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Feeling Pretty Good

I managed to keep my inefficient worrying under control the last couple of days. I prepared as much as I could and let go of the rest. The meeting I anticipated might contain some uncomfortable conflict went smoothly. I facilitated well and received feedback that supported my self-assessment. It’s behind me now and so is any of the slight stress that I had retained.

Best of all, I did not lose sleep and I didn’t dive into food to manage the worry. That rates a double booyah as far as I’m concerned. I feel good, strong and positive. I actually said a strong, firm “no” to a sweet, sugary treat a couple of hours ago and reminded myself that I could enjoy a frozen fruit treat at home instead.

Did I tell you all about one of my Christmas gifts? One of my nephews gave me a Yonana machine. It takes frozen fruit and blends it into the consistency of frozen yogurt or frozen custard. No added sugar, other than what occurs naturally in the fruit. No fat, no junk, no nothing. After my evening commitment, I came home and thoroughly enjoyed the fruit snack with a small scattering of chopped walnuts on top. Yum.

Find that I still need to educate myself on portions. Even though it’s been almost two years since my surgery, I’m still retraining my brain. The instinct is often to prepare the same size portion as before. That would be fine if I could always trust myself to eat only a half or less of what I prepare. Even if I can only physically eat the smaller amount, if I have the rest in front of me, I’m sometimes tempted to keep going. Forcing the issue is not a good thing for many reasons. For one, eat too much and I not only feel wicked uncomfortable, but I’ll also need to throw up. Forcing larger portions too often over time could eventually stretch out the stomach pouch. If I increase my stomach capacity, I will lose the terrific tool that the smaller sleeve provides. Don’t want to go there, not one bit! Forcing the issue also doesn’t help me learn anything useful to encourage long term success.

Stopping before I serve myself helps me think it through, rather than just plopping too big a portion on my plate. “Stop before I serve” makes for a good mantra, I think. Like tonight. I had a change of plans today when a dinner date was rescheduled for Thursday. I thought about what starches I’d eaten during the day and realized that I had two plain saltine crackers with my soup at lunch. That was all. I didn’t have a lot of food in the house but thought that I could make a simple grilled cheese sandwich. I’ve learned to keep bread in the freezer so that I am not tempted to eat it frequently just because I think I’m hungry and it’s available. It takes more effort to pull a slice from the freezer, defrost it and then do something with it before eating.

While I was opening the bag to take out two slices, which would be the automatic portion in the past, I stopped and thought, “No. You don’t need that big a sandwich. Half is plenty.” That’s what I did. One slice of bread, split into two smaller pieces with some good quality cheddar, toasted in a non-stick pan coated with cooking spray.

It was delicious and satisfying. I reduced the fat, carbs and overall calories by stopping and thinking. It’s important to transfer this kind of behavior to as many food and eating situations as possible. Even when I go out to dinner, it’s good to separate the portions on my plate so that I don’t keep picking at the food in front of me and end up eating more than I want or need. I haven’t quite gotten to the point of getting a To-Go box right at the meal’s outset, although I’m sure if I try that a few times I won’t feel conspicuous — or at least won’t care if I am. In the interim, it’s easy enough to physically push some, often most, of the food to the side of the plate and focus solely on the appropriate size portion that remains. If I’m at a buffet, I need to remember that I can still sample a wide variety of dishes as long as I limit myself to dabs and not load up the spoon or stab a huge forkful.

In other things, I’ve noticed that if I do indulge in carbs a little, my body reacts. I might have mentioned this before but, honestly, after 500 plus posts I don’t always remember everything I’ve ever discussed. Back over Christmas week, I know that I ate more carbs on more days than I do in probably a month. My body reacted my putting on some water weight and bloated pounds. I almost want to call them fauxpounds. I know the math of calories. In order for me to gain five real pounds, I’d have to eat 18,000 more calories than I burn. Over a week, that would be more than 2500 calories more a day! Folks, I’d have to drink multiple milkshakes to consume that many more calories. Plus, I was also walking every day and keeping up with my 10K plus steps for calorie burn.

Even fauxpounds can be a little stubborn about giving up their grip on my body. It got to the point where getting on the scale in the morning started messing with my head. Even though I knew it was water weight, the number can upset me. I decided not to weight myself for a few days while I carefully stayed on track. This worked. I finally vanquished the fauxpounds. My body’s back to an authentic weight. I’m starting to see some additional definition (underneath the sagging skin that will only disappear with surgery) from the strength training routine with hand weights.

