24 September 2007

Missing: Nailah Franklin

Chicago woman missing since Tuesday

I don't know how much help this can do, but I am putting this out there anyway. I do not know Nailah, but I know her sister Leah. Leah and I went to college together and I can not imagine what her and her family are going through. I just hope that maybe someone out there knows something about where Nailah is and that she is safe and will be returning home soon.

Keeping my fingers crossed and sending my prayers up...


23 September 2007

Goal = confusion

Weight: 290.6 lbs. Total Loss: 226 lbs.

According to Dr. Marchesini's goal for me of 250 lbs, I have reached 85% EWL (226 lbs out of 266.6lbs). Technically that makes me a DS success story. That would also mean I'd need only to lose around 40 more lbs to consider myself at goal. I've said in the past, that I'd like to see 199.8 lbs. As time goes on, and I seem to get smaller and smaller much faster, I'm not so sure of that goal. I look at myself and wonder where exactly this 90 lbs is supposed to come from. I am still disproportionate, pear-shaped and have the bulk of the excess weight in my hips and thighs, I just don't know if I have 90 lbs worth. I don't know, it's a tad stressful because I'd like to know where the end is, I'd like to know when I'm done. I may just stick to Dr. M's goal for me, which I truly feel like I can meet by the end of the year or at least by the birthday in February.

There is a thread at DuodenalSwitch.com about whether or not we ever get over our food issues. I don't think I had an eating disorder per se, I do think I treated food like a source of comfort, but I also come from a culture where food is a pretty big part of it. My father is a typical southern guy from a typical southern food/soul food background. My mother is Creole and so Creole food was fairly prominent in our household. Add to that the fact that I grew up in a border town and Mexican food was also big in our diet. I ate a lot of good, delicious, totally bad for you food, but it was freakin' delicious and there was plenty of it. Now, I worry about the relationship to food that I have now. Now, it's all about the nunbers, protein and carbs, but once I reach goal, what then? Yes, it'll be about protein as an overall goal, but the other rules relax a great deal. I worry about that sometimes. The idea, I guess, is to find something, a plan/approach that is a no-brainer for the future, where I can indulge in the "bad" stuff every now and again, but not make those things a staple of my day to day life. That is going to be a challenge if there ever was one.

I had a weird bout of explosive poop late this morning. I've been off my acidophilus for a couple of days, I'm experimenting to see how much it is contributing to my constipation -- apparently a lot. Great afternoon reading, yes? Anyway, I may have to get back on it. I'm going out of town Thursday and I'd rather deal with constipation than diarrhea whilst I'm away from the safety of my house. The last trip I took I came home with some major stomach issues, this time around I'd like much better results.

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22 September 2007


Weight this morning: 291.2 lbs. Total weight loss: 225.4 lbs.

I have a confession to make. I, like many of us, weigh every day, however I, weigh on two different scales. It doesn't make any sense, but I do. I first step on the scale that I have had the longest, probably a good 2-3 years. I worked great because it went up to 500 lbs in 0.5 lb steps. It didn't work so great once I crossed over the 500 lb mark. That was a dark, dark day. I then went and ordered this slightly fancier (yet more inexpensive) talking scale that went up to 550 lbs in 0.2 lb increments, it's the one I use to record my weight today. I bought it maybe a couple of days before I left for Brazil. Why do I still weigh on both? Well, because, for example, this morning the first scale read 287.5 lbs as my weight. The second one said 291.2 lbs. I sort of use the first scale as a mental gauge of what my weight will be on the second "official" scale. I've tested both scales by using a 20 lb weight and the second scale was dead on, the first one, was off by like a pound and a half. This is silly, I know, but I have been doing it for a year and I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to take the first number and round down! It's very tempting, but I won't do it. Well, now that I am consistently under 300 lbs AND actually closing in on saying buh-bye to the 290's, I am thinking about getting me one of them fancy scales that measure hydration, fat %, all that fun stuff. Currently, I am looking at the Tanita BF679W Duo Scale Plus Body Fat Monitor with Body Water. It's only like $50 and I can probably walk into any Target, Walmart or Sports Authority to pick it up. Needless to say, I know I could never do that with any of my current scales. I'd love to hear any recommendations y'all have.

