So remember I had an endless stomach upset after India? Which caused me to eat the usual tummy-upset food. Bland mush initially, then just bland, and appetite took a hit. As always, the positive of illness (once one is not running to the loo every five minutes) is the weight loss. So while I did not lose the desired weight in India as usual, post the trip, I was happy to be acquainted with my cheekbones and jawline again.

And I thought, I quite like this. So let’s see how long it lasts.

And since then, I’ve been careful with my food. Portion control. No junk snacks. Apple and four Marie biscuits allowed. No milk. No dessert. It sounds dire but coming of the mother of all diarrhea, it wasn’t that hard. And as I said, it’s nice to see my cheekbones again.

I planned to follow it up with exercise, but seeing as I kept falling ill – bronchitis followed the diarrhea – that didn’t happen. Though my daily life involves a fair bit of walking. And I make it a point to take the stairs.

For a while, I had stopped eating spicy food. That changed when we attended a friend’s pre-wedding dinner at a Sichuan restaurant. Next day, the chilli oil went into my food. I’d like to think less than usual though.

I don’t know how long this is going to last. I’m taking it a day at a time. Today, I just ate a doughnut. But I’m on my period, so it’s allowed.

And as my gregariousness with food is mellowing, so also is my spending. Money has been a battle between V and me for a while now. His desire to pinch every penny in preparation for his very early retirement plan. My need to spend and my insecurity about doing it when I’ve taken a salary hit.

Finally, we came up with a compromise. Set a monthly spending budget for each of us and within that, we can do what we will. We’re to monitor our spending pattern for three months and then reconvene, though we have a tentative number in mind (which V is reneging on now because he realised it’s higher than my spending for this month). We also mapped out our spending pattern and our targetted saving. His target is crazy ambitious, but I can live with it, if I have a number of play with.

And suddenly, I’ve hit the money-conscious bug too. I pretty much bypass the shops. Maybe it’s being among students who don’t have endless funds and who are old enough and academic enough to not be obsessed with clothing. But comparatively, I have a lot of clothes. And I realised there are free things to do if one wants to. And V is probably right about not needing to restrict the restaurant budget but I’d still like to splurge on that if possible.

I’ve had a hard time adjusting to the change in lifestyle from a DINK situation to two kids entering international kindergartens. And I did choose to follow my passion which involves less money.

I suspect that V and I will still have our spats about this. I can never achieve his level of sanyaas because I still harbour a taste for the good things. I did cut my teeth on Vogue magazine after all. But if I have a number, I can work with that.

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