One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


The One Week Eat IN Challenge Final Wrap-Up!

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We did it! I can’t believe it! Seven days of eating at home!

When I say it out loud it sounds ridiculous. Seven days? How hard could it be? How hard SHOULD it be?

I don’t think I realized how much eating out (or ordering takeout) is ubiquitous in our culture. It’s just so easy to do and there are so many choices at every price point. Dollar menus, drive-thrus, and delivery make ready-made food available with in moments. Then there’s all the social entanglements with eating out like business lunch dates, birthday dinners, after-game celebrations, just getting together with friends. Layer on top our busy lives, long work hours, after-school activities — it’s not easy! Making food at home isn’t immediate. You need to be prepared, and there’s a mess to clean up afterwards. It’s definitely an investment of time and energy.

I’m not going to lie. We will probably never give up eating out all together. Honestly, I don’t think I want to. It’s similar to how I feel about particular diets — sometimes fighting it so strictly causes more hard than good (for me, anyway).

Instead, I strive to eat out less. I work at being prepared at home so I can whip together quick meals. I remind my eating-out-loving-husband it’s cheaper and healthier to stay in. I teach my kids how to cook and be resourceful in the kitchen. That said, I feel no guilt when we do eat out. Like today when The Husband just HAD to visit our favorite local sandwich shop to celebrate our successful week of eating IN.

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Look how excited he was at lunch today. He couldn’t hide it!

He was a great sport considering none of this is his “thing.” I figured the least I could do for signing him up for this challenge was to let him take me out.

We had a great time chatting over our sandwiches and sharing an order of fries.


He wasn’t even compelled to give me the finger!

I think I finally wore him down with the picture taking. ;)

Anyway, those are my thoughts after completing the One Week Eating IN Challenge. I can’t wait to hear yours! Was it hard? Easy? Did you learn anything? 

Don’t forget, everyone who participated is entered to win one of the awesome red prize packs from The American Heart Association! Leave your final comment on this post for entry! I’ll be picking winners this Wednesday!

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There are 27 comments so far.


    March 31, 2014

    Great job Roni! We only order out pizza every Friday – but rarely go out to eat, so for me that challenge wouldn’t be that hard, except for the pizza night! It’s our favorite night out. But I would use that challenge for myself for lunches at work, if I’m not prepared then I do go out for lunch, which always isn’t a healthy choice! I knew you could do it!

    Valerie Hoose

    March 31, 2014

    We failed the challenge… :( BUT…. I made healthy choices every singe time we ate out. That’s the challenge for me! [And lost 4.2 pounds in the process!!!!!]


    March 31, 2014

    No lies here – we ate in but that doesn’t mean that we ate healthy. Several nights of cereal and fruit. But we did it!


    March 31, 2014

    I started healthy eating April 31st 2013. Prior to that I ate out all the time, several times a week. Since then I might have eaten out a couple times a month and then only Subway and Chinese. Since February 19th this year I have only eaten out once at Subway (turkey on wheat). Believe me, it makes a difference. With a combination of eating healthy, not eating out and exercise, I have lost 98 lbs and I feel great. I miss Chinese but not the other greasy foods. I like knowing exactly what goes in my food.

    Sammy D

    March 31, 2014

    Honestly not much of a challenge. Now that I am hooked on eating healthy, eating out has lost it’s charm. I always find the food too salty. Even the best options are not as good as we can make fresh at home. So we go out now when it is a really unique place with food that I would likely never make at home. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so the number of restaurant choices is overwhelming. Yet the draw has lost it’s appeal. Both from the taste and cost perspective. You can buy the best meat and produce out there and cook at home with food fit for a queen for a week, for less than one meal in a nice restaurant. But I also know how easy it is to just say lets get take out. So congrats on making it a week. Here’s to many more fun and enjoyable meals at home.


    March 31, 2014

    I didn’t even try to do this one since I really love eating out. We do limit how often we do it much more than we used to. Basically 2 or 3 times a week now. And, yes, that is cutting down a lot. It isn’t just the food. It is that it is a good time for DH and I to just to talk without any interruptions and so that is nice. And, then when we take the kids it is a time when we get to eat together which we don’t do all that often (kids are in college so we all have differing schedules).

    Beth M.

    March 31, 2014

    I made it through (with no help from hubs and the kiddos!). I guess I didn’t realize how many times we just pop through a drive thru until we couldn’t. We definitely need a bigger dinner idea list to keep going with this! Like you said, we won’t totally give up eating out but maybe we’ll be more conscious of it and do it less :-)


    March 31, 2014

    Didn’t formally join this challenge… but still achieved it (well, save for Saturday night which was planned more than a month in advance) throughout the week. I’ve always been a huge fan of eating in. Definitely think it can be a $$ saver AND healthier… but yes: lots of planning IS involved, and without it, it’s so easy to just cave. Pinterest and reading cooking blogs has helped me a lot to stay inspired on what new things to try, and if they are a success, I try to keep it on a rotation so things don’t get too stale around here :)


    April 1, 2014

    Normally I think we eat in a TON…cause eating out with 6 is crazy! But this week was not a good one for eating in due to other commitments and places we needed to be. A goodbye luncheon for a friend moving away, and lunch with the husband and kids when we took him to the airport out of town. Both were very enjoyable, random and necessary. I go through cycles where I need a break, or need more motivation to function at a more optimal level…I think eating out for me is a nice break to eat something I wouldn’t make at home myself, or try something new.


