Barney Stinson and I have a lot in common. Not only are we both awesome, look good in suits and tuxes, we also like a challenge. The month of May is one of my least favourite months in recent times. Sure, up until a few years back, I used to get summer holidays. Now, not so much. So anyway, I wanted to do something I have never done before. I wanted to set a challenge for myself. I decided that I won’t eat outside food for a month. Yes, that means no dining out, no takeout, no deliveries, no going to Sai Ram Parlour at 2 am for some yummy fried rice. Zilch. This was a daunting task, especially for me because I like to eat out. I mean, who doesn’t ?
So, writing this on the 31st of May, unless I go rouge in the next few hours, I am happy to say that I have successfully completed this challenge. And no, it was not easy at all. For me, not eating out was like having a the keys to a Mustang and not driving it at all. You drive around town and look at the restaurants with those names and tell me they aren’t calling you to come and order something good. I could swear that one time when I was driving by my regular old haunt, I could swear I heard the place calling out to me in a very weird whispering voice “Akhil, you know you want to come to me” . Thankfully, I didn’t listen to the devil on my shoulder and just drove on. Initially it was tough but then as the month stretched, I dove myself into my regular old routine and I haven’t looked back. Here are a few things which I learned when I completed my challenge.
1. MONEY NOT SPENT IS MONEY SAVED .
I mean, it’s sounds very obvious right. But I checked my average spendings when I go out for a meal or a snack per month. It was significant. So not eating out definitely made my bank balance healthy which made my parents a little happy I hope.
2. I LOST A TON OF WEIGHT
I kid you not. Okay, a ton may be a little exaggerating. But it was significant. I mean a lot of people kept telling I did lose quite a chunk. I gotta be honest, it did feel good. Only downside I guess is that a lot of my clothes have become loose. Upside ? More shopping. My point about saving money becomes more useless as you read this. Anyway, on to the next thing.
3. I ACTUALLY GO TO THE KITCHEN A LOT MORE
And not just to fill my water bottles or use the microwave. This is the best thing that has happened to me in the past month. So, since I started this challenge, I knew that I still have to eat food. With my parents out of the country, now was the perfect time to actually experiment with some cooking. Not only I wanted to cook and eat, I also wanted to eat healthy. So I stopped eating rice because carbs FTW. I went to the store and bought some organic quinoa. Those freaking seeds changed my month for sure. They are so damn delicious. I’m not saying I am the next Ramsay but cooking your own food, no matter how bad it tastes (it didn’t thankfully) gives you some satisfaction which is hard to get out. I am happy that I finally started to learn cooking. It’s never too late people. Also, cooking is sexy !! Isn’t that right ladies ? 😉 ( You can PM me with your answers ).
4. ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY
Okay, this might sound like I’m grasping at straws (straws are bad btw) but whenever I go out with some friends for a lunch or dinner, we usually order more than we can eat and the food is wasted. You know, nothing is more sad than wasted food for me. And also, take away and delivery and doggy bags are again all packed in plastic. So I definitely think I did reduce my footprint this month. And if you do go out for a meal, don’t order way too much. Food is secondary when you go out with the gang anyway. It’s all about the gossip.
5. I STILL VISIT THOSE REGULAR HAUNTS
When you go to the same place again and again, you do make some friends. Be it the cashier or the guy who makes my chicken roll. So, I still go to some of my old places. I mean, it’s unthinkable for me to not go to Creme Shakes on a saturday night. That’s like the most routine thing ever for me to do in Vizag. Well, I still go every there Saturday. I say hello and buy some water instead of a milk shake because sugars FTW. I do go to B-treats from time and time and say hello and chat and buy a frooti instead of biryani.
So overall, this month was pretty solid. Of course, I got back to my studying but also I tried something new which was pretty cool for me. I saved some money (fingers crossed I did) lost weight and apparently look in decent shape and started to love to cook. This was my best May since 2016 for sure.
Now, I am going to play devil’s advocate here. This is to all the people out there who might think that I acted like an idiot by writing this stuff because you aren’t living at home or are way too busy with work to have time for cooking and the only option for you is to eat out. I know it’s super difficult if you are living in a hostel or something along that line. Believe me, I have gone through that as well. This was something which I tried and I was happy with the results I got and I wanted to share it you. So relax, I didn’t mean you.
And to those, who actually have the opportunity and to those who don’t own a restaurant (sorry), try this. I can assure you that at the end of the month or even two weeks, you might actually start to like it. Until next time, adios y cuidate !
PS : Those lovely GIFs were from giphy.