The Real Deal
In reality, the “mashed potatoes” are made of cauliflower, inspired by a recipe in Valerie Bertinelli’s cookbook, One Meal at a Time.
I have been a Bertinelli fan since she was on One Day at a Time and now I watch her on TVLand’s Hot In Cleveland. Meeting her at a book signing was especially thrilling and I am indebted to the helpful lady behind me in line who snapped this photo.
Well, let’s just say that meeting a celebrity at their book signing is not like hanging out at their house in yoga pants. Their hair and make-up is perfect, they project eternal happiness and are deeply glad to see you…on the outside. I have no idea what Valerie was really thinking that day. Maybe she was yearning to put on her own yoga pants.
Have you noticed that what you see at first glance doesn’t always match reality?
Take the perfect new yoga outfit I received for Christmas. My new threads are absolutely awesome and may or may not be made of flattering Spanx material that sucks in my body like a SCUBA suit from every angle. Since it holds things in place and has a gentle, wide waistband, I feel delicious in my ensemble. You can imagine my great joy when the mirror in my fitness class confirmed my suspicions: Despite my overindulgence in Ukrainian foods over Christmas, I was lookin’ good!
I guess what I was seeing in the mirror wasn’t exactly real. Despite the fabric of my new gym wear and my hopeful optimism, my butt (in reality) still looks a little like cauliflower – dimpled and lumpy.
But inevitably we are harder on ourselves than others are on us.
The best thing we can do?
Let it all hang out and show our flaws.
Let me give you an example.
Long ago, a well known woman who taught fitness classes had an enviable and perfect body. We took adult dance classes together that culminated in a year end community recital requiring that we change costumes together in a small dressing room.
Listen, it’s hard to change while looking at the ceiling to maintain everyone’s privacy, so I happened to catch a glimpse of this woman’s “perfect” butt. I was so relieved to see evidence of cellulite, as in little dimples, the same ones that were on my butt too!
This may sound creepy, but don’t we all wonder?
And isn't there relief when we find out we are not alone?
My point is that she had unknowingly done me a favor. She was proud of her body, worked hard for it, and looked amazing, so the fact that her butt was a little like my own was a public service announcement helping me release my idea of perfection.
Since that day, I have endeavored to be a flawed example for someone else.
As a Zumba instructor, it would make sense that I know my choreography inside and out, cue my students with ease and get through a class with what seems like perfection.
It’s quite the opposite.
I make up steps when I forget them, get confused when my thoughts wander to my to-do list, and am completely ill prepared when I introduce a new song. My imperfection and ability to laugh at myself lets others know that mistakes and unexpected, weird body movements are welcome.
I have even fallen to the ground in front of my class. HARD.
Tripped on air and fallen down at a busy intersection while running? Yes, I have done that too.
Slid on ice and looked like a jive turkey while trying not to fall while trying to keep my dignity intact? Oh yes, that’s always a treat.
Worn a bathing suit to the beach or pool even if I didn’t feel perfect on a warm, sun-kissed day? I say YES!
Confessing to eating your children's fruit snacks during their nap time? Hey, it happens.
Trust me, when you let your flaws hang out, you help others feel more comfortable.
You provide a public service.
You are an inspiration.
Even if our butt looks a little like cauliflower.
TALK BACK TO THE TRIO
What would you encourage others to do now that you didn't necessarily do before?