|Handing 2011 its Hat and Waving a Hanky...Buh-Bye!
||[Dec. 29th, 2011|04:19 pm]
Well, I’ll be the first to scream “correlation does NOT mean causation”…well, okay, screaming is sooooo not me. And a sample size of one is also known as a potentially delusional personal experience. But having strewn those disclaimers: |
Stress appears to have way more of an effect on my ability to lose/gain weight than what actually goes in my mouth.
Witness: three weeks leading up to Christmas, stressed out, not sleeping well, but exercising three or more times a week, eating carefully, at worst imbibing a bit too much alcohol…gain ten pounds.
Witness: five days of Christmas, little to no stress beyond whether there are too many blue lightbulbs on that section of the tree and would an orange one look weird in the middle, a solid 7-8 hours sleep every night, pretty much no exercise beyond hauling lightweight ornaments up and down the basement stairs, four pounds of Christmas cookies eaten, countless other chocolates and candies tasted, seafood lasagna, egg rolls, coffecakes, mozzarella sticks, crab puffs, a toddler’s-worth-of-cheese, lobster, butter, plus two bags of crap popcorn (aka, Turnip gets bored on the Jersey Turnpike food, so one in each direction), boxes of red wine, several bottles of champagne and…lose five pounds.
Thereby dangling the possibility that should I manage to develop a stress-free life, I could eat normally and be skinny. Thanks for THAT cruel joke, Life. That’s awesome.
As a control, I’ve been tearing through the box of apple cider doughnuts I brought back with me, thereby combining stress AND crappy diet. Because I am ALL ABOUT the science.
I didn’t even MEAN to bring back apple cider doughnuts. Even though they are wonderful and remind me of home. But as I set out on my usual Connecticut foraging rounds, I suffered disappointment after disappointment, so in the end, as chubby people are wont to do, I sought solace in sugar and fat. See, I normally don’t take off so quickly after Christmas; so this time I got hit with the one-two punch of Monday AND a holiday. So – the Burrata, Stravecchio and Italian Sausage…denied. The handmade genuine for-real Kielbasa, sold out of a house in the middle of a residential neighborhood…denied. Even my back-up meat purveyor…closed. Thankfully, I was able to score local bacon, a local Kielbasa that while not really a K-ring to my mind, IS a damn fine smoked sausage, and, of course, to make it all better -- the cider doughnuts.
And when I got back to work, my annual shipment of Provencal soap and culinary lavender had arrived. Yes, I buy my soap from France. It’s my splurge. $70 and it lasts me a year and a couple of months. I was going to take the lavender home and make a lavender syrup…but right now, as the end of the year looms and it’s clear that I am NOT going to make deadlines on two of my projects…I just remove the lid and inhale. I’ll let it console me one more day and THEN bring it home.
Now, only one conundrum left for the year – what to have for New Year’s dinner?
I’m hermiting. I haven’t had a chance to do that in years – and while I ABHOR the very idea of New Year’s resolutions, since every single minute of every single day is a new chance to do better and if you can’t randomly set your mind to change NOW and just get on about it, without having some special DATE on which to do it…you’re probably not going to be able to make a lasting and effective change. (That’s my inner Curmudgeon talking. If it works for you, well then, have at it. Who am I to judge? I mean the part of me that’s NOT a curmudgeon. THAT’S not judging you. The Curmudgeon, on the other hand, is rolling her eyes at us both.)
But I've resolved that I need to be a little more conscious of what I personally want and need…that I need to expend just a smidge more time making MYSELF happy…even though that will probably mean roiling in guilt over my selfishness. But I AM resolved to see if the roiling is as bad as I fear. Maybe I’ve overblown it. Maybe I CAN just cater to myself now and again and be okay with it. (Is that the sound of rolling eyes? You’ve had your moment, Curmudgeon, get back in the damn box.) While making other people happy truly DOES make me happy, I think it's gotten a wee bit out of control over the past several decades. I'm pretty sure that an occasional splurge of self-indulgence won't take root in my well-salted-with-guilt-and-self-reliance Yankee head. If it does, I have good friends who will Round-Up that expletive.
Anyway – I have to admit the forced frivolity, the agonizing march to midnight, the painful dodge-a-drunk drive home or crash on the floor somewhere, sharing a bathroom with someone who had too much to drink and ate….oh, god, what IS that? New Year’s is not my favorite holiday. Oh, I’ve had some fun ones – where even the curmudgeon had to begrudgingly admit that it was OKAY – but it’s a guilty pleasure to cook a fabulously simple, but special meal, treat myself to a really nice bottle of wine, a lovely dessert, a movie of my choice, and in bed and sound asleep LONG before the New Year begins. Because really, what I hate MOST about New Year’s Eve? Wasting half of New Year’s Day, sleeping, because I stayed up too late the day before. There’s a tiny little voice in my head that says “What is WRONG with you?” but we’re ignoring it. There will be time for sloth later in the year. And on future New Year’s Days. This one? It’s all about making ME happy.
But the issue still at hand – what do I have for dinner? My usual great food/no fuss (fuss being both the cooking and cleaning part of it) go-to treats: lobster or ribeye, I’ve had BOTH in the last week. And while I could easily have either again and in either case, could probably improve on the meals I just had, again with a minimum of fuss…hmm, maybe lamb chops…