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?