Friday, March 20, 2009

Feeling blobby

Grrr... yep i am offically back at square one. This sucks... yes I am going to have a little pitty party here for myself before i get back on the wagon. I had 2 weeks of blah. One week due to crazy hectic schedules, I didn't get into the gym but once, the next week I had some fun and BAM back to fat ass square one. My pants feel extra tight today and my belly feels extra squishy, in spite of the the new ab workout I start two days ago. I totally feel blobby today.

SERIOUSLY... is this it? Is this what I have to do for the rest of my freakin' life? Work out every day, drink only water, eat only crumbs? That is what I did the week I dropped 3 lbs... I guess I have to either accept being fat or accept the challenges of working out. Don't get me wrong... I like to work out, I really do (most days)... it is just such a pain to work around WD schedule and the kids and GRRRRR.

More ranting... my skinny friend here at work was admiring my lunch yesterday. It was tasty leftovers from a quicky meal I had cooked the night before. It is not a terrible meal when eaten in portion. It has chicken and pasta and it is a Macaroni Grill dish that they put in a box and you put together at home. Clever! I love these. Anyway, she says mmm that looks tasty, and I said yeah I cooked it last night it is one of the macaroni grill numbers, they are so good. And she says, yeah I know I cooked one last night but we didn't have any leftovers. She has a family of 4 so this makes sense and she says... I ate the whole thing myself, it was soo good I couldn't stop. WHAT?????? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? First if i ate the whole thing I would probably pop, but second there are 5 servings in that box. and around 350 cal. per serving, let's do the math!! THIS IS SO SO SO WRONG!!

I digress... it is now Tuesday and after re-reading what I wrote up there, I almost deleted it but then that would take away from the "being honest" part of this journey. So, I was over reacting a bit. I am not at square one as it turns out. I did gain a pound but really, after all the fun I had, I can handle a pound. It was so worth it!!

Today I had taco bell for lunch (¡Gracias WD!) and a donut and numerous hershey's kisses. Disaster day... long walk this evening. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

picking up the pieces...

My journey has hit a few bumps. First, the 3lbs I lost I am certain are back. I am honestly afraid to step on the scale. I am afraid I am back to square one.

I had a fun weekend with girls. Gambled a little, drank a little, ate a lot. It was so fun and I am so so grateful for my girlfriends. They keep me grounded yet always remind me of who I am and where I come from. So, how does this relate to my weight loss? Well, dammit, why is it that one fun weekend has me feeling like I am right back at square one?? It is just not fair.

I will pick up the pieces and carry on. Off to the gym today, and hooray for my encouragement buddy who has met her first 10lb goal! I am so thrilled for her and inspired. Success will come, it just might be slower than I had originally thought.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More triumph

Well, last week I lost THREE pounds! It is just crazy! Not easy by any stretch and I do not expect to have a week like that this week. I am down 7 altogether and it is starting to sink in that I CAN DO THIS!!

Over the weekend I was at my parents and my mother is the biggest food pusher on the planet! She is trying to lose but you would never know it when you visit. She had a tub of cookies ready to go (for the kids she says) who ends up eating them??? Then before bed there was the run for ice cream. I declined my own bowl, another triumph. I knew GK would never eat all that she was given and I would end up finishing hers. I only had a few bites.

My clothes are feeling loose and I feel good. Maybe in a few weeks I will be able to go get some new pants!!

OH and my original goal was to lose 10lbs by my birthday (I thought I would start small so I wouldn't fail). Well, it is looking good, only 3 more to go for that. Maybe I will up it by a few more pounds once the first 10 come off. We'll see!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

ba-bye venti mocha, you will be missed!

This is me, sobbing like a baby... whaaa, whaa whaaaaaaaaaa.... I love #8 and stupid me, I have one every now and then and don't bother to look up the dang calories!!! OR FAT for that matter! YEOWSERS!! No wonder I can't lose weight! Here I was thinking it couldn't be that bad... oh no, I may as well give up those babies and go back to coke.

Nah, I just have a small one every now and then and make it skim. I'll still keep coke at bay!

PS on the bright side, despite all the girls scout cookies and other crap this week, i didn't gain! I didn't lose either but hey, take what I can get, right??

