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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Can't Sleep

I did not intend to take so long to post again, but life got busy.  It has had its ups and downs.  My eating has not been stellar.  My first week was "carbier" than it needed to be.  I am trying to settle into what is normal for me, but life has not been normal in the last week and a half, so that has made it a little more difficult.

A week ago Wednesday (2 days after my last post), I had to put it in a late night at work and worked until about 12:45 a.m.  That was about a 15.5-hour day.  Also, our offices have been being renovated and, 2 days later on Friday, we had to move our offices from the old "unrenovated" part to the part that is done, and that was a long, tough day.  I tried to take it easy -- not much lifting and being wise about what I did -- but I was still quite sore for 2-3 days after that.  Saturday I could barely keep my eyes open, so spent most of the day resting.  My daughters had gone to a birthday party for one of the kids on my ex's side of the family.  There was to be a baby shower the next day on that side of the family and some of them begged that I come since they had not seen me in years.  So I ended up doing that on Sunday instead of going to my church, etc. (I didn't feel like I could do both with being so tired and sore and the shower was in Fort Worth, so would take a good part of the day).  It was so good to see them (I think they prefer me to come to family gatherings rather than my ex!).  After that we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant.  I ate wheat-free, but did not eat grain-free (had some corn products).  But they had a seasoning on the tortilla chips that I now think must have had some wheat in it because I have been struggling with a headache this week.

There are some issues at work since the move that make eating a challenge, too.  Almost everyone in the firm is now packed into about 1/3 of the space we had.  Our kitchen is being renovated now and so we do not have a microwave, temporarily, to heat up food in.  So I either have to eat cold food from home, or I have to get something "out."  It is much easier to eat this way if I make my own food, for the most part.

Today my son called me and just wanted to talk about his struggles.  There have been a lot the last few months.  His work situation has not been good and he is leaving that job.  That is a good thing, but until he finds another, things are not great with him.  He has also been without a vehicle.  After our conversation, I grew frustrated.  Not at him, so much.  I just need all my kids to get on a good track for a while and let me focus on taking care of me.  My finances need some work and I don't need to be taking care of them financially.  That is not why he called, but it still weighed heavily on me and I did some emotional eating this afternoon and this evening.

The last thing that is going on has to do with my dog.  He has been "worrying" with his paws for a few weeks.  At first I thought it was because he needed to be groomed and his claws had gotten really long because the last time I had him groomed, they were not able to get it done.  So I got him groomed two weeks ago, but the groomer told me it looked like he had a developed an allergy of some sort.  There was a lot of redness between his paw pads that you could see after they groomed him (he is a Yorkie, so his fur can get pretty long).  So I changed his diet per their recommendation.  I don't know how much that has helped because he continued to mess with his paws, licking them constantly.  So I have been treating them with a Benadryl cream and Neosporin.  He still messed with them constantly and they were looking red and angry.  So my daughter and I wrapped the back paws (the ones he was messing with), after treating them, so he couldn't mess with them.  I had some medicine left from another time -- an antibiotic and a couple of pills for pain and inflammation.  I also have some liquid for pain, but can't get him to take that.  I have also been giving him Benadryl by mouth.  So I am hoping that will clear it up.  I was asleep tonight when he frantically started messing with his paws.  I realized he had gotten one of the wrappings loose, so I had to get up and re-wrap it so he couldn't mess with it.

After being awakened and my stomach being kind of out of sorts because of the emotional eating, plus having trouble getting my mind to settle down, I haven't been able to go back to sleep yet.  Ugh.  One thing that has been on my mind is that after seeing my ex's family, it has brought up more thoughts from the past.  I am so happy to see them and they will always be family to me, but it does stir up stuff.  I'm just trying to get my mind to settle down enough so I can go back to sleep.

As for the eating, I think I was happier not eating than I am right now.  I need to get things on a better track and not eat as much.  I need to do some more cooking, but I haven't felt like it when I get home.  I am again having some back troubles, although not nearly as much as before.  It was time for my bi-monthly visit to the pain management doctor today.  My right knee has been having that "bone on bone" feeling that I had in my left knee before the replacement and has been causing me more pain.  I found out my pain management doctor can give me steroid injections in my knee, so he gave me one today.  It just now occurs to me that that is probably why I am having trouble sleeping and I have felt kind of hot and clammy.  It is the steroid shot.  It will ultimately help for a while, but it does have that side effect at first.  This is the first time I have seen my pain doctor himself in a few months.  I have seen his PA to get my refills.  He once again seemed surprised that I am able to work full-time with my physical issues.  The first time I saw him he asked if my employer was aware of how much physical stuff I am having to deal with.  I had to say no, I didn't think so.  He evidently still feels like it is a lot and is pleasantly surprised that I am functioning as well as I am.  Some validation, anyway.  I told them I needed to get an epidural injection in my back (those help), but that I am just grinning and bearing it this year because of the expense (they cost me around $2,000 when I haven't met my deductible; I am not looking to go into debt and meet that deductible in August!).  He said he has been trying to convince the authorities to allow them to do the injections at their own facility instead of having to do it at a surgical facility, but the insurance companies will not listen to the doctors.  Or whoever it is giving the approval for things like that.  That would bring the cost to around $500 instead of $2,000+.  He said he is not long for continuing the medical profession because of all the issues they are having to face.  That is not good because he is a very good doctor.  My knee doctor closed up shop and moved to another state, probably for the same kinds of reasons.  He is heading up the orthopedic department of a VA facility now (I think).

I am going to see if I can drop off to sleep now, at least for another couple of hours. ...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Low Blood Sugar - Time to Call It Quits

Well, I hope I don't regret this.  I took my blood sugar last night and it was pretty low (51).  I took it again this afternoon to make sure it wasn't just an inaccurate measurement, and it was 52.  I have not felt bad -- dizzy or anything like that -- but I read a fast heartbeat was a symptom of low blood sugar and I have had that the last couple of days (at random times), so I decided to drink a little juice today.  I had about 1/3 cup -- hopefully enough to boost my blood sugar, but not so much that it brings on hunger pangs.  If that works, I will have about that much every day until I am done.  I think if I am saying that I am going to listen to my body about when to "quit," then I should probably pay attention to this.  If it were in the 60's, like it was before I went on vacation, I would be okay with that.  But 51 seemed pretty low, and with the added symptom, I thought this to be the best option.  I did not find information about this in my book, and I know any medical person I talked to would probably have a cow about my fasting in the first place, so there wasn't anyone to ask.  I could probably ask my functional medicine doctor, but I haven't seen her in almost a year.

