I Am That Girl Now

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

If it's not one thing, it's your mother (and father)

I must say that I think I attempted the impossible last week. I tried like fire to get the entire apartment cleaned, do a truly massive amount of laundry, put together a plan for activities to do with the parents, put together a meal plan that would let me achieve an on-plan weekend with only two cheat meals (a more achievable plan for a three-day visit than just taking the one cheat day), and cook as much of this stuff ahead of schedule so we'd stick to it. All while continuing to work an 8-hour day, exercise in the morning, deal with my normal feeding schedule, care for (and work around) a sick spouse, and deal with the fact that I wasn't getting enough sleep and was operating at half my regular oomph.

Note that I say "attempted". I ended up taking a full day off work on Friday because so much still wasn't done. I got up and worked frantically at cleaning house until 1 PM, when I stopped for a lunch break. Five minutes later, my parents called to inform me joyfully that they'd managed to show up nearly eight hours ahead of schedule, and wasn't that great?

The fact that I didn't murder them on arrival still surprises me.

So. Half the housekeeping didn't get done (some tidying occurred in the first few hours of the 'rents visit, and a massive hauling of garbage to the dumpster). I did have a plan for what to do with them while they were here, but I hadn't planned anything for Friday evening since they weren't supposed to arrive until freakin' 9 PM. No food was pre-cooked. Arrrrgh.

I did as well as I could under the circumstances, and managed to get my six meals in every day with a highly discreet effort made at keeping to BFL portions and only having two "splurge" meals. I'm not saying it was completely successful, but I tried real hard and was... mostly successful.

Thing is, the stress levels I'd been dealing with since last Tuesday came to a head yesterday, mostly because once my folks arrived I was cut off from the things I usually use to control and alleviate stress and tension. They got up earlier than I did; they stayed up just as late. It never occurred to them that they could go do something besides hang out at our apartment or go places with us, because in their minds they don't really like the city-- they were tolerating it in order to get as much time with me and my Hub as possible.

And as always happens when I find myself trapped and helpless, the oldest of my stress-relief habits kicked in and thus my eating suffered. Not only that, but once my folks left I ate a TON. I think that often when I'm in that situation I can manage to control the urge to binge while I'm under scrutiny, but once the scrutiny is alleviated all I can focus on is that I finally have the chance to make myself feel better, and by "feel better" I mean "eat everything in sight". Sort of a delayed reaction. Gah.

Part of what fueled that binge was the fact that I had specific things in mind for my "splurge" meals-- two fantastic restaurants-- and circumstances (and stubborn relations) meant that instead of those fantastic restaraunts, I was forced to use my splurges on mediocre food that I wasn't thrilled about. I was pretty pissed about that. I'd been looking forward to those meals all damn week and they were denied to me. Son of a bitch!

Anyway. The good news, such as it is:

1) I did manage to stick to plan about 75% of the time, in spite of being abruptly pushed into eat-by-the-seat-of-your-pants mode. Fail to plan, plan to fail... so at least I kept the failure smaller than most times.

2) I got my exercise in. It's interesting to note that I am completely unabashed about taking time for this; even when it comes to my parents, nobody fucks with my exercise time.

3) My Hub, bless his heart, refused to take enable me on binge behaviors and (once he started feeling better) forced me to sleep in for an extra two hours Monday morning and reminded me to kick my own ass at HIIT because it works as a great stress relief. I kept hinting around about wanting to go for ice cream last night, and he said, "I'm sorry we didn't get that in this weekend, sweetie. Let's make a date for Saturday night, okay?" I was displeased at being thwarted. Good for him, though.

4) Back on track today, and the good thing about BFL is that the pattern and makeup of meals-- and the planning inherent in making that happen-- is really, really good at thwarting the urge for follow-up binges. The Inner Cartman has, of course, been yammering away full-speed, but the automatic gut check (in which I ponder my tummy and discover it's still operating at satiated levels) is like an inner touchstone, and having meals planned out for the day in advance (a luxury denied me all weekend) soothes me. Ahhhhhhhh.

Dining with and cooking for my parents allowed me to figure out what they're up to, these days, when it comes to food. Dad still cleans his plate, regardless of portion (I got that one from him, I think); Mom makes an effort to keep her portion sizes small. Both of them eat slowly and don't feel pressured to eat food when they're not feeling hungry. They're suckers for junk food. They're both trying to control their high cholesterol and are suffering somewhat on that account from my mother's lack of interest in ways of adding flavor without adding fat and calories. My dad has concluded that he'll eat fish if he "has to", for his health, but he doesn't like it; that said, he's only eaten either a) fried fish or b) fish that my mother makes for him. My mom is not a great cook, so the likelihood of Dad learning to actually like fish is very small. Sigh.

They understand fruits and vegetables, but between the two of them they barely touched our enormous store of fruit. Whole grains puzzle them; they haven't even started eating oatmeal, in spite of that being the most user-friendly of the whole grains and one that has great cholesterol-lowering capabilities. I think I may have managed to sell them on EggBeaters, at least; I stressed the "use all substitute items as an ingredient, not a featured dish on its own" idea like mad, and may have convinced my dad by making him scrambled EggBeaters with a big douse of Frank's, chopped red peppers, and pan-browned Canadian bacon. Dad doesn't know a lot about flavor, but he has twigged to the fact that adding peppers and hot sauce to things that he finds bland or unappealing will often make them much more palatable. I really need to help him expand on this, I think. Lord knows that my mother won't; she's boxed herself in when it comes to flavor.

It was weird. It was weird to try to cook for them, it was weird to try to pick restaurants for them since they were scared of all the ethnic foods. It really discombobulated me and threw me off my game.

I love them. I miss them. But wow, am I glad they went home.


  • Just reading this wore me out, so I can only imagine how you felt! Glad you managed to stay on track -- sort of. Hopefully next Saturday and your date w/Ice cream will come quickly. Not having meals planned sends me into panic mode and I try to avoid that at all costs -- so I feel you on that one. LOL @ "nobody fucks with my exercise time"-- haha! Keep up the good work!

    By Blogger Candice, at 3:08 PM  

  • There's an old saying, "God protect me from my family; my friends I'll handle on my own." :-) Good for you for getting the exercise in and coming pretty close on the food.

    I hear you on the splurge disappointment. I think one of the things that is different for me this time around is that I refuse to splurge on mediocre food. If I'm going to eat unhealthy food, it had better score off the charts on the deliciousness scale, or what's the point.

    By Blogger Mich, at 4:01 PM  

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