Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Happy Weight", and Baked-Faked Eggplant Parmesan

The next few months have the VIP and I living about 2000 miles from each other while I wrap up my final days in grad school, and he does his own thing in the 2nd city. As a result, we do a lot of flying when we can so that we can see each other. One of the few silver linings of this recession is that plane ticket prices have come down significantly from when we first began dating a year ago; recent tickets we just purchased were almost exactly half what they were back when. Sure, it'll cost you $7 on some airlines to use a blanket or pillow, and we've gotten really good at packing light in our carry-ons to avoid the $25 fee, but at least the TICKET price has dropped. One of the things the VIP and I love almost as much as seeing each other is saving money, so when we can combine those things together, we're happy campers.

Building off my previous post about habits (I did 11 back to back pushups this morning - working up!), one of my habits when I fly is that I buy 2 magazines, and a bottle of water, and I bring them both on the plane. Last time I flew I bought an Oprah magazine and a Self magazine. The Oprah was the issue with her admitting to losing control over her weight - again - but it was something I related to, so I picked it up. Self had Jenna Fischer on the cover, and bless my heart but I love The Office. Jenna seems so real and normal - not a skinny whippet, not crazy athletic - just normal. So I was curious to see what she was doing on the cover of Self.

It was a fluff piece, forgettable at best, but when I flipped the page I stopped and stared. There was a beautiful girl in a black dress, a model, posing on a piece of driftwood at the beach. She had full thighs, roung arms, and a big smile. And big ta-tas. The headline of the article was "Find your Happy Weight!" The next few pages featured pictures of this gorgeous model, her round hips and ample posterier and coy smile and amazing hair. She looked so damn happy. You can see her yourself if you go to the Self website and click the articles about the "Happy Weight", which is what I did when I got home. In the online article, there was a link to fill out that would tell you, the reader, what you're own personal "Happy Weight" was.

So I did it. I filled out the little quiz, which asked you for things about your height, build, obesity in your family, smoking, kids, etc. And the weight that Self decided I would be happy at was 140.2.

Damn, Self! That's 17 pounds away! Why can't I be happy now? Why I can't I be excited that I can see my ab muscles, that I can do 11 pushups back to back, or that I have looser-fitting size 8 pants now? I have to be another 17 pounds lighter? 17.2, to be precise....

Even though my goal weight is under 140.2, I felt kind of insulted and frustrated that such a numebr was supposedly a "Happy Weight" for me. For years I've pushed and struggled just to get under the 150 mark! I haven't been 150 since I was like, 21 years old, when I was running half-marathons and working out daily and wearing a size 6!

It all makes me think. Is my goal realistic? Is 140 lbs - something I haven't been since I was 17 years old - a realistic goal for a 28 year old? Or should it be the "star" I shoot for, knowing that I'd be happy to just land on the moon?

Anyway, I'm going to the gym today to prepare myself for an Armenian birthday feast that I will be partaking in tonight. Not my birthday, just for a friend, but I plan to enjoy myself.

Here's what I made for dinner last night.

Baked-Faked Eggplant Parmesan

1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rings
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 medium olives, minced
1 can low-sodium diced tomatoes (I like the Italian flavored ones)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan

Prep it:

Lay eggplant slices on a plate or in a dish. Sprinkle salt on top and cover with a paper towel and let sit for 30 minutes. The salt draws water out of the eggplant, making it softer and much less bitter. Before using eggplant, press slices between paper towels to express more water and to brush off some of the extra salt.

Make it:

Place breadcrumbs in a flat-bottomed bowl or dish. Press each eggplant slice in the crumbs - no need to use egg or anything wet to help coat; the natural tackiness of the salted eggplant will allow the crumbs to adhere without any extra fat. Lay each slice flat in a baking pan, one next to each other.

Sprinkle the chopped olives and garlic over the crumbed eggplant.

Spoon the chopped tomatoes over the eggplant.

Finally, generally sprinkle parmesan over the eggplant.

Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes or until the parmesan cheese begins to brown. This will make your entire house smell incredible. It makes about 2 servings - if you can control yourself.


  1. I think you should go back and experiment with some of your answers on that "Happy Weight Finder". Mine came out quite surprisingly accurate.

    I LOVE EGGPLANT, I will make that asap.

  2. I was honest with my answers. I guess I will be happy at 140.2!

  3. I'm pretty sure that the perfect weight is BS, considering it asked all of what, 5 questions. Come on. There's no way I'm going to be happy at 143.3, considering I don't think there's any way in HELL that I'm ever going to be able to push my body down that far. I believe that I would kill myself doing that. So, be happy now. That's all I'm trying to do.

  4. Sorry, meant "Happy Weight", not perfect. And I'm not trying to be a killjoy on the happy weight concept.