It's coming. It will be here before you realize, making even the fittest women feel like slobs.
Now, I know bare legs have been the trend lately, but nothing is going to change the fact that every day it gets a little further into autumn, a little closer to winter, and the new season of stylish legwear is making its way into stores: tights, stockings, nylons - whatever you want to call them, they are coming and they are cruel.
You can cheat a little - I know I do - by wearing thigh-high stockings, but there comes a part of winter when it's too bitterly cold for anything but serious, sweater-material, covering every-last-part-of-my-legs stockings. This is the part where I start wondering if I've been deceiving myself when I see a woman in the mirror who appears to be an appropriate weight. By design, stockings are meant to be tight - this helps to prevent adding bulk to the legs and prevents any possibility of cold air squeezing in. That does not mean they don't give otherwise healthy-weighted women a "fat" complex upon donning them the first, second, or hormonally-driven time.
Why do I tell you all of this?
I have been a size 4, more or less, for about 13 years. Since my early twenties, I have managed to stay within a 10-pound range in my weight, with a couple of odd life circumstances bleeding an extra few pounds on one side or the other for a very brief time. Over the course of my life, I've been subjected to the misdirected ire of overweight and obese women. Some "can't wait" until I get fat, others insist I weigh so little because I don't eat anything. More than a few people want to blame my horribly restricted dietary choices for my ability to maintain my weight, but let me tell you - there are plenty of fattening vegan foods. For heaven's sake, there are several cookbooks devoted solely to making delicious vegan desserts, followed by a vegan diet cookbook...
No, friends, the reason I have done a fair job of maintaining my weight for most of my adult life is because I keep myself in check.
I know that sounds boring as heck, but it's true. If you've been reading Angst Loves Spinach for a little while, you may have even experienced some of my "OMGINeedToDetox!!!" moments already. Well, hold onto your hats, because I'm pretty sure stocking season will bring on another round of that panic/vigilance. Which is good. Because I'm having Mardi Gras a few months early.
Every once in a while, I have a day where I am completely aware that I am taking in way more calories than my body needs and I do it anyway because sometimes, I just can't make myself care. Now and then, I have a week or weeks like that...that is when I start to gain weight. Not a lot, of course - it takes far more effort than you might imagine to gain a lot of weight (unless there are extenuating circumstances), but my skirts fit a little tighter, I like my profile a little less in a full length mirror, and I dread putting on full stockings.
After a healthy breakfast, a several-hundred-calorie snack at our staff meeting this morning, and two large slices of tomato pie (more in a minute - let me finish my self-flaggelation first), I recognized that I was probably about topped out for my small body's caloric needs for the day, but I still had my heart set on Put the Tex in Your Mex Chili from The 30 Minute Vegan for dinner tonight, served with a generous bowlful of tortilla chips, which I have come to accept as our standard "utensils" on Chili Night.
|testing the limits of my saute pan... crowded much?|
It really is a fabulous recipe - two kinds of beans, two kinds of peppers, an acceptable amount of garlic (not that I needed more after lunch today!) and seitan, among other things. It's hearty, savory, and fun to scoop with tortilla chips. Fortunately, I was able to stop after just one bowlful purely because I don't want to have someone carting me to work in a wheelbarrow tomorrow.
Ah, well.... as I used to tell my clients when I worked for a weight loss company, tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities to make healthy choices.
Now, about that lunch: any local readers, please do yourselves a favor. If you find yourself in the vicinity of 21st and Chestnut Streets, find a way to be hungry and then head into Mix Restaurant and Bar. I went there for lunch today with a colleague, so I can't speak for the bar part of the restaurant, but the pizza! They have several pies available from which you can select a slice, including a masterful tomato pie: fresh chunks of tomato, tons of garlic, olive oil, and an artful spiral of jade green pesto adorning the pie. I thoroughly enjoyed both of my pieces and happily wolfed them down accompanied by water they don't charge you for and a delightful lunchtime conversation.
I absolutely do not regret my lunch choice and I will do it again (with an overpowering mint gum as a chaser, in the best interests of my customers), but again, the time for moderation is at hand... we can't start stocking season with a over-thought body image crisis, can we?