Good Afternoon Beautiful People.
We are 12 days into this shopping ban … and the hubby and I recently.. returned from a vacation- the irony. However, please pause here to allow me to share some back story.
If you read my previous post ‘A Year of Less: Day One’ you know that I (and the spouse) are going on a year long adventure of cutting out non-essential spending in order to save some dough, but more importantly bare down to find and appreciate a new level of contentment and gratitude.
So some non approved purchase as a reminder :
- candles/ home décor items / home improvement items
- la crox / na beer / coffee creamer
- Goodwill trips / garage sales
- haircuts & hair dye (more so I can be committed to grow my hair out)
and then some
- Prior planned Trips (Hubby and I are doing a little getaway for anniversary soon)
- Gift for others (Christmas, birthdays)
- Groceries (typical menu items)
- Workout Classes ($5 a class 2 x a week)
So yes we are in the clear and haven’t totally botched the challenge just mere 12 days in- perhaps day 13 is the magical number in which the wheels will totally fall off and we will cave and spend all our wad.. but here is to hoping that isn’t the case.
Some more back story about this trip: is that- My husband and I earned it.
Not the ‘I deserve it’ or ‘we have been working so hard we should treat ourselves’ kind of way- but rather an intentional well thought out- wait for it– not-so-friendly competition.
You see -my husband and I are very competitive (someone still might or might not be bitter about a 12 game loosing of spades -and yes I remember it was twelve even years later because loosing that many times in a row-basically sucked)
We are trying to always continue growing in our overall wellness journey. We are also continuing to find ways to save money whatever means necessary. So it is ironic- that we would allow ourselves to ‘earn’ a small vacation that would inevitably cost us money- but that is the very reason why we did it.
Back in March, I had just stopped drinking and truly wanted to replace it with a healthier habit. When I would feel the urge to numb out, feel boredom, or feel like I needed a little something: I did not want to replace it with food, zoning out to social media, amazon shopping, or whatever just as unhealthy habit I could have swapped in drinkings place- so I asked the husband what would be something that would motivate us to continue to embark further down this path of overall wellness : taking a deeper dive into what we were eating and how often we were moving our bodies.
About the same time a friend posted about a company that will pay you to lose weight. I would further learn there was some fine print as there usually is. The process worked like so: you bet how much weight you think you will drop in a designated amount of time or your choosing. You would get to that date and hit the weight you wagered on and you get your money back plus a little interest and I mean little. Or you don’t hit the weight and… they keep your money.
Now- I loved the principal of this set up- but not the fine print. I didn’t love the idea of the off chance I end up stressed out in one month due to sick kids, busy schedules, or whatever life in general was throwing my way and as a result binge on a container of $4 Ben & Jerrys that would later cost me hundreds of dollars down the line…
so the hubby and I stole the principal.
Instead of paying that particular company – we paid ourselves.
We budgeted a certain amount of $ every month for four months and set target end goals for ourselves. For me my goal focused on specific body fat percentage decrease and my husband concentrated on an overall weight loss goal. We had the final weigh in marked for June 1st. If June 1st came and we had hit our goals we earned a little vacation kid free… and if we didn’t hit it– we would have to put the money we saved- in our emergency fund and spend our kid free weekend doing chores around the house like dusting, steam cleaning the carpets, and whatever adulating we could squeeze in.
Our Fine Print: We both had to hit our goals- if one person didn’t met theirs we both ‘lost’ and would both be scrubbing the toilets instead of hanging in the grotto- hello sweet accountability.
It was an interesting concept and one that ended up paying off because here we are:
on VACATION at The Elms Hotel & SPA after enjoying a couples massage.
27 lbs lighter as a couple
And spending our earned time together at The Roasterie in Kansas City followed by our first trip to the City Market.
What was the most interesting take away about our trip
Is yes we had some non-clean food and drinks on our trip (like my fully gluten-ated Non-Alchoholic Craft BEER).
but we ate mostly well compared to ‘cheat days’ in the past.
We went to bed early every night.
We woke up early every morning and started the day exploring the town on foot and ended our days with using some ‘new to us’ equipment offered at the hotel gym.
We discussed ways to improve our health, parenting, marriage, and so much more when we returned home.
And then when we returned home.. we got right back to putting out feet to the pavement when in the past cheat ‘weekends’ would have turned into weeks before we got motivated enough to reset again.
I think something that has changed- for the better- is now this is our lifestyle. Our days now start and end with focusing on improving our health: more healthy meals, stretching, sweating out the bad vibes, and more of enjoying the process of improvement and not focusing on the destination.
That being said..
We are in the process of coming up with another competition. This time with a longer date range ending Jan 2019 to motivate us to keep maintaining and improving our overall wellness especially during the holiday season.
That’s all until next time.