Friday, October 22, 2010
Packing It On
For those still with me, history is in order.
First, I got fat. Babies do that to a woman unless she has either made a pact with the devil, is seriously self-obsessed bordering on anorexic, or both. Real women get fat. The "baby will eat it off you" breastfeeding myth is delusional. What happens is that if you are a normal, living, breathing human being, this phrase simply justifies the wholesale consumption of peanut butter laden Ritz crackers, malted chocolate milk shakes, and weekly trips to the nearest cheesesteak vendor.
Then, I got skinny. Well, not precisely skinny, but I did manage to shed 20 pounds in 20 months while cruising. I have a lot of theories about this phenomena, some of which involve power boat wakes and the alignment of stars. I calculate that if I stayed on the boat another decade or so I would have eventually physiologically regressed to my salad days when I was sexy, skinny, and slutty. (Honesty compels me to admit that I was not particularly sexy and so slutty was challenging at best.) But my heart was in the right place! and so was my butt, both boobs and the roll in the middle. In fact, there was no roll in the middle going by the title waist or any less dignified sobriquet such as jelly roll, love handle, tummy, or baby bump.
Screw the baby bump.
Then, I moved to New Zealand and got fat. God damn Kiwis make miraculous bread. They fry absolutely everything that isn't nailed down and a few things that are. They drink like fishes, and, similar to hobbits, they indulge in both a morning AND afternoon tea as well as elevenses and the midnight trip to the dairy for crisps and lollies. If it isn't fried, they wrap it in incredibly tasty puffed pastry and bake it. This country welcomes chefs from around the globe who dish up dim sum and curries, pad thai, sushi, crepes, bratwurst, tapas, and pho. The only two types of cuisine you can not find in Auckland are Italian and Mexican. For some reason, Italian and Mexican food is all crap... mostly because the Kiwis can not grow a decent tomato and so simply eliminate them from the menu. Need I remind you that tomato is one of the trifecta (tomato/onion/garlic) at the root of all good Italian and Mexican cooking?
They fry hot dogs. What the hell? When sausages are not deep fried, they are split open and liberally frosted with cheesy mashed potatoes. The entire country is a coronary waiting to happen. It is a sad fact that New Zealanders are as fat as Americans and Mexicans. The islanders living here are in the worst state as it's not clear their metabolism was ever designed for a carbohydrate rich environment. I have met wonderfully friendly people who are literally square. I've never seen anything quite like it, people as wide as they are tall.
Cruisers aren't meant to return to land. In six months I've gained 12 pounds. In case you are doing the math, that's two steps forward for one step back. Such progress! Never mind cleaning out the lockers and reducing the rummage on the boat; I'll drop Don Quixote down an inch on her water line all by myself. On the down side, I won't be able to wedge myself into my wet suit. On the up side, we can use me as a fender.
Of course, the solution to this problem is a diet, because that always works, right? Right!? A diet. Ugh. I got into this place, because walking down the street in Pukekohe is like navigating a mine field laced with glazed, chocolate covered fat clusters sprinkled with deep-fried, marinated lamb crumbles. The smell of baking bread, frying meat, seasoned this and spicy that is impossible. Those clever bastards pipe the kitchen exhaust out to the sidewalk, lace it with some ABBA or Billy Joel, and just wait for nature to take over.
But really, the solution is to get back on the boat and sail as far from the bakehouses of New Zealand as I can remove myself.