Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Key Setback: Loss in Healthy Eating

I like to eat.

I enjoy chewing. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy tasting. I enjoy feeling full.

I relish salty foods. I relish sweet foods. I relish meats. I relish fresh veggies.

I miss my body of just a few weeks ago. I have only had to go up one belt loop, but I take little hope in that. Too many painful aspects involved in just getting around. And I know I am not eating at my best.

Since I knew I would be blogging again, I decided to pay attention to my thinking while I chose what to eat for one meal. That meal ended up being lunch. Lunch was left overs. I selected some beef cooked in a slow cooker, instant mash potatoes, beef gravy, and green bean/carrot coin mix. While selecting the food items, I can say I picked them because I knew I would enjoy them and probably enjoy them more than anything else. The idea of how many points I was eating concerned me briefly. It's easier for me to quantify overindulgence in terms of points. Even knowing I would be recording my thoughts, I took more meat than I needed to, more potatoes than I needed to, and added margarine to my veggies. I would approximate the potatoes at 3/4 cup, the meat at 6 ounces, the gravy at 1/2 cup, the veggies at 1/2 cup, and the margarine at 2 tsp.

I overindulged in quantity, selection, and embellishments. I saw myself doing these things. And I accepted that I was doing it and moved right along in that direction. I would like to hope that I served a little less because I knew I would be reviewing the meal. But I am doubtful. As I pay attention to these things, I still have hope that I will regain my resolve. Resolve, at this time, is difficult because of the intensity and variety of my stresses.

I have not been sleeping well. I have lost quality and quantity. And that has made everything more difficult, including the most stressful part of my life right now. There is a job fair on Thursday that has my attention. I am trying to write tailor-made resumes for the companies that will be there. The job fair has my attention thanks to the second most stressful part of my life, I have enough money in my bank account to pay rent and have about $18 left over. These things weren't going through my mind when I made my food selection. What was going through my mind was trying to motivate myself into doing the dishes by myself as I had all weekend long. But the stress level was definitely there. Just ask my kids if Daddy isn't yelling more than usual.

Thankfully, I have some incredibly forgiving kids. Remembering that has helped me a few times today. Like when I went into the Jaguar and Lemur's room to find a sticky pile of paper towels on their top bunk. The pile consisted of about half a roll of paper towels and half a tube of toothpaste. I didn't get upset. And that was an important victory today. One I hope to build on at the job fair.

And in the end, all of my hopes and fear, stresses and strains, joys and success are where my attention has ended up. They are a part of me, but they don't have to control me. And from there, I can move along to being able to keep on keepin' on along the proper path toward a happier, healthier body, mind, and attitude. Now that I've said it, I need to fake it. And once I fake it, I will be able to live it.

Yours in the hope of being turned around once more,


P.S.: I have accepted an "advancement" in the hierarchy of my church. I put advancement in quotes because it is more of a lateral promotion than a vertical one. For those that are LDS or understand LDS titles, I am going to be a High Priest. It makes me wonder at the spiritual powers that influence our lives. That here, in the midst of being about the worst person I have been in quite some time, I am offered an opportunity of responsibility that just might lead to redemption in more than one area of my life. Truly, that is a divine influence.

Of course, I wouldn't turn down the opportunity to have the mantle placed upon my shoulders that allows me to sleep through meetings. Sorry. Bad LDS joke.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Blogs Should Never Leave You Hanging; They Should Part Amicably

Several months ago, there was some research I was doing. I had hit up the scientific journals, the respectable magazines, and a few web sites ranging from fairly reliable to entirely suspicious. I decided to take a different tack: to poke around through the blogosphere. I came across a website on my topic of interest and started reading. It had everything: The joyful successes, the heart rending failures, the underdog rising to the challenge on the tidal surge of optimism, the depression as the riptide of reality carried hope to the abyssal depths. It was everything I had hoped for and more in terms of the personal view on this modern issue. And the prior information I had gleaned provided the framework of understanding to be colored and textured by one person's impassioned struggle against the current that was taking of her life. And then a separate reality set in to my life.

The blog entries just ended.

