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Baby steps day 7 - when a bolt from the blue hits you

Monday, December 06, 2010

Yesterday, something so momentous, so joyous, so ... not just unexpected, but unimagined, happened, I am still somewhat trembling and shaking and weeping about it. It hasn't yet played out but I'm going to tell you the opening part because it's too big for me to hold it inside.

My daddy is a WWII vet. At 19 he was drafted into the army and ended up in the 12th armored division, 43 tank battalion. While still in boot camp he made friends with a man from California and they went through everything together. His buddy had left behind a pregnant wife. In January of 1945 their battalion was sent to take out a German position in Herrlisheim and in that fight all but 3 of the 43rd's tanks were destroyed. Dad's friend was bow gunner with their captain and their tank was the first one hit. It was so thoroughly destroyed there was nothing left of dad's pal. He was listed MIA.

After the war, when censorship was lightened dad wrote to his friend's widow, telling her of his friend's final days. That was the last they ever spoke and for 65 years my dad has told me about this terrible loss. I believe he'd remember this man after he has forgotten his children. A war friendship is unique and indelible.

And through the miracle of the internet, facebook and computer databases, that man contacted a cousin and she passed his info on to me. I tracked him down and called him yesterday with the news he'd been seeking for years - that Daddy is still alive.

For me it's as if some mythological character stepped out of the mists of history. It is an unbelievable experience to get in touch with the son of a man my father still remembers, still mourns. Daddy is in assisted living now and he's old, crotchety, and his memory is short ... but it is still vividly clear. When I know he's awake, I'll call him and tell him about this man - and in the afternoon I'll be visiting him and I have arranged to connect them via telephone.

My dad and I have a very complex relationship, with kinks and twists and some very good things too, but one thread of it is that I was his War Daughter. Oh - not born during it, but I was the one he shared that side of his life with - at least what tiny bit of sharing he did. I went to all the war movies with him. I would ask questions. For the most part he would never ever talk about his war experiences, but now and then little bits would trickle out and he would share them with me. It helped me understand some of the inexplicable things about him. And then, I was the only daughter who lived near by and whom he saw grow into an adult. My other sisters all left in their teens and only returned for visits. They were still his little girls. He could see I wasn't a little girl.

Anyway - yesterday was a day so full of emotions that almost nothing I'd planned happened. Never got the house cleaned. Didn't cook any dinner. but altogether things went pretty good.

1. walk to the landing with Himself (3 miles - added bonus, see if we can get some mistletoe) ___1/2 an x___ I did walk 2 miles but not 3
2. 5 fruits and vegetables ___X_
3. 8 glasses of water ___X___
4. Watch a Christmas movie ___0___

So. It was bitter bitter cold yesterday and I just couldn't keep going into the face of that North wind once we got to the mile point. But I didn't brush off the walk and in the case of getting exercise ... I think being too rigid about this would be creepy. I'm not trying to be obsessive. I just want to hold myself accountable. So. 3 minutes awarded for that

Score 19.5 = 1 hour and 38 minutes.

Today it's doctor visits and long drives so my baby steps will be:

1. pack healthy nibbles
2. 8 glasses of water (pack that too)
3. Put my fork (or sandwich) down between every bite wherever we have lunch today. Eat S L O W L Y

Happy Miraculous Monday to you all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUNADRAGON 12/6/2010 1:34PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTDUCKY1405 12/6/2010 9:13AM

    Happy to hear this for you. I can just imagine how amazing this would feel.

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    You're right - my dad saw a lot of action in WWII and entire platoons were taken out in single operations. My dad never spoke to me about the war - the one time I asked he told me to never ask again and so I didn't.

Now he is 87 and bits and pieces come out - no, he never forgot the friends that never made it.

WTG on finding the family your father mourns for.

WTG on staying on track with yourself too!!

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HARPERLADY 12/6/2010 8:16AM

    sounds fantastic! what an experience emoticon

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MSLZZY 12/6/2010 8:10AM

    Wow! What a day you had! HUGS!