I went to church today!  I went to both class (I love this Sunday school class) and service.  It felt right.  I believe I can make some good friends in this group.  They do a lot of "extracurricular" activities, and that gives me even more of a chance to build relationships.  Soon I will start going to choir, too, and that will be another opportunity to form relationships.  I haven't talked about singing in a long time, I don't think, but I am a pretty good singer.  Good enough to have been chosen to sing in the Dallas Symphony Chorus for a Christmas season, which only happens by audition.  One of the reasons I chose this church is because of the large singles ministry for adults over 40 (my class is large and full of single people around my age) and I know it will provide an opportunity for me to sing again.  I loved the services at my old church, but I just didn't fit in there very well musically, since they typically sing a much more "modern" style music (plus it is pretty far away and I just never got to know people there).  My voice is more traditional -- can be almost operatic if I choose to sing that way -- and I will fit in with the choir at this church much better.  Not to mention special productions, possibly worship team and even solos.  We will see. But I will enjoy just singing in the choir and being involved in the special productions, even if I don't do the other.  (I have always been chosen for those kinds of things in the past.)  However God wants to use me is fine.  Not using my music has left a kind of empty place for quite a while, but I was so down physically, it was just too hard.  I have faith that I am truly on the mend since doing this fast.  This church also has the fundamental beliefs and practices I believe in.  I would not choose a church just for the choir or the singles ministry.

I have the sniffles today.  Don't know if it is allergies from the weather, or a symptom of the fast.

I still feel great, and did pretty well at church today.  One reason I did not go for so long is the campus is large and you have to do some stairs to get from one place to the next.  (There is probably a way around that, but the most direct route requires me to take a few stairs.)  I found out I can valet park, so that helps cut down on the walking if I need it.  I had one little spot of pain in my back during the service, but it never got bad.  I had some stiffness when standing up after class, but we were up and down enough during the service that I did not then.  I feel fine now that I am home.  I don't know that this has cured all my back problems, but it has certainly helped.  And it gives me hope that more weight loss will help even more.

As I suspected, the juice made me hungry.  I held it off for a while.  I took my blood sugar again and it only raised it 2 points to 54.  I decided it was time to call this one quits.  So I think I am done with fasting for a while.  If I feel more symptoms that need to be dealt with, I may do another shorter one in a month or so, but I am going to see how I do from here on out with eating the way I know to eat.

I did eat a baked potato tonight after I decided I was done.  I felt that since I had only been going 8 days this time, I did not have to baby my stomach quite so much.  We will see if I regret that, but so far I feel fine (although full).  Last time just the orange juice started some things, but this time it did not.

Now I will need to go ahead and get some more groceries so I can get started sooner than expected.

I'm trying to keep away any feelings of failure.  All along I said I was going to listen to my body, and although I was not hungry, I felt that blood sugar that low might not be a good thing.  So even though I did not go as long as I planned, I did what I said in that I listened to my body and quit when I felt I should.

Monday

Well, I did regret what I ate last night.  It was a night of being up and down with purging.  I took it easier this morning and had juice and some watermelon.  For lunch I had some salad.  Tonight was a night of getting some of my cravings out of my system before I get really focused.  With my blood sugar so low, I did not mind eating more carbs than I normally eat.  I ate some corn tortilla chips and guacamole, and then was going to have some pimento cheese on some paleo bread, but ended up eating only a few bites because I got too full.  I also bought some potato salad, but got it home before I saw it had wheat in it.  Why in the heck would you put wheat in potato salad?  I will make some of my own for a carbier day soon.

A friend told me she was worried about me fasting because of some issues her mother is having.  Her mother has been chronically undereating for years (after a gastric bypass) and lives on bites of food and wine.  I read about that in the main book I was reading.  That can definitely bring on malnutrition and can kill you if it continues long enough.  You do not get the benefits of resting your system when you are under-eating so that your body can focus on healing itself, and your body is trying to get what it needs from the little bit of food you are eating and it cannot do it.  Especially if you eat one type of food all the time.  Her liver enzymes are all messed up.  When your body lives off its stores, those stores have all the nutrients you need.  Your body saves them for times when food is scarce, illness, etc.  As long as you don't fast so long (until all your stores are gone) and move into starvation, fasting is healing, not something that makes you sick.  She wanted me to go get some blood tests, and since I am due for a checkup, I told her I would do that.  I fully expect them to be in good shape.  They had an opening tomorrow, so I will find out quickly.

This post is getting long, so I will close.  I am looking forward to moving on to eating like I will do for here on out, and continuing weight loss.  I bought a bunch of groceries tonight and will start some cooking tomorrow.

Update:

I see I never posted about the results of my blood tests.  My numbers were all in the normal range and I was honest with my doctor about what I had been doing.  She seemed quite interested (in a positive way).  She could tell how much more energy I had than before and my numbers proved the things I have been saying about fasting being good for you.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

I Want to Keep Going

Friday

It’s Friday afternoon and I am starting another post, even though I just posted this morning.  Sometimes writing helps me keep focused and stay on track.

In the end I deleted what I was writing.  Some of it was about work, and I decided it was better not to put it out in the cyber universe!
 
I made it through my day, even after going to dinner with my daughters and watching them eat tacos and chips and queso.  I really did not feel tempted by that.

Saturday

I started out with some errands today -- took my dog to the groomer and picked up some Paleo bread to have on hand when I do eat.  I keep it in the freezer.  While in the bakery, I left my purse in the car and just took in the means to pay for the bread (in my phone case) and I locked my keys in the car.  I have roadside assistance with my cell phone service, so I was able to have them dispatch someone to help me out (at no cost).  I ended up sitting out on the sidewalk in front of the bakery on Lower Greenville Ave. in Dallas, waiting for the rescue service, and it was somewhat enjoyable.  I was rescued in time to pick up my dog from the groomer.

I'm home now and feeling a little weak-willed.  I want to eat.  I'm doing my best to think through that decision -- my goal is to give myself 24 hours when thinking that through and usually the temptation will pass.  I want to keep going.  I don't feel like I am done yet, even though I am feeling so good.  I had to walk a distance when taking my dog since it is downtown and there is no place near there to park.  My knees are still tricky.  I don't know if the more I walk, the better I would get, or if they need more work.  I am going to divert my attention and think this through before making any decision to break the fast.  I know more weight loss will help my back.  Of course, this is not supposed to be about weight loss.   I also want to feel more in control when I do break the fast so I don't jump into eating things I just want instead of what is best.  Hopefully I can do that.  I know I would eventually get on track, but I want to do the best that I can.  So I do not feel ready to stop.  Going to do some reading to motivate myself.

