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Monday, June 25, 2012

The Party was Wonderful....down another two pounds!

My Rainbow

The party was great!  I took off on Friday and already had Thursday off so that I could prepare for the party on Saturday.

I got up on Thursday and began baking the cookies that I wanted to serve.  They turned out wonderfully.  They were really good.

Cherry Chip, Orange, and Lemon

After the cookies were done, which took me all of Thursday to do, it was time to prepare the Lebanese feast on Friday, that Nichole had wanted so badly.  My best friend Kristie is Lebanese and I have grown up with this cuisine, and so has my family.  Nichole and Alan both love it.  She had requested Kibba, Chickie Rice, green beans, and cabbage rolls.  They all turned out fantastic.  I have been cooking this food for years, but always worry, when I am making it that it will stand up to my best friends mother's memory.  She was an amazing cook, and the tastes I recall from childhood, are so intense that too ruin them would not be good.  

I enjoyed making these graduation caps.  They were really easy and fun.  I got the recipe off of Pinterest I love that site!

Nichole with Sam, they loved goofing off.  

Alan and Nichole swinging Cole, and pitiching him onto the couch, he loves this!

Nichole with James.  He was a hit of the party!  He is Kristie's grandson he will be two in August!

Nichole loves sunflowers, they are here favorite flowers!

The diploma and her business plan, along with her transcript.

Nichole loves orange cake, and the only person who can do it justice is Dorothy from The Cake Shoppe in Bartonville, IL.  She has been doing cakes for Nichole since she was 16.  It was fabulous as always!

Uncle Paul, Aunt Suzanne and Sam brought Adam and Cole presents, they were excited!

Rylan and James were so cute, loved this picture of the two of them!

I made two of these and I also got the recipe from Pinterest!  Loved doing them and everyone thought they were cute.

Nichole with Sam apparently Zumba is paying off!

Adam with Cole and Sam

I love seeing Cole interacting and showing affection, and he loves his cousin!!

Cole kissing Sam!!

So proud of her, and am glad the party went off so well!

I had my doctors appointment Thursday, and my weight and blood pressure check and everything was great!  I also, woke up this morning and lost two pounds, so it was certainly a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So Proud of my little girl!

I am so proud of my little girl, Nichole Marie.  She is an amazing woman, a fabulous mother, and she is rocking her weight loss!  She has lost 50 pounds and this is without a band.  She also graduated in August 2011 with her Bachelor's degree with honors. 

This weekend I am hosting her graduation party!  Next Saturday the 30th, she will actually walk with her class.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude, and this is not an easy thing to do, especially as a single mother of two young boys!

I think she has faced adversity quite well.  When she moved in with us, with Adam and Cole, after her separation, she was the lowest I have ever seen her since the death of her brother Adam.  She had lost sight of herself, and was a beaten down woman.  Her self confidence was shattered, as well as her self worth.  She had gained an enormous amount of weight during this time of her life.  She was unhappy.

I saw this woman, put all of her energies that she had left into those two boys. She became active in Adam's school.  She took the diagnoses only months later of Cole's autism with both arms wide open.  Yes, there were tears and lots of them, but she never lost the courage deep within her to never give up.  She told us that she wanted to go back to school, and to finish her degree.  We were thrilled to help her do this.  Watching the boys in the evenings while she was in class, or when she needed to study, whatever we could do.

She began that chapter of her new life, and she sailed through it.  She not only completed the degree she did it with high honors to boot!  Yes, I am so very proud of her.

Last year, when I began getting my life turned around and working out and doing all the right things again, she told me she wanted to join my gym with me.  I was very happy.  She and I are so close and this would give me a workout buddy!  Little did she or I know that this decision would transform both of us!

To date she has lost a whopping 50 pounds, and is looking very good, she is determined to move in a positive direction with her weight and never look back!  This past weekend she bought a size 16 dress for graduation and was thrilled.  She used to wear a size 26!!!!  She loves the clean eating, and being more mindful of healthful choices.  It is even rubbing off on Adam, which is a good thing at the age of 8.5!

So hats off to Nichole, who will be celebrated on Saturday by her closest friends and family.  Those who love her and know the sacrifices that she has made for her children.  She is now ready to begin the next chapter, and as her mother, I know she is ready for it!

She will be accompanying me to BOOBS this year and I am so  excited for everyone to meet her!  She is both beautiful inside and out and she is a real inspiration!