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SHEILA1505 12/6/2010 7:33AM

    Isn't the internet incredible for the way it connects people all the time and I do hope that your Dad has a good phone call with this wonderful find

Big hugs

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Baby steps day 6 - Party Girl

Sunday, December 05, 2010

I certainly was one yesterday. We held a poetry reading at the library for a local poet, with refreshments, and afterwards, I went with girlfriends to the first big party of the holidays - and the most lavish. I was responsible for the library function refreshments and though I hadn't forgotten about that, I had forgotten to plan them into the day. It was a real effort to not partake, well. I did have one cookie and one coated pretzel, un-planned, and not at a meal time.

It was funny - with just an ordinary cookie I had to work hard to resist temptation, but at the bigger, tastier, more lavish party I had a much more relaxed time. Oh - I had to count how many bites I ate, but 8 bites is a LOT when it's party fare. When it's really sumptuous, lavish, delicious party fare. Club soda with lemon since, (since I was driving) made for a totally comfortable sensation of control yet indulgence, pleasure with no consequences. Honestly, I felt like I'd had a load of yummy goodness but I never once felt like I'd be sorry for my behavior later on.

I'm thinking back to the last lavish deliciously foodily catered party I attended - about 6 weeks ago. I had my ubiquitous one glass of wine and I went without a plan. And I am positive I nibbled and tasted my way through twice as much party fare. I think my new party motto is EIGHT is ENOUGH. (wasn't there a tv show called that back in the bygone years?) Eight means you can have 2 desert bites. Eight means you can have the crab dip and the cheese soufle on a cracker and still have 4 more yummies - Eight really is enough. Of course, fruits and crudités and veggies are all fine, in pretty much unlimited quantities, just so long as they come solo - no caramel dip. I can do caramel dip anytime. I don't lust for caramel dip but by golly I love me some crab dip. Yum.

So here's the score
1. 30 minutes of walking at lunch time at the gym. ____X___
2. nothing alcoholic for you, my girl. You're driving. ____X___
3. I may have 8 party bites. A bite equals 2 tablespoons. As big as those balls you used to use to play Jacks with. The size of a Ritz cracker with crab dip on it. If I figure each tidbit is 50 calories, that would be 400 - doable party fun. Of course, all plain fruits and vegetables may be enjoyed in unlimited quantities ____X___

Score 17!!! another 15 minutes of goof off time in January!

As for today?

1. walk to the landing with Himself (3 miles - added bonus, see if we can get some mistletoe)
2. 5 fruits and vegetables
3. 8 glasses of water
4. Watch a Christmas movie

What? What does watching a Christmas movie have to do with weightloss or healthy living? Ahh. I will tell you - It is an inedible pleasure - something I intend to substitute, at the point in this long crisp winter day when I want to nibble on something. Instead, I shall pour myself a glass of delicious water, pick up my knitting, and completely relax into the couch while Bing Crosby or Colin Firth or whoever ... entertains me!

Hope you're fully entertained yourself today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUNADRAGON 12/6/2010 1:36PM

    8 is enough is a great motto for a party with party food. I think I will keep that in mind, as long as it doesn't stretch to 8 items!

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SHEILA1505 12/5/2010 10:09AM

    Well done :)
Did pretty well myself at DD1's wedding anniversary celebration - yes, I went over my calories, but we danced strenuously for a couple of hours and that burned off the small excess - no snacks available but plenty of healthy salads that I could eat - no gluten, no dressings, etc - and a cheese platter with figs so I didn't go near any of the chocolate cake or cheesecake (sometimes even gluten intolerance can't keep me away from such decadence - I pay for it for several days and I have been known to think it's worth it. It never is worth the pain!)


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MSLZZY 12/5/2010 8:17AM

    Very good plan with a substitution to snacking!

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Baby steps day 5 report - traveling with success

Saturday, December 04, 2010

I visited a girlfriend yesterday, driving to Sperryville through a suddenly winterized landscape. Hard to believe only 2 weeks ago we were still ooing and ahing over the vivid autumn colors. They're all gone now and soft grey skies etched with spidery tree limbs have taken their place. I love all the seasons, though I admit I can get tired of the extremes of summer and winter. But in December I want to see that spare combination of dark and light in the landscape. It makes me feel cozy and free to take it easy. I never feel like I can kick back in the summer but when darkness falls at 5 o'clock and the cold wind blows, I can pull into my cuddly little house with my knitting and my fire and my dogs ...and in December, a beautiful glittering tree, and feel loved.