I went and bought a few groceries later -- some meats I can put in the freezer, cheeses (also put them in the freezer), and some nuts, plus the Paleo bread I bought earlier.  I don't want to have to buy a huge load of groceries when I start eating again.  A couple of weeks ago I ordered some stuff from Wheat Free Market that will come in handy in a pinch.  They make a grain-free granola that is really good and I got some pizza crust mix and the baking mix, as well as some brownie and muffin mixes.  They are pretty expensive, but will come in handy when I need things to eat or can cook in a few minutes when I am tired or busy.  I will get more groceries next week and then when I break the fast, I can buy the perishable foods, like fruits and vegetables and dairy products.  The fast has definitely been nice on my budget.  My daughter is thinking about doing one.  She is feeling like another intestinal obstruction might be building.  (She has already had four, I think.)  I think it might be the answer to scar tissue building up around her surgery site, if she can do it.  It will be harder for her, since she has been eating the average American diet, so she will have a lot of withdrawal.  It probably will not be pleasant for her.  But I think it would help her health.  She also has fatty liver and I know it would help that immensely.  She also has insulin resistance and needs to lose weight.  My other daughter would benefit from it, too, but she is pregnant and then will be nursing, so not a time when she could do it.  (I am not sure she wants to try it, anyway.)  She also has trouble with wheat, although it affects her with nausea instead of the headaches I have.  I am sold on fasting for health benefits.

Speaking of which, I was looking at my scar from my knee replacement today.  The top of it has had a large knot of scar tissue.  Today I felt of it and the knot has pretty much softened and disappeared.  Still a little that needs to be done, but it is improving.  Yay!!  Here is what my scar looks like these days:



We went to a beautiful park today and my older daughter took maternity pictures of my younger daughter.  Stephanie did Bethany's makeup and hair (she is extremely good at that and starting to make a business out of it) and then took the pictures (she is also very good at that).  Bethany looked so beautiful!  I am so excited!!



My temptation has passed and I know I want to continue.  I knew it would if I waited it out.  It was not hunger, just wanting to eat because I like food.  :/

I think I can get though my day now, so I will stop and get this posted.  I'm planning to go to church tomorrow and get back in the flow with people outside of my family and work.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Feeling Wonderful and Optimistic!!

I wrote this part of my post on Wednesday and didn't get it sent, so will just continue with it.

Wednesday

I don’t know as I am really struggling today, as much as just thinking about food.  It’s because I am not that busy at work.  Things have been a little slow since coming back from vacation and I am having to divert my attention, at times, so my mind doesn’t wander to wanting something to eat.  Especially when the girl who sits next to me is eating popcorn!  And the smell from the kitchen at lunchtime is a little tortuous.  But this is my choice.  I can stop when I want to, and I am not ready yet.

Physically, I am feeling pretty good today.  Lower back is definitely improving and I am not having the pain going down my legs like I have since Sunday.  I can stand up and just walk – no waiting for pain to settle over me before taking a step.

My upper back seems to be feeling pretty good today, too.  I know it could go the other way if I don’t baby it, but it feels better than yesterday.  I have been up and down today, packing boxes for moving my desk.  As soon as I sit down for any length of time and start typing, I can feel it tighten up on me.  But I am aware and will take measures to keep it from getting too bad, hopefully.

So, even though I fasted Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, I feel today like I am back where I was when I broke the fast.  I think the hunger has switched off and I am now back to using “alternate fuel” instead of getting fuel from the food I eat.  The plan is to go 15-17 days from here.  I admit to feeling a little urge to get through these days more than I was the first time.  I made up a calendar and am crossing off the days.  Of course, if I feel like I am ready before those days are up, I will stop.  If I feel that what I need done physically has been done, there is no need to keep going.  What am I looking for?  First, that the improvement in back pain is more “set.”  I don’t know if that is even possible, but I want to make sure I give it the chance to work as much as it is going to.  The fact that I had pain again after getting back told me there was still work to do.  I also hope for improvement in my upper back.  Otherwise, I am looking for more changes in the scar tissue from my knee replacement (I do believe it has improved some), and for the swelling in my right knee to go down.  I don’t know what is still causing that swelling, other than arthritis, but I hope it will go down.  I also want to make sure my hormonal issues have had time to “reset” so that weight loss will move along more readily once I go back to eating.  I feel like there have already been changes in both of those areas because of how much better I have been feeling, generally.  I have so much more energy than I did before.

I would also like to see what effect getting more of this abdominal fat off will have on my lower back.  The more I lose of my lower belly fat, the less it is going to pull my back into the exaggerated arch.  Of course, I will gain a little back, but it will give me an idea of how much more weight loss is going to help.  Then, when it is time for exercise to begin, I need to work on strengthening my core.  Before then, I need to work on my range of motion in my left knee.  It seems to have backtracked a little since leaving therapy.  I am trying to stretch it at different times during the day.  Part of that is from scar tissue, so I try to massage it a couple of times a day to loosen that up.

I took a little break for lunch in an unoccupied office.  It was so cold in there that I came back shivering.  I had me a cup of hot water to warm me up.  I know that sounds funny, but it works, and sometimes it is a little more satisfying than just cold water all the time.

This afternoon, I've been reading over some chapters in the main book I read about fasting (when I had bits of time).  It keeps me motivated to keep going so that the good that has been started can be completed.  This paragraph jumped out at me:

"The reserves last much longer if the faster rests, than if he is active during the fast.  (Don't care so much about this.)  Better results are achieved in the fast if rest is observed.  (Definitely care about this.)  Work, long walks, strenuous exercise, etc., waste the body's reserves without producing any compensating benefits."  (The exception to this might be working on the range of motion I feel like has lessened in the weeks since I left physical therapy.  And that is not strenuous -- just some stretching.  So I will leave the other kinds of exercise until the fast is done.  There is no choice about work, but it is not strenuous work, most of the time.)

Here is another quote for those who argue against the safety of fasting:

"If the adipose tissue (body fat) and other reserves are abundantly present, one may fast thirty to ninety or more days without consuming one cell of the essential tissues of the body."

"'With no digestive drudgery on hand,' ... 'Nature employs the long-desired leisure for general house-cleaning purposes.  The accumulations of superfluous tissues are overhauled and analyzed; the available component parts are turned over to the department of nutrition, the refuse to be thoroughly and permanently removed.'"  (He was quoting another author.)