My little girl is all grown up.......but she will always be my baby girl!

I loved her first!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Path to the Holy Grail - Final Chapter - Response-ability

Mastery of response-ability

Any guide, no matter how good they are,  can only take you as far as they have been themselves.  I started my journey in 2005 at 295+ pounds.  To date I have lost 163 pounds.  The first 83 pounds I did not keep off, I regained 70 of that. I have since lost that 70 again plus an additional 11 pounds as of this morning!  During this time, I have survived many battles.  I have waged a valiant war against old habits and behaviors.  I have earned my stripes and I have something to say.  While I am not yet at my goal weight, I have managed to accomplish something that few do.  I have lost a significant amount of weight and in doing so this time, I also was able to rewire my brain.  I have beaten the odds and am now sharing what I have learned with others, in hopes of helping them become stronger.  I am not blowing my own trumpet.  I am simply sharing, what I have come to know as the 4 most important aspects of my journey.

I did not learn this over night.  This has taken many, many hours of reflection on why THIS time I have known success, when all of the other attempts, would end with me crashing and burning and regaining even more weight.

I believed when I was banded that this would be the 'last and final time" that I would ever have to battle my weight.  That was my first error. ( This is a life long battle for me....which is OK, because now I have the right army for the fight).  You see, the BAND is not a cure for what was wrong in the first place.  It only masked, for a little while, the things that needed to change deep within me.  This is why I regained weight, and a significant amount after 15 months of living a nearly perfect band existence.  Once, this was recognized and accepted by me, I finally was able to heal, and move forward in my journey, I only plan on looking back to remember where I have come from.  

So the four points to my Holy Grail are - 
Emotional Stability
Reprogramming the reward center
Drying Out, Food addiction recovery
Practicing Response-ability

These four concepts are synergistic in nature, working together like the four legs of a table, to provide a stable platform on which you can build your journey.  If one of these legs is missing, the platform can become unstable and can fall over at the slightest nudge.  If you notice not one of these principles involves an eating plan or an exercise routine.  These principles are the structure that supports the plan and routine.  I believe that the key to my long term success is the practice of creating a proper internal environment because in the long term, that is what will keep me.  Just like a submarine diving to great depths, if the proper internal pressure is not maintained,  implosion will follow.

The last in this blog series in mastering Response-Ability.

I read the book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey.  In it, there was one habit that really caught my attention.  Response-ability.  Response-ability is the ability to step into the narrow gap that exists between stimulus and response.  This gap is what makes us uniquely human.  Without exercising ourselves in the ability to choose our response, we are no better than Pavlov's dog.  The iconic Pavlov's dog was the dog subjected to the famous stimulus/response experiment by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov.  In these series of experiments, he was testing the theory of conditioning and it's effects on the stimulus /response process.  Ring the bell, show the steak, dog drools. Done often enough, you can ring the bell, and the dog drools without showing the steak.  The dog was conditioned by the stimulus sound of the bell to drool.

Without response-ability, we are reduced to animals driven by stimulus rather than logical thought.  I needed to bring reason into my choices rather than reacting and diving into the ole donut pile at work simply because the opportunity and stimulus presented itself.

Here are some of the biggest battles I faced and won over time:

Goodies at work - this was a HUGE battle for me.  As I have blogged many times, the 25 people in my department, think that treat day should be each and every day.  We constantly have unhealthy, high calorie, sugar and fat laden foods abound.  I would of course have great intentions.  I would pack a good healthy wholesome lunch, only to be derailed by someone offering me an unhealthy lunch choice, like fast food or worse.  I would arrive at my desk early in the morning, only to pass two dozen donuts, or bagels with cream cheese and muffins, chips with dips, cookies, and even cakes.  These of course were from very notable bakeries in town and they were just beckoning me to indulge and so I did.  The same would apply to pizza, we would work overtime, and the company would order pizza.  To the tune of 12 t0 13 pizza's for 25 people. They would be neatly lined up on the counter by our copier, the smell resonated everywhere.  Imagine being hungry, and POW get slammed with the sight and smell of a wall of fresh pizza.  I hear a bell ringing, here comes the drool.  A difficult scenario indeed. 

