Debauchery and Hard Decisions

Sunday, March 03, 2013

I've got to say that as far as food and weight are concerned, I've tripped and fallen on my face again. :(

The last two days (my days off) turned out to be nothing but pure debauchery. I started out well on Friday managing my food and making great choices and being active. That night I went to the North Texas Irish Festival with some co-workers and decided to indulge and enjoy myself - I had two beers, roasted corn on the cob (so far so good), a giant shortbread cookie with fudge in the middle, and Irish stew in a bread bowl. I only ate half of the bread bowl and felt mildly content considering how well the rest of my day had gone and how much walking I was doing. But then some friends invited me out after that and I ended up having two more ciders.

Then yesterday was even worse! I took a friend out to sushi for lunch because it was her birthday, and even though I had the equivalent of three rolls, I thought that was pretty good. For a snack I had a 110 calorie sugar-free latte. But the good parts ended there. We ended up at the liquor store and I ending up spending the last of my luxury fund (I keep money in a tin in my bedroom so I can financially afford fun times with people) of liquor. We went to another friends out and had a gorge fest. I remember having a giant heaping bowl of teriyaki chicken over brown rice (this was easily five servings worth), cheese dip and crackers, taffy, a whole back of air popped chips, and a third of a chocolate bar. That's on top of two White Russians.

I was bad.

The only positive thing I can take away from all that gorging is that I had a really good time this weekend. Most of my adult life and while I was married I felt very lonely and cut off from the world socially because my ex never wanted to go out and we could never afford anything beyond fast food with friends. It's nice to be getting out there and growing in that part of my personality since I've never gotten the chance to. So I guess it's worth it? I can always work the effects of the past two days off, right? At least that's how I'm going to choose to look at it.

So today starts my six day work week, and I'm determined to be on target with my food FOR THE WHOLE WEEK. Haha I know this doesn't sound like much, but I think smaller goals will help me make better progress. I haven't done my first of the month weigh-in or updated my spark page, but I only lost 0.2 pounds for February! That's just terrible! I can't keep this months-long plateau/being of the wagon any longer! March has to see results! So the first step is to make this week fantastic. The goal is to be within my calorie range every single day and to not eat out until payday. Here's hoping I can do it!

In other news, I've been really struggling with my decisions about taking this second job. The more I think about it the more stressed and conflicted I feel. Straight up honest, I don't want to do it. I hated retail and it was terrible enough that I quit without having another job lined up and that was a huge struggle that I saw as worth it. And there would be no guarantee that the company would stick to my parameters of only working in this time bracket for x days and x hours a week. They never did in the past. Plus a really good friend talked to me about it and pointed out I could really drain myself and perform poorly at both jobs, and if the schedules don't sync up for both jobs I could go weeks without a genuine day off to recharge. Plus I would be miserable and stressed and that would have a negative affect on my health and encourage me to revert to stress eating and destroy my changes of meeting my health and weight goals. Those are all very good points. Also she thought it would be a better idea if I focused on my current job and pursuing paths of promotion and such to eventually get pay raises in the near future.

All good ideas. So I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm not going to take the second job after all, even though that means struggling with some financial burdens. Don't get me wrong - without the second job I can get all my bills paid as long as I'm very strict (I think once every four months a paycheck will come up about $189 short, depending on gas prices at my current rate of pay). I won't be able to go out and do a bunch of fun stuff like I did this weekend, but I can still manage to squeeze a VERY small amount into savings and very slowly pursue my dreams of a fat savings account and paying down my debt. But with all of that in mind - how much is my happiness, health, and well-being worth? Sometimes it's really easy for my to neglect my wants and needs over the preferences of my wallet. Really easy.

I'm still on the sick side of things, unfortunately. It feels like all the nasal congestion that's been plaguing me is moving south and settling in my throat and lungs, which is no bueno. Drinking most of the weekend didn't help, I'm sure, but I will probably need to see a doctor in the very near future if it doesn't clear up on it's own. Even though I would love a day off from work to rest and recover (two things I neglected to do for my days off), I can't afford it. Here's hoping that everything works out in my favor as far as that is concerned.

This week another thing I'm going to concern myself with is my food budget. As far as groceries are concerned, I think I've been doing well both with staying in my budget and buying natural, fresh, non-processed foods and making healthy choices. The things that concern me, though, is how much food ends up going to waste and how much of my food budget actually goes to eating out and buying expensive things like sushi and organic salad kits on-the-go. I could be saving a lot of money if I was able to 1.) cut out the eating out and fancy pre-made foods, and 2.) utilizing everything I buy and not letting so much go to waste. This will be a challenge for me to figure out. Should it be an issue of buying my food in 1-week increments in stead of 2? Is making bulk meals causing me to let some of it spoil? I'll have to do some research and see how I can make up for these shortcomings. Do any of you sparkers have any advice for budgeting and food saving? I buy most of my vegetables frozen now and usually freeze meat when I buy it on sale, but how can you do things like fresh raw spinach for salads, or bread?

