Monday, November 06, 2006

The Truth About Last Night and Dirty Little Secret #34

Before I reveal my secret, I'll reveal the truth.

Dirk did write the entry posted last night. I logged into Blogger, and then stepped away to stop my children from killing one another. When I came back to my office, Dirk was furtively typing away with two fingers. I read, I laughed, and I hit the publish button.

But the conversation he presented did not actually happen.

Earlier in the evening, I did request that he take the rest of the Halloween candy to work with him. Explaining that I only have a modicum of self-control, I informed him that the only way to prevent myself from eating the remaining two bags of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups was to remove them from the house. He mocked me, questioning why I can't just eat one.


Later, just before I discovered his covert blogging, I stood in front of the full-length mirror in our foursquare hall. My shirt pulled up over my muffin-top, and I placed my hands on my hips. "Do you think that this looks natural, or are my pants just too tight?" I asked.

"I see plenty of other people with the same thing," he replied. "I like the way you look."


Now, this is Secret #34: I'm skinny. Petite. Or short and small. I barely top five feet. My sister Amy once described me teetering up to the podium to receive my Nobel Prize and having to lift my prepared speech high above my head to set it on the podium. Mind you, she also tells me that each cheek of my rear end qualifies for its own zip code.

Good stuff.

Anyway, why is it my dirty secret that I'm...whatever you want to call it? Well, who tells a room full of other women busy denoting their shortcomings that I don't share one of them? I'm short, and small-boned, and for most of my life my weight corresponded with those two facts. I know when I look in the mirror and place my hands on my hips that I am thin.

But I am also a thirty-one year old mother of two, who doesn't exercise regularly. I no longer depend on my metabolism, I have to eat right. I have a rear-end full of cellulite. I have my own muffin-top - in the middle AND on top.

No strapless dresses here. Shudder.

I have my own anxieties and hang-ups about my appearance. And plenty of unhealthy body-image issues to pass along to my daughter.

Dirty Little Secret #34 was intended to describe my own version of self-control. In the months before I became pregnant, I was deeply depressed. I was working in a position that demanded long hours and made me deeply unhappy. I ate. Terribly. Sweets, cake, pie, chips, frozen waffles covered with fake maple syrup, gobs of New York City take-out fare.

And I started to gain weight.

I vowed, when Lizzy was born, that I would set a healthy example for her, both with how I ate and how I projected my self-image. We would have healthy food in the house, although she would not be denied "junk." I would not complain about my appearance or weight in front of her. We don't talk about weight. We talk about being hungry or full. We talk about how food gives us energy to play and think and grow. We talk about always foods and sometimes foods.

Reese's Cups, by the way, are a sometimes food.

Dirk was with me all the way. We both ate and felt like crap, all the time. When we started eating a protein and green vegetable or fruit at each meal, with limited starches, we felt better. It was like de-toxifying. My pants fit better. I didn't crave Doritos and Reese's anymore. It wasn't a diet - no counting calories, no portion sizes. For treats I did my own baking. I shopped differently: a lot more produce, far fewer snacks. We don't deny ourselves treats and snacks, but because I don't keep them in the house, we have to go a little out of our way to get them.

Dirk, by the way, doesn't do a lot of grocery shopping. He complains that I don't buy bags of chips and cookies, but he is also the man who can eat five Doritos and then PUT THE BAG AWAY. Who does that? I have to eat the whole damn bag. But I don't feel compelled to buy it. I only feel compelled to eat it once I have it.

I know, it's weird. It's really, really weird.

What's my method of self-control? Don't buy it. That's why the peanut butter cups must leave the house. Now. I've already finished the second bag.

I have only a modicum of self-control.


Becky said...

I, too, am a short and small boned person. Pre-pregnancy with my first I weighed a whopping 97 lbs. Geez, I had self-image issues then. I gained 63 pounds with her and never made it back down past 118 lbs. With my second I only gained 25 lbs. but I had gained about 20 lbs. before I got pregnant with him. I am now struggling to have any form of self-control and it is weighing heavy on my body-image. I have to daily fight the urge to buy/eat junk. I am a junk food junkie and not proud of it. So, kudos to you for having enough self-control to not buy the junk. Wish me luck!!!

karen said...

I am with you on that one, I also got rid of the leftover halloween candy because if it's in my house, I'll eat it. At least we can admit that we have no self control :) I shop the way you shop so that we don't have much junk food in the house.

Kara said...

I'm with you on the "don't buy it." I cannot buy a brownie mix because I know that if I made it, I'd eat the whole pan.

What's a muffin top?

Heather said...

Well, you're still lucky being as small as you are.

I don't eat many sweets, and often pass up the snacks even at PAIIR.

I generally don't eat any junk food (chips, etc) either. I buy it, but most of the time it goes stale in the cupboard because I forget it's there. I buy it for the kids, which I really shouldn't do that either I guess.

I don't know what my problem is.

Yeah, I have no idea what a muffin top is either.