Accidental Accountabilibuddies and My Two-Week No-Spend Challenge

I’m writing this because I really, really, really want to go downstairs for coffee, snacks, lunch, Red Bull, a sandwich, anything!  I’m fighting the urge and I know this is a #firstworldproblems kind of day, but so be it.

Due to some events and family things, I drove home the last three weekends in a row.  This kind of messed with my week-day dynamic, in good ways and bad.  It was great to see my hubby and my mom–it was not so good for my checking account.  On the one hand, for three weeks in a row I knew I was going home that weekend, so my weeks felt like they were only M-Th.  But on the other hand, on F-Su Michael and I would eat with our families or eat out, and this got pretty spendy.

#ConfessionsOfAFrugalFail

Prior to this, I had been going to the grocery store more frequently than I ever did before I moved.  I’d been going about every other day or so and checking out with only 4-5 items.  This way I’d only buy the things I needed and would not have the mindset of “this is for the next two weeks so I’d better stock up.”  It  was working for me, for the most part.  I have a grocery list but every time I’d consult it, I’d think, “no, the x and y can wait til next time” and so I’d only buy the things I really, really needed.  The problem with going to the grocery store often is that, well I run out of supplies in a day or two.  And that’s what happened last week.

At first, despite going home for the weekends, my week-day lunches and dinners were still frugal little frozen meals, just like I’ve been doing all along, but by the third week, I started eating out for lunch.  Uh oh.  The way it started was, well, I got back to the office on Monday, and hadn’t brought breakfast and hadn’t bought lunches for the week.  Coffee tied me over in the morning, but by lunch I was starving, so I went to Panera.  It was #delicious.  Then… Tuesday I discovered we have a little sandwich shop on the first floor of our building.  #Imjustnowexploring  Well, the sandwich shop is very tasty and pretty cheap compared to eating out.  At Panera, for example, I’m spending about $10 on lunch, whereas at this sandwich shop only $6.  Well… I ate there for lunch Tuesday and Thursday.  AND I might have discovered their $2 breakfasts, too.  Ugggg.  (Wednesday we ate out at another AMA luncheon.)

And then I went home for the weekend, had a great time.  Needless to say, by the time this past Monday rolled around, not only had I gained 4lbs, I had overspent on food by almost $100.  Aack!  How did I let this happen??  The previous 7 weeks here in Houston had gone perfectly according to plan!

#ConfessionsContinued

At one point last week, I had a Crunch bar, a 3 Musketeers Bar, and two gourmet cookies in my desk drawer, all from the sandwich shop.  I was hoarding the treats, like my cube was a bombshelter–I knew this life of indulgence was going to have to come to an end soon–and so… I ate it all.

This Monday I came in fierce with determination, fueled by the numbers both on the scale an on my checking account.  Before work, I went to the grocery store, and loaded up on breakfasts and lunches and snacks both salty and sweet to keep at work for two full weeks.  It fit right in with my grocery budget.  No more excuses of being unprepared.

Well, here we are at Friday—how did I do??  It’s been tough, really tough, but I did it!  That one bad week made habits that were hard to break!  One week down, one more to go.  Knowing that stupid and delicious sandwich shop is right there, just a button press of the elevator away has been very challenging.  Especially when thoughts of that delicious melty cheese and all those roasted vegetables loaded on to the sandwiches on breads baked in house fill my brain. Mmm #canyoutellImhungry

#YetAnotherConfession

I held off on blogging about this, in case I failed hard, then I wouldn’t have to confess to you about failing or worse, lie to you about succeeding.  But now that I’m at Friday, even though I’m struggling, I’m making it–and writing this is going to keep me accountable through the end of next week, too, okay?!

I did kind of have a halfway cheat yesterday.  I was speaking at a conference, and so I was allowed to expense lunch.  I’ve been craving seafood so bad (NOLA will always be in my heart) and I popped into a seafood joint.  The food was bland and blah (why would you get seafood in Texas, dummy?!), but I got the craving out of my system, and I’m reimbursed for the lunch, so it was free.  Today, back on the wagon!

