MUSINGLY By Karen D'Or

Writing Portfolio, Travel Stories & Other Diversions

Category: Fitness and Lifestyle

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Five Reasons Why I Love Being Curvy


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1. I now realize that my body’s curves express a balanced life.  It is not only about appreciating certain anatomical curves —the standard ones the outside world tells me are acceptable— it is about embracing each and every curve and how they co-exist, come and go. The ebb and flow of my curves helps me power through a 35-miles bike ride or stick with poses during a tough Pilates class.  Nice to realize this at nearly 58 years old.

2. My curves help me to not buy into weird food games. I love food as both nourishment and recreation. By embracing my curves I gravitate toward real food, not junk. Nor do I under eat or deprive myself to try to squeeze into a shape that is not mine. Cooking real food is a joy in my life, as is eating, drinking and appreciating culinary delights from creative chefs. To reap the most profit, the big food companies own the major diet “programs” and products. I’ve been there but I won’t go back – the Big Food diet companies won’t get one more dime from me.

3. My curves show that I am proud of the fullness of a healthy body and I don’t buy into rampant body dissatisfaction. A friend just asked me: “What would it be like if we all loved our bodies completely?” She celebrates her “curvalicious” body and is setting a remarkable example for her two teen sons as she proudly rocks comfy clothing while dancing joyfully in her backyard.

Alternatively, I have another friend who suffers from eating and body issues. She spends her valuable summer time consulting with five plastic surgeons, and is about to undergo major procedures. I am convinced she has body dysmorphia, a mental illness symptomized by perpetual negative thoughts about appearance, and obsessions with minor or imagined flaws. She is a beautiful woman; I fear that plastic surgery will likely never make her truly happy about herself.

4. My man loves my curves and has never criticized my shape. Unlike past men in my life, he only uses the word “thick” or “doughy” if he is talking about pizza. Yum.

5. My curves harken back to my hearty heredity. I am proud of my Eastern European ancestry. My grandmother cooked a fantastic peasant dish: rolled cabbage stuffed with pork, and tomatoes and rice. As a little girl, Grandma Sylvia’s curves comforted and  welcomed me while I smelled the spicy aromas that she magically created from the most simple of staples.

So, do as my curvy daughter is doing right now: stop purchasing women’s magazines with their silly diet tips and makeovers. Show some skin on the beach this summer and wear your bikini proudly.

Curves rule!

acupuncture

Pins and Needles

acupunctureI cannot recall a new year starting off this bleak. Outside the weather is often sunny, and unseasonably warm, but inside my emotional climate is wretchedly stormy and fogged in — even as February has come and gone, marred by hurtful words and sudden distancing.

I have been quietly frantic for weeks, unable to get beyond sleep deprivation and anguish. Some kind of indistinct, pristine, and static image of my marriage (now starting year number 18) has dissipated into the storm. I feel lost, and my overactive brain is congested and confused.

In the midst of great personal pain, I discover acupuncture, and although it has not yet cured my sleeplessness, dry eyes and parched skin, the regular treatments are moving something around.

The discovery of a local community acupuncture clinic is helping me to get out of my head, somehow anchoring my saddened self back down into solid muscles. I can run to this clinic to feel again the warm flow of lifeblood, and an appreciation of my body’s solidity and strength.

The tiny needles are pumping my blood, churning some chi, and sometimes leaving invisible pinprick bruises that I later examine in the mirror.

Although the acupuncture is helping me to heal, I see these tiny dots as vestiges of my love’s harsh and scornful glances— looks that have lately punctured my spirit and turned me into a needy, dejected shell of my true self. At home, we are both pushing the limits of closeness and distance and I am surfing some very frightening waves of anger and love, fearing the worst in the middle of the night.

Seeking relief, I find our local community acupuncture clinic and make an appointment for the next day.

The clinic sits in a flat-roofed commercial building near the shopping mall adjacent to one of those dungeon-dragony retail outfits whose windows blocked by stacks of dusty boxes covered with rather bloodthirsty and jarring Gothic images.

Once I enter the acupuncture clinic, it appears the antithesis of its Goth neighbor — a place people come to relax and heal. It is noticeably warm inside, the music is soft and new-agey and—behind a bamboo screen— ten large plush reclining chairs face each other in a circle. According to the map in the bathroom, there are hundreds of community acupuncture clinics across the country. It is a modest clean spot with a sliding scale payment system; it seems to work because instead of high-rent, fancy private offices, the practice takes place in the common room.

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Olivet Road Vineyard

The Olivet Wine Road

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series North Bay Everyday

Olivet Road VineyardI drive past Santa Rosa’s Olivet Road too fast, too often. The road is easy to miss bookmarked between two high-speed Sonoma County routes. Now this rural connector street has become my chance to slow down and enjoy a destination neighborhood: not long ago local vintners formed The Olivet Wine Road; hotshot Sonoma County cyclists use the street as a picturesque route to exit town, and nearby is one of Santa Rosa’s juiciest restaurants, Zazu Restaurant and Farm, is on the corner.

It’s Sunday and I am hungry, of course. Thankfully, Zazu Restaurant and Farm, just west of Olivet Road, opens at 9 am. Although Zazu’s fried donuts or Dutch baby pancakes are great excuses for carbo-loading, at this “playful Americana and rustic Northern Italian inspired” converted railroad car, and nationally famous sustainable farm, local meat is revered. In fact, Zazu’s owners (Duskie Estes and John Stewart) were crowned king and queen of pork at the 2011 Aspen Food Festival. I add a side order of black pig bacon to experience Sonoma County homegrown pork.

Unlike other more upscale wine districts, no long ornate driveways, wine-country spas, or billboard-size signs point out the Olivet wineries; the wineries and tasting rooms are interspersed with weathered ranch-style homes – keeping Olivet a hidden niche of the Russian River appellation. Olivet’s curb appeal has not changed much in 25 years: a mixed-used zone close to greater Santa Rosa where apparently the wine growers and their neighbors have figured out how to balance commercial and residential needs.  Turning onto Olivet off Guerneville Road, the first stop is De Loach Vineyards, now owned by the Boisset family of France, who purchased De Loach in November 2003. Next up is Inman Family Wines, organically farmed and a pioneer sustainable practices, Inman is famous for small-lot Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and upscale rose. Hook and Ladder is across the way, staffed by three generations of the De Loach family, which has been making wines in the region for over four decades. As a last stop, try Harvest Moon, renowned for sweet wines: late Harvest Gewürztraminer and ice wines are a lovely dessert to end the Olivet adventure.

Olivet Road is best considered a detour, not a bypass. Located just west of bustling Santa Rosa it is easy to miss on the way to the bigger name wine destinations, or quaint towns. Here the crunch of gravel beneath the tires makes me slow down, the pungent old-grapey smell makes me inhale longer, and the sight of small working ranches reminds me of traditional Sonoma County country life. Long-time landowners and new entrepreneurs are joining to re-energize this often-ignored side road into a fine detour for dawdlers.


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