AND I have started a running program and hope to be an inspiration to my husband who has to run for his job. So far I have ran a mile twice and I SURVIVED!! (and I even liked it a little!) WOO HOO!!

Top ten worst foods of 2009

by FatFighterTV, on Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:20pm PST
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From an astonishing amount of calories to several days' worth of fat in one meal to over the top levels of sodium, this is one place you don’t want to see any of your favorite foods. Every year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) comes up with its list of the Top Ten Worst Foods and I always look forward to it. Once in awhile I find out I’ve enjoyed one of the “worsts” (and stop immediately!). But this year, I’m happy to report I have not indulged in anything on CSPI’s list for 2009.
1. Pepperidge Farm Roasted White Meat Chicken Premium Pot Pie - There are 510 calories and 9 grams of saturated fat in this baby. Oh wait - that’s just for half a pie. The whole thing has 1020 calories and 18 grams of saturated fat.
2. Romano’s Macaroni Grill Spaghetti and Meatballs with Meat Sauce - This dish will set you back a staggering 2,430 calories and nearly three days’ worth of saturated fat (57 grams) plus 5,290 milligrams of sodium - more calories and saturated fat than two Macaroni Grill Tuscan Rib-Eye steak dinners.
3. Progresso Traditional, Vegetable Classics, and Rich & Hearty soups - Half a can averages more than half of a person’s daily quota of salt. Instead, CSPI says try Progresso’s Health Favorites reduced-sodium soups with up to 50 percent less salt. Also, see: Hidden sodium in foods you wouldn't think to check.
4. Dove Ice Cream - A half cup has about 300 calories and an average of 11 grams of saturated fat - that’s half-a-day’s worth of the bad stuff. You may be better off with these 5 frozen treats under 100 calories.
5. The Cheesecake Factory Chris’ Outrageous Chocolate Cake - It’s layers of chocolate cake, brownie, toasted coconut pecan filling, and chocolate chip coconut cheesecake. CSPI found each five-inch-high slice weighs three-fourths of a pound and has 1,380 calories, 32 teaspoons of sugar, 33 grams of saturated fat and 5 grams of trans fat. Yikes!
6. Smoothie King’s Grape Expectations II - It’s one of Smoothie King’s “Snack Rights” with 550 calories in the 20-ounce size and 1,100 calories in the 40-ouncer. Proof that not all smoothies are good for you (but these are).
7. Pop Secret Movie Theater Butter Popcorn Snack Size Bags - Just one snack-size bag has 11 grams of bad fat, 7 of which are trans fats. Instead, CSPI says choose Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop or Smart Balance Smart ’N Healthy - both are made with no partially hydrogenated oils. Also, see this review of microwave popcorns from Consumer Reports.
8. The Starbucks Venti (20 oz.) Caffè Mocha with whole milk and whipped cream has 450 calories and 13 grams of bad fat - more like a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in a cup. But you can lose all the bad fat and all but 170 calories if you order a tall (12 oz.) with nonfat milk and no whipped cream.
9. Chipotle Chicken Burrito - With rice, pinto beans, cheese, chicken, sour cream, and salsa, you get 1,040 calories and 16-1/2 grams of saturated fat - the same as three Subway Steak and Cheese 6-inch Subs. Plus the burrito comes with 2,500 milligrams of sodium! Ordering it without cheese or sour cream cuts the saturated fat to 3-1/2 grams, but you still end up with 810 calories and 2,300 milligrams of sodium. Ay Caramba! Here's another burrito that will shock you.
10. Cold Stone Creamery’s Gotta Have It Founder’s Favorite - 12-ounces of ice cream, pecans, brownie pieces, fudge, and caramel adds up to a whopping 1,600 calories and 42 grams of saturated fat. That’s about the same as five single-scoop ice cream cones. And watch out before you have this frozen concoction.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Fat girls unite!

Ah, Friday... I love Fridays! This was a particularly (sp??) long week, between girl scout cookies and the food projects going on in the department, well, let's just say the scale is not going to be kind this week, i am sure. On a bright note though, I have tried to work out more to compensate. I hope to be surprised but yet I am going to be realistic!

