Monday, October 10, 2011

Short & Sweet

Making this a quick one - I'm trying to blow through a ton of work today in the hopes of getting out of here early enough to get home, walk my pups and get back to CFCC for some snatch action. (The jokes just write themselves.)

I sort of expected this weekend to be something of a challenge. PhillyGuy and I road tripped it up to visit his parents and grandparents, which - like any visit to an Italian family - typically involves food (and gluten, and sugar, and and and) in excess. Normally, for a weekend like this, while I don't just go balls to the wall and eat everything that's offered to me, I have no compunctions about eating a fresh cider donut or a couple pieces of toast with breakfast or a slice or two of sheet pizza. Not so much this time.

I prepared myself as best I could by packing some necessities into my purse:

Two bags of my favorite buffalo jerky (for snacks and, if necessary, emergency meal replacements...I asked PhillyGuy to get me four, but this is apparently all that was left in the store), jump rope (for travel WOD-ing on the in-laws' back porch), water bottle (for surgically attaching to my hand), food log (for, well, food logging).

Also, my nook (for reading lots of US Weekly and maybe some of the Impressionists). Which has nothing to do with this challenge.

Here are the challenges I expected: lots of donuts, pizza, bread and desserts being offered. Lots of pressure to change my mind after I politely declined said donuts, pizza, bread and/or desserts. Lots of scrutiny about what I was eating or not eating. Lots of questions about what I was doing and why.

Here is what actually happened: true to form, Mama PhillyGuy greeted us with a jug of fresh cider and a dozen or two warm, fresh cider donuts from the Cider Mill down the street. She offered both of us one (or two or ten), and asked me if I'd ever had one warm. Perhaps PhillyGuy gave his parents a heads up, or perhaps they gleaned some stuff from facebook or something, but she wasn't surprised when I told her that I wasn't going to have one.

There were some questions about what I was doing - "is it some kind of cleanse or something?" has been a common one, not just with my inlaws but with almost everyone who's caught wind of it - but thankfully, very little else. There was one point where she literally shoved some kind of caramel apple pie directly under my face, and one incident in the grocery store where she tried to convince me that I could have apple crisp, since she didn't add sugar to her apples, but all in all, it was really nothing.

Which I was completely grateful for. I really, really dislike being scrutinized about my eating, particularly WHILE I'm eating. They were very accommodating - when his dad grilled up some spiedies and locally-made sausages for lunch, Mama PhillyGuy helped me check all of the labels to make sure there was no added sugar or anything else funny in the ingredient lists, and made sure that she was OK to use her regular rice vinegar to dress the salad - but not at all intrusive, and no one tried to get into a debate with me about how whole grains are healthy or whatever.

All in all, the weekend was a non-issue, but it's eye-opening. My takeaways:

- It's amazing just how much ritual is built around food. PhillyGuy and I have discussed numerous times how it's a struggle, particularly for him, to eat well when we visit his parents. It's not just because there is, literally, ALWAYS food available - plates of candy and homemade cookies everywhere at Christmas, everyone you visit putting out a tray of snacks, ranging from antipasto and crackers to home-smoked prosciutto to candied nuts and cheese - when you come hang out with them. It's also because you associate so many things with "coming home" or "family time" or whatever. It's fall, so we always, ALWAYS have cider and cider donuts and usually an apple pie or apple crisp. His parents frequently pick up a sheet pizza to snack on when the kids come visit (like spiedies, it's a Binghamton thing - pizza baked in a sheet pan, topped with american cheese) that we inevitably graze on, hot or cold, for the duration of our stay. We'll go visit his uncle, who might make three varieties of homemade pizza or homemade pasta or both. You don't eat because you're hungry, you eat because it's ritual.

- Not partaking in the ritual feast doesn't stop you from partaking in the important part of the ritual - hanging out with people you love and catching up with them.

- The only time I was a little jealous of the "let's eat whatever" mentality was Saturday night. We were all stuffed from gorging ourselves on spiedies, salad and sausage around 2 or 3 that afternoon, so no one had dinner. Around 8 or 9, people started getting snacky, and one by one, my husband and his parents went into the kitchen and then returned to the living room with big plates of apple pie and whipped cream. I didn't want the actual pie (I'm not a pie fan in general), and I wasn't even hungry OR particularly snacky myself, but I felt a little left out that everyone else was eating and I wasn't. So silly, right?

- PhillyGuy had the bright idea that "he" (read: both of us) would make breakfast for nine people. While cooking this much food in someone else's kitchen is nerve-wracking, this was good because I got to control the menu enough to ensure that there was plenty of food for me. We made two pounds of Whole Foods fresh cut black forest bacon, twenty eggs (some fried, some over easy, the rest scrambled), a few links of kielbasa, and diced sweet potatoes pan-fried in bacon grease with an onion. I had three (small-ish) eggs, a little bit of potato, three slices of bacon and two small slices of kielbasa. Everyone else built out the breakfast with toast, pastries, a variety of cider donuts, juice and fruit - and no one commented on what I was or wasn't eating, which was a relief.

- There is a noticeable difference in the quality of the $5 jumprope I picked up at Target and the jumpropes at the gym. The workout I intended to do involved 50-40-30-20-10 double-unders alternated with overhead squats with the rope, but I couldn't get the rope to move fast enough to do more than one DU at a time. After it took the better part of 5-6 minutes to get to 25 DU's, I said "F this noise" and switched to twice as many singles. Total, this workout took me about 12 minutes, I worked up a nice dripping sweat, and got it all out of the way before my inlaws even woke up. There truly is NO excuse not to work out when you're traveling.

So now I'm back to work and experimenting with portable breakfasts with minimal AM prep time.

Repeat from Friday and one other day last week: shredded smoked pork (from Costco - surprisingly clean ingredients list and I think $8 for three or four pounds) topped with two over-easy eggs. Total prep time of six minutes, including a quick wash of the pan and spatula.

Rest of last week's workouts:

- Friday 10/7 - Lynne redux. 5 rounds of max bench presses and max pull ups. I hadn't done this workout since the first round four weeks ago, before I hurt my shoulder. We were instructed to use the same weight and (if applicable) same band, with the goal being to show progress in the number of reps you could complete. For me, this was 90lbs/average band. The weight felt a LOT heavier than it had the first time, which I chalked up to my shoulder - I was noticeably weaker on my left side, but I was eking out 5 or 6 reps in each round. And then, three rounds in, Liz noticed that I was actually lifting 95 pounds, not 90. So, you know, fail. Can't measure progress with this one, but my rounds were 6/11, 5/11, 4/10, 4/9 and 4/8.

- Sunday 10/9 - travel workout! I put together my own based on the suggested workouts available on the CFCC page. 50-40-30-20-10 DU's alternated with 25-20-15-10-5 OH squats with the rope...except I actually did 25DU's followed by 80-60-40-20 singles due to rope suckage. Still sweated my butt off.

OK, much for a "short" and "quick" post. Hope everyone had a good weekend!

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