I’m not doing this for vanity’s sake, and I recognize that if I return to my $12-cocktail ways promptly upon wrapping up the week, I’m not going to maintain my peanut-butter-sandwich figure, but still, when one has to get up every morning and survey a kitchen filled with tasty treats that are off-limits, some of which, in fact, contain caffeine, one should, I think, get some karmic benefit. And if my interim weight loss is my little side perk, I’ll take it.
Also, I should note that on Monday night, I dreamed I was in the desert. With my parents. I believe we were on some sort of road trip together, and we were stopped at a gas station that had a cooler filled with ice, water and bottles of soda. My mother pulled a 20-ounce bottle of Diet Coke out of the cooler and held it up. Water beaded and dripped down the side. “Would you like one?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said, grasping for the bottle. Then, just as I touched the cool, slick side of it, I realized it was only Monday night. My hand dropped. My face fell. “Never mind,” I said. “I’m not allowed to have that this week.”
Later in the dream, I went out to a restaurant and ordered a food pellet about the size of a jelly bean. At the very least, my Challenge dreams are keeping me entertained, even if they’re a bit torturous in the offing.
Today, I decided that I was rationing a little too closely. Hence, my day became one long series of mini-meals. I started off with a redo of Sunday morning’s egg-in-a-basket; then took leftover oatmeal to eat mid-morning; then ate a peanut butter sandwich one half at a time, spacing those halves out by about an hour and a half; then had a container of split pea soup around 4 p.m.; then came home and made what might be the tastiest concoction yet: a rice and lentil dish made in the rice cooker that came out as smooth and creamy as risotto.
Meanwhile, Amy Sherman, who got me into this in the first place, was posting on Twitter about the fabulous recipes she’s developing that are budgeted for $1 a meal. I guarantee whatever she was working on was better than what I was eating, but so be it.
In the late afternoon, I got an email from another Iowa friend—a former boss who was flying out for a conference. She was available for a Friday evening get-together if I had the time open.
I did, indeed have the time open, but had to figure out how best to be a gracious hostess while staying on track with the challenge. Friday night would be so very, very close to the end of the thing—if I could make it that far, I had to make it the last 24 hours.
We agreed to eat dinner separately (her somewhere fabulous, probably picked from a list I would recommend to her, and me, at home, where the dining would not be nearly as delicious…), and then meet for drinks. My beverage of choice? It would be the ever-popular water. But I promised her we’d go somewhere where the cocktails were tasty and up to San Fran standards.
After all, I do live here. Wherever we go will still be serving cocktails when I’m done with this and am ready to go back. And I will be grateful, because I’ll have the freedom and flexibility to do that. Every time I start descending into poor-me whining, I just remind myself of that, and that pretty much does the trick.