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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Early to Bed, Early to Rise (May 31, 2012)

Not much to say today, except that I walked my dog this evening.  It was not without pain, but I made it once around the neighborhood.  I was going to do 15 minutes on the bike when I got home.  I got started, but my legs were feeling very weak, so I decided I should at least wait a few minutes.   The walk felt pretty tough.  I used to walk so much.  I walked 60 minutes a day on the treadmill with an incline of 7, at up to 4 mph.  No way I could do that now.  Just walking got my heart rate up.  I don't think it was only bad conditioning; a lot of it was that it is more difficult because of my physical limitations.  The weakness in my hips and thighs makes it more difficult.  But it is a start.  I will still ride my bike for most of my workouts, but I wanted to get outside and my dog really needed to drain some energy.  I put his little burberry backpack on him, and off we went  (the added weight drains his energy faster).  The picture was taken earlier (I didn't have a sweater on him today!).  Unfortunately, as I sit here, I am beginning to hurt more.  I will have to decide if it is worth it to keep doing it.

I did get up and do my workout this morning.  I was even able to do intervals.  My armband said I had burned 950 calories by the time I got to work (that's not just from the workout).  We were having a thunderstorm when my alarm went off.  I tried to use the excuse that I might get hit by lightning if I got on my bike this morning.  But I just couldn't make it work in my mind.  So I got up and did it.  Of course, I am glad I did.

Food was on track today.  I need to finish my water, but other than that, it has been a good day.  I got off at a decent hour, thank the Lord.  I was tired.  The day was packed full, though.  Hardly a free moment.  I had 41.5 hours OT on the paycheck I got today.  Makes for a good paycheck, but not much of a life.

I was on plan 30 of 31 days in May, and 33 of the last 34 days.  And the one I didn't count was not far off.  It's a good start.  33 down, 467 to go!

I was about to start an hour-long TV program, but I really should get to bed early.  Guess I'll close early tonight.  So glad tomorrow is Friday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

All Work and No Play (May 30, 2012)

It is almost 9:30 p.m. and I am still at work.  At least I stay busy and don’t think about eating.  Except for those jelly beans back in the mail room.  “Walk away from the jelly beans!”  I only ate 2 – not 2 servings, not 2 cups, not 2 bags – 2 jelly beans.  (I am much more of a "pure sugar" girl than a "chocolate" girl.)

I am going to need a break soon.

I did not do a workout last night.  I did get up and do one this morning, however was feeling tired and legs weak, so did not do intervals – just straight 6R (down to 5R at the end) for 31 minutes or so until I reached 6 miles.

Actually, except for the withdrawal episode yesterday, I have felt amazingly good the last couple of days.  I did take pain meds this morning, but usually, even with the meds, I have to limp quite a bit because it does not take away the radiating pain, just lessens it a little.  I have been walking almost normally yesterday and today.

It makes me wonder, is there that defined of a line when your body says, “Now that you have added those two pounds, I cannot handle this anymore”?  I was down a total of 16 pounds this morning.  That is not my official weigh-in, so who knows if that is what it will say Saturday, but that is where I was this morning.  I don’t know if feeling better will last, or if this is just a brief respite.  But if I am feeling this much better by Saturday, I am going to try walking on “my trail.”  This is a walking trail a few miles from where I live.  I love it and walked on it several times a week a couple of years ago.  It is so stress-relieving and refreshing.  Lots of shade cover.  Texas is very, very hot, so it is tough walking outside in the summer without that shade.  I walked 1-3/4 mile out and 1-3/4 mile back, so 3-1/2 miles.  On weekends, I did that twice a day.  Of course, I would not even attempt that much right now.  I miss it.

I did get my armband to sync this morning.  I have not been wearing it as regularly because it was not working.  Now I can get a good idea of how many calories I am burning, at least according to it.  It also measures steps and how much you sleep.  (If it is accurate, that is scary.  It says I am sleeping 3-4 hours a night, even when I am going to bed at a normal time.  I had a sleep disorder a few years ago, but it had gotten better with weight loss.  I was not getting in a deep enough sleep.  Sounds like it is a problem again.)  I will be interested to see how many steps I took today.  I went up and down the hall to the conference room, it felt like, 50 times tonight.

I was thinking this morning, when I get to where I am going – and I WILL get there – I am going to have quite a life story.  I will have overcome an abusive marriage, battered wife syndrome, and a lifelong battle with weight.  That will be quite an accomplishment for life.  Our mission often comes from our struggles.  When we overcome adversity, we are able to help others do the same.  I sincerely hope so.

Well, I will close it.  It is 10:30 p.m. and I have been sprung!  It is going to be hard to get up and do that workout in the morning….

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Withdrawal Scare (May 29, 2012)

I have a couple of different things on my mind.

First, I have been reading about spondylolisthesis.  One of the conservative treatments is to wear a back brace or corset of some type.  It holds in your abdominal muscles tight to reduce the strain on your back.  (A bigger belly can pull your spine out of alignment more.)  I am halfway thinking about spending $80 on one to see if it helps.  I could (and probably should) go to my doctor about it, but I know that we/the insurance were charged $450 for the brace they prescribed for my daughter after her back surgery, and I could get it for far less directly.  Since I have not met any of my deductible, I am trying to save money.  I can’t see how wearing a corset sometimes could hurt me, and it just might help enough to give me some relief until I get more weight off.  In the meantime, I need to be doing core strengthening exercise.

The other thing I am thinking about is that Sunday is my birthday.  My kids are planning to take me out to dinner this weekend.  I think it is okay to splurge some on your birthday, if you plan for it, right?  So I am going to hold back on the 200 calories a day I started to add on Saturday to make room for a bigger meal on the weekend.  That would be kind of like saving up your extra points on WW for one event, right?  I am going to do my best to get 4 workouts done over the weekend to help counteract it too.

Interestingly, I got on the scale yesterday evening because I was curious how much effect my splurge-meal had on me.  I felt like I overdid a little.  But I weighed only 2 more pounds then than I did that morning, and that happens most every day if you weigh in the morning without any food in your stomach.  This morning I weighed less than I did yesterday morning, so I am good with that!  I did have some temptation yesterday evening to follow through with more eating (that old, “well, I blew it today, so I might as well blow it all the way” excuse).  I told myself that even if I did “blow it” – which I obviously did not – I would feel better if I did not follow those urges and did no further damage that day.  I knew it would make a difference on how I felt this morning, too, since it is important to get right back to the basic plan after a splurge.  So I did not eat anything and I did feel better for it this morning.

