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Friday, April 25, 2014

Lent is over.

I gave up desserts for Lent.  I learned a few things along the way.  First, I really look forward to desserts.  I think I said to Stephen one night after dinner the first week of Lent, "Well, dinner is over.  We might as well go to sleep because there is nothing else to look forward to today."  Dessert was the wonderful prize at the end of my meal and sometimes I would just eat a meal so I could not feel guilty in having a sweet snack.  This confession comes with a mixture of shame and pride.

A couple weeks in, I discovered that I really didn't long for sweets everyday.  We went to a party where a super delicious stack of brownies was sitting on the table, and I had a real deep desire to eat one.  I could practically taste the chocolate.  Then I realized that I really hadn't had that experience all week.  I realized I buy chocolate to have in the cupboard afraid that I would be unprepared should a craving strike.  Really, though, I would eat it one way or the other.

It was a revelation to me.  Maybe I don't have as big of a sweet tooth as I thought.

And I did lose a few pounds, and believe me, I would know because I weighed myself (too) often.  At one point, I thought my scale was broken.  I tried the scale at the Y, and realized I like mine better.

I decided I should be encouraged by other signs of change.  Being "active" was one of my New Year's Resolutions.  I started walking on my treadmill several times a week and I can definitely walk a faster mile than I could to start.  In February, I started attending a strength and endurance class at the Y on Monday mornings and I can definitley hold a plank for longer than I could.  And while holding a plank really has no value in my life, it seems to translate into my posture, helping me stand to my full 4 foot 10 inches with more ease.

I've been watching Julian move, lately.  He doesn't usually walk.  Instead, he bounds and skips and runs and dances and jumps and climbs.  I'm trying to learn to move like him while simultaneously teaching him to sit still.

I'm obssessed with not becoming obsssessed with how my body looks.  I'm determined to not give weight goals too much room in my brain, in my life.  And yet, taking care of myself is important. Making good decisions about eating and activity is a daily, lifelong chore.

I've been reading a book called "Bread and Wine" by Shauna Niequist.  Among other topics, she writes about her love of food and her body frustrations.  She presents her rythym of feasting and fasting in the book.  Some seasons are about indulging and enjoying and some seasons are about self-discipline.  For her, the holidays and summertime tend to be her seasons of indulging, and when those seasons pass she knows that she must pull in the reigns a bit and make wiser, healthfull choices.

I'm coming out of a long season of feasting.  While I was pregnant and as I've been nursing Penelope these ten months, I've given myself permission to enjoy and not worry.  And now is a time of self-discipline.  I'm trying to embrace it with joy the same way I did the season of feasting.

I'm a big fan of Mindy Kaling.  She used to be in the Office and now has her own show.  She does a good job of having, what I see, to be a strong, healthy view of her body in Hollywood.  She wants to look good, and she works at it.  And, yet, her goal is not to be skinny.  I dig it.  She read my mind.  Watch a little snippet from her appearance on Jimmy Kimmel (link).  Here are a few quotes that make me smile.

"I always get asked, "Where do you get your confidence?" I think people are well meaning, but it's pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, "You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You're not skinny, you're not white, you're a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you're worth anything?"

"By the way, I like run and work out. It takes a lot of effort to look like a normal/chubby woman."

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