I recently just finished this book called “Heat” which is basically a Mario Batali tell all without maybe the complete tell all part. It’s the story of this writer who basically quits his job to take an unpaid gig in Mario’s kitchen and from there, his adventures in chef solitude begin. It’s an interesting storyline, one which to me, isn’t completely believable but it was certainly entertaining. Are there adults out there who have truly saved enough money to quit their job, cook for free and travel to Italy for months at a time, without so much as an idea as to when they might make a buck again? Sounds fishy. I’m pretty good with money and I can’t see that ever happening to myself, although, I also can’t resist like a thirty dollar bottle of olive oil. Or today it was my eight dollar “Modern Farmer” magazine. Perhaps if I didn’t make purchases like these, I could quit my life and move to Italy to cook for free. Now, what to do with these pesky children???? Any takers???
In the middle portion of the book, the author starts talking about the women that he cooked with in Italy. He describes their kitchens, the landscape, their hips, their conversations, the way they rolled out the pasta dough, and it all sounded so beautiful. I never heard him talking about any of these women leaving the house to run 5-6 to 10 miles at dinner time, abandoning the family so the father could cook something unusual and foul. Which got me thinking, what do I really want for my household? What vision speaks to me? Ideally, I would love to just leave behind the running, roll out fresh dough all day and create elaborate meals in which we take forever to enjoy while drinking lots of red wine. I would love to be on my feet, slapping around flour, only to greet my husband with a smile as he walks in the door. Do modern women still do this? Could I toss the constant whining about my imperfections and just be a regular person who walks their dog or does the elliptical machine for like thirty minutes? Right now, when Josh walks in the door, it’s a struggle. I sometimes find myself running out as soon as he waltzes in, often forgetting to kiss him or tell him anything about my day. I return home, sweaty and disgusting, some amount of time later, only to find I have no appetite and everyone is done eating anyway. Sure, I could get up early every day, as some runners do, but I am finding that I don’t have the will power for that anymore. I’m getting tired. Tired of the constant racing forward. All around, with my running shoes in tow.
Running requires sacrifices and I’m not sure I’m quite ready for them anymore. I miss the long meals. The drawn out conversations. The relaxation that comes after a good meal. I think initially, I returned so strong to running a year ago because I found that I was, well, just a little bit fat. And I wanted, you know, to not be anymore. I have never been an avid dieter, so I thought, I better get moving, a lot. However, there are other forms of exercise and I could just, not put so much damn food in my mouth. It’s never been a secret that when the heart’s not in it, the heart’s just not in it. Pushing on without a reason sometimes just makes one hate something more. In the search to find my skinny self, I think I may have lost a bit of myself. Deep inside, there is an ever so chubby Italian housewife and I kind of miss that lady, who just wants to feed everyone and be happy.
Some people I know right now are cleansing, others are running a million half marathons, some are on fad diets and others are just doing plain old stupid shit. I read their Facebook posts, I see the pictures they take of their bodies in the mirror, and I have to say, I’m not feeling it. What they don’t realize is that, behavior that is so drastic, is never sustainable. Eventually your body and your brain snap and you stuff twenty hot dogs in your mouth. Food shouldn’t be comfort but it also shouldn’t be the enemy. That’s part of what this blog is all about. You don’t have to have a label. You don’t have to be extreme. You can just be yourself. You can eat normally, healthfully, workout in a moderate fashion, and still be completely physically and mentally fit. When I got dressed months ago, I would spend way too many minutes counting the flaws, now, I take a look and I think, “Alright.” I’ve had two kids, I like carbohydrates and I’m fucking busy. So, maybe I’ll always be a little bit chubby, but I can make a mean pasta and my husband will always love my kisses.