Then there is the all you can eat buffet - I am not talking about a well stocked salad bar either.  I am talking about a Home Town Buffet or Golden Corral with unbelievable entrees, steak, chicken, prime rib, fried fish, and every imaginable dessert.  Please, let us not forget the Chinese ......the yummy, delicious, divine, unbelievable taste explosion of Chinese....oh dear.  The Pizza Parlor lunch buffet's that have 15 different varieties to choose from including that absolutely mouth watering dessert pizza...oh baby hold me back!

Anyway, all of the scenarios begin to have some common threads when I began to pick them apart like an autopsy as to why my resolve melted and my instincts took over just because something "rang the bell".

Fear of loss/"The Last Supper" trigger - There is a limited supply of pizza or donuts.  If I do not act now, I will lose out.  Another scenario would be if I am traveling or out of town and find some place that we do not have at home that is not known for the healthiest of choices, be it a buffet or pizza joint or whatever.  I would have to stop because of course this was my only choice.

The fix for me was/Hey they make this stuff EVERY DAY.  This will not be the last time in my lifetime that I see this.  I do not have to be like an inmate on death row facing his last meal.  There will be another opportunity, really.

The OMG this is Soooooooo Goooooood trigger -  It took a great deal of time of stepping into this gap over and over again until I came to a place where I can walk away rather than self-destructing over a plate of cookies, or gooey cake, or a pile of crab Rangoon on a buffet.  It took a long time.

The fix for me - The Law of diminishing returns applies here.  How many times has the first plate, been an almost out of body experience, the second plate was tasty but not as stimulating, the third I was simply eating it because I could, because I had access to it, and the memory of that first plate was still ringing strong in my brain.  Sound familiar?  I came to realize that I needed to slow down, and the following plates that I am conditioned to eating will not taste as good so why bother?  Live in the moment, savor that first plate realizing that this is as good as it's gonna get.  It only goes downhill from here.  I would totally savor the first plate, focus and be mindful of the moment rather than being driven to get more before someone else gets it.  I made myself wait a while before I would even entertain a thought of having seconds.  With my band this helped me, because seconds truly was not an option if I followed the rules.  It was when I would eat things that slid right through that I had trouble saying no to seconds.  This fix was essential during these times.  It took a long time, but after awhile one plate would do.

You do not undo years of conditioned response to stimulus, in just a few weeks.  It can literally take years of making alternate choices in your response to stimulus before the re-programming takes place.

The greatest victory in my journey did not happen when I broke the 100 pound weight loss mark.  It didn't happen when I finished my first Zumba class. It did not happen when I ran my first mile.  It did not happen when I swam laps for 60 minutes.  These were all notable events sure, but the greatest event of all was when, for the first time, I stepped into the gap between stimulus and response.  I said NO, and walked away, and I did not feel a sense of loss.  No gravitational pull threatening to engulf me in its grasp, drawing me back to the pleasure of the moment and the self-condemnation that is surely to follow.  Long term success is and has always been how one reacts to the moment by moment challenges that arise.

Each time I stepped into the gap and said no, something inside of me gets stronger and the gap gets wider.  When I first started the gap was so narrow it seemed like all I had to do was see the food and SHAZAM, I'm chowing down.  Slowly, overtime, decision by decision, the gap got progressively wider until I felt I had more control.  I, not the food, was calling the shots.

Sometimes, the stimulation was so strong with certain foods that I could not exercise moderation but had to exercise abstinence.  There are times, when moderation is just not enough.  I had to walk away from certain things, until I could take it or leave it.  Until I was back in control.  The best example of this is my relationship with SODA,  especially Mountain Dew.....I loved it, craved it and drank it as if it was my life source.... water. I would easily consume 8-10 servings a day or more. PLEASE, I could not drive by a gas station, or fast food place without feeling the pull, I needed that 32oz drink to get me through my morning meeting,  it was almost invading my thoughts.  Each time I drove by, and caving in many, many times, I was finally able to drive by and say NO and drove right on past.  It felt like I was cutting off my own arm to escape a trap.  Sometimes it is a painful separation.  However, each time I did, I got stronger, until one day it never entered my thoughts.  I was finally free.  Then came the day that I would make the decision to stop and enjoy one.  It had been months since I had any soda. After all, we were instructed in our nutrition classes to never go back to drinking soda after the band, as we had to give it up before being banded.  I wanted to try it though, because I could do it in moderation ( I thought).  The anticipation was building.....I literally could not wait.  I got my mountain dew and  pulled off in parking lot, and began to drink it and ewwwww is all I can say!