All in all, I feel pretty good!


Inefficient Worrying

Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.
– Corrie Ten Boom

I have no idea who Corrie Ten Boom is, but he or she has a great, interesting name. I first heard the name less than five minutes ago when I Googled inefficient worrying. I was looking for a good definition but found the quote instead.

Actually, instead of “but found…”, I should say, “and found…” because, honestly it works.

If I understand and remember it right from years ago when I heard a psychiatrist use it, inefficient worrying is that situation where the same stressed out, worrisome thoughts go around and around and around in our heads. We fret, we stew, we obsess, seemingly without respite. Sometimes the thoughts are repeated pretty much verbatim like the needle on a record getting stuck so the same place in the song plays, plays again, plays again. For you people too young to remember records that played through a needle stuck in their tracks, think of a CD with a scratch that makes the place in the song repeat. If you only download music from the internet, neither of these things is relevant but I have no appropriate comparison.

I used to get caught up in inefficient worrying all of the time. Usually, this hits if I wake up in the middle of the night. Once I start, I can’t get back to sleep. I don’t think that the timing is a coincidence. Why wouldn’t stress attack at the time of day, or night so to speak, when I can usually do nothing about the situation that’s got me worried? I also have a sneaking suspicion that the inefficient worrying likes striking in the wee hours when I’m less alert, more foggy brained and, therefore, less able to reason out the situation and reduce the stress.

I can clearly remember times when I have obsessed over something in the pre-dawn hours, the same repetitive thought going through my mind over and over and over like a hamster on a wheel. Eventually, I fall asleep and then, when I wake up, exhausted, I wonder why I’d gotten so stressed in the first place.

In the past, when hit with bouts of inefficient worrying either when asleep or jarred awake, I’d eat. Suppressing the thoughts with food calmed me down — or appeared to. Either that or it just distracted me. If I was busy eating, I couldn’t focus on the stressful situations.

A colleague at work calls it mind chatter. I’ve heard her tell soldiers to leave the mind chatter behind. In order to help them do so, she suggests tapping some physical object with our fingers and telling ourselves that we’re leaving the mind chatter in the place that we’ve tapped. It sounds simplistic, but the technique actually works.

Most of the time, I go back to the Serenity Prayer again and remind myself that there are things that I cannot change. Acceptance helps diffuse the inefficient worrying, at least to the point where it doesn’t induce insomnia. My acceptance right then is understanding that I can’t do anything about the situation right at that time (midnight, 2 a.m., four in the morning) and knowing that it’s a waste of time to worry so incessantly about what I can’t change. At the same time, I try to encourage myself with the belief that if something can be changed, I have the courage to do so.

You might wonder why this topic came up for me tonight. I’m looking at a super busy two days to start the week. I have several plates to spin and situations to manage. I practically get agida just thinking about it all. Then I stop and think, “Oh for pity’s sake, Mary. There’s nothing coming up that you can’t handle.” That’s when I realize anew that inefficient worrying is called inefficient for a reason. It accomplishes nothing useful.

So for tonight when I go to bed after publishing this post, I’m going to park the mind chatter far from the bedroom. The fear is groundless. Like I said, I might be super busy, but I can handle spinning all of the plates that need to stay on top of their respective poles.


The Ability to Change

Sorry to have been absent for a few days. I’ve been super busy at work and after. It’s all good, just busy. How are you?

Yesterday, we welcomed the Wounded Warrior Project where more than 50 soldiers who are recovering and/or coping with often life-altering injuries enjoyed a complimentary dolphin swim. My heart is full of joy and awe after seeing these men and women leave their “mind chatter” on land and enter the moment of fun and laughter in the water with the amazing dolphins.

It really makes me think. Sure, I have an eating disorder. I struggle with food issues and weight loss. These are a big deal — to me. I’m not belittling myself or comparing myself and coming up short. I’m just thinking about the impact that I’ve let these things have on my life when they were always within my ability to change.

I think back to the Serenity Prayer. God, please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Those soldiers who have been injured during their military service can’t change that they’ve lost limbs, or are paralyzed. They can’t ignore their traumatic brain injuries or other impacts of battle and injury. However, having suffered these injuries and conditions, they can choose to move forward, make the adjustments, learn how to live their best quality lives in spite of the challenges.

