I Don't Believe in New Year Resolutions.
But I do believe in a challenge.
About 11 years ago in my early 20's when I had less resolve than your typical toddler, I decided that my New Year's resolution was to never make New Year's resolutions again. Guess what. I've been nailing it since 2007. While the original sentiment was in jest (or maybe to excuse me being lazy as hell and being stuck in a shame spiral) I have come to truly believe that it doesn't need to be new years to make a change.
To make changes, at least all the positive one's I've had in my life, I had to reach a point where I said, "I need to do this, I'm excited to do it, and I have a firm vision of how awesome this is going to be in the end." It didn't matter if it was the September I chose to lose 35 pounds in three months, or the February where I finally had my last cigarette. I just knew I wanted to do this thing and I was hell bent on achieving it.
Last December I was like, "you know what? You've spent years being meticulous about your wight, you know you need to monitor it, but be a little freer," and I gained 10 pounds in a month. All of 2018 I have waffled back and forth about how I need to eat less, but I can't, or I don't, or I'm not moved enough. While that I am sick of, I am more sick of something else: How much money I spend.
It's terrible. I have no 'no' button. I can play brain acrobatics to justify all the trips to whole foods, and out to eats, and gel nails, and I sincerely.... VERY sincerely don't deserve them. Not because I'm not a good person or I don't deserve to eat well, but because I am not trying hard enough to live within my means.
I could argue with you that I don't make as much money as my friends do, or that my condo fees make my living expense far too high, but in reality I am not doing what I could to reign in my spending. Keeping up with the Jones' or justifying your next $40 purchase on shit you don't need at target isn't worth it when your credit cards are now in the thousands of dollars of debt. Not in the double digit thousands thankfully, but enough to make me want to barf every time a look at them.
So... This New Years I am making two challenges to myself that kind of fold in on each other. In order to suss though my thinking and keep myself accountable I figured it would be fun to write blog posts as I go about this journey to help you if you are any of the following:
- Broke AF
- Interested in a plant based diet
- Interested in losing weight
- Looking to commiserate with someone struggling to do all of the above (Note: I guess I'm not struggling with the plant based diet thing. That I'm solid on)
Below I will outline what the two challenges are, how I hope to achieve them and what I hope to achieve though them. What's my solid vision at the end of this, and how I hope to achieve it. Preparation ladies and gentleman, preparation.
In doing this I hope to achieve what the great JVN would call:
I am struggling. I want to function. *insert girl with palm up emoji*
Challenge 1- What it is: Spend no more than $200 a pay period from now till my birthday in March, with the expenses broken down the following way:
Groceries: $25 a week x 2 weeks = $50
Gas: 2 tanks x $25 a tank = $50
Going to trivia/out with friends: $20 x 2 weeks = $40
Miscellaneous house-hold stuff: $10 x 2 weeks = $20
Cats: Food + Litter = $30
Flex: $10 + whatever hasn't been spent from the other categories
How I hope to achieve this:
First and foremost, use the bulk and pantry food for filler that I already have. I have so much rice, and beans, and potatoes around I can easily make them the base of meals for a month. I have cans of all sorts of random things that can easily be 'chopped' in a creative meal I've been to lazy to make.
(*Note to my vegans out there that honey was brought into my house by my boyfriend but I am not militant about honey and will have it sometimes when I have a cold or what not)
There are so many things in there!! I have enough rice paper rolls for a spring roll tournament. I have pastas, nuts, seeds, lentils, more than two types of stuffing. So much stuff that proves to me all over how I don't limit myself and buy without a plan.
Get a plan. Use the stuff. I will also admit that I cheated and went out today (the day before this challenge starts) and bought $50 worth of fake meat and spent $20 on bulk shampoo and conditioner. My scalp in the winter is worse than Ally Sheedy from the Breakfast Club so it's worth the extra for me. The fake meat I have literally no excuse. I just knew I probably wasn't going to buy much for the next three months because it's expensive and I wanted some... from now on I'll have to determine if it's worth 1/5- 1/3 of my weekly food budget.
Below I give you my inventory.
Fridge (just cleaned today thankyouverymuch)
Side shelves (not wiped down with the rest of the fridge today apparently)
LIKE SO MANY SAUSES. I could make shoe leather taste good with all those condiments.
What I hope to achieve from this:
Obviously spending less money. But really, the goal is to be able to put a minimum of two hundred dollars toward each credit card and my savings each week that I don't have to pay my condo fee, and $100 each of the weeks I do.
The biggest change of mind I need to have is to learn how to find fun, free activities/adventures and re-learn my relationship with spending. I buy food I don't use, and I don't 'need' all the other things I convince myself I need.
Challenge 2: Legit stick to the caloric intake needed to lose between 1/2-1 lbs per week (roughly 1,800 calories for me)
To me, this one makes me worry more about my stick-to-it-ive-ness because I have been failing at it for a straight year now. I have come up with more excuses than I can begin to count but I know it needs to happen in order for me to feel better, be less stressed and overall more confident and to bring a sense of balance back in my life. Here's a short list of things I need to do in the tense of talking to myself as a good friend who sees though my BS:
- Be a little hungry. Sometimes. You won't die
- Stop using your boyfriend as an excuse. He will be supportive and can handle eating a snack alone. If he's not supportive tell him he's being an asshole
- Have a plan so that you're not totally starving before a meal time. A little hunger pang is fine; going into a meal or having a drink while being ravenously hungry is bad
- Move a little more. You've been lazy girl. You don't need to run a marathon but you should probably break out a hat and go for regular walks and use your free weights
- Stoppppp with your light day drinking. Vacuuming doesn't get rewarded with a Bloody Mary. Its reward is a clean floor. And while you haven't been going crazy you've been getting headaches and feel bad. Obvious no-brainer
I think being more conscious about my food and really having to think ahead with budgeting will be a good compliment to challenge two. I am already looking forward to continuing to build my pintrest board, check out some bulk produce places near by I've been hearing about, and really having fun challenging myself to think differently than I have been for the last year and a half or so. I see these challenges as a fun way to improve myself and learn about myself too. I look forward to sharing some recipes, ideas, and progress as the time goes along. God speed and get ready to see all my bulk food items put into good use!
Till next time.
*Micro Challenge 3: Spell challenge right the first time once. Literally EVERY TIME I typed the world challenge in this blog post I first typed challange. Old habits might die hard but they can die!