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Hello! Today is Day 39, and I'm realizing that as much as I've gotten hooked on not eating sugar and eating lots of vegetables, I'm also addicted to these forums as a way to keep myself in line. I'm also surprised by the amount of things I'm observing that I feel like I need to document and share. Rather than posting individual topics as things come up, I figured I'd just have a thread to collect everything. Welcome to my post-Whole30 log! :)

 

I hope, through this, that I will be more able to hold myself accountable, as well as help and inspire others. My focus will be on staying mostly compliant going forward while addressing my most major health concerns, which are depression and my overweight/obese status. While I felt pretty awesome at the end of my Whole30, I'm learning that my path to being healthy on both of those items is not level and more resembles a roller coaster than anything else. As such, my posts may contain some frustration, and I'm not perfect, so there are going to be times I fail. I hope I can word these well enough so that you identify with them, because no one is perfect.

 

All of those things being said, thanks for reading, and I welcome your questions, comments, and feedback! Happy Whole30ing!

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Yesterday was a very hard day, and I'm really feeling it today (exhausted!). On top of the cookie cravings I wrote about in another thread, I went for my first workout since before starting Whole30, and my boyfriend needed my help in such a way that cut significantly into my cooking, cleaning, and sleep routine.

 

The cookie cravings... seriously, these were not messing around. My brain continued to sense phantom cookie aromas well into the night, so I know I was right to kick that craving to the curb, despite everyone around telling me that just having one cookie was okay. I passed multiple froyo shops on the way to/coming home from my boyfriend's house, and I wanted so badly to stop and get some froyo, which is a favorite summertime treat for me. But I didn't. And I didn't have any sugar when I got home, either. I'm coming to realize that I will always be dealing with sugar demons, which is easier than dealing with the consequences that come from giving into the cravings (weight gain, mood in a constant state of flux, afternoon sugar crash, etc), but still difficult nonetheless. I wish I'd been raised on healthier food. It kinda makes me want to raise my future children with no processed sugar until well into their childhoods. This "food is a reward" idea that is so ingrained in our society is frustrating... food is FUEL. While you should enjoy your meals, they should not be rewards. Your body needs the fuel, and once you associate eating with a reward, you lose that fuel perspective.

 

Sleep.. I've gotten into the habit of finishing cooking, cleaning up the dishes and kitchen, making myself a cup of tea, and then spending at least 30 minutes reading with no electronics ahead of going to sleep. With helping my boyfriend run around last night getting replacement car parts, I barely had time to do the planned cooking I needed to do to have food today, let alone do any cleaning. Once I finished cooking, I was so exhausted that I just went straight to bed, which was a mistake - I slept fitfully for the first time in a while. Turns out I need that 30 minutes of tea and reading.

 

First workout... I hadn't planned pre-WO or post-WO meals because eating right before a workout has always made me feel ill before, and I had planned to come straight home and eat dinner. Mistake. I could barely finish a mile, and my mile time was horrible. I crashed on the fitness room floor and did 100 crunches before giving up. I also felt wildly unmotivated, despite the moral support of a friend from work. My body feels totally trashed today. A very good - and very fit! - friend suggested that I find a fitness program to follow, as that will help me be motivated and focused when I work out. I've heard Men's Health has some good ones, so I'll be checking that out (she has also offered to help me build a custom one). I do have the components I need to make pre- and post-WO meals to have ready, so that's on my to-do list for the next few days.

