Thursday, February 28, 2013

Importance of following through

I've mentioned in the past few months that my shoulder has been hurting. Hurting to the point I couldn't lift my arm over my head, much less have some weight in my hand while I did it.

I haven't mentioned that in a while, huh?

Well, that is because it's not really a problem anymore!!

My soon to be sister-in-law is a physical therapist, and since I am currently without insurance, she gave me some exercises to do everyday for biceps tendinitis (which she was positive was the cause of my pain).

I did the exercises. Every day. And surprise! It worked! :D The change is stunning. I had this shoulder pain from about August of 2012 to January 2013. It was pretty bad the whole time. Today, after two full months of doing these exercises almost every single day of those months... I have very little pain. I use weights now, lift them over my head, and no pain! It's really freed my life up.

It really struck me about much following through matters. My sister-in-law was amazed that I did the exercises so regularly, saying that most of her patients cannot be relied upon to do their exercises at home. That was so odd to hear! If someone gave you a plan, and told you that plan would result in less pain and struggle for you.... why would you not follow it?? This is a medical practitioner that has an almost fool-proof way for you to heal, if you JUST do it, and people don't? Strange, strange!

You don't get results if you don't put in the effort!

It has so many parallels to my weight loss journey and my desire to become fit. There is a fool proof plan there for me if I want certain results. Eat clean, eat normal portions, exercise regularly, strength train, etc. If I do those things, if I follow through, I get the results I want. If I don't follow through, I certainly don't get those results.

Choosing cheese and candy and wine? I'm not as lean as I'd like to be.

Choosing not to strength train or do cardio regularly? My body is not as strong and fast and fit as I'd like it to be.

I have to follow through and I know it. I did it for my shoulder pain... and that was PAIN, immediate every day pain, so I was definitely going to do everything I could to get rid of it. Not having the body I want is also painful, not so immediately, but it is painful. And I am going to follow through, whole-heartedly.

Eating has been pretty good this week! 95% paleo. All clean. Got sore muscles from working out, doing yoga and body-weight strength exercises at home. On the right path and feeling good :)

Namaste, friends!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Keeping realistic!

So, in keeping with my last post about body image- I took a risk while shopping, remembering I said I won't and don't hide my body anymore because I know, realistically, it's nothing to be ashamed of. If I don't act ashamed, I will not BE ashamed.

I had to return a dress to Old Navy that was bought for me for my birthday. It was a typical hippie, empire waisted dress that you can wear no matter what you weigh (it was too big though, it fell off my shoulders!).

I went out of character and tried on (and got!) this dress instead. Doesn't hide anything. It's sheer-ish, as well. And it's an extra small (though in ON sizes, that's really a regular small haha). It's light and ultra feminine, when I steer towards easy, casual, tomboy looks. But I put this on to challenge that.

I felt pretty.

Knowing I'm taking care of my body DOES make me feel pride. Not shame.

Eating Disorder Awareness/Body Image

We are about halfway through National Eating Disorder Awareness week. I've been grateful to see online and real life attempts to bring awareness to it.

I wasn't just fat. I had disordered eating. It's so common with those who are obese. Binge eating. Dangerous attempts to lose weight. The list goes on.

I wanted to link to some real information about Disordered Eating and Body Image before I go into my opinions and own experiences. I would urge people struggling with this to get help - I suffered quietly and alone for way too long.

But in honor of this awareness week, I will bring awareness to it by telling my story. To let down the curtain, let people know I struggled, that even with all the success you've seen on this blog - it wasn't a smooth road to get here.

For me, I don't think anyone would diagnose me with an eating disorder. But disordered eating? I didn't have a normal relationship with food. There has been overeating and bingeing for most of my life, interspersed throughout the years. I remember restricting food when I was 11ish, drinking water to try and curb my hunger. I remember being an obese teenager in high school, trying to throw up my lunch because I felt such shame for being so much bigger than all the other girls. It was then that I developed a long, long struggle with bulimic tendencies. Whether I was fat or thin, a teen or an adult, I often turned to bulimic behaviors for a sense of control over my body.

It became a serious problem a few times, I knew it was happening too much, I knew I was putting a lot at risk. I've never sought therapy for it, I don't know if I've ever really healed or fixed it. I do know that the more educated I've gotten about nutrition and exercise, the older I've gotten, the less of a problem I have with it. I don't turn to those behaviors anymore.... even though I went through a long period of feeling OUT of control recently.

It lurks back there, though: knowing I spent almost a decade hurting my body. Overeating, binge eating, restricting, throwing up, taking diet pills. Hating my body. Hating myself. Guilt, shame.

These last few years have been different. I lost weight in a healthy manner. I realized it will only stay off if I keep up that healthy behavior. I HAD to stop hurting myself. What remains, though, is the mental stuff.

I am not now and have never been comfortable in my body.

Chris cannot understand those times when I cringe away from him touching me or seeing me naked. He thinks I am beautiful - I feel ugly and worthless in those times. I see something different in the mirror than people see when they look at me. Under 130 pounds now, I often think I am overweight when I look at myself. My body image is in the toilet from all those years of hurting myself, being wrapped up in a disordered place.

BUT it is not all doom and gloom!!!

I work on it. I force myself to face it. I wear fitted clothes and don't hide my body. I talk to myself positively about my body when the negative thoughts creep in. I try to be realistic.

Yes, I have a VERY poor body image. I struggle daily to accept who I am and what I look like. Some days are better than others. I am proud that I have come as far as I have. It was so much worse ten years ago, five years ago.... heck, even three years ago.

The better I treat my body, the better I treat myself in general, the easier it all gets. When I have the right fuel (whole, clean foods) and am active in this world, it is so much easier for me to stamp out that bad body image and replace it with pride and love.

Also, I have been more vocal about my struggles to people like Chris and some of my friends AND here on this blog. The more honest I am about how I feel, how I see myself, what is going on inside my mind.... the easier it is for me to get back to a good place. I don't keep it all locked away anymore. I expose it so it can't fester.

It's up and down, it's a struggle. But it's important.

Be aware.

Bring it to light. Don't let it get secreted away deep inside, where it can only harm you. Don't be alone with it - it is a sickness and it needs to be treated.

I like this awareness week: because the more aware I was of eating disorders, the more educated I got, the more I realized what was going on with my eating and my body image was NOT normal and I didn't have to live like that.

