Tuesday, May 21, 2013
132 #...not such a bad number really. You would think I wouldn't complain about it. But the thing about me is that about 10 of those pounds sits firmly around my middle as excess...mostly right in the front. Another five pounds or so is pure back fat! You would think I could get some extra breast fat but noooooo! It has to slide around to the back and make me look lumpy from behind and not even in the butt cheek are where where it can do some good. Annoying really. Plus there is that extra pound or so that goes straight to my toes. Not good. My toes are not all that attractive to begin with.
Needless to say I gotta get on this before it goes any further and my ear lobes start looking heavy ...or my knee caps or some other unhelpful place.
Sadly this past month I have not done one single thing to help my self out when it comes to eating or exercise. Unless you count not asking for extra cheese on my double cheeseburgers. I have allowed all kinds of things into my house that I would NEVER have had in the past few years...boxed cookies, snickers, chips, a dog, some sort of pork rind snack, ice cream ...the list goes on.
I cannot explain it but since moving here in mid February I just gave up on eating well. Stress. First it was the stress of moving...I gave in and ate whatever. Then the stress of a new job...more eating. My brothers passing...gotta eat when your in America plus people just kept bring food over. When we got back I felt so far behind at work and so busy that I turned to convenience food. Here that means frozen fish, cheesy fish gratin and cream based fish soup. All of them start frozen and end up as back fat.
Did I mention the dog? Oh yes...I went crazy and got my kids a dog during all of this! His name is "Sweetie" and he makes me want to eat...Mainly because I find myself feeling sorry for myself when he chews up my favorite bra or breaks my cute ceramic hedgehog. Did I mention that I went crazy and got my kids a gigantic puppy? He pees when he gets excited. Here is "Sweetie"
Sweetie is 6 months old and is half Border Collie and half German Shepherd. What was I thinking? He does not know how to heel and he is a handful! The good news is he gets us out into the woods hiking.
The bad news is, training a dog to heal does not consist of much actual walking since every time he pulls I have to stop and calm him down. I don't let him walk until he is not pulling so we putz along while everyone else hikes. I did come up with another method that involves me at least walking though...once he starts to pull I turn and go the other way so he has to catch up and then when he pulls I turn and go back...he learns that he has to not pull or we will never get anywhere. It works pretty good...plus I get to look like a crazy person at Quintessa's fotbal practice not letting my dog go on an actual walk but rather pacing back and forth never getting anywhere with him...seemingly. In reality he was beginning to get the idea and we were getting someplace!
So Sweetie. I have fantasies about going running with him but first I have to get him to walk with me!
Sooooo anyway. Regardless of my weight...the reality is I have not so much been taking care of myself. I have had really long stretches of very little sleep, if not insomnia. Not been drinking my water. Not been eating my veggies. Not really been exercising with intent. Not really been feeling so happy. I think I gotta get back on track I need a plan. I need to re focus on me. When I am feeling good the possibilities of life seem endless...when I don't feel good...well...I yell a lot. ( I know...hard to believe.) So I'm gonna take control and get to feeling better and healthy again. This is a nice place to live and I have a nice job and a terrific family...no reason to be blue...no reason give up.
I weighed myself. I logged in. I blogged today. Tomorrow I will log my food. By the weekend I will come up with a plan I can do. I'm gonna say goodbye to these fat toes of mine! Well...not the toes...I'll keep those...just that fat part...you knew what I meant right?
Now I just gotta put some pictures in here of Mai 17th. Norway's Independence Day was this past Friday and the day was just beautiful. We all marched through the streets trailing after Quintessa's class in her school parade a sis the tradition. The kids got to eat all the hot dogs and ice cream they could handle all day...it is an actual rule that kids get to do this. We spent the afternoon listening music and eating cake at the local fotbal hall. Here are some pictures. Keep in mind the children's bunads (traditional clothing) are made out of wool...poor things! But depending on the year it could be snowing!
Sunday, April 07, 2013
I really don't know how to write this blog but somehow I feel like I want to. The past week has been all over the boards with regards to feelings and generally being overwhelmed with all that I have to do.
My brother has died as many of you know. Thank you so much for your supportive comments and goodies. To know that I have good Spark friends out there means very much to me. It has been of a great help to me in the past week to think of you all and allow my self even to have little conversations in my head with you!
