Sunday, August 28, 2011

Denying Myself

While doing research for my nutrition presentations, I stumbled upon a National Institutes of Health (NIH) posting of a diet for weight loss. A grand total of 1200 calories a day will deprive your body of 1-2 pounds a week, provided you stay within that calorie count and exercise.

Oh baby, I said to myself, you can do this. Well, let's just say, in theory I can do it. It's been three days now, and I haven't quite gotten down to 1200 calories. After calculating Thursday's expenditure, I was at 1570 calories, which is great for me. Friday, being Erev Shabbat, is a hard one, but I did reduce my intake noticeably at dinner. Well, I noticed, anyway.

Shabbat I was good. Passed on the cake, candy and soda and stuck with the vegetables. However, my husband and I figured out I probably took in about 500 calories at kiddush. Breakfast was seriously light, even missed my coffee. But that was accidental, since I woke up late and had to run to shul. Dinner was cholent and a corner piece of bread at 6 pm. I was really hungry when I went to bed 7 hours later.

Today, another dear friend called and asked if I was going to the Rosh Chodesh Tehillim gathering (which I forgot about) and I said I would if she picked me up. That gathering, being Jewish, offered food. Here, however, it was in the form of a donated lunch.

There was so much cake, and the kind I love. But I choose instead 4 rice stuffed grape leaves and cole slaw - at least two handfuls. I felt a little queasy in the end, but proud I had resisted the irresistible.

So before going to my mother-in-law's for pizza, I stopped at the store to pick up some healthy breakfast cereal. I am set for mornings now. Ate a vegetable salad for dinner (okay, it was big, but by then I was really hungry!), avoiding the delicious french fries and pasta, not to mention pizza.

I pray Hashem gives me the strength to continue and actually lose weight. I'm embarrassed to say that I need to drop at least 30 pounds. I'm gonna need G-d's help indeed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Latest Dilemma

For the past 3 weeks I've been teaching nutrition at a homeless shelter not far from my home. I've enjoyed it immensely as it's given me a chance to exercise my sense of humor and learn more about my intended field of practice.

But it's been a lot of work, and required a good deal of preparation time. Not that preparing lectures is a problem. I also plan to teach nutrition when I finish my Master's degree. The problem is that my internship will be starting next month, and the homeless shelter has asked me to stay on.

It really would be a good thing to stay on. But I need to write a thesis and the internship is a solid 3 days a week, with an additional day devoted to an internship class. I am one person who needs down time, and Shabbos doesn't cut it. I need to have a day, or a solid block of hours when I can veg out. Working at the shelter, preparing my thesis-inspired educational intervention, and attending to my internship is cutting things a bit close for me.

So tonight, when I met with the shelter people for an hour, for the first time ever, people talked while I talked. I was amazed, and some of the other residents noticed as well. A sign from the Holy One, perhaps?

I left there tonight thinking that it was, and pretty much made up my mind not to renew my contract. Just to be sure, I think I'll sleep on it. I'd sure hate to act in haste, repent in leisure.

Lunching With The Ladies

It all started with my decision to take a dear friend, who recently passed the Registered Dietitian's exam, to lunch. But "doing lunch" is a bit more complicated when you keep kosher and your friend does not. Plus, I wanted something nice, for a change.

So I invited my friend to La Gondola, an upscale restaurant in part to show her how the other "kosher" half lives, and in part to get something really good to eat. Then another dear friend, recently married, came home from her honeymoon and another dear friend was in town as well. And all my dear friends, and me, know and love each other. So there you have it.

The most wonderful lunch with the most delicious food I've had in quite some time. Everyone had a great time, but none more than me. What a wonderful way to break up the day. Can't wait for the next occasion to eat this good comes along. Hope it's real soon!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Last Battle

Another Jewish holiday has come and gone, but this one was rather sad. It's called Tisha B'Av, the 9th day of the month of Av, commemorating the destruction not once, but twice, of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

It's a day of mourning that begins at night, with a 24 hour fast. And that's really the part of hate.

Actually, I hate the whole thing. Being sad is a real bummer. I read the children the story of Tisha B'Av, which is definitely holocaust-like, and then watched several holocaust shows to reinforce the sadness.

What struck me about the story of Tisha B'Av is that the Jews in Jerusalem at that time were incredible warriors. The modern state of Israel's fighting ability is a continuation of a long tradition of really tough Jews.

Granted, the last two thousand years have somewhat tarnished the reputation, but that has certainly been put to rest. When G-d is on our side, there's really no enemy that can beat us.

That's the message from Tisha B'Av - unity. Jews need to stick together and not fight each other. We need to be sensitive to each other's feelings, and agree to disagree. A hard sell, no less, in this day and age of political correctness.

We are told the Holy Temple was destroyed because one person humiliated another person in public, in full view of the respected Rabbis at that time. Let us hope and pray that this kind of destruction never happen again.

Monday, August 8, 2011

When A Friend Helps

After I proctored an exam at school today, I decided to run a few errands on campus. That's when I ran into a old classmate, Stephen. Well, he's not old, but we were in an Econ class together two years ago and made up, along with others who remain friends, a study group for that course.

Stephen is sweet and outgoing, and today he had a lot of time to kill. So he offered to come with me while I ran these errands. At first, I thought I would run those errands from home, if you know what I mean. But Stephen insisted, since he had 3.5 hours before his next class, that we get them all done now.

So I had to give up not doing my errands and got everything I needed to get done accomplished. And Stephen stayed by my side, pushing me on, insisting we walk literally around the whole campus. In spite of myself, the morning was incredibly productive.

Thank you, friend. You truly, made my day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rocking the Babymobile

Back in the 1980s, I inherited a 1971 Datsun 510 Automatic 4-door sedan. I called it the Babymobile, and I loved it. I drove it everywhere, and somehow, that car never let me down. In fact, I found a great mechanic at a shop called Two Brothers, and we kept that car going.

All good things must end, unfortunately, and the Babymobile was no exception. I wanted to fix it but my parents offered to buy me a new car only if I got rid of the Baby, so I caved. I had no money and no options. They bought me a 1990 Mazda 323, the come-on price deal for that car dealership. It was a great buy and I never looked back.

But lately, I've grown nostalgic for my Baby, and think of her often. My secret fantasy is to replace her, but I can't remember the last time I saw a 510 on the road, in this city of 10 million. Until two days ago.

I totally freaked out. Driving right next to me was a 1970s Datsun 510 station wagon, noisy as all get out, and navigated by someone who appreciated the car. I got such nachas watching that car drive off.

So I got to thinking about "The Secret." You know, the new age philosophy that if you only think about and want something bad enough, you'll get it. Well, perhaps "The Secret" is G-d, and He's telling me that there's a 510 out there for me as well. I sure hope so.