Hurricanes, Dragon Slaying, and Meltdowns

Devastation in Matunuck Rhode Island - Hurricane Sandy - 10.30.2012I’m from a the smallest state in the nation. Just over a million people call Rhode Island their home but many more visit here and summer here because we truly are The Ocean State. Our coastlines have wooed Hollywood Stars, hosted royalty, and keep millions of people returning annually. Growing up here you see the beauty of the ocean but also its power. Hurricanes can be extremely serious and we’ve had our fair share of destruction but this time Hurricane Sandy gave us something new. We had probably the most time to prepare but all the preparation in the world couldn’t have prevented what happened here on Monday.

Having to evacuate from home is something that is terrifying. We were fortunate that my parents live at high ground since we live on the ocean and we had a place to go. You leave the house and you just have no idea what’s happening. You comb the news and you hope that something will be mentioned about your neighborhood. Then your mind starts to play tricks on you:

Is the house okay?

Did the ocean swell and flood the house?

Did the ocean TAKE the house?

Did the grill fly off the porch and into the neighbors window?

Is anyone hurt?

You can go crazy with these thoughts and watching the news only makes matters worse. As the footage came in from New Jersey & New York we were just horrified because we knew she was coming for us next.

By the time the sun rose on Tuesday morning we took a drive to my house and she was blissfully still there. Getting there was like driving through a maze of fallen trees and power lines. There were detours everywhere you looked. My neighbors had a pine tree on their roof but it did not go through. Then we drove around the corner to the beach pictured above.

The next beach over is a tiny town and there are little cottages and trailers that people use for the summer. There are some residents that are there year round but most have just tucked everything away for the winter. The site was horrendous. Mobile homes flooded and cottages in various stages of destruction. The ocean raged over the road leaving tons — literally TONS — of sand behind and they were using a backhoe to dig to the road. Propane tanks, refrigerators, and personal items were floating in the water. You almost feel guilty coming out unscathed.

Then there’s the weight issue. I’m out of my element, I took my IP foods and journal and stayed on plan. It was much harder. There was an excuse to eat around every corner. I felt like I spent 50 hours slaying the food dragon. It’s exhausting.

By Wednesday, things were heading back to normal. We were still at my parents since we were still out of power but now it’s her birthday and Halloween. That means candy and dinner, and cake. We take her out for Chinese. I order steamed broccoli and shrimp. The table has 2 pu pu platters and all my favorites.

Back to slaying the food dragon.

We go home and get to choose from 4 different kinds of cheesecake or carrot cake or both. I choose air and watch.

DIE Dragon!!

We get in the car and I’m close to losing it. It all just caught up with me. Being away from home, sleeping in a twin bed with trundle with my husband, not having any of my personal things, then having to purchase candy for Halloween, AND then having Chinese food at my favorite Chinese restaurant, and having steamed effen broccoli! I started to cry.

My husband was so apologetic but I tried to explain to him that this is on me. I have to be able to go places and not eat the entire menu. I have to be able to show some self control. I have to be able to put off 3 minutes of flavor to save my LIFE.

He just hugged me tight.

I realized that I just did something that I don’t often do. I had a meltdown. Normally, before I would get to this point I’d be at the mid-way point of a Ben & Jerry’s pint trying to swallow the emotion I didn’t want to feel.

If I’m going to be successful at losing AND MAINTAINING my loss I’m going to have to let it out and let it go and that, my friends, is a non scale victory.

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