I don't want anyone to have to live like that.

Namaste, friends. Love yourself. <3

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lovely day :)

I went skiing today. Felt great to be outside, sun on my face (in the morning only, then the clouds rolled in!), the wind, the snow. I am definitely not skiing as much as in years past to save money, time and energy, but wow - I really like being outside, being athletic, feeling speed and freedom!

We went to a very quiet mountain. Bromley is a smaller mountain 10 miles away from a very big, resort mountain, which means it stays relatively uncrowded and the people are very chill. We actually ended the day early (so Koda wouldn't have to hold his pee for more than 9 hours!) partly because the mountain was so quiet, we skied a TON even before noon. Usually there is a lot more waiting in line and working your way through crowds. So we ended around 2 and I feel good and relaxed now :)

We packed an awesome lunch, as well, so we didn't have to buy from the cafeteria. Though we did end up with a gluten free treat. Which I said I wouldn't do anymore, but I did. I was super hungry at lunch time. Still going to stick to not buying any gluten free treats for the house.

I let Chris know I am interested in getting really serious about eliminating junky, snacky foods that we tend to eat at friends' houses and getting back on the paleo-bandwagon which worked so well for us. He is on board :)

So, yeah, I plan to get back to my paleo success roots, aside from the one loaf of bread a week we buy (it's rice flour-based, very few ingredients, and made locally.... there are also only about 5 servings per loaf, so between Chris and I, we aren't eating that much of it). I definitely have seen that rice, especially brown rice, doesn't seem to affect my digestive system like wheat and wheat products do. So I will not completely eliminate it from my life!

Got some plans, life messes them up, but got to keep plugging away :)


Monday, February 25, 2013

22 Days

I gave myself a goal at the start of the year. March 19th. 1st anniversary of when I started blogging. Really, the start of a very intense year for me. On that date, I want to be in a good place - mentally and physically.

Since the start of the year, I haven't been *great* at this whole health and fitness thing. Sometimes, I've been downright rotten at it. Eaten things I hadn't eaten for 6 months and said I'd never eat again! Barely any workouts. Etc, etc. Some days, I've been right on track! I've eaten clean, normal portions, no "treats" and gotten my (admittedly much less intense than they could be) workouts in. A lot of in between behavior, as well.

Certainly I have not done the things that will get me to where I want to go.

I need to set some real plans in motion. They say it takes 3 weeks to form a habit. I have 22 days. PERFECT!

So here is what I am going to do in the next 22 days, so that I am a healthier, happier, stronger version of myself on March 19th:

  • Purposeful workouts 4-5 days a week (meaning at least 30 minutes of cardio/strength)
  • NO WHEAT, no dairy! (the main culprits in most of my bloating/digestion issues)
  • Stretch and do physical therapy for shoulder EVERY morning
  • Continue taking vitamins and supplements
  • Hour long dog walks every day
  • Limit wine drinking to once or twice a week (and limit that to two glasses)
  • No excessive snacking - snack only if there is true hunger
  • Be kind to yourself, no shaming, no self-hatred

There we go. We will see. I hope I stick to this path. I hope I am happier 22 days from now than I am now. I hope my body is healthier 22 days from now than it is now.

I know that I have all the power and control to make those things happen. I want to do right by myself!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Good choices, Finding balance (on the road)

My little road trip turned out wonderfully! I got to get some quality time with Chris' sister and her family. It was also exceptionally lovely to spend time in Providence. It's a cute little city! Much more of a city than Albany, but not too big like NYC (which is the other city where we spend the most time).

Now, my last post was about how I have overcome fear and anxiety and CAN go on trips like this and feel confident about it. And I totally did. What else I realized: hitting the road and having a little trip does not mean that I get to jump ship on my healthy lifestyle! It used to. It used to mean stopping at rest stops, getting a soda or candy bar or (gag) McDonald's. It used to mean eating anything I desired at restaurants and being inactive.

Well, there were no rest stop stops! I grabbed a coffee with skim milk for my drive home, but that was it.

We ate out twice, but I felt like I did a great job! The dinner we went to, we all shared a naan pizza with beets and veggies and nuts on top (I had two pieces) and so I only ordered a salad for dinner. It was a beet and goat cheese salad and was very small, but so delicious. I got ALL my beets in for the weekend, I am sure :D Lunch the next day was Ethiopian food and three of us shared a two person entree, so we ate very reasonably.

Then I came home and ate turkey burgers (no bun), sweet potatoes and broccoli for dinner with a pure mango popsicle for dessert (real mango and only 60 calories!).

I felt great about that :D

I was up in weight on Friday, to about 129... AGH. A four pound jump in one day? Weird. Didn't eat like that. Oh well, could very well be bloating related. We will see. Better behavior and staying on track will be the proof.

I did a Jillian Michael's 30 day shred workout before I left for Providence, since I'd be sitting in a car for 3 hours. Felt good to get the heart pumping a little.

Looking forward to an awesome, quiet Sunday with Chris. Plan to do some dog-walking, a little co-op shopping, and home cooking!

I wanted to share a picture Chris took of Koda yesterday (they went and hiked three High Peaks yesterday while I was gone! They are such rock stars!!):

Friday, February 22, 2013

A little insight into my life: when I lost the fear and the weight

I am driving to Providence by myself tonight to visit Chris' sister. Just being able to make that statement reminded me of something. Years ago, when I was obese/overweight, I would never ever have made that statement. Something changed inside of me when I lost the weight - I lost the fear of life.

I'll explain further, and it would probably be easiest to detail a little bit about who I was for the MAJORITY of my life (starting after my mom died when I was 10):

I was shy, nervous, anxious and fearful. I didn't go to dances much (only in a group of the few other awkward friends I had managed to make). I didn't try new things. I didn't join groups at school unless I could work alone (newspaper or the literary journal). I stayed in my house most of the time, locked in the computer room, pretending to be someone I wasn't for hours and hours and hours. I guess this is a pertinent fact as well: I was a roleplayer for years and years. I basically wrote stories with other people and eventually with my friends, typing back and forth, pretending to be other people. The characters I always chose were beautiful, strong, fit women with confidence and sex appeal! They were Amazon warriors, vampires, rock stars, whatever! But I wasted a lot of time dreaming about being someone else while in reality: I was terrified of the world.