That was it. Nothing. No more. Had she conquered? Had she been conquered? It was a travelogue of travail that went nowhere. I was left to wonder, albeit briefly. It ended. Time for me to move on.

I have been thinking of this the last two weeks. I needed to do one thing or the other. Either get back into writing (and bring forth the possibility of some form of personal redemption down the road) or I should say my goodbyes. Since I still had a mental habit of authoring blog entries, I needed to make a decision.

So an overview of where I have been in the last several weeks. My last entry was on Tuesday, March 11, 2014. I can still remember the topic I was debating writing about. I had attended an OA meeting. I had locked my keys in my car. I called my wife to come open the door. This is one of those times I regret not have AAA anymore. Now I had to wait. I started out waiting inside the church building. But the church is significantly more progressive to my more fundamentalist way of thinking. I don't believe that God's Laws need updating because man's laws change with the prevailing current wisdom. But that theological discussion is best left for another time. I came across a particularly progressive handout and chose to step outside.

Once outside, I pondered my left ankle. It had been hurting for quite some time. But was I refusing to exercise because of the pain or because I was in some form of reversal of mood. So I set out on what would turn out to be an approximately seven block hike to determine the answer. Not a hike for most people, but it was for me. The triangular path I traversed amid the decades old neighborhood made for some enjoyable sights and observations. And in the end, there was the conclusion that going for that jaunt had been a poor implementation of the experimental method. Never use yourself as the subject in the experiment. My ankle was hurting more than it had in quite some time.

Looking back on the experience, I can say with firm conviction, the unwillingness to exercise was due to both. I have joints that don't jaunt. And I have had a reversal of mood as well. It's the reversal of mood that has me worried. I haven't shown much interest in much of anything. And my poor wife has had to bear the brunt of it. That is especially true given the wonderfully spiritual wedding ceremony Horse and Squirrel have completed some weeks ago. (Note to self: Update side panel. Upgrade Horse's and Squirrel's status.) While I don't want to say I have been depressed, I have been uninterested in pretty much anything. For example, through an unexpected series of events, I managed to come into possession of the entire seven seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 several years ago. MBWM and I would rather have worked it out to get Star Trek: Voyager, but it didn't happen that way. I started watching the series using Windows Media Center. One of the kewl features of Windows Media Center is that you can hit the fast forward button once and it will still play the soundtrack. The track plays faster but the pitch doesn't rise. Although a tremolo in the background music is a disturbing auditory experience. Having been through the series a few times, I skipped many episodes just based on the title or the first 30-40 seconds of the introduction. Still, MBWM noticed the incessant watching. Hard not to notice. She asked me at one point how many more disks were left in the series. I stopped watching them and put the disks up. I wasn't interested in them in the first place so I wasn't distressed about setting them aside.

This lack of interest shows up in other ways. While I have been sending resumes out, networking, reviewing job searching tools with others, and other job search type activities, I have been doing it more out of have to than want to.

Which is a round about way of describing the decisions behind deciding if this blog was a want to or a have to. Okay. Let's be real. It's a want to. And with the loss of interest, many a want went away. But I owe it to my sense of responsibility (to finish what I started), my sense of obligation (to maintain the accountability that gave birth to this blog), and my sense of the appropriate (it is inappropriate to walk out the cyber door without saying good bye) to keep on keepin' on or have an amicable parting of the ways.

That is not to say that this entry is a good bye. That is the point of ponderment for the next few days. I will review the ugly setback that is my life right now. I should face up to at least that much. But I am hoping for something more. I have seen a simple idea work too often not to trust in it one more time. "Fake it 'til you make it." And so, for the next few days, I am going to fake interest in my blog until I am thrilled to be blogging again. And along that planned pathway, I hope for a resurgence in interest in my healthier eating habits.

We shall see. This is either the phoenix-like rebirth for blog and bod, or the long good bye to blogging. Either way, there is a transition coming. I wonder if anyone will be there to witness it.

Yours in the hope that comes again,


P.S.: Happy - Because MBWM is coming back from an out of state trip. The joy from being back with her presence is something I will not have to fake and never lost interest in.