Shape-shifting

I’ve got rid of 22 pounds in the last six months. That’s not fast — it’s not even the 1 pound per week that I’ve given livestrong.com as my goal. But those six months have included Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter so I feel OK. OK but odd. Part of me’s gone. Again.

If you’ve struggled with keeping your weight at a healthy level for years and years (six and a half decades in my case), you know all about losing it, gaining it, losing it, etc. And when you’re a different shape/size, are you a different person?

If you answer that question with a ‘yes,’ do you think too much or too little weight (your appearance) affects the person you are? This is very thin ice here because we’re skating perilously close to the belief that thin people are somehow better than fat people.

I’m more inclined to think — rather than the idea that the smaller I get, the “better” I am — that I’m at last brave enough to push the little girl off my lap (that’s where I accumulate blubber). The little girl who protects me from emotional hurt and whom I acquired in an abusive upbringing. And throughout my life, I’ve mostly kept her there to protect me from everything anxiety-producing. Which means I’ve fed her in times of stress (read: pretty much always).

So here’s a recipe for the grownup in all of us, but our 12-, 10- and 7-year-old grandchildren also scarfed down these balsamic-glazed fresh carrots at Easter dinner and our 42-year-old daughter kept repeating, “These carrots are awesome!” You can oven-roast your carrots or, following Kraft food & family magazine’s directions, cut 10 full-size carrots into lengthwise quarters and cook  strips in gently boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain carrots, reserve and add to same saucepan, 1/4 cup light balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon butter (or Move Over Butter, a buttermilk-based light spread that cooks fairly well). Bring your sauce to a sizzle, add tender-crunch carrots to the sauce and warm through. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon fresh parsley.  Serves 4 or 2 really hungry bunnies. You can double recipe or use  a 1-pound bag of baby-cut carrots for the 10 whole carrots, but I frequently find the wee ones tougher.

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