Monday, December 15, 2014

Even the holidays won't make me conform.

Our back yard this past weekend.

Dear Diary,

I love the holidays. There are many reasons why.

Medals from the current year are always tree ornaments on our 4-foot tree.

First, it's about the time that we in Albuquerque get out first snow.

Second, since it's finally cold enough to do that, Himself starts digging into the wood pile and building cozy fires.

Another reason I love the holidays. Take a look at my kitchen below: see anything missing?

I have no oven. Nope. None. Well, if you look really closely you'll see a small toaster oven that Sweet Baboo bought me way back when the oven first quit. I refuse on principle to spend that much on a single appliance that I use, at most, three times per year. Not because I'm cheap; I have an induction cooktop and I love to cook. But I don't even bake.

And probably won,t ever. Without an oven, there is no expectation that I'll pull off something spectacular.

For a while, I stored oven pans in the non-working oven. Eventually, I had a handyman remove it, and Sweet Baboo put a shelf in the empty space for the toaster oven.

The rest of the space contains the following oft-used appliances: rice cooker, bread maker, Indoor griddle, and an electric pressure cooker.

I'm considering upgrading to a larger toaster oven with a built in rotiserie, extra fancy, and still about 1/10th price of an oven.

Two years ago, when Himself was gone for Thanksgiving doing Army things, I baked three cornish hens in it for me and the boys.

Oh, I think about how nice it would be bake every once in a while. Then I go to the bakery department at the local grocery and get over myself. I have made some quite nice pies and cakes, one at a time, in the toaster oven, along with the occasional casserole, some hot wings, and other things. From time to time I roast a whole chicken in the toaster oven, using a cast iron dutch oven.

Over all, though, it's just as well. I don't need something that holds cookie sheets. I don't need the ability to make cookies easily and quickly at home.

Just think of the freedom! I am automatically exempt from:

  • Hosting holiday dinners
  • Baking pies, cookies, or cakes for special occasions.
  • Making large roasts for ANY occasion
Buttery pecan tarts. Heatable in the microwave.

I am my mother's daughter. My mom announced abruptly in 1984 that we would not longer eat holiday dinners at my parents' home. Instead, she said, we would eat at the country club.

Between sobs, I insisted that she was ruining the holidays. RUINING THEM. No, she assured me, cooking ruins the holidays. I realized she was right when I beheld the country club holiday buffet, which included three kinds of shellfish and four kinds of roasted meat, among other delights. My mom was a good cook, but this kicked ass. I never complained again.

Even better, marrying Himself caused me to inherit a mother-in-law who loves to bake. Win-win.

I will not be pressured into buying expensive things because everyone is supposed to have them. And honestly, I don't know what's for sale these days because I listen to Pandora, itunes radio, and I don't get cable.

Some other time I'll write about why I don't have a couch.

...

 

 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Now what?

Dear Diary,

Only lost two toenails this year!

In my movement toward going back to school to get my PhD, I made the first cut of the applicants. I have an interview with the faculty about getting into the program.

Anyway. The year, in brief: 9 marathons, in 9 different states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisianna, Kansas, Missouri, Rhode Island, Washington. Yes, Washington, finally, on the third try. The last two marathons of the year, Kansas and Washington, were both in freezing weather. Brr. I've managed to pull my marathon time back down to less than 5.5 hours, from 6:15 at the beginning of the season. I also completed 3 half marathons, 2 10ks, an Olympic triathlon, an ironman swim, and a smattering of 5ks. Oh, and six of those marathons were within the same eight week period that ended November 30.

I'm not sure where to go with this blog. I'm going to be very busy soon with doctoral work and various projects I'm working on for work.

Moreover, I'm no longer an Athena. It's funny, because I really had embraced this identity. Be the Athena. I had staunchly avoided companies that didn't carry larger sized fitness clothing. I automatically ordered everything in an XL, L, if I wanted a snug fit. And I never wanted a snug fit. Ew. Whenever I looked in the mirror, everything seemed large and pendulous.

Lately, however, friends and loved ones had been telling me, without being asked, you are not fat. You're not even really very big any more. Of course, anyone with body issues will tell you that those statements go in one ear and out the other. They're just being nice.

After a therapist I know commented, the only thing big about you is your height, I decided to look up some stats. Her comment was not a big surprise, because I hear that often, but it's always a curiosity. Depending on who measures me I'm either 5'5.5" or 5'6". I thought that was average.

So last weekend, the night before the Seattle Marathon, i googled average woman height US and clicked on a link to the US CDC website, and learned something pretty surprising:

  • Even when broken down by age group or ethnicity, I'm nearly 2 inches taller than the average woman.
  • On average, I'm about 10 lbs lighter.
  • My waist is about 5 inches smaller.

More searching turned up the fact that the average dress size in the US is a 14. I wear a 10 now. In fact, I bought a lulumon pace setter running skirt, size 10, and DreadPirate warned me that they run a little small. It's fits. Last week, when himself and I were looking at rings, I found out that I wear a ring size 4.5 or 5, apparently also smaller than average. Several of the rings I looked at didn't come that small.

You have to understand, that this was really pretty stunning news for me. I honestly still thought of myself as a large, full-figured gal. I worked vary hard to accept that about myself. I worked very hard to love every roll and curve (unsuccessfully, I might add) and accept that I'm just like everyone else. I'm not. I've managed to work my way toward the tail end of the bell curve. Every close female family member I'm aware of is (or was) morbidly obese, and here I am, on the other side of the curve.

Of course, I shared this with others, along with how amazed I was. I really, really did think that I was utterly huge! Everyone was pretty much like, yawn, yeah, so? So you're not that big. So? Sweet Baboo said, Now do you believe me?

And I did. And I do. So, who am I? If I'm not an Athena, then whose diary is this now?

 

2016

Even though I was in awful shape in 2016 I was still stubborn and foohardy...so I spent a year running down whatever fitness base I had left...