Well, I’ll also mention, by chance, last week I happened to run out of the Plexus Slim I had been taking.  I don’t know if it was real or imagined, but since I ran out last week, I was extra hungry all the time, I swear! I had been taking it since I moved to Houston (bought it a long time ago and hadn’t used it til now). One of my friends sells it. You can check out the products here. I’m not sure how much it’s helping, but I was taking it every day.  I know that isn’t a very compelling sales pitch, haha, but I have lost 19lbs in 9 weeks.  But I’ve been eating well and working out a lot, too, so, that’s probably a big factor (duh).  I don’t think I’m going to buy more Plexus, because it’s expensive!  My mom suggested drinking green tea to combat hunger.  I already drink a lot of water, and that helps, too.

#AccidentalAccountabilibuddies

Surprisingly, dinners were never really an issue, even last week, because I eat with C and M in the evenings, and all they’ve ever seen me eat since Day 1 is frozen dinners.  Even though they’re not aware of my money-saving success, they’ve seen my weight-loss success.  I couldn’t bear having them think I had gone off the rails, so I never ate out for dinner.  They didn’t even know it, but they became my accountabilibuddies.  And that’s a powerful thing.  Now, through next week at least, you’re all my accountabilibuddies as I trudge through this #firstworldproblem of having to turn a blind eye to all the food available to me.

Do you find that being unprepared leads to slip ups?  Are you quick to recover or once you’re off the wagon do you think (like me), “oh, it’s ruined now, better enjoy it and get back on next week”?  No?  Just me?  🙂  Okay.  Are you embarking on any challenges soon?  Have you hesitated to blog about challenges you set for yourself, afraid of what the results may be?  Have you found any accidental accountabilibuddies?

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21 thoughts on “Accidental Accountabilibuddies and My Two-Week No-Spend Challenge

  1. I really like that term “accountabilibuddy”. When I’m aware in advance of areas where I might fail, I set myself up so that I have a much better chance of succeeding. When I’m unaware – or more likely, in denial – it’s almost a sure set-up for failure. It’s great that you’re identifying your areas of potential weakness. All the best in setting yourself up for success!

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    • Thanks Ruth! The term “accountabilibuddy” actually comes from an episode of South Park. I was going to post a little video clip because it’s hilarious when they say it–I think South Park is really funny but I know some people find them distasteful, so I decided not to 🙂

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  2. I wouldn’t sweat it! These things happen and the key is-you kept trying (over, and over, and over again) LOL. You’re doing a great job-keep it up! This also happens to me, so that’s why I spend so much time doing prep. If I don’t prep everything just goes to hell.

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  3. We definitely eat out more when we don’t have groceries. That’s why I try to keep plenty of food in the house. The thing is, life gets busy sometimes and I don’t have time to go to the grocery store. You win some, you lose some. We do a pretty good job staying within our grocery budget most of the time.

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  4. Yes, I definitely slip up when I’m unprepared. I’ve been getting better lately about being fairly quick to recover….although I used to be more like you and think that I’d better enjoy it now while I’m still off the wagon 🙂

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, slip ups happen and we’re all only human!

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  5. OH Chela, I know it’s not supposed to be funny, but I was laughing in recognition all through this post. I am the same way. If you figure it out, please let me know. I’ve been trying to stop that bomb shelter mentality since I was 14 years old. Ah, if I only still had that 14 year old metabolism!

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  6. Nice work tackling the food stuff by the horns. It really sucks discovering something that’s hard to ignore afterward, like a sandwich shop. I’ve done the same with my coworker’s GIANT candy stash. One dude keeps his (free for everyone) candy supply in another person’s office. It’s two doors down. Keeping myself from eating it is mighty, mighty challenging. *sigh* I used to know it was there, but never have anything. Now that I’ve had some, it’s so hard to not have some every single day!

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    • Oh my gosh, that would surely be my demise! A big part of what’s keeping me away from the sandwich shop is not wanting to spend the money–if it were free, like your neighbor’s candy stash, oh man! I don’t think I’d be able to resist!

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