I had a strong workout this morning.  I was able to do my intervals without stopping to rest and generally felt strong doing them.  That was good!  I need to get a workout in every evening this week that I do not have to work too late.  I still will not get 10 workouts in, but that’s okay.  I will get as many as I can.

I did feel fairly well rested and ready to get back to my routine this morning.  I do so much better when I am on a routine.  I guess I need to create one for “off-work” days.  Like get up so much time ahead of whatever I have to do that day to get my workout done, have set times to drink my water, so I don’t neglect it, plan my meals, etc.

I actually have felt pretty good today.  I did not have enough pain this morning to need any pain medication.  I was sitting here this afternoon and all of a sudden these strong withdrawal feelings started coming over me.  I was wondering what in the world was going on because I haven’t quit taking any medication.  But I realized I had not had any pain meds yet today and I can’t remember how late in the day I took one yesterday, so it had been a while since I had had any.  It is hard to describe the feeling, but in one way I feel like I could fall asleep at the drop of a hat and in another way I feel extremely restless, like restless legs.  I also feel like I want to eat everything in sight.  Very strongly.  I did go ahead and take a half of a pill.  When I have to get off the meds this time, I will get off of them much more slowly than I did last time.  I weaned myself off for a time last time, but then when I thought I should be “over it,” I quit cold turkey and it turns out I had a lot more withdrawal to go.  This is when I gained a lot of weight.

I went off of them last time because the headache specialist said they were causing rebound headaches.  He wanted to put me in the hospital for five days and run me through a detox.  It is done with some kind of IV meds and they get all the drugs out of your system in a short amount of time without all the withdrawal symptoms.  I did not feel like I could take another five days off work at the time (I had already been out for two surgeries that year), and so I decided to get off them myself over a longer period of time.  But I should have drawn it out longer.  It was not worth gained weight.  Maybe this time I will do it the way the doctor wanted to do it.  It will depend on time and money.

Just so you know, I do not have withdrawal because I take too much of the drugs or take them more often than I am supposed to.  In fact, I take less than I could and not as often as I could.  It’s just that when you are on them for a prolonged amount of time, your body gets accustomed to them and you go through withdrawal.  It seems to have happened more quickly this time, since it was less than a year since I got off of them before.  I had been taking them some in the months before, but I tried to limit them to every 3 days or so, because I did not want to get dependent on them again.  But it was a choice of either being in enough pain where I was not functioning effectively, or take them again for a time while I try to permanently improve the situation.  Next time I may have to have someone tie me to the bed and put me to sleep as much as possible.  I’m kidding, but it is not pleasant and I don’t want to gain weight.  So I will do a long-term wean off of them this time.  I did a lot of reading last time and it said exercise was a good thing to do during feelings of withdrawal.  I can see that.  But I have to be in good enough physical shape to be able to do that.  And sometimes it was hitting me at work, and I can’t leave to go do a workout.

Feeling this withdrawal feeling again was scary, though.  I know why I ate all the time.  That’s what I wanted to do when this hit me.  I tried to drink a lot of water, get up and walk around and go talk to someone to take my mind off of it.  I took the half pill and felt better after a little bit.  I am going to have to be prepared for everything when the time comes this time.  But I really do not think I am going to be well enough quite yet to get off the meds.  This was just an unusual occurrence of feeling better for a few hours.

Most of this was written earlier in the day and it is now 8:06 p.m. and I am still at work.  Time to wrap it up and go home.  I don’t guess there will be a workout tonight.  I might try to do 15 minutes when I get home, but we will see.  There is going to be a whole lot of OT on this next paycheck!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Splurge Meal and a Look At the Past (May 28, 2012)

So I had my splurge meal today.  The biggest problem with it was that it was a little open-ended – mostly before the meal was supposed to start.  I cooked today.  I like to cook when I have time and I like to try new recipes that I see on cooking shows.  Today’s meal was a big undertaking.  For dessert, I wanted to make a Berry Brioche Bread Pudding from a recipe I saw.  I decided to make the Brioche myself.  I didn’t realize how complicated the recipe would be.  Not that it was too hard, I just didn’t know it required being in the refrigerator overnight, so I had to delay my splurge meal a day.  The Brioche recipe made 3 loaves (so the recipe said).  I only needed a little for my bread pudding.  If I made the Brioche again, I would make it 2 loaves, at the most – maybe even just one.  By the time the dough rose to double in size for the last rise, it only came halfway up the sides of the loaf pan.  The Brioche loaves I have seen are very tall.  The texture was wonderful and the bread very good, but I thought the recipe was faulty in that way.

So, I only needed a little of one loaf and we had 3.  We did a little snacking on the rest of the bread.  I did a little – my daughters did a lot!  All before my meal was done.

The meal I cooked was Ultimate Beef Tacos (from Tyler Florence).  I made most of the components he had with the meal, including the roast corn and the guacamole.  It took a lot of time to get all that done.  I did the guacamole early and we did some snacking on it with Multigrain Tostitos I had bought for the occasion.  The guacamole was really good.  By the time I ate the rest of my meal with two tacos (which I couldn’t finish) and two ears of corn with the topping, I was very full.  Then I ate my bread pudding (which was delicious, only I would have liked some ice cream on it; the berries were very tart; but the bread pudding was awesome).  When I finished all that, I was miserably full.  The tacos did not turn out as good as I hoped, but everything was good.  I just didn’t feel as good about it since I began with the bread and then chips and guacamole and then the meal and dessert.  That was too much.  However, we ate mid-afternoon, so it was basically my lunch and dinner and that should lessen its effect.

When I got up this morning, something set off those feelings of wishing I could fast forward to further in this process.  Again, I reminded myself how important the process is because that is where the life-long changes are made.  What set it off was wanting to wear some smaller clothes I have in my closet.  My motive is never that I want to go back to eating uncontrollably.  It is usually that I want the results – nicer clothes, less pain, etc. – sooner.