Learning to walk on prosthetics must be physically daunting. I can’t even begin to imagine. I do know, in my heart, that it has to be a whole lot easier for me to not pick up that food item that isn’t on my plan or to get up and exercise even when I don’t feel like it.

On any given day at any given moment, I have the ability to change. Today I choose to focus on the inspiration I received from the WWP Soldier Ride participants and make the choice to change whenever the choice is present.

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It Isn’t a Diet. It’s My Life.

Yesterdays comments by Skye and June resonate a lot with me. Skye talks about needing to change her thinking. I know changing the way I think about myself, about my body, about my choices and, most of all, about my physical activity, has really made a difference. Unfortunately, I’m also well aware that I am not guaranteed that these changes are forever.

I could change back. The disease is that insidious. A little laziness for a couple of days and some, “I’ll make it up tomorrow” thinking could start my slide down the slippery slope of not keeping up with my fitness routines.

I absolutely already know that I’ve given myself permission to eat off of my plan too frequently lately. It’s okay once in awhile but the danger lies in grouping those once-in-awhiles so closely together that they are no longer “in a while” but every day. Like Skye, I need to again change my thinking. In this case I need to change my thinking back to where I was right after the surgery.

June, I hear you on the boredom and the just being tired of thinking about it all of the time. Oh sweet goodness do I know how that feels. Sometimes I am sick to death of thinking about calories and carbs, what to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat of what I should eat. Ayyyyieeeeee! Honestly, I don’t know how to keep it fresh and interesting. I wish I could say that there’s a magic technique but if there is, I haven’t learned it yet.

When it comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter how bored, fed up, tired or frustrated I am with the program. Regardless of the feelings, I just need to stay with the program anyway. I need to fight my own thinking when my thought patterns tell me I’m doing fine but my progress doesn’t reflect that in reality.

I watched a little more about the Super Dieters and read some other articles and commentary. The real thing that I not only need to mouth but need to grasp and hold on to — tightly with both hands — is that this isn’t really a program. What I’m doing isn’t a diet. It’s my new lifestyle. It’s my life.

It’s my life. Embracing this in my heart, mind, and body, is the key to continuing in a life of recovery versus a life of diseased eating. Understanding and living like this is my life equals acceptance.

Acceptance is always the answer. It’s right there in the Serenity Prayer — grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. I can’t change the fact that I have an eating disorder. The disease is chronic. Given the opportunity, it will always mess me up. When I make bad choices with food, I’m living in disease. I can, however, manifest the courage to change what I can. Just because I have the disease doesn’t mean that I can’t be stronger than it and continue to make the good choices.

I need to accept that I’m not going to reach goal weight and be done. The clock doesn’t run out. A buzzer doesn’t sound. Nobody declares game over. Goal weight is not the end of the journey. It’s the next important, big time milestone. Goal weight means that I then transition from the “losing” part of the journey to the “maintenance” phase. That phase is forever. Just like right now, losing weight is my life. Later on, maintaining my healthy weight and physical fitness regime will be my life.

So, these are good things for me to work on: Changing my thinking again and accepting that this is life. As I typed that, I had a flash of inspiration with a shift. When I start being ever loving tired of this routine and start complaining about this being my life, I need to affectionately give myself a mental head slap and say, “Hey. This is your life! This wonderful, more physically fit, able to move, able to breathe existence with all of the happiness and joy is your life!! Celebrate. You are one, lucky woman!”

You know what. I really am one lucky woman. I’m going to celebrate that with some exercise because I can! Today was supposed to be a weight training day. Instead, when I woke up I opted for the cardio walk DVD and told myself that I would do the weight training this evening. Then I got home, saw that I was over 10,000 steps already and sort of got more involved in chatting on the phone with various people and doing other things. Not doing my strength training is a poor choice. Two years ago, I wouldn’t have physically been able to do this routine, simple as it might be. I’m not going to pass up the opportunity to stay on track because, hey, this is my life!


