Monday, June 1, 2009

Sigh. Another year older, but wiser?

Today's my birthday. I happily share this date with the late Marilyn Monroe. (Oh, and Andy Griffiths, who despite being a heck of a likeable guy isn't quite as sexy...)

I'm spending the day interviewing one of the subjects in a project that's just getting underway. The goal is to understand how to genuinely teach people to cook enough to curb their reliance on processed and fast foods. For now, that's what I've chosen to do with my fancy culinary degree, and it feels great.

As for me, I'm at that point of life that I'm always looking for places of reckoning. Where's my life going? Am I achieving what I set out to do? At the top of the year, I made a goal to lose about 30 pounds. I lost about 16 as of the 28th April. I hit 37.9% body fat, down from 39.2%. I had been a size 12 in trousers and went down to an eight. I put on my standard black dress for an event, and my assistants Lisa and husband Mike both looked at me curiously. "What's wrong?" I asked.
Lisa blurted, "That's just too big for you."

Isn't that one of the sweetest phrases in the English language? It's right up there with "I've taken the liberty of upgrading you to first class" and "full host bar."

But it was short lived. Yesterday, I realized that I've gained five pounds back in the past month. I got busy, hit the gym less often. I drank a lot more wine. I tested bread recipes, and ate the result. We went out for pizza in Chicago. The French Trade Commission gave me a whole bunch of cheese... the list goes on.

As I got off the scale yesterday, I was just angry, truly upset with myself. Why did I let this happen? But then, I sat down and took a deep breath. As much as I loathed turning 40, somehow that milestone granted a bit of perspective. For all the grief we women give ourselves as we strive for an impossible ideal of perfection, the reality is that no one particularly notices when we gain or lose five pounds. No one cares if I have a bad hair day. Everyone has something else to worry about, even if it's only their own weight and hair. Why beat myself up? What's the point?

For my birthday, I decided to give myself forgiveness and understanding. Hey, it happens, even to Oprah. I can still fit into the size eight trousers, they're just tight, right? Now I'm off to the gym.

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Anonymous flyingfoodie said...

Happy Birthday Kathleen!

June 1, 2009 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

Happy Birthday Kathleen. And I thought you looked great, when I took the class at the Hugo House last month. Don't beat yourself up over a couple pounds! Life will surely go on.

June 1, 2009 at 11:26 AM  
OpenID applecrumbles said...

Happy Birthday!
You can't be a skinny Chef. People will begin to wonder if you are really that good.
Enjoy your 40th year!

June 2, 2009 at 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

That's what I do- I blurt. I'm an infamous blurter. One would think that after a few years with you and Mike I'd have learned some diplomacy by now....

June 2, 2009 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Suzie the Foodie said...

I'm a little late to say happy birthday but wanted to do so anyway Kathleen, Happy Birthday! I think we waste a lot of our time and energy trying to be some physical ideal. I prefer to focus on food making me feel healthy and if I can also look good, great. I love that you are helping people get away from cardboard box eating, that is one of my goals too. Focus on the health, let go of the guilt.

June 3, 2009 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger Chelsea Talks Smack said...

I did this to myself recently. So then I ate a cookie and half a bottle of wine. Man, haing regret never helps.

June 3, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

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