"The aggregate of tissues of the organism may be regarded as a reservoir of nutriment capable of being called in any direction or to any point, as needed.  The ability of the body to nourish its vital tissues off its food reserves and its less vital tissues, is of extreme importance to the sick man who is unable to digest and absorb food.  Except for this ability, the acutely ill would perish of starvation."

My knees have been kind of sore since vacation, but today there seems to be something more going on.  It makes me wonder what work is being done through the fast -- possibly scar tissue being worked on and the like.

Thursday

I have quite a bit of money left that I had saved for my vacation.  I am trying to decide whether to save it for the next one (that is what I am leaning toward) or to use it for something else I have been wanting (to further update my bedroom).  I could also use it to pay toward debt.  The thing is, if I save it for the next vacation, I can take an even better one than I could have taken last time.  These vacations have become very important to me.  I feel like they are an investment in my health and my self-worth.  I did not take a vacation (where I went somewhere) from 1998 until 2015.  When I came back from my vacation to New York last year, I realized how much it affected my self-worth.  Like before I unconsciously felt like I didn’t deserve a vacation.  I knew in my head that was not true, but my heart kind of believed it.  I would like to begin developing friendships with people I could go on vacation with.  I went with one of my kids the first time, which I enjoyed, but usually have to wind up paying for more that way.  This time I went with my two sisters.  Ultimately, I would like to be married and take trips with my husband.  But a trip with good friends would be a good thing, too.  I have not put much effort into making friends over the last years and I feel kind of isolated because of it.  So that needs to change.

Friday

 Following up on my thoughts Thursday, I am planning to get back to my church group on Sunday.  It is a start to getting to know some people and make friends.  Plus I want and need to get back to church.  For a long time, I didn't have a car available to me on Sunday to get there, my physical issues were making it too difficult to walk there, and then the campus is large enough where getting around was too much for me.  I now feel ready to tackle all that, especially since I have a car and can get there.  I am looking forward to the class and the extracurricular things they do together to make friends.

I am feeling so.much.better.  My back has improved all week and I have been waking up again with virtually no pain.  My upper back still wants to start hurting if I don't do what I need to do, so I will try to pay more attention to that today (I didn't so much yesterday, but it never got very bad).  Today I can tell it would go that direction pretty easily.  A muscle relaxant helps.  That gives me hope that a lot of it is muscle tightness, etc., instead of a structural issue in my spine (although I do know I had bone spurs in that area).

I feel like I am moving through the fast with more ease now.  I actually looked at some recipes yesterday, but made myself stop pretty quickly.  After a bit, it starts to get to me.  But I do want to have a good plan going for my meals when I start eating.  I also want to buy some non-perishables gradually so I don't have to buy so many groceries all at once when I break my fast.  I can get freezer stuff and pantry stuff, anyway.  And things like butter, eggs and some types of cheese I could get a little ahead of time.  I may try to make up a couple of recipes next weekend, if I have the time.  Things I know I can do without tasting.  I will have to see how I feel then to know if it would be too tempting.  And they would have to be meals that freeze well.  Soups or stews are a good option.  I've been wanting to make a beef vegetable soup like they had at the first restaurant I ate at on my vacation, but couldn't have because it had gluten in it.  I can make something very similar without using any wheat products. (I'm going to make it kind of a cross between beef vegetable soup and chili.)  I also may make up a batch (or two) of ice cream to have in my freezer.  I can get my daughter to help me test the sweetness, if I need to.  I bought some little containers to put the ice cream in (kind of like the ones they come in at the store).  I had hoped they were going to be plastic, but they are not.  But they are really cute and didn't cost that much.  I am going to buy a more "permanent" set before the end of my fast.  Ice cream has become my go-to dessert since I cannot have wheat, but it needs to be with an approved sweetener and I am more likely not to stumble and buy some with sugar at the grocery store if I have it available in my freezer.  I also make a cheesecake and a key lime pie with approved sweetener that are really good.  There are also some recipes for cookies made with almond flour, etc. that I enjoy every once in a while.  I bought a couple of "mixes" from Wheat Free Market to have available for those times when I am really wanting something sweet and I don't want to mix up a full recipe.  I also want to make up one of a couple of breakfast casseroles I have tried so my eating is more balanced.  Many days I would just have bacon for breakfast, which I can do, but more balanced would be healthier.  I can add some vegetables into the casseroles, too.  I think when I do cook I will start making double batches when I can, so I always have balanced meals in my freezer when I am too tired or too busy to cook.  I want to plan ahead for good success once I start eating again.

Guess I will shut it down -- this post is long enough.  I just want to reiterate how wonderful I am feeling.  Pain is greatly reduced, energy is great, and I feel optimistic and in great spirits.  I am so glad I am doing this fast!  I am excited for my future for the first time in a long time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Let's Get This Done

My lower back is feeling a bit better this morning.  I am hopeful I will get back to where I was while on vacation.  I think I probably did pull something out of place when crossing my legs several times in the car.

As for my upper back, I can tell it will start hurting pretty readily, so I am trying to vary what I am doing and not spend hour after uninterrupted hour at my computer.  We are getting ready to change desks because of the renovation of our offices, so I am up boxing up stuff (but not carrying the boxes), walking around, etc.  While at my desk I am trying to lean back into the support and not do any hunching over or that kind of thing.  I added extensions to the thing my monitor sits on so it is a little higher.  (That seemed to help me not hurt as much today.) When we get our new desks, they can be raised and lowered so we can stand up and type if we want to.  I don’t know if that will help my upper back or not, but I will give it a try.  I am pretty sure my computer will be raised up higher than where it is now, so that might help.  If I cannot get it under control, I will likely have to go to the doctor and possibly get an injection.  I can work (as in at work) with the lower back issue, but this upper back thing tends to get worse and worse, the more time I spend at my desk (unless I can work out the ergonomics that are making it hurt in the first place and do some strengthening to help).  I might need to do some physical therapy.  I would rather do that on my own if I can find the proper exercises.

I made it through last night without any more temptation.  I knew I would feel better if I just waited it out.  I still feel some hunger this morning, but it should settle down by tomorrow.  Still, I am looking forward to getting through this so I can get back to “normal” eating – at least what will be normal for me.  During the last few days I will start making menus and possibly cook up some things to put in the freezer.

I should check my blood sugar tomorrow.  It had gotten very low (63) before breaking my fast.  I read that is expected and fine (though going below 60 I think is too low).  I will be interested to see if I can eat a few more “carby” foods than I could before the fast without my blood sugar being raised too much.  I would have to eat them in very small quantities until weight loss is complete and then could eat them a little more moderately; things like sweet potatoes, winter squash, peas, possibly some whole corn (not corn meal), some beans, etc., and maybe a small portion of white potato once a week (potato salad!  Lol).