Super Dieters and the Other 85%

Have you ever noticed how January is a virtual diet-fest, or is that diet feast, on television? Weight Watchers starts their newest program in January. Talk shows all have stories about diets, getting healthy, all this kind of important stuff. I think it has to do with the whole “new year, new you” approach when the calendar flips over. There was a story recently on Good Morning America about a guy who lost 392 pounds! Today, Dr. Oz devoted a big part of his show to his two week rapid weight loss plan. People Magazine’s current issue profiles people who lost half their body size on various plans, but without bariatric surgery. I’m sure across the various forms of media there have been any number of other stories to help us all lose weight.

Do any of you watch World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer in the evening? I had it on tonight, waiting for their story on Super Dieters. They opened up with a fact that floored me. They said that 85% of people who diet and lose weight, regain the pounds. 85%! As a nation, are we simply doomed to fail?

The news story talked about an organization call the National Weight Control Registry that tracks more than 10,000 people who have lost weight and are succeeding in keeping it off. I went to the website and saw that they operate with an address associated with Brown University and a Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center. They’ve published a number of research papers in what appear to be reputable publications and they post some interesting data gleaned from the participants. For example, here’s one bullet point with some percentages:

There is variety in how NWCR members keep the weight off. Most report continuing to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and doing high levels of activity.

78% eat breakfast every day.
75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.

Back to the concept of Super Dieters. It appears that World News is going to stretch out the info over multiple nights but tonight they gave the first two tips that I guess are used by a high percentage of the Super Dieters who provide their information to the NWCR. Tip One: Don’t Cheat. By that they explained that the successful maintainers don’t deviate from their plans, not even to treat themselves on holidays. Tip Two: Eat Breakfast.

There are some success stories posted in which people describe how they lost and what they’re doing now. I haven’t read them all but the ones I did seemed infused with strong common sense and knowledge that, at heart, we all really know. Eat fewer calories. Eat better quality food as in fruits and vegetables over sugary junk food snacks, etc. Exercise more.

Oh jeez. Is that all?

Okay, that was cynical. I apologize. I’m harkening back to the fact that I know all of this and it does all make sense. Consume less, burn more. I get it. I’m doing it. What I want to understand is why these people are in the 15% who are able to continue to make these good, positive, successful choices day after day after week after month after year.

I honestly believe that all of us know what it takes. Where we run into trouble is consistently making the healthy, successful choices. That’s what I want to know. Is there research on how one keeps themselves motivated? How one always says “No” to the stuff that isn’t on their plan?

As I approach the two year anniversary of my bariatric surgery, I’m happy that even if I haven’t yet hit goal weight, I continue to live healthy, make better choices, and keep off the weight that I’ve already lost. This is longer than I have maintained an effort ever before. I guess despite my commitment to myself, to my healthy eating, to my consistent exercise, I’m still afraid that one day that motivation switch will have flipped to “off”. To guard against that happening, I want to know more from the people who succeed long term.

I want to be one of the 15%.


Post 500 – Anything Can Be a Binge Food

I can’t believe that this is the 500th Weighty Matters post! Thank you again for coming here and reading. Whether you comment a lot, a little, or simply lurk, I appreciate you adding your energy to the atmosphere and that you witness my journey. It helps me keep it real.

As you know, I have an eating disorder. My disease is compulsive overeating and binge eating. When I am in the grip of the disorder, I eat without thought, powered by compulsion. I will eat, eat, and eat some more. Binge eating meant I would do this and consume massive quantities of food. I wasn’t bulimic and wouldn’t purge. I’d just eat to the point of being incredibly uncomfortable and stuffed. If the binge mode was really strong, I’d wait until my stomach opened up a little space and then I’d binge some more.

Some folks with eating disorders feel that they need to abstain from certain substances — mostly sugar and/or white flour. I have never made the decision to cut those products out of my life. I’ve had some people argue with me that doing so is absolutely necessary in order to achieve long term recovery and abstinence. I say, while I understand that I’m not terminally unique, I believe that the disease manifests differently in different people. Instead of being addicted to particular products, I was more addicted to volume.

I also 100%, unequivocally, believe that anything can be a binge food. It doesn’t have to be sweets or white flour-based products. Pick a food, any food, and a binge eater could overload on it. You see, it isn’t about the actual food item. The root of the disease is the behavior itself. It’s eating when not hungry and eating more than an appropriate portion. It’s eating food compulsively instead of consuming what was intended. If I needed to binge and all that I had in my house were condiments, I’d probably pile up on ketchup and mayonnaise.

