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On Not Being Trendy
Forget skinny jeans, boots and puggle puppies — do you know what’s trendy right now?
Being on a diet.
Exercising a lot.
Feeling “gross” amidst the holidays.
And “cleansing,” “hitting the reset button” or “getting back on track.”
Now if you know me at all, you know I’ve never been considered trendy, hip or in touch with what’s hot.
(Photo stolen from Pamela, my second grade buddy who’s about to run her first half marathon in Las Vegas this weekend! Go wish her luck!)
Case in point: I wear legwarmers and think they’re amazing, both on the run and in the office. I cannot think of a single event or function where legwarmers wouldn’t be deemed appropriate.
So not only have I resisted the skinny jeans look (OK, it’s not just me resisting them — my thighs have always fought them as well) and held back from making a sure-to-be-regretted puggle puppy purchase, I’m also not on board with the latest “get back on track” trend that’s taking over Twitter and just about every blog post or magazine article that’s crossed my computer screen this week.
Really. Thanks for your tips about moderation and food guilt and how you “swear you enjoyed every bit of the holidays and just want to tighten things up now!”
But I’m all set. And I won’t be reading or following along or jumping on your run streaking bandwagons.
Like I said last year, I’m all about enjoying the holiday season (and, come on, every day of the year), and for me that often means eating sweet treats and drinking cool cocktails. And I’m sure as hell not about to pass up that third piece of brownie Nutella mousse cake (thanks, coworker) or ditch a ninth trip around the party buffet table because I’m desperately afraid of taking a bad photo come New Year’s Eve. You call it indulging, I call it “a normal day.”
I sense I’m being harsh and bitchy.
Look, I get it. I get the food guilt. I get the feeling of nastiness after a day, week or month of over-eating. It happens, and mostly it sucks. I don’t think anyone wakes up the Friday morning after Thanksgiving thinking, “Wow, that sixth piece of pie did wonders for my waistline!”
But…it’s OK. I swear it’s OK.
I’ll use myself an example to assure you I’m not trying to preach here: You may recall that I don’t do well with restriction. The “I bet you can’t eat just one” catchphrase may be the eventual title of my autobiography, and I don’t understand (or, honestly, trust) people who can buy a big cookie or ice cream sundae and not demolish the entire thing.
Since Labor Day, when I was released from the Hospital Of Fun, I’ve abandoned all rules of healthy living in favor of eating myself to the point of fullness during every single meal. It’s not ideal, and it shows. I was sick at the time and wasn’t at my “normal” weight, but I do know that I’ve gained 10–15 pounds since then.
Fifteen pounds is a lot of weight to gain in just three months. And when you’re 5’5″, that weight shows itself just about everywhere. I’m carrying it in my face, my arms and most noticeably, my stomach. When I go to spin classes these days, my thighs rub up against the seat in a way they never used to, and I’ve quit trying to look nice at the office, instead opting for jeans and sweaters — or whatever fits — every day. Running feels harder, like I’m wearing a backpack or weights on my ankles, and you may have noticed I’ve been posting more pictures of Tyler and fewer photos of myself. (Want to see unflattering photos? I’ve got plenty! Also I recommend singing those sentences like Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Really, try it!)
I’m not happy with how I look right now. It bothered me while I was on vacation (the whole “you can hide under bulky sweaters in the winter time” thing failed me and I thought about wearing a wetsuit instead of a bikini) and it horrified me when I caught my reflection in all 16 of the dressing rooms at the outlets the other day. I’m not currently comfortable in my own, significantly looser skin.
But I still can’t in good conscience write a post for you about “getting back on track” or “staying healthy around the holidays” because, frankly, I have no intentions of doing those things. And to try to convince you — or myself — otherwise would be bullshit.
I like the holiday season.
I like spending time with my friends and family. And with that comes big tables filled with all my favorite foods, many of them involving layers of cheese, loads of bread, piles of pasta or all the chocolate I’ve ever dreamed about.
I like food.
Fortunately, I also like to exercise.
But I’m not about to overdo it on either spectrum just because I’ve eaten a few servings of stuffing a few days (OK, months in my case) out of the entire year. I don’t have time for extra workouts right now, and I just can’t say no to the office treats. The lady magazines think I should do things like eat a handful of nuts before going to a party to “curb my appetite,” and I think that’s pointless. I want to eat the yummy party food!
And so I will.
Please enjoy the holidays this year. If for you that means cleansing your body so you can feel confident and strong, that’s great! If it means being extra indulgent and living in stretchy pants, that’s fine, too!
Just do what works for you, and remember: It’s just one time of year. It’s supposed to be fun!
Don’t think that because certain people are passing on the crab cakes in favor of the shrimp cocktail that you should do the same.
Then have seconds.
Then meet me over by the fondue.
And maybe one of these days I’ll attempt to get into a pair of skinny jeans. Until then, you’ll find me in my cake-eating pants, licking frosting off my lips and eventually hitting the gym. The “balance” thing is a work not-so-much in progress.
Cheers to a happy, healthy-based-on-your-definition-of-the-word and guilt-free holiday season!