Once my energy switches back on again (assuming it will be like before), I want to start working on some housekeeping habits.  If I can feel like I did last week on an ongoing basis, I know so many things will improve – because I feel like doing them.  Not just keeping house, but getting out and enjoying myself, making friends, getting back in with a church group, etc.  I have been so without energy the last many years, along with all the pain issues, it has made my reclusive tendencies much worse.  The energy is not as great right now because I am still going through the hunger stage, but I still feel much better than I did before beginning the fast.  And even at that level was much better than it was before I made the dietary changes (no wheat or grains, etc.).  For years I was doing well just to get through my work days.  I am so very glad I discovered this tool of restoring health.  You would never expect it to make so much difference.

Later

I'm home from work now and the day went pretty well.  Not much temptation, even when picking up some Whataburger for my daughter, who was home sick today.  My upper back never got out of hand, and the lower back was improved.  I should start feeling really good tomorrow.  My plan starting tomorrow is to do 15-17 more days.  That would be the same as doing 42 days straight as far as giving my body the opportunity to take care of stuff once I have switched to fat burning.  I am ready to get these done and see how I am doing by then.  That will actually be 45 days, but I had to make up some lost ground for the break I took on vacation.  (The break only delayed the ultimate good; it did not erase any of it.)  Let's get this done.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Talking Through Temptation

Having a little more temptation today.  I’m not sorry I took a break for a few days of vacation, but that made me have to go through this part again.  The first 3 days are the most difficult.  This time, more than last time, I am trying to talk myself into chunking the idea.  But I really do want to finish and know that I have given it every chance to do its work.  So, as of 1:50 p.m., I am still fighting the fight.

It hit me again an hour later – more fighting with myself.  But if I wait it out, I get back to knowing I want to finish.

I felt so good on vacation.  My back did not bother me much at all and I did so much more than I had been able to do in a long time.  Sunday morning, after the first night spent at home in my bed, I woke up hurting again.  I tried last night to arrange my pillows and bolsters the same way I did on vacation and that seemed to help a little, but I was still hurting more than I ever did while on the trip.  I bent over this morning to brush my teeth, etc., and I felt things popping in my lower back.  That may have been a good thing, but it was definitely very tender in that area.   I did notice a few times in the car that if I would try to sit with my legs crossed, it seemed to want to pull something in my spine “out of place,” so I finally made myself stop doing that.  It may be what set it off because the popping this morning felt more like something popping into place instead of out, with residual soreness after that.  I’m going to see how it goes for a few days and see if it improves.  No more trying to sit with one leg crossed over the other knee.  My massage therapist has told me that is a no-no anyway.

I got on the scale, and as I would have expected, my weight was up.  But less than 10 pounds.  I was actually pretty happy with that because you are going to gain a few from just going from the state of being totally empty to that of having food in your system.  And I did not pay much attention to how much I ate after the fast.  I was on vacation and had not eaten for 25 days, so I wanted to enjoy it (although I did not eat sugar or wheat, of course, except for Saturday night when I had decided to resume my fast).  I think after the third day, I will probably be back to where I was before vacation and can continue from there.  I wish I could get to where after I break the fast, I never get above 215, but not sure that will happen in that length of time.  I say 215 because that is the weight I needed to get to, to be able to have back surgery, if I ended up still needing it.  Of course, I am not going to do that this year, anyway, so I have plenty of time to continue weight loss.

Again, I do not want back surgery.  I want the weight loss efforts, etc. to make that unnecessary, but it remains to be seen whether that will do the trick.  I think I mentioned this before, but I have done a lot of examining my body.  I have an exaggerated arch in my back and I see the fat under my belly button pulling that part of my back into that arch.  I know getting rid of the weight I carry there has to help some.  Plus I hope for continued work on scar tissue, thickened ligaments and maybe even bone spurs (don't know if it will work on that).  I am hopeful that part of this pain is just brought on by the extra activity, which created some soreness.  And from so many hours spent in the car.

I realized when I got home from vacation that it is only 2 months until my grandbaby is expected.  My upper back is trying to hurt me again now that I am back at my desk all day again.  Surely there is some kind of strengthening I can do to keep that from happening.  I feel like a lot of it has to be muscular in nature, since I had no problem with it while on vacation.  I am trying to make sure I sit up straight and tall to help with that.  And lean back into the support of my chair.

Later

I'm home from work now and went through another big battle in my mind.  I was craving, of all things, potato salad.  I wanted some so bad!  I had a kind of "gourmet" kind with the barbecue I ate on vacation and it sounded so good to me tonight.  I am trying to make it a goal that if I decide to break the fast this time, I have to think about it for 24 hours before I decide to do it early.  I did that the first time.  Right now it is just hunger talking.  I should be feeling better after tomorrow.  I expect the benefits to begin more quickly this time since I don't have nearly so many toxins to work out of my system.  Or so much stuff clogging up my colon, so it should switch on over to fat burning very quickly, I would think.

I admit, a big motivation, besides pain, is my grandbaby.  I want to be able to hold Carter and have enough energy to keep him.  I have felt like such an old woman in my body the last two or three years.  I already have a lot more energy and I think that will increase as I finish this.  I also want to start getting a little exercise -- walking on the treadmill and riding the recumbent bike, as well as some strength training to help with targeted areas.  My knees are a little swollen right now, so I want to give them opportunity to rest a little.  I will ice them to help them along.  I asked a lot more of them last week than I have since surgery and several months before.  They will get strong again.

Okay, I think I have talked myself through this round of temptation.  I can do this.  And I want to finish what I started.

Talking Through Temptation

Having a little more temptation today.  I’m not sorry I took a break for a few days of vacation, but that made me have to go through this part again.  The first 3 days are the most difficult.  This time, more than last time, I am trying to talk myself into chunking the idea.  But I really do want to finish and know that I have given it every chance to do its work.  So, as of 1:50 p.m., I am still fighting the fight.

It hit me again an hour later – more fighting with myself.  But if I wait it out, I get back to knowing I want to finish.

I felt so good on vacation.  My back did not bother me much at all and I did so much more than I had been able to do in a long time.  Sunday morning, after the first night spent at home in my bed, I woke up hurting again.  I tried last night to arrange my pillows and bolsters the same way I did on vacation and that seemed to help a little, but I was still hurting more than I ever did while on the trip.  I bent over this morning to brush my teeth, etc., and I felt things popping in my lower back.  That may have been a good thing, but it was definitely very tender in that area.   I did notice a few times in the car that if I would try to sit with my legs crossed, it seemed to want to pull something in my spine “out of place,” so I finally made myself stop doing that.  It may be what set it off because the popping this morning felt more like something popping into place instead of out, with residual soreness after that.  I’m going to see how it goes for a few days and see if it improves.  No more trying to sit with one leg crossed over the other knee.  My massage therapist has told me that is a no-no anyway.

