Last night, I found myself, surrounded with friends and good music, dancing with...a white roll.
Yes, a white roll. Homemade delicious carbohydrate goodness. Let me see if I can unpack the significance here.
I never really thought of myself as a bread person. I can remember my stepmom, when I was growing up, always bemoaning her weight (I never thought she was never that heavy) and talking about how much she loved bread. "Give me pies, cakes, chocolate, candies--I can pass all those things up," she'd say. "But put a loaf of bread in front of me, and I'm done for."
This never made any sense to me as a kid. In my opinion, if a meal was a movie cast, bread was always an extra--not really necessary, but nice filler for the stars of the show: meat, vegetables, and, my favorite, dessert. I have always had a sweet tooth, for ice cream mostly, but also for chocolate. Pies and cake were not bad, either. But bread? No big deal. I could take it or leave it.
A few years ago, something changed. Maybe it was the year spent in France, with its delightful baguettes and crepes and toute-choses starch. I did come home from there a good thirty pounds heavier when I left (the Nutella and gelato didn't help). Every since then, bread became comfort. I have memories of sitting in my Cold-War-era student flat my first year in grad school, lonely and depressed, and finishing off an entire loaf of french bread, with butter. I am NOT kidding. The whole thing. Then I'd have dinner.
And you know, I've gotten away with that sort of thing for a while now. My weight has certainly fluctuated--no doubt about it--and I've had heavier times and slimmer ones. But for the most part, when I put my mind to slimming down, I'm able to make a few small adjustments and then the weight just comes off.
Not anymore. I don't know if it's having the second kid or just being at the age where the metabolism traditionally slows down for women or what. But the scale is certainly not creeping downward. My pants are tight and my belly bulges. I have cellulite on most parts of my body. I'm not obese, or anything, but I have this feeling that I'm on a dangerously slippery slope, now. My get out of jail free cards are just about gone.
I was talking to Nancy about this last night, and we came up with some things to try. First, I need to find a way to get more protein. This is sometimes tough because I'm a vegetarian, and I don't always make good food choices when I'm starving. It's easier to eat a handful of Hershey's miniatures then to cook up some salmon, you know? I also need to find a way to get more iron; I've been craving red meat a lot lately, and think my levels got good and screwed up after having Nolie, so I need to pay more attention to that. Then, I need to eat more vegetables and cut down on the alcohol intake. I've been doing a good job of working out every day, so I need to keep up with that, too. Really? I know the rules of nutrition and good health. I've just been breaking them for so long they started feeling less like rules and more like, I don't know, friendly suggestions.
Honestly, there is a part of me that wants to get all agro and make some drastic decisions so that I can lose the weight RIGHT NOW, goddammit. I hate being so uncomfortable in my own skin. I don't like feeling unattractive. But there is other work to be done here. This is not just about looks. It's about not comparing myself to others, and taking the time to take care of myself. "Taking care of myself" usually means shopping or a bubble bath, in my twisted little world, so I need to redefine what that means, to include taking the time to make good food and exercise. This summer is all about making these decisions, having these realizations. But they don't come easy.
Anyway, back to the slow dance with the roll. It was the third one I had that night. The hostess of the party had made the most amazing spread of food--had prepared salads and barbecued meat, and these homemade rolls. I was bummed that I couldn't eat the meat, I think, so I went ahead and ate two rolls right away, figuring I had deprived myself by not eating meat and needed to fill up on something (why not the delicious bean salad? CAUSE BEANS AIN'T COMFORT! I choke down beans cause I have to. They sort of taste vaguely like poop to me, to be honest. Not that I eat a lot of poop. But if I did, I imagine it would be sort of like eating beans).
The night wore on, and I decided I'd have one last roll. And there I found myself, on that beautiful, starry night, slow dancing with the roll, holding it in my hand like a long-lost lover. I wanted to french-kiss that roll. To tuck it in my bra and carry it around with me (I may have actually done this at one point). But then, a few bites in, a put that roll down on the table, and bid it a sweet adieu. That roll served me well. It was a delicious roll. But I was ready to let it go, and dance on my own. Or with a mint julep, at least.
We'll see if future dances go so well.