5 up, 5 down

As my friend, Molly, has suggested, Top 10 lists abound at the end of the year — especially if it is also the end of a decade. I thought I’d do a variation of the tradition covering the first week of 2010.  The Top 5 Difficult Things and the Top 5 Great Things thus far in the new year and decade.  Let’s begin with the difficult things…

5.  I was disheartened to learn that Papa Murphy’s only sells their reduced calorie/reduced fat “deLITE” pizza in one size — large.  I learned this as I was purchasing one for my personal New Year’s Eve celebration at home.  But I told myself I could eat one serving and put the rest away for later. 

4.  I discovered that a large pepperoni “deLITE” pizza can, in fact, be consumed by one person in one sitting.

3.  I spent most of New Year’s Day feeling queasy.  Pizza hangover??

2.  It has been so flipping cold for so long I’ve forgotten what it feels like to live in a reasonable climate. (And it has only been two weeks since I was in New Mexico!)

1.  I am now on the final item in my top 5 Difficult Things from the First Week of 2010, and it is the fourth one that refers to my consumption of an entire large pizza on New Year’s Eve:   I had to spend serious time sitting with my feelings about it.  This is a sign of just how strongly affected I was by the event.  Not just the binge itself, or even the short-lived feelings of shame (which resulted in me walking into a party that night and announcing to a room full of strangers that I had eaten a large pizza by myself).  Mostly, I’ve spent a lot of time wrestling with the complex issues bound up in and exemplified by that pizza-palooza.  I know that everyone overeats sometimes.  But there was a point at which the eating stopped being pleasurable and started being something compulsive and self-destructive.  Clearly, I have more work to do on my food-related issues.

Now for the Top 5 Great Things:

5.  Sitting with the Reisinger’s and holding little Nicholas while his dad (the Athletic Director) stepped in as an assistant coach at the women’s basketball game last night.

4.  I’ve spent most of my life avoiding responsibility for shoveling snow, only to realize this morning that I actually LOVE shovelling snow.  It is great exercise, it is generally beautiful to look at, it is invigorating to be outside and not freezing.  But the best part, for me, is that I can see the progress I’ve made and how much there is yet to do at every moment of the task.  That is a rare gift, considering that in my line of work I almost never have direct evidence of progress or feelings of completion!

3.  Discovering that Panera Bread’s website has a nutrition calculator, so I can plan in advance what to order and know exactly what to record later in my food diary. 

2.  Swiss chard.  I have never cooked with either kale or swiss chard before this winter, but I have now cooked tasty food with both.  Don’t forget to check out the recipes page in the sidebar.  I am only sharing the ones I like!

1.  Time with people:  both those I love and the interesting, kind, stimulating people I met this week.  Colette’s New Year’s Eve party and dinner with old friends at Panera on Monday were both soul-nourishing and fun.  I was honored, on Sunday evening, to be invited to the blessing ceremony and celebration dinner for baby Hana Beverly Hadzic.  Dinner was catered by The Chef’s Table, a new restaurant in Iowa City.  I have to say, that evening is what dinner should be:  warmth, pleasant conversation, delicious whole food prepared thoughtfully — truly a highlight for this new year.  

I’m ready to move forward into this new decade — I plan to drop some old baggage for good, to learn how to make pirogue, to laugh from joy and humor and not at others’ expense…  Unlike Oprah, I don’t have many things that “I know for sure”.  But I do have this one thing — you need to learn from the past but you can’t drag it around with you everyday letting it suck up your energy.  To that end, I’m ready to say, “Adios, Large deLITE Pepperoni Pizza”.  Rest in peace.