I didn't get my license till I was 21 because before that, I thought of myself as a fat, silly, unworldly, undeserving girl who wasn't capable of driving around the city, much less anywhere else! I went to school and work and then home. Never anywhere different. I had a few friends (several of whom have stuck it out with me to this day, I am lucky), but didn't get to know new people and never reached out. My world was small. It was so sad.... for far too long.

So, I always wanted to be a fit, lovely woman with confidence and the ability to live in this world fully. But I never dreamed that I would make a statement like: I am driving myself down to Providence to visit my fiance's sister.

So much of that wouldn't have made sense to an 18 year old me: Driving? Alone?!?! That far?! You don't know that place!! And, wait... fiance?! You let someone get that close? Are you insane? Wait... you don't hate your body anymore? ....

And so on and so on.

Which came first? Did I lose the weight or lose the fear first? When did I become that full lover of life and of myself?

The moment is still so clear to me. It was that one moment. I had just graduated college, too scared to apply to grad school. I had just lied to someone online about my weight. Online, pretending to be someone I wasn't. That lie made me wonder: how much DO I weigh? I got on the bathroom scale. It read 198.something. Almost 200 pounds. I had told the man online that I weighed 130 pounds (and he had said something like "That's alright, I like a girl with a little meat on her bones"... he thought 130 was NOT thin, wtf!). Reality hit me in the face.

And in that moment, all my fear didn't matter anymore. I looked at that number, realized I had graduated college and was STUCK. Stuck in fear, stuck in sadness, stuck in a freaking rut. I made a promise out loud to myself: I am going to lose weight, I am going to change my life. And I meant it with all my heart.

The next morning, I woke up early and went for a long walk. As long as the chubby legs that never walked could carry me.

I did that every morning, changed the way I ate, AND started insinuating myself into the world.

I reconnected with an old friend and started helping her plan her wedding (AND I was a bridesmaid... by the time her wedding rolled around, I wasn't fat anymore!!). I applied to graduate school. I started driving around, just for the sake of it. I started DOING things, being someone.

It all happened slowly, just as the weight loss happened slowly. Even though life sometimes scares me now, I am not paralyzed by that fear.

And it's weird to think it was just a choice that day. But it's true. I made a promise to myself and I kept it.

And today, I weigh 125 pounds, I am confident, I will drive anywhere, I will travel internationally, I have a huge social circle around me, I feel beautiful, I feel strong, I can handle anything this life throws at me. I am IN this world, completely.

The fear is still there, lurking, trying to get me to lock myself away in safety.... I just don't listen to it anymore :)

So, yes, I am driving myself to an unfamiliar state/city tonight. I will meet up with my glamorous sister-in-law. I will bring lovely clothes that flatter me and show off the strong, fit body I have EARNED.

I am all of those women that I used to pretend to be.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Some sickness; Be Here Now

You know how you always feel worse in the morning than you do in the afternoon with a cold? Or is that just me?

Well, anyway, that totally has been happening to me the past three days: waking up uncomfortable, barely able to breath, sore throat, swollen glands, stuffed nose.... and by 11 AM or 12 PM, I feel pretty much fine!! So I went to TV night last night when I probably shouldn't have... stayed up a little too late, had a glass of wine, which I am sure affected my immune system.

Feeling pretty cruddy this morning.

But determined to get some things done! I haven't had time/energy to work on my dissertation or class this week. I need to make up for that by putting in serious hours today. Also the dog needs walking and there are some errands that need running.

So I am having tea and trying to get my body to wake up and not feel so sick. It is working slowly, even as I type this post out!

Nothing huge for me on the horizon. My basic plans for life go like this: get some work done the next couple days, go to Providence to hang out with my future sister-in-law and get a bridesmaid dress for her, get work dooooone next week AND do some basic prep for the housewarming party, then have the party next Saturday!

I can't really look too far ahead, two weeks is about my max. I get a little freaked out if I look any farther :)

I am just focusing on the now, seeing my today, and trying to do something with it that will make me happy and brighten my life.

It's definitely what I need to do - just be present and don't fixate on what is to come too much. It's worked for me whenever I can focus and achieve that state of mind. It definitely worked for weight loss and for finding fitness. I didn't look at the long term or how far I had to do. I just went and did that day what mattered. I looked at where I was and who I was and how my present should look in that moment. It's not so overwhelming then.

Namaste, find peace today, and do good things for your mind and body!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My day; Muscle Pain; Article

Up early today because I am watching a friend's kid for them for the morning. I normally don't babysit (haven't since I was 18 or 19!) but this kid will be relatively easy, I hope. He's four and precocious and will do all the talking and all the playing for me. I probably will just have to sit with him and push some cars around.

Ate a big breakfast to tide me over till after noon so that I don't snack on any of his little kid snacks!

Going to hit up the farmer's market on the way home! We don't have a lot of veggies in the house right now. I like to buy what is on sale at the supermarket.... and no veggies have been on sale for two weeks!! So it's been pretty much peppers, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes only for two weeks. Time to switch it up, get something a little more green in our diet.

Not a ton of exciting stuff happening to me other than that (not that babysitting and the farmer's market is exciting, haha). One thing I am living with right now: some weird muscle cramp/pain in my neck and shoulder. I can't turn my head right without some pretty intense pain. It happened after my little body weight strength workout last night.... I am sure I tweaked something. Chris tried to massage it out, but that was a no go. Took some aspirin this morning and we will see!

Leaving you with another article like the last one. This one also is a complete list of foods I do *not* bring into my house anymore. I do eat some of them super rarely (like I am sure there was a time last year a friend made microwave popcorn and I ate it, or I had white rice at an Asian restaurant.... but we do 90% of our eating at home, and I usually pick better options when we do go out now).

Nine Foods You Should Never Eat Again

Alright, hope all you lovely people have a great day and pursue some health and happiness :)


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Good mood, good plans.

This weekend was awesome. We didn't leave the city! We got hours and hours of time to get the house and our lives in check. I got to relax insanely deeply. It feels incredible.

We completely renovated another room (my dad's old TV room which is actually a lovely converted porch with HUGE windows). Chris ripped out the carpet, scraped up old paint that was on the tiles, threw out the old furniture, changed the decorations and turned it into a lovely sunroom for music, plants, and hiking books/maps. I love it!

