Friday, July 18, 2014
I worked with a dear friend who was so good at turning a frown upside down. It was a big trip on the rail cars so we brought him in to be chef and I served as his sous chef along with my on board services management duties.
It was one of those trips when the challenges occurred at an ever increasing rate. This was not uncommon on these trips. Using vintage rail equipment comes with almost guaranteed mechanical issues and schedules are seemingly merely suggestions. While prepping for the first breakfast of the trip, I had gone to another car to pull something from a freezer. When I opened the freezer it seemed as though things were not frozen hard, I could hear it running and didn't have time to investigate thoroughly at that moment and thought that perhaps the bartender had been in the freezer looking for ice and hadn't closed the latch tightly. I closed the box and made a mental note to come back as soon as possible to check on it. As it happened, on my return to the kitchen I was working in, my husband stepped in having the dining room ready for business and a few minutes to spare. I asked him to go to the other car with his temp gun and see what he could see....Sure....you already guess it, the freezer wasn't working right, low on refrigerant or something and it was functioning as a simple icebox, holding what cold it could since it was filled solid with frozen food......food that was fast working toward un-frozen. Time to start breakfast service so I assigned two of the other crew members to go pull all the meat out of that freezer and haul it to other cars and other freezers (this of course meant that food is totally scattered among the cars and every prep job was an adventure.) I also had them note those things where the thawing was advanced and bring those things to our refrigerator in the dining/kitchen car. After breakfast service was completed and lunch prep begun, my friend and I sat down with the week's menus to discuss what needed to be used first. This sequence seemed to be repeated over and over again when air conditioning failed and we decided to create lighter meals than had been planned, and of course the refrigeration and freezer issues were found to be a recurrent theme. Days when we were supposed to be tied up over night with passengers supposedly free to eat out on their own never happened. Joey and I would sit down to come up with another plan. Every time we sat down to plan, Joey would say...." where are we...Plan F or are we plan S?" or something equally amusing as we worked our way all the way through the alphabet.
I've been thinking about my pal as I have been needing to move through my own alphabet of plans.
I had been doing the 28 day bootcamp DVD and trying to keep very closely to the subscribed plan. I got 2/3 of the way through the program before I felt that maybe I needed to make some adjustments for my personal age, abilities and needs.
Of course, I first was feeling disappointment at what seemed to be failure on my part. I reasoned with myself that Coach Nicole always encourages a person to do what they can do well and stay at a level if that is right, but it still seemed as though I should push on. I did for a while and continued with my fairly intense cardio routine, but encountered a day when I had to admit I might be over training.
I took a day off. Got back on schedule and again was having a rough time. Another day off, then a day when life got in the way and now I was two days off. I went for a scheduled run and had a lot of breathing difficulty. Was another allergen making an appearance? I had backed off of some of my allergy meds when I thought the worst of the allergy season had passed. I had neglected to take my inhaler with me and my run became driven by heart rate and pulmonary function. As I struggled through the run, I mentally questioned if I had forgotten a dose of my medication for my heart rhythm. I take this med every other day and though I usually portion out two weeks of meds at a time to insure that I don't forget, it sometimes happens. But no, I shouldn't have gotten off schedule. It doesn't feel as though I'm having rhythm issues and usually if I do, my HR reads lower than it is rather than running high. Do I perhaps need to increase my meds to a daily dose? Is something else going on?
Or, is it just one of those runs? And do I really need to re-think my exercise regime?
After the run, I take my BP and continue to check my BP and pulse intermittently over the course of the next couple days. I check the allergy index and Yikes! the mold count is very high...a known allergen for me, guess I need to go back on the other meds. sigh. And I continue to think about plans C,D,E,F................LOL.
Yesterday's run was much better with the additional allergy meds. I didn't note any rhythm issues over the last several days and with the exception of the day when I struggled with my allergies, my BP is consistently far too low to increase those meds anyway, so good thing. I am left with the conclusion that I need to pursue a less aggressive ST program considering my unique cardiovascular situation.
Go with the flow...........on to plan B!
Saturday, June 28, 2014
In a blink of an eye, a good day can go bad or a bad day can go good. More often than not the impetus for change is an emotion.
The other day, while taking a walk, one of those stupid exchanges happened between my husband and myself. I had been talking about a book I am reading, something another person asked me to read as it relates to the lake and our efforts to maintain it's health and beauty. I found the writing style of the author annoying at times which made reading this book tedious but nearly done the other day, I was sharing some of the insights and my feelings and opinions of the content and the style. As an aside, related to the subject matter, I also spoke of some of our lake residents and their actions over the years.
Now, I am a verbal individual. My husband is not so much. I know that but he also is my best friend and also the one who is always there to be my sounding board....sometimes, against his wishes.
As I spoke, he started to have that demeanor that should have warned me that he was not in the mood for my conversation. But I persisted. sigh
Finally he said something in the line of "that's enough".
My reaction? Anger. No, I'm insulted. No, it's really hurt.
When I settled my mind ever so slightly, I said "Ok, what do you want to talk about?" To which he answered "Nothing! You keep talking and you drive me over the edge!"