It was the biggest non event of my life.

Not only had it lost it's pull on me, it also had lost its taste BIG TIME. What once was heaven in a cup, tasted like drinking pure sugar, I felt the same when tasting diet soda as well, the after taste was disgusting, and it cause me to recall back when I first drank a diet soda when I was 14 years old.  I hated it, it was horrid.  I forced myself to like it until it became palatable to me.  WOW, did I really do that?  Yes, I certainly did, if I had only known back then, what I know now!

By practicing the ability to choose my response, I broke it's pull.  By breaking its pull, I bought the necessary time to dry out from my compulsive addiction.  By drying out, I was able to clearly taste it for what it truly is, empty calorie junk food!!

I have not had any since, and I have no compulsion to do so.

This is only one example out of many.  Anyone who has been successful in the long term process of weight management can tell a similar story.

As I close this blog series, you can see the sequential nature of  these habits that I have expounded upon over the last several weeks.

Practicing the things that make for emotional stability puts out the inner fire and anxiety that drives so much of our over eating, creating a calmer inner environment.  This allows us to re-examine why we do what we do and seek out new things that will bring us a sense of reward.  Having something other than food that brings us a higher sense of achievement and self respect.  Clean eating that gives our bodies a chance to dry out from the non stop flood of addictive processed foods and exercising the ability to say no gives us greater control and self respect which in turn makes for a more stable emotional environment.  

These are not individual principles, they all work together in one continuous cycle until we are empowered to succeed, until we can truly believe that we can do this and earn our own self respect.  From this empowered center flows the exercise routine and the eating plan.  When these principles are practiced and reinforced, they provide for a continued stability that will keep me, when life gets in the way of my routine.

It keeps me grounded, settled, and headed in the right direction.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I am a turtle, hear me...wait, do turtles make sounds?

Ok I admit it, on this whole weight loss journey thingy, I am a turtle.  

That is ok, though......turtles are strong and enduring creatures.  I know this, because recently we rescued one from my back yard.  If you recall, Adam found him and as it turned out, we thought we had a box turtle, when in reality it was a red-eared slider..... a water turtle!  (We nearly killed him, because he was not in water).  He has since been truly rescued by the curator of the reptiles at our local zoo who has his own pet turtles and came to our rescue.

Getting back to turtles in general, they are able to carry their houses on their backs, they can take on the weight of the world and move with it.

So I am a bit slow, weight-loss wise.  I had a great start back in 2005 after my Lap Band was placed.  80 pounds in 15 months, not too darn shabby. I have since hit the 80 pounds mark once again.  Since June of last year and my revamped attitude an outlook, I have lost another 80 pounds.  I realize even with my weight regain, that we slow losers are not failures at all, we are successes in training!!  We are learning every day how to better ourselves, what to do, and what not to do and the only way we fail is when we give up completely.

This kind of saying though - the "doom inspired sayings" almost all of us make everyday, are negative absolutes in our lives and we really should resist them.  As I have said before here in this blog, Words are powerful and have weight, both to ourselves and others.  Some words should just come out of our personal vocabulary all together.

"Can't"  I am so tired of people saying they can't do something. (I have a dear friend who has lost 42 pounds over the past year.  She was teetering on 400 pounds when she began her journey.  She would constantly tell me she could not do something, it was like this word was ingrained in her head or something! She has just started doing Zumba with me!)  Really they Won't do it or they shouldn't do it because someone else has told them so.  Just remember my friends, people play basketball with no legs, people with no arms swim.  If you won't or shouldn't do it that is fine. It is your choice.   The problem is once you tell yourself you "can't" do something.  It is like a trigger in your brain goes off and you begin to tell yourself that you should not even try.  You have just walked away from a door of opportunity without even checking to see if it was unlocked.  

"Impossible" Nothings impossible.  Perhaps it is improbable, but you need to believe that you can beat the odds.........especially if you can take matters into your own hands.

"Never" remember the old phrase.....never say never?  It still rings true.  Negative reinforcement is just that.  Pigs may not fly just yet, but when someone figures out how to get a pig to actually sprout wings, you are going to feel pretty silly having said never!  Remember, never is a really, REALLY long time.