While I am on the subject, I will not be home for my 13 month anniversary. I will be at my parent's house. I am wondering if I should bring my scale with me, I am just afraid that airport security will think it's a bomb or something. Maybe I should call ahead. I don't know. Maybe I am worrying for nothing. Maybe I should just wait til I get back.

Yesterday, I was ravenous for some reason. I had 3 servings of my beefy cheesy mac, a turkey low carb wrap, a quesadilla (with real cheese -- Monterrey Jack -- not American), about a cup of no-sugar added kernel corn with a lot of butter and a pickle. I woke up at around 6:15 AM this morning with an incredible urge to poop, and poop I did, for like 15 minutes, it came in waves. God I hate constipation. Woke up this morning down 2.6 lbs even after all the food I ate. Today, I am going to try to take it a little easy and drink a protein shake or two to give my innards a rest. I am going to a GameWatch this afternoon to see if my alma mater can get their act together and win a game (misery loves company) and so my only food options are like bar food, hopefully I can find something good there, maybe wings (ugh) or a burger sans bun. Back to the corn ... that was absolutely delicious. I bought it to gauge how slow/fast food is moving through my system. Ironically, I had a moment of wanting something sugar-filled and instead opted to go ahead and eat the corn. Damn good. The "no sugar added" kind had like 1/3 the carbs as regular kernel corn. I was surprised, I didn't think they added sugar to veggies like that! I couldn't discern a difference, but then I didn't have the regular corn to compare. Anyway, I don't really plan on buying this anytime soon, but y'know if I ever have a strong craving for something sweet, I might just opt for this instead of something bad, I mean, sweet corn has got to be better than a cookie or 12.

Yeah well, laundry time. Gonna try to get a couple of loads done before I go to my GameWatch. Have a good weekend, y'all!

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21 September 2007

Good Stuff

Well, support group meeting last night was excellent, of course. They had a vendor fair where we had the opportunity to sample all kinds of protein snacks, bars, drinks as well as a couple different types of supplements AND talk to a couple exercise vendors. I tried a bunch of stuff and frankly, none of it was very good. The worse was this concentrated protein liquidy stuff called Prostat (I think) - most awful tasting crap and I've tasted some truly horrible protein drinks, but this takes the cake. Speaking of cake, they had this vendor -- and I completely missed their name -- that was making salad cake. Weirdest thing ever. Sounds dreadful, but everyone was eating it up, except for me, I just couldn't do it. Anyway, I met a few new folks (hi Lisa!) and hung out with my usual folk and drank a lot of water for some reason, probably like four 8 oz bottles. Overall, good stuff, I hope all the pre-ops and post-ops out there have a good WLS support group they can regularly attend. It works wonders, I tell ya! It's just as important as eating right and taking your supplements. It's such a wonderful thing, seeing someone who could barely get around a year ago, spend 1/2 an hour after the meeting moving tables and chairs around, full of energy. Awesome, awesome stuff!

BP is out of town for the weekend for a wedding which gives me a chance to breathe a little and get some work done without the constant interruptions, plus I don't have to housesit, her neighbor is. Yea! I was over there last night after the meeting to pick up my new (old) laptop. We just bought a desktop replacement laptop from Dell in our company color for BP and I went over there to assume possession of the older one and make sure she is set up on the new one. That thing is pretty badass and it's huge. It's a 17" which is the same size as the older one, but it's much bigger, big enough to have full sized keys and a number pad. What's really scary is that it isn't even the largest size, Dell has a 19" one. Good grief. I'm going to wipe the older one and upgrade the RAM and install useful software for me. This makes 3 computers for me in my house. This is pretty typical for many IT people, I think. I have a couple boxes full of computer crap and I can't bring myself to get rid of it...you never know when you're gonna need that cable or old modem! BP's husband is French and a chef and he made dinner last night, we had pork tenderloin with carrots, shrimp w/ mushrooms, onions and peppers in some kind of white wine sauce and couscous with some kind of nuts or something. Delicious. I ate a lot of shrimp and a little of the couscous because I never had it before, tastes like pasta. I actually ate the mushrooms too, much to my surprise, usually not a fan, but I'm trying to broaden my horizons a little.

Anyway, on the poop front, still dealing with the sludge ... so annoying. Weighed in at 293.8 this morning. Totally off-topic comment: Whenever I start typing my weight, I always start with a "3" instead of a "2", gotta stop doing that! Crazy. Anywho, gotta find a solution to the sludge because I feel like my innards are clogged with it. Gross, I know, but such is DS life at times.

