This challenge not to eat the same thing twice… the description made me quail. My first thought was “chocolate. Once in a whole week.” And, honestly, that was the hardest part. It’s a very specific craving, and I only snuck around it twice – with chocolate chip cookies and with cake – before having to actually pick the date for this week’s consumption of the black gold.
I think this was so difficult in part just because I expected it to be, but chocolate meets a lot of needs. If I wanted something sweet or felt like carbohydrates or eggs, there were a million theoretical ways to satisfy myself. But chocolate satisfies the desire for a certain flavour and texture, and then a certain buzz, which is very hard to find elsewhere. I don’t consume much caffeine in other forms – I don’t dare – but my one Turkish coffee this week was a similar sensation. And I couldn’t really find a substitute.
Breakfast was the other tricky bit. I generally have either cereal with yogurt or toast in the mornings (and the cafeteria serves basically the same for the most part), and it was hard to find alternatives that were quick enough. I think I probably ate better breakfasts this week, just because I turned to things like eggs and vegetables more readily. I found I was far less hungry for lunch than I usually am when I get out of chemistry.
Because of structured study and play rehearsals, I’ve been making myself dinner around five o’clock. My structured-snacking rates have slowed more or less to zero, too, because of course I’ve been trying not to repeat. That’s all great, but by ten I find myself very hungry again, and again reluctant to snack. Last night I woke up at 1 a.m. and made myself an almond butter and honey sandwich (thanks for the tip, Kasey)… I haven’t sleep-snacked since the very beginning of the school year when I was so crazed and still adjusting back to being in America and at school with all these strange people. It was a stress thing.
And I did break. Not until today, but it counts. Last night I made a really lovely dinner – pasta with olive oil-sauteed cherry tomatoes and toasted almonds – and there was a little left in my fridge. And I had rehearsal in five minutes, hadn’t really had more for dinner than a bit of bread, and I wanted some of this so badly. So I ate it. And I enjoyed it, and I’m not sorry.
I suppose I’m glad I’ve done this, even though it was inconvenient, sometimes infuriating (today I finally decided I deserved that bar of 70% with whole hazelnuts… and couldn’t find it because I had hidden it from myself). Abstention experiments are always interesting, but, I’d always thought, a little gimmicky. But I’d never tried doing something of this sort, and I think I’m probably far more aware of the quantities in which I eat things I should, and certainly of the way I sometimes justify what I’m eating. I’ve gotten into the habit of having just a little of some sweet or another every day… but it adds up to a lot more than I’d ever admitted to myself. But I can’t wait to go home and eat thick, creamy yogurt every morning, have last night’s gorgeous leftovers for lunch and go back for another piece of cake two hours later.
Oh, and I have news! Yes, news! I don’t know if you care, but I certainly do… I may be able to get a job this summer cutting cheese at that friend’s food and wine shop! This excites me… I don’t know how to tell you how much. To learn about cheese, to taste it and sell it and discuss it – I don’t know what I did to deserve this.