It’s been one week since I gave up Twitter, Instagram, animal products, alcohol and boys for one month. If you’re a bit confused, you might want to check out part one here.
Well week one is over and it’s been interesting. I’m going to be completely honest here, I’ve been really crap this week at sticking to my promises this week. Specifically, the whole giving up animal products thing and Instagram. I am not surprised by either of these.
Boys and booze have been the easiest things to kick. I’ve been sick with the flu so I haven’t exactly been screaming for a glass of wine or a lil make out session. I’m also currently living with my parents in Geelong, Australia so I feel that this is important to the narrative as I don’t think I have dated anyone from here since 2017. For good reason.
Overall, it’s been a productive week with a lot of breakthroughs so let’s get into it.
This downhill spiral started on day one. I reached into the freezer for some food I had prepped the week prior, popped the Tupperware container into the microwave and quickly chowed down with my fork before I realised, shit I put cheese in this…
I had another six containers of food prepped up all with cheese in them. I could shell a few off to my younger brother but ultimately, I had to make the decision to either toss them or eat them.
I chose to eat them, and please bear with me while I explain the rationale behind this thinking:
I personally believe it would be more wasteful for me to throw out perfectly good food.
So I decided to deal with my poor pre-planning, suck it up, and eat a little bit of cheese once per day. Feel free to challenge me on this thinking, but honestly I was never going to toss a perfectly good pasta bake.
From past experience, eating animal products comes from a place of habit. So initially I vowed to only eat my food because I had already cooked it, but soon after I found myself justifying other animal products that found their way into my food. I remained vegetarian, and considering my high-fish diet while I was in Hawaii that was a miracle in itself, but I would reach for the mayonnaise without much thought which was a little shocking.
My Catholic guilt when it comes to other people giving me food that doesn’t align with how I’m eating at that moment is RIFE. I’m a very big people pleaser, and I’d prefer to politely eat something than make a fuss about something not being vegan or vegetarian. I feel that this is something I could work on, because 9/10 it probably isn’t a problem.
I visited my Grandmother during the week who doesn’t understand climate change entirely, or being vegan. She told me that fish isn’t meat and I had a hard time trying to tell her why I believe it is. So a lot of the time when I’m hanging out with her, I do make adjustments to my diet. She’s also 90 and I don’t want to put her out too much - I did tell her how to whip up a mean vegan bean salad though and popped leftovers in the fridge for her… >:)
As Easter approached, I became adamant that if I could get through Easter without eating animal products, I could get through any old day of the year. In the spirit of trying to change my ways, I went to purchase some vegan Easter eggs for myself.
I know a very small portion of my following is from Geelong, Australia but let me just brag about a bulk foods grocer here that I absolutely LOVE. Valerie’s Panty opened at the beginning of last year and as a champion of trying to lower my waste, I was obviously a fan even before I stepped into the store.
And they have expanded! I popped in on Wednesday for the first time in over a year and was very happy to find even more bulk, waste free goods available for purchase including a whole load of vegan chocolate varietals… including creme eggs!
So thanks Valerie’s Pantry for making my first vegan Easter a lot easier! I filled up my containers with mint chocolate bark and vegan creme eggs and ate them in the bath last night like a boss.
I feel like I need to clarify a few things about the social media aspect of this challenge:
I am not going completely cold turkey for this challenge as I feel like I don’t have as much of an addiction to Facebook or Snapchat compared to Instagram and Twitter. My relationship with both platforms are very healthy in comparison.
I am remaining signed into my client accounts for the duration of the challenge because a gal has to work, so I am technically still using the apps, but again, I don’t have the same kind of negative experience managing account for other people.
I did log into my account a few times this week to send messages for clients to some contacts I only have on Instagram. I didn’t check my feed, notifications or read any other messages I have received.
This month for me is more about trying to rebuild a healthy relationship between myself, Instagram and Twitter and trying to distance myself from the influence and bullshit on those platforms.
So far I have discovered that I open the instagram app shocking amount out of pure habit. I’m talking over 20 times (the most being while I was pooping, tbh) which is CRAZY. It has become a habit I don’t think I’ve even paid attention to until now, and mindlessly scrolling is not a habit I wish to return to after this month is over.
It was odd when Notre Dame burned earlier in the week that I couldn’t go straight to Twitter or my Instagram story to make a post. I can’t really describe the feeling. It was kind of like a FOMO of sorts relating to missing out on contributing to a conversation, but I also felt happy that I wasn’t being saturated with content I didn’t really care about.
Of course, I published a blog post about the ordeal, and I felt as though the quality of the conversation I started (especially after sharing the post on Facebook) was much more thought provoking than anything I would have experienced had I made a quick post on Twitter or Instagram.
I also feel that people who read my blog and generally more engaged than those who follow me on Instagram. If we go back to the whole mindless scroll thing, it is easy to be up to date with your friends without actually registering any information at all. So if you are reading this right now, a very big fat thank you from me, I really appreciate you being here.
I do use Instagram a lot more for things other than mindless scrolling, however. I use it to check up cafe opening times as in Australia many businesses only have this information on their Instagram, or getting new workouts from a few of my favourite fitness accounts. So from a reference point of view, I do find Instagram is invaluable, simply because everyone is on there.
My screen time use on my iPhone has been dramatically down this week. I have noticed a habit where I am spending a little more time on Facebook right now than I normally would, but I think this is a result of some client work I’m currently doing, as well as me trying to be more engaged in some groups for future client acquisition. These are productive reasons to be using socials so I don’t really have a problem with it.
So what have I been doing if I haven’t been scrolling through the depths of Instagram? Well, I’ve read on average 5 New York Times articles per day, kept on top of all the blogs I subscribe to, written more blog posts than I have been able to produce in months, revisited a lot of old works and watched about 3 hours of art history lessons on Youtube and finished my recent book. I have also watched a lot of films, At Eternity’s Gate, the entire Divergent series with my Dad (lol), a couple of Indiana Jones films, and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist to name a few.
I have also spent a lot of time working on my business this week. I did my tax finally (!!!!), applied for a business loan, fixed up some things on my website, and began making plans for the next 5 years which is scary and very exciting. More on that later though…