100 Days of No Eating Out: The Big FAIL

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Could you go 100 Days without eating out?  We tried, here's what happened....My nephew’s birthday was last weekend.  It was two and a half hours away (in Texas wemeasure a distance in hours) and started at 1:30.  I was bringing the birthday cake and hoped to get there in time to help my sister-in-law set up the decorations and table settings.

With the No Eating Out thing, I knew I would either have to pack us a lunch or arrive early enough to share lunch with my sister-in-law.  In accordance with our rules, if you are a guest of someone and they prefer to dine out, politeness dictates that you go out to eat with them.

My husband had to work that morning, so that meant it was up to me to get all four kids fed, dressed, and in the car along with the birthday gift (why do I wait til the last minute to wrap it?), the two-tiered fondant and buttercream confection and all tools to finalize its design and prepare for the unexpected cake disaster, and other things like face paint and the kids’ pajamas for the drive home.

I thought ahead. I knew that if we left at 9:30, we would arrive early enough for lunch.  If we packed our lunch, we could leave as late as 11:00 and still arrive on time for the party.

It might have sounded a little more appealing to share a burger with my sister while hanging pennant banners, so I might have been pushing to leave at 9:30…maybe.  So we rushed the whole morning to get out the door.  I skipped packing lunches because we were pretty good on time and I felt sure we would make it.

We pulled out of the driveway at 10:00.

At about 11:00, we were zooming down the interstate when my tummy started rumbling.

Did I eat breakfast this morning?  I had coffee.  I KNOW I had my coffee, but did I get breakfast? 

A few miles later I realized I really needed to find a pharmacy and get some decongestant. That’s gonna cost us some time.

Gosh, we’re going to get there right at the frantic time.  Not really early enough for lunch.  I hate to complicate things for them.

“Mommy, are we somewhere where we could stop for me to go potty?”

I could stop at that intersection where there’s a Walgreens, get some medicine and take her to the bathroom…and there’s a Chick-fil-a right there too. 

Chick-fil-a…what a dirty, rotten trick to play! Now I’ll need somewhere to hide away.  Oh, I’m in love with Chick-fil-a! 

And so, ladies and gentlemen, I found myself on March 12, the 70th day of the year, pulling in to the drive through lane and saying “I need two 8 count nuggets….”

100 Day Challenge:  Failed.

It doesn’t stop there.

That evening, we enjoyed chinese takeout with the family (acceptable per the arranged rules since we were guests, but still, restaurant food).

The next morning, after the 2 1/2 hour drive home late and losing an hour to Daylight Savings Time, we were due to visit a friend’s church an hour and a half away.  My husband would be delivering the sermon (he’s not a preacher, but he’s a good fill-in) so we had to arrive early.

I had no plans for breakfast for my brood so we decided we would stop at the grocery store on the way and buy some muffins or something.  As we pulled in to the grocery store parking lot, our car faced the donut shop.  My husband and children pleaded that buying muffins at the store was not much better than buying donuts, so I caved.

Pigs-in-a-blanket, glazed, chocolate covered….

Lunch that day was visiting with friends who treated us to a long overdue Mexican feast.  Tortillas, hot sauce, and fantastic fajitas!  Oh, how I’ve missed thee.

Later, after the evening services, we loaded up for our hour and a half trip home. That’s when we realized we were on our own for supper at it was 7:00.  My husband pulled in to a Jack-in-the-Box so our kids wouldn’t go to bed without supper.  He and I weren’t very hungry  (or very tempted by the Jack-in-the-Box faire) so we shared a sandwich.

That’s when I posted a photo of my fast food soda on Instagram and realized that I had eaten restaurant food for the last 5 meals in a row!  Major failure, guys.  I let you down.

So it turns out it’s pretty hard to go 100 Days with out darkening the door (or drive-through lane) of any restaurants.

After our weekend of catastrophic failure, we got back on the wagon and have continued the plan. We even packed our lunch and started dinner in the crock pot before we went to the mall for the afternoon.

Only 18 Days left in our little adventure.

My husband feels like we’ve learned our lesson and should have ended the challenge at 50 days.  I think he’s right, sort of.  I’m not really sure that we have learned our lesson.  The last 30 days have flown by, which means it’s not really “challenging” for us anymore, I guess.  On the other hand, we haven’t experienced the changes I expected.

When we reach day 100, I’ll explain what I mean.

Tell me in the comments, what would you have done in our “failure” situations?

I’m sure there was a better solution, but I sure didn’t see it at the time.


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  1. THAT was a great challenge – eating out is so much harder for us now that we live in the “country.” But, man drive through is still a super challenge on the road. Still great job!!!

    Posted 3.22.16 Reply
    • Christina wrote:

      It really is! I think it’s because it has become the norm for us. Before fast food was so prevalent, we would have planned to head home earlier or our friends would have planned to feed us again. Shoot, I probably would have brought a casserole to share with their family or something like that (in the “old days”). If we really want to change our behavior, we have to change our thinking!

      Posted 3.22.16 Reply