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Davis Sq. Starbucks, 8:40something, this morning

March 29, 2009 5 comments

Barista: Did you want a black tea or a black tea with lemonade?

Me: Just black tea, please. I need the caffeine.

Barista: ‘kay.

Random Guy Ahead of Me Waiting for Latte: How much caffeine is in a black tea?

Me: No clue. But I didn’t have any caffeine for years while I was pregnant and nursing, so a Venti black tea is more than enough for me.

RGAoMWfL: My kid’s 18 month old and my wife drank seven cups of coffee a day when she was pregnant. Didn’t change a thing.

Me: Oh? Wow.

RGAoMWfL: She was 115 lbs. when she gave birth. How about that?

Me: Uh… wow?

RGAoMWfL: Her body fat never got over 13 percent the whole time she was pregnant!

Me (looking down at my way-more-than-13-percent self): Wow.

RGAoMWfL walks away, carrying latte.

I stare at the back of his head, mouthing “What the fuck was that?” at my barista.

Three hours, a cup of chocolate, and a croissant

July 24, 2008 1 comment

The Husband, as it turns out, does NOT have an 8 mm kidney stone on his left side. He’s got a 3 mm stone on his right.

The size disparity isn’t surprising — apparently the CAT scan is much more accurate than the sonogram. We’re a little concerned about the sonogram tech’s dyslexia, but that’s not our problem. A 3 mm stone will probably pass with little to no discomfort, The Husband needs to stay very hydrated, and it will be fine.

Good news at last! Hallelujah!

Since The Husband took all of yesterday off, I left him with The Child at about 12:30 and went off for a little civilization. I hunkered down in Burdick’s cafe with an iced dark chocolate, a chocolate croissant, and a book and simply read for two hours. It was rainy and hushed, with only about four or five people inside the shop at any time, all conversations quiet enough that they didn’t bother me.

I nibbled the croissant slowly and sipped the chocolate even more slowly. I felt knots in my shoulders smooth out, lost myself in my book. If Burdick’s had slightly more comfortable chairs, I may have never left. (That’s probably why they have uncomfortable chairs, now that I think upon it.)

That’s all I need, I think, sometimes. A space of time to myself, of quiet, and a little affordable luxury. Hell, I didn’t even finish the whole chocolate. (The ice melted and it’s not the same all watered down.) And quiet. I’m a big talker — loud, fast, frequent — so sometimes it amazed me how much I crave quiet. And stillness.

And chocolate.

Categories: books, motherhood, weight

The weight thing

July 17, 2008 1 comment

I’m dieting.

I’ve never really actually dieted before. I’ve exercised, I’ve declared I’m going to lose weight, I’ve decided to add more vegetables, more whole grains, whatnot, but never actually dieted. I don’t know HOW.

So what I’m doing is actually very like what I did when I was pregnant. I gained all of 14 pounds during pregnancy and 10 of those were The Child. I actually came out a little thinner than I went in. Because I had gestational diabetes and couldn’t’ eat any simple carbs. So that’s what I’m doing — losing the simple carbs.

Turns out that I’m essentially doing The South Beach Diet, which I didn’t know until recently. I think of it as the G.D. diet. And, to be honest, it’s the way we should be eating all the time anyway — fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, leans meats. I know lots of nutrition — can’t avoid it when you’re a foodie. I’m making sure I’m getting balanced nutrition — at first I was going to ditch all carbs for a while but decided that wasn’t healthy or sane or likely to get me through a day with a toddler. So my breakfast is now a bowl of whole grains that I cook into a porridge and mix with (unsweetened) peanut butter. It’s actually not bad.

I admit that I add about 1/16 t. of honey, too. Makes all the difference.

And, what’s good is… I’m not really hungry ever. I know that other dieters talk about being hungry but I don’t get hungry. I get a little tired, but my stomach never growls.

What I do get is CRAVINGS. I NEED sugar. It’s like a low-level (or high-level) itch that I can’t scratch. I find myself wandering into the kitchen for a glass of water and sort of come to with my hand in the chocolate bag. I’ve had to get rid of all forms of sweets that are easy to get at — all I have left is sugar and honey. And I figure if I’m bad off enough to eat sugar straight from the bag then I deserve the fucking carbs.

I’ve ditched my morning chai at ‘Bucks for a venti iced tea. It’s not the same.

Every once in a while I waver and then I remember what set this all off. I got a call from my insurance company offering me assistance with my diabetes. Now, they do this all the time — once every three months ever since I had G.D. But I’d just had a physical and I was worried that the blood tests had come up with me as diabetic and the insurance company found out before I did.

So I’m losing weight to avoid diabetes. That’s also why I picked the no-simple-carbs route — not only is it how you should be eating, it’s a good way to prevent pre-diabetic situations.

Of course, I’m me and I can’t give it up all together. So I’ve promised myself that every once in a while I’ll get an afternoon and go down to Burdicks and get a cup of ice chocolate there and a croissant. Definitely not on the approved list, but I don’t think I can do this with two or three years of nothing on the horizon. I know other women promise themselves Coco Chanel suits or trips to spas or diamond jewelry to get to their proper weight.