The brother that passed away was my younger one...the troubled one. He was found on April 1 by my parents upon their return from their winter break in the south. There is no official report yet as to the cause of his death but most likely it was an alcohol overdose. There is also a question as to how long he had been gone since they were away for over a month and had lost contact with him at the end of February. I think this is causing a lot of guilt on their part...wondering if they should have tried to do something when he stopped answering his phone. The reality is though that on many many occasions he had dropped communications with them and disappeared or checked him self into a rehab so they just assumed that is was what happened. He was 42, not a child.
Admittedly we all knew it was a possibility though...it always was. When they told me several weeks ago that he was missing I knew that he could have passed away...and I knew that we would not know until my parents returned from their trip...on April 1.
I have been trying to let myself just be...trying not to tell myself how to feel or how to act. This is a very difficult thing for me and those connected with my family. He was my brother and of course his passing never should have happened. He should have valued life and relished in all of the chances that my parents gave him. He should have taken it seriously when he was told how badly ravaged his body was by alcohol. He should have realized how important he was to my parents, as any child should be, and done what he could for them if he couldn't do it for himself. But he was unable to and here we are...saddened by a life lost. Saddened by a life wasted.
I feel for my parents the most. No one should have to go through what they did...what they are still going thorough. He died as he lived...leaving a wake of chaos and mess for others for sort through and deal with. My mother feels the need to keep reminding people that we are all coming together to remember him and that this is a solemn occasion. My father is hurt the most I think because he gave up so much FOR him and kept on blindly believing in him.
I was the first one to give up ON him. I walked away out of sheer self preservation. I would have been very happy for him to change and yet I knew that I was powerless to help.
I feel like I am not ready to go back and yet of course I have to. I am not sure if I am strong enough. Am I strong enough? I keep trying to figure out how I will react when he says all of those weird things to me...and then I remember he will not be there. I try to figure out just the right thing to wear and I keep checking my roots for grey so he can't be cruel...then I remember he won't be there. I hope he won't try and bring me down in front of my children...try to belittle me in their eyes...and then I remember...he is really gone. That is WHY I am going. It all makes me feel slightly crazy.
No more crazy drama from him. No more unbelievable stories of insanity to add to the list. No more worrying if it is OK that he will do something that will show up on the news. He is gone. I was watching Person of Interest the other day and one of the new women characters spouted out that she had an Access Two Personality Disorder, the same thing that my brother is said to have had. Some writer must have come across it somewhere and thought it sounded cool. Nonsense. Trust me... this kind of person is not cool and could never care about people in the way that they portray this woman. I know.
How do you remember someone like that? I am struggling with that. I have noticed that people seem to be thinking about him when he was a child. I guess. I was there when he was a child too though and it wasn't all that great. Funny stories? Not so much. Not for me anyway...I was told by my parents my whole life that I have no sense of humor. I did not find his brand of humor funny. People back home thought I hated him but once I got away it was not true. I felt sad for him, but mostly I don't even think that is what you talk about when remembering someone. I plan on focusing on my parents and being of comfort where I can to them. One thing I can say in all honesty is that he is at peace now. My parents can live a far more peaceful life too.
In some ways I am happy to be going back to the US. I realized that my children will be able to meet my favorite uncle who showers them with gifts at the holidays and on their birthdays even though he has never met them in person. Actually lots of relatives have never met my children...Liam for sure since he has never been there. We are staying for a week so I can bring them to the Twin Cities and to the town where Quintessa was born to see the house that was once her home. There will be good things about being there for sure. Patrick will spend his 40th birthday in the State that he most feels is home.
The week has been stressful and chaotic and messy for sure...sadness, anger, excitement and apprehension all mixed together. I am just trying to move forward...do what I have to do and let myself feel what ever it is I need to feel to get through this. If I don't get a chance to blog again before I get back I want to thank you, my Spark Friends for all of your constant support and for "listening" to me. If it were possible and I was in the States for longer I would be wanting to meet my wonderful Spark friends for real.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
(I kind of want to preface this...the idea behind blog is more about some things I have read and seen on Spark and some of the experiences in my own life...my Spark friends are actually some of the most genuine and supportive people I know...I am just reacting to some other things in my life.)
