Thursday, July 29, 2010

Family, Friends, Food and Insanity

Entry #5
It's been a few days since a new post has been added here. I guess I'll have to decide exactly how many times I want to post an entry. Originally, I thought every day would be good. However, after a couple of times where my days were very busy and ran late, it was impossible to write and get to bed early enough to get a good night's sleep. So for now, I'll post when possible. Maybe that's a bit too loosey goosey, though. Hmmm, I'll have to give this some thought.

This past week has been so busy with family, friends, and, of course, food. How is it possible to not connect getting together with family or good friends and food? That has been a problem for me most of my life. Whenever a special time came around it was a great excuse to go off the diet "just for tonight/today/lunch/dinner". Of course with the good intention that as soon as the special event was over it would be right back on that eating and exercise plan. Yeah, riiiiight. Many were the times when going off for "just tonight" ended up in a three day or, sometimes, three week eating binge. Finally I would muster up the determination and discipline, go back on my diet and be fairly successful. That is, until the next special event came along and the cycle would be repeated.

This week I had some girlfriends from church over for dinner. It was a wonderful time to reconnect and catch up on what's been going on in our lives. For the last year or so I've basically hidden away at home. I've avoided social situations whenever possible. It was so much more comforting to just stay home with my television and food. Those days are over. After sharing our dinner together I am determined to get together with friends more and get involved to some degree in my church again.

The same could be said for family. I come from a large family (I'm the oldest of nine children) and throughout most of my adult life have spent mostly only holidays and birthdays with them. This summer, though, I've felt a change in myself in this regard. Making time to spend with family members has become more important to me. Maybe it's my age. I don't know, but I like it.

Last night the California contingent of my family celebrated my brother Tim's 49th birthday at his home . He, his wife Nat and my two nieces Taylor and Danielle live in a beautiful rustic log cabin-style home on fifteen acres just outside of Oakdale. As it was getting dark the sound of crickets filled the air. It was wonderful to look up and see the stars in the night sky when they don't have to compete with the lights of the city. On the way home I was telling those in the car with me how nice it was to hear the sounds of crickets and frogs at night. I mentioned that I had been considering buying some live crickets at the pet store and letting them loose in my flowerbed so I could hear them sing at night. My nephew Preston (3 years old) told me that last year he had a cricket in his bed and the cricket "cricked" so loud it kept him awake. I'm not sure how much of that story is actually true, but his invention of the word "cricked" was just too funny.

At both of these events food was in abundance and, though I didn't weigh, measure and count calories for everything I ate, I was able to keep the portions small. And that included dessert which I thoroughly enjoyed on both occasions. It feels good to be able to eat any food I want and only watch portion sizes. Forbidding myself foods because I'm dieting has never worked. It's amazing that it's taken me forty years to learn that! What is the definition of insanity again? Oh yeah, it's when you keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

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