I’ve never been the thin one. I’ve had moments of curvy sveltness in my life, but they’ve always been overpowered by my love of good food and my penchant for reading/writing/relaxing over sporty things. At times I’ve buckled down. I’m in a buckling swing now. (New Year Resolutions, anyone?)
I hope the combination of buckling down and better eating will make my changes into habits and my habits into lifestyle.
This is all to get the point of what’s been mattering to me this week: bento boxes, and body image.
First the body image. Blahblah about not really liking the overweight version of my body. We all know how that goes. Fastforward to this fall, when the Monkey and I succumbed to the Mad[Men]ness and started in on Season One. Enter Joan Holloway. Not only is this woman stunning, sexy and desirable, she is also made of calves, thighs, hips and breasts. At first I thought it was just the red hair that made it all work. But I watched her. It was the way she carried herself, confidently, as if those hips and boobs put her at a permanent and distinct advantage over every other (skinny) woman in the room. I fell in mad crush with Joan Holloway.
A couple of months later the Monkey joined my gym. When he did, and we started going together, we quickly got a routine that gets us working out 4-5 times a week – like, real honest to god hour at the gym workouts. At first it was kind of discouraging to be surrounded by light, skinny, pony-tailed women. But as I watched them from my vigorous perch on the elliptical machine, I realized they were all like the pretty little things in the secretary pool – they had exercised themselves boobless. Literally. Hipless, waistless. While I wanted a lighter body, I did NOT want those bodies. I want my body – and it’s closer to that body on Joan Holloway than any of these girls will get. And as the weight machines whittle my waist and make my mushy arms firm, I’m liking what I see in the mirror. I’m picking clothes that show off my curves. I’m walking with a little more Joan in my step.
This brings me to bento boxes.
My friend Elaine (hi Elaine!) had been occasionally mentioning her love for bento box lunches, and I decided to get one for Christmas. The little charmer has changed my life!
A bento box, for the uninitiated, is a japanese lunchbox, typically a plastic, two-tiered box with a decorated lid held closed with a wide elastic band. You fill the thing with veggies and lunchy items, arranged with care, precision and an eye for color and form. Or you can get just plain cute about it and mush your eggs into the shape of teddy bears and cut your carrots into stars. The sky’s the limit, though the box is pretty limited. See, each box is about 2-4 cups big. So your pretty, delicious portions are capped at a point that basically keeps you to around 500-600 calories. And somehow, looking so fabulous, you are happy with this amount of food!
I started posting photos of my bento lunches on Facebook, and soon Elaine was posting hers, and soon friends were asking me about it, and getting boxes of their own. I started a group for us so we could keep our obsession quiet (Got Bento? if you want to check it out.)
I somehow link my tasty and light bento lunches with my ability to get the body I want, now that what I want is not an impossibility.
So… who inspires you?
What empowers you?
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