I also finally slept into today for the first time in a long time. Till 9 AM! Doesn't seem like much, but that changed my whole outlook on the day. I am excited to get going now :) My last dream before I woke up was of Jared Leto (as current day 30 Seconds to Mars headman, not as Joey Catalano, haha) and, well, that put me in a great mood too :)

Things are going well! I am at 125 lbs, so right where I would like to be (though goal is about 4 lbs lighter... I will take 125 anytime).

I wasn't perfect with eating this weekend, I had Indian take-out when friends came over on Saturday and drank wine two nights. But I tried to keep portions sane and not over-do it. Also, aside from those slip-ups, the rest of my food has been proteins (either lean meats or eggs) and veggies. My body has all the healthy fuel it could want! I also have stayed very active... continue my yoga and body-weight strength training in my home. This morning another hour long dog-walk is about to occur.

I know I found a great place to maintain.

At 125, if I stay moderately active and do a little strength training AND eat 85% paleo (allowing for not great choices like Indian take out and wine)... I maintain. It feels good. Finding a place I have maintained weight through all the stress and depression feels great. I realize now, that no matter what happens in life, I will never go back to obesity.

But, with a wedding coming up this year... I do want BETTER :) I want more muscle tone, I want a smaller waist. The wedding is 7 months away... and I am going to transition every month towards what I want. I will eat more and more paleo every month, I will drink less and less wine!, I will work out more and more (planning to get back to the gym soon, maybe when I get my tax return and have some extra money!).

Well, enough talking and time to get to it! A walk and breakfast of eggs scrambles with mushrooms/tomatoes/peppers/onions :)

Namaste <3

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Painting Results (joy comes after patience!)

So after a lot of annoyance and frustration... I am VERY pleased with my new house. I am actually at peace when I walk around the downstairs now. I used to feel a little sad and overwhelmed looking at the dated house full of TOO many memories. This change brightened it up and makes me think of it as MINE, as somewhere new where Chris and I can create memories :)

Thanks for bearing with me and putting up with my stressful blog posts during this process. It was a great place to vent and get some perspective on the situation.

Here are some Before and Afters:

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Dining Room After

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Kitchen After

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Living Room After
 Had a very healthy and happy day with Chris today. We ate a delicious steak from the local butcher (we had a gift certificate from a friend, so we got TONS of really prime meat) for dinner and are going to relax tonight.

Love and Light to you!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Realities behind eating "Paleo"

Associating the Paleo Diet with what is known about the archaeological past and actual scientific knowledge about our ancestors and their eating habits is.... pointless. They are only tangentially related.

When the Paleo Diet came out and got its name, it was based on a fad and general bad, "TV" type science. Here's an article about archaeologists and other academics being overall displeased with the diet and its hype: Archaeologists Officially Declare Collective Sigh Over “Paleo Diet”

These two paragraphs of the article sum up my feelings about the Paleo Diet as well:

"The Paleo Diet is a nutritional framework based on the assumption that the human species has not yet adapted to the dietary changes engendered by the development of agriculture over the past ten thousand years. Proponents of the diet emphasize in particular the negative effects of eating large quantities of grain and its numerous by-products, which can lead to hypertension, obesity, and various other health problems. Instead, the Paleo Diet posits that a reliance on lean meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables while minimizing processed food is the key to health and longevity.

The nutritional benefits of the diet are not what the grievance is about, said Dr. Britta Hoyes, who organized the event. She agreed that a high-carbohydrate diet can have a detrimental effect on long-term health, as many studies have demonstrated. Instead, the group’s protest is a reaction to the biological and historical pediments of the diet, in particular the contention that pre-agricultural societies were only adapted to eat those foods existing before the Neolithic Revolution."

I started to really like this diet when the next wave happened. Where people were not following a fad of "Hey, let's eat like Homo erectus or Neanderthals!!" but looking more purely at the nutrition and its effects on the body. On grains and dairy and legumes and resulting inflammation in the human body. (Not to say some people aren't still buying into the fad of eating like a hunter-gatherer... but to me and many others, the diet is now about how awesome eating whole, clean foods and no grains/dairy make us feel).

So, it irks me a little when people who haven't done the research start making comments like "Well, a "caveman" wouldn't be able to use a food processor to grind up almonds, so you can't eat almond flour!" ... that's not the point. Why would I, a woman in the modern era, want to eat like they did 10,000 years ago? Everything is much more convenient now! I buy things to make my life easier. I don't devote all day to subsistence.

The point is that there are a lot of studies that say a lot of things, positive and negative, about eating grain-based diets (just use Google Scholar and you can find articles for or against any argument!).

For me, eating Paleo (and we will continue to use that term since people know what the diet includes, even with all the misconceptions of WHY) means getting OUT of the Standard American Diet. Americans and the Western world eat way too many grains, way too many super processed grains at that, and lots of processed, chemically foods.

Yes, eating Paleo follows food guidelines that mimic what pre-agricultural people would have eaten. But that's not the reason everyone eats paleo today. Especially for me, following this diet (with a few tweaks of my own since I am not a lemming and can make educated decisions) means being less inflamed... and to be less inflamed, I personally have had to eliminate grains, dairy and legumes from my daily life.

Everyone thrives in different ways and with different foods. This post is not meant to try to sway anyone over to my way of eating! It is meant to dispel myths about the paleo diet. As an archaeologist, I dislike being associated with the bad science associated with the paleo diet. So I am doing what I can :)

So there's my little two cents. I had some time this morning and felt like getting this post out!

Namaste and enjoy your weekend!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Article I found interesting..

Obviously, this article was interesting to me because it sums up some of the facts about foods I have *already* cut out of my life. And cut out of my life, I mean these foods do not exist in our home. However, I have been known to eat a cookie or crackers at a friend's house which are sure to break my rules (which is why we are trying to go back to paleo so we can more easily turn down those snacks).

Four Foods to Avoid if You Want to Eat Healthy

The foods: white sugar, white flour, dairy, trans fats.

Chris and I gave up these foods early on in our eating healthy quest. And not because an article or study or doctor said so.

We gave them up because we could see direct correlations between eating refined sugar, white flour, dairy products and processed oils (trans fats) and just feeling plain old crappy.

I'd drink milk and have intestinal upset.

I'd eat white flour products and get itchy.