People are interesting...I have read several blogs lately of people who are discouraged by others judging them on the method they have used for weight loss or being upset at the rate of weightless...one person stating that my friend had lost too weight too quickly to be healthy. I find this especially to be nonsense. Where I do understand that losing weight quickly can have some adverse effects especially if you are not taking care of yourself, my guess is that most of us would be thrilled for ourselves if we were losing weight quickly...why be upset if someone else is? I am a "live and let live" kind of a gal for the most part and am not here to judge. I just enjoy reading peoples stories and find it interesting the different lifestyle choices that people make along the way. Often times I learn a lot from my friends...rarely do I whole heartedly disagree with someone but sometimes I see that they have taken a path that no matter how successful it is for them...I know would never work for me...or perhaps more accurately that I would chose not to to take. *Cause I don't want to...not because they are wrong.
I REALLY don't get this whole thing of people imposing their opinions on others in a way that is mean and judgmental. I guess I kind of think that some people even somehow manage to take it as a personal failure if a friend succeeds when they have not. Again, nonsense.
I think back on some judgements people have made of me and those around me and what nonsense that were. I once had a friend here in Norway who was kind of like the "leader" of a group of friends and we all would sit around complain and laugh about being fat. When I started losing weight it made her uncomfortable. When she asked how I was doing it and I told her about Spark she wasn't interested...she had surgery on her belly instead. When she still was not looking like she wanted to and complained to me about it and I (innocently but stupidly) mentioned Spark again she stormed out of my house as if I was insulting her. She was the one complaining about being fat ...I never once called her fat. None of those ladies stayed friends with me after that.
I had a relative once ask me how I had managed to get such a flat stomach a few years ago. I told her all about the planks, crunches and back exercises I had been doing. She was so disappointed and never asked me about it again. She said she was hoping that is was something simpler.
I had a friend once tell me shortly after the birth of Quintessa that I really should, lose some weight, put some makeup on, go out and get my nails done so that I would be attractive to my husband again or he might lose interest. Um...I had just pushed a screaming human being out of my...self...I am thinking that I was not so "interested" in whether or not he was interested or not! Her priorities were not my priorities.
This same friend from above saw a picture of me once I HAD finally pulled it all together again and lost the weight and she was still not impressed calling me waaay to thin. She told me to relax a little and go out and eat a pastry! My guess is she liked being the thin pretty one in the relationship and no matter what I did she would find a way to pick on me.
How about Mr. Crabby Pants? My guess is that even if I was a better recycler, forced my kids to wear shoes when they played outside and even if I gave him all the money he wanted for his ridiculousness...I would not be able to make him a happier person and nor would it stop him from seeking crabby vengeance on someone else.
Here is a good one...and maybe seemingly unrelated. At work several years ago when Patrick had just started, he made a beautiful stock that took days. He was so proud of it's clarity and flavor and he shared some of it with another chef. Somehow in the end the chef started yelling about how Patrick thought he was better than him and what was wrong with HIS stocks? He was so mad...too bad Patrick existed on this earth...otherwise I suppose this other guys stocks would be "the fairest of them all"! Step away from the looking glass dude and put down that apple!
I guess my point is that ultimately these judgements and reactions of other people most often have much much more to do with the ones reacting and judging rather than our own selves. I cannot change anyone but myself...I do know that but I also know that I will not minimize myself in order to make a "friend" feel better. It doesn't work and it isn't healthy. In the end of the day we all have our own mirrors to look in and we are the only ones who can truly judge ourselves or make ourselves happy. Others will not or should not lower the bar for us to placate us. We should not lie to ourselves by ignoring the facts of what others around us are doing to succeed but rather learn my them...taking what works for us and letting go what does not. It is too bad that more people don't realize that our view point is just that. Our own...based on what we have viewed in our lives.
View more... get a wider viewpoint. You win.
Could it be that simple? Or how about this...if ya' don't like what I am about or how I make you feel then just move along please! I'll do the same.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
First of all I really want to thank everyone who responded to my blog inquiring about your Spark name. I very much enjoyed reading about the way everyone chose their Spark name. some I had guessed already and some really surprised me. Thank you for sharing!
I have finally made it to Easter break and it has just been the craziest week! Patrick has one more day of events today and then he is off for a week too...maybe we will bring the kids up to the hotel one day while it is closed for a quiet day of organizing but beyond that we are OFF! Everyone goes away to their "hytter" or "mountain cabins" here in Norway and so we are closed for the week...it is pretty normal here for most places to be closed this week and I am not complaining about it. Whoo HOOO!