Well this blog post is getting to be lengthy enough, and I have to leave for work in an hour, which I really don't want to do because my bed looks amazingly comfortable. Haha but time goes on and so much the show of life, so off I go. I hope everyone is having a great wind down to their weekend! I'll be catching up with blogs and such soon!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The important thing is that you recognized that you blew the weekend, calorie-wise, and you're moving on and have set new goals. Good for you. Setbacks happen, but at least you had fun.
    1930 days ago
  • MARYBETH4884
    The bagged spinach lasts much longer than the use by date if you keep it tightly wrapped in a ziplock bag withh all the air rolled out.
    1931 days ago
    I usually go for stuff with an extended shelf life, like canned foods or meats, and I buy those every few months or few weeks. I try to buy these in bulk when there's a good sale. Like frozen veggies $1 each a pack or canned stuff 60 cents a can.

    Then once a week I usually make a small trip for produce and try to stick to stuff that's on sale. Some things I refuse to go without (like bananas) but most other fruits I just pick up what's on sale. Like this week at Kroger it's strawberries for $1.88 a container. And I still have apples from the end of last week. I will also try to find produce that has a shorter shelf-life that's marked on "manager's special". With this, I can get mushrooms and spinach and stuff that's like 50% off the original price. I just have to make sure to use them within the first half of the week.

    The biggest thing I cut out is eating out. I try to avoid it, because even Subway is $5 for a half-inch sub and a cup of soup. Maybe a way around that but still finding a way to be social is a friendly gathering potluck every few weeks at someone's house? You could still go out and have fun with friends but do it on a budget and maybe even snag some leftovers to take home with you.

    One you weighed the pros and cons of the second job, I think turning it down is probably the best decision for you. Part-time jobs like that have never ended up sticking to the schedule I need, and with the unique work-week you have it's even more likely you could go days without a day off.
    1931 days ago
    Well.. I don't do bread hardly at all anymore, so there you go! HAH!

    But my suggestion would be to figure out your food budget.... Your going out to eat money will have to come out of your food budget, so if you decide you are going to go out to eat, they takes away like 4 things from the produce section, right?

    Then, take that and make short trips to the store. I used to go once a month and stock up because I hated going to the store. I hated wrestling with a cart and having to carry all that crap into the house, and all the hassle involved with that. Well.. You get two benefits from going to the store weekly. 1) You don't have all those bags you have to carry in. 2) You will end up buying less processed food, because you aren't stocking up to feed yourself for a whole month.

    This also means you can buy 1 or 2 produce items a week and use them up before going and getting more. I, personally, used to have a huge problem buying all sorts of stuff from produce because it "looked good," but didnt' actually have a meal plan for it.

    If you know you like say.. spinach salads, you can buy a big bag of spinach at the start of the week. Bagged salads are ususally good for a whole week easy, so you can split that up and save on your pre-mixed packages. Yeah, it's a pain in the butt to have to take time out to portion everything out, but we're talking saving money and not convenience at this point, right?

    These weekly trips also makes it easier to make a food plan for the week. If say.. you have 1 potential day that week to maybe see freinds and go out, then you have 1 less meal to plan. I usually try to figure out what protein I want for the week w/the husband, and plan around that. I figure out how many days we will be having dinner together (he is on a rotating schedule, so we only really have dinner together on his days off, or the 1-2 days a week he gets off at 5:30). You don't have to schedule yourself around someone else, so it makes it a little bit easier. You know you want dinner every night, and you don't have to worry about timing it so that it's hot and ready when someone else comes through the door! lol

    When I make lots of smaller trips to the store, though, I find that I buy less food, too. I know what I want to make for the week, and don't buy extra stuff "because it looks good," and that's less stuff going bad. One other trick I've learned: Yogurt never truely goes bad. lol When in doubt on snacks, I'll get a 4-pack of that stuff and if it goes past date, I'll eat it anyway.. as long as it isn't bulging and still smells good. Other people think I'm totally gross, but whatevs! Best by dates on yogurts are just a suggestion!

    Let's be honest here, though. Can you really call it a plateau when you know you are cheating left and right? :P That alcohol is so killer on the food budget. I really miss getting to go out and party and eat everything in sight sometimes! Just try to take it a day at a time, and keep plugging along. You'll get there eventually. Be careful not to begin to mentally equate time with freinds as cheat time, though. I've found it super hard to try to find things to do with freinds that isn't food related! I'm not sure if it's a Tx thing or not, but sheesh! It seems like there's nothing to do around here but go out to eat! lol

    (I sometimes get away with inviting people over, telling them what we are cooking, and giving them an ingredient or two to bring with them. I also tell them I get to keep all the leftovers :X )

    Anyway.. about the part time job thing.. Eventually I think there comes a time when everyone realizes that sometimes, your time is just too valuable to be doing something you don't want to do. You don't need any extra stress right now, srsly! If you can make ends meet without it, and you know it's just going to cause you tons of stress, I'm with your freind on this one.
    1932 days ago
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