I just want chocolate, damnit. Maybe some cake.

Categories: my bod, weight

Weaning… pros and cons

June 8, 2008 3 comments

Okay, so the Child’s last nursing was… sixteen days ago. I have a few thoughts on the process of weaning. Things I would have liked it if someone had mentioned them to me.

Of course, since every woman, body, baby, pregnancy, is different, there’s a better than average chance that these thing just affected me.

  • When do I stop lactating? It’s been two-plus weeks. And yet, when I press on my breasts, out comes milk. Not little dainty drops, either. No. Big toddler-sized gulps.
  • Hey! That postpartum hair falling out thing is back! My shower drain looks like we’ve shaving Cousin It in there.
  • CAFFEINE! I can have CAFFEINE again! I’ve been drinking those ginormous Starbucks cups full of barely sweetened iced black tea. I can go a all the way between breakfast and lunch without eating! I hope this will translate into weight loss at some point. (My friend who weaned at the same time said that ten pounds just disappeared. That shit never happens to me!.)
  • DRUGS! I can take DRUGS again! Oh, sweet sweet Sudafed, little red pills of happiness! My head is slowly starting to unclog. I can hear sometimes, even! Okay, I have to have my driver’s lisence scanned to buy the stuff (when did that happen?) but it’s a miracle.
  • Weirdly, I’m drinking more water than I was when I was nursing. This is because of the Sudafed, I’m sure. Makes my mouth bone dry all the time.
  • Naps are a revelation. I no long have to be the one to put her down. Huzzah!
  • Naps are (sometimes) a nightmare as she demands to nurse — much less frequently this week, but if she’s tired she might still melt down.
  • Oh my God! My first post-weaning period was like getting hit with a two-by-four in the uterus. And the back. And the legs. And the ass. I was drained, bloated, crampy, cranky, weepy, and bled like a stuck pig. It was among the worst periods of my life, and that includes the one after the miscarriage.
  • Hey! My libido is back. Nice to see you, libido. Missed you.
  • The Husband is now the Preferred Parent, I suspect because she’s a little pissed at me for taking away the milk bar. She wants him to read her a book, to hold his hand when we walk down the street, she wants him to come to her when she’s upset. This is actually a Pro rather than a Con. I know that my sister-in-law had a broken heart when that happened but frankly, it’s a nice feeling not to be the center of her universe.
  • I miss nursing as a comfort or tantrum-stopper for her. She fell and skinned her knee the other day and it was TRAGIC! TRAGIC! And all I wanted to do was hike up my shirt and make her feel better. I didn’t, but it was hard not to have that go-to for comforting her when she was upset.

On the whole, I’m happier to be weaned. But my breasts ache sometimes. And so does my heart.

Still! DRUGS! I LOVE DRUGS!

Fat

April 16, 2008 4 comments

I’ve been overweight most of my adult life. Thirteen hit me like a mac truck and I’ve been heavy since then. I was “normal” weight in college, but that was because I walked constantly and the food was awful. I’m most comfortable at what’s considered overweight, but not horribly so, for my height. That’s my “natural” weight.

But this winter I put on a lot of weight. I can speculate why, but I won’t. The end result is the same, regardless: I’m heavier than I’ve ever been and none of my summer or spring clothes fit.

So I just tried shopping at LLBean. They have great clothes, clothes that would look fantastic on me. I love their drapy linen — perfect for a fat mom in the summer heat, done in nice neutral earth tones. Roll-up leg convertible pants, really sharp linen pullovers, crisp big shirts for wearing over tees. They don’t offer them in “Women’s” size.

What’s more, I’m a little pissed that they are charging me $5-$10 more for an item just for being big. I strongly suspect it doesn’t cost that much more in fabric — the variations in men’s clothing is much greater. It’s just a shame tax.

Sadly, it’s one I’m willing to pay.

I don’t like anything Lane Bryant has to offer — it’s all unnatural fibers in unnatural colors, much of it way way too hip for my toned-down wardrobe. (I like my clothes to be very understated — I figure my personality makes enough of an impact.) J.Jill has some nice stuff, though it’s a little older and frankly more sophisticated than I like to dress — more matronly upper east side than young mom in a Boston playground. Junonia is okay but I haven’t been thrilled with the quality — I’m hard hard hard on clothes. Always have been.

My friend J — a talented seamstress and generous friend — has offered to help me make my own. I bought tencel/linen fabric in anticipation of that. But is it too much to ask that even us fat chicks get nice, natural-fiber clothes in colors that don’t hearken back to worst of the 1980s?

Apparently.

If I were an entrepreneur, I’d start a company that sold nice, classic, high quality, very basic clothes for overweight women. Anyone? Anyone?

Categories: motherhood, my bod, weight

Yet more grossness

March 1, 2008 3 comments

Please, don’t read this story if you’re easily grossed out.

And I don’t mean the usual poop-mom-story grossed out. I don’t mean blood and guts grossed out, either, I mean something in between. (N, don’t read.)