 

About Reintroductions

  • Dairy - As long as it's a small amount, I don't have a noticeable reaction, so I will be adding limited amounts of cheese to dishes that make sense with it, and we'll see how it goes with other types of dairy (I used to be a daily eater of nonfat Greek yogurt)
  • Gluten - Whew, all the gas... still trying to figure this one out... it almost made me feel sick on top of the gas (think flu-like symptoms), but I probably had too much gluten all at once... going to try a small amount next
  • Wine - Needs to be restricted to one normal-sized glass (no noticeable side effects from one glass; one large glass = noticeable side effects)
  • Beer - Instant headache

That's what I have so far, though I think some rice bran oil may have been a stowaway in one of the dishes I ate when I was out, after I felt terrible and then did some detailed research. Not sure what else would have caused that feeling, though it could have been continuing effects of the gluten. I've been very surprised by how my taste buds have changed. Prior to Whole30, I had never had an omelet that didn't have cheese in it. As far as I was concerned, the cheese made the omelet. Post Whole30, I don't even like cheese with my eggs. Say what?! I also find myself looking at food for sale at places like Starbucks and thinking to myself, 'Where are the veggies? There are no veggies in that! Gross'

 

Meal planning, reading labels, and avoiding sugar are so much habits now that I haven't stopped doing any of them. No tiger blood right now, though I think that's in part due to not meeting expectations for sleep and water the last few days. I'm looking forward to having a good Whole30 dinner tonight, followed by reading and tea, then hopefully some high-quality sleep. The reintroduction process has been hard on me, so I'm going to try to continue with compliance for a bit longer, then we'll try some other new things.

 

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

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Update: holy cow, note to self... do NOT forget to add starches! I was so miserable this morning, just really feeling exhausted, and after talking to someone about maybe needing to add more starches, I decided to skip the non-starchy lunch I'd brought (leave it for tomorrow) and go get potatoes. I had to go two places to get a good meat source and a good serving of non-fried potatoes, but I feel SO MUCH better. I inhaled that baked potato!

 

I'll need to make sure I eat starchy vegetables for lunch the day I have a workout. I think that might have hurt me more than anything else yesterday.

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 I'm coming to realize that I will always be dealing with sugar demons, 

 

It gets easier and the cravings get less intense and shorter.  It is a LOT like quitting smoking, I've found. The crazy part is that I would never even entertain the thought of smoking just one cigarette because I know I'd be back to smoking a pack-a-day in about a week.  But just one cookie, just one ice cream, just one whatever..........those have a different pull but basically the same outcome.

 

The longer you abstain, the smaller and further apart your indulgences, the wiser and more heads-up choices you make when you do indulge, the easier it is to manage.  You'll get there!  :)

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Thanks for the encouragement, ladyshanny! I'm learning that when I do have sugar, and not in response to a craving, I don't enjoy it the way I did before Whole30. I'd so much rather have a big bowl of spaghetti squash with red sauce. I'm weird.

I'm also seeing something interesting from my body - when I combine two things that I reintroduced successfully, my body rebels. It seems that my body is easily overwhelmed by off-plan foods. Small amounts, no big deal... Double up, and I will just have to leave a stack of good books in the bathroom. Has anyone else experienced this?

Just left the grocery store with lots of ingredients for a low-key Whole30 week. Lots of batch cooking of W30 comfort food, so I can just take it easy. Hoping to feel a whole lot better soon!

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Markedly decreased moodiness as I return to my old teammates, who appreciate the change. Except for one thing... When someone tries to preach about protein shakes being a necessity... And I have to restrain myself so that I don't yell, "UGGGHHH! DO YOU EVEN FOOD?!?!"

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Back on track, and my body is SO HAPPY, which of course means I was a smiling ray of sunshine armed with dad jokes. Tummy issues sorted themselves out rather quickly.

M1: Spinach, tomatoes, three eggs scrambled with 2/3 of a chicken apple sausage (why did I not buy those earlier?!) and olives

M2: Seared chicken breast with potatoes, plus a chicken apple sausage because the chicken breast portion was too small, and olives

M3: Browned ground beef with Italian seasoning, marinara with extra clarified butter, and 1/2 a spaghetti squash

I've got to find a way to get better about drinking more water earlier in the day!

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I'm working a slightly later shift now, so getting a little more sleep! Woohoo!

 

M1: Spinach, tomatoes, three eggs scrambled with 2/3 link chicken apple sausage

M2: Leftover spaghetti squash, marinara, and ground beef

M3: Haven't decided yet, but lots of choices in my fridge!