This is important for me to remember. Although my bariatric surgery provided me the fabulous tool of a drastically smaller stomach which limits the volume of food I can eat, it does not safeguard against me eating compulsively. So, recovery for me means abstaining from the compulsive behavior and the binging. Yes, even though the quantity of a post-surgery binge is far smaller, I can still eat more than I should, which makes my smaller stomach uncomfortable. It can even make me purge – which I hate.

There are some trigger foods that I am better off avoiding. I still wouldn’t want to trust myself and my recovery around pizza, unless I’m sharing with a group of friends. While I don’t deny myself the occasional baked goody, it’s better for me to not stock up on a supply in the house, but to purchase a smaller, single item when I really, really want the treat. I’m okay with keeping popping corn around for sometimes, but not so potato chips. This is about setting myself up for success. If I don’t keep binge quantities around, I don’t binge. It’s an almost simple equation.

Managing my food takes practice. It’s still a learning experience for me. Sometimes I do great and sometimes I screw up. Sometimes my disease whispers coaxing little lies to me that I can handle the disease no matter what and it tempts me to bring in larger quantities of potential trouble foods. Other times, my recovery is so strong and my mindset crystal clear enough to say “No” to that little voice.

I win more than I lose these days. My recovery isn’t perfect, but it continues. I’ve never maintained a significant weight loss effort for two years before and I’m only a few weeks away from my surgiversary. I want my awareness to stay strong so that I keep focusing on abandoning the diseased behavior and adopting the new, improved, healthier way of living. If I remember that anything can be a binge food so I need to keep my intent on correcting the behavior, I’ll continue to do well.


Clothing Convenience

I’m going on a cruise in a few weeks. I’ve been looking forward to it for months, but I’ve been so darned busy that I haven’t gotten down to the important preparation. This means that I have no idea what I’m packing for the trip, other than my bathing suit and snorkel gear.

That will make for a very casual outfit on formal night with a very strange accessory.

I’ve purged so many clothes from my closet because they were much too big to wear, but I’ve been careful not to buy too many new clothes while I’m still losing. Sitting here writing this, I honestly don’t know if I have enough appropriate outfits to cover all the events. Oh wait. In addition to the bathing suit and snorkel, I do have that great dress I bought for the wedding. That covers me for the “formal” dressy night. Whew. One night down, six others to cover.

So, here’s the really great realization that I had while musing over all of this. In the past, when I needed clothes, I had to plan several weeks in advance so that I could order from catalogues or online. Ten years ago, when I needed a dress for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah, I actually drove more than four hours away to get to the closest location of my favorite plus-size women’s clothing store. Come to think of it, I made the drive the morning after a sleep dentistry session for a tooth extraction.

If this was two or three years ago and I was unprepared wardrobe-wise just a short few weeks before a major trip, I’d be a stressed out mess, frantically browsing websites and paying extra for rush shipping. Tonight I’m just thinking that I can hit that local clothing store on Sunday and pick up a few things. I’m that confident that I can find enough choices locally in my current size to satisfy what I need. How abso-freaking-lutely cool!

I also know that if push comes to shove, and I still need a couple of things after shopping local stores, I can go up to the mainland a day early and hit one of the area malls I love knowing this is the new reality. Being thinner is not only healthier, it makes so many aspects of live simply more convenient!

Just wanted to let everyone know that Nat is greatly improved. He enjoyed going to the office with me today and was perfectly behaved. I suspect he dearly loved all of the attention, petting, and sympathy he got from the many co-workers who stopped by my office to ask him how he was feeling. Oh, let’s be honest. He looked up at them with his soulful, slightly droopy, spaniel-eyes and milked it for all it was worth.


Rolling with What Comes Along

Well, not exactly. So yesterday was my lazy day to recover from all of the excitement, walking and hours of standing that made up for my unique New Year’s Eve experience. After writing the post, I had a lovely soak in the tub, scented by the great lavender bath salt bomb. The only problem was that the product was so natural, it included dozens of lavender seeds. These made the cleanup a little bit of a challenge, but it was worth it.

I settled in for a good, relaxed night’s sleep. Around 2:30 a.m. I was awakened by the gawdawful stench of doggy diarrhea. My poor Nat didn’t even have time to whimper and wake me up, that’s how bad it was for him. Between waiting for his system to settle a little and cleaning up, it was a good hour before I got back to sleep. 4:30 a.m. – round two – but this time, he was able to warn me and I got him outside in time. 6:30 a.m., yes again. That time I just stayed up.

