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.