Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I changed my mind

I will take back everything I said about not wanting kids, if I could be guaranteed that this would be my kid:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

How I gained 10 pounds and became skinny-fat.

I bought new running shoes the other day in hopes that if I wore them I could motivate others into actually thinking I work out. If they helped me in wanting to work out, that would just be an added bonus. But today I put them on, with two different style socks, and I actually did physical activity. It started out because I wanted to change my diet. I’ve been feeling like, for lack of a better word, absolute crap. And I’ve been feeling like that for a while. I feel bloated all the time and I’m pretty sure if I walked around rubbing my belly it would be only a matter of time until someone asked me when I was due. I knew that it was because I’ve been eating horrible. Soda, fast food, and ice cream sandwiches like nobody's business. I figured that since my job is pretty physically demanding and I’m running around all day that I probably just burn it all off anyway, but apparently that’s not how it works. 

So my sister started telling me about “clean eating.” It’s what Jillian Michael’s describes as, “if it doesn’t have a mother and it didn’t come from the ground—don’t eat it.” I thought that seems like a pretty good guideline to go by. Eat simply and primitively. Of course, it’s easier said than done. I then heard about the app called MyFitnessPal that calculates how many calories you should be eating per day and it lets you catalog everything you eat to hold yourself accountable. I figured this could help keep me on track. So I downloaded it and was creating my account when it started asking me the typical questions: my age, my height and my weight. I was going to put in the weight that I last remembered being—112, but then I thought I should probably make sure it was completely accurate so I weighed myself to make sure. That’s when I stepped on the scale in the bathroom and looked down in complete horror. The little pointer was bobbing in between 123 and 124. What?! I knew that I looked like I was in an early trimester of pregnancy, and at some point my “fat pants” had just become my regular pants that I couldn’t zip up, but ten pounds?! I was legitimately shocked. I even picked the scale up and moved it to a different part of the bathroom in case maybe the floor wasn’t completely level, but the ten pounds followed me.

 I know that 123 pounds is by no means overweight, and that some people would love to weigh that, but I’ve never been over 120 pounds in my life. I already had to enter my “mid-twenties” this year; I didn’t need my metabolism to quit on me now too. Granted, it’s been awhile since I was completely satisfied with my body. Of course not unsatisfied enough to actually do something about it, but enough where there was always that little voice in my head telling me I should probably eat right and exercise.  I know that I’m not fat, some might even consider me skinny but I can’t help but think I’m more of a skinny-fat. My body looks skinny in clothes, but in a two-piece bathing suit it's obvious that not a single muscle on my body is toned whatsoever. I would go so far as to say that I look more like a soft, doughy woman from a Renaissance painting that is draped in silk and surrounded by cherubs.  So I made the decision that I wanted, nay, needed to tone up. I don’t even care if I stayed at 123, honestly, if I could fit into my regular jeans and actually feel good.
So that’s when I put on my new running shoes and turned on the treadmill. Don’t be fooled by the word “treadmill” because I didn’t run. But I did walk at an incline for 20 minutes. Then I rode 3 miles on the exercise bike that is unfortunately located in my garage and it was like 100 degrees today so it was like I was doing the Tour de France in a sauna. After losing at least a gallon of sweat, I just started doing random calisthenics in my garage. I did some crunches and some jumping jacks. I grabbed a random hula hoop and started hula hooping for a while, wondering why there was a hula hoop in our garage. Of course after I went back inside and got in the shower I was already pissed I wasn’t seeing immediate results. I exercised! What more did my body want from me?!  Why didn’t I already look like the “after” picture on all those motivational fitness pins on Pinterest? Why did I still look like I should be lying on an ornate sofa rolled in soft fabrics and being fed grapes?  I let out a long, deep sigh when I realized that I’m going to have to do this consistently—forever. Or at least for a really long time. I wish I could be that person that wakes up at 5 in the morning and goes for a run, but I'm not because I have an irrational fear that I'm going to get kidnapped or get dehydrated and collapse on the side of the road and nobody will be able to find me. But I also have an irrational fear that I'm going to need to have a crane to remove me from my house one day, so I guess I'm going to have to man up and get a move on. But like Paul McCartney sort of once said, it's going to be a long and windy road. A road that I will walk at 3.0 speed and at a slight incline.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oh, Baby.