I got on the scale, and as I would have expected, my weight was up.  But less than 10 pounds.  I was actually pretty happy with that because you are going to gain a few from just going from the state of being totally empty to that of having food in your system.  And I did not pay much attention to how much I ate after the fast.  I was on vacation and had not eaten for 25 days, so I wanted to enjoy it (although I did not eat sugar or wheat, of course, except for Saturday night when I had decided to resume my fast).  I think after the third day, I will probably be back to where I was before vacation and can continue from there.  I wish I could get to where after I break the fast, I never get above 215, but not sure that will happen in that length of time.  I say 215 because that is the weight I needed to get to, to be able to have back surgery, if I ended up still needing it.  Of course, I am not going to do that this year, anyway, so I have plenty of time to continue weight loss.

Again, I do not want back surgery.  I want the weight loss efforts, etc. to make that unnecessary, but it remains to be seen whether that will do the trick.  I think I mentioned this before, but I have done a lot of examining my body.  I have an exaggerated arch in my back and I see the fat under my belly button pulling that part of my back into that arch.  I know getting rid of the weight I carry there has to help some.  Plus I hope for continued work on scar tissue, thickened ligaments and maybe even bone spurs (don't know if it will work on that).  I am hopeful that part of this pain is just brought on by the extra activity, which created some soreness.  And from so many hours spent in the car.

I realized when I got home from vacation that it is only 2 months until my grandbaby is expected.  My upper back is trying to hurt me again now that I am back at my desk all day again.  Surely there is some kind of strengthening I can do to keep that from happening.  I feel like a lot of it has to be muscular in nature, since I had no problem with it while on vacation.  I am trying to make sure I sit up straight and tall to help with that.  And lean back into the support of my chair.

Later

I'm home from work now and went through another big battle in my mind.  I was craving, of all things, potato salad.  I wanted some so bad!  I had a kind of "gourmet" kind with the barbecue I ate on vacation and it sounded so good to me tonight.  I am trying to make it a goal that if I decide to break the fast this time, I have to think about it for 24 hours before I decide to do it early.  I did that the first time.  Right now it is just hunger talking.  I should be feeling better after tomorrow.  I expect the benefits to begin more quickly this time since I don't have nearly so many toxins to work out of my system.  Or so much stuff clogging up my colon, so it should switch on over to fat burning very quickly, I would think.

I admit, a big motivation, besides pain, is my grandbaby.  I want to be able to hold Carter and have enough energy to keep him.  I have felt like such an old woman in my body the last two or three years.  I already have a lot more energy and I think that will increase as I finish this.  I also want to start getting a little exercise -- walking on the treadmill and riding the recumbent bike, as well as some strength training to help with targeted areas.  My knees are a little swollen right now, so I want to give them opportunity to rest a little.  I will ice them to help them along.  I asked a lot more of them last week than I have since surgery and several months before.  They will get strong again.

Okay, I think I have talked myself through this round of temptation.  I can do this.  And I want to finish what I started.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Glimpses of a "New" Person

I got home from vacation yesterday.  I felt amazingly well the whole time I was gone.  I got home and before even going into the apartment, we just switched my stuff over from my sister's car to mine and I went and ran a couple of errands.  I didn't want to get my dog all excited and then leave.

I had quite a bit of money left over from what I had saved and what we spent.  I have never finished decorating my apartment from when we moved in December, so I wanted to get some things to finish out the living area.  I don't know if I will keep them all, and there may be something else I decide I want to add to it besides what I got, but it should be well on its way to being done.  We need to paint another wall first.  Then I stopped and got me some tacos from this place my daughter really likes.  My plan was to finish out Saturday as a vacation day, as far as eating was concerned, and then start up and finish my fast beginning today, and that is what I have done so far.  Fasting does not scare me anymore.

I actually had much more energy before breaking my fast than I did after I started eating again.  But even then, I still had way more energy than I did before I fasted.  I know there are still some pain issues that were yet to be dealt with, so I wanted to get it done before too much backtracking was done.  I figure it will take me about 3 days to clean out again and get over any hunger, and then I will be processing toxins (whatever might be left from before fasting) and my body can continue to work on areas that were not "done" yet.  I figure I will do about 15 more days after that (depending on what my body tells me).

I did wake up in some pain this morning.  At least when I stood up.  My back was hurting more.  I do not know if it is the way I sleep in my bed, my mattress -- I'm thinking not, since it is a tempurapedic type -- or just all the hours in the car on vacation catching up with me.  Or if it had to do with eating too soon and the work not being done yet.  I did eat some sugar last night, knowing I was not going to eat today and it would be cleaned out quickly -- so it could have been the effects of eating that and the corn products I have eaten the last couple of days.  I don't know -- I just know I want to finish and make sure I get all the benefit I need from the fast.  People have expressed a worry that I will take to doing this fairly often.  No, that is not the plan, other than a day here and there to keep things cleaned out and rested.  I just want to give the longer fast its chance to work and if there are things left that need to be dealt with, I will know that they are going to require a doctor's work -- like back surgery or something like that.  I will eat more cleanly when I break it this time (for instance, I ate potatoes every day and corn products when I ate Mexican food, etc.).  I do not plan to do that on a regular basis when I am not on vacation.  I just wanted to be able to enjoy those few days in ways I normally don't eat, but not with wheat, obviously.

I came back from vacation feeling like almost a different person than left a week ago Saturday.  I know that when I am free from pain, I am a much different person.  I had energy and I wanted to get out and do things.  I could walk and climb stairs.  There is still some strengthening to do, but that will come.  I am looking forward to the future.  I do not feel like the woman that was struggling through my days a few short weeks ago.  I pray it continues to improve.

Later

 It got a little tough this evening.  I started thinking about eating something tonight and "starting tomorrow" instead.  But I know if I give in to that, it will be easier to do the same thing tomorrow.  So I didn't.  I have had some increased "just sitting here" pain this evening that feels like when you are detoxing.  So I already had some stuff to be worked out of me that is causing some pain as it leaves me.  A little headachy and achy all over, but particularly through the hip area.  That could be some inflammation from the grains I ate (corn and a little rice) or the sugar yesterday.  That is why they warn you about reintroducing grains.  Your reaction to them often increases once you have been off of them.  I tried, when we were eating out on vacation, to choose places that had house made recipes (instead of frozen or canned stuff, etc.) and we did pretty well at that, but the grains and the sugar yesterday likely had their effect.

