My Quest to Eradicate Cheddar and Become a Healthier Me

Tag Archives: Father’s Day

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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This past weekend was full of wonderful celebrations!  My husband and I drove down to Indianapolis on Saturday to celebrate the 1st birthday of the son of our dear friends.  Of course, Sunday was Father’s Day.  It was so great to enjoy time with friends we haven’t seen in some time.  It was also a once in a lifetime experience to see 37 kids (most under the age of 5) in one place at once, lol. Just watching them all jumping around was quite exhausting. Sunday, we had a Father’s Day lunch and dinner which was wonderful as well.

Clearly, it was going to be difficult for me to stay on my diet when I could not have complete control over my meal choices.  I always allow for myself to indulge a meal or two during the week that aren’t compliant, since that is just reality.  However, being unprepared definitely got me in trouble.  Saturday morning before we left, I made sure to have a bigger breakfast consisting of a 3-egg omelette with spinach and an avocado.  As we embarked on our drive, I decided to only bring water with me.  I did not bring any fruit or nuts to snack on.  Clearly, when we arrived in Indianapolis, I was starved!  So I immediately ate a sandwich and then ate tons of pasta and some delicious cake (I had planned on eating the cake beforehand).  Everything was delicious, and I wasn’t beating myself up too much about it…but I know I could’ve prepared a bit more so I wouldn’t have taken that second serving of pasta and eggplant parmesan.  On top of it, we were driving straight to my in-laws that evening, and I had not prepared a breakfast plan for the next morning.

I started thinking about where I went wrong in not preparing for the trip.  Did I not have the food with at my disposal?  Nope.  Did I not have enough time to get it ready?  Nope.  Did I give up?  Yes!  Basically, I had already thought to myself, “I’m going to let go a little”.  I did not decide how or when I was going to let go (which is what I usually do), which pretty much gave me the opportunity to eat whatever I wanted.    So I failed in my thought process, which led to me choosing to not be prepared and eating unhealthy.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with letting go a little bit.  However, for a person like me, who lacks self-control, this little goes a long way.  I am positive that having a piece of fruit or nuts on the ride there would have staved off some of my impulsive eating for that day and the next.

The next morning, I had granola with milk and fruit for breakfast (fail).  I meant to get some eggs, but since I had given up, this just didn’t happen.  For lunch, I was able to be compliant, however, for Father’s Day dinner, I decided to have 1 crab rangoon.  My parents don’t eat meat or seafood, and one order of crab rangoon had 6 pieces!  Well of course I can’t make my husband eat all of those!  Before I knew it, 3 of them were floating around in my tummy.

Inevitably, this all lead to me feeling irritable.  I was annoyed that I let it happen, and this all led to negative thinking and being a victim to my own choices.  This way of thinking is never good.  On top of it all, I didn’t go to The Dailey Method for 2 days in a row, which I try not to do.  But alas!  This morning,  I went to The Dailey Method and after 10 minutes I could feel myself becoming more calm.  The stress I had placed on myself started trickling away, and I felt the ultimate release.  Finally, I felt like my new self again 🙂

Overall, I think this is a lesson that it just takes on small thought to begin an avalanche of negative behavior.  At the same time, I was so grateful to get back on track and to make the choice to get out of the negativity.

The best part of the weekend was seeing this face 🙂  He was such a birthday champ and is the most handsome little man I have seen!



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