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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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