Visiting Jennifer made me feel loved too. We met at a knitters retreat 8 years ago, our eyes connecting across the room, and we knew - we were kindred spirits. We are very different sorts, but we harmonize. I'm a good bit older than she is but at this stage in life it hardy matters. She is still in the child rearing phase of life so the demands on our lives are different. She lives in an elf house her architect father designed for her and her artistic eye has enhanced what was already a charming place. We took a class on dyeing wool and yarn one spring and as we drove away she was obsessed with the idea of starting her own hand dyed yarn company while I couldn't wait to go home and teach all my friends what I'd learned. That's the biggest difference between us. But it is one of those things that only adds to our friendship.

It's a 2 hour trip into the mountains from my house to hers and I was hoping I wouldn't succumb to the snackattacks that so frequently hit me when I'm in a car. Well - I did more than hope. I prepared. And so I am happy to report that

1. 5 fruits and vegetables ___x__
2. Only carrots to snack on in the car (I'm taking a road trip today and I've been craving carrots lately) ___x___
3. 8 glasses of water because it's sometimes easy to forget to drink water when you're driving ___x___

Score 14 - 1 hour and 10 minutes. Yippee

I wasn't quite sure about the 5 fruits and vegetables till I remembered the butternut squash soup Jen had fixed for lunch. Yes. Also, as I was driving home I decided I would like to be just a wee bit hungry ... or even hungry ... for dinner. I thought maybe things would taste better if I were. I wasn't actually hungry till I was just past Fredericksburg on the long home stretch, so it wasn't as if I was depriving myself. But I did want to nibble on something - a boredom issue, for sure. So I kept promising myself, just till you get home. Think how much better dinner will taste. Remember Hunger is the best sauce.

So - what's on for today? Ahhh. The first of the Christmas parties, that's what. And this one is a foodie paradise party. How will I handle that?

1. 30 minutes of walking at lunch time at the gym.
2. nothing alcoholic for you, my girl. You're driving.
3. I may have 8 party bites. A bite equals 2 tablespoons. As big as those balls you used to use to play Jacks with. The size of a Ritz cracker with crab dip on it. If I figure each tidbit is 50 calories, that would be 400 - doable party fun. Of course, all plain fruits and vegetables may be enjoyed in unlimited quantities.

Hope you're feeling festive today!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 12/4/2010 4:11PM

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SHEILA1505 12/4/2010 7:41AM

    Love the way you've calculated the nibbles at the party! I did that last night for the dance/social - I had half my calories left over so I could have a glass of wine and all my healthy choices - when I got home in the small hours I was peckish so I tracked and allowed myself a small peach! Bliss

How lovely to have a friend like that - oh, I am so much going to miss my Energy Buddy who is relocating to Pretoria, 1000 miles away. I bumped into her Dad today and he is sad too since his Sheila and I have been so good for each other, balancing each other out -when one was down, the other did the supporting, etc. She's also 18years younger than me so is like another daughter and I started dance lessons with her to keep her company and for added exercise. Guess who became addicted?

Doing well with your baby steps, Bess :))

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Baby steps day 4 report - even some baby steps are hard

Friday, December 03, 2010

Yesterday I re-set my top weight here on SP. It was very hard to do - lowering, embarrassing - so hard I think it's worth 2 points. I hated admitting that I'm not just back where I started a year ago but actually heavier. And all the reasons why it happened don't alter the fact that I am. I seriously considered waiting till I was, at least, back to my original starting weight - it took me 4 days to get to the point where I could actually click on the weight tracking link. But then an idea came to me and I was finally able to do it.

It seemed to me that as long as I clung to the old numbers, I was clinging to the past. And you really can't have a perfect past, you can only have the past that is. Of course, it's only my past and nobody else cares or judges or is responsible for or even notices. It's my past. and happily, the past is past. It's not now. Now is where I am and I can start where I am.

So I opened the link and what do you know - there are rewards waiting whenever you do something hard! I could not only reset my weight but could reset my start date so that I could .... start where I am.

And so. I begin again, full of energy and hope and thankfulness. And how did I do yesterday?

1. Walk 30 minutes ____X___
2. 5 fruits and vegetables ____0___
3. reset my weight to reflect where I was when I started this baby step program. Time to 'fess up. ___XX___

Score 11 That's almost an hour of free time waiting up ahead.

