Friday, June 29, 2007

The first hurdle

My office had a catered lunch today as a farewell for some employees who are leaving. The restaurant who catered it is a yummy Lebanese place, and as a result there was all sorts of delicious food like chicken shawarma and hummus.

But damn it, shawarma is flavoured with animal fat and the chicken version comes with a super-greasy sauce, and the hummus was floating in oil. And those things do not come close to qualifying as Healthy Living.

But it was a farewell lunch for people who've been with the company for years. I swear that one person said in his speech that he's been here for 42 years, although the shock of that is so great that I am still convinced that I heard him wrong. Regardless, though, he's been here for an effing long time and I work with him and a few of the others every day, so I had to attend.

So I heated up my whole wheat spaghetti with tomatoes, herbs, and goat cheese (just a little) and my chicken with lemon, capers, and artichokes, and I moved it from its tupperware container to one of the plastic plates provided to be a little less conspicuous, and yet everyone AND THEIR BROTHER'S DOG came up to me and said, "Why are you eating that? Do you not like Lebanese food?"

(It's important to imagine, in the previous paragraph, the tone in which that last question was asked: pitying half-condescension for the poor sheltered American girl who says about everything, "If I can't pronounce it, I won't eat it." Keep in mind that this is an international public health organization where allowances are not made for people with narrow world views.)

Anyway, so not only did I have to eat my boring leftovers (which under normal circumstances I would have considered quite tasty) while everyone at my table ate delicious, dripping food in front of me before going back for seconds, but I had to turn around every few minutes to say again, "No, I actually do like Lebanese cuisine a lot, I'm just trying to avoid eating greasy food."

It was about 9,000 times worse than last week when we had our monthly birthday bash and I stayed and chatted with people who were all eating cake and ice cream while I had nothing.

Man, who knew that offices were such sources of unhealthy food? It's like a minefield around here.

Anyway, I am pleased to report that despite the constant questioning and the extreme proximity to the delicious grease, I did not have one single bite of the unhealthy catered food.

I am determined, damn it. And stubborn.

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