Thursday, May 9, 2013
Treat yo' self.
By: Guest blogger, Danielle Dodson
I guess I should start by saying that my name is Danielle and I’m not great at cooking, but I am great at impulse buying groceries. I’ll be walking down a grocery aisle to buy pasta sauce when I suddenly see coconut curry sauce on the shelf and stop dead in my tracks to think of all the things I could make with it. I’ve actually had concerned strangers ask me if I’m lost in the grocery because I get so wrapped up in these little reveries. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I found myself in a Trader Joes after trying to eat healthier. Day 1 of healthy eating had involved scrambled egg whites for breakfast, hummus, veggies and a fruit salad for lunch, and a giant bowl of salad for dinner. So far, so good…until about 8pm. I became ravenous. I’m just going to say it: salad really is the worst. Actual healthy salad is mostly just lettuce, and no one will ever persuade me that lettuce qualifies as satisfying food. So, that night I found myself wandering into the ice cream aisle. The coffee ice cream beckoned to me…and I impulse bought it.
For the next few hours, I kept trying to resist, but I could feel the ice cream dragging me towards the freezer with some sort of magical force. Pulling the ice cream out of the fridge, I dipped a spoon into the carton. As the spoon collected a little ball of creamy goodness, I couldn’t wait to drop the scoop into my bowl and instead put it straight into my mouth. However, the freezer was much colder than I realized, and my spoon stuck fast to my lip. In that split second, I had an important decision to make: I could wait for the spoon to warm up in my mouth, or I could just pull the spoon from my lip and see what happened. This would also be a good time to mention that I hate A Christmas Story (I’m a Christmas Vacation kind of girl) but the film did teach me what happens when someone puts his or her tongue against frozen metal. I never imagined that kind of thing actually happening in one’s kitchen, so I ripped the spoon off.
BLOOD EVERYWHERE. Gushing. Seriously. I went through tissue after tissue. I just sat there feeling like a complete idiot. How could I have injured myself by eating ice cream? A welt had actually formed on my lip. I live on my own, I’m in what seems like my millionth year of grad school, and I sometimes feel like a helpless little kid whose outside grows older while the inside stays just as clueless. Eating healthier felt like something that would make me more mature and grown up, but I couldn’t even do that right. How could I have been so impulsive and stupid? My darkest thought came as I put the ice cream back in the freezer: “my lip hurts, but I still really want this ice cream” (I ate some again – more cautiously this time – after my lip stopped bleeding). *Just fyi: Danielle did tell me that I could exclude the picture if it grossed me out.;)
Then, I just started laughing.
I realized in that moment I’m always going to be the kind of person that needs to have a treat. Honestly, we all are. In the words of Donna from Parks and Rec, sometimes you have to “treat yo’self” (see the video below. They have a Treat Yo Self day, but I think it works for everyday). I think we all know that we should treat ourselves, but it’s so easy to let guilt (about nearly anything) make us forget that. Life is short, and one of the things I admire in Liza is that she really takes time to photograph and share and cook things that make life better and more beautiful. So, I’m trying to be more balanced in my life - and healthy eating is a part of that - but if I want ice cream now and then, I get it. I know the case could be made from this story that treating myself to ice cream is actually a very bad idea, but the truth is that feeling like I was limiting myself that day actually made me more impulsive. If I’d taken some of the pressure off myself about my lifestyle, I probably wouldn’t have ended up with a spoon full of lip flesh on my counter (sorry, that’s probably not a great mental image).
I also realized that you have to be able to laugh at yourself every now and then, because sometimes stuff is just funny - even if it does cause lip pain. I think that’s part of treating yo’self – if you can turn some of the little things that frustrate or embarrass you into something you can smile at or at least feel better about by telling other people, they don’t seem as bad.
In the spirit of Treat Yo Self, here a couple of things that make my day better: 1. The Treat Yo Self video. 2. A picture of Kate Middleton’s baby bump (I study British history so I pretend that looking at pictures of her is work). So, go treat yo’self today. You deserve it. *(This is a lesson I’m still learning to perfect. Case in point: yesterday I treated myself to donuts about 20 minutes before going to the gym: disastrous results).