Body Talk

Do you believe in New Year's Resolutions?  I don't really because I think it's silly to set goals just because it's arbitrarily the New Year.  If you want to set a goal just do it, you don't have to wait until a specific date to set it.  However I do like taking a moment to access yourself and determine how to better one's self.  That's nice.  So I have a love/hate relationship with the whole thing.

Totally unrelated to the Earth completing a rotation around the sun, my cousin, I shall call Haley got engaged and has sprung it upon me that she needs me to participate in her wedding.  To which of course I think I'm just like, making food or prepping flowers but in fact I now need to be dressed identically to three other girls for the ceremony, that roundabout way that I get wrangled into a lot of things I will be an active participant.  Since I had her be part of my wedding party I suppose it's only fair.  But when she was a bridesmaid for me she didn't have two kids already explode out of her body.  I on the other hand am now freaking out that I'm going to be this horrible gigantic fat monster in comparison to her other friends.

Let me say it before it is forgotten, I love my cousin and I would do anything for her.  I'm jumping up and down at the bit to do it, but I know for a fact that I would regret NOT doing it.  That my friends is maturity.  It took a while to set in all the way but I get it now.  Yes it would be easier to sit on my butt eating chips but just because something is easier and more pleasurable doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.  So I am doing what I feel would be the best thing to honor my family, make my cousin happy and participate in a very important day for her.  Oh and I'm helping with the flowers too and will be partaking in that open bar like a CHAMP.

In normal life I love my body, I fully embrace the journey of motherhood, I rock a bathing suit like a bad ass and I take moments to run and stretch and do things for myself in order to feel balanced and centered.  But in my Vietnamese life I am incredibly insecure.  I am disgusted at myself for being so petty but I can't help it.  I'm first generation so I've always been American born and raised which I've never been ashamed of but I am also 6 inches taller than any of my other female cousins, and I have the weight and width associated with such a significant size differential.  My big Sasquatch feet alone are mortifying in comparison to their teeny size 5 lily feet.  It ain't right.  I love being tall in normal life in my normal clothes but you can't help but compare people when they're dressed in the exact same thing.  I will be Amazonian among a line of 90lb waifs that can eat anything they want and still be a double zeros and my self-esteem is not bulletproof enough to take it right now.  I'm working on it...thankfully I have a few months to detox, get more rigorous about getting long and lean versus the muscle packing that I've been doing with my runs and most importantly mentally steel myself for the inevitable comparison making.

Did I mention I'll be wearing an Ao Dai again? The world's least forgiving dress.  Vietnamese people use silk so there's zero stretch and therefore it is a very difficult outfit to wear if you have any curves or gain even an ounce of weight.  I think I only have to wear it for the ceremony and I can wear normal western wear for the reception but...let's not make any promises right now.  As a...whatever I am, I have forfeited any decision making to the bride.  I could be walking around in bunny slippers and a toga for all I know.

Due to our unusual El Nino weather and extra long fall leading into a not as crazy as anticipated winter, I've been able to keep pretty active and my sweet Charlie is a great cheerleader and very encouraging of our little mommy and son yoga sessions.  And my body type is such that a little working out has a fairly decent effect on my body.  When I was younger it meant I could work out once a blue moon and enjoy a flat stomach and average curves.  Now that I'm older working out doesn't immediately slim my body but I do find myself packing on more muscle.  Since muscle is heavier than fat I weigh more than I would like to but thankfully when I run it doesn't look like a plate of wiggling gelatin.  Pluses and minuses.  I'm a work in progress but I think even a work in progress is better than someone who doesn't do anything and complains non stop.  I have lost any patience for people who run at the mouth but never budge their feet.

I don't do the whole crash dieting thing and I hate the taste of fake sugar so I've slowly started trying to force myself into eating a healthy breakfast.  I'm not especially hungry in the a.m. but I know it's important to start up the proverbial engine so now I'm experimenting with overnight oats.  I don't do the whole mason jar nonsense because they are highly breakable and those canning lids are a pain but the more exotic the combination of flavors the more likely I won't get bored. Banana, dates, cinnamon and a huge handful of walnuts is so far my favorite because I get my whole grain, my dairy (from the milk I put in), fruit from the banana and some healthy fats from the walnuts.  I saw some really interesting ones like carrot cake oatmeal where you literally put shredded carrots and raisins in the oatmeal and I think that would also be incredibly healthy and hearty.  Usually hearty breakfast means eggs and fats like bacon but while I am not eliminating rich foods what tends to happen is that if I'm full I won't make the impulse reach for the snacky stuff like a bag of chips.  If I just eat what I am supposed to for my meals then I stay on track.  This is just how my own body works, I don't pretend to be a nutritionist.

My little monsters are now big enough that they eat normal foods but they can't eat, say an entire eskimo pie so what my original problem was they would eat, I dunno 65% of their eskimo pie and then I'd feel it was wasteful to throw away the rest and I'd eat it.  Boom.  Immediate mommy weight gain.  Not that I feed my kids ice cream everyday but I figure that's a good example.  Deuce will grab an apple and eat half of it and then because he's three he'll complain he's full and dump the rest.  Just because it's healthy doesn't mean I should be eating all of my own food and half of his too.  This immediate bump in caloric intake led to some extra pudge.  So I'm learning to let go and deal with a little bit of waste.  It's very unnatural to me because I am not used to this kind of behavior with food.  You're probably saying, why not just give them less portion size, but that doesn't work on my eldest son.  He'll eat the tiny portion and then just say he's full so he can move on to dessert because dessert is the reward for being a hearty consumer.  Even if he's still hungry he's so focused on the prize at the end he can't put it together that he'll be an awful human being in a few hours when his hungry body makes itself known.  Young kids don't care about consequences as much as adults do.  I could give myself the smaller portion but a life eating cold half eaten leftovers from your kids that inadvertently got covered in way too much ketchup is a sad pathetic one.

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