Thursday, January 05, 2012

Carmel, Christmas, and Spanx

Every Christmas, one of my favorite parts of the holiday is pulling out my special Christmas cookbook full of my hand-printed recipes, and diving into those special things I only make a Christmas time. When the boys were growing up, it was always fun to surprise them with a hot plate of fresh gingersnaps, or their favorite Biscotti when they got off the bus.  Usually, my favorite Christmas treat is homemade divinity made from my grandmas recipe.  I have been known to eat entire batches without assistance.  So this year, I decided to try making caramel     I don't really like the stuff.  The sticky goopy sweetness of it isn't something I seek out with any regularity, unless of course it's hidden covered in chocolate and full of nuts.  So I made caramel   Batch after batch of caramel  each with 2 full cups of heavy whipping cream and real much caramel that I got a callus on my stirring hand. 
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And I gained 8 pounds.  The stuff was amazing!  Then I made the mistake of trying it salted....O..M..G....I'm actually drooling right now as I think about it....divinity never had this hold on me...

So now it's January.  Today the service came into the office to clear out the Christmas trees and decorations all sort of sad and apologetic-looking, as if they're sorry to be seen outside of their season, and I'm always a little sad to see the shininess go away at the end of a good Christmas.  Everywhere I go around here, the talk centers around new years resolutions, those earnest attempts at change, most as hopeful as a Christmas wish.  Most of them involve weight loss, and I see a lot of people coming in early to use the gym, and eating salads in the break room, and I'm right there with them, waiting for payday so I can join the gym here on campus and start taking the yoga classes I've been mentally hounding myself about for the last 3 years.

You're probably wondering what all this nonsense has to do with fashion.  I'll tell ya in one word:  SPANX.
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As I've gotten older, I haven't gained a ton of weight, but my body is starting to get bulges in really odd places.  Like, I suddenly feel I should be wearing my bra know those poochy things that show up in the bra area, but in back?  Ewww.  I'm not well-endowed in front, but sister am I getting a rack in the back!  And then there's the muffin top (such a cute name for something so sinister!).  But I've recently discovered something that makes it all go away.  (By that I mean, out of sight, out of mind; I only see it if I forget to close my eyes when I change into my jammies at night.)  You pull on these wonderful stretchy saviors and suddenly, no matter how poochy you are in all the wrong places, you're streamlined for speed.  Those unsightly bulges squish inward where they belong, unseen by the naked eye and visible only on MRI imaging (I assume).

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Not so long ago, women --even thin ones! -- wore girdles as a matter of course!  Watch Mad Men or Pan Am, and you get a taste of the "foundations" that women have worn for centuries in order to get closer to the shape they know is under there somewhere.  Add that to the increasing number of pictures I've seen recently of wardrobe malfunctions on women in entertainment who we look at as the goddesses of body, and I'm thinking "If it's okay for them, it's okay for me!"  I'm willing to be convinced I'm wrong, but until then, I'll continue to squish.  Oh how I loves me my Spanx.

Yes, it's cheating.  Yes, I still desperately need to go to the gym and cut back on sweets (damn you caramel  my new sweet friend!).  And yes, my desire is to eventually not have to hide from myself every time I get out of the shower, the visual equivalent of plugging my ears and screaming "LALALALALA" at myself.  But while I'm doing that (notice I didn't use the word "until" indicating action), I will gladly step into my Spanx every morning and have a totally non-bulgy silhouette.  If that's cheating, fine.  I can live with that.

Happy New Year to all of you amazing Fashionistas, however bulgy :)