Off that topic, I feel like making a banner that says "FAT GIRLS UNITE!". Nothing against you skinny people, I am truly happy that there are people in the world who don't have to worry too much about weight but there are some of us who are just consumed by it. Every bite that goes in our mouth becomes and obsession whether it is while we are shoving it in or after the fact. Even right now, the sucker in mouth is a thought! It is preventing me from running down and grabbing a candy bar!!

I had a long talk this week with a friend of a friend at a gathering and just for the record, i think she is so cute! I love her style and she is so fun to talk to! Anyway, who knows how it got brought up but she seems to be in the same boat as I am. I bet there are tons of girls out there just like me and her. I think we need to unite and help each other out! Not in a setting like weight watchers or some crazy slim fast support group, but some place where we can be real and just let it out. Therapy!! And if we get skinny, we'll still be in the group, not to flaunt but to celebrate! Hmmmm...

(PS who created the stupid name Slim Fast??? Anyone in their right mind should know that the words slim and fast are oxymorons!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How 'bout a little Self-talk?

I am so glad this is not a requirement... I suck at it! Oh well, a little effort is better than none, right? These last few days have been really rough as far as food is concerned. There have been food projects in classes and all the leftovers end up in the office and therefore part of my ass. It is also girl scout cookie time. WD bought 2 boxes, they lasted less than a day. My dear friend had her daughter call me and ask if i would buy from her. SNEAKY!!! Sure, I'll take two. How can I say no to her!?? Just for future reference, I will not answer her calls this time of year next year. Those are gone now. So, I am sure the scale will not be kind this week. I did make it to the gym yesterday and i am going this evening. I will just work extra hard and maybe the scale will at least stay the same.

I do need to get back on the self-talk wagon.
I hate cookies!
I hate coke! (As i sit here sipping!)
(Seriously, can I just get a caffine injection or how about a sucker?)
I hate icecream,
I hate chocolate,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Count 'em... FOUR

Okay, off my butt now and back in gear. I didn't really fall of the wagon just the blog wagon. It takes time and that is something that I have been finding to be in short supply lately!

Without blogging though, I have been good. Not perfect but good. My sleep has been robbed lately so I have been having a coke here and there and a mocha every now and then but I still am only drinking water in the morning and throughout most of the day.

The biggest thing, well, maybe not the biggest but it is pretty big... I have lost FOUR pounds! It feels so good and I can honestly say that my pants feel just a little less tight. That is the best! I have to stay the path and keep going.

The biggest thing is that I now have a buddy in this journey and I am so excited. Now if we could just get connected for a workout or two!!

So as for my orginally stated goals, the coke habit... the journal... the eat less crap... I think I have done pretty well. It is time to add on. Remember baby steps!
Okay, so I haven't thought about any goals until just this moment when I typed that and I don't want to just slop something down just for the sake of making something up and filling this space. Goals, new goals, drum roll, what will they be??

Monday, January 26, 2009

fast forward?

What a weekend! We went to Monster Jam and it was more fun than I truly imagined. Of course this lent itself to bad eating. I didn't do terrible though. I did have 2 large beers which probably went straight to the ass. Oh well... still on the wagon.

I did decide that except for a glass of wine here and there, I am going to cut alcohol for a while. Especially beer. It just makes me feel so bloated. blah. Despite all of that though, I have lost 2 pounds. I am really excited about this! I have to call this progress! More importantly though, I have cut soda significantly. I do not rely on my morning DC... I cannot even begin to describe the feeling it is to not have to have a coke in the morning. I have also cut out most crap eating. I am definitely mindful when I eat and it is a choice when I put crap in my mouth... it is not just mindless eating and I find that i am eating less crap! It feels good! I wish i could fast forward to the end and see what I look like 50 pounds lighter!!

Friday, January 23, 2009


I sent this in an email message to a friend yesterday and thought I should post it here as a reminder of my new way of thinking...

I fell off a little yesterday but it wasn't a total train wreck. It is just too damn hard to resist the goodies!! Yesterday at work I over heard a co-worker say to another "Isn't it your turn to bring in donuts?" I turned around and said pretty shitty "please don't!" She looks at me and says, "okay bagels then". I just repeated my please don't and walked away. Skinny people are really clueless is all I have to say!! It drives me nuts. I think I will bring in a fruit tray tomorrow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Take a little...