That helped with my emotions! Now I really am hurt. He wasn't tired of listening to me go on and on about the topic but he was tired of hearing me talk at all!
Now I share this, and I apologize for sharing, simply to demonstrate how emotions flare and in a split second everything seems to change. It was a totally stupid exchange and my reaction....over reaction, was equally stupid. Look, we've been married for 42 years and together long before that. We've had this same argument before and we also have continues to enjoy our conversations and our roles as sounding boards for each other....most of the time. LOL
I can proudly report that my coping mechanism when my emotions flared was to speed up my walking (he hates when I walk ahead of him telling me I always walk too fast) not to anger him, but to work of the steam and since we weren't going to talk to each other I may as well walk alone. Yeah, a bit childish I know, but a quick pace helped to move me past anger, hurt and insult to normalcy by the time I got home.
Action is the antithesis of emotions.....at least it can be.
Why am I thinking or talking about this this morning?
Well, I finished the book that got me stirred up in the first place this morning and then as I headed to the necessary room and my bathroom scale, I was again blasted with an emotional burst.
Groannnnnnnnnnnnn......another day with no weight loss posted. WHY!!! I'm angry! No, I'm insulted! I've been working so hard and I'm hurt to think that all that effort hasn't produced ANY results!
Ok, big glass of water. Walk around the house quietly while thinking about this.
First, it's not about the weight really....well, yeah it is but it's more about fitting into those shorts that got too tight and being fit and energized.
The shorts are still tight but not so tight that they can't be worn.
My last run was actually faster than the last time I had done that route. My last long run was completed much more easily than I expected. I have moments of feeling energized along with moments of unreasonable fatigue which I attribute to the heat humidity and continued allergies.
Finally, write this diary of emotional thoughts...my action to blow off the steam.
In the blink of an eye, I feel better now. sigh
Friday, June 20, 2014
I decided this morning after reading a friend's blog post on intuitive eating that I should make all my bites today a creative effort so that my dining satisfaction starts during the prep and continues through the appreciation of the appearance, aroma and taste.
Thanks Janet for giving rise to this thought.
Of course my first meal which happened to be fresh strawberries stirred into Greek yogurt wasn't very creative nor did it require any artistic cooking ability. LOL It was visually appealing in the pink creamy result and tasty as always. Many times when I stir fruit into yogurt I also add a sprinkling of sliced almonds or granola but I had awakened at 2 AM with a dry throat that water didn't relieve (a gift from my allergies) so I had some fresh diced pineapple. I didn't want to add additional calories to my breakfast and I know that all this fresh fruit supplies me with some fiber and balance of carbs.
It's a gloomy day here and when I asked my husband if there was something he would like to eat today he quickly replied "meatloaf!" He said he was dreaming of meatloaf. LOL Now, I won't let my vanity be crushed that his dreams were filled with my meatloaf instead of me, since I know it's MY meatloaf he craves. LOL
So, I have him retrieve the ground beef, turkey breast and breakfast sausage from the freezer. I need to thaw the meats in the microwave and while that is being accomplished, I start to dice some yellow, orange and red peppers. This where the zen begins. The simple act of cutting these beautiful colored peppers into first strips and then small dice is like a meditation for me. When I move that to the outer corner of the cutting board and switch to mincing some onion, I add aroma to the pleasure factor.
Mixing the thawed meats with the oats, egg white and my own seasoned bread crumbs and these prepared vegetables and herbs is a tactile exercise. There's something about digging in with my hands and massaging it all together into a cohesive melange that is very satisfying.
The meatloaf is in the oven. The house is fragrant with the aromas of this blend as well as some herbed garlic toasts that I multi tasked since the oven was going and there were dinner rolls I wished to use up.
When it comes to plating this lunch, there may not be much artful presentation. It is meatloaf after all! A most humble offering. I'll serve it with a blend of green & wax beans with carrots which will be a nice color accent. Potatoes will provide the starch.
The art of this meal is in the zen of preparation and it is true, I am already feeling some satisfaction. LOL
My scale was again up a little this morning. As I mentally review the possibilities for this, I come to the conclusion that my elliptical session yesterday may be the culprit since my legs are telling me I followed a harder program yesterday.
Ah, the value of using a pair of shorts or slacks to monitor progress!
Before I dressed for the day, I pulled out those too tight shorts and gave them a try.
I "could actually" wear them though they still are tighter than I would like. I suspect if I walked out into the other room, my husband would say, "Those are a little tight, aren't they?" He doesn't make comments like that often or in a hurtful way but rather as a full length mirror. A little like my " That blue shirt would look better with that" comment that I might make as we prepare to go out. In this case, I had already looked in my full length mirror from all angles and didn't need to look for his critique. I KNOW they're still a bit too tight but scale aside, they are less tight than they were a couple weeks ago. OK, progress.
Half the day is nearly elapsed and what have I done to show for it? If it's exercise I've logged....NOT MUCH. But life is made up of many things, exercise is only part of the picture. However, that being said, I need to get up and get moving!
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