    April 1, 2014

    We did it! Cleaned out the fridge and pantry in the process but it was worth it. I want to use this challenge as a springboard for making eating at home more of a priority.

    Mary Ann

    April 1, 2014

    Even though we didn’t meet the challenge, it was a fun exercise and made me think about it more. We generally eat almost all our meals from home. I pack lunches for everyone — we almost never eat lunch out. We hardly ever go to restaurants — my husband is hard of hearing and it’s not as much fun when you can’t hear the conversation. So we’ve already gotten used to the planning and stocking that it takes to eat in. I hadn’t thought about it as a cost saver or health option, we just do it because it fits our schedules and lives best.


    April 1, 2014

    the weekend was hard….but we made it!


    April 1, 2014

    We didn’t do this challenge but we eat in most days of the week and eat out a little more on weekends. On Friday nights we do “snack plates” at home…cheese, meat, french bread, pickles, olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.. That way I don’t have to cook! This has been a new tradition with my husband…snack plates, House of Cards and a glass of wine (because we’re trying to know more about wine). This week we went to a restaurant on Saturday night and had a food court meal on Sunday after church. (We do this every week after church. I don’t cook on Sundays either so we forage the fridge on Sunday nights or eat our leftovers from lunch if we have any.)

    One thing I noticed is that we NEVER order pizza or food to our door. A family from out of town was staying with us last month and asked if we wanted to order pizza…we had to wrack our brains to figure out where to order it from, because the last time we did was on moving day over four years ago. Crazy! (But I must admit, I’m proud of it!!) I’m not sure if it’s because I’m quite concerned about eating healthy or because I’m CHEAP… :0)


    April 1, 2014

    You guys did great! We are still going strong and my kids don’t even ask for x while we are out anymore. My daughter said – hey, since we aren’t eating out, can we learn how to make these at home. I love it!


    April 1, 2014

    This week was awesome for our family. It definitely took a lot more thought on my part, and I had to be OK with leaving a messy kitchen when we had to run to practices during the week, but I’m SO glad we stuck with it. I felt like I got quality nourishing foods into everyone this week! I love a night off from cooking, but I’m glad I didn’t cave. The kids even joined in on the cooking most nights – so fun! We’re trying to stick with this for the rest of Lent now. Thanks for this, challenges really help me stay focused and on track!

    marie galtier

    April 1, 2014

    Well, we already eat in most of the time, so it wasn’t THAT big a deal for us. Having said that, there were a couple of days-we usually go out Friday nights, and a relative who came in town wanted to go out to dinner one day- that were a bit more challenging. However, we quickly realized that, while we would have enjoyed going out on those two occasions, we enjoyed our in-house Friday date and our in-house dessert and coffee with the relative just as much. I guess this really reinforced for us that the people with whom you share the meal matter more than the meal itself.

    Thanks for hosting this challenge! I think we got something from the exercise, and I’m glad we did it.

    Michele Tews

    April 1, 2014

    My youngest and i made some yummy homemade granola bars today, honey is the only sweetener, YUMMY!!


    April 2, 2014

    We managed it, although it was challenging. Hard to realize how much we eat out!! Thanks for hosting this challenge. I think we’ll try to incorporate this into our regular schedule (maybe 1 week a month or something.)


    April 2, 2014

    It was easier than I thought. I have more food in my two freezer than imagined. There is no reason to really eat out as much for us. We realized the amount of time it takes us to go to the drive thru is the same amount of time for us to cook! We are going to use the money we save and put it into our Christmas present fund.


    April 2, 2014

    We did great, it was tempting to get drive-thru one night, but didn’t. It is so definitely worth the extra work to eat healthy :)


    April 2, 2014

    I normally only eat dinner out once a week – on Fridays after a long work week. This was still a fun challenge for me because I brought my lunches to work instead of going out like I normally do.


    April 4, 2014

    To be honest, I didn’t think it was too hard. I want to eat healthy and frankly most food places are not. I’ve stayed out of places like McDonald’s for years so to eat there makes me ill. Like you, I want to limit take out/dine out to maybe 1-2 times a week. Good for the waist & the wallet!

    Beth M.

    April 5, 2014

    Did you pick the winners?


      April 7, 2014

      I did! I’m waiting for one more response. If I don’t hear back from her in the next few days I’ll be pick a back up.

      Beth M.

      April 7, 2014

      Ok :-) Darn! I must have bad luck not to have been picked (I only count 16 comments here that succeeded…and 12 winners….those should have been good odds :-) )


      April 7, 2014

      I did feel like everyone won. lol AHA has some partial gift packs. I can see if they will send you one!

      Beth M.

      April 7, 2014

      Yes we definitely did all win! The challenge was good for our health (and our wallets)