I love the morning. I thought I would never say that in my lifetime but it is true. It is so quiet and peaceful. The world is still. It is a great time for reflection. Today, on what, I don't know. These last few days have been pretty good food wise. I made it back to the gym yesterday and logged another 30 minutes. I am really dragging this morning but besides that... I feel good. I didn't mention this earlier but over the weekend we won a Wii in a raffle. I ran out and bought the wii fit so besides the treadmill, I have been doing a lot of that. It is really difficult but fun. I don't even realize I am working my body until I wake up. I just need to set aside some "me" wii time and dedicate to it.

I still have not seen any results of my efforts which makes me what to hang it up. I can't. I know if I do, I'll just put on another 50 pounds. I think I am going to start weight watchers officially. That will probably help me stay on track. I just need to be so so strick with it... Maybe by this time next week I will see the little needle on the scale pointing a little less to the right. I'll take a little, that is all I am asking for.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh to be a 10...

Busy busy... too busy to sit down here and make a note. I have hit a few rough patches and fell off the wagon a bit. Eating out will certainly do that! Yesterday was a fun day and I tried to eat well but I had starbucks and a sweet treat there with the giant coffee. I did eat a salad with my lunch so that was good but then ate a bag of doritos for dinner. Oh well, it was a road trip with my favorite gal pals from college.

I finally made it in to the gym. I walked at a pretty good pace for 20 minutes, ran for 2 and then walked another 8. It was almost 2 miles. I am quite proud. Now I just need to find time every day to do that!! I guess if I go at 8 pm, I go at 8. I am going to try to get in at least 3 days a week. Hopefully, i will start seeing some results!!! Hot bod? Nah, I just want to be a 10! HA!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Acid beverage

I had to take a few days off from the blog biz. NJ got the tummy bug on Sunday so I was pretty busy, THEN I got the tummy bug yesterday. Yuck... I am feeling better today but decided to stay home. NJ is home with me too... we are just chillin'.

I decided to weigh myself yesterday (before the bug kicked my ass) and I have not lost one pound since I have started this little blog. Talk about frustrating! I am not going to let it get me down. I will keep moving forward with good eating habits. I think that all this is telling me is that I need to add a little action to my life. It is so hard right now though. Too dang cold outside and no room inside. What's a girl to do? I'll think of something.

Anywho, I have had a few weak moments. Monday at school someone brought in cookies. They were sitting there for the morning and I resisted. Then at lunch I caved. I told my co-worker how they had been staring at me and I was just going to have to have one. As I got up to reach she says "go ahead but they aren't very good". It was like they had suddenly turned into venomous snakes. I retracted my hand like a whip and off I went. No cookie... I'll call that a victory! After I got home from work I had to face reality and go grocery shopping despite my extreme exhaustion. I caved and grabbed a mountain dew. Not even a diet one, fully loaded. (Notice I didn't grab a diet coke, that would have put me at square one for sure) Off I went. I drank the bubbly sugar in the car and it was awful!! Even after the first few guzzles... it never improved. I did drink the whole thing, which was a mini can by the way, I needed the caffine and boy was I wired!! I won't have another though I don't think. It was down right nasty! So, the last weak moment was that night, GK wanted her chocolate milk. I made her some and thought, what the heck, the milk will do me some good and adding the chocolate won't add too much to the daily count. So after a week of telling myself that I hate chocolate, the chocolate milk tasted like chalk. I guess i won't be drinking that again. The big test will be when i finally do have a diet coke, we'll see if I have really re-trained my brain! By the way, I hate diet coke! It is nasty and tastes like acid. Why would I even try one?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another victory...

I went to the mall today to have lunch with a friend. I ate pretty well but the real test was when I was leaving. Everytime I go to the mall I stop at the cookie place and get WD a double doozie, GK her fave and I get the cheesecake brownie. I told WD he was just going to have to live without his treat because I didn't think I could go there without going crazy over the brownie. As we were walking out GK asks if we are going to stop so I thought the usual "why not?". But this time it was "Why not, Sarah? You hate brownies." Here I am, back safely home with one double doozie, GK treat and NONE for me thanks! I am starting to think I am amazing!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

A firm grip...

