For the last ten days, I didn't work out once, not once. What's more, for most of that time, I was living on a college campus and eating at a college food service. Now I know that college kids think their cafeterias are as exciting as cattle troughs, but if you've not been on a campus for awhile, you really ought to check out the incredible cuisine.
At least--at least!--four entrees, every last meal. At Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, Georgia, students get whatever's hot, plus lots more--something sandwichy, like a hamburger or a corn dog, and always, always, pizza, tons of cheese and toppings, really good pizza--I'm not kidding.
Oh, yes, and every meal something sort of special in a far corner of the cafeteria--crab cakes, or some kind of exotic burrito, a specialty corner that always drew a crowd.
But I'm getting ahead of myself--a garden of eden of salads, a dozen dressings, mushrooms, carrots, peppers, cheese. Got a cold?--how about soup? Sure. Different kinds too.
And real sandwiches on really fine breads--I mean, Dagwood's delight, build your own from a meat counter that won't quit. Fixin's galore, and veggies. Who needs Subway?
Deserts? Good night, what a bounty. Rich pies (pecan, of course--we're in Georgia) and huge layer cakes swirling in frosting, a Devil's Mound of cakes the likes of which you haven't been seen since the 50's, I swear. Ice cream, of course, all kinds of toppings. Why not put it on the pie or cake? Sure.
Daily--three times!--I grazed at that cafeteria. By Saturday, I cut back my visits to twice a day, scared to death of having to tack on an additional air fare for the bulky freshman fifteen I figured, optimistically, I was lugging back to Iowa--and I was there at the college for only a week.
It was wonderful, really. At every last meal I had to drag myself away. Here at home, the most I have a single bowl of honey-roasted something-or-others (whatever's on sale). Down south, three of six mornings I was there, I had a french waffle swimming in butter and syrup--and bacon. Once two. And eggs.
Before I'd left home, I'd started a diet and lost eight pounds in a little less than two weeks. Then came that Christian college's hedonistic emporium of edibles, a sinful bazaar where I broke covenants left and right and thought seriously about stopping at Wal-Mart to pick up a new belt, but doubted they stocked any long enough to encircle in my embarrassing girth.
Yesterday, back home, I went to the gym at quarter to six, got on the machine and lifted weights, took up the old a.m. ritual once again, then, sweaty and tired, got on the scale, holding on to the wall in front of me forever in hopes of postponing the bare naked horror turning up on the face of that uncaring machine beneath me. Finally I glanced down and found--Voila!--I hadn't plastered on a extra pound. Not one.
I was still eight pounds down.
Okay, okay--for that I'm thankful this morning.
But I'm also ticked because those red-stick numbers should have shown at least a shot put more heft. For ten days, I did nothing in any gym, I mainlined calories like a junkie, and when I came home, the scale says, guess what?--no change.
So what am I starving for? Why am I working out? I felt like Oprah.
This morning for breakfast, pancakes.