Day 29: The fourth and final weekly check-in

OK, so maybe the first three weeks went by fast, but poky, draggy, week #4 not so much.  But the end is here, after long last.  And, as promised in my Week 3 check-in post, here are my thoughts on the rest of the rules.

So as a quick summary from last week:

No Caffeine: Fewer jitters, more energy, and sufficient substitute (i heart decaf!)

Meditation: Warmth, calm, fluffy pillows, and stinky candle (yay!)

Exercise:  Supposed to make me thin, happy, and sweaty (only the third has panned out so far, but will keep trying)

Now for those other rules.

Eating Habits (no red meat, no sweets, no fried foods, 3 servings of vegetables per day)

One of my favorite things about the last month is how much that I have been cooking at home.  I think that this is a result of our push to spend (much) less money rather than a result of the Challenge per se.  But regardless, eating in more made eating healthy easier.  I know better than to own my own Fry Daddy, so french fries or other deep fried delights at home are not an option.  If I see french fries on a menu, it is going to take all of the will power I can muster to order a side salad, but if they are not an option it’s not really a big deal.  Same goes for red meat and sweets.  If they are not around, I really don’t miss them that much.

That said, my goal going forward is not to block these foods out of my life entirely (at this point), but to include them in my diet in moderation.  Basically, I don’t need to cook bacon for breakfast every morning, but if I am at a friend’s house, and there is bacon to be had, I don’t have to sit and silently suffer.

No Booze

Holy crap, that was hard!  Actually, at home during the week, pretty easy.  Weekends sucked.

Oh, you may not have noticed, but my friends drink alcohol all the time, my husband owns a cocktail tool and supply shop….  I am surrounded by it.  Always. And, for the love of god, there is only so much ginger beer and shrub a girl can drink.

AND it’s delicious AND I want a drink now just talking about it.  So the new rule here (as above) will be moderation.  There will be guidelines: Drink fewer cocktails (which are very small but very dangerous) and stick with the wine.   Don’t be stupid and think that you are 22 years old and have four martinis in one night.  Drink water.   You know, the basic common sense stuff that any 35-year-old should have down by now.  (What?  I’m slow… cut me some slack).

Moderation is coming up a lot for me as I face life off the Challenge.  Moderation is tough, much tougher than having a list of hard set rules to follow.  I am not sure I know how to do it.  But I also know that moderation is key.  After “just saying no” for 30 days, I have realized that sometimes I just really want to say yes, and that’s OK.  The trick will be keeping consumption of “bad things” in check.

Blogging

My unspoken rule of the Challenge was writing this blog.  This is my 26th post, and there will be at least one more.  I’ve had fun with it.   The conversational style of writing that a blog involves is much easier and more enjoyable for me than the pain and agony I would go through writing a paper for school.  It’s therapeutic, and it helped keep me going.  I would like to continue my daily writing routine, but will probably limit it to a journal for a while.  Maybe more blogging later — but daily blogging is way too much pressure.  There were days I just didn’t want to post, and it felt forced and tedious.  Weekly or semi-weekly would be much more my speed.  Plus it makes me feel like I am extremely self-absorbed to write about myself like this.  And I am only mostly self-absorbed, so it makes me slightly uncomfortable.

So here’s to the last day of the Challenge….  I will toast to you all at midnight.

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