I don’t know if I will cook a big meal like that again for a while.  It is a lot for me in my current condition.  It absolutely wears me out by the time I cook everything and then get it cleaned up.  There was so much to do to get the meal all done that I wasn’t very neat while I was cooking, which made a lot of clean-up.  That is why the plan that I have now works for me.  I save the energy it takes to prepare meals and to clean up to get my workouts done, etc.  I still need that for a while, especially as many hours as I work.  Of course, I can cook meals that take a lot less trouble than the one I cooked today.  I just have to find a balance.  I don’t think I am going to get a workout done tonight.  I have been on my feet too much and I am exhausted.

I am trying to go through things I might want get rid of in preparation for moving on September 1.  I was going through my books and I found a journal I had kept (for a short time) in 2006.  This was a couple of years after my divorce.  I had actually tried to reconcile my marriage during the months prior to this.  That was more about trying to do what I thought was right, as opposed to what I really wanted.  I also think I was still acting out of that same mentality that caused me to be diagnosed with battered wife syndrome.  I tended to look at things as my fault a lot.  When I was writing in this journal, I had just found out that my ex had remarried.  Now, I know that was the best thing that could have happened, because I let go and now I am so glad a reconciliation never happened.  As far as I can tell, he is still as delusional and “not well” as he ever was.  He does nothing to try to have a relationship with his children, yet he went to a great effort to try have me declared an unfit mother.  I am quite sure he would tell you it was all my fault and all of that is one big reason I was a “battered” wife.  It was not physical abuse, but emotional, psychological and spiritual.  Getting free from that, frankly, was the best thing to happen to me.  It was at that point, when I finally let go, that I started getting better.  Thank God He did not allow that reconciliation to happen!!!  It would have been disastrous for me.

Anyway, reading the journal helped me see how very far I have come.  My self-esteem was so low at that time, it almost did not exist.  I think getting free from that was the strongest thing I have ever done.  Two of my children predict that if I had not gotten out when I did, they would be dead.  My daughter actually attempted suicide three times and my son was on a destructive path that probably would have led him to death by some destructive behavior.  I am so thankful I got away from it when I did.  I see now that I am much more able to make decisions to make changes and actually stick to them than I was then.  I just wish I had gotten there before I developed all these physical problems.

So, I have enjoyed the rest this weekend, but I am kind of ready to get back to routine tomorrow.  I need to get focused again.  I know in this life-long journey of weight loss and then weight maintenance, there will be many times when I lose focus and I have to find a way to get through and get it back.  I have not totally lost focus, but I don’t feel as focused as I did for the past month.  So I have to be careful to get right back to the things that will ensure my success.  I did a workout this morning, but it was kind of hard to make myself do it after not doing one for the last two days.  I wish I could have taken a walk or something, because I was more in the mood for that, but the recumbent bike has to be it for now.  So tomorrow morning, it is back to it!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Busy Weekend (May 27, 2012)


Yesterday was a good day and a tough day.  Although it was a day that I think I did well enough to lose weight, it is not a day that I am going to count toward my 500.

First of all, I decided to add 200 calories to my “allowance” because I have been getting hungry consistently.  Yesterday I spent those 200 calories by eating an extra protein bar.  That did the trick yesterday.  I ate on plan all day, except I had bought some multi-grain Tostitos to go with my splurge meal (which I was not eating yesterday).  My daughter opened them when the groceries were brought in and left the bag sitting open on the counter.  I ate 3 of them as I went back and forth putting up groceries.  I know that is not that bad and I am not such a perfectionist that I would let that ruin my day.  I barely drank any water all day.  I drank two Topo Chicos (sparkling mineral water I love), and a few sips of regular water when I was taking medication, and that was all I drank!  (I do count the Topo Chicos as part of my water allowance.  It just has to be less than half of what I drink all day because it doesn’t seem to hydrate me as well as regular water.  There is nothing in it but mineral water and CO2, but it still doesn’t seem to do what regular water does.)

I went to my son’s “concert” last night.  This concert was a “memorial” concert for his friend, Chad, who was killed tragically on December 26, 2011.  They were raising money for Chad’s two small children, who now have no father.  (These guys could give us all a lesson about what true love and friendship is.)  We got there at 10:00 and his band did not start performing until near midnight.  We (my daughters and I) stayed until around 12:45 and headed on home.  I think his band is very good (although I, personally, think, musically, it would be a lot better if they turned the volume down; it was so loud, you cannot hear the blending of the instruments and harmonies as well; but such is the nature of music in a bar).  I cannot say I was entirely comfortable with the genre or the time of the concert, but I wanted to be there to support my son.  I found out today how very much that meant to him.  He hugged me and cried and told me, at least 10 times, he couldn’t tell me how much it meant to him that I was there and said thank you over and over again.  I had no idea that making such a small effort to do this for him would mean that much to him and I am sooooooooooo glad I did.  When I went to his friend’s funeral in December, I knew how I would have felt if it had been my son who was killed so tragically and suddenly and how I would have felt if I had never even made an effort to go hear his band, something that means so much to him.  So, since this is a 3-day weekend and I have time to rest up after a very late night, I thought this was a good time to do that.

I knew that my son thinks the world of me (if anyone in his life has stuck with him through thick and thin, it has been me), but it was demonstrated once again last night.  He introduced me to several of his friends and when they found out who I was, their eyes would light up and they would tell me how highly my son speaks of me all the time.  It seems he tells everyone what an awesome mom he has.  I guess I have a done a little something right in my lifetime.  :)

I did not eat or drink anything at the concert.  I am not much of a drinker and, even if I was, I didn’t have room for it in my calories.  When I got home, the chips and salsa were still sitting there (!), and I ate 2 more with salsa.  I decided before bed that I was not going to be able to count this day as an “on plan” day (no workouts, no water, and unfocused on my eating).  Then I ate another protein bar.  Lol.  I still think I ate in such a way that I could lose weight from it.  So it’s good that I can have a day that is not technically on plan, but is still good enough that I would lose weight from it.  I stepped on the scales last night (I know, I probably do this too often, but it doesn’t seem to affect my motivation).  I weighed less then than I did at weigh-in yesterday morning.

I was going to have my splurge meal today, but…one of the things I was going to cook was a Berry Brioche Bread Pudding.  I am not sure where you even get Brioche around here (I am sure you can), but I decided to make my own.  So I started it late this morning after sleeping late.  I did not realize how complicated it is.  You make a sponge and later mix up your dough, and its second rising has to be overnight in the refrigerator.  So, I could probably go try to find a place to buy a loaf of Brioche, but then when mine was done tomorrow, I wouldn’t get to eat any and that wouldn’t be any fun.  So I decided to put off my splurge meal until tomorrow.

