A good friend of mine—Emily Threlkeld—has decided to challenge herself to do something INSANE this month, and she will be blogging about it every week on I WILL NOT DIET. Read Emily's first post below to find out what that insane thing is.
As I type this post, there is a roasting pan full of a potato (thinly sliced) topped with an organic lemon (also thinly sliced), sea salt, pepper that I ground myself, and fresh dill sitting in my kitchen. In ten minutes I'll toss this all together, wait another ten minutes and then add two tilapia filets that I drove to Whole Foods to buy because the grocery store right by my house only had Chinese exports. I have nothing against China, I was just really hoping for fish that was in the same time zone as me.
(I realize how obnoxious that sounds, but I'm just doing my part to make the world a better place.)
But, on the other hand, last night I put off making dinner for so long that I didn't have any energy to deal with it anymore and just ended up eating grapes. I ate so many grapes that I gave myself a stomach ache. Later, around midnight when all the fructose wore off, I polished off the bottom of a bag of BBQ chips.
I'm not going to lie to you. Last night's "dinner" is a more accurate reflection of how I usually eat. It's just so easy to go out and get a burger or pizza or lo mein, or to stay in and snack on whatever will stave off my hunger until I can go to sleep.
But in the last six months, I've been trying to lose weight. My diet and exercise routines were so out of whack before then that just by walking a few times a week and trying to eat like something resembling a grown up, I’ve lost twenty pounds.
What’s interesting is that the more time I spent in the kitchen, the more weight I lost, and the better I felt. Not only that, but I started realizing just how expensive eating out was and just how little I could afford to do it.
So I decided to make a challenge to myself for February: I will eat no meal that isn't made in my own kitchen.*
Convenience food is okay, cooking from scratch is better, but absolutely no take-out, fast food, or even barista-made coffee.
I'm hoping this challenge will push me over to the good side of things. I'm hoping the extra pressure will motivate me to figure out a better way to do things, so I don't just cave every time I feel too tired to cook. I'm also hoping that I'll end the month a tiny bit thinner, a tiny bit richer, and a tiny bit healthier.
*Well, February minus one week when I'll be in Costa Rica. I have no idea what the food situation will be there.
EMILY THRELKELD is a newlywed living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She's also a writer and a photographer who supports herself being a bridal consultant at Bed, Bath, & Beyond.