Thank You to My Friends. Four of Spades.
My Journey Through Ace Your Health – the Four of Spades
A Testament to My Friends. If you are not here, worry not, you will be included soon in another post.
Like everyone else, I have a list of personality traits I struggle with on a frequent basis.
- I eat when stressed
- I sometimes see the glass half empty
- I worry
- I have a temper
- I have a problem turning my brain off when stressed
For the most part, I have created coping strategies. I try to jog when stressed, I visualize positive events, I take deep breathes and I count. I count the number of guests I am inviting to a party. I count the number of moves a particular climb may take (or I did when I climbed). I count movies starring George Clooney. You get the picture.
This week’s challenge could not have come at a better time. In 24 hours the entire first floor of my house will become a construction zone. Kitchen is getting gutted, carpeting is being ripped up. Walls knocked down. For periods of time we have to vacate our home. This will all last for 4-6 weeks.
Stress in a sledge hammer I say.
So with this amount of stress swirling around my dwelling, I have found a need to eat and eat and eat. I have had trouble sleeping as my brain is racing a mile an hour. I have worried enough for a town filled with Jewish/Catholic mothers.
There has been one thing that has chilled my otherwise fiery temper. Quieted my brain. Stopped my hand from reaching for bad food. And that has been counting. I counted the 15 people who have influenced my positive eating or exercising habits:
1. My husband – My #1 cheerleader. And he taught me to climb, made me a better sailor, helped improved my flick (Ultimate slang for forehand throw). He encourages me in everything I do
2. Mom – as a single parent, she always made dinners that had all food groups represented
3. My Sister – she taught me about aerobics and we always talk about food together
4. Kim – she was the first person who introduced me to the world of “make your own really big salad” (we were University housemates) and to the world of jogging and snowboarding
5. Jackie – she is my grocery shopping BFF and my “what do I feed the kids” sounding board
6. Theresa Albert – need I say more?
7. Katarina Simons – she is my fitness gal. She is my age and has the most phenomenal and athletic body
8. Brigid – she bikes everywhere, plays a mean game of Ulti and is a fabulous cook who uses a lot of organic and local products
9. Vicki – she loves food, runs 10kms and is a big cheerleader (not literally, she is not in high school)
10. Teresa – my sounding board when my food/exercising falls off the rails, a 10km guru
11. Gail – my old fitness instructor (I moved), a great cook and loves food but eats wisely
12. Dominique – She is a great climber, eats tons of organic stuff and never gives a second thought of going on a strenuous hike with both her young kids in tow
13. My brother and his kids (that makes 3) – my brother is vegetarian and has been for ages. He always eats well and cooks delicious foods without meat. His sons are athletic and aware of what they eat. They are real inspirations. My sister in-law should be there too, but that makes 16 and I decided to stop at 15. Zohar, you are there in spirit.
Figuring out those 15 worked for a night or two, but then I got my list together and soon I was left with my worry demons.
Onto list #2. Top 5 TV characters I find influential
1. Michael Westen (Burn Notice). He is fit as a fiddle and eats yogurt all the time (and he is HOT)
2. Fiona Gelanne (Burn Notice). See above
3. All contestants on the show So You Think You Can Dance – they are fit and are following their dream
4. Zoe Washburne (Firefly) – strong yet feminine. Loyal. Fit. Independent but still married
5. Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) – see above minus the married part
Soon I progressed to the challenge. Since my house is under renovations and I am relatively new to Toronto, I am not about to have a dinner party. So, here is my list of people I would invite to a party if I could have one this weekend.
Pot luck dinner party – theme is HAVE FUN with the Lochners and bring your signature dish.
|Food category||Guest Name||Dish||Reason|
|Soup||Dionne||Vegetable Soup||One of the best mommy cooks I know and can whip up a meal in a very small area (like a boat!)|
|Appetizer||Andrew/Nadia||Cheese Plate||They know local artisan cheeses and always make a tasty plate for parties. Get on their guest list!|
|Salad||Ted/Erin||A giant green salad||They will pick most of the vegetables from their garden. What is not available will be bought at the local farmer’s market. And I haven’t yet met the newest addition to their family.|
|Vegetable||Suzanne||Grilled Asparagus||Buys her vegetables from the Granville Island Market and always adds a unique flavour and taste to her meals|
|Vegetable||Debbie||Potato Salad||By now, she is probably growing her own potatoes in her new backyard. She is becoming a nutritionist and is a health conscious nut. Debbie and her husband are outdoor enthusiasts.|
|Bean Side Dish||Brigitte||Bean Casserole||She knows how to make it and its yummy. Always has an ear for listening and is as funny as me.|
|Dessert||Blake||Chocolate Chip Cookies||She makes the best cookies with whole wheat flour. She is actually one of the best bakers I know.|
|Protein||Ravi/Cynthia||That spicy meat dish from your wedding||These two are awesome cooks and had the most awesome dish at their wedding (made by a relative but they have also made it). They are fit, athletic and great parents.|
Theresa, your dad was right. I see that clearly with these lists. Every person I have listed here, and many more who have not been included due to space, have helped make me the person I am today. I try my hardest to surround myself with positive people who make me a better person. Whether it is your cooking, exercising, independence or sprit; each one of you have helped me along my path.
Already I know who I have not included (um, I think that delicious Carbonarra sauce is not the best item on this list and you know who you are) and I am sorry to others as well (um, the third gal on the 10 km Chocolate Run this summer or that friend who introduced me to Coconut Oil or those Chris Craft boat fanatics who we ate great meals with while at anchor or my pal who exercises every day). My friends are important to me, and help shape my world.