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Two Small Food Experiments and Bestifar Thoughts

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I walked a total of 2.8 miles today, though not all at once. Tendonitis is back...

At lunch, I had shrimp and broccoli and, spur of the moment, sprinkled in a few sunflower seeds. I am not crazy about sunflower seeds, but I bought some shelled unsalted ones that I keep at work as a go-to item. It made for an interesting contrast in taste and texture. On Tuesdays and Thursday, the onsite cafe serves 2 flavors of frozen yogurt. Today they had pineapple and French vanilla. The vanilla was nonfat and there was no indicator on the pineapple, so I got a half cup of vanilla. Back at my desk, I added a tablespoon of soy butter and stirred it in. WOW! Was that great!

Tonight was a very light and a rather late dinner. That's ok because tomorrow, at long last, is my Mahalo Party. There will be all kinds of food and not much of it healthy. And chocolate cake! This party, they think, is in my honor, but this is my turn to thank everyone. I am looking forward to surprising some of the people! I am making a speech and presentations for certain people. Having the opportunity to publicly thank people is going to be the highlight for me. And chocolate cake. There will be about 40 people there (down from the 80 I invited and the 60 who originally accepted - the move to outside probably dissuaded some...

Today was my Bestifar's birthday. Bestifar is the Norwegian word for "Grandfather". I met Bestifar 2 years before he died. Our one visit occured during spring break of my sophomore year. He came to this country in the late '20s and a degree in engineering. During WWII, he was an engineer in various shipyards. He calculated the correct circumference of smoke stacks for fuel efficiency. Not being an engineer, that's all I know! In 2012, I want to sign up with Ancestry.com and do some research about my family. I would love to find out which ships he worked on!

I have a picture of him playing his accordion. As a young man in Norway, he'd had an accident at the family saw mill and was missing part of one finger. When I visited him, we had poached eggs for breakfast with herring (I'd never had either one before). We went to the Norwegian Seamans' Church where he was greeted as if he were royalty. He had a US flag and a Norwegian flag on his dining table. (I have both on my desk) We went to an outdoor market where I heard languages and tasted food I'd never encountered before. I wanted to stay! I got to touch the Liberty Bell! I will NEVER forget how that felt!

The only bad thing, two things, about that visit was the fact that he was forgetting English and I knew no Norwegian. It was so frustrating for him! My aunt said it was not Alzheimers, that it was hardening of the arteries or something else. I am very afraid of having that happen when I reach those years. Bestifar died about a week after my graduation from college. The fact that I had that one visit is precious, but I wish I could have had more time with him! I missed out on a stronger dose of my heritage.

Someday, I hope to make it to Norway. I will take pictures, I will eat the local foods and I will revel in the history, the culture, the music and the sound of the language. Through it all, I will see glimpses of my paternal line and feel connected through the sands of time...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 7/7/2010 9:39PM

    That is a wonderful idea to thank others at you Mahalo Party. That you have so many coming shows how much you were appreciated yourself!!
I know what you mean about a grandfather from another country. My dad is from Germany, and I did get to visit his country, but the food was too heavy and rich for me to enjoy and the fact they had coffee time in between meals twice a day meant I was just stuffed all the time! But seeing the historical buildings and churches was just awe inspiring! They are amazing craftsmen! Its a beautiful green, hilly country. I was wishing I had been in better shape at the time. We did tons of walking and that was when my knee was shot :(
Both my grandfathers died before I was even born. I never met my dad's mother, but my Mom's Mom was very special to me, and her heritage was Cree.
Celebrate your heritage!

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CARRAND 7/7/2010 8:24PM

    I really enjoyed you writing about your grandfather from Norway. I never got to know either of my grandfathers.

I know you will get to Norway someday if you plan for it.

Enjoy your party!

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LIBBYFITZ 7/7/2010 3:06PM

    Just finished reading the last part and felt sadness for you. It is hard when our extended family are from another country. My mum is from the Netherlands and my dad from Czech Republic so never got to meet any of my grandparents as they passed away before I was able to travel to see them. emoticon

All the best for you function. emoticon

the food experiments sound interesting. I have not come across soy butter!

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BCLASSIE_ 7/7/2010 10:22AM

  Good morning. I had to stop to read your blog with the bestefar reference. I'm of Norwegian descent and even though we didn't use bestefar or bestemor for my grandpa and grandpa, Grandpa was always rubbing my face with his skjegg (beard) and uffda and ishta were very common in my house. Thanks for sharing stories about your bestefar.