For me it has very much been a week of ups and downs. My weight for starters has been all over the boards. On any given day I have seen a variance on the scale of up to four pounds so I am just ignoring it for now. My guess is it will even out this next week when things calm down and I can eat right. Patrick has managed to be consistently losing during this time...I am so very proud of him. I think I will need to find the time to track my food and get into a routine, Some days I have not eaten enough...some days too much...some days I am dehydrated and some days I am over compensating by drinking lots and lots of water...last night I even ate fast food so who really knows what is gong on!
What I do know is that things will get better. This IS a terrific job that just needs a lot of attention right now but once all of the systems are in place it will not be the kind of job that stresses me out or makes me unhappy. I can tell. I am very happy when I am there and even when I am frustrated by a few situations currently, I know that we are the winds of change and that we are fully supported so things will indeed change for the better.
I did have some not so good things happen this week however. Old Mr. Crabby Pants is pressing forth with his bid to get money from us. This stresses me to no end. I find his behavior affecting me very personally. He is highly irrational and is perhaps somewhat...well lets put it this way...the neighbors that we used have use a Norwegian word for him...I think it is "psykopat"...just sound it out...and throw and "h" on the the end if you are still not sure what I mean. But anyway I think that aside from the fact that he is trying to take a lot of money from us this situation troubles me greatly and deeply because I grew up with a mentally ill sibling and this sibling and this man echos many of his traits. These kinds of people make me feel like the bottom is gong to fall out of my world or like they can take everything from me. It keeps me up at night.
Then, I woke up two days ago with greyness in my eye! It was like the stress had caused the virus to come to right behind the surface of my eye and it was just sitting there. About to erupt. I took immediate action and upped my dosage of medicine and got to the pharmacy for more. I also willed myself to remain calm all day as not to increase the chances of an out break. I may have stopped it. If anything I may have had a small outbreak. I had small symptoms but not like normal. I have been waiting for contact from the hospital since I moved here to get a new Dr. and if I feel that I did indeed get an outbreak by Monday I will call my Dr. in Oslo and ask for help.
So...not so good...and yet...all around the not so good situations of being busy with work and driving classes (driving class is highly stressful for me), Mr. Crabby Pants and my possible eye troubles there has been a swirling of goodness that has been amazing. Patrick managed to pass his exam and indeed got his license...what a relief! Everyone has been so nice to help us but it will be really nice to go shopping and to do things with out a chaperone!
We have had a tremendous response from the guests at work. Very good. One group of guests even bought Patrick and I a bottle of wine to take home as thanks for their dining experience! We have also been given a new level of freedom at work. It has been decided that at some point in the upcoming months we will do away will pre planning menus for the guests. The concept is that (aside from dietary restrictions) the guests will be surprised by the menus when they arrive, allowing us to decide our menus based on what is coming from the local suppliers and what is the freshest and the best. There is the faith that what ever we do will be delightful to the guests. Too fun!
Then there is Mr. Crabby Pants. After I left work on Thursday, (worried about my eye) Patrick was told that those who we work for are taking the whole case over and handling it for us. the hotel manager has consulted a lawyer and has been told that he has no case so the company is responding for us in a legal way. If Mr. CP decides to take it further anyway...they will handle it all for us. I kind of don't know why. This is definitely not a work related thing and this is definitely not a situation that we are in because of them. (They had found a way to help us with the driving situation because the reason we are getting our licenses was so we could work for them...so that makes sense to me.) This is just over the top! I keep wondering "Is this for real?" It is like how you would always want to be treated by a company. I have just never seen it before. In fact I thought it was just some kind of idealistic fantasy that you read about in books on how to manage people or how to treat your employees. We have worked for lots of people who say they are one way, but when it gets right down to it that are not at all how they portray them selves in an interview. Being dedicated to the "best" is often talk. Reality takes strong egos and lots of work and therefor people tend to settle for "good enough". In my opinion, Jim Collins, one of my favorite authors on the topic of great companies is right...the enemy of "Great" is "Good". If you are satisfied with being Good you will never be Great. To be clear...being Good is ...well good...unless you think that magically one day you are going to be great without really shooting for it. In my opinion this company has figured out this secret and does not settle for Good.
I am so interested to see where all of this goes. I cannot predict it...I have never experienced this level of support from someone I have worked for before. I am always a dedicated employee because I am dedicated to what I do but I am not always fully behind who I work for, if that makes sense. Now I am seeing the possibility to have it all...being dedicated to my craft as well as being dedicated to who I work for. I would say they are pretty smart people.
So now...if I can just shake Old Crabby Pants off my leg (and I have help) I think I could get real happy here and get down to the business of truly enjoying this adventure. I like it!
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