I Am That Girl Now

Friday, April 29, 2005

Conversations with my Inner Cartman.

For yet another week, I've hit the exact same spot on the ol' scale: 125.5. Wow. This never happens. I'm used to fluctuation; hitting the same number week after week is just bizarre.

I nearly crashed and burned yesterday and it was all my own fault. First of all, I hadn't slept well, or long enough. Then I started wondering yesterday afternoon what I should do for my "free day"-- where we should go for dinner. The problem here is that when we're busily paying off credit cards (go DOWN, stupid balance, go DOWN), as we are now, we need to eat cheap if we go out-- and most cheap stuff, I find, is no longer agreeable to my palate. Limp, soggy, greasy, tasteless pizza. Dry, brittle pastry. Greasy noodles. Blah fries. Dry meats with nasty sauce on top. Everything out there seems oversalted, overgreased, underflavored, and generally nasty... which makes the stuff we make at home seem heavenly by comparison. Apparently our plan to make healthy food more appealing than the bad stuff has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

(My Hub currently has some lean pork chops brining. If you don't brine your pork, you totally should; the modern American hog is so lean that it has a tendency to dry out when cooked. Brining sucks more moisture into the cellular structure and adds bonus flavor without added calories-- and that means you won't feel the need for added calorie-laden shit on top. We learned this from watching Good Eats. If you don't watch Good Eats, you should, because Alton Brown is the dorky geek god of cooking shows.)

Anyway, in an effort to seek out something I'd actually want to splurge on, I spent far too much time yesterday afternoon investigating quality restaurants with prix fixe menus or deals that you can get before such-and-such time. Sadly, this coincided with both a) me being ravenously hungry and b) my Hub being too tired to make dinner. We got home, and there was a long delay, and then he fell asleep watching TV, and I thought "well, fuck this, I'll make something" and ventured into the kitchen.

And then the fun began.

I was starving. I was tired. I was resentful that I had to make dinner when I was starving and tired.

I grabbed leftovers out of the refrigerator to combine with new stuff. I developed a plan: brown up the leftover ground turkey, chop up the leftover pork tenderloin and throw that in, too (there was only about a serving of each left), steam the pound of asparagus, chop up some scallions and half a Granny Smith apple, throw it all in a pan with the leftover whole wheat pasta, and after heating it all, put it in two bowls and sprinkle on some crumbled gorgonzola. Voila, dinner.

For the record: in spite of being a recipe I pulled completely out of my ass, this was a DAMN FINE recipe. It worked very well and we both loved it. (Next time perhaps a small amount of olive oil or some other kind of binder to pull it all together, but really? it was DAMN FINE.) I have, after all this time, managed to learn how to cook, to do so on the fly, using in-house ingredients, and to do so in a healthy and tasty manner. Took two years, but I seem to have some idea of what I'm doing now.

However. I was ravenous. I was tired. And I kept picking at the leftover pasta because, dudes, I was HUNGRAAAAAY. Before I knew it, there was only one serving left. Son of a bitch, I had to make MORE. Which meant that the whole thing took longer, which meant that I kept picking at the chopped-up pork tenderloin and steamed asparagus and crumbled gorgonzola. So by the time I finally served dinner (to my Hub's rave reviews, hooray!), I'd already eaten a whole serving's worth of the stuff and then I ate dinner, too. I didn't dare go back into the kitchen, so when I realized I hadn't gotten my water to drink with my meal-- well, too bad, no water.

Yippee skippy, I gave myself heartburn. I spent the rest of the night fending off my Inner Cartman's insistance that we were close enough to the Day Off to go ahead and keep eating. It went something like this:

Cartman: You know, tomorrow is our Day Off. Tomorrow is practically the same thing as today, just starting early.

Me: It is not. Besides, we have to weigh in tomorrow morning, and I don't want it to be skewed because I'm still trying to see if this Day Off phenomenon is okay or if it's going to start fucking things up.

Cartman: It's probably already skewed because of that double-dose of dinner. Might as well get some popcorn. Or peanut butter. Or put the peanut butter ON the popcorn! Or go get ice cream!

Me: Shut up, Cartman.

(Yes, it's terribly insane for me to be having this conversation with myself, but it really does put the I Want Everything, Totally Extremist Crazy-Ass MoFo id into perspective when I call it Cartman. Besides, that means that I get to say "Shut up, Cartman" in the Kyle voice, and that's fun.)

I compensated by giving myself slack on my other goals for the night-- no, I didn't drink that water, no, I didn't brush my teeth after dinner, no, I didn't write a thank-you card, no, I didn't write for five minutes. I curled up under a blanket and fell asleep. Then I got up and changed into my pajamas and my Hub tucked me into bed and that was it for the night.

Got up this morning, weighed in, still at goal. And welcome to the Day Off!

