My Quest to Eradicate Cheddar and Become a Healthier Me

Tag Archives: family

Yes, it’s been awhile…and I admittedly have fallen on and off the proverbial wagon in terms of food and exercise multiple times in the past few months.  But instead, I have been reading a lot, processing my feelings about my dad’s death, and probably overthinking a little bit 🙂  I don’t know if I’m “back”, but I do know I need to say this:


I don’t want to care about Father’s Day.  I didn’t care about it immensely when I had a dad, so the idea of making it more important since he is gone seemed contrived.  Of course we would celebrate by going out to dinner or just spending time together as a family.  But for some reason it never seemed to fit.  When shopping for father’s day cards or gifts, I always rolled my eyes at the cards with references to tools or sports or golf.  If there was a card about the best traffic routes, I would have struck gold.  Slap that on a box full of socks, and that’s as good as it got. How could it be that my dad fulfilled his American dream coming to the country in 1969, but he never fit the idea of the Hallmark American man?  That disconnect always bothered me, but I never spoke of it because…well…it just wasn’t fitting.  I usually settled for a card with a shirt, tie, and a funny joke.  Nothing too emotional.

It took me over a year after my dad died to truly bawl my eyes out about losing him.  But what is incredible to me is that I am most sad about the man I didn’t know.  I saw the type of husband and father he was through my own lens, but I never really knew what he was like before I was born, how him and my mom experienced each other when I wasn’t around, or his inner thoughts about having children.  I could never grasp how he truly FELT.  But he DID a lot, and that’s how I felt his love. I don’t even know or think he realized it, but his loving roots were clear.
This isn’t a plea to others to get to know their dad better, say how they really feel more frequently, or delve into the psychological underpinnings of their father-child relationship.  Honestly, while I do wish I knew him better, I am not upset that I didn’t because that’s just how things were.  How can I wish that I did something when the circumstances at that time didn’t bring about that call to action?  I have spent plenty of my life being upset with myself for a myriad of reasons, but I don’t blame myself for this.  Doing so would undermine my identity in my past, and I don’t have the capacity for that level of self-hate.  And now, I am who and how I am because of his death. Because I can now better understand how our relationship served me as an individual and what his everyday habits, movements, frequent sayings, and frequent naps meant for my family.  Patterns of individuals are so pervasive, but not only for them. They manifest and meld into our own habits of communication, expectations, judgments, and hopes.
He was a pretty simple guy, but that included being emotionally closed off and extremely routined.  But I won’t ever forget how he used to sleep next to my captain’s bed sitting up all night when I would scream from a dream, how he militantly taught me to ride a bike by following an infinity shaped chalked line on the pavement in our backyard, and watching him systematically making his chutney sandwiches for the week at the kitchen table while my brother and I did the same.  It really pissed me off that he “showed” me how to write legibly after I got an “N” for “Needs Improvement” for my handwriting in grade school when his everyday handwriting was horrific.  My fear of him threatening to send me to community college after getting a C during my first quarter at a top-tier school trumped my embarrassment in high school after he said there was to be no “hanky panky” when I went to the movies with a bunch of girlfriends and ONE boy.  But his patience waiting in jewelry stores and fabric stores for my mom was admirable.  His quirkiness for being debilitatingly uncomfortable wearing a shirt without a collar was adorable. He was an engineer, a son, husband, father, and a man who fit no mold.
So, I am writing this for Father’s Day because I figured it was time to be honest about it and him and me.  The way I miss my dad is even surprising to me, and I never thought the range of emotions I have experienced were even possible.  I will continue to bawl, reminisce, and wonder until I stop.  The best part is I finally realized that it might never stop, and that’s perfectly OK with me.
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I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I have blogged!  This past month has been pretty crazy with more going on at work and prepping for my trip to India!  Yes…that’s right!  In one week, I will be on a plane heading to India with my family.  I’m VERY excited about this trip.  I have been to India four times in the past, but I’m really excited about this trip because I will be meeting a lot of my husband’s family and my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and three beautiful nephews are coming as well!  I’ve never traveled to India with them before (I haven’t gone with my husband yet either), so it should be a lot of fun 🙂

How does this all play into my health plan?  Well…the past month’s activities have, unfortunately, cut into my personal journey towards better health.  I haven’t really lost any weight.  I probably gained a little bit, but that’s not even what I care that much about.  I kind of just lost sight of things because…well…life is hard to balance.  The changes I’ve had at work were great for my work life.  However, this came at a cost of not being able to go to The Dailey Method as much because I was now working during the classes I usually attended.  Since I have focused so much on those classes, I didn’t put much of an effort towards doing anything at home.  In terms of food, well…I have definitely tried to keep it up, but let’s just say that I had a lot of dessert at a wedding reception last night!  My will and Paleo decision-making has someone gone down the drain.  One reason I haven’t been beating myself up too much about it is because it will be impossible to live up to my Paleo lifestyle in India.  None of my relatives eat meat, and eating it going to be very central to the trip.  Let’s just say that family in India LOVE to feed you.  I’m going to enjoy this, however, I’m also going to make sure I feel satisfied rather than full.  I also didn’t want to do Paleo for the past few weeks and then totally shock my system when I’m in India when I will inevitably be eating a lot of grains and carbs.

Anywho…one thing this past month has taught me is that balance, while very important, is very hard!  That doesn’t mean I’m giving up though!  I have always said this is a journey.  My weight loss is not going to be perfect, life isn’t perfect.  The great thing about this is all the great lessons I learn about myself in the process.  I am trying to keep a positive outlook, because a positive MIND is what is going to help me with my healthy lifestyle.

In the next week before I head to India, I’m going to eat a “regular” diet with grains, carbs, etc.  I am still going to avoid processed food.  One question I’m going to ask myself is “Am I really hungry?”  I read a lot about this concept from the book Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works by registered dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.  This is a great book about our hunger signals.  I have noticed that my hunger signals can mean a few things:  I’m thirsty;  I’m bored;  I’m stressed; or I really am hungry.  I’m going to evaluate myself before making these decisions.  I am usually pretty satisfied throughout the day when I start my day by drinking 10 to 20 oz of water and continuing to drink water all day.  So, I think this will be the best way for me to eat this week and while I’m in India as well.

So, there ya have it!  I plan to post that Pre-Made Paleo review I promised a few months ago before I leave!  Sorry for slacking on that.