It is interesting to me that putting it off until tomorrow is so easy for me.  I would rather the meal be as special as I want to make it, rather than less so and get to eat it today.  That shows a lack of desperation to eat off my plan.  That is good!  That is progress!

I still have not worked out yet this weekend.  I’ve just been busy with other things.  I did walk around in stores for two hours yesterday.  I went and bought some of the “splurgy” things I talked about yesterday.  I had some clothing budget ($100) and had been intending to buy two pairs of shoes I found online at Dallas Shoe Warehouse.  However, my friend at work has been getting some cute wedges (which is what I wanted) at Target and I wanted to at least see what they had.  So I got two pairs of wedges at Target for half the price I would have gotten them online.  I used the rest of the $100, and more, on getting some costume jewelry to go with outfits I bought last month.  (Wearing jewelry does so much to make me feel like I am taking care of myself in how I dress.  If I am wearing jewelry every day, you know I am feeling good about myself.  If I don’t, you know I don’t feel like putting forth the effort because I am not feeling great about myself.)  I also ordered me some Chloe perfume (my favorite) online.  I have been having trouble finding it at stores these days.  I am also going to get a couple of things from Avon – some bubble bath and bath items I enjoy.  I used to sell Avon, so I am familiar with their products and like some of their stuff.

My last stop was the grocery store.  I only bought a few things for my meal tomorrow.  I was in the self check-out line, about to start putting stuff on the conveyor belt, when this lady comes and asks if she can go in front of me, since she only had three things.  I must admit I wasn't feeling too charitable.  I was in a lot of pain because I had been walking around stores for two hours.  And it wasn't like I had a whole basket-ful of groceries.  I thought she was being pretty presumptuous to do that.  But I told her to go ahead and (somewhat) hid my grouchiness about it.

I was in quite a bit of pain after walking around the stores, but at least I wasn’t sedentary.  Then there was a bit of walking associated with going to the concert last night, so that was a lot more activity than I usually get, other than my bike rides.

I am on track with my food today.  I need to get busy on my water or I am not going to get it done today either!

I will make my splurge meal tomorrow.  I plan to have it done by mid-afternoon.  That way I have time to clean up afterwards and still have a bit of free time in the evening to rest up for the work week.  One good thing about 3-day weekends – they are almost always followed by 4-day work weeks!

So it’s almost the end of the day and I did not get a workout done.  With working so much last week, going to the wedding Friday night and going to the concert last night, I have been really tired.  I could have gotten them done today, but I am not going to feel guilty about taking a break.  Last week was not a normal week.  I will get 2 done tomorrow, and at least 1 each weekday morning this week, which will make six.  I will do one every evening after work that I don’t have to work too late.  If all I get is six, I will be okay with that, as long as I don’t make a habit of it.  The point is, I am developing a lifestyle of being more active.  There will always be things in life to intervene, but as long as, overall, you are leading an active life, that is the goal.

Splurge day tomorrow!  Lots of cooking tomorrow, beginning with finishing out with the bread in the morning and not too long after that, starting my meat that has to cook for three hours.  I finished today 70 calories under my new allowance.  I feel satisfied, so why eat more?  I did not do Subway tonight.  I made myself a lower calorie grilled cheese and had some minestrone soup and then some strawberries.

Guess I will close out this long post.  Have a great holiday tomorrow!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Some Thoughts About Gluttony, Among Other Things (May 26, 2012)


I slept until 10:30 this morning.  10:30!  I guess I was really tired.
My nephew, Jared, and his new bride’s (Kari) wedding was very sweet.  I am so glad I got to go and it was nice to see family.  I got to visit with one of my sisters (mother of the groom) and my brother for a little while.  But I had to leave before the festivities were completely over.  I was just worn out.  No way I felt I should do a workout when I got home.  9 workouts is good and I need to not be such a perfectionist.

Weddings have a strange effect on me since my divorce.  Listening to the vows, I sometimes feel guilty.  I am a committed Christian and I believe in the importance and sanctity of marriage.  I believe in “until death do you part.”  I wish the Bible had more (or something) to say about abuse in marriages.  When I hear the vows about “for better or worse” – vows I took – I sometimes feel guilty.  However, I do not believe God intended me to live in “hell” for the rest of my life.  The covenant of marriage was broken long before I decided to leave, and I was not the one who broke it.  I stayed in it as long as I could (probably longer than I should have), until it was becoming dangerous and detrimental to me and my children.  My ex will tell you a far different story, but that was part of the abuse.  He was delusional.  So, once again, I have to talk myself out of these feelings of guilt.  The fact that I have guilt proves that I believe in the covenant of marriage.  Perhaps if my husband had kept the vows he made, I would not have had to leave.  Being “faithful” means so much more than being monogamous.  I will stop there, but there is so much more to the story, and I suppose I will be dealing with the effects for the rest of my life.
This morning was weigh-in and my weight was 287.6, a loss of .8.  I have no explanation for that except that the body just does that sometimes.  I weighed less than that earlier in the week.  I did not vary from my plan.  And I am obviously smaller and clothes fitting looser.  So it will show up on the scale at some point.

I have not done a workout yet today.  I still might get two done, but may not do but one.  I was really tired and sometimes you have to listen to your body.  But sitting around too much is not helpful, so I will have to be careful.

I have a pretty moderate headache at the moment.  Sometimes it is all about neck position and keeping those muscles relaxed.  I put my neck collar on, and that will help, and also took a half of a muscle relaxant.  (The picture shows my neck collar that I have had since my neck surgery.  I do not have to wear it now, but I find it helps remind me to keep my neck in the right position.  So I put it on when the headache started getting worse.  Sorry, I look pretty rough in the picture, but hey, it’s Saturday at home!)
I went back to my chair after putting on my collar, and this is what I found.  The little devil.  This is what he did to my shoe last night.  It’s not his fault.  I should have put my shoes up where he could not get to them and he is not being walked like he should be to help drain his energy.  He was cooped up at home all by himself yesterday and it is no wonder he is looking for ways to amuse himself.  I will be so glad when I can get to where I can walk him – and rollerblade him and jog him!  Lol.  He will behave better then.  Maybe I can get to where at least I can take him around with a bicycle.  I am not sure if that will be harder or easier than walking.  It is a little less weight bearing than walking, but a little more strenuous.