I cannot believe how well my new mentality is working!! Last night GK wanted icecream so I let her have one of my low point WW variety... She, being the good girl she is, offered me the first bite. I took it and it actually left a sour milk taste in my mouth!! I have a chocolate snack bar sitting in my desk and I was getting a little hungry before lunch and thought about eating it... I looked at it, turned my nose up and shut the drawer! I should just throw it out!! My question now is "How long will this last?". Probably as long as I want it to! I swear, i had better see some results!

So unrelated to weight loss...

I love my husband. I am so grateful for him and I just feel so lucky. I don't have the best body image, no secret. I have often wondered how he can possibly be attracted to me but nearly 50 pounds later, he still can make me mush. Last night as we were trying to go to sleep he rolls over and grabs on to me with such a firm grip that i nearly couldn't breathe. I am not the cuddly type, he is and can't stand that I am not. I almost complained about the grip but then I just settled in and thought, wow. It was such a feeling of security and peace. (this of course sent my mind wheeling down memory lane and i couldn't sleep at all but I didn't mind) He has been holding on to me like that for almost 10 years now. I love nights like that and I pray he never stops...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Disgusting food

Yesterday turned out to be a total bust ending with the devil DQ. I again just thought, "why not?". I feel like I am back here at square one. But am I? Does some of the good I have managed count for something? I am almost at a full week of no diet coke! No soda period! That counts I think!

So I got a great new haircut last night. I absolutly love it! I do need to work with it a bit to figure out how to make it look as amazing as it did when I left but I love it! It still has a bit of length to it but it is short and choppy on top and in front. It is fun.

With my new hair, I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of determination. For the gazillionth time I said "today is IT". You have to start caring Sarah or you will be fat forever. This is not what you want!! I CAN do it! No, I WILL do it. So I went through my routine, got my lunch together and off I went . I get here and wouldn't you friggin' know it... Donuts. ARG! The old me started to kick in... you can have just one, get past the craving and move on. Then I looked at the pile of donuts and said in my mind... gross donuts, disgusting donuts, yuck donuts, I hate donuts. I HATE THEM. I don't like them, I don't want to eat one of those... I kept this monologue going on as I went about my business and wouldn't you know... I DIDN'T EAT ONE!! I kept going through the day, I went to lunch and there were still about 4 donuts left. They were right in the middle of the table. I grabbed the plate, said to myself, I am going to move these nasty things so I don't have to look at them and I STILL have not had one. I don't even want one. So, new tactic... Here is my list of disgusting food:
Icecream: hate it. It is so gross, i do not want to eat it.
Chocolate: yuck, it is nasty. I hate chocolate.
Cookies: nasty too! I hate cookies.
Potato chips: greasy, worst food on the planet. I hate potato chips.

That'll do for now!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Reward Thyself With Food

Well, yesterday was a bad day. It started off as usual with a decent breakfast but then there was that bag of goodies staring me down in the office. I ate 2 reeses peanut butter cups. God bless my dear friend ... she saw me put one in my mouth and was yelling at me "Don't do it!" but I did anyway. Then we sat down to lunch and I ate pretty well but then another co-worker walks in with truffles... oh yum... she offers them up and I knew instantly that I had to have one but my friend was sitting next to me and I just didn't want to hear about it. I got so fixated on it though... as soon as she left the room, SWOOP, I grabbed one and sucked it down.

Last night was another friend's birthday, she and I started WW together years ago. She kept going and lost 50 lbs last year. She is amazing. Anyway, she quit going and it starting to gain again. We had a great talk about weight and being real. It was nice to talk to someone who knows rather than my above mentioned friend who is the size of a twig and has no clue the grip food can have!! So, back to the birthday, we went to Carabas which is not a great place to eat if you are trying to lose, but oh well, it was just one night and I decided that the day was already trashed anyway so why not?... It wasn't pretty but I was happy. I got to catch up and reminisce with old friends.