One thing that made me want to get right back to it is I didn't want to have to go buy a bunch of groceries and try to get ready for the week with just one day back.  I can do that gradually when I get close to the time I am going to eat regularly again.  So, I am pretty sure now, I will make it through Day 2.1 (second fast, first day).

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Day 25

Day 25 ended up being my last day.  I gave it a lot of thought throughout the day and I just felt done.  Ready to stop.  So I decided to stop, knowing I could I start another fast if I needed to.  So I had my sister take me to a store and bought me some orange juice and some watermelon chunks.  She cheered and took a picture of me eating my first bite of food, lol.  I think she was worrying about me (but I knew what I was doing was good).  It definitely felt good to eat, but more in mind than in my body.  I had some, shall we say, digestive difficulties during the evening after I ate.  It seemed to move whatever was in my colon on down and out.  Yes, there was still stuff in there.  I have no idea if it was food or other stuff my body was getting rid of.  Then what I ate passed through me quickly by morning.

I got up with a little back pain.  Very little, but some.  But I have been so much more active the last few days on the trip, I knew it could be sore muscles and that kind of thing.  My knees are kind of sore and I know that is from all the stair climbing I did on Tuesday (more about that in a bit).

I had fruit and watermelon again for breakfast and felt good.  A little purging, but my stomach was feeling good and not sick.  We went on another vacation excursion and decided we would wait until afterwards to eat in case it brought on some more purging.  We ended up not eating until around 3:30 or 4:00.  I had eaten breakfast at around 9:00 a.m.  I was feeling kind of weak from hunger by that time.  You see, my body had been feeding on my fat stores up until I ate, so it had a constant food supply.  Once I ate, it switched back over to using the food I was eating for fuel and in that length of time, the juice and watermelon did not last.

We stopped at this little mom and pop cafĂ© on the way back.  Most everything appeared to be homemade, which was good.  I decided to have a baked potato and some salad and see how I did (I was really wanting solid food).  I made my own salad from a salad bar and piled it on a little much.  (There was some beef vegetable stew on the salad bar I wanted very much, but I asked and it had wheat in it, so I had to pass on that.)  I ate every bite of the salad before the baked potato came.  (As a side note, I have never liked raw tomatoes.  I have always wanted to like them and would try them off and on, but just never did.  I decided to try some since my taste buds were kind of reawakened after the fast.  My sister said to try the red cherry tomatoes -- those are the best -- so I did.  It tasted really good!)  Anyway, my baked potato got there and I got it all fixed and ate a few bites and was done.  I was just too full.  I should have eaten about half the salad I got from the salad bar.  I took the rest of the baked potato to go and had it later in the evening.

I was expecting to have to stop on the way back to the cabin.  We were an hour or so away where we ate.  But I did fine.  No purging happening the whole way back.

We spent the evening resting, talking and packing.  We have to be out by 10:00 a.m. on Thursday and if you are late, you get charged $100.  So we packed overnight bags for the next leg of our trip and put all of the major stuff in the car tonight.  As I said, I finished my baked potato and ate a little watermelon to finish out the day.

Now it is 2:23 a.m. and I cannot drop off to sleep for some reason.  I am wide awake.  To be honest, I am having some sciatica twinges.  Don't know if it is the eating or just would have happened anyway.  Anyway, I have a feeling I will start a shorter fast in the not-too-distant future to finish up some more work that needs to be done.  I also am having less energy since I ate.  Weird, but true.  I was really tired when I went to bed, but I can't seem to go to sleep.  The pain is not enough to keep me awake; I just cannot seem to drop off.

Now for vacation news.  Tuesday we drove from the cabin to Asheville, NC to see the Biltmore Estate (built by George Vanderbilt).  It was spectacular.  Walking through the whole "house" is a lot of walking and I climbed and descended many flights of stairs.  I did really well -- no pain in the doing it.  I took the stairs slow, and if I didn't have something to hang onto on both sides, I would take one step at a time and bring the next foot down.  If I had something to hold onto, I would step down as a "normal" person would. I was tired and I didn't want my left knee to give out.  It was pouring down rain when we got through and so we couldn't walk through the gardens.  We could see them somewhat on the exit drive, so that was good.  The estate was amazing.  The part I found most interesting was the service quarters and kitchen area, etc.  I don't know why.  Maybe because I would have been part of that "class" of people than the Vanderbilts who owned the estate.  The service areas were in the basement and there were three stories of living space above.  They had dumbwaiters to move the food, etc. to the upper floors.  I will get my pictures together and share some when I get home.

Today's trip was to Greeneville, TN to see Andrew Johnson's Historic Home, etc.  I learned a lot of things I did not know about him and other than him owning slaves (whom he freed in 1863, before the Emancipation Proclamation), I very much agreed with most of his politics.  He strongly defended the Constitution, states' rights and limited government.  His then-freed slaves stayed with him until he died, and he paid them wages after freeing them.  He could have been a much more effective President if the Congress had not opposed him at every turn.  When he returned to Greeneville after his term, he tried very hard to blend back in with his neighbors in Greeneville.  His home was modest.  He did not want to live in a manner "above" what his neighbors did.  For instance, he refused to add water closets to the home because his neighbors did not have them.  He is the only President who returned to politics after his term as President.  A few years later, he ran and was elected as a senator in Tennessee.  It was very interesting!!

Tomorrow we are headed back to Nashville to see more of that city.  After seeing some sights in Nashville, we were going to go another couple of hours' drive to Paducah, KY on the way to our next stop, but realized we would be just a few miles from the Illinois state line, so we booked a hotel in Metropolis, IL so we can add one more state to our list of states visited.  (I had only visited 8 states before this trip.  I am adding 4 more with this trip.)  Our destination Friday is Mansfield, Missouri, where we will see the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.  My sisters and I all loved her books growing up and have always wanted to do that.  Then, Saturday, we are headed back to Dallas.  Phew!  It has actually been quite a relaxing vacation.  We have enjoyed the beautiful scenery and talking and laughing together in the miles we have driven.  It has been much more relaxing than my trip to New York last year, although that was a trip of a lifetime for me.

As I said, I will share some pictures when I get home and can get them organized.  Just needed to get some thoughts down since I am up.  I'm going to post this and see if I can go to sleep.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Day 24 is In the Books

Well, Day 24 is in the books.  Today has been a little tough.

