I feel the need to follow up my last post with something bit lighter and the partial cause of all this soul searching: caramel apples. In my family, the holidays revolve around food. Each holiday has it’s particular dish or dishes. For Halloween, it is caramel apples coated with nuts. I have lovely memories of these perfect apples that my mother used to make and my sisters and I would attempt eat all the while getting caramel all over our faces and hands. It was a delightfully sticky mess.
This year, the mom’s group that I am a part of, Las Madres, had a Halloween party this last weekend. This was an unabashed excuse to dress our little guys up in their Halloween costumes, take pictures and then eat yummy treats. So I volunteered to make the caramel apples. I had a devil of a time with them. I looked up recipes online just to get a general jist of a recipe. It seemed that most recipes added milk or water to the caramel and maybe some vanilla. So I unwrapped all the caramel and then added a splash of milk and a splash of vanilla. I melted the caramel in my spiffy copper sugar pot that we brought back from Paris last spring. Then I chopped up a mixture of walnuts and pecans for the toppings. I washed and dried the apples. Then I stuck forks into the apples and dipped them in caramel and then dipped them in the nuts. Problem was that the caramel refused to stay put on the apples. It pooled at the bottom. I just couldn’t get it to stay put. I had Alex twirl them for me, I blew on it to cool the caramel, and Alex even stuck them in the freezer all to no avail. It was quite sad. So if anyone has some ideas, I would love them. I guess I could also do the obvious and call my Mother and ask for her secret. After all, I am a mom now, I get some of those secrets too, right?
It has been almost 7 months since the birth of my son and I am enjoying every minute of it. However, the 50 pounds that I gained during pregnancy are bringing me back to an issue that has and probably will continue to plague me throughout my life: my weight. I am one not one of those people that doesn’t have to worry about my weight or can breastfeed and the baby weight just falls off. In fact after about 5 months of breastfeeding and 3 months of being back to my normal routine of working out 6 days a week, I had lost 8 pounds of pregnancy weight. I should take this moment to point out that my son was 9 lbs 2 oz when he was born.
My goal was to fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans on Walter’s first birthday. So I decided to join Weight Watchers again. I had success with them several years ago and lost 30 pounds. Besides, I had heard that fruit was now 0 points which had to be so much better cause I love fruit! I have been following it pretty faithfully for the last two months until last weekend that is. I find myself rapidly losing motivation to stick to it. I like to eat sweets and cook with butter. Which brings me to my current, and ongoing, quandary in life: where does nutrition end and vanity or the pressure of society begin? Despite my earlier statements, I eat fairly healthy with lots of veggies and fruit and lean meat. However, I also read continually about how we are an obese nation and that we need to not be overweight or it will cause us significant health problems. I want to lose the baby weight because I think it would be healthy for me. However, at the same time I recently saw a picture posted to Facebook of a nude woman who was much curvier. It had been posted my someone in my mom’s groups and the caption relayed something to the effect that this was beautiful too. The intent of the poster was to say that society expected too much of women (and moms in particular) to expect that they would be super thin after having a baby.
These two things cause me much concern and I waiver between the two depending on the day. I, too, feel that my body is different after having a baby. I know that certain things will just never go back to the way they were and that I need to let go of it. However, I want to teach my son healthy eating habits and I don’t want to set a bad example by being overweight either. On the flip side, I want to teach him to respect women and that women have curves, period. Where is the line between being healthy and just being in your body as it is and being unhealthy and setting a bad example for my little guy?