Today is the twenty-eighth day in a row that I only eat what I can cook at home.
“Eat IN September” was born out of the blue for me. I just wanted to challenge myself to go a whole month without eating outside the home. (I think in the back of my mind, I wanted to save some money, but this was not the driving thought.)
Then my friend Maggie decided she wanted to join me. I didn’t ask her to, beg her to because, “I just can’t do this by myself, I need someone to keep me accountable!”
Nope, it just happened.
Even though the concept came seemingly “out of the blue”, I now believe that there was a reason for it. There was a reason I chose this particular month, in this particular year, in this particular season of my life. I’ve had some changes at work that require me to drive more, and had I not sacrificed eating outside the home, I may have found myself in the red financially this month. I’m also trying to pay for my trip to
in December, for a national talent showcase that I’ve been invited to
participate in. The money I’ve saved
from eating IN will help me pay for that trip.
I realize now that it was not an accident that this idea dawned on me
this particular month. Orlando
It was also not an accident that Maggie decided to join. I believe she’s learned a lot about herself this month too, and has also opened her eyes to some things in her budget that she may not have seen before.
I think it’s most of all been empowering. I really DON’T have to let the machine of consumerism control me! I really CAN step out and CHOOSE to do something different, small a thing as it may be. This month has shown me that I still have that willpower I remember having in my teenage years, before jobs and incomes and stress and work and freedom.
One of the coolest moments that happened this month was with my friend Jodi. She lives in a tiny town about an hour and half’s drive away, where she teaches music. She and I had been trying to schedule a Friday night/Saturday for me to come visit her for about a YEAR now! Well, this month, I finally made it happen, because I wanted to make it happen before the weather changed and then I had THAT excuse as to why I couldn’t make time to go see my friend.
Well, in scheduling my visit, I said, “So, the thing is, Jodi, I can’t eat out this month. I’m doing a month-long challenge and I can only eat what I buy in the grocery store. So…we may have to get creative.”
“Oh, okay! I have tons of food! Will you want dinner when you get here? We can figure it out!”
We then proceeded to plan how we would shop for the makings of a picnic lunch on that Saturday morning. Which we did. And where did we picnic? IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. On her family’s farmland. Surrounded by fields and nothing else, with the sun warming our backs, and the bugs trying to share our food.
It was awesome.
What was more awesome was the fact that Jodi said, “I’m so glad you did this no-eat-out thing; I’ve never been on a picnic before in my whole life, and I wouldn’t have been able to today, if we could have just gone to a restaurant for lunch!”
I took video. It was that exciting.
It was a first for me, too. Eating in the middle of nowhere, that is.
This month also went by really fast. After the first week and a half, it was already a habit to just cook at home, pack lunch, eat before I leave the house, take a snack. I can’t believe I only have 2 and a half days left!
I may end up carrying on with this. Maybe I can finish out 2013 eating at home.