My wedding anniversary is in 2 days.  Don’t really feel anything about that except so glad I am free from certain situations.  It would have been 29 years.  (I hope to find my soul mate one of these days and have a marriage like I always wanted.)  The other thing is, a week from Sunday is my 52nd birthday.  I’ve been thinking I might buy a few “splurgy” things for myself.  Some perfume, some costume jewelry, a little bit higher quality bubble bath than I have, etc.  Nothing terribly expensive, but fun.  I have worked hard and it’s my birthday.  So I can do that for myself.  (I was raised to be pretty frugal, so this is hard for me sometimes.)

My son is having a big concert with his band tonight.  I am going to try to go, because I know it is very important to him.  It will be very late tonight at a venue I am not entirely comfortable with (never been to bars, much), but I want to do this for my son.  At least it is a 3-day weekend and I can rest up.  My son is the one on the left in both pictures (bass guitar).  The other guy in the picture on the right and second from the right in the next picture was killed tragically on December 26, 2011.  The concert is a memorial concert for him.

The Last Romantica
I will wrap this up with one more thought. There was a program on television (one of those crime shows on ID) and the narrator was talking about gluttony, one of the seven deadly sins.  (In this case, it had nothing to do with food or eating.)  But it got me  to thinking.  When the Bible “condemns” gluttony, I have always had this picture of an angry God, demanding that you tow the line and “straighten up!”  But it hit me, gluttony is not one of the seven deadly sins because God condemns you for eating too much, it is because He knows the effect it will have on you and He loves you and wants better things for you.  He knows gluttony will lead to an unhealthy body, unhealthy emotions and be bad for you in almost every way.  He wants you to be happy and well and fit, because He knows that is what is best for you.  It is not that He does not want you to have fun and enjoy yourself.  I think so many people have that view of God about almost everything He says not to do.  It is not because He is this big disciplinarian in the sky who wants to keep you from having fun.  It’s because He is trying to protect you from things that will destroy you, just like you would do for your children.  I don’t remember what the other of the seven deadly sins are at the moment, but I bet if we looked at them, the same thing would be true for all of them.  They will destroy you if left unchecked.  Unfortunately, religion has given us that false concept of God.  I am thankful that He showed me yet another example where I have not known Him as He truly is.  He loves me and wants what is best for me.  That is why He doesn’t want sin – in this case, gluttony – to run rampant in my life.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!  Thank you to all of the soldiers and military persons who have sacrificed for our country.  We can never repay the debt for the sacrifices you have made.  God Bless America!

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Challenge and a Victory (May 25, 2012)


What a crazy day – and end to a crazy week.  I am extremely tired and my body seemed to be saying, “Enough already, girl!”  I worked until 10:30 last night, but got up again and worked out.  Just a light workout, but still 30 minutes.

I went to my nephew’s wedding tonight.  Thankfully, I held up all right and didn’t have to do too much standing.  It was fun to see family and to see my nephew get married.

I did 9 workouts this week.  I think to do the 10th tonight would probably be a bit obsessive.  I am glad I decided to make the 10 workouts a goal, rather than an absolute requirement to staying on plan.  Sometimes things intervene that are beyond your control.

I stopped and got something to eat before the wedding, so I didn’t feel too tempted at the wedding.  I didn’t know if they were going to be serving dinner, and if they did, whether it would be anything that would fit into my plan.  I thought it was better to be safe than sorry.  As it turned out, they catered Italian food, and it looked pretty good.  I did not eat it, however.  They had a table with fruit, so I ate some fresh fruit.  I did not eat any cake and I did not eat any of the candy they had laying around at the reception.  They had food like you would buy at a drive-in movie, because of the theme at their reception.  Normally, I would be very tempted by that, but I am very focused right now, so was not tempted.  I was glad to have the fresh fruit.  I had calories left and that is what I would have used them for at home.  So, this was my first real challenge in a social setting and I was victorious.  Yay me!

My weight appears to be being very stubborn right now, although official weigh-in is tomorrow morning.  If I do not lose, I know it is nothing I did wrong.  Sometimes your work just does not show on the scale right away.  It will eventually.  The looser clothing and seeing that I look smaller will have to motivate me this week, if the scale does not.

Well, I am falling asleep while sitting here, so guess I’d better turn in.  Thank God it is a 3-day weekend.  I need to rest.




Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Little Dangerous! (May 24, 2012)

My daughter snapped this picture of us the other day at the restaurant on Mother’s Day.  I actually don’t hate it.  I have always been pretty young looking.  What do you think?  Not too bad for (about to be) 52?

I want to remember to say today – I am noticing a difference in how I look.  Monday, I was standing on the elevator going up to my floor at work (there are mirrored doors), and I noticed a difference in the area under my bust.  There was more “definition” there or something.  My clothes are fitting a tad looser.  It feels good!

I worked until 11:30 p.m. last night (a 15-1/2 hour work day) and got home at 12:05 or so.  Of course, it took me a few minutes to actually get in the bed, so it was at least 12:30 or after before I got to sleep.  I still got up at 5:00 this morning and did my workout!  There were two motivations for this.  One, I knew I would get more out of a workout than out of an extra hour of sleep that still would not be enough.  The second was, I wanted to see the data on my BodyMedia Fit armband after a workout.  So, I got it done.  That is 8 for the week.

I got to work and hooked up my armband to the computer and…nothing.  Something did not work right.  I don’t know if it did not record the data or if I am doing something wrong to sync the device with the computer.  I will have to figure it out.

To set up your profile, they (BodyMedia) have you answer questions about your goals.  What kind of workouts you are doing and how active you are, as well as how many calories you are eating.  I tried to estimate on the lower side of how active I am.  I think I am actually a little more active than I indicated, but I would rather underestimate than over-estimate.  It also asked how much you want to lose.  I picked the highest one on that one, which was two pounds a week.  To do that, it said I would need to burn 1000 more calories per day than I eat, so my target burn was 2400.  Based on the information I entered, it estimated that I would be burning 4,136 calories a day!  So, with the amount of calories I am eating (1400 – although it is usually in the 1200s or 1300s), I have a calorie deficit of 2,736 a day!  I don’t know if that is right – it remains to be seen how many calories I am really burning – but even if it is half that much, I should be losing at a good rate.

