Post-Thailand Depression and Spending/Food Diary

I’ve been depressed since returning from Thailand. Part of being depressed is that I’m even lazier than usual. Thus, I’ll write a post about the depression another day. Another part of my depression is that I’ve been eating and spending way too much. Well, spending too much by my standards and eating too much by just about anyone’s standards.

After reading several spending diary posts at IPickUpPennies it occurred to me that keeping a spending diary myself might be helpful. I figured knowing that I would be sharing everything I spent money on would help curtail my spending and since I already track all of my expenses it would be easy to keep a spending diary.

I was wrong about that. Keeping the spending diary didn’t curtail my expenses at all and many (most) days I didn’t even bother to write out the day’s spending since I knew it would be bad. The spending diary also turned out to basically be a food diary as well. Since I keep very little food in my apartment, I buy food that I’m going to immediately consume and/or eat our every day. Before keeping the diary, I knew my eating was unhealthy but I didn’t realize just how bad it was. My daily diet is almost entirely junk food and fast food. It is a wonder that I don’t have more health problems than I already do. The first week’s spending diary was so bad that I threw it away rather than post it on the blog.

I still think the daily spending/food diary can be helpful. Therefore, I’m going to post my daily spending/eating everyday on this blog until I feel like I have them under control. I’ll either post after I’m done spending/eating for the day or first thing in the morning.

Friday 8/9: I managed to get out of the apartment and go work out in the morning. I had part of a rotisserie chicken and some shredded cabbage for cole slaw that had been in the fridge since Monday. I no longer trusted the freshness of the chicken or cole slaw and threw them away. I also threw away the cole slaw dressing I had bought since it tasted terrible. This meant I needed to get something else to eat for lunch.

After working out I was craving a burger and fries and went to Wendy’s spending $4.46 on their 4 for $4 meal deal. The meal easily erased any benefit from working out. One chicken nugget was probably more calories than I burned working out. Currently, I am having a lot of difficulty controlling my cravings.

Later in the afternoon, I had another craving and went to the grocery store and bought some chips and dip for $3.53. After eating about half of the chips and dip I decided I needed some dessert. I went to QuikTrip and then CVS and couldn’t decide what I wanted to buy for dessert. I then went to Dollar General and finally decided to get a snack pack of 5 Reese’s peanut butter cups for $1.04. This entire process probably took over an hour. Not the best use of my time. Although I intended to save some of the Reese’s for the next day I ended up eating all of them. The day’s total spending wasn’t too bad, but the eating was bad and left me with a stomachache.

Total Spent – $9.03

Saturday 8/10: When I woke up this morning I was craving a breakfast sandwich so I went and got one. Actually, I got two. The two breakfast sandwiches and a small diet soda at Hardee’s cost me $6.25. That is more than I like to spend on breakfast and it wasn’t a good start to the day if I want to eat better.

On the way to Hardee’s I stopped at Sam’s Club and filled up with gas for $27.76. Gas at Sam’s Club was 27 cents a gallon cheaper than at most other gas stations. There usually isn’t such a wide discrepancy between Sam’s Club and the average gas station price. Since I got about 13 gallons that was about $3.50 saved.

I then went to Walmart and bought some groceries for a total of $7.38. I will be eating some of those groceries tomorrow. Having the food already in my apartment should make it easier to eat at home rather than going out to eat.

In the afternoon I decided to go see a movie. I joined Regal Unlimited at the beginning of this month which allows me to watch unlimited movies at my local Regal theater. The cost was just under $20 after tax which should be a great deal. It hasn’t been that great of a deal so far since I keep giving in to the urge to buy popcorn. Since I had eaten the rest of the chips and dip that I had bought yesterday before going to the movies I thought I would have no problem resisting the popcorn today. Once again, I was wrong. When I walked in and smelled the popcorn I immediately wanted it. I had taken my credit cards out of my wallet before leaving for the movie and only had a small amount of cash which I initially thought would prevent me from being able to buy any popcorn. Then I remembered I had my debit card in my wallet so I could get cash later. I ended up buying a large popcorn. And getting the free refill too. The popcorn cost $9.71. It should have been almost a dollar cheaper, but I forgot to have the cashier scan my Regal card to apply my 10% discount. Eating a large popcorn and the refill resulted in a big stomachache. This happens every time I eat popcorn, yet I keep on buying it. The popcorn purchase was a big mistake for both my wallet and my stomach. I’m going to avoid the movies for a few days until I feel I have enough impulse control to resist having the popcorn.

Today’s spending and eating was terrible. Tomorrow will be better.

Total Spent – $51.10

4 thoughts on “Post-Thailand Depression and Spending/Food Diary”

  1. I love that you are posting a food/food cost diary. When I switched to Liberty Healthshare, they made me sign up for a health coach until I lose some weight. One of her suggestions was that I track everything I eat. That lasted for a few weeks until I got lazy.

    I’m definitely not qualified to give health advice, but one change I made following my health coach’s advice was doing protein shakes for breakfast. I’m not a big breakfast eater (love the food, just don’t feel like eating so early). But the protein shake fills me up and helps me eat smarter at lunch time. I’ve actually lost a few pounds this year. Not much, but I’m not doing much so I’ll take what I can get.

    • Tracking my food should help. I’ve done it in the past and it worked. I just didn’t stick with it very long. I’m usually not hungry in the morning either. Perhaps eating something would help me make better choices at lunch time.

      Although I have been too lazy to comment I am still reading your blog. You are doing great on income. Simplifying your finances and starting the Airbnb seem to have worked out really well.

  2. Hey Andy,

    I, too, am enjoying the new focus. So, some suggestions with food and cravings. I intermittent fast. It takes some getting used too, but once your body becomes accustomed to only eating one large meal a day, the insulin spikes (ie food cravings) stop. This has the added benefit of allowing you to splurge on the one big meal, because it’s very difficult to eat more than 2-2500 kcals in a single setting. So you can basically have anything you want. If you try this, use bulletproof coffee to stem food cravings initially. Also, I would suggest laying off the diet soda. True, it technically has no impact on blood sugar, but more and more medical studies show it’s somehow related to obesity. The exact mechanism is not yet known. Also, I’d plan my cardio workouts (at least until you get used to fasting) an hour or two before mealtime. Cardio gets you hungry! Add some strength training if you’re not already doing it. In a given day, If it’s between cardio and strength, I’d chose strength if weight loss is the goal.

    Also, just an FYI, I’m quitting my FT job next month and going to a part-time contract position. I’m only going to work 6 months out of the year. Your years of blogging have help me reach some financial goals and I’ve managed to get my spending to $1500 a month. So thanks for keeping this going for so long. Your recent switch to this “work hard for a few months each year” lifestyle helped me go for this opportunity. I think that is what makes your blog unique from a financial standpoint. Not too many middle aged guys like us working for a few months to fund travel and the like for the rest of the year.

    • Hey Jake, I’ve had success with intermittent fasting before. Keeping my eating to an 8 hour window is helpful. I haven’t tried doing just one meal a day. I’m not sure I could do just one meal a day. Maybe I’ll try to slowly compress my eating window. Since I’ve come back from Thailand I’ve been eating terrible and not doing the intermittent fasting either. I feel like I’m finally to a point where I can get back on track with my eating. Once I have my eating habits stable, I’ll work on cutting out the diet soda.

      I’m glad to hear that my blog helped you go part-time and try the semi-retirement lifestyle. Sometimes I’m not sure if anybody is actually reading what I’m writing so it is always nice to see that the blog is helping someone. Thanks for reading.


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