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KAATII 7/7/2010 9:24AM

    I am so glad you got to spend some time with your Grandfather! Even though it was short these memories are all good and now you have that healthy curiosity of your roots and your genetic past. Norway here you come (someday).
I was avery lucky person to have had all my grandparents with me throughout my childhood and beyond.
You made me think of them this morning.....Thanks!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 7/7/2010 8:25AM

  Nice memories that you have of your grandfather. I too, hope you will make it to Norway someday. The shrimp and broccoli sounds yummy. :)

Yummy..Chocolate cake!!! emoticon (I realize that is a cupcake.. but it's close enough. :))

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CHRISADONNER 7/7/2010 7:28AM

    What wonderful memories you have of your grandfather. Mine was special to me, too. I agree with Kaelie, put your Norway trip in your long term goals. Great idea.

Soy butter? Didn't even know there was such a thing. I'll have to investigate.

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KAELIE 7/7/2010 7:03AM

  What a great time you will have and such an awesome idea to recognize those who have helped you along the way. Enjoy every single bite of that wonderful cake!!

I'm so glad you were able to spend time with your Bestifar - I have such fond memories of my grandparents. I do hope you make it to Norway some day (be sure to write that long-term goal down somewhere!)

Have a wonderful time today at your Mahalo party - can't wait to hear all about it!

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NISA-JOE 7/7/2010 12:45AM

    Soy butter and and vanilla yogurt sound yummy... emoticon
The party sounds like fun. Hope you have a blast! emoticon

Learning about your roots is fun. You often find interesting stuff people long ago used to do or have.
For instance, it was a norm for people during my great grandmother's time to own lots of land... fruit orchards, rubber plantations and even forests.
They were very good at growing their own food and surviving on only nature itself.
Too bad, the government is buying off all that land for development...
I still remember when I was small picking/plucking fresh tropical fruit from her orchards - durians, mangos, rambutans, mangosteens etc... Future generations will miss all of that. emoticon

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Food and Spark Streaks

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Today was my first chance to solve my curiosity about Subways breakfast menu. They open too late for me to take advantage of their healthy offerings during the work week. I had the egg white and cheese muffin melt with spinach, cucumbers and avocado. Had I thought to add pepper, it would have been more flavorful. Very acceptable considering the price and the nutrional value.

I walked a little less than 2 miles today. Today was the first day in a while when my leg felt that I could handle it. I did not push it because I felt a twinge at the end...This was the beginning of another Spark streak.

And I had enough calories for a stop at Baskin Robbins. I have not been there in years, but they were selling double scoops in baseball helmet cups. I got the SF Giants, BF got the Oakland As. Their vanilla frozen yogurt (no fat) had no discernable flavor, but their low sugar banana strawberry something or other was very flavorful! BUT, I won't make this a regular event!

Tomorrow is the beginning of the back-to-work life... BLEH. When I worked 2 jobs or was also going to school, I really didn't care what day it was. Now time off is oddly more valuable...I think part of it is not loving my current job...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 7/7/2010 9:45PM

    I haven't been to a Subway since I started this healthy lifestyle journey. I did used to love their sandwiches. There is not one near me, probably a good thing lol. There is also no ice cream place near me, also a good thing, no temptations because I probably wouldn't have chosen to have yogurt, although I do like the frozen yogurt they have.
Its good to hear leg is better, but do be careful with it. That kind of injury is so sensitive to flare again..

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CARRAND 7/6/2010 9:01PM

    Going back to work after a long holiday is always hard. I'm glad you got a treat at the Baskin Robbins after your nice walk.

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    Thanks for the info on the Subway breakfast menu! I may have to travel for work, and this is good info. I'm so so used to making oatmeal, flax and berries when half asleep.. maybe I'll get to try this menu.

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MELA1953 7/6/2010 1:41PM

    Good to hear about the Subway menu!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 7/6/2010 10:31AM

  Glad to hear that you treated yourself to some goodies. :) The only thing I ever got at Subway was either the Ham Sub or the Veggie Delite.. never tried their breakfast.. maybe I will now. ;)
Great to hear that you walked. :) Awesome. :)


Comment edited on: 7/6/2010 10:32:26 AM

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KAKIPOPUP 7/6/2010 6:54AM

    You deserve some treats - glad you found some!

I think it is good that your time off is more valuable - I'm not sure that it has much to do with how you feel about your job - but it is really important to balance your life....even a perfect, enjoyable, exciting job requires a break now and then so that you can see it for what it is (perfect, enjoyable, exciting).

Be well.