Trans fat and I'd feel inflamed and bloaty.

Even when we don't eat paleo all the time, we still rarely eat those four foods. They barely feel like real food to me, as if I am not getting any nutrition and actually doing harm to my body. When I eat something with refined sugars or flours, I immediately get a rash (similar to hives) on my back and legs. That's inflammation.

And if I can see the inflammation so clearly when my body gets a dose of those foods when it was mostly clear of them to start with.... well, it makes me think about the fact that when I was eating them all the time, overwhelming my body with them, the inflammation was rampant... seen in bloating, weight gain, rashes, poor skin and who knows what inside me, in my organs.

And I will end this conversation with: This is about me, my body and what foods work for me!! Not telling anyone else they HAVE to give up those foods. Just throwing out an anecdote of what works for me (and since I've maintained 122-127 pounds for almost a year since really getting rid of those foods in our day to day life, I feel more certain than ever!).

I guess this is why people read blogs, for anecdotal evidence and life stories.... I know I did that when I was first interested in weight loss, and I took little pieces of different people's strategies to make a plan that worked for me.

Also: just generally good to chew on new information!

Life is going well for me today, not much to report, actually, since it has been going so well! I have a little congestion in my nasal passages, but nothing major.

Namaste :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Paleo Grocery Shopping, Sharing the LOVE!

Keeping true to my word, I am determined to get back on track. Clean eating. No processed foods. Went out and tried to buy a paleo paradise at the supermarket :D

We have a lot more vegetables than pictured because Chris went to the farmer's market yesterday. But this is what I grabbed up:

Meat, eggs, vegetables, clementines and sweet potatoes. That's it!

I actually really like Valentine's Day. But I am going to use it this year as a way to make a promise with Chris that we are going to treat our bodies right.

I think that's love :) I want us both to be around for a long time... and I know life isn't predictable, but I want to do MY part, the things that I do have control over to keep us around. And I want our time to be QUALITY time - full of energy and excitement and health.

I did a lot of cleaning the house and organizing today. A lot of running around. Hour long walk with the dog accomplished!

Food for the day:

Breakfast: egg, 2 slices turkey bacon, 2 slices gluten free toast
Lunch: Vegetable soup (nothing but veggies, broth and spices!) and coffee with almond milk
Dinner (to come): elk, sweet potatoes, peas and mushrooms

That is a DAMN good day for me.

Breakfast kept me full till 2 PM, which is awesome.

So, yes. I am very excited and bursting with hope and love. Wanted to share it on the blogosphere!

Namaste (and listen to the new Cloud Cult album if you can, it's great!)

Celebrating health and love :)

No big Valentine's Day plans today since we got to have a dinner out and see Mumford and Sons in the city on Tuesday!!

However, I will be making a nice paleo meal with Chris tonight to celebrate love and health - elk burgers (no buns), peas and sauteed mushrooms, and roasted sweet potatoes!

Chris and I are attempting to get back to where we were with eating. So we made a rule to follow: no wheat products at all, not even at social events!! No nibbling on crackers or  cookies, etc. We were put to the test last night when our friends put out a cheese and cracker spread, all sorts of store bought cookies, etc - we ate some of the cheese and shrimp and sausage. But stuck to our rule, which is a good step. We want to be in control again!

My other rule is no gluten free "treats." They sell so many awesome gluten free baked goods at our local co-op and I'll usually get some for the week. No more. I am going to buy ONE loaf of gluten free bread (it's a really awesome bread made by a local bakery with very few ingredients) per week for the both of us.

So the rules are really geared towards 95% of our diet being paleo, which works so well for us. We just naturally eat better food on that plan. We eat whole foods, mostly. We don't do a ton of "recipes" to make things look like non-paleo food. We just cook up meat and veggies and eat our fruits and nuts and there we are.

I want us to both feel healthy, fit, strong and sexy sooner than later. I want us to be proud of ourselves :)

We needed to get to a place where we weren't exhausted all the time, physically and emotionally, to start this eating regime. A little over four months out now, and things just aren't as hard as they were.. we still get sad and overwhelmed, but not as much, it's not crippling.

It is definitely time to put life back on the path we wanted... the path we WERE on before all this happened!

The painting is done, by the way (sooooo happy) but I am not going to take pictures till the curtains are up to complete the look :)


What this means for me: I have my dog back!!!!! Yay! And I am about to go take an hour walk with him to start BOTH of our days off right. I am excited.

Namaste, enjoy your Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mumford and Sons, exhausted and trying to stay on track!

I got through my bad mood yesterday, drove down to the city with Chris, had a great dinner out and went and saw Mumford and Sons in Brooklyn.

They played great! Really amazing. I enjoyed their songs even more than when I hear the album. His voice is divine and their energy is through the roof. The only regret of the night: they didn't play Sigh No More, which I think is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard!

Fun night :) Our friends were in the section next to us, so we got to see them, as well, which is always great.

I slept in the car on the ride home (we didn't want to lose a day of work/painting/etc by staying overnight in Brooklyn on a Tuesday) but am still exhausted. We got home around 3:30 AM because of terrible traffic on the BQE. At midnight. On a Tuesday.  I will never, ever, ever be a NYC kind of person -- I will go there to visit, enjoy concerts, see a museum, hang out with friends. But then I am out and back to my quiet, little city where the streets are deserted at midnight!!!

Painters said today should be their last day. They promised to fix all the mess... in fact, the owner seemed pretty angry that the mess even happened. Said his workers were sloppy and should never have done that.

Cannot wait for it to be over!! I want my house/routine/life back :D

I've definitely been eating a little junky because of stress. Going to try hard not to do that today. Especially since I am SUPER tired and that is often a trigger for overeating. I want to get that all in control ASAP.

Talked to Chris about going strict paleo soon. I am thinking I will finish up the gluten free stuff that's in the house and then hop to it! I will definitely buy some non-paleo foods for my housewarming party (some chips and bread will be there) but I am going to make a ton of paleo awesome treats I found online. I definitely won't be a having a big beige spread of crackers, breads, pastas and dips! Lots of veggies, fruits and meats!

Also been working out in my house, using small weights or my own body weight.... loving having some sore muscles again. My shoulders, calves and quads especially today.

I might stumble (and freak the hell out like yesterday) but I am trying to get back up quickly so I don't lose too much time in this short life.

