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The no-eating-out challenge results

A few columns ago, I challenged myself not to eat out for 30 days.

This is the follow-up to that writing.

I wish I had a glowing report to give you. I wish the four-week challenge flew by without as much as an inkling of desire for greasy fast-food.

But I can’t give such a report. What I can say is that for the first 2-1/2 weeks or so, I followed my challenge rules to a T.

Let me tell you, I had literal withdrawals from the lack of fast-food in my diet. Because I had taken away the option, it was all I thought about. That first week was torture!

True to form, I let my mouth get ahead of me and committed our family to this challenge without really giving Matt much time to think about it. Matt did participate, but his terms were MUCH different from mine. His rules seemed to go something like this: If Ginia’s not involved, all types of food are fair game.

Very soon into the challenge, I realized the rule differences. Matt had gone to the bank that first Saturday morning, and when he returned, I noticed a very suspicious blob of white gravy-like substance on the corner of his mouth.

Like the wanna-be prosecutor I am, I interrogated my poor witness.

He confessed. Biscuits and gravy. I was nearly sick with jealousy.

But the challenge continued.

The next week, I was starting to feel better. And by the end of the second week, the cravings were pretty much gone. My pants were more loose (really, they were!) ,and I felt better. Empowered.

“This is a piece of cake,” I told myself.

Then a long afternoon of working ran over into dinner time.

Matt wanted to know what to feed the kids (these little people ALWAYS have to eat).

The old, familiar fast-food chant began inside my head.

“Just this one time. It will be so much easier.”

But Matt kept me strong and fed the kids something fast (but at home) while I continued to peck away at the keyboard. When I was finally finished, my nerves were shot, along with my resolve, and I talked my conscience into allowing Matt to buy me some takeout.

I didn’t really want to eat the food inside that brown paper sack. But, on the other hand, it smelled REALLY good!

So I ate it. And liked it.

The next day, my gut was not right (caused I’m sure in part by my moral betrayal of you all).

I wish I could tell you that knocked some sense back into me. It did for a little while. But the last week of my challenge was one of utter devastation.

I relapsed. Hard.

Then came the shame. “Man, I’m such a failure,” was my internal dialogue.

“I can never change.”

Not far into one of my personal abuse sessions, a notion came into my head.

“You’ll never be as perfect as you want to be.”


“So get over it,” I told myself. “Move on.”

I did.

This challenge has taught me that at 28, it’s high time I start giving myself a little break when I fail.

After all, nobody is perfect.


Categories: Food and gardening on the farm


My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.

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