Tuesday, July 19, 2011

baby steps

Yesterday after work, I forced myself to go to the Pentagon gym annex that is literally one block from my office.  The happy hour Allie and I were due to attend was postponed, I had a fully-stocked gym bag, and nothing to get home for.  Did I mention it's one block from my office? The guilt I would experience by not going would far exceed the slight awkwardness inherent with trying a gym for the first time.  I had. To. Go.

Despite a slightly comical, less than top notch work out, I type this with leaden arms.  Yoga tonight should be a joy...

But I digress (which, really, you should be used to by now).  So by the time I emerged from the slightly pathetic gym annex into the humid  pea soup of an evening, I was really longing for the "good old days" of peanut butter sandwiches that someone else whipped up for me.

Yep, the good old days looked just like this. 

In fact, the good old...new...days look pretty similar, minus the Peter Pan collared shirts (this was my obviously child-friendly meal last night)

See, when I walked in to my apartment, I was starving, and I had already planned to have a turkey sandwich.  But I thought to myself "why not take it up a notch?"  The options were endless...toast the bread and roast some peppers? Get George (Foreman) fired up and panini press the bread? Make a grilled turkey and cheese on the stove? Throw some sort of chili garlic spread on the sandwich? And what side should I have? Maybe a salad?...

Finally the ravenous lunatic voice in my head quieted the budding foodie voice, and I went the simple turkey route.  It seems really, well, amusing, I'm sure, that such a quick and minor debate made me kind of proud of myself. But it wasn't a particularly long time ago that plain turkey (or plain pasta) every night was the status quo.  I never bothered questioning my simple, rote food choices.  Now I'm at least trying to diversify things in the LKTC.  In fact, tonight post-yoga, I'll be calling on George to help me grill up chicken kebabs with a curious spice rub that I pre-made last night (minus the chili powder, which I seem to be lacking...let's hope that's not the crucial element...). Baby steps are pretty much the way I operate (except flying, which is unfortnately kind of an all or nothing gig, I'm afraid).

But in times of extreme hunger, my newfound dilgence tends to fly out the window. Last night wasn't a dire situation, but I was quickly approaching it.  Once I'm there, it's difficult to recover, and no one likes ravenous Jenny.  She can't form complete sentences, and she may or may not stab you with a fork if you try to derail her from the pursuit of food.

Case in point, my hair appointment last week.  I thought I'd left myself enough time to metro to the general vicinity and get a snack first.  Then I had to work late.  Then the metro had one of its many infamous meltdowns.  So one frantic cab ride later, I blew in to the salon, announced that I would be back in a few minutes, and jogged to the nearby Safeway. 

I picked what I thought would be the shortest line (always a huge, huge joke) to buy my animal crackers and dark chocolate Reese's cups (see: loss of diligence in the face of extreme hunger).  The woman in front of me and her bajillion children were nearly done paying.  OR SO I THOUGHT. 

Turns out the ground beef she was buying was buy one, get one free.  So of course one of her innumerable toddlers got to go pick out a second package.  While we all stood at waited.  The kid finally reappeared and the mother paid.  After taking possibly lightyears to put her food in reusable bags, she decided she needed another couple bags.  Well, here in DC, we pay 5 cents for bags.  So she had to intiate an entirely new transaction.  Finally the man starts ringing me up, and another employee comes to ask him a question.  Instead of, oh, I don't know, multitasking, the man stopped to talk solely to his coworker.  I finally paid and quickly ate, staving off a total meltdown, but I was dangerously close to making a scene in Safeway and/or shoplifting for the first time in my entire life.

The bottom line here is, sometimes I need to revert to the good old days (turkey sandwiches, animal crackers) and forgo the attempts at creativity, or it could get ugly.  Fast.

(I think I'll leave the Peter Pan collars to my five year old self, though)

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