For those of us who practice yoga, why do you think they call it practicing?  They never say DO yoga!  If we could all do it then there would be nothing to work towards or enjoy.  Sometimes we have to learn that life's enjoyment comes from being challenged, or learning something new.  I sort of realized this back in 2010 when I went back to school to get my bachelors degree.  There is always great excitement when we accomplish something for the first or (50th) time but if we could always do it, without effort, wouldn't it be likely that we would take it for granted?

Today, as I looked in the mirror for a second I thought, if you had not regained all of that weight, you would be 135 pounds right now today Kristin!  It is easy to be mean to yourself, it is easy to slip into "I should have done this" or I "could have done that".  Frankly, that's not fair.  The past is the past, and you must learn to leave it there.  You may have made some decisions that held you back from reaching your goal.  But what matters is what comes next.

What matters is....

I am still here.

I am still trying.

I am still moving forward.

I can. I will.

And so can you.

Remember, if at first you don't succeed.....

then try again!

My Refusal Letter

Dear Kristin:

I REFUSE to delay or postpone my workouts, even if I am tired, aching, or have another offer!  Can't do it, won't do it.  I need it.  I crave it!

I REFUSE to break my minimum 8 glasses of water a day streak.  If  I don't have 8 by 4:30pm, I can feel the difference.  I have been drinking 14-15 a day on average, and pissing like a race horse on a flat rock!  (smiles at least I know I am hydrated).

I REFUSE to let the unhealthy decisions of others tempt me back to my old ways.  I am stronger than that.  I am smarter than that.

I REFUSE to become stagnant.  Personally, professionally, Fitness - ally.  Do you know how many people have told me they want to do Zumba with me?  Of course not, because I have not told you.  But YAY for in person accountability partners.

I REFUSE to settle.  For anything, Be it a job.  A relationship. An unhealthy meal.  A negative person in my life.  People have always told me I deserve better, in so many aspects.  Guess what?  I do, you should shoot for the stars.  Even if you don't make it, you will land among the clouds.  I am worthy, we are worthy.  Don't settle.

I REFUSE anything that will not help me succeed.  Which is why I will never refuse to listen to advice and insights from my BOOBS.  Even if you all say something that I may not want to hear, I know that it comes from a place of understanding.  A place of friendship. A place of love.

I REFUSE to leave you behind.  I will not walk in front of you.

I REFUSE to be left behind.  I will not follow you.

I REFUSE to be anything but right here beside you, as we cheer each other to our goals.  Rah-Rah each other's accomplishments.  I love giving inspiration, and encouragement to others, it is heart felt.

These are my REFUSAL promises to me.  And to YOU!

We are in this together, Let's get it done!~~~~

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wedding, Death, and another pound...80 pounds done gone!

I had an absolutely fantastic weekend.  It was a whirlwind, I will admit.  First let me tell you that I took off on Friday at 11:30 from work just to get a jump start on all that needed to get done before 10am on Saturday morning. The boys left for their father's for 10 days, they will back on the 17th in the evening.

My best friend, Kristie's son Alex was married on Saturday and there was so much to do before.  On Friday night, Alan, Nichole and I met all of her immediate family at the Itoo Hall where the reception was going to be.  We had to decorate it and prepare for the next day.  My best friend is Lebanese and comes from a honking big family.  We had 300 chair covers to place and beautiful white Satin bows to tie around those chairs.  The bride and groom did not want a traditional wedding cake, they wanted cookies.  So we had to arrange the cake table with these cookies.  Kristie made 1360 homemade cookies for this shindig.  She decorated by hand, all but the chocolate chip ones.  There were awesome.  A lemon cookies with lemon butter cream frosting, a strawberry with strawberry butter cream frosting, and her regular sugar cookie with butter cream frosting.  They were a huge hit. 

I got home on Friday about midnight, and we got up at 6am on Saturday morning, and Alan and Nichole and I went out for our 5.47 mile walk.  It was a beautiful morning for the walk and a great way to start a very busy day.

I had my manicure done after and headed home to shower and get ready.  Alan picked up my mother, and we all headed to the ceremony.  It was beautiful and went off without any problems. Here are a few pictures of the event.

