Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday's Alright For...School

It’s been 15 years since I spent Saturday mornings in a classroom. My alma mater – Augsburg College in Minneapolis – offered a weekend program for working adults. I went to school on Friday nights, all day Saturdays and Sunday afternoons every other weekend for four years to get my degree.

I loved Saturday morning classes the most. My kids spent the day with my sister or my parents, so I didn’t have to worry about daycare. There was no traffic, so the I-94 loop around downtown was a breeze. And I could listen to NPR without hearing “Change the station!” from the back seat.

Today (a Saturday), I went to my first Foods lab at my new school, Community College of Allegheny County. It’s there in the photo below, just up and across the highway from Heinz Field (home of the Steelers and Pitt Panthers), which is in the lower left corner.


Foods is a class I’m really going to love. I know my way around a kitchen, so I shouldn’t get too lost. Wait until I take chemistry and biochemistry, though, then you’ll hear some definite groaning and requests for sharp objects to stick in my eye. Thankfully I’m friends with my ex, Larry, who has his Ph.D. in? Ah….biochem.

I’m taking four courses this semester (12 credits), two of which are Fundamentals of Nutrition and Nutrition Assessment. In Fundamentals, I will have to track my own diet. In NA, I will track the diets of three other people. I admit *hanging my head* that I’ve not been the best at tracking my food intake this summer. I start out great most mornings, but by evening, I’m like, “What did I eat this afternoon? Fruit? Yes? Just pop some popcorn for dinner and call it a night. I can’t think.”

This convergence of getting my food mojo back and taking classes in nutrition and food preparation will screw my head on straight again. I didn’t lose it completely; it’s just that the mojo took a hiatus this summer after being thrown that curveball called brother-with-brain-injury.

I admit *hanging my head again* that prior to June 23, I was pretty cavalier about the role emotions and time constraints played in planning, executing and maintaining a healthy diet. I subscribed to the edict: YOU come first. YOU decide what goes in your mouth. YOU are in charge. While these platitudes are true on the surface, they don’t always apply to every situation.

When you’re busy caring for someone else, you don’t come first. When you’re in a rush and pressured to get to this appointment and that, you’re not always focused on what you put in your mouth. Sometimes a cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread is the best you can do in the moment. “Could you throw some lettuce, onions and cucumbers on that, please?” was sometimes my best effort to get in my veggies. Yes, I’m in charge of myself, but autopilot Lynn is still in training. In the six years I’ve been losing /maintaining weight, I’ve not been as crazybusy/stressed as I have been the last three months. I’m adapting. And learning. And forgiving myself for my transgressions…for the most part.

So….Saturday mornings. Driving to the city. No traffic. I get time in a kitchen with people who seem to be fun, including the instructor. And I can listen to “On the Media” with no one yelling for me to change the station. Just like old times.

Can you dig it? Yes, I can.

6 comments:

  1. Ah, CCAC. I went to college in Pittsburgh.

    I understand how hard it is to eat well and care for yourself. With a FT job and a 5 year old and a husband, some nights I just want to cry when dinner is over, and I'm faced with packing 3 lunches.

    I have been working on the 15 lbs I gained after I turned 40 last year. I've got about 5-6 more to go. But the time and effort it takes at night to sit down, plan out, and weigh and measure all my foods is almost too much to bear.

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  2. It is hard to put yourself first all the time. But like all things, it takes practice and commitment. It will get easier again for you.

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  3. Oh those classes actually sound like fun! And even if you haven't been tracking lately, don't you think you're probably more of an expert at it than anyone else in the class could possibly be?

    Keep us posted!

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  4. I think it's such a natural fit for you to pursue a formal degree in nutrition to build upon all of the knowledge you've acquired during the past five years. When launching my kids to college and visiting potential schools, I was so excited (and envious) for them to be part of the stimulating and intellectually diverse atmosphere that college offers. I suspect that this new journey is going to be wonderful! Best of luck!

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  5. I was not kidding when I said I will be attending school vicariously thru you. I want to return to school to be credentialed as a Nutritional Psychologist or on more humorous days: a Psycho Nutritionist. Between putting two daughters through 4 year universities and the downward turn in our business industries, we have just not be able to afford my going back even for 1 class at a time right now. I am so excited to know you are doing it and I am thrilled to be following your experiences until the day I can finally follow your footsteps!

    Jane~
    Keepingthepoundsoff.com

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  6. It is hard to takecare of yourself all the time. But like all things, it takes practice and commitment. It will get easier again for you. I would suggest you to use Natvia (http://natvia.com/) a natural sweetener, which really works amazing, absolutely low calorie sweetener.

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