Twelve Days of Giftsmas: A Partridge in a Pear Tree

partridge

The pear tree is your sister’s long, gorgeous head of hair. The partridge is this little bird skull hair tie. It’s a metaphor, people. Being able to put my hair up with pretty things is the one thing I miss about having long hair.  If they got it, help them accessorize it!

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All the Foods

Today, at a business lunch (which sounds much fancier than it was – we were five ladies at a pub!) I ordered a side of greens with my sandwich, instead of fries.  Everyone looked at me with a combination of guilt and bewilderment.  Now, look, I can’t tell what people are actually thinking, but given that people remarked on it right after as something strange, but also good, I think they were kind of thinking I’m a little odd.  Also, I will say, I am (*gasp!*) about five pounds over what I consider to be my “ideal” weight.  Part of this can be attributed to the fact that I have been gaining some muscle from a new strength training routine I’ve been doing for the past couple months, but I also know that I’ve been eating more than usual the last couple months as well.  I’m doing better!  I’ve largely stopped eating out at sit-down restaurants and, when I don’t take my lunch to work, I try to get salads so at least I’m not cramming burritos in my gaping maw.  I also have, largely, quit drinking beer.  I have had 2 beers since Labor Day, 2!  And 1 mixed drink.  I’m big on the grain, but the grape has been treating me quite well, so I’m sticking to it for now.  BUT, I will say that until today I had been doing somewhat badly on the “quantity” end of the spectrum.  Frankly, I got into an odd pattern where I was eating too much.  That is my curse, I love food, and so want to eat a lot of it, even if it’s good stuff like veg. and lowfat yogurt and beans.

This brings me back around to the side o’ greens today.  I had a salad for lunch yesterday, and some stir fry for dinner, so I’m beginning to be back on the right track.  I didn’t want to derail with fatty ol’ french fries (especially because I’d fallen victim to that weakness on Tuesday), and, frankly, I actually really like salad a whole lot.  This is why I’m kind of puzzled by why everyone got so weirded out by me ordering some.  Yes, french fries are good and, yes, I LOVE them way too much, but so is spinach, and so do I love spinach.  And broccoli, carrots, celery, beans, onion, water chestnuts, and all the other good yummy vegetables.  Just keep your cauliflower and squashes away from me… Maybe they just felt guilty over the choice they made in that moment, and turned it back around on me, but I still sincerely don’t understand why people still thinking choosing a vegetable over anything else is a strange choice to make.

I was a heavy kid because I hated vegetables and loved carbs, and no one tried to restrict me eating the latter or force me to eat the former.  When I got to college my palate exploded, and suddenly I was eating everything, including greens, beans, and other fun stuff that grows from the soil.  What I learned in the dining halls was this: I LOVED FOOD.  Not ALL of it (aforementioned squashes, cauliflower, mushrooms, and some greens – I can’t get into collards, man), but suddenly a TON of things were on the table that weren’t before.  Brussels sprouts. Canellini beans. Tomatoes. Red cabbage.  Arugula. Kale.  I suddenly felt like I could eat whatever I wanted and not feel that terrible about my body and my food choices, since I was choosing vegetables fairly regularly.  Also, I had a MUCH better metabolism back then, so there was a lot more Chinese food and pizza floating around than there is now.  Since then, it has almost never been that I’m eating too many bad things (except for when I was dating my ex, who often refused to touch a vegetable in my presence, but claimed to shove them in his face when he was at home), but that I’m eating too much to begin with.

Anyway, after my week plus a few days of falling off the good eating wagon a bit, I was feeling guilty about my choices.  When I do that, my strategy is to a) go over what I’ve been eating for the past few days, to see if my choices really have been all that bad, and b) do differently going forward.  I’m not going to tell you I’m going to not eat pizza this weekend, because that opportunity might arise, and I try not to look a gift pizza in the crust (too much?).  But, I am going to make some bean burgers with arugula tomorrow, eat some whole wheat toast for  breakfast, and go to the gym.  So, now, really, I don’t feel as bad, knowing that I can change the amount of stuff I’m putting in my body at any time (within reason, obviously), and that what I have been putting in there thus far won’t kill me.   I’ve been struggling with weight gain and food issues since I was a kid but being able to think in these ways, and not just get emotional when I think about the two cinnamon buns I ate Tuesday night (my dear friend made them for my D & D group! And it was amazing! And I felt a little terrible!), feels like some progress.  But, I’m still going to do an hour of cardio at the gym tomorrow.

Getting Dressed – Part 2

So, last time we talked, I was getting you a cup of tea and trying to apply Fruedian psychoanalytic theory to my fashion sense.  That sounds nice, doesn’t it?  Let’s get back to it.

I was perusing the internet looking at clothes, as is sometimes my wont when work is slow or I need a break, and I suddenly thought to myself: “If I could wear no colors but heathered black, charcoal, gray, navy blue, maroon, white, and dark green and no pattern but stripes, I’d be happy with my clothes.”  It took a second for that thought to tip over the brain cliff and fall to its natural conclusion.  Why didn’t I just… do that?  Just buy those colors? And no pattern but stripes?  I used to joke with people that if I’m not careful I would just end up buying the same grey shirt 20 times.  I usually joke to diffuse pain or cover up discomfort, and that one was pretty obviously me trying to tell the world that I really wanted to buy a certain very small variety of clothes and have a “uniform” that I could just wear slight variations of all the time, but had this self-imposed

When I was in Girl Scouts, right around 4th grade, our group leaders did this skin tone analysis where they classified each of us as a “Spring,” “Summer,” “Autumn,” or “Winter.”  This was probably for their own amusement, but we were willing to sit quietly and be classified.  The point was that certain clothing and make-up colors would compliment certain skin types and others wouldn’t.  They were kind of surprised that I seemed to be a “blonde Winter,” or whatever.  The only thing I took away from that classification was that I was supposed to look better in darker colors like maroon and navy.

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Getting Dressed – Part 1

The other day, I had kind of an epiphany about my clothes.

I have a bit of a confession to make first, and that’s that I really don’t know how to dress myself.  I think a lot of women (especially women who are not a size 2-4) think this about themselves, and with some it is true, some it is not, and with almost all of them it’s a negotiation.  Just like you have days when you feel good about your body and you have days when you can’t stop piling the self-criticisms on top of one another, so it goes with clothes.  That’s ok! Not every day has to be a home run in the body adornments department (or in the naked department either).  A lot of people tell me I dress well, but I don’t feel like I ought to accept the compliment.  A lot of people also tell me I have excellent t-shirts, and that compliment I will take gladly, because it’s true.

Exhibit A. Sadly, not available at Threadless at the moment.

Why the former but not the latter?  It’s probably because I’ve never really been able to completely dress the way I want to, though the road blocks I’ve been throwing up are largely self-created.  Ed. note: haha, “throwing up.” Also, I am typing this as I am writing the post. The root of this wardrobe blockage? Body issues, mostly. But, the reasoning behind why I look good in my clothes but don’t actually love or even like most of them? Well, I think I can blame What Not to Wear for that one.

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