The problem with the Day Off is that I just don't do things by halves. So when I woke up this morning, there was all sorts of chatter coming from the Inner Cartman about what glorious things could be done with this window of opportunity.

Cartman: We could get one of those muffins for breakfast. And a Starbucks mocha latte. Or McDonald's!

Me: We're not getting McDonald's, that shit is nasty.

Cartman: Okay, but the muffin, right? Something sweet. We could wait until we're at work, and then go to the lobby and get a muffin. Or one of those brownies from the cafeteria! Or, hey, okay, this would be great-- seriously, we should go to the drugstore, like we used to, and get a carton of Ben & Jerry's, because it totally wasn't fair that we always have to share 'em with the Hub. We totally deserve our own. Or chips! We haven't had Doritos in AGES!

Me: I don't like Doritos anymore, dumbass.

Cartman: Right, that's cool, the Ben & Jerry's would be good. Just take it back to the office and we could close the door and eat the whole thing. Sweeeeeet. Or candy! One of those bags of candy, remember, we used to do that--

Me: I don't have the money for this. We're on a budget.

Cartman: That's cool, smaller scale is cool. You got change, right? And there's like two buck's worth of change left over from doing laundry. You know how much vending-machine candy we could get with that?

Me: Okay, fine, I will put the change in my bag. Now shut the hell up, there's nothing we can do until work anyway.

My legs, by the way, are tired. Three days in a row of running, a lot of walking, and all of it with me trying to walk properly for a change... then add on quads-and-hamstrings strength training and yoga this morning, and they're not necessarily sore, but boy, are my legs tired of working. That's another bit of danger, right there: I get tired of my usual stuff, and I start feeling entitled to treats.

Got to work.


Me: I know we're hungry, but we're hungry every day. Look, we're gonna eat the apple first, okay?

Cartman: Fine, but then candy.

Me: Actually, I think I'm going to go get some water.

Cartman: Okay, but then CANDY.

Me: We'll drink the water first. And hey, while we're doing that, I think we should check in on everyone's blogs.

Cartman: Yeah, but...

Me: Just a minute, seriously. Oh, hell, the pedometer didn't even get to 3,000 steps this morning. We gotta catch up. How about we hold off on the candy until after we get past 5K, hmm? It'll be like a reward. Besides, we're not really hungry anymore because of the apple and the water.

Cartman: But we have the change! The vending machine is right there! Come on, dammit, we deserve it! It's the Day Off! CANDAAAAAAAAYYY!

Me: You know, I'm remembering now that you were like this the day that the Hub stayed home from work, and I decided not to listen to you and I did just fine. And since we're not hungry anymore, and we've got the water and the steppin' going, and reading people's blogs and all... I'm kind of feeling in a groove here. I don't really feel like the candy thing now, okay?


Me: Fuck off, okay? I've got some work to do.

So. So far, so good. Back in a groove. I may or may not have a candy bar this afternoon. At this rate, probably not. That's cool. Dinner will be interesting, and that's good. I am going to RELAX, dammit, and get some work done, and stop obsessing on food and talking to myself.


  • Hahaha -- foodTV totally needs a show called "Iron Chef Mystery Freezer" where the chairman hands you a foil wrapped frozen lump of something and you have to make five courses with whatever is in your house.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:36 PM  

  • In our house, the mystery foil-wrapped lump once turned out to be duck fat, carefully shaped into a patty the exact same shape as the leftover salmon patties. This was a bad surprise when I thought I was grabbing things for lunch one day...

    By Blogger Meg, at 2:48 PM  

  • I was doing some thinking during the week about how I could eat out today and still stay on my detox. What I finally came up with was having stirfry veggies with chicken at the wok in the box where they use fresh veggies and make it in front of you. Then I thought what a waste of money it will be since I can do that very cheaply at home. I'll probably eat there though so the hubs can get something tasty, he has been suffering this week since I bought so very little in the way of things he likes. :)

    By Blogger ms ralph, at 5:46 PM  

  • As long as we're geeking out over Alton, I just wanted to share this. Squeee.

    I have not tried brining my pork, but I totally am going to soon. Yum.

    By Anonymous Julie, at 9:07 AM  


    I am officially green with envy. GREEN. ::dies::

    Do try brining the pork. It's so worthwhile. Follow AB's recipe and it'll all be good. My Hub brines pork chops, pork tenderloin, and (once) a turkey, which turned out to be a really, really, really good idea. Any kind of meat that usually dries out when cooked can benefit from it. All hail Good Eats!

    By Blogger Meg, at 10:21 AM  

  • Your inner Cartman cracks me up. I wish I had mine as whipped as you have yours. I keep telling him that he's not the one in charge here, but he still manages to slip things by me every once in a while (or sometimes more than every once in a while...)

    By Blogger Noames, at 4:04 PM  

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