So I have to back up a couple of days and share a good one. There were a few days there that I was doing pretty well so I decided that at the end of the day I could have a little ice cream... 3 nights in a row. Drum Sticks, my fav. I love them!! Well, Monday night I decided to just check in on these little goodies to see what the damage really was. They're small, how bad can it be??? WHHHHHAAAAAA, this is me screaming like a baby. EIGHT points!!!!!! That is more than a flippin' meal!! New rule: Thou Shalt Not Reward Thyself With Food.

BUT I still have not had a Diet coke. Not one, not even when I ate out last night. I had water. That counts for something right??

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday already

It is back to the grind. Sadly, I have a serious sinus problem today. I hope it gets better before the real fun starts tomorrow. It only makes sense to get sick right as I have to go back to work... of course!!

I think it is going to be easy to stay on program during the week at work. I don't have time to just sit and eat eat eat. The one obstacle I see here is that everyone seems to bring in crap to stick in the office for everyone else to graze on. Why does it seem that when this happens, I am the only one who gains 10 pounds the next day? It has been nearly impossible for me to stay away from the goodies in the past. Donuts anyone? Sure, I'll have three thanks. Candy? Okay, I'll eat most of it, don't you worry! Every time I walk in there I grab a handful of whatever. I make excuses to go in there just to get a sweet fix. This must be what it is like to be addicted to crack.

Today is different! I have managed to go in there and avoid the goodies! I had one, not ten, just one little reese peanut butter cup. That's it! I am so proud of myself! I ate a sensible breakfast, I had a fiber one bar before lunch, I had a small lunch and now it is just auto-pilot until dinner, which is still several hours away but I think i will be okay.

So here is another great accomplishment... NO COKE!! That's right! I didn't have one today in the morning, I didn't have one yesterday, and I didn't have one the day before that!! Whew! I have been drinking lots of water. I hope to see results soon! I will keep myself posted, right here on this little blog. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Special event eating...

The day after tomorrow is back to the grind. I have truly enjoyed the past two weeks of chaos but I am ready for some routine and normalcy (is that a word? it looks weird).

Yesterday was a great day. I didn't eat any extra garbage except movie theater popcorn. Which, if you have kids you need to go see Bolt! It was adorable and GK loved it! NJ got to stay home with a sitter all to herself for the first time. The sitter did not run out screaming so I guess she did okay!

I managed to avoid my morning coke but then had one at the theater. I guess that is considered a special event and permissible on my plan. Like how I make up the rules as I go along? Me too! I just need to keep a limit on those special events! I have a tendency to label many things special events to excuse bad eating. What, no time to go grocery shopping? Special event McD's! Oh darn, I didn't take anything out of the freezer, special event Puccini's... WD got home late? Special event Red Lobster. These special events really hurt my budget so I can look at this limit as a benefit to my body AND my bank account!

Tonight we are going to eat out. We received a gift card and are going to use it. I am not going to make this an excuse to eat poorly though. I will order mindfully, no excuses!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Today is the day...

Well, here we are day 2 into the new year. I am not one for resolutions but I have to admit that this little blog and the goals tied to it are very resolution-y. It is early still today but I feel strong and determined. I started out with a great breakfast and will only eat when i am hungry. Period.

After the weekend things are going to really get crazy. Break will be over and I will be back to juggling my job which sometimes feels like 80 hours a week, my 4 year old, my nearly 6 month old, my husband, my home, my diet... wow that is a list. It is all entirely by choice and I really wouldn't change anything... except having to grade papers. My job would be perfect if I didn't have to grade the darn papers. Yesterday GK had a play date and the mom of this little girl kept saying to me over and over, I don't know how you do it. Honestly, I don't think I am Wonder Woman, or even Bat girl. I just do the things that make me most happy. It gets crazy, my house is always a wreck and I am usually very tired at the end of every day but I am also very happy. Well, for the most part... if I could dump 30 pounds I would feel much better... If I could drop 50, I'll run a marathon, I swear. Okay, I guess I better not set that kind of goal because I will intentionally sabotage myself. I HATE running!

Well, NJ is telling me it is time to check back in so until next time...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Adiós holidays

It is late and I am not really in the mood for this so I will just check in and check out. I did make some progress today and yesterday so I am pleased. I am also glad to be saying goodbye to the holidays... I am very ready to settle in!