It had a deal down the bottom calculating how long until my goal if I lose 2 pounds a week.  I would get there on August 13, 2013 and I have 446 days to go!  (I thought this was funny in light of my 500 days focus.)

I will probably increase my calories slightly next month.  We will see.  I don’t want to set them too low.  So far this is working, but I have been getting a little hungry lately.

It has been a very hectic day and I am very tired and sleepy.  I have to work late again tonight (but hopefully not as late as last night).  It is almost 9:00 p.m.  I was feeling kind of dangerous a while ago.  I have been hungry all day, and I am tired and kind of irritable.  I didn’t want to have to report to you tomorrow that I made the choice to go off my plan.  I know it happens and it is only natural that it will happen sometimes, but I don’t want to do it without a fight.  I am so close to getting my splurge meal and I really wanted to be able to say I got through an entire month on plan.  I did do one thing, though.  I had 39 calories left for the day.  I went back to the mail room to see what kind of candy was back there.  Thankfully, the chocolate was gone.  But I ate one piece of butterscotch (hard candy), which had 23 calories.  So I’m still on plan!  Lol.

Going to bed and getting some sleep is what I really need and I am going to do that very soon.

Time to close up and go home.  Good night all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Problem With Pleasing (May 23, 2012)

This would be a day, if I acted like I “used to,” that I would go downstairs to get me something sweet to eat to assuage my stress/frustration, etc.  But since this is the “new” me, I am not going to do that.  It will do absolutely no good (I am talking to myself), and will only add guilt and anger toward myself to deal with if I do that.

It started with feeling extremely sleepy this morning.  I took some melatonin last night to help me get some good sleep.  I don’t ever remember it making me feel this draggy, but I could barely stay awake driving to work and I was falling asleep at my desk when I got here.  I finally gave up and went and got me a SF Red Bull.  I told myself I was never going to drink one of those again, since I have read too much about aspartame slowly poisoning you and being linked to MS and Alzheimer’s.  If it had not been so extreme this morning, I would not have done it.  From now on, no sleep meds on a work night, unless I am having an extreme problem.  And no more aspartame!

Then, I had a pretty hectic morning.  It seems like my phone at work has been ringing off the hook and I hate talking on the phone.  Plus it is the constant interruption.  Then my main boss came in, in a not-too-good mood.  That is kind of unusual.  He griped at me about something (which is also unusual) and that got me in a bad mood.  I am in a mood to be left alone, and that is probably not going to happen often when you work for three litigation attorneys, and it sure is not happening today!

On top of it all, I am going to have to work late.  I expected that, because Jerry is going out of town and I will not only have to stay late tonight, but probably tomorrow night, to make sure we get all caught up before his trip.  And it will likely be a very late night.  My neck is all tight and I feel that stab between my shoulder blades, which means I am all tensed up.  Time for a muscle relaxant or an increasingly bad headache will follow.  I can only take a half, unless I am going to bed, but a half helps.

I am realizing one of the things that is affecting my mood.  I do not like it when someone is less than pleased with me.  I have always been this way and I knock myself out trying to make sure everyone is happy with me.  But you cannot please everyone, all the time, and this is something I need to overcome.  (No wonder I was such a mess when I was married.  There was no pleasing that man.  Wow, this is a revelation.  I think that was the main reason I was so down on myself.  And I ate to stuff it down.)  I can think of a couple of books on the subject I need to read.  One of them I already have and I know of one by Joyce Meyers on this subject.  I think this probably fuels my overeating more often than I realize.  So it is something I need to deal with.  I am glad I recognized it today.  Incidentally, not too long after my boss griped at me, he was back to “Good job!”  He’s just under pressure.

Now I am regretting my decision to not work out last night, because I forgot we have a wedding to go to Friday night, so I am probably going to have trouble getting that 10th workout in this week.  I guess that’s not terrible, but I want to meet the goal.  So hopefully I can at least get 15 minutes done tonight and 15 minutes tomorrow or Friday night.

Thankfully, this weekend I get a splurge meal.  I haven’t decided which meal it will be or what it will be, but I am thinking I will probably cook.  I’ve been wanting to try some new dishes.  One thing I want to make is a Berry Brioche Bread Pudding.  Probably nobody else in my family will eat it, because one daughter is not eating sugar and the other does not like berries.  My son has been trying to cut down a little too and doesn’t crave sweets like the rest of us.  But this recipe makes individual servings in ramekins, so I figured out how to pare it down to one serving.  That way I won’t be tempted to eat any leftovers.  I will probably make this even if I do decide to go out to eat for my splurge meal.  I can come home for dessert.  But I do have this one meal I am thinking about cooking.  I will have to decide what I am most hungry for when the time comes.  We may want to cook out for Memorial Day Weekend.  I may make some homemade rolls too.  That sounds good.

My BodyMedia Fit armband came in!  I got it charged up and put it on this afternoon, so I haven’t seen any results yet.  I will be curious to see how many calories I burn in a day.

I have felt pretty good today.  My walking has been pretty good (not so much of a limp today).  And only slight headaches (as long as I head this tightness in my neck off before it progresses).  If I was going home now, I would just put the heating pad on it, but since I have to work late, I will use the muscle relaxant.

Well, I’m going to go across the street and get my Subway sandwich so I stay on track while working late tonight.  There is candy in the mailroom and I don’t want to go near it.  It hasn’t been bothering me, but I don’t want to get really hungry and let it start calling to me while I am working late.

26 down (almost), 474 to go!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What Next (May 22, 2012)

Lest anyone think I had an off day (lol), I thought I'd better at least post and say that I had an on track day.

I felt a little better today, thank the Lord.  Got my 6th workout of the week done.  I probably should have done a workout tonight, but did not.  I know I can do it Friday night, if not before, because my boss will be out of town Friday.  Hopefully I can get it before then.  Of course, I will have #'s 7, 8 and 9 on the next 3 mornings.

I actually had eaten few enough calories today so that, after dinner, I could eat two servings of fruit!  I had some frozen peaches and some yummy strawberries.  I love warm weather for the fruit (but do not like the hot Texas summers!).  I like cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, watermelon, peaches, etc. that you get in the hot weather months.

