Day 19: The Challenge

Lately, I have had little self-control when it comes to indulging in treats, and I’ve also become increasingly lazy. Okay, lazy may be a little too harsh of a word considering a have a new babe at home that is keeping me pretty busy. Between winter, COVID, pregnancy, and a newborn, I’ve been a little less active and consumed a few too many sweets. I can’t seem to find the balance, to just have one. Instead, I have 5-6 of something. Cookies… Cake… Donuts. Okay, so I haven’t eaten 5-6 donuts in one day, but I have eaten 3…. in one day… on multiple occasions! In reality, my discipline slipped well before COVID and winter. It slipped after the birth of my 1st son. Prior to that I had rarely touched dairy, gluten, and/or any other treats – and I was much more active. I stay away from dairy and gluten because it doesn’t agree with my stomach. And, when I am off of them, I have clearer skin, less bloating, less fatigue, and less brain fog. As I adjusted to life as a mom, making time for physical activity was moved to the wayside.  A newborn eating/sleep schedule, limited sunlight, and cold temps aren’t helping these issues.. That’s for sure.

If you read my previous post, you may know Charlie and I operate on a pretty strict budget. We each give ourselves very little entertainment money to do with as we please for the month. The rest of our money goes towards savings and/or other financial goals. Enter: The Challenge.

 “Babe, we’ve gotta get back on track,” I needed a teammate in my quest. “I want us to be models for our boys to eat healthy, especially when it comes to snacking.” Charlie, my husband, has heard this speech before. He is reluctant, but recognizes its value. “I was thinking we could make a little challenge out of it.” Charlie loves a competition. “What if we could incentivize it by earning a little extra money for our monthly entertainment fund?” He’s listening now.

We decide if we eat clean for the day, we get to put an extra $5 into our individual entertainment envelopes.  If we do cheat, we have to give $5 from our own envelope to the other person. We get an additional $5 if we get a workout in on that day, too. We put $300 in the “Challenge” envelope. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. So if one person starts slipping, the other is likely to profit even more. Another big incentive to get on track from the jump and stay that way.  Moreover, with the cold winter finally fading and longer days of sunshine, physical activity will be a warm welcome!

I get it. I’m sure it sounds silly to reward ourselves with our own money, but that’s just how strict we are on our budget. This challenge offsets our typical monthly budget and savings goals, but the reset is worth it. I already plan to treat myself to a manicure/pedicure, probably a new pair of joggers, and go out to dinner with my girlfriends! These items on my want list serve as additional motivators.  

We started a few days into the month of March. As of today, we are 11 days into the challenge. Charlie and I have both steered clear of gluten, dairy, and sugary sweets. I feel less bloated and less mentally foggy. I feel more in control of my eating choices. I’ve worked out more days than not. After not working out for about a year, I’m proud of that. All in all, I’d say our silly challenge has proven to be beneficial.

Next question, will it stick?

16 Replies to “Day 19: The Challenge”

  1. I love this! I might have to steal this challenge for myself and my husband! I always find that money or a bet always will incentivize me to try harder! Good Luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It will stick! Once you realize how much better you feel then it will be easier to say no to those treats. You’ve got this! And what a very fun way to incentivize yourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Girl, do I get it! My weakness is snacks. I am a snack monster. And DONUTS!! And ice cream. But mostly salty snacks. I was doing well for a long time and slipped a couple of months ago and have been struggling since to get back at it.

    I think what you guys are doing is great! Anything you can do to motivate yourselves!


  4. I need to do a better job of eating clean. I was out mid-day, which is rare for me, and I got a cupcake. It was delicious, but Friday nights are ice cream nights in our house so maybe it wasn’t the best choice…

    Anyway, I wish YOU well on your clean eating challenge!


  5. Wow this is amazing. What a creative way to get back on track that will definitely pay great dividends in the end. Okay as a new mom are you having any caffeine? ThThat would be my downfall – I love my coffee and my French vanilla creamer…. and cheese. I get some of the same symptoms.. acne and bloating. I have never noticed the brain fog but it’s probably there too.


    1. For the most part I have been caffeine free for about three years. I still drink decaf every morning, which feels a little like a placebo. Every once in a while if decaf isn’t an option, Ill take the caffeine. Last night the struggle was real with the baby. So, today I opted in for caffeine- I am WIRED! That is probably the one thing I like so much about being off caffeine. As soon as I have some I can actually feel/notice the difference. And sometimes I just really need it!


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