Ok, not quite. I’ve officially got 4 days left in the $25 good food challenge I started just 3 weeks ago. And I’m happy to report that, with the exception of the bean business and my indiscretion with the chicken, the challenge has been a success on several levels.
For the past 3 weeks I’ve been able to buy healthy, whole, unprocessed foods, on a budget of approximately $25 a week. I promised to make my eating more about health and wholeness and less about carbs and calorie counting and I did. And, miracle of miracles, I have not stepped on the scale once in the past month. Was it a piece of cake? No. But it wasn’t that hard either. As is the case with most life challenges we undertake, I’ve discovered a few things along the way.
- For one, I’m very fortunate to live within a few miles of a farmers market, Trader Joe’s and a vegetarian food co-op. I’m very aware that being in close proximity to these places makes healthier, conscious eating, much easier. That realization is helping me not to take that fact for granted.
- Putting limitations on how much and what I could eat, made me much less wasteful and much more thankful. I realized that, when it comes to food anyway, I’ve been confusing my needs with my wants for years. My “little” $25 budget is how millions of people live out of necessity every day. In fact, in most of the world, $25 a week for food is a luxury. Putting myself on a budget reminded me of just how blessed I am in that I have access to three squares and clean drinking water every single day.
- From as far back as I can remember I’ve allowed an over-emphasis on what and how much I’m eating to control my life. Calorie counts and fat content have become more important to me than where my food is coming from and what impact it will have on my health and the environment. At 39 1/2, if I don’t get a grip on that now, who knows when I ever will. Last week when I demolished those chicken thighs with 5 days left in the week, I was forced to sit with the fact that I do not manage food the way most people do. Getting a grip on what I should and shouldn’t do when it comes to food is key in my quest to be fit at 40.
The experiment might be winding down, but my revised way of thinking about eating healthier and more consciously is just beginning. At the end of the week I’ll update you on how my last week went and I’ll share my plans for moving forward.
If you’re involved in your own Fit at Forty challenge and would like to share it with our readers, send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.