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Hurricane Harvey

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Hurricane Harvey turned out to be that unwanted guest that you can’t wait to leave. He came in hot, and then lingered way too long. Normally, when Houston floods, there are some well known areas that get hit, but this time no location went unscathed.

This hurricane didn’t hit us head on, a lot of people say it was the hurricane, when in fact it was the rain that placed Houston underwater. We luckily live on some high ground which saved our home, but we were surrounded by water, making us feel like we were on an island. We couldn’t get out of our neighborhood. You may ask what does this have to do with health and eating right? Everything.

The storm hit Saturday morning and we couldn’t go anywhere until Wednesday morning when one exit out of the neighborhood finally became available. I watched the devastation, heroics and kindness of people who didn’t even live here as they brought their personal boats to rescue people.  It all felt so surreal, like it was happening to someone else, somewhere else.

We woke up Sunday morning to sirens, and diesel trucks passing by our house relentlessly.  After a couple of hours of strong storms, the rain subsided and we decided to see what we could. We passed so many trucks towing boats going the opposite direction and we wondered why there were so many going in the direction of our home. When we turned back around we saw that the bridge that crosses a nearby creek  was flooded like I had never seen before, and further down, the other bridge was flooded as well. Our daughter lives in a subdivision behind us, near where all of this water was going, so we decided to go check on her.

Just three streets behind hers, there was a police officer and several trucks with boats waiting in line for their turn to enter this raging river. The sight was so eerie and frightening, especially since I knew there were houses where the river had erased their rooftops, now no longer visible.

For months now I have been so good  with my eating habits. It’s true that I was at a plateau, but I was feeling stronger, and because of that I didn’t linger on that for too long. I have so many obstacles to jump over when it comes to the reasons why I eat too much, but I had mostly overcome them. Peer pressure eating, not wanting to waste food, bored eating and most of all stress eating. But how do you deal with the prolonged stress of this flood, not being able to do anything or go anywhere? I’m sad to say that I cheated more than once.

True, it was a hurricane induced catastrophic flood event, no one had expected that. It’s a perfectly valid excuse, but I don’t like making excuses for myself. One day we went to the grocery store and came home with a can of pringles chips, a snickers, the small reese’s peanut butter cups and Twix, We ate it ALL. Today is weigh in day and I haven’t weighed myself because I’m afraid of the damage I may have caused.

You would think, now that the storm has passed and we can actually see the sun, that the stress would have gone away, but it is still there existing in another form. Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and we managed to find a restaurant that was open, which was very fortunate. Later during the meal I found myself thinking, “Here I am eating a nice meal when so many others don’t even have a home left.” I felt so guilty. I wanted to ask the waiter how he did through the storm, but felt like that might be rude. He’s working when he may really need to be home helping his family. I’d bet that one in every five survivors we come across are going through something really bad as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

Today was the first day that Starbucks was open. There are three of them in the area and I drove by two before I spied people in the drive through at the last one. I always get an iced latte, which is just coffee and milk. I like it, and it’s one of the lowest calorie coffees you can get there. While waiting in line I looked back at the car behind me. The lady at the wheel looked even more stressed than I’ve been feeling. That’s when I thought about something I heard a long time ago. You never know what people around you may be going through, so treat them like you want to be treated. So I told my barista I wanted to pay for hers. I hope it helped. I like to do this anyway from time to time because once in awhile someone pays for mine and it makes my day and puts a smile on my face.

I’m doing better with the stress today. I bought a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit at McDonald’s this morning, wanting to find comfort in food, but by the time I got home I decided to reduce the 450 calories by only eating half of it. I have to remember to take and applaud one victory at a time. I was able to work out the past two days and I’m going to do it again today. There’s two more victories. I got this.

I’m so proud of Houston and to be able to call it my home. Please remember to think of others. If they are rude or on edge, remind yourself that they may be going through something that you are unaware of.

I apologize if this post seems off topic. How can I not talk about something that devastated our city. I also faced the ultimate stress eating test, and in the end I got back on track.

I also heard this on TV this morning. It goes something like this. “Be kind to those around you. You may be able to put your shoes on this morning, but you don’t know who will be taking them off tonight.”

Eat Well. Live well. Be a survivor, and prosper.

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Galveston Fishing Pier

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Part of my quest to live a healthier life  and lose weight is to become more active in the great outdoors. This Saturday we went to The Galveston Fishing Pier. We’ve been talking about going fishing for years and when my husband’s brother said they wanted to go we said yes.

As a kid my sister and I went fishing with our grandparents every summer at Aransas Pass Texas. They always strung up and baited our lines, and when we caught fish they took them off the hooks, so I knew nothing of doing that myself. My husband and I have been deep sea fishing a few times but on those trips the rods were already set up. I did learn how to take a fish off a hook and set the hook up with squid, but still hadn’t set up a rig on a line.

Wanting to learn to fish, but not knowing where to go in Galveston, we followed his brother’s recommendation to go to The Galveston Fishing Pier. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it was kept up and how friendly all of the staff were. The pier was well kept as well. At the right half of the pier, where it goes off to the sides in a T, the right half was restricted to surf rods at a maximum of 10 feet. We chose to set up on the right side of the pier.

We had already set up our rigs to catch Red Fish and Trout so once we got there we cast our lines in, and almost immediately I caught a small croaker. He was so small and would make great bait, but I threw him back. Shortly after this I caught another one, but the shrimp lure I had rigged up had caught him in the mouth and he had impaled himself into the other treble hook. I gently unhooked him, but determined that he wasn’t going to make it, so we used him as bait.

I had read that people caught lots of red fish and trout here, but no one was catching anything but croaker and baby sharks, so I decided to take this lethal lure off and set up my own rig using a circle hook and weight. I had never set up a rig, I had just learned how to tie a loop knot the night before, but what the heck, no one was catching anything anymore. I managed it and was really proud of it. Soon after I dropped it into the water I caught my first baby shark! My first rig caught a shark. I was so excited! I threw it back and shortly after I caught another. Crazy cool!

His brother caught a beautiful speckled trout and my husband caught a sand trout and they were keepers so we put them in our cooler and ate them that night. Soon after this no one was catching anything for a long time. We were getting hungry so we went off to get some food to go at the restaurant above the peer. The cost of a burger and fries was $10 which was pricey for a burger that was ok but hey it was our first time and we wanted to have the full experience. Yes it was a burger and fries but it was my free day (day to treat myself so I don’t get burned out on eating right). I still practiced some restraint though and only ate half of each.

After a couple more hours of no one catching much of anything we decided to leave around 4:30. We had been fishing for five hours. I got a couple of scoops of chocolate ice cream and we drove to my mom-in-law’s house to hang out for dinner. We finally got home around 11pm but it was such a wonderful day.

We woke up feeling like a truck had hit us, every muscle sore, but I would do it again and hope to soon. Going fishing is kind of off topic for the blog, but not too far off the mark. Getting outside, away from the TV and becoming active is important and this was our first adventure of the summer. I feel good about what we accomplished.

This picture is of me with my little shark. I’m at 230 pounds here.