My headache was gone and I had more energy today, which kept my spirits up. I had some folks tell me that they could never give up sugar and flour for a month and I had to answer that I wasn’t sure if I could either. I asked them to check in on me in a couple of weeks and see what happens.
I won’t lie to you and say it’s easy, or that you should think about doing it next month. In all honesty, I have a bit of an edge on most folks right now with my schedule and preplanning. Will power has a bit to do with it too, but without a plan, I don’t think anyone would get very far. Here’s a few of the things I have going for me.
- Work schedule. Even though I don’t like the schedule I work, it does work in my favor for tackling this experiment. I typically wake up around 9:30AM and have the ability to spend time making breakfast without being in a hurry. I leave for work around 2:30PM, so I can also make myself a nice lunch. My job is within five minutes of my house, so I come home for dinner, which is typically prepared by my wonderful wife or kids. I don’t really get additional breaks at work, so it isn’t like I have to sit and listen to a candy machine, calling my namely softly.
- Grocery Shopping. I’ve done the shopping for the family for the past year and it’s given me a chance to slowly adjust some of the food choices in the house. During this experiment, I don’t have anyone to blame but myself for any “tempting” foods brought into the house. Of course, this ties in with the kids and things they like to eat, which is the next point.
- Family Support. We started talking about this experiment months ago, describing what it might look like. Of course there was concern from all the kids about what they would be eating, but I made it clear that I wouldn’t be forcing my experiment on others. I did let them know that their eating habits may be impacted for the short term though, especially when it comes to foods that I typically snack on. We phased out the cereals that I love as much as them, and replaced them with ones they love and I don’t. Our youngest still gets his lunchables, gogurts, and peanut butter sandwiches because I have no interest in them, but he had to say goodbye to Goldfish Crackers and pretzels because I can’t control myself around those. Each child got to pick foods they enjoy that I don’t care for and I committed to stocking up on them.
- Planning. Having a meal plan is one of the most important parts of this experiment and while I don’t have every day for the month figured out, we still talk over things as family. One of the most important parts is having some quick back up meals for dinner just in case my wife has to work late or gets held up. This allows the older kids to whip something up without having to stress about making a new meal that requires a lot of knowledge.
- Mental strength. I’m not saying I have the willpower of a super hero, in fact I’m craving some chips with cheese right now. But I think that by calling it an “experiment” makes me feel like it’s less restrictive than a diet or permanent lifestyle change. I don’t know what my mind or body will be like at the end of March, but I could very well keep going with my experiment if it has a huge positive impact on my life. I just know that trying this for a week or two wouldn’t have the same effect on me due to the short timeframe. Besides, you can do anything for a month if you put your mind to it.
- Peer pressure. No, I don’t have a gang of vegans hanging around me and telling me I need to eat more salad. To me, peer pressure is caused by you, the reader of these words. Once I committed to writing about this month, I knew folks would follow along and I don’t want to disappoint you with not giving it all my effort.
- Money. I like to save it, and this gives me a chance to see that happen. I know there are some of you thinking that buying fresh food is so much more expensive than frozen pizzas and soda, but I’ve found that actually isn’t true. After the first trip to the grocery store over a year ago to take on the shopping responsibilities, I quickly realized that cookies, chips, and other “junk” foods were expensive and had to be cut back on. This was ironic because when my wife did the shopping and would ask what I needed, I would quickly say Oreos, Ice Cream, Deli Pizzas, etc. Look at how much money you spend on those things and you’ll be surprised. Add to that the money you spend eating out or ordering in and it’s quite a chunk of change. This month we won’t be doing much eating out because it’s easier to control the ingredients at our house.
With all that said, I know your life is likely very different than mine and some of these points might be more of a challenge for you. For me, everything came together and it just seemed like this was the moment for the experiment in my life. Your moment to do something similar will present itself soon enough and I hope you take advantage of it.
What I ate today:
Eggs and Kielbasa with some shredded cheddar sprinkled on the top for breakfast. A banana. Day three of my boring salad for lunch. Dinner was steak with fresh green beans and peppers prepared by my amazing wife. Water intake was just over 100 ounces again and I’m still running to the bathroom quite a bit.
Onto day four.