There are many reasons that I love my job. One of them is the fact that, since we are an animal facility as an organization, everybody understands and cherishes the importance of our animal family members. Whether the finned and flippered ones at work, or the furry ones in our homes, they matter. If one needs to go to the vet’s office, we can take the time as paid sick time, just like we would if it was a human child. I also have remote access so I can log onto my computer at home and connect to our work servers and a mirror of my desktop. This, coupled with my bosses’ understanding, made it possible for me to stay home, monitor Nat’s condition, and wait for his vet appointment. I could do this and still accomplish a great deal of work. It was a great thing, too, because Nat had to rush outside at least three more times before the afternoon vet visit.

He has a bacterial infection and is now on antibiotics and anti-diarrhea meds. They are already helping. Tomorrow, he’s coming into work with me so that I can continue to monitor him and get him outside if he has a sudden, pressing urge. Again, that’s how we operate with regards to our furry family members. It’s a blessing.

Dealing with a sick dog didn’t get my new year off to a bright, shining start, but it is what it is. I made the best of it by being productive on work projects. I was also able to accomplish my exercise. Nat was still enthused about going out for a couple of walks, as was his sister Pyxi. (Thank goodness his illness is bacterial and not contagious. It’s tough enough to deal with one sick pup. I don’t need two!) At the end of the day, enough time had passed since the last bout, that I felt comfortable leaving him for a short amount of time and I got out for a short, five mile bike ride. After dinner I did my weight training routine and some extra in-home walking to make my 10,000 steps commitment.

Through it all, I remained in a good place with my food and am serene in my emotions. Sure, the unplanned illness created challenges, often messy and smelly ones, but that doesn’t mean that I have to get so upset that I eat over them. I was concerned for my sweet boy, but concern doesn’t need to lead to a binge or eating inappropriately. when stuff happens, it’s important to roll with it, get it handled, and go on with life as desired.

Tonight as I prepare for bed, I’m pleased to know that I did all that.


Lazy Start to the New Year

I think I took three naps today. Trust me, I needed the sleep.

Last night was the wildest New Year’s Eves I’ve spent in years and years. It wasn’t planned to be that way, but, well, plans change and you just have to roll. If I pitched the evening as a book plot, you’d either laugh or think it was too far fetched. All I can say is that I spent hours on Duval Street with the county Mayor, my boss, and the media crew of CNN up close to the annual outside drag queen show. At midnight, while hundreds of people yelled the countdown, the star of the show, Sushi, was lowered from the second story balcony in a sparkling red shoe. Fake snow and confetti blasted from cannons over us while the drag performers and male dancers threw hundreds of strands of shiny beads to the crowd.

Times Square might have had a million people, but they didn’t surpass the Key West crowd in enthusiasm, that’s for sure. What a night! I didn’t get home and in bed until 3 a.m.! I wish I could say that I had a great, long, sleep-in, but Nat and Pyxi still were hungry for breakfast at 6 a.m. I went back to sleep for 90 minutes before one of them wanted to go out again. I then went back to bed yet again but only for another hour. We had also walked many blocks last night and I was standing for the majority of five hours. Said walking and standing done in low heels but, low or not, these were harder on my legs and knee than sneakers or flats. I logged more than 15,000 steps yesterday!

Add up everything and you can understand why I was more tired than usual today. Thank goodness I had the day off. I’d do a few things around the house, sit down with a cup of tea, and doze off. I took Nat and Pyxi out for a walk, then fell asleep for another nap. That really was the pattern of the day. Still and all, I got done the tasks I’d decided I wanted to accomplish including cleaning the pool and taking down my holiday lights, Christmas tree and other decorations. Thanks to some ibuprofen, my limbs stopped complaining about yesterday’s exertions enough for me to walk the dogs twice. I still logged more than 10,000 steps for today.

I might have od’d on cooking shows a little and I finished a book that I’d been reading. It was just that kind of day. Now I think I’m going to soak away the last lingering aches with a nice hot bath and then, you guessed it, go to sleep again. Hopefully, this will be for the night.

It wasn’t the most dynamic start to 2014, but apparently it was just the kind of lazy day that I needed.

How were your NY Eve celebrations?