Saturday, June 20, 2009


In my life, I've played my share of MMORPGs--role playing games online that involve lots of people generally grouping together with the common goal of destroying each other and being crowned king nerd of the fantasy world. In these games, there are generally 2 ways to gain experience: kill stuff, and do quests. I was always a fan of the killing stuff approach; quests generally required a lot of reading and time, while killing stuff has the obvious instant gratification. That and, well, you get to kill stuff. One of my favorites was killing the giant spiders just out of spite...

But that's not really the direction I was intending to take this post. On Thursday, I had two very real realizations. 1, I'd lost 3 1/2 pounds in 4 days by being conscientious about what I was eating and exercising to the fullest of my ability. 2, while I've come a long way, I still have a long way to go. I asked Ji-Yeon (Ji-Yun? not sure about the phonics) what I could eat, and I was told carbs are only allowed in the morning, and the rest of the day is tofu and vegetables.

You thought Atkins was hard in America? Welcome to the land of rice and ramen. Rice is involved in everything--dessert, wine, snacks, every single meal. Getting soup? You know what'd make that soup even better? Rice! And my favorite "rough day" food is a bowl of cheesy ramen with rice. Since the thought of Atkins still conjures mental images of dry beef jerky and bunless hamburgers, my thoughts turned to other diets, rolling over what I thought I could live with for a while.

That's when I realized, Koreans essentially live off of the cabbage soup diet! This is the secret to their skinny! The #1 food of Korea is kimchi. Hands down. Who doesn't love a bowl of fermented, spicy-as-hell cabbage? (I know I do!)

So, after taekwondo last night, I headed to get a bowl of kimchi jjigae (yum!), and the evil woman brought the soup (yay!) and a bowl of rice. And the rice was glistening and perfect. It didn't look like any of the pieces were crunchy. It looked fresh and fluffy and delicious and they didn't even bring the lid. They left a perfect bowl of rice just... next to the soup, and the soup beckoned to the rice, and the rice taunted the soup. I didn't even touch the bowl. I pushed it away with the back of my spoon and ate the kimchi instead.


While I was home, I was thinking about what is going to happen next. I love learning languages. It also turns out that I like exercising, now. Back about nine years, I sat through a guest presentation during my German class about joining the military and going on to study at the Defense Language Institute. Every so often my mind wanders back to this, and I think to myself how much I would love to do that, but doubted my ability because of my weight and hatred of exercise. And now, I feel like that might be a possibility. I read an article about a woman getting in shape to join the army, and I just feel hopeful. Like, when people ask me what I'm going to do after, maybe I won't just answer "go home and exist." Maybe I'll actually have a goal.

And fortunately for everyone involved, this quest probably won't involve me killing stuff.

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