Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let it Snow!!!

Week 3 (So, my old foe, we meet on the battlefield once again...) complete!! Whoo hoo!!

Thus endeth week three as a Weight Watcher. And I'm down another 2.4 pounds for a total of 8.2! Closing in on ten pounds and 360 as fast as I can!  I apologize for the late posting this week, vacation and a giant snowstorm happened and suddenly Monday became Wednesday faster than I realized.  Here are some things I have learned in the last few weeks, in no particular order.

1) Diet soda makes me hungry!  Like, so-ravenous-I-could-happily chew-off-my-own-hand-except-then-I-wouldn't-be-able-to-eat-more-and-thus-assuage-the-beast kind of hungry. Readers for whom hunger manifests as crankiness would recognize this as the point at which you snap and stab your significant other in the eye with a spork for breathing too loud. Fortunately for my loved ones, I am not generally a cranky hungry person. What I am is a dumb hungry person. Hunger takes over my brain until my cerebral cortex generates a blue screen of death (tm Dancing Lemur and the Thinkpad) that reads "Error 404: shoe tying file unavailable at this time, please insert 100 calories to continue". This diet soda quandary is bad news for a serious caffeine addict like myself. I realize that coffee would be the obvious solution, but one of my weirder quirks is that I really dislike hot drinks first thing in the morning. This, combined with a natural tendency to be a bit of a night owl and a job that considers the song Who Needs Sleep? to be its anthem has lead to a lifelong habit of drinking soda for breakfast. In college during 8am bio class it was usually Mountain Dew (side note: R-dogg and I were in the same class. Our circle of friends were primarily non-science majors, which meant a lot of 4am bedtimes after which he and I and our friend M were the only three hauling ourselves out of bed at the crack of dawn. (side note to the side note for science-y people. Why this ridiculous obsession with early mornings?? My interest in human physiology should not consign me to rising before dawn for the rest of my foreseeable life. Chemistry can be taught just as easily at 10am and I would have been a lot more awake for it. I realize I could have just gone to bed earlier, but that is so not my point here. The point is, science is cool and should be accessible to those of us whose circadian rhythms are not naturally in sync with a rooster's. Who's with me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?) Anyway, one morning he bounced along to class in an uncharacteristically chipper mood chattering enthusiastically about the Surge he had drunk for breakfast and how he was totally going to stay awake for the whole lecture. Not five minutes later he was sound asleep with his head on my shoulder. Turns out caffeine is not, in point of fact, an acceptable substitute for sleeping, who knew?) Eventually I came to realize what the civilized world already knew (namely, Mountain Dew is disgusting.  On that note, I can't even fathom what would have possessed me to ever drink Surge, and yet one of the most upsetting things that happened to my friends and I freshman year was when somebody stole a case of it that we had purchased for spring break.  And yes, I realize most college students would not have considered soft drinks a remotely acceptable beverage to be consumed during spring break, but we lived in a substance free dorm.  I didn't discover the restorative powers of a good margarita until much later.) and I switched to Coke. I do very much enjoy a good cup of coffee (Dunkin' Donuts Hazelnut is the gold standard of coffee, you Starbucks weirdos are just cracked) but I habitually drank it at night. My current job has also lead to a 10:30 am coffee habit (two years of 10am radiology rounds followed by coffee and bed rounds has engendered a completely Pavlovian response in me at that time of day. Turns out that guy with the dogs knew what he was talking about, who knew?)  Any Hobbit readers (and apparently the British, according to Wikipedia) will recognize the 10:30 am coffee break as "Elevenses". In an effort to find something that will not also drive me to have Second Breakfast, I'm giving up soda for Lent.  In the interest of not ending up on the news after I go on a caffeine withdrawl induced crime spree I'm switching to unsweetened iced tea.  Does anybody else have any cold caffeinated drink suggestions?  I'm allergic to aspartame but otherwise I'm game to try anything.

Theoretically my driveway is under there somewhere.

2) Shoveling snow will earn you a metric ton of Weight Watchers activity points.  Some of you may be aware that here in the Northeast, we had a little snow last weekend.  I was out of town in Savannah, GA enjoying the Stuffed French Toast at the Hamilton-Turner Inn with some very dear friends while my house got buried (and yes, the breakfasts were worth any weight I might have gained while eating them!).  I got home Monday and discovered I couldn't find my driveway.  Mom and Dad made a valiant effort to dig me out while I was gone but unfortunately, three feet of wet snow was a bit too much for my trusty Snow Joe.

