food pyramid, food groups, diabetic exchanges, calories, fat grams, fibre, glycemic index… now, I just can’t do that anymore.  My husband is going to try and make some changes, but when he looked at if first thing, he wanted to do something we did 15 years ago.  I can’t remember it, and so I’m glad he agreed to try loseit.com as I don’t think I could handle having to learn something new.

Once I started calming down, it kept hitting me how hard it seems to be for people with ADHD to budget.  It just seems too hard to look at the something and say, “no, I can’t have that, it has too many calories/costs too much”.  Not sure if it’s just that to do that requires too much repetitive, mindless counting for us to be interested in or what. There is also the fact that doing this means planning out your treats – talk about how to destroy spontaneity!  Whatever the reason, its tough!

As I thought about the agitation, I realized that is part of it.  To lose weight (or get ahead financially), you need to work with budgets.  If the system causes you grief, you now have two problems.  Keeping on budget food wise can be aggravating, and in the past, I would turn to food to relax.  Food medicated – yes, so does exercise, deep breathing, prayer and visualization – but for years I only relied on food.  A cycle was created that I’m only now beginning to break.

Staying on program is difficult, but I’ve got a simple system and now that my hubby is on board, I’ve got back up.  All cycles can be broken and new systems put in place, even stone gives way to new things in time.  The quirks of ADHD certainly has added extra challenges to the design of the system.  Knowing them made finding solutions easier because it meant I had a direction to search in. So, with that in mind, I’m off to make dinner for myself.

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