Monday, January 02, 2012
I spent NYE with dear friends. We spent the night playing Arkham Horror, Talisman, and Settlers of Catan. I was worried about overeating but I did okay. I brought a pile of chopped vegetables (green peppers, red peppers, cucumbers, baby carrots, pints of grape tomatoes) and a home-make baklava. My fiance brought reduced-fat spinach dip and a pumpernickel he made from scratch. Our friends had brought home-made potatoes au gratin and free-range beef and bean chili. So, the food wasn't ideal for a diet, but as you can tell it was thoroughly and deservedly scrumptious.
I was hoping that one of my friends, who is a coach for a national weight loss brand, would be counting calories and keep me honest. But as soon as I heard her say "I don't track on the holidays" I knew I was out. I had skipped lunch and walked three miles that day so I had a fairly big buffer. I knew it was a matter of eating to satiety, not overstuffing myself. I think I did well for the circumstances. I ate but not too much, and it was all conscious eating, not mindless snacking. What helped was eating so many vegetables at first, and drinking seltzer water all night long. I had a cider at dinner, a splash of our friends' wine just to try it, and a shot of a special South African liqueur at midnight. The rest was pints and pints of seltzer.
But I learned something that made me feel intensely uncomfortable. One of my friends had met and married his wife in a few short years and they already have their first child. She is gracious and wonderful and fit with us well, so I didn't feel compelled to inquire about her past.
She is naturally thin, but I've learned a long time ago that skinny doesn't always mean fit, and indeed before she got pregnant she asked me for (and happily received) advice on running. I'm not saying that running speed and endurance is the only indicator of fitness, but I AM saying that I am fiercely proud of my ability to run three miles in less than thirty minutes any day of the week. I bet I could do four in forty, too.
Anyway, I couldn't help but feel white-hot pangs of jealousy to find out that she was a model right up to her wedding day. How can someone who has never counted calories or exercised hard a day in her life be employed for her perfect body? It's just not fair!!
I'm not saying I ever wanted to be a model, but my other model friends are all achingly consumed by their work, always primping and dieting and fussing about their bodies. I thought that it was a fair trade-off, to have to obsess over their appearance to be paid for their appearance. The fact that my friend who is so casual and un-self-conscious was a model too makes me feel so very fat and ugly. Why does a body that everyone wants to look at come easy to some, while I obsess and work a body that only my fiance appreciates?