 

Really started to get interested in all of the Whole9 points after a moderator explained it a bit more on another thread. They align with everything I'm trying to do for my life:

 

  • Eat good food
  • Sleep deeply
  • Move your body
  • Handle your stress
  • Connect with others
  • Get outside
  • Be the best you
  • Have some fun
  • Own your choices

A lot of these naturally came out of doing a Whole30. Excited to learn more about the rest!

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Holy cow! Talk about learning more about your body! I understand now why my doctor said I should never weigh 120lbs.

I ordered a Garmin Index smart scale and matching heart rate monitoring wristband as a reward for successfully completing my Whole30. Doing a W30 convinced me that I needed to look beyond weight to understand my health and my body's needs. Specifically, I wanted to improve my resting heart rate, lower my body fat percentage, increase my water percentage, and see the cool things it shows, like bone density and skeletal muscle mass. It was backordered, but the scale arrived today.

If I maintain muscle mass while losing weight - and I have not been weight-lifting up to this point since a year ago - my body's skeletal muscle mass will be fully half of my weight. Normal is 25-30% for women my age. Even grossly overweight, with extremely high body fat percentage, I'm still in the "high" range. So... Protein... It's extremely important. Now I get why I've needed to up my protein since starting W30.

The obvious conclusion is: I'M BATMAN.

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Well... I made the choice to eat a cookie because 1) a coworker made them and was offering them 2) I thought to myself, "it's only one, and I wasn't having any cravings for off-plan stuff, so I'm not responding to a craving" and then found that as soon as I ate one, I wanted the whole batch. Sigh.

 

So I walked myself through the questions I wrote out to help myself deal with anxiety and depression and realized that I wanted the cookies because I was overwhelmed coming back to my old department - the volume of work here is much higher and more stressful. Once I answered my set of questions, I felt better and didn't want a cookie anymore.

 

Funny how that works!

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Thank you for sharing; just completed Whole30 yesterday; trying to gain some perspective before reintroducing foods. Don't really have anything I want to try yet...

 

You are welcome! I'm glad this was helpful for you. To be honest with you, I kind of wish I hadn't reintroduced anything but wine. I can have a glass of wine with dinner and feel fine all around, and genuinely appreciate it for what it is, without then wanting to drink ALL OF THE ALCOHOL. Reintroducing grains of any type feels like a huge mistake now, looking back at the time since I completed my Whole30. My sugar/bread/pasta cravings are only bigger and more insistent now. I was in such a rush to rejoin the masses to eat "normally" again, but I've found that I feel that the world is wrong in its approach to food. That so many people eat so much junk - even though I used to be one of those people - perplexes me now. That people like us, who are making enlightened food choices, are not embraced readily and don't have many options outside our private homes, is both frustrating and astounding (even though I really prefer to cook for myself now, as opposed to going out somewhere). I want to open a Whole30 restaurant in Austin. I'm envisioning an environment like the one on these forums - full of support and examples to be followed - in a restaurant that only serves Whole30-compliant (and delicious) food, with extra helpings of vegetables to go around.

 

I haven't been out of town while trying to eat Whole30 compliant, so I'm speaking about Austin and Texas here, but wow, we are SO BAD at vegetables! IF they find their way onto the plate, they are overcooked or undercooked, poorly seasoned (if at all!), and generally bathed in something that masks flavor (cream, butter, etc).

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This week's shopping was a bit of a challenge. I'm very low on funds (darn you, surprise car expenses), so there's a lot of batching and repetition, but it's a Whole30 week, and I did it for fairly cheaply. So I'm proud of myself! :D Noncompliant wouldn't have been much cheaper, and without meal planning, I probably would have splurged on a sandwich for lunch, only to eat a 20-cent packet of ramen for dinner. Gross.