I am considering joining WW in June or after.  If I do, I will do it online at first, because there is not a meeting convenient for me while I am living in Midlothian.  I cannot count on getting to go during my lunch hour and the one nearest on Saturday morning is further than I am probably going to get to early on Saturday (I know me well enough to know that).  When I move downtown on September 1, I think I will be able to find one on Saturday I would go to.

Anyway, I think WW will help train me to make things work with everyday foods.  Whatever type foods any given authority says are the best for you, you can make them work on WW.  I know when I was losing weight in 2009, I was eating pretty low fat and took advantage of the "low fat" convenience foods on the market and that is the only time in my life I have been near diabetic.  I have since read that having a little more fat (the right kind) is better than these extremely high glycemic foods.  I know it is all a balance, and after I began trying this idea, I know I was eating too much fat, at times.  WW will help me keep it in check.  I seem to lose weight and keep it off better on higher protein and less carbs, especially simple carbs.  I want to eat real foods and be able to cook tasty meals, instead of just eating chicken breast and salad all the time.  It is a lifestyle and that is what I have to learn.  A couple of years ago, I worked out a lot more -- many times two hour-long workouts a day, and sometimes a third one during lunch, and I was able to eat more calories that way and was more satisfied.  I think 3 workouts a day is probably a little obsessive, but the point is, I want to be able to get more exercise and eat a little more as opposed to have severely restricted calories.  By the way, that third workout came from training for a stair climb that was being sponsored by my building, so I was climbing stairs during my lunch hour. (I got to 54 floors!)

Right now, my calories have to be lower because there is only so much I can do as far as burning calories.  I like the plan I am on, a lot of the time, because I don't have to plan or worry about what I am going to eat.  I was in a rush to leave for work this morning before I even thought about it, and I was so happy I just had to grab my protein bar and chips and run.  When the box of chips I have runs out, though, I think I am going to eat sweet potato "fries" a lot of the time.  They have about the same number of calories and are much healthier.  At least they are "real" food.  Then, next month, I will mix in other meals when I have time and feel up to cooking them.

Anyway, those are just some of thoughts for what lies ahead.  A lot of the bloggers I have read about use WW.  It is very versatile.

Well, off to bed.  3 more days and then a 3-day weekend.  Yay!!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spondylolisthesis (May 21, 2012)

Last night was kind of rough.  I woke up with pain and had to take meds to get back to sleep.  You know how everything seems worse in the middle of the night?  I became worried that I am getting worse.

I did some reading today about spondylolisthesis, which is the most acute problem I have in my back (I do not remember if I have grade 3 or 4, but it is more than 2).  I thought I had read up on this, but I guess I had it in my mind my problem is stenosis and that is what I have read about.  I do have some stenosis, but I remember the doctor telling me the “spondy” (don’t want to keep typing that big word) was what they would treat if they did surgery, since it was my most severe problem.  After reading about it, it makes more sense.  It definitely goes along with my symptoms.

If my sisters are reading this and I am wrong, please correct me.  But I remember my mother telling me the doctor said I had been born with a form of spina bifida (my backbone barely grew together).  This could be where the spondy came from (or at least predisposed me to it).  Spondy can also cause all the pinched nerve and sciatica symptoms I have.  But the weakness I feel in my hips and thighs is definitely one of the symptoms associated with it.

Fortunately, spondy does respond to weight loss.  It may not fix it, but it will certainly help.  My doctor seemed pretty positive that it would.  I just hope my body will hold on a little longer while I get some more weight off.  I am starting to hurt more, just sitting in a chair.  (I do not, however, hurt when I ride my bike, thank the Lord.)

I wish I knew what position it is best to sleep in.  I seem to do better when I sleep in my recliner, but sometimes that bothers my neck (which I had surgery on almost a year ago).  I just have to make sure I am sitting up high enough where I am not resting on my elbows and jamming my neck into my collarbone.  I am going to try a little more elevation in my bed tonight and see how I do with that.

I am also going to get back to doing my physical therapy exercises and work on strengthening my core.  I have to be careful not to overdo, but I feel confident those exercises will be okay for me.  Twisting is definitely something I should not do.  It will set off a bad flare-up in a couple of minutes.  The recumbent bike also helps with my core.

One good thing about pain is it is a good motivator.  Getting this weight off is my biggest hope to feeling better.

I would appreciate your prayers.  I am ready for my life not to be so consumed with pain.  I know it is going to get better.  I am just going to keep plugging along with what I have been doing, knowing it will help me more than anything.

By the way, I have already done 5 workouts toward my goal of 10 for the week.  And it is only Monday!  (My week starts on Saturday.)  I am feeling a difference in my fitness level -- the workouts are getting easier.  That means I need to increase intensity, but I think I will enjoy it a day or so first.  :)

Update:

I drove home from work after I posted the above and I felt compelled to add this.  Despite my struggles with pain right now, as I was driving along, I felt such a peace and contentment.  It is because of the positive steps I am taking to take care of myself.  Exercise is the best antidepressant I have ever had (and I had to be on them for a time earlier in my life).  I want to bottle this feeling and take it out and use it when I forget.  I am so glad I am on a positive track in my life.  I truly believe I will get better.  The pain I am enduring is only for a time.  I know it.

Now I am going to go enjoy my dinner, including some beautiful, ripe strawberries I picked up at the store.  Yum!

Blessings to you.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Some Pain and Some Progress (May 20, 2012)

I did my 3rd and 4th workouts today.  It felt so good!!  I can tell I am making progress.

However, I had the most pain when I got up this morning that I think I have had yet.  I was even hurting before I stood up, which doesn’t usually happen.  I think I hurt more on the weekends because I spend more time sleeping, and therefore stay in the same position a lot longer than usual.  Maybe I shouldn’t sleep as late, but I feel like I need that extra sleep every once in a while.  I will have to decide what I want more.  I guess I could get up earlier and take a nap later in the day.  I do not think the pain is related to the workouts.  I feel better after a workout.
I will just keep on plugging and hopefully it won’t be too long until it starts making a difference.

I think the 143 heart rate reading yesterday was not accurate.  I checked it today and during this morning’s workout it read 113 and tonight it read 49!  I think it is just that my monitor is not accurate.  (I heard that complaint about this bike.)  I’m not sure if the BodyMedia Fit measures heart rate.  If it does, I will check it out when it comes in.
I was at home alone all day without a car until about an hour ago, so I did some alternative meals today.  But I stayed in my calorie range.  It was kind of nice to do something different for a day.  It lets me know that next month I will be able to handle the freedom of eating different meals when I want to.  I know one thing, I need to perfect my preparation of chicken breast.  I overcooked it a little today and it was a little dry.

