Well another summer has left and I find the day after Labour Day to be more of a new year and goal setting time of the year than January 1st. So to accompany the delicious recipe of Lemon-Raspberry Buttermilk Pound Cake are my musings on embracing ourselves and the need to stop ‘buying’ into the fit is the new skinny, you are not worthy unless you have the newest, most expensive purse (you know first a Coach bag, then a Michael Kors bag and now a Kate Spade bag) and believing that not having a wrinkle, stretch mark or acne scar is normal…especially at over 40!!
Like many of you I have become a Pinner and I enjoy different sites with fitness and health ideas but I keep seeing these ridiculously impossible images of ripped abs and 10% body fat on woman with the tag line ‘Fit is the new Skinny’. While it is great to be fit and healthy a woman’s healthy body fat is much higher than the 8-10% needed to show off 6-pack and 8-pack abs. We need this to give us boobs and hips and to make and carry babies. We are being convinced by dieting to extremes and working out like crazy or even only working out for 20 minutes doing HIIT workouts we will be healthier and fitter and better. I think that is the key…we are somehow convinced we will be better (because for some reason we often feel we are not good enough) and therefore more popular and life will be easy and richer…both emotionally and financially.
Oh and what about all those unlined faces in ads for everything else. Do you believe buying the perfect outfit and the best shoes will make you better or somehow change you. Well me too!! But strangely enough although I love my new makeup it did not change my features and transform me into Christie Brinkley or Christy Turlington. My makeup plus my Weight Watchers dinner did not bring Hugh Jackman or Daniel Craig to my door. And I didn’t get a great promotion earning way more money. Isn’t that the hidden message we are constantly being sent and unfortunately believing. Do this, buy this, and you too will be transformed.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a new pair of shoes as much as the next girl (well probably quite a bit more actually if you look in my closet) and there is nothing like a new lipstick to push away a funk but let’s start this new season with focusing on what we have already and stop spending our precious time worrying about things we really cannot change.
I think this should be the Embrace Myself season. Every wrinkle, sun spot, scar, etc. is the result of living, loving, and all the challenges and experiences that go along with that. I have laugh lines and a few crying lines as well! Happiness and heartaches in life, successful and unsuccessful relationships with friends, family and husbands, etc. plus crappy jobs, great jobs, and more, are what make us and shape us. I have a few physical scars from illness but I survived and am healthy. How many people can say that! I have a few body battle marks on account of 2 healthy children. The frown lines between my eyes have been there forever and my laugh lines get a little deeper each year. But really, how great are all these things. I have a great job, good friends and family, have been able to spend some holiday time away with friends and family, pay my bills, get around unassisted and enjoy the little things like take-out coffee and reality t.v. Isn’t this what having a good life is really about.
Yes I do wish I was 10 pounds thinner and could wear skinny jeans but deep down I know this is not the magic formula to happiness. But, hey, I used to wish I had hair like Farrah Fawcett, and if I only my hair would go like hers than I to would be amazing…alas not so!!
One of the things that makes me happy is baking and now blogging! So embrace your uniqueness (they are no longer shortcomings or flaws they are your unique bits) and give my Lemon-Raspberry Pound cake a try. Enjoy it with a glass of milk, cup of coffee or tea and make a list ONLY of your great and awesome bits.
Lemon-Raspberry Pound Cake
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
Mix above ingredients together in small sauce pan and bring to a boil for about 5-8 minutes until reduced and sugar has dissolved. Cool and then press through sieve to remove seeds. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease loaf pan.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
Zest of 1 lemon
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add in sugar and beat well. Scrape down sides and bottom of bow. Add in eggs one at a time and beat after each.
Add in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions. Fold in lemon zest and cooled raspberry sauce.
Spread evenly into prepared loaf pan and bake at 325F for approximately 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
Glaze with a mixture of lemon juice and icing sugar if desired.