All told, my bill was $53.18. Here's what I got:

  • 18 eggs (compromised here and got less fancy eggs)
  • Aidell's chicken apple sausage (splurge item - at $4.98, they're a luxury and almost didn't make it into the cart, but they were a clutch backup last week when some meals were short on flavor/variety and protein)
  • 7 medium tomatoes on the vine
  • 8-lb bag of potatoes
  • 2 medium spaghetti squashes
  • 2 lbs extra-lean ground beef
  • 2 jars of compliant marinara sauce
  • 1 bag of compliant frozen chicken portions
  • 1 bag of baby spinach

I could have been even more selective and done it for cheaper, but I know these ingredients will help me make a week's worth of satisfying meals. Back when I had plenty of cash in my wallet, I stocked up on basics I knew I'd need every week no matter what that also happen to have a long shelf life or faraway expiration date. In addition to what's below, I have a few portions of frozen salmon. Here's that list:

  • Olive oil
  • Butter (for making clarified butter)
  • Sea salt
  • Spices
  • Kalamata olives
  • Frozen, steamable bags of veggies (broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Cans of fish
  • Compliant mayo, relish
  • Parchment paper

Here's what I'll be making with all of this:

  • 6x M1: eggs, spinach, tomatoes, chicken apple sausage
  • 4x M2/3: roasted spaghetti squash, ground beef w/ Italian spices, marinara sauce
  • 9x M1/2/3: chicken, potatoes
  • 1x M2/3: tuna salad w/ veggies from freezer
  • 1x M2/3: salmon w/veggies from freezer

Definitely more than enough to get me through to payday this Friday without having to dip into emergency funds, and the truth is, I could make it to Friday dinner without pulling any backup food from the pantry or freezer and just using available cooking fats and salt, which I could have purchased (if needed) if I hadn't splurged on the sausage. I also could have picked a cheaper vegetable to eat with my ground beef and marinara, and probably could have saved $1-2 by making the sauce myself, but this is a meal I really enjoy as-is and found my satisfaction with the meal was significantly curtailed by the time it took to make the sauce.

Whole30 for under $55. I bet most of my non-W30 friends will spend a lot more than that on food for themselves. Feeling like a W30 winner today. :)

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Really not feeling good today... I was hoping that the rough period thing would just be on my first Whole30, but it seems like it's happening again. I don't want to go crazy with off-plan foods - pre-W30 Stag would be diving into a pint of Ben & Jerry's ASAP, and that's so destructive for my mental and physical health - so I'm just going to take extra special care of myself today with some reading, an extra walk later, and some music at my desk in between angry customers.

Any other tricks or suggestions?

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Thank you for posting your experiences.  I've appreciated reading these.  I completed whole30 3 days ago, but am going another 18 days beceause my veg was sabotaged with butter at a restaurant on day 24.

I'm interested in your reintroduction because I've never been able to just have one biscuit or piece of cake without wanting to wolf down the whole packet.  I haven't always done it but it sets up mad cravings for a few days after until I buckle under the pressure. 

I don't know if I have any tricks at hand, but I like the idea of extreme self-care.  The body likes being touched, hydration, contact with others etc.  So even rubbing hand cream in helps (and it makes any naughty treats taste weird if you pick up and eat).  Reading, lunch time walk and anti-anger music sound like great strategies. 

Wishing you contented compliance for the rest of the day.  I'll be keeping you company.

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1 minute ago, Pippin1 said:

Thank you for posting your experiences.  I've appreciated reading these.  I completed whole30 3 days ago, but am going another 18 days beceause my veg was sabotaged with butter at a restaurant on day 24.

I'm interested in your reintroduction because I've never been able to just have one biscuit or piece of cake without wanting to wolf down the whole packet.  I haven't always done it but it sets up mad cravings for a few days after until I buckle under the pressure. 

I don't know if I have any tricks at hand, but I like the idea of extreme self-care.  The body likes being touched, hydration, contact with others etc.  So even rubbing hand cream in helps (and it makes any naughty treats taste weird if you pick up and eat).  Reading, lunch time walk and anti-anger music sound like great strategies. 

