State of the Kitchen: week four

Milestone #1: I made it through one month without using takeout as a crutch for my laziness!

Money spent on food: $130 or so

People fed: 25?

Times I ate out: 1

Alcohol consumed: infinite

At first it was all fun and games. Now the real work of making food, the constant dishes, and the endless trips to the grocery store are no longer novelties. It’s not a cool resolution, anymore; it’s just my oddball “lifestyle.” I’ve noticed that people in my city use going out to eat as an excuse to spend time together, and when that excuse is gone, so is the company. I’ve had to very actively work at roping together friends to come over and eat with me or choose alternate activities. I feel so much better — minus overdoing it on the alcohol — and I look so much healthier. I’ve lost about eight pounds and it’s stayed off easily, without a fight. Even though I was happy with my weight and shape before, knowing that the extra birth-control-fueled weight gain came off while I ate whatever I wanted was reassuring, and gave me an extra boost of pride. I can see the muscles I’ve worked hard over the last several years to build and maintain.

I drove past an Applebee’s last night, and could hardly believe how packed it was. Cars were parking in two adjoining parking lots, and driving around in circles and circles trying to find spots close to the door. I love a good restaurant meal and a real treat out, but holy crap, Applebee’s food isn’t very tasty at all! Why are people driving around in circles trying to get that food? My perspective is surely changing.

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I think even more than the outside observation of an Applebee’s at dinner rush on a Friday was the takeaway that having a body is hard fucking work. Caring for a body well is really, really time-consuming, all-encompassing work. I spend all of these hours every week working out, cooking, cleaning the kitchen (except for when I don’t want to…), grocery shopping, buying new kitchen gadgets, taking vitamins, allotting time for sleep (sometimes), making the cash as a sort of athlete to pay for all of those things, going to the chiropractor and doctor, and recently, even going into a sensory deprivation tank to control pain. That’s before any of the vain stuff — having my nails painted, my hair cut and dyed, tanning, shaving, plucking, flat-ironing, putting clothes on this body. In fact, I feel like I spend most of my time doing something to, for, or with my physical body. It’s exhausting, frankly. Sometimes I don’t have any time to stretch out my brain.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I never want to live in a body filled with junk food, or a body that can’t move and work and bend and stretch and run and play and rest. I never want to drive around an Applebee’s parking lot looking for one single slot closer to the door so I can eat their wilted lettuces and be waited on by the most incompetent staff I’ve ever seen. Food should taste good. And food should be hard to prepare.

State of the kitchen: week one

Dollars spent on food: $95
Unintentional pounds lost: 4
Times dined out: 1
Dollars saved so far: $205
People I fed: 4

This was the week the project became real to me, and I discovered some unintended side effects. Instead of blowing a few hundred extra dollars on eating out, I ordered $200 in necessary new supplies for my horse, which was really rewarding. Like I said, I don’t need to save the money on food, but not spending money outright frivolously is a value of mine. I try to spend my money thoughtfully.

The dishes never end. Never. They will never end.

Also, I am always at the grocery store. Soon I will know all of the employees’ names.

I enjoyed food with my pal Staci, her husband Dave, her son Lucas, and my bestie, Anne. It was great to feed them, and I was especially proud of the food I fed to Anne after slaving over the stove for two straight hours. I did dine out with one of my best clients this week at an excellent high-end steakhouse on the coldest night of our winter so far: -15 degrees Fahrenheit! One of the exceptions to my restaurant abstinence had to be going out with my clients — a part of my job that is both a special treat and unavoidable.

Lastly, I’ve somehow lost four pounds. Not only have I lost four pounds, but I did so while literally eating sticks of butter, lots of oil, and not at all controlling my portions. I ate whatever I wanted, when I wanted it, with the only caveat of having to make it myself. I didn’t work out more to compensate, and if anything, I’ve worked out less because of the cold, time off of work, and an injury. I’ve noticed my appetite balancing out, and I’m not as hungry as I had been in previous months. Even better, my “sense of urgency” in how hungry I am has dropped drastically. I had been turning into a moody little wench (queen of tantrums held only inside of my head) if food wasn’t available to me the instant I became hungry, because my hunger was hitting hard and fast and my specific cravings were strong. Over the last week, my “sense of urgency” has diminished, and I can only attribute it to having more consistent blood sugar, a higher protein ratio, and dumping the mystery food ingredients out of my life (MSG, anyone?).

This really isn’t as hard as I thought it would be at all.

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