If you have been following along with us, you know we embarked on a challenge called, Simple and Free on March 29th. It’s a 7-month journey into areas of our lives in which we might find excess. It’s based on Jen Hatmaker’s book, Simple and Free. When I heard her talk about the challenge on her Instagram story, I got excited and thought this might just be the kick in the butt that I needed after this crazy year. Like most things that I get excited about, I had to tell my sisters and all of my friends just in case they wanted to participate as well. They did not disappoint. Although, G did try to coerce me into saying I would do ANY challenge she put forth from here on out. Let’s just say, I am no amateur and I will not be roped into anymore endurance races unless, of course, I decide to of my own free will.
Back to the challenge at hand. I’m not going to lie, I think we are in over our heads. Without even reading the book, I dove headfirst into this challenge and I dragged 7 other trusting souls into it with me. I am glad they think I am trustworthy and have faith in my choices, but I feel as though I have led my flock astray.
Let me go on the record as saying, I am sorry.
This first month, our goal was to choose 7 foods and only eat those for 28 days. It sounds so much easier than it actually is. I think it’s safe to say that at almost 2 weeks in, we have all cheated in one way or another. We have celebrated birthdays, holidays and others aren’t really cheating as much as they just need more sustenance to allow them to maintain their activity level. Now, I say that and it sounds like someone is walking a little more than the average person and needs more food. Not the case. G is training and running 50+ miles each week with long runs that are more than 14 miles. That kind of mileage deserves a pizza, not a sweet potato! She has simply modified her challenge to fit her needs. I walk several miles each morning, do a 50-minute workout and also do intermittent fasting and I can assure you that I feel like I also deserve a pizza!
Just this week I made eggs, as is my breakfast every day right now, and when I walked back downstairs I thought I smelled brownies. Perhaps I am hallucinating due to my food deprivation? Perhaps, I am malnourished? My jeans, however, say otherwise. Rest assured, I am getting plenty of nutrients.
So, what’s the point? Why would we put ourselves through this and what do we hope to get out of this challenge? That’s a good question. Even our little hunger council is wondering the same thing. I keep saying that everyone will get something different out of it and we will. Everyone is missing their favorite foods. Some of us with get to day 28 and feel like nothing changed. Maybe someone will crave something and ask themselves if they are really hungry or feeling an emotion that they don’t want to deal with. Maybe someone will begin working at a food bank or soup kitchen. I don’t know. I do hope that each of us gains a sense of awareness, an abundance of gratitude and a deep satisfaction for all that we have. Going without all the things that we typically have at our fingertips makes us hunger for them, but also appreciate them all the more.
By any standard, I know that I have a lot and I know I don’t appreciate it the way I should. That is what this challenge is about.
The other morning I woke up to the window open, the heat off and our room was about 59 degrees. I looked at my husband with the covers tucked under his chin and immediately thought how fortunate we are to have a home, a furnace and warm blankets. With a flip of a switch I could turn the heat on, close the window and crawl back under the covers. I don’t want to just know that I am fortunate and go about my day, I want to feel that gratitude deep in my bones and do something about it.
If at any point you’d like to join us on this journey, let us know. And if you’d like to wait until we have moved beyond eating 7 foods, we totally understand.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G