Wishing you contented compliance for the rest of the day.  I'll be keeping you company.

Oh, Pippin, you have no idea how much I needed that. I was wondering if anyone was reading! :) Sending you a virtual hug.

For my reintroductions, I was careful to limit the availability of the things - buying a small amount of it or going to a restaurant that had compliant meals available and asking for the desired ingredient to be added in a small amount to a compliant meal. If it isn't there, you can't eat it. I also promised myself that I would only eat things like ice cream and cake in situations where they made sense - at a party, it's okay to have a small slice of cake post-Whole30, if you want it, and you're not responding to a craving. It probably also helped that I made sure I was satisfied first by compliant foods. I was almost irritated by the fact that gluten stole space in my stomach from veggies, to be honest. That cut down a lot on the potential for binge-eating and cravings. Whole30 did change my thought processes and habits. :)

The hand cream helped, I like that tip! I put some on my hands right away. I did feel much better coming back from lunch having spent the hour eating my compliant lunch and reading.

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I'm interested in your stories ... Very fun to read ... Any suggestions on how much starches you could have a day ? Is there a limit? As you have finished and I am just starting 

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5 minutes ago, PaolaA said:

I'm interested in your stories ... Very fun to read ... Any suggestions on how much starches you could have a day ? Is there a limit? As you have finished and I am just starting 

The guidance given is at least a fist-sized serving in a day. I might do 1.5x that each day, 2x that if it's a really rough day (beginning of my period, bad depression or anxiety, etc). I really love my roasted potatoes. :)

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It doesn't always make me feel so comfortable, but when I'm going nuts with the munchies and worry I won't be able to control what I eat, I try really hard to chug water. I have a million liter sized Nalgene bottles that I reuse, so I'll fill one up with cool tap water, then put one or two in the fridge to get cold, and I'll just try as hard as I can to drink.

It makes my stomach feel a little uncomfortable, and I end up having to pee a million times, but it keeps my hands and mouth busy, and keeps me from eating something I want in the moment but know will make me feel like crap later on. Sometimes the munchiness passes, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes my water chugging doesn't do the trick, but for those times that it does, I'm thankful.

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The cravings are once again super-strong, as they have been since I switched back to my old job. I'm learning that I am not thriving in this high-stress, high-volume environment... at all. It's hard for me to just leave, though, because the ideal environment - in which I did my Whole30 - is just across the hall. I did a fantastic job of proving I was right for the role, but due to tenure requirements, I can't move there for another six months. Depressed, stressed, anxious... all of these things are me. Again. Due to the high volume, I can't stop and run through my questions every time someone screams at me (side note - be nice to your technical support people). I go home feeling like I failed and feeling very anxious and depressed over it, though I'm told I am performing well.

Despite the nasty feelings and loud cravings, I haven't eaten one of the homemade brownies I made and brought for the team, and I'm eating my compliant M2 (leftover spaghetti squash, ground beef, and marinara sauce). The answer is to get out of this job, NOW, but that isn't a good long-term answer for the reason listed above. I just feel like I'm losing ground every day after making so much progress, and I don't know how to cope when I'm not given time to do so. :(

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Good morning! It has been three weeks since I finished my Whole30, and we're still on track with Whole30, most of the time. A few observations for this Thursday morning:

