Thoughts on Body Image

For no other reason than being random, I wanted to take a moment to share how I’m feeling about the topic of body image these days: 

Generally, I make a conscious effort not to mention how I feel about my body to others; let me confess,  ‘it’s complicated’. During my 42 years here on this earth, I have been held captive by my fluctuating sense of body image for at least 32 of them.  Excuse me while I take a moment to mourn the time I’ve lost thinking about how my weight, height and shape defines me.  It’s like a merry-go-round. What I wouldn’t give to get off.

How I see myself is my business, or is it? Doesn’t my personal sense of body image affect how other people view me, themselves and others? Thinking of the people who are near and dear to my heart, I’ve ripped them off somewhat.  I haven’t been 100% ‘present’ in our experiences together because there’s a part of me that’s distracted with my sense of body image. Cases in point:

  • Getting ready to go out for dinner and changing a few times over because I ‘look fat in that dress’ followed by asking my husband and son how I look (followed by telling them they don’t know what they’re talking about);
  • Chastising myself for eating something ‘bad’ and proceeding to ruminate about all the exercising I will need to do in order to rid myself of the potential consequences;
  • Feeling awkward in social settings when I am feeling less than stellar about how I look.
  • Letting my body image even be a part of how I define myself.

What do these actions tell the people I love?

  • I don’t trust their opinions;
  • They should be worrying about their body image and everyone else’s for that matter;
  • Who I am depends on the way I look;
  • The time we spend together isn’t enough to fulfil me.

I’m sad that I’ve wasted so much time.  I’m worried my actions have impacted how my son views himself and others. I’m confused because I don’t agree with using body image as a source of judgement but then use it to self judge.  Frankly, I’m rather exhausted of the whole idea that body image is even part of what defines me or anyone else. Of course, I think overall health includes exercise and healthy eating but I need that mental picture I have to move beyond the physical and include way more focus on soul.

Oregon 2011 173

Now, go outside and play with all abandon

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Cupcakery

Since last Friday, I feel like all I’ve been doing is making cupcakes. I swear I had a dream that my yard was filled with children asking if they can have yet another one. ‘Please ma’am, just one more for the road?’ They kept promising to leave only to return and demand a different flavour. Well that’s just about enough!

It all started with me volunteering to make something for a fundraising cakewalk. Do you remember those? Such a classic event that all kids LOVE. I am not much of a baker but every once in awhile I get into the groove until I manage to wear myself out, which I did.

Here’s the scoop:

cupcake ingredients

This is a fairly inclusive picture of the ingredients used

cupcakes

Into the oven at about 350 degrees

I like to add more than what the back of the cake mix suggests because it just seems to make the cupcakes a bit more moist and flavourful. I also like icing that tastes like something other than just plain old icing sugar.

Cupcake ingredient list:

  • cake mix of your choice (I made two different batches-chocolate and vanilla confetti. I was also going to do lemon but decided I could live with the 50 plus cupcakes I was already creating)
  • pudding mix that is complimentary to your cake mix (I used chocolate and vanilla. If you like lemon, well then use lemon pudding)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil (you could also use apple sauce)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (or sour cream)

Icing ingredient list:

  • 1/2 cup butter unsalted and warmed up on the counter (don’t microwave it!)
  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  • about 3/4 cup of hazelnut spread (for one flavour of icing-turns out brown)
  • about 3/4 cup of marshmallow mix (for another flavour of icing-turns out white)
  • (If I was doing lemon, I would have tried lemon extract or curd-adding slowly to control the consistency)
  • about 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • some hershey kisses of whatever kind you like (keep them wrapped in the foil -I used the cookies and cream. If it was lemon, I would have used lemon rind or better yet? Stick a lemon lollipop on the top!)

Cupcakes:

  • set the oven for 350 degrees Celsius
  • Mix the whole mess together-doesn’t matter what goes in first or last.
  • Place your batter in some lovely cupcake wrappers-probably about 1/2 full depending on how big you like your cupcakes (as you can see from the pics below, I experimented)
  • Bake for about 18-23 minutes
  • Let them cool completely before icing!

Icing:

  • Mix the butter with your electric mix to get it creamy
  • Add the icing sugar and mix with the butter
  • Add your flavour (hazelnut or marshmallow or lemon)
  • Add just a dash of the heavy cream to a consistency that works for you-I like really thick icing so I can stick the candy into it and I just think it looks pretty.
  • place the icing in an icing bag (I used a plastic disposable one with a monster round tip) or use a knife to ice your cupcakes
  • place your wrapped (or unwrapped) candy on the top! Or be creative and think of something else to stick on the top-paper umbrellas, plastic rings, etc.

Extra special note: if you really wanted to out do yourself, you could stuff your cupcake with filling. An apple corer could work (I’ve used a melon baller) to take the middle of the cooked cupcake out and then fill it with a complimentary filling (strawberry preserve, lemon curd, hazelnut spread, peanut butter are a few ideas). Once you’ve added the filling then ice over the top!

vanilla cupcakecupcake result

The end result of your efforts-a lovely cupcake!

Now watch the kids enjoy your efforts! Or better yet, have a taste test yourself.

Power or Wind?

