Thursday, January 03, 2013
Happy new year, SparkFriends! I'm glad to say I'm back home again, planning and tracking and sparking and no longer having to cope with the difficulties of Other People's Food.
Or, as it turns out, Other People's incredibly insensitive gifts.
First, though, the good news: the trip lasted 7 days, and I went to my mother's gym 3 times for excellent workouts. Another day my daughter and I took a beautiful hike with my sister, and on a different day we walked all over town for 2 hours with my brother. We even managed to get my mother and step-father to take some shorter walks with us through some natural landmarks. In terms of staying active and exercising, I'd call this trip a smashing success!
The food situation was infinitely more challenging, however. No matter how hard I tried, I never seemed to fit in more than 5 freggie servings in a single day. That's a massive difference from my home, where veggies take center stage. One night I offered to cook dinner (pasta with chard, onions, white beans, and leftover sausage), but even that didn't seem as chock-full-o-veggies as my usual cuisine. Each day I did the best I could, starting with a greek yogurt and fruit, and making the best of the available options throughout the day. It's just that the available options seemed to be mostly bread and cheese -- 2 things I'd pretty much gotten out of my system.
But the pinnacle was the 4 pounds of fudge. A friend of my mother had sent it to us to open Christmas morning. 4 pounds. Of fudge. That is not an exaggeration. Each pound was in its own box -- 4 boxes total. Now, I know that this friend of my mother's expresses her love by sending excessive amounts of whatever her annual gift is (one year it was tree ornaments, another year it was pralines). One pound just wouldn't say "I love you" in quite the same way as 4 pounds would.
Or would it? Wouldn't 1 pound have been kinder? Or, better yet, 4 bags of fresh fruit?
Clearly I needed a plan, or those 4 boxes were going to end up inside my body, along with all that unwanted bread and cheese. I put the boxes back under the tree, where I wouldn't see them very often.
The next day, one pound went immediately to my brother and his wife. The day after that, another pound went to my sister and her family. Two down, two to go.
At some point, my mother must have eaten a pound, because I found an empty box in the trash can. Better her than me. She's a twig anyway.
Only one pound left. I had a piece. It was just okay. I think I was so upset by the thoughtlessness of the gift that it didn't even taste good to me. In retrospect, that was a very healthy response, one that I might cultivate further. Rather than being tempted by the exorbitant mountain of fudge, I was put off by it. Nothing about it seemed appealing.
Here's the rub: had she given me only 1 pound of the stuff, I probably would have appreciated it and savored it and nibbled on it throughout the week. As a result, I would have ingested far more of it. By giving me an outrageous amount, she actually did me a favor -- I was repelled and pushed it away.
Pushing away fudge? Now that's a first for me!
Needless to say, I'm glad to be back home, where I can limit what comes into the house and I can engage in my weekly planning love with wild abandon. Just today, I made a fresh tomato soup with tomatoes I'd frozen at the peak of the summer harvest. Tonight, butternut squash risotto and gingered carrots with chicken. Breathe, plan, track, eat, clean. Breathe again.
For me, that's the comfort of home.
Wishing all of you success in your goals and dreams for 2013!