  • This is my second period since starting Whole30, and it's on much more of a schedule than it ever was before - I have always had a very unpredictable cycle (sorry if TMI), but this time, it was predictable and basically like clockwork... I'm very interested to see if this continues (it sure would be nice :))
  • First period during W30 was pretty bad, but this one wasn't too bad. I had a day and a half, maybe two days of extra emotion and some cramping, which is way more than I ever used to have for PMS, but far less than the several days of emotional benders (no bingeing on food, just constant waves of emotion) that I had on my first W30 period
  • After eating lots of potatoes this week in anticipation of my period, I'm really craving veggies of other colors... green, red, orange, yellow, purple, anything!!! Even though I ate a lot of spaghetti squash this week and have eaten tomatoes and spinach in my eggs every morning, I think I'll make an early trip to Central Market on Saturday to find lots of new veggies to experiment with that afternoon for lunch
  • I was too tired to stay up last night (I even fell asleep without drinking my tea - woke up to a full, cold mug at 2 AM!!) to make my breakfast for today/tomorrow/Saturday, so I set my alarm a little earlier than needed and got up to cook, which was actually a really nice way to start the day (and I feel like I actually worked MUCH faster than usual, despite not being fully awake)
  • I've been reading a LOT more since starting my W30 - maybe because screens are off thirty minutes before bed - but even more than just before bed... I'm really glad about this lifestyle change, as I do love to read, and I am fully removed from the stress of work and life in general when reading
  • I need more people in my life. I've alienated one of my best friends, I think, by taking time to work through the anxiety I was experiencing, and with her new relationship, it's very difficult to get any time with her, even at times she's specified were not his (they are 2-3 months in, already living together, and spend pretty much every minute of every weekend together; she travels for work Mon-Fri)... now the question is: how on earth do I meet some new people? It's so hard to meet people as an unmarried 30-year-old woman with no kids!

Just some Thursday morning thoughts. :) Have a great day!

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Feeling physically good after thinking through why I'd been taking the elevator instead of the stairs at work. I work on the third floor, and each set of stairs between floors is really about two normal flights' worth of stairs. I feel a little guilty every time I take the elevator, and I finally asked myself why I was doing it at all - I have legs. They work. I always took the stairs when I worked on the second floor. What's preventing me from going another floor? Being out of breath when I get to the top?

I remembered a phrase I'd started telling myself at a women's conference last year - 'Doing what you can leads to doing what you can't.' I *can* go up the stairs. If I do that, maybe - a little at a time - I'll eventually move some of my fitness goals from the 'can't' column into the 'can' column. I've taken the stairs every time I needed to go up or down today, and I'm actually feeling really energized. ANNND I hit my step goal hours ago for the first time in like a week.

Doing what you can leads to doing what you can't.

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Staggolee I've just caught up with your posts.  My notifications had turned off so missed the activity.  I really like the stair attack.  It sounds like your job is a white knuckle ride so that stair therapy must be pretty crucial right now.  Professor Dukan's advice was to act as if elevators and escalators had never been invented and we would be a healthier race.  My brother is sharing your de-stress with stairs approach.  He works in a high powered job in London and started walking up to the 9th floor everday.  From Mr Blobby to Captain America with no pain. 

I'm sorry to hear your job is such a pain.  I can only say it's inspiring to know you're reintroducing even FWNBs and not going off the rails.  I don't know if I have your resolve, as even if there are minimal amounts in the house, I've been known to hop straight in the car to go and source my food crack.  I've had a heavy fruitoholic episode from yesterday evening.  3 meals have gone out of the window and wild woman had her head in the fridge again.  All compliant but don't know if I've blown the whole30 rules by overeating.  I just hate doing that, but thank goodness nothing off plan.  I think I was getting despondent about trousers still not giving any leeway even after 44 days.  I think I have to accept a couple of weeks with no FODMAPs as still sometimes get a biting pain in my stomach.

So how's the single life going?  I agree I need people in my life.  Every time I get away from solitary confinement and actually connect with humans it really feeds the soul.  I have a semi-detached partner I see at weekends but I remember days when it was a lot of my own company.  Now I wonder if you'll meet some compatible companions on the stairs one day.  Maybe when as you get fitter you might just go past your own office and head up another flight you could meet all kinds of interesting people :)

Go Staggolee staying away from the homemade brownies.  How I wish I had your resolve, as my excessive plums and peaches settle into my stomach for a nice round of bloating.  I must go an switch on the Olympics for a bit more inspiration.  Great reminder about reading.  I'd forgotten I'd ordered a new book on Kindle.  Reading's been my escape since I was 6.  

I hope your next working week is gentle on you.  Stay brave.

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