Monday, October 3, 2011

I Feel (Kinda?) Pretty -- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

(Another post where I talk about personal stuff for a bit
then end with a recipe--yay!)
I have a serious love-hate relationship with my body. I feel like this has been amplified since becoming single, since I feel like I need to constantly look my best so that if 1. I run into my ex I can look so intensely attractive they will regret ever wronging me, or 2. Happen upon my next potential soul mate I can look presentable enough for them to fall immediately in love with me at first sight. Or, y'know, they'll ask me to get coffee or something.

This makes me highly self conscious, and I'm generally a self conscious person and for some reason that critical little voice in my head has been chattering louder than usual lately. It's also made me very very aware of what I'm eating--or rather, what I've eaten, after I eat it. I start calculating calories and mentally hitting myself. Now, I'm lucky enough to have a fast metabolism, but in recent years the scale numbers have inched ever so slowly up and it's starting to freak me out. Then there's the constant battle with my hair--hopelessly frizzy, crazy thick, curl-wave-monstrosity--that even when I flat iron it for hours still won't do what I want it to. Then I start to freak about my freckles...

One of my "ARG! Look How Tiny (and blonde?) I Used to Be!"
God I feel like the next line should be "Ugh, my nail beds SUCK." (ten points if you get the reference) It's so bizarre though, I feel like exactly 50% of the time I look at myself in the mirror and think "oh my GOD I must have gained 20 lbs! EXCLUSIVELY IN MY THIGHS AND BUTT. When did I become Medusa? And what is WRONG with my skin today??" and 50% of the time I think "Oh, hey, I guess I'm still kinda skinny. And I got an okay face." It's like my mind is playing some insane game with me, and my butt is in cahoots. 

Older and more brunette. I can see the difference.
Anyway. Noted: heartbreak makes you a crazy person. Acceptable, yes?

This is the point where I have to slow down and have a little chat with myself. I'm still thin, I probably won't ever be obese, but the scale IS a little wake-up call that I'm getting older and probably should start exercising regularly. Drastically changing my diet is probably not something I can do--I am loving food way too much these days--but portion size and not over-doing it every day is perfectly reasonable. That and the gym, and I'll probably have nothing to worry about.

Oh hey freckle-face, what's up.
We all have insecurities, and I shouldn't let fluctuating weight bother me unless it becomes an actual health problem. I can use crazy makeup and hair tricks to make the other stuff feel better, but it shouldn't be in order to snag a new male--it should be for me. If spending an hour on my hair makes me feel confident and pretty, then so be it. I will spend an hour on my hair. I will glop on makeup and blend in those sun spots.

And maybe someday I'll be confident and comfortable enough to be my frizzy-haired, freckle-faced self. But I'll get there on my own time.

And I accept that my body type will never be right for a romper. But in my defense, I don't think anyone over the age of 5 should wear a romper anyway.

Someone help me with my food styling.
This has absolutely nothing to do with these amazing pumpkin muffins--it's just something that's been on my mind lately.  These pumpkin muffins are worth the indulgence. In fact, they're probably more cupcake than muffin, but because they're called a muffin they are clearly an acceptable breakfast, right? My old roommate, Lizz, would often surprise us with these little treats, and they rarely lasted more than a day (couldn't find her recipe, so I used this one I found instead). They're so deliciously fall. Enjoy them warm, with a little bit of butter or cream cheese, or however you'd like, really. They're hard to beat.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

-In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat together pumpkin, eggs and water. Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture; beat until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips.

-Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

 *I happened to have a lot of leftover batter, and not enough muffin cups left, but a tiny bread pan. It came out just fine, but add at least ten minutes to the bake time (or more!) if you go the way of the loaf.


  1. I don't know a single woman who doesn't have some kind of insecurities about her body - even my incredibly fit gymnast sister. Eating healthy and living healthy can really help to make you feel better in your own skin, and so does recognizing our own crazy insecurities and realizing that they are in our mind. It looks like you are already doing this, so hope you start to feel more comfortable with you beautiful self.

  2. Yay! I've been waiting for this recipe. These look great. And I completely agree with everything you said about body image, forcing myself to exercise is way harder than I imagined. Except, I wish I had freckles! :)

  3. I think we all definitely have those feelings! P.S. Love the Clueless reference!

  4. I think you look fantastic! You could definitely make your ex regret and also you will soon find your soulmate, I am sure. :) The muffins look delicious.

  5. Kiddo, you are beautiful and your freckles are totally charming. And your muffins look delicious, too. I would like to see a knife, fork and pat of butter in your photo. Then I could imagine eating it.

  6. You honestly look pretty damned good to me but I guess we all have our insecurities and hang ups.

    These muffins look delicious!

  7. I totally understand how you feel...I was SUPER skinny and slowly the weight has crept on...but I'm doing my best to combat it now! I've found that the more I beat myself up about it, the more likely I am to eat crappy food though so I try just to think optimistically or put a positive spin on it.

    Plus, you look SO GOOD. Just saying.

    SO do these muffins. Also just saying.