I didn't eat 5 fruits and vegetables because I just didn't eat anything. I'm not sure what hit me - if it was tiredness or something else, but all afternoon I had little aches and at the grocery store I got really achy - so much so I began to suspect I was coming down with flu. No sore throat or fever but oh la! ached to death. I came home, took a hot hot hot bath, and went to bed.

This morning I'm thinking it was just extreme tiredness because I feel fine, but lordy - I slept for 9 hours straight.

My baby steps for today will be:

1. 5 fruits and vegetables
2. Only carrots to snack on in the car (I'm taking a road trip today and I've been craving carrots lately)
3. 8 glasses of water because it's sometimes easy to forget to drink water when you're driving

And so it's Friday - may yours be as sweet as a holiday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 12/3/2010 11:41PM

    VERY good job facing up to it; I know it wasn't easy. Achy here too, unfortunately, & the throat is bothering me. Traveling all day ain't helping. Hope u enjoy your trip!

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AEBROWNSON 12/3/2010 9:49AM

    Brutal honesty is always a good start when we're dealing with ourselves.

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SHEILA1505 12/3/2010 7:28AM

    Well done on setting the ticker - and hope you enjoy your day with your girlfriend. I'm heading for an afternoon nap - not sure why I am so sleepy and have a long dance social tonight, and DD1's wedding anniversary celebration tomorrow night which will be a hum-dinger most likely. Maybe I've put my all into my gym sessions lately (but that's good cos it's starting to pay off) but now I need forty winks :)) this is not something that I do generally - reminds me of geriatric grandparents!! Oh, yes, I am one!


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CHALLENGER15 12/3/2010 6:57AM

    I know just how you feel about regaining. Two or three years ago, I lost almost 40 pounds and in the time since, it found me and brought some friends! I now am almost to where I was when I was so proud of myself, but it has been since I got serious and started sparking.

Be kind to yourself and do what you know works. As far as the rest that you got, I would say that was the most important thing at the time.

Have a good Friday!


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LUNADRAGON 12/3/2010 6:55AM

    Yes, it is hard to gulp and admit when we gain. i had to do that recently too. Two pounds, but still, it was clicking and making it show. Good baby steps. They work. One little step at a time.

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Baby steps day 3 report - tiny triumph

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I've decided I'm going to do this throughout December, because even if I get back in the groove, there are SUCH opportunities to make Other Choices, Regrettable Other Choices. I need to keep this daily focus on, as my beloved cousin Cathey says "Proud Choices" till they become second nature to me.

also because, as up beat and enthusiastic as I was yesterday driving in to work, with my mind focussed on good eating habits and the afternoon swim I was going to have - the day grew hectic, there was a sudden change in plans, it was dark when I could get to the pool and it was a REAL temptation to blow off the 30 minutes of exercise I'd promised.

But I had a tiny triumph - I prodded and pushed myself back into the car, made myself turn left at the intersection, veered into the gym parking lot, donned the suit and slid into the pool. Once there it was okay. It was just getting there that required conscious effort.

so how did I do?

1. Listen to hypnosis tape ____X__
2. Swim 30 minutes ________X___
3. 5 fruits and vegetables ___X___

Score - 8 - 40 minutes racked up! Yippee

And for today?

1. Walk 30 minutes
2. 5 fruits and vegetables
3. reset my weight to reflect where I was when I started this baby step program. Time to 'fess up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUTSFORFOOD 12/2/2010 2:41PM

    May it be the beginning of many more successful days! emoticon

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SHEILA1505 12/2/2010 1:06PM

    Another couple of weeks of this and you'll have created new habits - way to go on getting to the pool when you didn't really feel like it. Once you do that regularly, it'll become second nature

Hugs :))

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MUSHCAT 12/2/2010 8:55AM

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Do you have any extra inspiration to lend? My migraines have knocked me flat and I'm having trouble getting over them and back up again!

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KEC1974 12/2/2010 8:11AM

    Well done, you! That is fantastic and I bet it felt so good afterward!

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JLITT62 12/2/2010 7:50AM

    You are doing great! And being accountable here will help sooooooo much. Hmm . . .

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