Lemon Cookies
Sugar Cookies

  Then it was on to the reception.  Kristie had pulled me aside and asked that I head straight to the hall as all of her family had to remain behind because of family pictures.  When I arrived at the hall Alan and Nichole began lighting all of the candles, and I assembled the cookies on the tiered round pedestal that her brother in law had made. Which we covered with white satin and hot glue gunned lace all around the edges.  It was shaped like a wedding cake and it looked like one once we finished with it.  I got them all put out and the small 8 inch wedding cake that Kristie had made placed on the top.  Just in time for the first guests to begin arriving.
Strawberry Cookies

Now I don't know about you, but my mother taught me manners.  Never in all of my 50 years have I ever attended a wedding reception and gone over to the cake table and cut me a piece of cake and swallowed it BEFORE the actual "cutting of the cake took place."  Well let me tell you, three couples, all above the age of 40 proceeded to go over to that table and take cookies, handfuls of them.  I was so mad, I guess we needed to have a sign there, but really.  Who the hell does that kind of shit?

Lebanese Salad
We had great food, and so much fun.  I had a piece of chicken and about 1/4 cup of the turkey that was served in a very light gravy.  I had a 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes because this girl cannot say no to them.  I also had a spoonful of steamed veggies and a large plate full of Lebanese salad.  I also ate three cookies, and I had a delicious Amaretto Stone favorite.  I did not eat lunch on Saturday and I had 260 calories for breakfast so I was not at all worried about what I ate at the reception.

I love these so much!
We had to leave at 8pm and drive to Chicago for Alan's Aunt Vickie's memorial service.  We stopped for gas about half way there, and I made a junk food run for everyone in the car.....including me.  I had a three musketeer truffle candy bar...these are addicting as hell.  I also had a handful of mustard pretzels.  When we arrived in Naperville, at my brother in laws house, it was 11:15 pm.  I was not really tired, but more wired from driving.  I drove because Alan consumed much more liquor than I had at the wedding.

I ended up visiting with family until about 12:30am and then went to bed.  I got up on Sunday morning with the intention of doing a 4 mile walk/run, but was so tired I could not muster the will to do it.  I instead made a huge fruit salad as my sister in law prepared a Gluten Free Quiche which was the best damn quiche I ever have eaten.  It was divine.  I had one small piece of it and a large bowl of fruit with some granola sprinkled over it for breakfast.

My Chai from Intelligentsia
We left Naperville around 12:15 and headed to Chicago city center for the memorial service that was held at St. Peter's Episcopal church.  We arrived early at 1:15 and so we walked two blocks to a little Tea shop.  It was called Intelligentsia and was fantastic.  I had a cup of Chai and it hit the spot.  The memorial service was beautiful and everyone was teary eyed as each of her three children spoke.  Her oldest daughter lives in Australia and she spoke first, then her son who lives in NYC and is a very successful musician.  Who has played for the Queen of England, and many other notable things.  From there we went to a reception in the church that was catered by Ann Sathers.  The food was good but I did not eat, it was just too blooming hot, I did have a bite of Hummus on pita bread and a chocolate covered strawberry, but that was it.

Lake Michigan
We left the memorial at 5:30 and walked to his Aunt Vicky's condo where she lived with her sister for over 20 years.  It was three blocks away and right off of lake shore drive, with a beautiful view from the 14th floor.  They live off of Melrose and you not only see Lake Michigan but if you look in the other direction you can see Wrigley Field.  It is a very cool building.  We stayed til 7:30pm and then headed back to Naperville.  We picked up our bags and said our goodbyes and headed home.  We arrived back in Peoria at midnight.  It was a long and exhausting weekend.  But we had so many good memories from it.  We really are glad we got to do both things, that we made it happen.

My walking route
Yesterday I did not got to work, I was so tired.  I did walk however in the morning my 3.47 miles, and it was so humid.  I thought I would keel over before I got back home.  I did not run, just walked.  I was a little upset when I got on the scale yesterday after not being on one since Sat morning, and I had gained 4 pounds.  I knew it was not a gain at all, but because I had not drank enough while I was away.  This morning I was rewarded.

I climbed on the scale and not only was the four pounds gone from the day before so was an additional pound.  I am officially 80 pounds down and coincidentally I also have 80 followers.....I think that is funny how that keeps happening!  I thank you all who think that what I have to say is worth reading.

I am back at work, and missing my boys terribly.  They are with their dad this week and I hope they are having a good time.  I am trying to stay busy and pray that the week goes by quickly.  I have plenty to keep me busy as Nichole's graduation party is the 23rd and her graduation is the 30th.  We also have father's day thrown in there as well.