PD – Week 4

Responsibility and planning. Two keys to my success have slipped the past week, to the point I am getting frustrated. While the point isn’t necessarily to lose weight, gaining control of my health is more important. I know for a fact the weight will come off. However, without the meal planning (SUS, right Julie?) I end up wandering aimlessly in the kitchen, opening and closing cabinets wondering what I am going to eat for dinner.

Now, it’s been 4 weeks and by no means do I feel as if I am failing. I don’t expect perfection, I do expect consistency. Sometimes, we might have to take 2 steps back, in order to go 1 step forward. With that in mind, I need to get control of the menu planning. Sometimes I wonder, “how was I so successful when I started in 2011?” Maybe I am trying to get too creative on the meals. That’s not to say Julie’s recipes are simple…they are. I know I consistently went back Dr. John McDougall’s book, The McDougall Program, including the very simple recipes that John and his wife included.

This time around, I have been supplementing many of Julie’s recipes with other, plant based, PD friendly recipes. A key to this program is the simplicity. Remember the 1960’s Navy adage, “KISS?” Keep it simple, stupid. Why should I try to outsmart the menu or what we know as PD lifers, works? I know my way around the kitchen, and I can usually throw something together in minutes, given the plethora of ingredients I own. So why doesn’t it seem that simple?

Time. One thing many of us wish we had more of. Time is something I seem to lack once I arrive at home. Once I walk home from school with my son, it’s time to help accomplish homework. In that time, I might be working in and around the kitchen, starting dinner for him and wife or pre-cooking something I might use. This hour to 90 minutes is very important. if I don’t get anything accomplished, chances are dinner is going to be a challenge.

After my son is done, I usually commit 30 minutes to an hour to clean kennels and feed the animals (my wife breeds Bengal cats). It’s my goal to have this finish no later than 5pm, to allow me 90 minutes to cook and clean before heading upstairs to shower and hopefully relax with my wife on the nights I don’t have scouting responsibilities.

In the meantime, I am cooking dinner for both my wife and son, sometimes the same meal, others times not. Maybe I just force my son to eat whatever I cook for my wife. How many of us, I am 48 years old, growing up had to eat whatever our parents put on our plate? I am sure we all did, even had to clean our plate if we wanted to get up. I remember sitting there many times, struggling to eat ratatouille, until it was cold and my milk, was warm. Talk about nasty tasting!

This is what meal planning is so important. The Excel spreadsheet I had on my flash drive has been misplaced with links to recipes and my weekly meals planned. Not that I make this as an excuse, but doing all my shopping ahead of time and planning what meals will fall on what days, what will be eaten for other meals as leftovers really helps me organize my life and limit unnecessary time in the kitchen.

Step Up Your Game

I remember a time about 7 months ago, when I would I hate coming to work. As I was told during training, “you just puke at the door and know you are going to get your ass kicked.” And a majority of the time that was the case, so much so it caused added pressure and stress on an already strenuous on the job training program.

Now, as we approach July, I have made great strides in my work ethic and performance. I am able to take on more responsibility, multitask as I once did at the airlines and be able to type and talk at the same time. But it has not been easy, as growing pains have taught valuable lessons, most of the time learning by my mistakes. Honestly, that has been the best way to learn, while causing the most problems, but it is all part of the job.

Sunday was one of those days, where your 80 minute rotation came and went and you noticed you had worked the entire system nonstop the entire time. This has been some of the best training, on the job, without the added pressure and stress I had during training. No extra eyes watching and scrutinizing your every decision and Monday morning quarterbacking every task.

As I was told, these are good days to work because you do have to “step up your game” in order to keep up with the system or else it will eat you alive. While I was a step or two behind the system I was able to keep all my trains moving, but the amount of radio traffic was unbelievable. Trains in every part of the system making inquiries, requesting information or routes, reading back instructions. But I did a fine job and had the satisfaction of knowing I did a good job.

Just four and a half more years and I think I will be settled in to the position. LOL!