May 18, 2015

The Diet and Violence

Snippets of the letter I wrote to my missionary daughter and what's been going on in my life this week:

Today we had stake conference. I don't know if you knew that Ty D. is going to Dominican Republic. He got called upon to give his testimony today. We went to the stake center for the meeting and sat in the overflow but halfway through we moved to high council room because Jaxon declared that he has a bony butt and the hard chairs were too much to tolerate. Hard to argue with that kind of logic.

So you know S. S., Jaxon's best friend? I really looked at his mom the other day and realized she'd lost weight. I asked her about it and she told me that she completely changed her way of eating and exercising and she has more energy than she has ever had and she isn't suffering from allergies for the first time since she started having her own garden. I don't know if I told you this, but I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago and demanded that he figure out why I'm so darn tired all the time. He ordered a blood draw and then I got a FitBit for Mother's Day. Apparently, I need more potassium in my body which I knew but I forgot. My prescription is about four years old so I'm taking it again but it probably isn't very potent. Also, the Fitbit tracks sleeps and an awareness of my sleep patterns was slammed into my face. Apparently, people who get, on average, 4 and half hours of sleep a night will, indeed, struggle with energy levels day after day. So I'm working on those two aspects along with walking more and tracking my diet. But Sh. Sm. had an actual plan and I wanted in.

In short order, Sh. educated me on the diet she is on. It involves copious amounts of water, protein, and veggies. It cuts out excess sodium, all sugar, and sucks out all light and love of food. Regardless, I was excited to try it out. Sh. lost weight, looks great but, above all, feels fantastic. I need that. I went to the store and stocked up on all this healthy crap. 

Today was the day to start. I began with a mixed berry smoothie with spinach and whey protein along with a cup of Kashi GoLean cereal and a half cup of almond milk. Really, it sounds reasonable, doesn't it? And it was. Drank a lot of water. Three hours later I got to eat 15 healthy little crackers dipping them in low fat cottage cheese. Three hours later, my lunch consisted of a low sodium deli turkey sandwich on this low calorie bread and I finally got a whole tablespoon of mayo. That's about the time things started to go downhill. Dad cooked sausage. So bad. It smelled so yummy. I had to lock myself in my bedroom with the door closed. I was getting a low grade headache that I associate with one of three things; hunger, thirst, or Diet Coke withdrawals. I had to rule out the first two because I was eating exactly as prescribed, I had already ingested nearly 50 oz. of water and it wasn't even 3:00 so I realized I needed to do something about my headache. I took some Ibuprophen and waited for it to abate. No such luck. I looked on the Diet Coke can to see how much sodium there really is in one serving and it isn't a lot. I really needed to get rid of this headache so I cheated on my diet with a Diet Coke. Okay, I actually chased that one Diet Coke with two more. 

I cooked a lovely Sunday meal of turkey breast, rolls, mashed potatoes, and gravy, set the table and sat with the family. I watched everybody eat the wonderful food. I had just eaten my afternoon snack - a tasteless high protein bar that was supposedly infused with chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter but it tasted more like a dry, heavy chunk of cardboard (because I clearly eat cardboard all the time so I know what it tastes like) dipped in a poor chocolate substitute. The theory here is that, if you eat a lot of protein, you will feel full longer. That was definitely true with breakfast. By the time my three hours had come and I was ready for dinner, I was looking at each member of our family, wondering which one I could eat. 

I ended up shaving a half hour off my three hours and cooked up my tilapia, flavoring it with a squirt of lime juice and dill weed on a bed of quinoa seeds. There was no butter. No fat. No sugar. No flavor. As I choked it all down, Dad walked past and tasted the quinoa which I had flavored with a little bit of curry which is no substitute for real food, by the way. My head hurts. I'm choking down dry, flavorless, expensive food. I'm still starving but feeling somewhat full and Dad says, "It's okay but it's not chocolate chip cookies." I now knew which family member I would eat.

I'm really trying and if I go to bed now I might actually only have cheated by drinking Diet Coke (with no calories) and eating an extra protein and energy bar which is what I'm doing right now. So, yeah. There's that.

The boys went over your grandparents' house tonight. I went to retrieve them and got beat up by Easton [a 4 year old truck]. Jene told me that today he walked up to her, gently caressed her head and said, "Don't worry, Mom. I will marry you. I won't let you down." She told this to me while he was rolling me into Jacob's feet then body slamming me over and over again. How can this rough and tumble boy be the same gentle soul who is going to grow up and marry his mother? Of course, Oedipus did that, too. Right after he killed his father. I better warn Chad. 

[Background for the following news: I had a friend who had a lot of struggles in her adult life and also made some poor choices. Her husband had a serious drug addiction and was trying to kick it through treatment programs. One day in June about 7 years ago, he left before she got up. She got up a little later and found his suicide note. The following August (two months later), she accidentally overdosed. She had a prescription drug addiction. They left 4 teenagers ages 13 - 19. Her parents stepped in and brought them into their home while various aunts and uncles filled in any gaps they could. Two of the four already had drug addictions. One has since cleaned up. The youngest of the four is a daughter, Jana.]

In other news, Jana S. summoned all of her extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) to her grandparents house and didn't tell them the reason. She had a surprise. Her grandparents had just found out a couple of weeks before so they were in on the secret. They hung up a little banner that said "Called to Serve." Jana got her mission call and opened it in front of all the shocked family. I firmly believe that Jana would not have developed the depth of character and testimony had she not been brought into her grandparents' home. The circumstances were tragic but I think it saved Jana. The village stepped in and finished raising her. It's nice to see triumph and a well orchestrated plan that was probably in place a long time ago in the event that Scott and Jody didn't make better choices. It's nice to know the Gospel works in all circumstances, offering repentance and redemption at all stages of sin. And that special grace is extended to children. They still suffer but they are compensated in other areas. I think that's true of all people but especially children. 

So those are my gems for this week. Pray for your siblings and dad. I'm worried I might still eat them.

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