Musings on Massage

Matt snapped this shot on our honeymoon of a real live Rastafarian. Do you see me in the background?

This weekend, I treated myself to a massage. I had my first massage on my honeymoon in St. Maarten, and the masseuse had garlicky breath that washed over my face like a hot wind as she said “Breaaaaafe, breaaaafe”, in a Caribbean accent that made me think of Bob Marley and coconuts. It was not amazing, but it felt good enough, but I chalked it up to inexperience, kind of like the first time you have sex. (Sorry, Dad – I’m a married woman now.) There was room for improvement.

When I moved to Los Angeles and got my first big girl job, I splurged and got a deluxe gym membership that included a monthly massage. I fell instantly in love with my masseuse Armissity, a spunky girl about my age who always commented on my pedicure and wore a fake plumeria tucked behind her ear. Her hands felt like magic gliding over my knotted back, and as I felt muscles pull and crack, tension melted like Reeses pieces on a hot summer day. Despite the anti-stress and healing properties of massage, massage has taught me to know my body. Not in the “Fried Green Tomatoes” let’s get hand mirrors and explore type of way, but in the “Wow. This is your body. It does stuff” type of way.

There’s this misconception that some fat people have, or at least I did, that because my body is covered in excess weight, my muscles don’t exist. I have grown used to a body that’s pillowy and soft, never known for rippling biceps or toned, taut calves. Of course I knew I had muscles, they just ceased to exist in my mind. As I became accustomed to massages, I realized that I had muscles – and I didn’t just have them, they DID STUFF. Those tight muscles, that tiny little web that makes up my trapezius – so glorious, so firm, so full of tension. That trapezius holds up my neck and head all day, letting me write this blog or lean forward to work. As she traced my muscles with her finger tips, I could feel the outline of this anatomy, working, breathing, living – trying to desperately to relax, to release the accumulation of weeks of stress, anxiety and thought.

The next most amazing part of a massage is feeling all of the muscles in my arms. My arms are one of my trouble spots – as a heavy woman, I tend to carry a lot of extra weight in my arms, giving me the unfortunate look of wings. I was amazed the first time a masseuse rolled her hands over my upper arms, and muscles emerged like tiny hamsters, poking out of the fat to be released and relaxed. A massage is always worth it in my mind, not just for the “ahhhh” zen moment that emerges, but for showing me and proving to me that despite some 40 extra pounds, my body is full of muscles – glorious, amazing muscles that carry me through my day.

Have you ever had a massage? What’s your favorite part about it?



Low Cost Bounty

  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale
  • 2 leeks
  • 8 turnips
  • 2 beets (my new obsession – for some reason i thought i didn’t like them. They’re so tasty!)
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 pounds of apples (for juicing)
  • 5 pounds of satsumas (these are like candy!)
  • 2 pounds brussel sprouts (roasted with lemon and evoo -yum)
  • 1/4 pound dried peaches (a delicious snack)
  • 2 pounds broccoli
  • 1 cluster of ginger

That’s a lot of food, right? For $25, Matt and I strolled out of the Farmer’s Market with stuffed bags and hungry bellies. Did I mention it’s all organic? One of my favorite community activities is going to the farmer’s market. I think it’s an amazing way to support local businesses and operations, and you really score awesome savings on produce. (And we saw Gwyneth Paltrow and her mom there this week!)

This food would have easily cost me double what it had if I had gotten it at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Tonight I was in Trader Joes and their trimmed leeks were $2.89 for two of them. I paid $1.50 at the farmer’s market. TJ’s beets were $2.50 for two. I paid $2 for two. Their ginger was $1.89 for a tiny little cluster – we paid $1.

When I first started eating healthy, I used to complain that it cost way more money to eat healthy. Today I realize I’m wrong. It only costs more money in that when you buy healthy things, like fruit and vegetables, you eat more of it because it goes bad faster. In that regards, yes, healthy food can add up because you’re buying more of it. But when I think about how much better I feel after eating a clementine compared to a candy bar? So worth the tiny bump in price.

To save on things like lettuce that last a little bit longer, I buy the jumbo pack of romaine hearts from Costco. It’s $2.89 for six romaine hearts. I chop them up and spin and dry them and then I have tons of salad ready to go for the week. I buy some perishables at the 99c store, because often times, they’ve got overstocked organic mushrooms or bell peppers waiting for someone to take them home. Sure, they might be lopsided or have a little ding in them, but who cares? It all ends up in my belly anyways.

How do you save money when you’re eating healthy? Do you think it’s more expensive to eat healthy? Why or why not?