I've been thinking about babies a lot lately. Not really baby fever, but more like the baby plague. For as long as I can remember I'd always wanted kids. I had this glamorous idea of motherhood in my head where I would dress them in fun and quirky clothes and we would dance around the kitchen to vintage Louis Armstrong records while baking cupcakes. There might even be a rainbow outside of the window, who knows. But the day my sisters started having kids was the day I stopped having this fantasy. See, I'm the youngest of four kids. I never really knew anyone significantly younger than me, let alone lived with them. I was never around babies. I didn't grasp the full reality of motherhood.

  After my sister had her first baby, I started to see that there was no dancing around kitchens in matching aprons licking cake batter off of beaters. Instead, there was a lot of feeding and crying and changing diapers and crying and not sleeping and crying and I realized that I didn't want any part of this. Don't get me wrong, she was small and cute when she laid there quietly and while she slept, but other than that, I quickly realized I had no idea what to do with her. I had no maternal instinct whatsoever. It's easy to imagine that you're maternal when you're never around babies or kids, but as soon as you're around them, it's the most foreign concept you can think of.  I started asking myself if this was something I actually wanted at some point in my life. Did I want to go through the sickness of pregnancy and the pain of labor to the sleepless nights of infancy and the chasing after toddlers to the defiance of teenagers? No, I didn't. I just wanted something that I could dress up and play with. Actually, that's a lie. Even playing with them would have taken up too much of my time. The more I thought about it the more unappealing the whole thing became to me.

  I am a selfish person who can barely take care of myself, let alone be responsible and give my 100% undivided attention to someone else. I thrive on downtime. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or anxious I go to a quiet place and just lay there to calm myself down. You don't get to have a break like that with children. You don't get to do anything. And I wouldn't want my kids to see me laying in a  fetal position dealing with a panic attack anyway. I wouldn't want to pass down any of my neurosis to my children. I don't want to know that I'm responsible for another human being having my shy, anti-social, hermit characteristics. So I decided that I would never have kids. There wasn't enough pros to outweigh the cons in my mind.

  So I started to think: how important is having kids to people? I went on my Facebook and asked my guys friends: "Would a woman's inability to have children effect whether or not you married her?" I got answers like, "Not if I loved her" and "There's always adoption." Then I posed another question: "Would a woman's choice of not wanting to have kids effect whether or not you married her?" The response was an almost unanimous "Yes." Guys wouldn't mind marrying a woman who was unable to have kids as long as there was an possibility for adoption whereas most guys wouldn't marry a woman who didn't want to have kids at all. Though when I told this to my brother he responded, "You can't take what the same five guys that always comment on your posts have to say and think they're the general consensus." Which was true. Maybe I didn't poll enough men. But even just polling a handful of guys, it seemed like they were all on the same page. They all wanted kids. (Perhaps because they weren't the ones who had to push them out of their vagina.) They wanted kids so badly that they would not marry someone because of it. They would ultimately walk away from someone they love because of procreation.

  People always tell me, "you might not want kids now, but when you find someone you love, you'll want to have kids with them." Maybe. Maybe that will happen, but that isn't a guarantee and therefor I can't assume that's going to happen. I can't even find a guy that I could see myself spending more than a week with let alone someone who I want to make another human being with. Why is having kids so important anyway? Why do people feel like kids are the only joy their life has? Is it possible to feel you have a fulfilled life without having kids?  Of course you can. Look at Kristen Wiig, or Betty White, or Oprah, for goodness sakes. It is possible. I love what Margaret Cho says about not having kids, "I do not want children. When I see children, I feel nothing. I have no maternal instinct. I am barren. I ovulate sand ... I look at children and feel no pull toward them, no desire whatsoever." That is the point where I'm at right now. And maybe in ten years I'll look back on this post while cradling a baby or in between driving my kids to some organized sport and I'll be that person. But right now I'm pretty happy with the thought of not having any of that. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go selfishly read a book (with no pictures) in a quiet spot and have no obligation whatsoever to help anyone with a project due tomorrow.

Also check out Esquire's list of The Best Mothers Who Never Had Children.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Love your street

How awesome is this pyramid studded wall made of old yellow pages at the London Festival of Architecture?


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Life while I've been gone

$100 Shopbop + Marc Jacobs Giveaway!

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