Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ten in 10: Don't Be Too Proud to Accept Leftovers

Ten in 10 Logo

When I initially announced my goal to gain weight for the Ten in 10 Challenge, some of the reactions I received were negative. But the support I have received from family, friends, and fellow bloggers since then has been staggering. What has really surprised me, though, has been care and concern of my boss and a handful of my coworkers, especially since I've only been working with them for a few weeks.

Despite making my list of items I wanted to stock in my pantry and ordering them from Fresh Direct and being mentally prepared to use them to create healthy balanced meals, I actually found myself surviving on leftovers for most of the week.

  • Monday: Lunch and dinner were pulled together from scraps of food I had left in the kitchen since my Fresh Direct order wasn't delivered until after 8pm on Monday night.

  • Tuesday: Because the grocery delivery was so late on Monday and I didn't have the brain power to think about packing something for the next day, I picked up a Pico de Pollo Pizette ($5.95, plus tax) from Europa Cafe for lunch. This personal-size pizza had spicy chicken, chilies, tomatoes, red onions, and cheddar cheese. While the toppings were tasty, the crust resembled cardboard was difficult to bite through. Nevertheless, I ate half for lunch and brought the rest home with me. I also brought home my coworker's leftover Chinese food (Ginger Chicken and Rice), which I ate for dinner. Bonus!

  • Wednesday: My coworkers took me to lunch at Virgil's Real Barbecue on Wednesday to welcome me to the company. I ordered the Pulled Carolina Pork Barbecue Platter and had the Country Greens and Macaroni and Cheese as my two sides. Definitely plenty of food for two meals, so I took home what I couldn't finish. I also took home leftover sandwiches from a client meeting that the company had hosted that afternoon. For dinner, though, I ate the other half of my Pico de Pollo Pizette from Monday.

  • Thursday: Initially, I couldn't decide what I wanted to bring for lunch on Thursday, but I wound up bringing one of the sandwiches from Wednesday's client meeting, a bag of Hint of Salt Wheat Thins, and a Fuji apple. I was feeling pretty good about myself until I bit into the sandwich and came to the horrifying realization that it was full of mayonnaise. (In my opinion, mayonnaise is one of the grossest condiments on earth. Right up there next to mustard.) Thinking that I missed something, I took a quick look at the label of ingredients that was taped to the sandwich wrapper. No mention of mayonnaise. Thank goodness I wasn't allergic! Needless to say I didn't finish the sandwich and only had the Wheat Thins and apple. To get me through to dinner, I bought a bag of Herr's Baked Potato Crisps from the vending machine for a quarter. By the time I got home, I was famished and very thankful that I had leftovers from Virgil's for dinner.

  • Friday: I was treated to another "Welcome!" lunch on Friday. This time we went to Tony's DiNapoli for family-style Italian food. We shared an order of Homemade Fettucine Alfredo and an order of Shrimp Parmigiana. I felt a little guilty of indulging in all of the heavy food, so I also ordered a House Salad to get my vegetables. The food was so good and we had more than enough to wrap up and take home. I tried to convince my coworkers to share some of the leftovers, especially since they were paying for lunch, but they insisted that I take it all "to make my doctor happy." Three guesses as to what I ate for dinner on Friday night.
I certainly wasn't intending on having access to so much food that I didn't prepare myself. Especially considering how much money I had spent on my Fresh Direct order. But I learned that there are people in my life who want to see me succeed at my weight-gain goal. At first it felt awkward having people push their leftover food on me. I didn't want them (or anyone else) to think that I was mooching freebies off of them or that I couldn't afford to feed myself. But I realized that offering me leftovers was their way of helping to ensure that I do succeed and that they want me to be as healthy as possible. Having leftovers in the refrigerator certainly helped me to not stress out about not having enough food.

However, to break the cycle of eating leftovers, of which I still have some, and to break into the stash of food I had in the kitchen, I adapted a salad recipe from Martha Stewart Living for dinner last night. Knowing that all of the ingredients I needed for the salad were already on hand made preparing it so much quicker and so much more enjoyable. I should be posting my version of Martha's recipe soon (*crosses fingers*), so make sure you come back and check for it.

Hooray for small victories!

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