Namaste, friends!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Letting things get to me

I went into full out melt down mode yesterday. I let someone else completely ruin my day. I didn't even leave the house.... even though we were supposed to go try on tuxes for Chris for our wedding (canceled the appointment) and all my friends were having a drink just down the street that would have been easy to pop into.

No. Instead, I completely wasted a day and was sad, stressed, anxious and generally upset.

Now, mind you: I am generally pretty stressed/depressed every day but I hold on by a thread and keep it together and get through every day usually pretty well. Then this happened:

The painters came to "finish" yesterday. We are on our FOURTH week of a one week project. My house had been in disarray for weeks. I've been missing my dog as he is away for weeks for them to do the work. 

They only had to paint the trim yesterday.


They smeared paint EVERYWHERE. I cannot fully explain to you how awful it looks. There are drips and smears of white paint (the trim is all white) on every single wall, in the middle of the walls! And, every single piece of trim... they smeared the paint up and down, like kindergartners. Some pieces of trim, they just didn't paint the side pieces. They painted my windows WHILE THEY WERE SHUT so that when we open them, the bottom two inches are old, yellowed paint.... uh.

It looks wretched. Not only did they mess up the trim, but they messed up all their previous work, as well.

I told them about it, and they left.

I called their boss, he seemed unconcerned.

Finally, I had Chris call their boss.

He is coming today.

And I still feel like nothing will ever look nice in this house.

Why am I paying someone thousands of dollars to cause me stress and do a bad job for A MONTH!!! I wanted to hire someone so that I would be unstressed and the job would be nice and go quickly. It's insane. I feel insane.

Chris and I then had a big argument, because he thinks I'm overreacting. I'm not overreacting... I am just tired of this. I am angry at these people. I feel taken advantage of. I'm overwhelmed. I am stressed enough and tired enough and sad enough without someone I am PAYING adding to that.

So, yeah, lots of stress last night. It completely physically affected me. I'm exhausted even after sleeping.

And Chris and I were supposed to do our Valentine's date today, we were going out to eat in NYC and then seeing Mumford and Sons in Brooklyn. I am completely not in the mood for it as I type this. I am going to try to get happier... we will see.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Skiing and the need to go paleo

Had a pretty great weekend, the monster blizzard storm didn't really affect daily life around here except for the need to shovel, we did lots of really easy and chill hanging out with friends on Friday and Saturday, and went skiing on Sunday!

Skiing was really fun, Chris and I skied from the second we got there and got our boots on (about 8:40 AM) to the moment the lifts closed (4 PM)! We were with a different group of people than we have been going with lately, and their style doesn't really fit ours... we like to ski hard, all day. We usually take a 15 minute break in the morning and one in the afternoon, but NO breaks between 12 and 1 because that is when all the children hit up the lodge for lunch... so it means the mountain is super quiet! This group did a lot of hanging around, mid-slope, and took a lunch at noon. Chris and I decided we did so much hanging around with the group during the day, we weren't going to take a break at all in order to get in the most amount of skiing we possibly could.

It was a crowded day at Stratton, but the conditions were nice, and I did some of the best skiing I've done in a long time -- had to put my skills to use on a super icy, narrow, steep mogul course I accidentally ended up having to do. People were gathering at the top, worrying about how to ski it. One person at a time would go (because it was so narrow) and many of them would fall.. I hate being watched by people at the top on a very hard course, but I sucked it up, told myself I had the skills and went for it! I was super proud at how I maneuvered on the ice and over the bumps. Chris was waiting for me at the bottom to congratulate me on how well I did it. Good feelings :)

Afterwards, we went for sushi - I had a miso soup, one small veggie spring roll, and one and a half rolls of sushi. Not too much food, really enjoyed the way my body felt after eating the raw fish (I could almost feel the healthy fats get into my exhausted body, haha!).

Koda has been an EXCELLENT dog all weekend. We asked someone to check in on him while we went skiing because we'd be gone for 12 hours, but the person forgot (augh!)... however, Koda was a perfect angel at home!! No accidents, nothing destroyed, and we came home to a sleepy, happy puppy :)

So, a very nice weekend for us. We had a conversation where Chris feels that he will never be as fit as he was last spring (when we were paleo and working out all the time) but I reminded him that he is not even a whole year older than he was then.... and all we have to do is what we did last spring! Go paleo and workout -- make it a priority. We drank significantly less, ate significantly better and were super active (Chris is super active... he has an active job and hikes with Koda nights and weekends, but food is a big issue).

I want us both to be as fit as last spring. We deserve to feel that good about ourselves. It is going to take some serious MENTAL work (we were in such a good mental place last spring... felt so positive, so full of potential and life.... my dad's death and the resulting changes have really done some damage, which we are slowly repairing). We need to get our heads back in the game so that we treat our bodies as well as they deserve.

I want us to feel like rockstars at our wedding :D

I want us to love ourselves and each other as much as possible.

I have a feeling we will be going paleo very soon. And it will have to be strict, or else we will find ourselves eating bread and cheese at a friend's house within days, haha. We still buy almost exclusively paleo food (except for a weekly loaf of gluten free bread)... its the restaurants and the social times we need to be strict with.

Hope everyone is recovering from the winter storm here in the North East, hope everyone else enjoyed their weekend. Namaste :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

A little TMI

So, I don't normally go into this because it's usually not a problem. It was a huge problem last night. A problem that woke me up four times and kept me awake for three hours the last time I woke up.

Cramps. Killer, killer, killer cramps.

It's been interesting to watch my body change with regards to menstruation as my weight changed. When I was heavy, my periods were random and irregular. They were often long... way too long and way too heavy. But there was almost no pain associated with them.

As I lost weight, my periods became more regular. Showing up in monthly intervals and behaving more predictably. Really predictably... Almost exactly 31 days after my last one started. I also get a little twing about two days before it will start to warn me. When I got down to around 130 and under, my periods have been very short, more on the three day spectrum than the five day that they were while I was 135-145 lbs. However! The lighter I have gotten, the more intense the cramps have gotten.

And what's weird, the cramps themselves are so predictable. About 12 hours after my period starts, I am in for about four hours of pain with the last hour being almost crippling. When I was at work and they hit, no amount of paid meds would help, and I had to take a long lunch and just sit, read and work through the pain. I have to sit pretty much doubled over. Bleh.

