What’s My Weight? (and Other Misconceptions)

by Sarah on May 25, 2011 · 25 comments

The other night, I was at a celebration dinner made by my culinarily-talented friend Teddy to celebrate her exit from unemployment (and to pre-thank us for taking care of her kitties while she’s gone over Memorial Day weekend). The subject came up–as it so often seems to do in a group of women–of weight and body type and perceptions of beauty, etc.

One of the other women said, “I think there must be a range between emaciated, sack of bones-sized women and 500-lb. ‘can’t move’ women that men find attractive. Like, between someone your size (pointing to me) and someone a little less heavy than I am.” Now, her self-deprecating comment aside, I couldn’t help but think, “Wait, does she think I’m a sack of bones? Or just above that?”

This reminded me of another moment, among yet another group of women (me and my roommates), involving the same topic of weight. One of my roommates was complaining about wanting to lose weight, which, as it always is, was immediately followed up with a comment of “But you look great!” Her response: “But I don’t feel great. There’s a difference.” (And there is.) Eventually numbers came up, and I realized my roommates thought I weighed 110 lbs (!)So I’m here to address the issue, because what you see and think isn’t always what is true. I’m entitling it What’s My Weight? Wednesday and I’m linking up to Jenn‘s What I Ate Wednesday because…well, because it happens to be Wednesday and “What’s My Weight?” rhymes with “What I Ate.” 😉 Also, there IS food involved. And I can do whatever I want until Jenn puts a hold on my linking up abilities.Well y’all, for the inquiring minds who want to know…I weigh between 127 and 134 lbs. I average this out to be 130 lbs, which is what I told them.
[This is the most recent full-body shot I could find. However, I kind of love my hippie-fied style and that scary looking daikon I’m brandishing. :)]
They were shocked, and declared that my muscle must weigh more than that of the average person and my fat must way less. I do not think that’s true, but the point of all this is sometimes we get things very, very wrong.

[Me and my cutie-patootie sister. I don’t think I look like a sack of bones(?)]

Since I just received a second Stylish Blogger Award–this time from Natalie @ Cinnamon Bums–and the thought of me being in ANY way stylish is yet another misconception the blog world apparently has……I decided to take the “seven random things” requirement and instead make a list of seven misconceptions about me, and life, and food, that I thought I should take a second to address:

Misconception #1: I am a rabid carnivore. While I do sing the praises of pork belly and will try anything once (pig brain, yak, beef tongue), I rarely cook meat at home. It’s more expensive to buy and more difficult to cook (so much effort has to go into sanitation…and y’all know I hate to clean) than vegetarian dishes, and I do often find vegetarian cooking more creative. Because I’m a vegetarian cook, but a meat eater, when I go out to eat I often order meat, since it’s unlikely I will buy it for myself to cook at home.

[When I asked for the “surf and turf” the waitress looked at me like I was crazy.
But I ate the whole thing. So there.]

Misconception #2: I lie about craving vegetables. Not true. I love healthy food. I also love anything made with pudding and can eat a quart-and-a-half of ice cream in one sitting.
When I ordered my Banzai Bowl at Wahoo’s to be made with lettuce underneath it instead of rice and beans, it wasn’t just a calorie-counting thing. I wanted the lettuce. Eating veggies makes me feel better than eating a lot of rice. [In the end, I got the Banzai Veggies I wanted, served on a salad…which ended up better in the long run because I scored bonus guacamole. ;)]Misconception #3: Food has to be pretty to taste good. Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was so gross I’m scared to even show you it. This lentil stew? Disgusting in appearance, but oh-my-goll good. (It did start with a bit of bacon…so I knew good things were coming.) Lord knows this Pepperoni Pizz-agna was a mess. But I ate the whole thing in one day.
And let’s just say that two days later, the Strawberries ‘n Cream Puff “Cake” lacked its original flair. [But yes, I still ate it anyway. And it was still scrumdiddly.]Let’s just face it: some of my favorite foods look foul. [Cottage cheese mixed with hummus ain’t pretty…but yummmmmm.]

Miconception #4: I hate working out. OK, there is a difference between disliking running and hating to workout at all. I loved working out with a personal trainer last summer, and I like to push myself (when I’m in the mood). I work out a lot (every day if I can), but it’s a little bit of a lazy working out: I lift weights on the machines and then I get on the elliptical and go….and I use it as a time to indulge in my Bravo fix or read magazines. I love the way it feels to be active.