Lately, the weather has been sunny and warm around here. This means I’ve been power walking around town during my lunch breaks. Today was a bit different because when I looked outside to check the state of the weather, all I could see were three gigantic masts. Obviously, being the snoop that I am, I investigated the situation:

ATHENA

This is the Athena-the largest privately owned yacht in the world. WOW

Docked beside her was this fabulous diva:

ZENITH

This is the Zenith luxury super yacht. Not too shabby either. 

Which do you prefer, darling? How about we meet on the dock after work and we can decide which one to take then.

Monday (evening) memoirs

Hope you all had a great Monday!

My poor husband came home early this afternoon to find our new area rug COVERED IN CRAP. Seems one of our shitzu’s got into something that didn’t agree with him. I would complain more but I wasn’t the one who cleaned it up, unless of course you count pointing out the spots he missed with the carpet cleaner. Apparently, he didn’t need my help after all.

Apart from being extremely thankful for a dog crap carpet cleaning husband (if it was me that had arrived home first, he would have been a wife barf, dog crap carpet cleaning husband) here are a couple of other things I am thankful for:

Tea parties. Every year, the City I live in hosts a weekend long ‘tea party’. It’s down by the beach, has a midway and serves tea in addition to all the typical fair food (i.e. mini donuts and smokies). There is also an air show that includes a demonstration by the Coast Guard:

coast guard heli

This helicopter took off from the beach and so began the picking of sand out of my teeth, hair, eyes…how the heck does sand manage to get into certain unmentionable places? 

kamikaze ride

Just watching this ride is enough to make me dizzy!  Way too terrifying for me. 

ferris wheel

This is way more my style. It’s such a classic. 

Perseverance. My son spent the weekend  trying to showcase how ‘mature’ he is in an effort to get me to agree he could buy an air gun. I told him I’d ‘think about it’ and then proceeded to bask in the glow of his efforts. The bathroom was cleaned, laundry was folded, dogs were walked and cheery attitude was presented. Frankly, this is just too good to give up right now and so I am still having to continue ‘to think about it’. I’m not entirely sure how long it will last but I suspect I’m running out of time.

In the meantime, I’ve hinted that even if I was to agree I would not be interested in buying it for him. This has led him down a new path-hunting for his first job. He proceeded to go around the City to various businesses asking whether they hire teenagers and whether he should drop a resume off or fill out an application. Some places responded with a big fat (and rather rude) NO. Others said he had to wait until he got another year older. Just when his heart started to sink, the last place he went to told him to bring in a resume! It was just the boost he needed and I’m so proud he put his little self out there. Fingers crossed that he’ll find his first job and that it will be a good fit for the summer!

What was your first job?

Wine for the Weekend

This week felt ‘superunbelievableomgwillthiseverendarewethereyetpleasebetimetogohome’ long!

I have been feeling restless for what seems like a lifetime even though it’s only been a couple of months; like rushing through things or thinking way too far ahead of myself as opposed to just being in the moment. This rather unfortunate situation is known to cause anxiety and stress.

For some reason, this makes me think back to when we lived in a small Northern British Columbia town.  There was a mudslide and the town got cut off from the world for a split second (aka, a few days). People were flying through the grocery store stockpiling milk and toilet paper of all things. Heaven help us if we ran out! How insane is that? At the time though, everyone was just on autopilot; worried about their future ability to drink out of cartons of expired milk and wipe their asses.

It’s not like I even noticed I was doing it (getting ahead of myself, that is) until I started not doing it. The light bulb has gone off and I realise now that it’s going to be O.K. because there’s always powdered milk and leaves (just like camping!).

Does this make any sense at all? I feel like it doesn’t and NO I haven’t been drinking. Having said that, I will share with you what I drank last weekend:

Hardy's

$14 Cdn

I am usually a red wine drinker but sometimes it’s nice to switch it up. This is especially true when the weather has been decent and I’ve been in the garden all day. I like white wine when it is really super frosty cold. This is nice and crisp and a little on the sweeter side. Quite nice!

Home Alone!

Back in the day, I never appreciated being by myself. If I happened to be in this most unfortunate position,  I would spend the entire time wondering where everyone was and why I wasn’t invited. Oh, the waste of it all.

Now? A night alone is like winning the jackpot! Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my boys (hubby and son). It’s just every once in awhile, there is a need to rebalance the energy around here with a little less testosterone and a little more fabulousness.  In other words:

  • hockey or football do not need to be playing on the ridiculous number of TV’s we apparently need;
  • making the dogs bark for the sheer entertainment of it all is not necessary or desirable;
  • ice cream every night is not essential to your survival; and
  • trying to outdo each other’s farts and burps does not  establish ownership over the household.

Last night, the boys went on a school camping trip and I got to be ALONE. In other words, I:

  • exercised out on the back deck (without any hecklers trying to disrupt my concentration);
  • ate half of a leftover burger and some salad followed by half a cookie, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a glass of wine and a cup of detox tea (without having to explain why this wasn’t weird or contradictory);
  • watched taped reruns of the Bachelorette and Housewives of who knows where (without any comments about how dumb these are);
  • had a bath (without anyone banging on the door telling me to hurry up); and
  • appreciated the silence (no one asked me where anything was).

It was a great night, the goal of doing absolutely nothing of substance was accomplished and I am ready for the crew to arrive home today with their dirty laundry in tow and fill the house back up with the bantering that makes it a home sweet home.