Unfortunately, last night, the cramps hit at 11 PM. I had already been asleep for an hour. They were tame enough, I fell back asleep till they woke me at 12ish... same process till I got woken at 1ish. Then the monster cramps hit at 2 AM and rocked my body for about an hour. I tried to distract myself from the pain by playing games on my phone... but it was a long hour. Then, I was so jerked awake and reeling from the experience, I had a hard time falling back asleep. But the pain stops IMMEDIATELY after the really bad  cramps... there is no slow ebbing of the pain. Just about an hour of pain and then back to normal. I am usually exhausted, after, though.

So. One day a month, I get three uncomfortable hours and one where I feel like I am giving birth (not that I know what that feels like, but I cry almost every time this hits). It's not the worst situation. 12 days a year with a section of that day being pretty uncomfortable.

Just throwing this out there, wondering about other women's experiences!

Did your period change for the better or for the worse after losing weight, or not at all?

I think, in the end, mine changed for the better, despite the pain. They are short and predictable. After living a decade of unpredictable and super long periods... to the point I was sure I would be infertile!... I am glad for regularity.

So, yeah, maybe TMI, but an important topic, I think. Our bodies and our reproductive bits deserve to be understood!

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wanting my routine back!

I cannot wait for this painting to be finished. I want my normal routine back! I loved what I had set up for myself:

Leisurely breakfast in the morning of eggs and veggies
Hour long walk with the dog
Home time to work on either my dissertation or class
Small lunch whenever I felt hungry
Stretching/Yoga while watching a show
More work time/House cleaning time
Then dinner into dog and Chris time!

It's all kind of twisted around now. Especially with the dog not here. I really miss him. I realized, once he was gone all week at daycare and not around the house with me.... I missed him and I really, really loved him. I am glad I didn't get rid of him in the early months of my grief/depression. He was grieving, too. We've settled in to our life and it is FAR from perfect, but hey, what is?

Eating wasn't great yesterday because I let about 8 hours go between breakfast and lunch... and I was SO hungry, nothing seemed to satiate me. So I overate at dinner and ate cheese at a friend's house later. Ugh.

Not the end of the world. This is coming to an end. My routine will be back shortly! And now that I have been adding in some really good, purposeful exercise, I've got more than high hopes :)

Other life news: I've decided to have a housewarming/thank you party in early March (which coincides with my birthday, actually!). I want to welcome all my friends to my house and thank them for all their help this past year.

I have... never thrown a party like this before. We've had dinner parties with 4-8 people there. General college type drinking parties where all I did was buy some chips and wine. But I REALLY want to say thank you. I want to have delicious food for everyone (and mostly paleo type food if I can do it!) and have music and a clean house and places to sit and chill, etc. I'm nervous and excited :) I am expecting about 50 people. AYIYI!

So, yeah, things and stuff are happening. Health and happiness are priorities. Life is progressing and I am starting to remember that I love it :)


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Practical vs. Dreamer sides of me: trip to Japan

The bed is so warm and cozy, I am blogging from it as we speak :)

I drank wine last night with Chris, so my weight is up and I feel a little bloated. Ah, well. Exercise is on the docket for today as my muscles feel TONS better... still sore, but not "oh god I can't walk down the stairs" sore anymore. Just pleasantly sore.

Tons of stuff going on in my life, so much stuff that I am having a hard time sleeping for all the demanding thoughts whirling around my brain. It's not all bad stuff... actually, very little of it is bad stuff.

I would say the bad stuff that is occupying me right now is finances and frustration with the painters I hired.

Good stuff: wedding planning, bridesmaid dress shopping, planning our honeymoon, school work.

I am nervous to finalize the honeymoon. It's a ton of money, but my brother is paying half as our wedding present. Once in a lifetime trip to Japan... seeing Mt. Fuji, staying in a ryokan, biking through rice fields, seeing snow monkeys at the hot springs, eating REAL sushi, etc, etc. We would be going to places like Tokyo, Kyoto, Matsumoto, Nagano and a few other little out of the ways towns.

I am nervous because I don't feel I have any right to spend so much money on a trip. But I have saved my whole life for a down payment on a house... and now we don't need to put a down payment on a house. I have a bunch of money that I spent 15 years saving.... I should not feel guilty about spending it on something like this. It's my one life, I don't have to spend the whole time squirreling away money in Albany, NY. I should go see and live and do.

(that little nagging, super practical side of me does not approve of the above paragraph! ... saying I wouldn't be worrying about finances in other parts of my life if I just don't go on a trip, duh)

This isn't putting us into the poor house, though. I will still have some savings after I pay for the trip (it's a guided trip that includes all lodging and transportation and activity fees, etc). And it's our honeymoon! So.... I think I am going to do it. Maybe today! We will see, I am still nervous.

Namaste, friends... live it up :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Super, crazy sore muscles

Scale said 124 this morning. :) Doing something right!! And that something is: eating clean, eating portions normal for a 30 year old, 5'4 woman, and getting back into exercise.

It was completely predictable, but it still surprises and delights me when my weight drops. I know when I am doing the right thing for weight loss. It is so much easier for me to do the right thing for weight maintenance... I can be a lot more lax with my food and less active. But that's not what I want in the end. I want more. I want to be the sexiest bride Chris ever saw. I want it to be easy for me to climb mountains (well, it's never easy... but there is a big difference between a fit person doing it "hard" and an out of shape person's "hard"!). I want to be in a swimsuit this summer and loving it.

In the end, it wasn't that hard. Not binge eating at dinnertime (my favorite time to overeat). Easing up on snacking. No processed foods. Exercise. None of those things are hard, per se. Yet I, and tons of others in this world!, struggle with doing it.

At least I am doing it more than I am not doing it :)

I've been enjoying reading inspirational blogs this week. Women who are just rocking it. Mothers, career-women, both, who beat obesity and are living the healthy life, even when life throws crap in their path. Women who are healthy because they know they are worth it!

I still read blogs that are maybe not so lovingly termed "trainwrecks" :D ... it's weird, I am oddly grateful that they still post, even though they aren't really doing it "right" as far as weight loss/fitness/health. They remind me how easy it is to make excuses. How easy it is to let all this work slip away.

