I really want to like the holidays. I really do, but right now, I really don't. It starts with Halloween and the requisite stocking up on candy for the big night.Let's be honest.Most of it doesn't make it to the front door.It gets eaten on so many trips to upstairs closet where it has been hidden from the children.It really just needs hiding from me.I insist that they have only one piece after trick or treating, yet allow myself to consume unlimited amounts. That lasts for two weeks and then it goes right into the big eating holidays.
For the Thanksgiving break, I spent almost every waking minute with my kids, whom I love dearly.This has afforded me the chance to see all of their adorableness non-stop from six am to seven pm every single day, and I am really tired. When I get tired, I eat more than I should, hoping it will give me energy to play "Pop the Pig" or listen to yet another story about what Little said to Big about her dress not being pretty enough to be a real princess. Or the patience to not yell at the top of my lungs for them to stop fighting over the same plastic screwdriver in a room bursting with every toy known to man. Oh, I could be eating apples, carrots or celery with low fat dip and drinking my eight glasses a day, and I would fare much better than I am.
However, I cooked for five days to prepare a Thanksgiving feast that some called the best they'd ever had.
I had a lot of leftovers, like cornbread stuffing with butter,veggie sausage,chesnuts and sage; sweet potatoes with butter,bourbon, orange juice,maple syrup,pecans and marshmallows;brussels sprouts with butter, cream and faux bacon;salmon en croute with butter, mushroom duxelle;popovers with butter;pumpkin bisque with butter and cream-the list goes on. I have personally eaten most of the leftovers in my aforementioned attempt to find extra energy, and additionally, consumed multiple cups of coffee and slices of pie as chasers. I am possibly setting some sort of scientific record for surviving without water for more days than I can remember. Diamond Jim Brady has some competition in the house....
I actually ate a second Thanksgiving dinner for lunch yesterday-not the whole buffet, just a smallish plate with all of the usual suspects.Amazing that freezing really doesn't affect the texture much- and that sauce I made for the salmon was really fucking delicious.It was a lemon buerre blanc gone wrong( I had to stop watching it and go figuratively kick some under 5 ass, and it browned too much) that made a comeback with the addition of butter, ground chestnuts,balsamic,cranberries,cream and olive oil. It was really tangy and thick and yummy.And ridiculously fattening.
I have not even looked at the fat monitoring scale in my bathroom.A masochist's delight, it lets you know exactly how much of your body consists of fat.There is no positive message, like "and you also have a good heart, well defined calves and your hair is simply sublime". No , it just sends an electrical current up through your soles and spits out a number indicating the percentage of your body that registers as fat. My number is never within the AMA guidelines of 25-31 percent to deem my body fat acceptable. Like an abusive boyfriend, it calls me obese on a daily basis, and I can't help but feel a little insulted. Am I the picture of fitness? Certainly not. Am I going to die too soon because I carry around extra weight? Perhaps, but I do feel my mortality is more closely linked to my coordination ( ie tripping on a stuffed animal on a second trip to the fridge for ice cream and hitting my head on the stainless steel door) than the actual amount of fat I have somehow stopping my heart from beating and resulting in my death.
Perhaps the scale needs to be recalibrated, or I am in denial,but it does read one amount in the morning( when I do take an interest) and a wildly different amount in the evening( when I have already had a glass or two of wine).It is kind of like my own personal terror alert- it can go from yellow to orange and back again in a matter of hours with no evidence of anything actually affecting it.I might just die from the adrenaline surge that occurs when the number reaches an unprecendented high.
I can also go the conventional route and take a look in the mirror sans clothing .That generally tells me exactly what the deal is.While it is rarely pleasant, I am not sent into the expected tailspin after viewing my naked body bathed in an unforgiving overhead light. I am more tolerant of my body and its imperfections now that I am forty. I mourn the years spent shaking off the desires for bikinis and mini skirts because I wasn't perfect enought to wear them. If ever there was a time to wear that kind of thing, it was way before now.I look at mini skirts on younger women much like a retired stripper must reflect upon her prized faux patent candy apple red platform lace up stilettos-I could trot it out, but why? I am someone else now, and I would feel ridiculous,despite what current "cougar" culture espouses. I am now inclined to don boringly monchromatic hues, slimming well cut fabrics and age defying tunics over skinny jeans.Oh, I have a few little black dresses and some black satin stiletto boots in the closet for a frisky day, but I always end up feeling like a drag queen when I put it all on.
Which bring me back to the original subject- eating too much. As a result of my holiday indulgence, I am too fat to wear anything in my closet.Getting dressed "up" entails hours of combing through my closet in search of something flattering.It could be a plaid jumper in a lurid puce, or a rust colored one piece jumpsuit-if it made me look less fat, I would wear it. I end up dismantling my entire closet for one outing and run out of time to get anything else done. In the end, I wear the same black yoga pants, some sort of undershirt and a long concealing black sweater. A well placed neck scarf can hide an unsightly stomach and, if the proportions of the combined garments are right, I can actually look normal. For an afternoon-then it's back to the closet to try and try again.
I have had an excellent holiday season so far. Excellent food, family, friends.However, despite all of the goodwill I feel, I am really pissed to be back at the beginning again with my body. I had a wave of self care in April and it lasted through August. It waned significantly after that and has been dwindling daily.
My back hurts.
I have emotional outbursts.
Every day I am faced with holiday candy at school, baked offerings from friends, Sticky Toffee Pudding is back in the freezer at Ralph's.
I eat them all.
I know I will revisit the motivated jogger that I was from the early part of 2009, the person who loaded up the iPod and looked forward to an hour on the treadmill every day. She still exists,she who bragged about running a ten minute mile. She is still here, hibernating perhaps, under a nice thick layer of new holiday fat. She will awaken and rejoin the race to not die first.
She will emerge, legendary- The Fat and the Furious.
She will prevail.
Right after this last piece of Nancy Silverton's pumpkin pie.