Oh hello there. It's been awhile.
It's apparently time for another project month, because a) projects are fun and b) without structure of some sort, I am just a twig in a stream, rolling along with the current. Aimlessly. Forever more. (Even with structure, I don't do so well--I'm supposed to be at belly-dancing class right now... but it's not like I'm giving up on my life-long dream to be Shakira.)
The September Challenge was a success. Yes, there were some things I could've been more on top of, and for sure they totally went to shit after I stopped documenting their consistency (walking the dog, removing my make-up before bed, et cetera), but for the most part, I was pleased with myself, my weight loss, the health of my body, my mental state, and my ability to 'enjoy the moment.' Eating holistically makes you feel amazing. No matter what, this is true. Not relying on caffeine to wake up felt great. Not experiencing any sort of rush or crash due to carbohydrates and simple sugars was fantastic. The weight loss was super side effect, as well.
I kept it up for another two weeks, into mid-October. I even lost another couple of pounds, bringing the grand total to ten. But then I was hit with a bout of folliculitis, a nasty bacterial infection in the form of a skin rash, brought on by a friend's (brand new) hot tub. This left me out of commission for a few days, quarantined at home and ordered to stay home from work for three days. I was on a heavy duty antibiotic for a ten-day cycle--500mg, four times a day, on an empty stomach.
As a perpetual snacker, I thought this would be tough (to find a time when my stomach was actually empty), but it was okay, and I kind of enjoyed having huge meals three times a day, fitting my pills in around them. Then Marielle's birthday season hit (I called it a 'season' because we honestly have at least five celebrations in the span of a week or two), I ended up getting a bad cold, and all hell broke loose. And here I am, up a whole bunch of pounds. I am not even exactly sure how many, because I haven't been weighing myself consistently enough to be sure, but it seems to be between 3-7. YES THAT'S RIGHT.
Originally, NO!vember was to be about money (No Spender November), and it still will be, but we had to incorporate some other NO!s in there in order to drop at least ten pounds before Christmas (so that we can gain it back, of course). I need to get off sugar for the month of November. And wheat. And I like rhyming, so...
No Spender NO!vember was joined by No Wheat, No Red Meat, Limited Booze, and NO TREATS!
No, no, no.
I need some steps. Because rules are fun!
So! Where to begin.
No Spender No!vember
1. Do not spend money.
(If only it were that easy.)
Okay, I haven't come up with a super specific plan for this yet, but tomorrow I will go over my budget and figure out a realistic goal. Ultimately, I want to say that I'll have x amount of dollars in my savings account at the end of the month.
I would say that I could easily live off of $100 cash per week, including groceries. Easily. Right? So I'll put aside that money, in cash, and write a budget for my expenses, and the number I'm left with is the number I want to have by December 1st.
2. Do not buy clothes, cosmetics, toiletries, fancy things that are pretty, shiny bugs, anything that catches your attention, gum.
I actually don't buy gum; I'm not a gum person. But I would buy a shiny bug if it was pretty, I bet. I've been spending entirely too much money on clothing lately, and I need it to STOP. For sure there are things I 'need' (total lie--I'm quite comfortable), but Christmas is coming and my birthday follows shortly afterward, so I do not need to be purchasing any more sweaters for which I have zero hangers. Seriously. My sweaters are double-hanging at this point and some of them have started making their way into the coat closet. So. NO CLOTHES. I love boots, but I have a good 4-5 pairs. NO BOOTS. Hair products and cosmetics are particularly attractive to me, but I have a train case full of glosses and eye shadows that I don't even use (and an enormous make-up case full of ones I do), so that's enough of that.
Also, no $20 imported truffle oil, $15 specialty chipotle flakes, $11 fancy cheese. Just... no.
My office Christmas party is on December 3rd, and I'm going to try to make do. I
I just feel like I've been extra spendy lately, and considering that we just purchased a new vehicle and the insurance that they strongly encourage go with it, we're looking at an extra few hundred dollars a month this month that we aren't used to. It wouldn't hurt to bank a little extra cash. And by 'bank a little extra cash,' I mean, 'throw a few hundred bucks on a debt that won't look any smaller.' But... we do what we have to do. Right?
Some exceptions to No!vember:
November 11th: our five year anniversary. 11/11/11! Cool. We have a Group-on, so we don't have to pay for dinner, which is nice. I'm really excited for it. The deal includes four tapas (one from each section of their small plate menu, which are: charcuterie/cheese, meats/fish, starches, and vegetables/salad), as well as a pizza and a bottle of wine, to share. Check out the menu.
November 12th: Marielle's father's 60th birthday surprise party. (I hope he doesn't read my blog.) I know I don't have to eat a treat, but... it's a birthday party. Just a small piece of cake? A sliver? A cookie? Some sprinkles?
November 20th: My dad's birthday. He is off starches and sugars as well, so this one won't be too hard, but we're making a big brunch and chances are there is going to be bacon or sausage in the frittata. So we'll forget the red meat rule that day, perhaps.
We're also going out for dinner on the 26th with my parents to a steakhouse I have a gift certificate for, but I know they have great chicken and salmon dishes on the menu, so I'm not too worried. And we said no wheat rather than no starches, because I'd like to be able to have rice, quinoa, or sweet potatoes here and there throughout the month (though not daily).
I'm going to have to come up with some structure for this, and perhaps even a checklist template that I have to fill out each evening. I can save it in a Word doc, and update my blog every night with my progress. Like:
How many coffees today? (Goal will be 1 or 0.)
Did you eat any:
If booze, how much?
Wash make-up off before bed?
Floss, brush, and floss before bed?
How many times?
Minutes spent exercising:
What kind of exercise?
Minutes spent doing yoga:
Minutes spent meditating:
How much time did you spend watching TV?
How much money did you spend?
Any 'illegal' purchases?
Any weight loss today?
Maybe if I have to fill out a goddamn survey every night, I won't want to cheat. GOD, WHAT AM I, THE GODDAMN SELF POLICE?
(Seriously though, I do need a checklist. For, like, life.)
I told myself that if I wasn't going to go to belly dancing that I would at least update my blog and set some sort of guidelines for No!vember, and I'm glad I did. I also drank two beers while I was writing and ate some mini cupcakes. What.
To prepare for my productive! restrictive! month ahead, I'm going to go wash my make-up off, do a face mask, floss, brush, and gargle, and take the dog for a walk to meet Marielle on her way home from boxing.
At least one of us is going to their Monday night classes...