I never did go shoe shopping!  I did a little looking online, but haven’t found what I want yet.  I want to make sure that whatever I get is comfortable, since I think that is important in how my back feels.

I did some reading this weekend and have a lot of thoughts about it, but it’s probably a little personal for sharing.  I am just trying to get to the bottom of some lifelong feelings of unworthiness.  I know it is at the root of my food issues.  I truly do like who I am and who I am becoming, but I have to fight those habitual thoughts that have plagued me all my life and were reinforced in certain situations in my life.  I don’t want to keep stuffing down those feelings with food.  It’s all good!
Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weigh-in Day (May 19, 2012)

Just a quick post.  I knew I was going to lose this week.  My goal was at least 1.8 (to get to 10 pounds lost), but I really wanted to lose at least 2.3 to drop into the 80's.  I lost 3.8!!!  I blasted through that 10-pound mark.  Yay!

Later:

Got two workouts in today.  I had to "make" myself do both of them, but I got them done.  I really want to get 4 this weekend.  I did a total of 12 miles today.  I don't know if that's good or not, but it feels pretty good to me!  Maybe soon I will start working on the built-in programs on my bike.

Had some temptation today.  I wanted to eat an extra protein bar.  It's a sweet craving thing.  But I didn't.  I knew I couldn't count today against my 500 and that stopped me.  It's amazing how much of a motivation that is for me.  I think God showed me that idea.  I have always been such a numbers person.  When I was finishing up my workout, I noticed I was almost to 6 miles.  This morning I stopped at 5.99 miles (because my time ran out).  So tonight I did 6.01 miles so I could make my 12.  Ha!  And I was going 13 mph at the end of my workout, so I seem to be picking up speed.

I have never gotten my heart rate monitor to work on my bike before.  But today I had my hand on it accidentally and it popped up.  My heart rate was 143.  That was in the lower resistance part of my workout, so it was definitely higher at the higher resistance.  I will have to see how that measures for my age, etc.  I think I remember a personal trainer telling me to shoot for the 130s.  But that was a while back, so I could be wrong.  I just looked it up on a website and it said for fat burning, your target heart rate should be 60-70% of your maximum.  My maximum (determined by age) is 172, so 60% is 103 and 70% is 120.  That sounds low.  Does that mean I am working too hard?  I don't feel like I am.  If I don't work up a little sweat, I don't feel like I am working hard enough.

Guess that's it.  I had another (unexpected) day to myself.  I'll be glad when I feel like getting out a little more.  I do want to do some shoe shopping, but didn't have a car available today.  Maybe tomorrow.  Think I'm going to go enjoy a bubble bath -- this time with candles and classical music.  :)

22 down, 478 to go!  That better life is going to be here before I know it!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Yay for 10 Workouts! (May 18, 2012)

Let’s see if I can remember to say everything I wanted to say today.

Me - May 17, 2012 - App. 292 lbs.
First, I had my daughter snap my picture last night.  This is after approximately 3 weeks on plan.  I could pick this picture apart – I can be pretty critical of myself.  I hate the way my chin looks.  In some ways, it is not as bad as I imagined.  One thing I do notice is my stomach looks bigger than it used to, to me, since I had breast reduction surgery.  I am used to my boobs sticking out so much more than my stomach, and that’s not the case anymore.  But I had the breast reduction to help the chronic headaches (and it did help some).

Next, I got my 10th workout for the week done this morning, so I have met that goal for the third week in a row.  Yay me!!!  My workout went much better last night and I was able to push through the whole thing without resting.  It’s been tough for the last week or so and I had been having to take a little break in the middle.

I set my alarm for 4:45 this morning.  I had been setting it at 5:00.  I like to lay there and snooze/ give myself time to wake up a little before I have to get out of bed, but I want to be up and around long enough to loosen up a little, so I decided to give myself that extra 15 minutes.  I turned off the alarm this morning and promptly went back to sleep and didn’t wake up again until 5:26!  I almost blew off my workout, thinking I will do it tonight, but Fridays are notorious for having to work late, so I knew that probably wouldn’t work.  So I got up and almost immediately got on my bike.  I completed my workout at 6:04 a.m.  It was a good theory….  We’ll try again Monday.  But because of that, I did not try to do intervals this morning, I just did 30 minutes at 6 resistance.  My speed has settled in at about 12 mph lately (a little faster than 2-3 weeks ago).

CORE Armband
Some news:  I ordered me the BodyMedia Fit armband.  My daughter has one and really likes it, and I thought it would help.  Not only does it calculate how many calories you burn, and you can enter how many calories you eat, but it also calculates how much sleep you are getting.  I was diagnosed with a sleep disorder a few years ago.  It improved after I lost weight, but this will tell me how much sleep I am getting.  That’s an important part of weight loss.  Speaking of which, I have gone to bed by 9:00 the last two nights.  Trying to make sure I get my rest.

My daughters, Stephanie and Bethany, ages 25 and 22, respectively, are also trying to lose weight.  They are working out almost every day and making progress.  So if you want to come to my house to eat decadent food, you probably will be disappointed most of the time.  Bethany mentioned this morning that she has now lost 20 pounds.  Yay Bethany!  I want so much for them to overcome this early in life.  I was not even as large as they are now before I had kids, but after I did, my weight ballooned up and up and up.  It didn’t help that I lived in an abusive environment.  I just want them to learn better habits now so they can combat that when the time comes, so it makes me very happy that they are working so hard on things.  Stephanie has some physical difficulties (she has had I can’t remember how many foot surgeries – 6 or 7, major back surgery and two knee surgeries).  She has foot pain all the time and I know this is hard for her.  I am praying for relief for her.  There is not much more the doctor can do for her feet.  Weight loss has to help some!

I am hoping to get four workouts done this weekend, but will be okay if I get three.  I am also planning on cleaning, sorting through some areas in the house in preparation for moving on September 1 (in my condition, I can’t afford to wait 'til the last minute), read some more in “Lose It for Life” and use my clothing budget on some new shoes.  Other than that, I will just rest up for another marathon week (that's the only kind of marathons I can do right now, ha!).  After that – a 3-day weekend!  I really need one.

Have a blessed weekend, everyone.