My poor Snow Joe was just buried!

It came up past my knees!

By Monday, as you might expect, everything was frozen solid.  To make matters worse, it was raining, making my driveway covered in a layer of frozen snow with sodden slush underneath.  It was like the world's worst sandwich, crusty enough on the top to break your teeth but a sodden, mushy mess on the bottom.  Those of you who know me will know I have just the tiniest stubborn streak (read: I hate like fire to admit I can't do something).  I especially hate being viewed as the weaker sex.  It galls me beyond belief when people assume because I don't have a husband I must therefore be resigned to never opening a jar again.  (Perhaps in that respect I should be a little less independent.  Fewer open jars means fewer Weight Watchers points, right?)  I don't mean that to sound like I don't know my own limits.  Obviously some things are a two person job (like installing a large air conditioner), and just as obviously there are some things I simply don't know how to do (like drywalling.  The feminist in me insists that I point out here that I could learn how to drywall if I wanted to.  She's pushy that way, no wonder she doesn't have some guy to open jars for her).  But I've never had any trouble clearing my own snow before.  Sure, it might take me longer than some, but I always get the job done eventually.  I must admit, Storm Nemo almost broke my willpower along with my girl power.  Halfway through, I briefly admitted defeat and started calling around to see if I could find someone to come plow me out.  After a while, my natural determination won out (which is good, because there was not a plow to be found) and my girl power got a second wind.  3.5 hours later, success was mine!!

Girl Power FTW!!!
You'll note that my house is reflected in an ankle deep puddle of ice water at the foot of the driveway.  Standing in that puddle chipping away at the huge mound the snowplows had created was almost my undoing.  I actually heard Mom's voice in my head telling me I was going to catch pneumonia and had an imaginary internal argument with her, insisting as I always do that it's just an old wives' tale.  (Side note: so is the thing about wet hair.)  Despite all my years of education, I never seem to win that argument.  In reality, it was just cold, wet, and extremely uncomfortable.  But I won!!  As an added bonus, all that shoveling counted for 36 activity points!  It doesn't come close to covering the shrimp and grits I ate over the weekend but I don't regret a single bite shared with good friends.  I also tried their Cajun Gator appetizer, it was delicious!  And no, it doesn't taste like chicken.

3)  Weight Watchers ice cream cups are an insult to ice cream.  File that under "most disappointing thing I have ever eaten" (and that says a lot, as I once tried durian cake).  The mint chocolate chip ones (mint chocolate chip being of course the gold standard of ice cream) tasted like toothpaste.  And not even the good kind of toothpaste.  Even the memory makes my tongue start looking for an escape route (*shudder*).  They did redeem themselves with the ice cream bars though.  I'm not saying they can hold a candle to The Dairy Bar, but they are definitely acceptable.  

4)  Blue cheese makes everything better.  For some reason I've really been craving pungent cheeses lately.  I generally like things with strong flavors (my experience with durian notwithstanding) and blue cheese really fits the bill.  As I'm getting out of the habit of eating out, I'm trying to expand my cooking repertoire.   Do any of you have any good recipes to share?  

Best Non-Running Related Discover This Week:  At Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash.  I've been reflecting recently on how much iTunes has changed the way I listen to music.  The ability to shop song by song means it's been a long time since I've found a whole album I truly enjoy.  The last one was probably Wildflowers by Tom Petty which was released in 1994.  It took me a while to really develop an appreciation for Johnny Cash.  On last week's Pop Culture Happy Hour they discussed the song As Long As the Grass Shall Grow and their feeling that his voice is one you have to grow into as you get older.  I would have to agree with that assessment.  For a long time I hated any kind of country music.  I'm still not a huge fan of the genre but Cash undeniably has one of the greatest voices of his generation.  His style is really more rockabilly than strictly country, with enough of a crossover in to rock and roll to appeal to a hair band lover like myself.  Also, I stand slightly in awe of anyone with enough cojones to sing about a prison break to a group of incarcerated convicts!

What's On Tap For This Week:
Sunday:  off
Monday:  2.25 miles a ton of snow shoveling (done!)
Tuesday:  off
Wednesday: 2.25 miles
Thursday: 30 minute walk
Friday: 2.25 miles
Saturday: 30 minute walk

Wish me luck, and as always, if you find me collapsed in a heap on the side of the road, do the decent thing and at least offer me a ride home!


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