Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The no-eating-out challenge results

A few columns ago, I challenged myself not to eat out for 30 days.
This is the follow-up to that writing.
I wish I had a glowing report to give you. I wish the four-week challenge flew by without as much as an inkling of desire for greasy fast-food.
But I can’t give such a report. What I can say is that for the first 2-1/2 weeks or so, I followed my challenge rules to a T.
Let me tell you, I had literal withdrawals from the lack of fast-food in my diet. Because I had taken away the option, it was all I thought about. That first week was torture!
True to form, I let my mouth get ahead of me and committed our family to this challenge without really giving Matt much time to think about it. Matt did participate, but his terms were MUCH different from mine. His rules seemed to go something like this: If Ginia’s not involved, all types of food are fair game.
Very soon into the challenge, I realized the rule differences. Matt had gone to the bank that first Saturday morning, and when he returned, I noticed a very suspicious blob of white gravy-like substance on the corner of his mouth.
Like the wanna-be prosecutor I am, I interrogated my poor witness.
He confessed. Biscuits and gravy. I was nearly sick with jealousy.
But the challenge continued.
The next week, I was starting to feel better. And by the end of the second week, the cravings were pretty much gone. My pants were more loose (really, they were!) ,and I felt better. Empowered.
“This is a piece of cake,” I told myself.
Then a long afternoon of working ran over into dinner time.
Matt wanted to know what to feed the kids (these little people ALWAYS have to eat).
The old, familiar fast-food chant began inside my head.
“Just this one time. It will be so much easier.”
But Matt kept me strong and fed the kids something fast (but at home) while I continued to peck away at the keyboard. When I was finally finished, my nerves were shot, along with my resolve, and I talked my conscience into allowing Matt to buy me some takeout.
I didn’t really want to eat the food inside that brown paper sack. But, on the other hand, it smelled REALLY good!
So I ate it. And liked it.
The next day, my gut was not right (caused I’m sure in part by my moral betrayal of you all).
I wish I could tell you that knocked some sense back into me. It did for a little while. But the last week of my challenge was one of utter devastation.
I relapsed. Hard.
Then came the shame. “Man, I’m such a failure,” was my internal dialogue.
“I can never change.”
Not far into one of my personal abuse sessions, a notion came into my head.
“You’ll never be as perfect as you want to be.”
“So get over it,” I told myself. “Move on.”
I did.
This challenge has taught me that at 28, it’s high time I start giving myself a little break when I fail.
After all, nobody is perfect.

Into everyone's life...

My Grandma Rosie used to say (and Mom continues to say): “Into each life a little rain must fall.”
More accurate words have seldom been spoken. To make this popular quotation even more descriptive of my life, it should be compounded with: “And when it rains, it pours.”
That is how I have been feeling lately. Bombarded. Rushed. Running. Drowning. It hasn’t really been raining on my life, but there have definitely been some winds, maybe even a tornado.
It’s not that anything major or life-changing has happened. Life has just gotten very fast.
I don’t like it. Every day I walk around in what seems to be “fast-forward” mode. At night, I catch myself wondering where in the world that whole day went.
It all shifted into high gear the afternoon I hit one of our dogs with the Suburban (not on purpose, of course). He didn’t die. But, like all the dramatic animals on our farm, he broke his leg in two places.
A few hours with the vet later, Wall-E was condemned to be a back-porch resident (for at least the next five to six weeks). Fabulous. But how could I really complain? It was MY fault the animal was injured.
And this winter has been especially rough on our family’s health. It seems that rarely a week goes by without some sort of illness. We’ve had numerous doctor visits, pharmacy stops and an urgent care and emergency room visit.
So what do I decide to do when everybody is healthy (for the moment)? Rest? No! I rip out 15 million-year-old, pee-soaked carpet from the boys’ room — on one of Matt’s 22-hour work days. Very smart.
And then we decided (like we don’t have anything else to do), to order 50 chicks! Sounds like fun. And I was fairly excited about the new additions until Wall-E had to have exploratory surgery last week and have a foot of his intestines removed and several days in the “hospital.”
He came home last Friday, cast and staples and all. Then Matt was sick. And, of course, our chickies (all 54 of them) arrived Thursday bright and early.
But nobody can hear me screaming over the dog barking at the chicks (who are chirping — loudly), the cat hissing at the dog, the kids handling and “loving” the fragile baby birds, Matt yelling at the kids to put the chicks down, the phone ringing, the oven timer going off ... Supper time!
It may not be raining here, but there are definitely some exciting (and gusty) winds a-blowing.
And after relaying to you all the reasons why life is so hectic, I can see (literally in black and white) that it’s mostly my own doing.
Please, God, save me from myself.