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LIBBYFITZ 7/6/2010 5:51AM


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MEGANC1988 7/6/2010 1:26AM

    Awesome I'll have to check out Subway's morning menu. Hope getting back to work this week isn't too bad!

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Independence Day!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

Today, I stepped on the scale and saw a 2 pound gain. Lack of exercise (tendonitis), guessing instead of measuring, possible time of the month - all contributions to the result. Underlying it all is a lack of passion for this journey. I know this won't last, but it has gone on longer than I thought it would.

I put myself back on stage 1 in the hopes of reigniting the Spark. There is the matter of my Mahalo Party this week and the chocolate on chocolate cake at the end of the potluck.

I do not view this 2 pound gain as a defeat. It is a setback and I am disappointed, but it does not mark the end of my journey. No towel throwing here!

Taking stock. In a few weeks, I will have been on SP 6 months. I have not lost the pounds I thought I would by now. What I have gained, however, is worth more. I have made huge strides in dealing with emotional eating. I thought that was always going to be an element in my character. It may be, but it no longer rules.

Exercise is still not a habit, but I have made progress. I walk almost every day. Strength training is a chore that I have skipped for a few weeks. I have not worked up to a respectable amount. I did, however, do some bridges yesterday with greater success than ever before!

Water is a habit and a positive choice. I have taken shortcuts with food - sometimes I measure, sometimes I guess. I chafe at the need to measure!

My clothes give more of a positive result than the scale, as does the way I generally feel (tendonitis aside). My lower back does not hurt, my hip does not wake me up at night. Sometimes I can use the stairs, but find that, if I do not I can walk more steps on a daily basis. I've misplaced my tape measure, so I can't report on that.

I really thought I would be further along in every way by now. Perhaps the fact that that is not a crushing disappointment is a measure of the lack of Spark here.

Not sure how to end this. My humanity is showing, but I am becoming independent of the tyranny of my past relationship with food and my standoffish relationship with exercise.

The right way to end this is to give thanks to those who have served, who do serve and who have sacrificed so that this country is free. I will regret for my entire life the fact that I could not serve my country in uniform. As with most families, I come from a long line of veterans, so I honor service men and women and their families.

Thank you! I do not take my freedom for granted, today or any day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROX2013 7/4/2010 4:34PM

    Sounds like a little dip in the journey and like you said you are dealing with it in positive ways. That is so great!! Happy 4th of July! emoticon emoticon

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MISSY455 7/4/2010 3:30PM

    emoticon I am also not where I thought I would be by now, but I just adjusted the time to get to goal not the goal weight. I have been experimenting with different types of exercise to find a mix I can live with for the rest of my life. I know these habits have to stick to make the goal a reality for the long term.

I took a yoga class last week, wow am I out of shape! I purchased a yoga video though on sale, and I plan to try it out again in the privacy of my house before I do another class. I like the walking videos by Leslie Sansone for the days I don't feel like walking outside. Plus you can modify anyway you like, as long as you keep moving.

You have already made so much progress. Walking everyday is something you weren't doing before, and even though you don't measure everything, I bet you have a better understanding of what you are actually eating. These are improvements for the long haul.

Keep the faith and don't allow the emoticon to define your progress.

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LIBBYFITZ 7/4/2010 3:00PM


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ACROSONIC 7/4/2010 2:40PM

    Going back to Stage 1 and restarting sounds like a good plan. Set goals for the areas you are still having trouble, like 10 minutes of exercise.

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CJSARGENT1 7/4/2010 1:05PM


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A Draining Day

Sunday, July 04, 2010

It sounds as if it's already the Fourth of July outside, even though it's after 10 pm. I love the Fourth of July, but I have never liked noise. Besides that, those bottle rockets and whatever else are illegal. I live in a mobile home park and I know that mobile homes are very flammable. I drive BF nuts because I insist on staying home for firework nights to keep an eye on things and be a calming presence for my cats.

Today did not start well. My tendonitis shows no sign of improving. That pain and stiffness was nothing compared to the emotions of the morning. (sigh). I guess it's time to share more about my life. BF does not work and our deal is that he is suppoed to do everything around the house so that I can just focus on work. This has never been my first choice, but it is a compromise position. He sometimes will do odd jobs if he needs money, but more often, I have given it (or he has taken it). But things are really tight, so I have not been doing so. He wanted money this morning.

I have a flash temper. Most people would say I am low key and calm, but that was not always the case. And money is one of those flash points. He has not been well and he said something that hit me wrong. I blew up and kept saying "no". But, to make a long story short, I eventually agreed to a lesser amount. Things escalated from there and he got what he wanted. Usually, as soon as I blow up, I calm down as if nothing happened. I was so angry this morning, I left and was gone for several hours.

