Austerity January

Every year, I promise to be good during the holiday season. Not perfect, mind you—an occasional bar snack dinner is something a girl needs throughout the year—but I manage to remain active and eat at home until mid-month. Then a barrage of party invites comes, along with the rush to get my shopping done and holiday cards in the mail. Next thing I know, it’s December 30th and I haven’t had a meal that came from my own kitchen for two weeks. The fit of my pants and the blah-ness of my mood reflect that.

Two years ago, I decided to detox from the holiday season by doing Sober January. Of course, it was one of the snowiest Januaries in Boston history. But this year, I think Sober January won’t cut it. I think it’s time for extreme measures.

It’s time for Austerity January™.

Instead of living the life I usually do (minus the booze), Austerity January takes Sober January a step further.

Here are my goals. I’m not sure if I can keep up with them, but I figure it’s worth a shot.

No alcohol. This is going to be tough given I work for nine restaurants, but I’ve done nothing but drink for half a month. Time to give the liver a rest.

Minimize eating out. Obviously, working for restaurants means I eat out quite a bit. But in January, I’m going to attempt to do minimal non-work eating out. It would be too much of a shock to my system to expressly prohibit it, but keeping it to a minimum should be doable. Possibly.

Cook at home. January is a crappy month to go out. Even if it’s not snowing, it’s cold and raw and just unpleasant. Time to try some new recipes.

Maximize vegetable intake. I don’t think I’ve eaten a vegetable (unless it was doused in cheese) since November. Not OK.

Do cheap/free activities to socialize. If it snows all month, it might be time to try snowshoeing. I’m paying for Netflix Instant—time to take advantage and host some movie nights.

Shop minimally. Yesterday, I blew through all my Christmas money at the outlets. I’m not a big shopper, but when I do it, I go nuts. Going to try to avoid the temptation of additional after-Christmas sales.

Visit the gym. Any sort of indoor space that holds fitness equipment is trying in the month of January as everyone simultaneously decides to commit themselves to health and fitness. I believe all gyms should have space set aside for the customers who visit their facility all year long. But whatever. I’ll wait as patiently as possible for my turn on the goddamn treadmill.

It’s a lot of change at once. But hopefully when the smoke clears on February 1, I’ll have broken some bad habits and maybe picked up some good ones. Or, I’ll have a mental breakdown and you’ll find me in front of the open fridge, surrounded by a halo of Doritos and cans of Gansett.

And hey, if you feel like joining me, let’s chat on the Twitters. #austerityjanuary

It’s gonna be like Greece up in here.

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