I woke up this morning having had the best sleep I have had in I don't know when.  No pain whatsoever.  And very little pain when I got up.  We had a pretty active day yesterday, so that was a little surprising.  More about that in a bit.  The low pain level continued all day and I ended up taking only 2 pain pills all day (I am allowed 6).  So I feel like I am making real progress.  I also felt thinner.  I had tried on a pair of size 16 shorts yesterday to show my sisters they were a little too tight, but that I hoped I might be able to wear them by the end of the week.  I wore a size 18 of the same type of shorts yesterday and I could tell they stretched some during the day.   We were just going to hang out at the cabin and rest today, after two active first days, so I decided to try them and see if they stretched out.  They actually fit pretty well when I put them on and stretched out during the day.  So I wore size 16 shorts today -- regular size 16, not 16W.  Yay!!

The tough part was I was having some cravings.  I was giving a little thought to breaking the fast.  My sisters were going to go into town to pick up some food to have at the cabin and I decided to stay "home" and make use of the huge Jacuzzi tub.  They came home and some things they brought back sounded so good -- very simple things.  Like pimento cheese.  That sounded so good.  I would look at FB during the day, and of course there are endless amounts of food posts, whether recipes, advertisements or people posting about food.  Then tonight my sisters warmed up their leftovers from the place they ate while they were in town and it smelled sooo good.  I had to go to the bedroom for a bit and close the door.  I don't want to quit my fast on a whim.  If I did break it, I would have to do about 3 days of juice (so they say) and ease back into eating, and by that time, my vacation will be over.  Plus there are some things I would like to see done by a longer fast -- like the swelling that is still around my right knee.  It seems like my improvements are going from top to bottom and that part hasn't been worked on yet.  So, I'm kind of sleepy and we are going to get an early start, and I decided to go on to bed and sleep on the situation.

Now, about my vacation.  We started out early Saturday morning and drove a 6-7 hour drive to Memphis.  We drove straight to Graceland and took the tour there.  I enjoyed it, but Elvis is not really my thing.  The part I enjoyed most was the exhibit of his cars.  That was pretty cool.  I took my scooter for that tour because it was supposed to last about 3 hours and I doubted there would be many opportunities to sit down.  I'm glad I did -- that made it easier.  I did have one little mishap.  We took the shuttle back from the mansion to the other part of Graceland and all the people got off and I was waiting for the driver to come operate the lift so I could get off.  I sat in a seat during the drive, but got up and got on my scooter to wait for that.  Well, she forgot about me.  She started driving away and I said, "Don't forget about me!"  I startled her and she threw on her brakes.  My scooter tipped over and I was thrown into the back seat.  I never fell off my feet and I wasn't hurt, but I had the charger for my scooter in the back pocket of the chair of the scooter and it must have come out.  When we unloaded at the cabin this morning, it was nowhere to be found.  Anyway, she made a loop around and let me off and asked me very sheepishly if I was okay.  I told her I was fine and she looked relieved.

After that, we went to our hotel.  We stayed at the historic Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.  It was definitely worth it.  It is a lovely hotel and we enjoyed our stay immensely.  We had a beautiful view of the Mississippi River from the window of our room.  I will post some pictures later.  We were so glad we did not go for a cheaper hotel (besides, we got a good deal on it).  I highly recommend it.  After we settled in a bit, we decided to take the carriage ride around downtown.  The driver told us about the history of all the buildings, some parks, etc.  I enjoyed it very much.

Yesterday morning we got off around 11:00 to go to Gatlinburg.  We went through Nashville and stopped to visit the Hermitage, which is the estate of President Andrew Jackson.  I learned a lot of things I did not know about him and I find these historical things very interesting.  I love to see how people lived and dressed in different eras.  The house was only ever lived in by Jackson and his family before being turned into a museum.  95% of the furniture and fixtures are what was there when he lived there.  There are also lovely grounds and other things to see, like the slave cabins.  I know that is controversial.  It is not that I approve of that -- it's just history and so interesting to see.  I did not plan to use my scooter on this outing and I did fine without it.  It was the most I had walked since my surgery and I did fine.  There were places outside to sit every once in a while, and in the museum part.  I went through it all relatively pain free.

My sisters didn't take much time stopping to eat during any of this  They got fast food (McDonald's at least a couple of times), and knowing what I know, it didn't bother me and I was not struggling with any of that.

After that we drove on to Gatlinburg.  We will have a chance to go back through Nashville and maybe see some other sights.  We passed through Knoxville and will probably visit there as a day trip one day from the cabin.  We got to Gatlinburg fairly late and it was kind of scary climbing the mountain to find our cabin.  There were curvy roads, hairpin turns and a pretty steep escalation.  The GPS seemed to be confused, at times.  We finally found it.

The cabin is so lovely.  We rented a two bedroom and it definitely has that rustic cabin look, but with all of the amenities.  One sister and I shared a king-size bed downstairs and the other had one to herself upstairs.  She has sleeping issues and has to have a fan blowing on her all the time, so we left her to herself.  There is a fully equipped kitchen (no food, of course), two bathrooms, and the huge Jacuzzi tub in an open space in the upstairs bedroom.  There is also a hot tub on the front porch.  Haven't made use of that yet, but plan to.

As I said, we just hung around the cabin and rested today.  We are planning a day trip into North Carolina tomorrow to visit the Biltmore Estate.  Obviously, we like these historical kinds of things.

Hopefully tomorrow will be easier with more activity.  My energy level has been great, although when I am just sitting around or reading, I get sleepy.  All in all, I am doing extremely well, physically.  I cannot charge my scooter, so I will be walking tomorrow.  Hopefully the improved pain level will continue tomorrow and there will be places for me to sit down, periodically.  By the way, there has been almost no upper back pain since last Friday night at work.  I had a very bad day that day and felt like I could not sit at my desk one minute longer, but had to.  I ended up having to work until 8:15 p.m.  My entire back was hurting pretty badly when I left and I felt like I had been through the wringer.  I had one little bit of pain when I was making the bed this morning, but that is all.  I know all the time at my desk the last few weeks is bringing that on.

So, fasting on vacation is really strange, I know, but I am doing okay with it.  Today is the only time I have really struggled.  We will see how it goes.  I know there is more healing that needs to be done.  All of the things I see my sisters eat I cannot eat anyway, so there is no point in thinking about eating those things.  More freedom from pain is so much more important to me than that.  I believe my struggles today were cravings, not hunger.  I will do my best to discern the difference.  If true hunger returns, I will stop.

That's it.  I will write more when I can.