He has been sulking and sleeping all day. Months from now, he will throw something about today back in my face.

What amazed me is that it never occured to me to start stuffing my face. Normally, or I should say, pre-SparkPeople, I would have polished off a ton of unhealthy food. I also told him how this kind of thing makes me feel. He thinks we are partners, I don't any more. I feel used, taken advantage of and this does a number on my self esteem. This time, what it did not do was add to my tonnage.

I cannot afford to leave and he has nowhere to go. Under California law, as I have been told, because it has been our residence for so long, even though my name is on the lease, I cannot evict BF. I still love him, but I am scared about the finances both now and the future.

I am drained!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 7/4/2010 9:25PM

    You are worth better than that. I think you are beginning to realize it. Not eating in response to stress is a great accomplishment. Be proud.

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 7/4/2010 9:08AM


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LIBBYFITZ 7/4/2010 6:27AM

    There is definitley a lot happening in you're life. Do you have a financal cousellor you can go to? emoticon

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Status Last Night: "Chocolate Thoughts"

Friday, July 02, 2010

I was craving something sweet last night, thinking chocolate thoughts because there will be chocolate on chocolate cake at my Mahalo Party next week. A piece of cantaloupe solved the craving - that has to be a first!

Today, I had some leftovers for lunch that I was not sure were still good, so I ate a Kashi bar instead. (I did not have money to go to the cafe and I have a drawer full of various bars) Then a friend offered me a quesadilla. It sounded good and I was hungry so I took it. When I saw it, I almost left it and I should have. that really blew my lunch calorie budget! And, since it was not satisfying, it was not worth it!

The tendonitis was REALLY bad today. I could hardly walk! The heel feels ok, a bit swollen and a bit of pain but not so bad as to be the full reason for my lack of mobility today. I don't understand it and I hate limping around as if I'm ancient! So not much happened for exercise today. As I sit here typing, it's throbbing.

My boss' boss, the guy who got me started in the paralegal program told me yesterday that I will be doing some paralegal work for the company. I think this falls into the category of "be careful what you wish for". I DO want to do the work and I want to increase my usefulness in the hopes that I will learn and earn and also protect my job. BUT it's going to be with the attorney who can be so belittling. We don't work well together. I will approach this as an opportunity to grow a thicker skin. She won't change, so I have to. It will be a challenge!

I am overly tired tonight, overly hungry tonight and just very glad to be home.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 7/3/2010 7:46PM

    Your opportunity at work sounds good. It's a shame you don't always get along with that attorney, but maybe things will be better this time. Keep cool!

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LIBBYFITZ 7/3/2010 5:43AM

    That must be hard to be hungry and tired! emoticonI find it impossible to sleep whenI am hungry! emoticon

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VICD25 7/2/2010 11:31PM

    tough on the quesadilla. Cheese is my #1 downfall.
You alone know what it takes to get your tendonitis back on track so that you will feel better. Hope you find some time to pamper yourself this weekend.

Good luck on the assignment. Your growth through this journey has been so impressive. I'm sure you will tackle this project with the class and style we are used to from you!

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ROX2013 7/2/2010 11:28PM

    Sounds like your tendon is really acting up. Years ago I have a doctor tell me for a tendonitis problem to soak it in hot water (safe temp) for 10 minutes and then put in a bucket of cold water. It did help sometimes I now use a heat/cold pack that fits my heel and ankle when I need it. It is alot less messy than the bucket method. I know your party is going to be great party next week, have a great time. The atty who you will be working for, just remember that you control how her attitude affects you. Uusally a person like that is miserable in life and insecure. Just learn all you can and smile while doing it. That will really bug her! (LOL) emoticon

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 7/2/2010 10:21PM

  well, I hope you'll be able to relax sometime during the weekend. I am sorry to hear that your tendonitis is acting up on you.
:( Hopefully it will get better sooner than later. Take care of yourself woman!! REST UP! .. that's an order!! ;)


Comment edited on: 7/2/2010 10:21:46 PM

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MISSY455 7/2/2010 9:44PM

    Does ice help your tendonitis at all? I have a heal condition and when it gets painful I fill a 20 oz soda bottle with water and freeze it. Then sit and roll my foot back and forth over the bottle for about 20 to 30 minutes. It really helps my heal, if nothing else it numbs it. My doctor is the one that turned me on to this little trick. He knows I am not great about taking any medication.

Hope you have an enjoyable relaxing weekend.

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