Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Journey – Breaking the Cycle, Part 5

May 3, 2014, 2014
Day 12 of South Beach Phase 1
Starting weight (4/23/2013): 195
Today’s Weight:  188
Loss/Gain (since start):  -7
Breakfast: Canadian bacon, Feta cheese, Parsley, and onions in scrambled eggs.
Snacks:  cucumbers.

Tradition -- I'm the Man. This Is MY Castle May 01, 2014 6:27am

We learn many traditions as children.  We are not aware of it.  We just accept it as matter of fact.  That's the way it is.

In a household that is traditional American Christian, the man in the marriage is the head of the house.  That gets implemented in varying degrees.  This is a partial list of the “traditional” head of household man as I understood it growing up:
The man is responsible for the income.
The man takes care of the lawn.
The man takes care of the farm animals.
The man washes the car.
The man does the barbecue.
The man paints the house
The man is in charge of any project requiring tools and gadgets (because, tongue in cheek,  men innately understand tools and gadgets).
The man is responsible for all financial planning and controls the budget.
The man is responsible for paying the bills.
The man controls the household schedule.  All activity must be approved by the man.
The man's projects all take precedence over any and all other projects.
The man inspects and certifies all operations in the household and may demand they be done over if he is not satisfied with how they are done.
The man ensures the safety of the household and family with any resource available.
The man may delegate his responsibilities and supervises all projects he delegates.

The Woman is second in command if there are children.  Otherwise, the woman has no power, just chores and duties.
Chores and duties for the woman of the house, as I understood it:
The woman cleans everything in the house, from floor to ceiling, from walls to windows, from lamps to ceiling lights, from tables to chairs, from carpets to beds, from clothes to refrigerators and stoves.
The woman cooks all meals and prepares a sack lunch for the man to eat at work.
The woman washes all dishes used in making the meals, eating the meals, and anything dirty from snacks.
The woman makes sure the kids are dressed, fed, and shuttled off to school with lunch bag or lunch money.
The woman attends all teacher/parent conferences.
The woman prepares meals for announced and unannounced guests.
The woman feeds the dogs and cats.
At the main meal of the day, the woman waits on the man and the children, and keeps silent while the man talks about his day.
The woman mends torn clothing.
The woman sews new clothing.
The woman irons or presses all clothing requiring it.
The woman does all the grocery shopping—with or without a car.
The woman does all the shopping required for the children—clothes and school supplies.
The woman does anything else the man tells her to do.
The evening belongs to the man and the woman leaves him alone.
If the woman works outside the house, somehow she still has to manage the household chores.

There are many. Many more unspoken, unwritten rules that a jerk assumes are universal law.  I believe I subscribed to a majority of them.  More about that in my next post.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Journey – Breaking the Cycle, Part 4

April 30, 2014
Day 7 of South Beach Phase 1
Starting weight (4/23/2013): 195
Today’s Weight:  190
Loss/Gain (since start):  -5
Breakfast: Canadian bacon, Feta cheese, sweet peppers, and onions in scrambled eggs.
Lunch: Salmon patty, and spinach soufflé
Supper:  Fatata .
Snacks:  ½ dark chocolate bar, 30 pistachios, and cucumbers, black bean brownies.

We don’t count calories on the South Beach diet.   As long as one sticks to the meals and portions recommended in the diet, there is no need to count calories.  We have around five South Beach recipe books.  Each recipe comes with a tag that designates which phase of the diet the recipe is for.  So, one can prepare meals appropriate to the diet phase.  We are still in phase 1, the low carb diet.  We feel it.

OK, I have a confession.  I said I would journal this quest to break the cycle of eating and dieting.  I have said that the causes are rooted somewhere deep within my psyche, and I would have to address some things that perhaps were  uncomfortable to address, what’s worse, very uncomfortable to even uncover and talk about.  Well, I had an epiphany today.  This time around is easier than previous times.  Why?  Because I don’t have the same emotional baggage I had in previous years.

Call it old age (I’m 67). Or, maybe, just maybe, my efforts over the past several years are starting to pay off.  The reality is that it is probably a combination of both.  But the process in this quest started many years ago.  It did not just start with the beginning of this diet.

Twenty years ago, I was deeply involved in the Evangelical Christian community.  I call it my “Christian Era” and I call my religion then “Churchianity.”  I did not come up with the tag.  I ran across it many, many years ago in a book wherein the author described the activities of many “Christians” as going to church, getting involved in various aspects of the church activities and outreach, all to gain a social status within that community, but never really building a true spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ.  I was a single parent back then.  I had been divorced nearly eighteen years when I met my current wife, Ruth Ann, nearly nineteen years ago.  Prior to meeting Ruth Ann, I simply was not interested in ever being married again.  I did not do well in my first marriage.  I was a jerk, much to my surprise.  When Ruth had come along, I began to realize that I felt like a solid strong Christian, and I felt I was spiritually advanced, but I also realized that I really had not been spiritually challenged for nearly twenty years as a single parent.  I opened up to the idea of marriage, knowing that it would test the mettle of my spirit.

Listen, if we are not pushed, we simply don’t realize how much garbage indwells us.  All of my jerk qualities began to surface with in the first five years of the marriage.  I wanted out of the marriage very badly.  I was pissed at everything.  Nothing is what I thought I had bargained for.  However, by this time, I had grown enough spiritually to realize we have been assigned guides in the spiritual realms.  Some people call them guardian angels.  But, unlike most modern day Christians, I had developed relationships with those spirits, and I conversed with them about everything, including the fact that I wanted out of my marriage.  They simply told me (paraphrased),  “get a divorce, but your spiritual development will stop.”  By this time, my spiritual growth was extremely important to me.  Also, by this time, because of so many contradictions in the practice of “churchianity,” I had abandoned Christianity and any organized religion for that matter.  My guides were not threatening me with punishment.  They were stating a simple fact, staying in this marriage and working through the problems, no matter how painful, was the prescription for my personal spiritual growth.  I would not grow without it.  I stayed in the marriage and started many, many years ago to get to the root of what it is to be a jerk and work to resolve it.

The reason I do not struggle with the same intensity as I did in previous diet cycles is because I have resolved many of the triggers that send me to the fridge.  The chief among those triggers was anger based in a false sense of justice and injustice.  Jerks have a lot to which we think we are entitled, and if we do not get what we think we deserve, we get demanding, forceful, yes, very bitchy about it.  It makes for a miserable life all around.  Slowly, I have identified many of those “entitlements” and found that I did not deserve or earn them at all, and that in fact, one could not deserve or earn them.  I began to realize that all of my unhappiness was coming from within myself.  If I wanted happiness, I had to develop it within myself.  I could blame no one for my unhappiness but myself.  Therefore, I am the one that is solely responsible for my happiness.  It is a huge development, a huge step in my spiritual growth with an outcome of less frustration, less anger and fewer desperate raids on the refrigerator to mitigate the pain.

But I still have other triggers.  I will deal with those, too, in future posts.