In other news... I am still insanely sore from my weekend's workout and hike. I mean, crazy sore like I have never been before. It's blowing my mind. I used to strength train at the gym for 45 minutes at a fast pace and with heavy weights and I've never been this sore. My calves and quads almost give out on my when I walk down stairs. Taking aspirin and using an icy-hot type salve. Also massages.

This muscle soreness is a big reminder to me to not let myself get so inactive for so many months again!!! Getting back into the groove is painful.

Painting is chugging along. I wish they would work full days and it might be done by now, but woulda, coulda, shoulda. Just eager for it to be done!! Color is finally going up on the walls today. Bright, sunshiny kitchen, here I come :D

EDIT: UGH Painters!!!!!!!!!!!! Another waste of a day where someone called in and so they are only priming the living room... 4 hours of work instead of a full day... ANOTHER day of boarding my dog for a half-assed day of work. Drawing out this project so that I go insane with a crazy, dirty, pulled apart house. I hate disorganization. Blurgarghmuuuurrggggg. Deep breaths. It's fine. Small problems. First world problems. Moving on. :)

Peace and light and have a gorgeous day <3

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mechanical Bull > Workout > Hike = how I spent the Superbowl Weekend

I am not generally one who raises a stink about holidays, commercialization, etc, etc.

BUT Superbowl Sunday is NOT a holiday!!! I'm glad I didn't treat it like one. It was a normal weekend, where I did normal weekend things and didn't shovel crap into my mouth.

My other problem with Superbowl Sunday: I hate watching sports. And I really hate what a big deal we make about watching sports in Western culture (football, baseball, soccer, whatever). Making time to watch one or dozens of games a week seems so silly to me. Purposely planting yourself on your couch to watch other people be great athletes? Strange. If you love the sport, go play it! Then I could understand spending time watching other people play, I guess.

The Olympics, I can understand... it's every four years, it's the best of the best of human athleticism. But every freaking week? Several times a week?

I'm lost there.

Anyway, I am obviously not a football fan, or a sports watching fan, but that's me and I know I am in the minority. It will never make sense to me, sorry!!!

So, anyway, I made the decision, since I do not care about the game at all and don't want to get a little fatter while watching other people excel, I didn't go to the Superbowl Party most of my friends were at. Just couldn't do it.

Sunday was spent hiking 6 miles in the Adirondacks, in pretty deep snow!, with another couple and Koda :) It was super fun and we were all tuckered out afterwards! Chris made us a delicious meal of some pork sausages and sweet potatoes afterwards.

The day before, I did a typical workout in my house I would have done last year, when I was on top of my game. Lots of squats, lunges, rowing machine, free weight work and some yoga poses as stretches. Was pretty sore on Sunday for the hike. Now, on Monday, super sore. My quads are screaming!!!

Still weighing in at 126 today. I didn't eat great Wed/Thur/Fri of last week... meaning I definitely overate at dinner each night. So I am glad the super healthy weekend kept me on track. Chris is home this weekend and we are both dedicated to eating clean and primal this week.

I will leave you with some pictures:

Me, riding a mechanical bull! I did pretty well, actually... all those years of horseback riding paid off :D

And here are some shots from the hike:

Successful, healthy, active weekends usually lead into the weekdays following being very similar :)

Namaste, hope I didn't offend anyone with my hatred of sports watching!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Painting frustration

Soooo... a painting update. I haven't been mentioning it on the blog for a while because it is frustrating me and making me crazy and I am *trying* to have a generally more positive outlook, haha.

I hired painters so that this would NOT be a headache (because painting three huge rooms, their ceilings and all the trim would definitely give me a headache). Thousands of dollars to get a perfect job done without the hassle.

Tons of hassle, tons of headaches.

It's been two weeks and not a drop of paint has gone up on the wall! They did take down the wallpaper, but they kept canceling the first week, didn't show up AND didn't call ahead one day this week, and canceled another day this week. And when they did come to work, it was only for about 4 hours.

My house is a wreck and it is draggggggging out. :P

Also, I put Koda in daycare when they come so that they can work without a 75 lb German Shepherd all up in their business. So twice he has gone to daycare when they didn't even show up (ugh... waste of money and bonding time). I just wish they would come and work a full 8 hour day and get it done fast.

They quoted me a ONE week time frame and we are going into week three with no paint even bought yet (they haven't asked me what colors I want yet even!... I keep trying to tell them and nothing).

Sooooo.... I am putting on my smile and my niceties but I am pissed. I am making them pay for the doggy daycare for each day that I put him into daycare and they didn't let me know (or let me know way too late.... like 10:30 in the morning). I was firm that I need to know by 7:30 if they are coming or not so I have time to get him to daycare.


Hoping the results are worth it!! I hate looking at all the gross, unwallpapered walls, no decorations up, things pushed all around. A cluttered house really makes me go crazy!

But that's that.

Tomorrow, I am going to hike with Koda and a bunch of friends :) So that solves my social problem!! I'm glad I know people who would rather hike than eat and watch TV!

Hope your weekend is fun, healthy and warm :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Making plans for success, Superbowl Weekend

Chris and I thought to go skiing on Superbowl day, because the mountains are generally pretty quiet, what with everyone getting their insane gorge-fests ready for the big game.

But money is definitely an issue. Especially if we end up using some savings on the honeymoon of our dreams. So, no skiing for us this weekend.

BUT. Another reason I wanted to go skiing was so that we were doing something active and not being tempted by bacon cheese potatoes and creamy dips. I love hanging out with my friends and there is a party being hosted.... but I really hate this weird "holiday" of watching other people play sports while we get just a little fatter. In the end, I don't feel good about myself during any Superbowl party I've ever gone to.

Now that we are not going skiing, we thought about hitting up the party. .... It's not what I want, though. I don't think we will go. Chris and I talked over our options and decided that taking the dog up north and going for a nice hike and eating a healthy dinner at home is really what we want. It's what's going to make us feel good about ourselves this weekend - bonding with the dog, using our bodies, not shoveling crap in our mouths.

It's hard. I want to be social. I love being social! I really, really like my friends here in Albany. It's hard to not go to a big gathering where everyone will be there.

It's time though, time to make the decisions that make my soul and body feel good and strong.

My friends aren't going anywhere. Missing watching a football game isn't a big deal, I know that.

I'm glad Chris and I are setting ourselves up for success. We need to get on OUR game :)