It’s hard to believe my last challenge is over. I went 40 days without fast food. Okay, I have to be honest. I went 24 days without fast food and then I had to start over. I then went 9 days without fast food and then I had to start over. Chinese food was the culprit both times. I just love Chinese food. I just finished another 7 days without fast food. Here is how I see it.
24 days+9 days + 7 days = 40 days
I went 40 days without fast food. I met my goal. Since it’s my goal, I’m allowed to make up all of the rules. I can change the rules too. It’s a very convenient thing being the owner of your own goal. What did I learn from my challenge? It’s okay to try again. You are considered successful if you keep getting up and keep trying.
I start my new goal tomorrow. I’m super excited!
Yesterday, I had Chinese food for lunch. My stomach said Chinese food and so my car drove me there. It tasted great. It smelled good. I loved every bite. I loved it so much that I even wrote myself a happy note to read while I was eating the food. This morning I remembered that I’m giving up fast food for 40 days. I panicked. I’ve gone 24 days without fast food. If Chinese food counts as fast food, I just blew my Lent. I couldn’t believe that I somehow forgot that I’m not eating fast food. I’ve worked so hard to eat at home and prepare meals in advance. I started to feel bad that I only made it to Day 24 and then I remembered the real reason for Lent. I’m getting ready for Easter. Easter means Jesus and Jesus said to forgive and love. Since that forgiveness and love includes gentleness with myself, I’m not going to worry about eating Chinese fast food on Day 24. Day 25 starts today.
There is one drawback though to eating more meals at home.
I’m coming to the end of challenge number six. It has been a good experience to be more conscientious about planning meals. Here is what I’ve learned.
1. Simple is better.
When the Accountant and I got married, we received 10 cookbooks as gifts. My Grandma gave us a red cookbook with a note that said we would use her gift more than the other cookbooks we got. Don’t argue with grandma. How many times have I opened up Fancy Dinners with Martha Steward in the last ten years? Once. I opened it up and realized that I would have to make a trip to the store to buy dried porcini mushrooms. Book closed. Thank you Grandma for the great lesson. Simple is better. We’ve survived just fine with our old faithful red cookbook and the internet.
2. Cooking together can be fun
The Accountant and I are one of those couples that go grocery shopping as a date night. And guess what? We’ve found that it is kind of fun to plan, shop, cook and eat together.
Here we are at an apple orchard pretending to be farmers. Don’t we look cute?
When I was eleven years old, I saw a PBS special on small pox and became fascinated with diseases. I wanted to learn how everything in the human body worked so I could avoid diseases like small pox. The library had anticipated my interest, because the next time I went they had put up a huge display in the lobby. The sign said you could protect yourself from diseases. I picked ten random books from the display and went up to the library counter to check out. The lady at the front desk started asking me questions about my books.
“Honey, does your mother know you are reading books about sexually transmitted diseases? These are kind of big books for a little girl”.
I was insulted. How dare she tell a grown 11-year-old like me that I was a little girl? I told her that my mother let me read whatever I wanted. Driving home with Mom and the brothers from the library, I wondered if I would really be allowed to read anything I wanted. Just to be on the safe side, I hid all the books in my laundry basket and only read them when I thought Mom wasn’t watching me. I think about it now and laugh. Yes, I was a very mature 11-year-old.
Update on my challenge
Tonight we had chicken stuffed with green chilies and cheese on top of a bed of asparagus and potatoes. I felt like I was real chef when I put it on the table. There is something fulfilling about making things yourself.
“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” —George Elliot
Ice cream is now a vegetable. Did I get your attention? I didn’t eat a fruit and vegetable at every meal yesterday. I did great for breakfast and lunch, but then I had a bowl of ice cream for dinner. It felt silly to add a carrot with my bowel of ice cream so I skipped it. In case you are wondering, I enjoyed every spoonful of that ice cream. The nice thing about 13 day challenges is that if you don’t do it perfectly one day you still have a bunch more days to try again.
Life can be busy. Very busy. At the end of the day, frozen pizza can look really good if you don’t have a plan about what is for dinner. My 6th challenge is to plan my meals so that every meal has a serving of fruit and a serving of vegetable.
The Practical Reason
I read an article in US News and Report that said the typical US family spends $4,000 each year on eating meals outside the home. I don’t know if the Accountant and I are the typical family spending 4,000 a year, but who doesn’t want to save a little money.
The Philosophy Reason
The Accountant and I like to spend time together. We are doing this challenge together. We’ve made a little menu together. Eating together, planning together and cooking together can be a chance to talk. It gives you a chance to connect and talk about your day.