My friend Lyzz does year-long challenges every January 1. They are ridiculous things like "No fried foods" (tricky) or "no tortilla chips" (impossible). Her current restriction is "no bleached flour." I'm not sure where this stems from, but I think she just likes accomplishing things that are difficult.
Here is what I am attempting: a week -- just a week -- of not eating meals out. I've blogged about this being hard for me before, but I've never seriously attempted to curtail my behavior. The life of a musician is based on spontaneity and travel, not of meal plans and grocery lists. I think I'm developing an ulcer at the thought of planning my Thursday breakfast on a Sunday.
At the same time, however, it's oddly comforting. When I say I'm going to do something, it becomes the law. So there's no option to disobey. When I became a vegetarian, all the meat options on a restaurant menu just sort of disappeared, and I didn't even notice them.
Unlike becoming a vegetarian, however, I have ridiculous cravings for take-out. Restaurant withdrawal. It's a habit. My mind just immediately thinks, "Oh, I could just grab some Pad Thai, and that way I don't have to make two trips." Take-out and lunches with friends have become a way of life for me, and this whole eating-at-home thing is making me feel like a nester.
Tonight, however, a friend from Nashville (I haven't given her a proper Friend-who-____-____ moniker yet ... perhaps we'll discuss this tonight) is coming up here. She invited us out for dinner, and I had to tell her about my self-imposed challenge. She responded with the delightful idea that we should all cook dinner together tonight at my house.
If this week of eating-in works out for me, maybe I'll consider a year-long attempt. Then I'll obviously get a book deal and write another volume of those year-in-the-life memoirs, and become hugely wealthy. I think Lindsay Lohan will play me in the movie. It's about time for her comeback. Stay tuned for updates.