Misconception #5: Too much of anything is bad. Now, while this may be true with regards to drugs, PDA, and cruciferous vegetables (oh, the gas!), but if you look in my fridge and pantry, it appears that I cannot get enough melon…

…yogurt…[It’s a good thing Greek yogurt stays good for so long…]
…or cereal.

[Some people use Styrofoam coolers for beer. I use mine for cereal storage.]

Please note, however…that I RARELY pay full price for any of it.
Those Siggis? I got them for 25 cents each. I’m that good.

Misconception #6: I don’t like other healthy living bloggers. Now that’s just silly. Simply because I rant about the pressures it puts on the rest of us, and the fact that I consider myself a loser in the healthy living blog world doesn’t mean I don’t respect them, or even hold a bit of (yes) jealousy for the way they are able to eat and their ability to maintain such a 100% healthy lifestyle. I kind of feel like P!NK circa. the late 1990s era of pop princesses—when Britney and Christina were in their original heydey—not nearly as bada$# as she is, but surviving by saying “So what? I’m still a BLOG star!” and taking another path. She might have mocked them a little bit, but in the end, she just knew their style wasn’t her style.

I have not ridden a carousel so flamboyantly. But I have ridden a tractor.
I would, however, like to point out that P!NK never went crazy and shaved off her hair, showed her lady parts to the paparazzi, or flubbed the words to the National Anthem in front of the entire world. [Just saying.]

Misconception #7: I’m 100% self-confident all the time. I still have awkward “What if they don’t like me?” moments in the real world and in blog land. [If I don’t get comments on posts, I sometimes think everyone hates me.] I have slap-my-head-like-Homer-Simpson-and-say-‘doh!’ moments when I look down and realize I’ve just hit the bottom of what was 15 minutes ago a 3/4 full jar of nut butter or container of ice cream. I feel bigger in certain jeans, and I feel skinny in others. I have a certain ‘side’ I think looks better in pictures. I still want boys to want to date me and girls to want to be friends with me and I want to please my parents and my boss. I freaked out the night before I left to go to my cousin’s wedding because I was scared my clothes weren’t right and I needed a haircut and then I spent $30 on make-up products I will probably never use again. But I also genuinely like myself and think I’m a supercool person who unabashedly uses words like supercool and isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants and do something others might think is crazy.

Misconception #8 [OK, I know I said only 7…but I’m on a roll here…]: Staying home on a Friday night when you are in your twenties makes you lame. Not true. If you have roommates, every night is a social experience, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with watching a movie with one of ’em…
[We laughed a LOT. But my favorite No Strings Attached is still a boy-band album. :)]

….and going to bed at 10:3o after reading a bit of your new (very interesting) book.Misconception #9: Organic = Automatically Healthier. The way I see it, a cookie is still a cookie, even if it says “organic.” While some things might be slightly healthier because—as is the case with fruits and veggies–there is less chance of ingesting latent pesticides or other chemicals, just seeing the word organic doesn’t indicate less processing or a lack of additives, like sugar or other ingredients. Case in point:

My roommate said, “Oh, this peanut butter is WAY too sweet for me.”
I responded, “Did you look at the ingredients list before you bought it?”
“No, I just saw organic and bought it.”

It may have been organic, but it also had added palm oil and sugars. A quick perusal of all^ the nut butters in our apartment revealed some more interesting facts.
^OK, not all…three of these are mine…and I had about three more.
First of all, even though my absolute favorite, no-longer-available-for-purchase (and therefore still unopened) Vanilla Cranberry Peanut Butter is “all-natural,” it still has natural additives. [Granted, they are only vanilla, cranberries, and sugar…]

We all love TJ’s Sunflower Seed Butter….…but that has evaporated cane juice (AKA sugar) added as well.My favorite “plain” peanut butter, Santa Cruz Light Roasted, proclaims it’s organic nature…and it DOES only contain organic roasted peanuts (plus a little bit of salt).Interestingly enough, the Whole Foods brand almond butter, which claims to be nothing but chunky almond butter… …is the only one of those I looked at that had just one ingredient listed: dry roasted almonds.Y’all, we’re not even going to talk about the JIF. [But it IS great for baking!]The moral of this misconception is that you have to read labels carefully before you make assumptions about what’s in a product you’re buying!

Your best bet, of course, is always to stick as close to the source as possible (like making your own nut butters at home) so you can remove any labels you might have.

Food or otherwise.*

*That was me trying to make some deep metaphorical connection to the rest of the post. I think I failed…but I’m sticking with it anyway.