So, I’m trying, sort of half heartedly, to lose weight. I can’t count calories but I’m trying portion- and intake-control. Meaning, loosely, that I’m eating more fruits and veggies, smaller portions of bread, and only one sweet thing a day. Usually that’s my ‘Bucks, but on days when I don’t get downtown, it’s a small cup of hot cocoa.

I make it with Valrhona cocoa and sugar — about equal parts, maybe a little more sugar — and water instead of milk, for the maximum chocolate hit. Add a tablespoon of light cream for richness and it’s a really pure chocolate hit. Not as satisfying as some things, but pretty good.

Earlier this week, though, I ran out of Valrhona.

“I can’t be out of cocoa altogether,” I muttered, starting to paw through the back shelves of my pantry. “Just can’t happen. Oh, here’s some Hershey’s.” I said that with a sneer. I’d rather not have cocoa than eat Hershey’s, usually. But I was getting desperate for my hit. I’d skipped ‘Bucks three days in a row.

I did find a small container of Sharffen-Berger (The BFF’s chocolate of choice), but it wasnt’ enough to make a demitasse of cocoa, much less a mug.

I continued to tear through the shelves until —

“Hey! It’s a bag of Burdicks!” If you don’t know Burdick’s, I’m sorry. Your life is the poorer for it. Burdick’s hot chocolate is the purest, most perfect chocolate experience in the universe. Nothing can compare to a cuppa at Burdick’s. Maybe really fantastic sex. But it’s got to be fantastic sex. Not a weeknight quickie or anything. Alas, the home Burdick’s experience is much more like a semi-sombulant weeknight quickie. It just cant’ compare. I have no idea what they do differently at the shop than I can do at home, but it’s drastic.

However, it still beats the hell out of Hershey’s.

As I puttered around the kitchen, brewing up my cuppa (whisk the shaved chocolate into boiling water with a large fork, heat the cream in the microwave, add a splash of the really good Penzey’s vanilla), I tried to remember when I had last bought Burdick’s? Really, it must have been a while ago … I don’t remember at all. I glanced at the very chic brown paper bags in which the Burdick’s mix comes — loosely sealed with those little tab thingies — and shrugged. Maybe I’d bought it for Christmas and didn’t remember? No…. I would remember Burdick’s. Maybe… was this the bag I’d bought for when The Child was born?

Whatever. It was good, dark, rich chocolate. Though, oddly, no matter how hard I whisked, I couldn’t get it perfectly smooth.  There were still little lumps in it. (No cocoa for Larry Burdick, chocolate god. He sells shaved chocolate.) What did I care? It was three o’clock and I had my chocolate. The Child lives another day.

LAter that afternoon, I noticed that I had soemthinaught in my teeth. It was smootha nd slipepry, like a piece of chicken from my lunch and I worked it out with dental floss and forgot it. Until this morning.

This morning, I went to make my cuppa and instead of scooping the chocolate out of the bag, I poured it into the cup. Well.

Have you ever seen the little stringy webs left in cereal or flour that mealy worms have gotten into? The chunks of shaved chocolate were strung out from the lip of the bag on one of those webs. I peered more closely at the nubbly pile of chocolate and… yes… there, in the cup…. little, white, dead, once-wiggling worms.

That had been the slip of protein caught in my teeth, the bit that wouldn’t melt in the boiling water. My one little gustatory pleasure each day, ruined. By worms.

Today, I went without any hot chocolate at all.

Categories: gross, weight

First my panties, now my bra

February 21, 2008 2 comments

I wrote a while ago about my panties all shredding into nothingness at the same time. Now, apparently, my bras have chosen the same week to all snap their underwires. All in the same spot, just on the upsweeping curve of the underside of my left breast. I must have some habit that wears them thin there, or something. SO I’ve got on a Glamour Mom top. It’s comfy, but shows a little more cleavage than I’m comfortable with in February.

I find I’m deeply resentful of when my clothes wear out. I really dislike like clothes shopping and I am not built for most fashions out there.  (Even when I was thin, I wasn’t built for them. I’ve got a high waist and big breasts — very few fashions in the past 150 years look good with that combination. Put me in a bodice and a full skirt, however, and I look pretty spiffy.) Now I’m going to have to go out and find bras that fit and that don’t cost $75.

In particular, the fun will be fitting a bra. With my weight gain and the lessened nursing, I’m not sure what size I am anymore. And if anyone out there should know the importance of the right size, it’s us “D-cup from 13” types.

My sister-in-law just bought her first “real” bra, after decades of wearing cheapo Walmart $7 specials. It took me years to convince her to try it. She was amazed– “Look, I have a waist! Look, I have cleavage!” She was thrilled. (Her dick husband, on the other hand, made a huge fuss over the price and then went out of his way to point out that he really doesn’t like big-breasted women, being sure to do it loudly and in front of me. He was even classy enough to pull out that charming, “anything larger than a mouthful” comment. God I want to kick him in the crotch.)

Sigh. I really didn’t want to spend my egg money on this.

Categories: clothes, underwear, weight