I got a few enthusiastic compliments last night which made me want to run and hide. I have to make a short list of standard responses so I don't feel like an idiot trying to bumble my way through a thank you. Ugh.

Well, I talked to some Sports Authority reps at support group about good shoes for walking/running and I plan on making a trip there to find me a good pair. My current ones just ain't cutting it anymore. I'm going to look (and maybe buy) some shoes for tennis too. BP says she will teach me. That will either be a complete disaster or totally fun. God only know which one.

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18 September 2007


I've been outed. I was on a conference call with my business partner and a young woman we just hired to start working for our company. She's the former colleague who inquired about a position with us several weeks ago. BP tells the girl that she should see me now! That I had the "gastric bypass" (I can't tell you how many times I told her it was not a gastric bypass) and am so skinny, blah blah blah. At first I was like, WTF? I didn't say anything and it's not like I am trying to keep a secret, but I am unsure if the girl is going to start telling our mutual acquaintances. I'm reserving my right to be annoyed.

Well, I definitely figured out the cause of my sour mood the past few days. In college I had this really great, great friend. He was a junior my freshman year and he basically befriended me and took me under his wing. I won't go into all the details but was just a wonderful, genuine person and unfortunately, I didn't realize it at the time and didn't try very hard to keep in touch after he graduated. I was a weird kid in college, just a lot of emotional issues and I didn't have the skills to handle a lot of things in my life. Over the years, however, I really matured and came into my own, but it did take awhile. Around this time, I started thinking about my friend, what he might be up to, I had heard a few things here and there but most of my attempts to find him came up short. Fast forward to last week. I was reviewing our orders for the day for my business and I see his last name which is pretty unique, but not completely unheard of. I thought to myself "no way, it can't be!", but sure enough, it was -- confirming for me that there are no coincidences and things happen for a reason. Anyway, I wasn't 100% sure so I emailed a somewhat formal email to the address on file and hoped I had the right guy and waited ... and waited ... and waited. After several days, I was so disappointed, I guess moreso than I thought. I started thinking that maybe he wanted nothing to do with me, that maybe I was weirder back in school than I thought, etc. I told myself that reaching out should be enough and if he didn't want to connect with me that would be fine. I was bummed all the way up until yesterday when he emailed me back and was happy to hear from me! Talk about making my day! My mood now is like a total 180 degrees. I still am frustrated and annoyed by the other stuff, but I am so happy to be back in touch with my friend.

Anyway, I went to the grocery store, actually two, yesterday and spent like an hour and a half trying to find new stuff to eat. I bought some scallops, Dreamfield's pasta (macaroni and linguini), alfredo & cheddar sauces, ground turkey, a pot roast, some deli meats, low carb wraps (15g of carbs, 8g fiber), cheese (real cheese not processed) and a variety of other things. I am reintroducing cheese in moderation, maybe a slice a day in my lunch wraps. I made a super beefy "cheesy" mac & cheese. I used 2 1/2 lbs of beef, an onion, 1/2 a box of Dreamfields, unGodly amounts of butter (for creamy and deliciousness) and a jar of the cheddar sauce. I divided it into 8 servings which, in retrospect, are a tad big, but I can probably just split a serving into two. Anyway, each serving has 30g protein, 49 grams of fat (yum) and 5g of effective carbs. Freakin' delicious! I am going to make the pot roast with onions and green beans this weekend and divvy it up into portions. This way, at least I will have some quick choices. Fact of the matter is, I am tired of the same old stuff, but I guess I just have to work at it a little more. Pain in the ass, but oh well.

So, I told myself I would find a gym after the 10K on Labor Day and I have yet to make any kind of decision. I think I will just continue walking/jogging til I get back from visiting my parents and then do something then. I am going to Barbados in mid-October for a week, but I should be able to pick right up afterwards.

So I'm browsing the Land's End website, well, because I can :) and I pull up their size chart and I'm eyeballing some things for fall and winter. It's still relatively warm here in Georgia, but I'm always freezing. Anyway, my business partner has this fleece vest that I have always liked and so I see one on the site and pull up the size chart for it and my head immediately hurts. This is why shopping drives me crazy. Please explain to me, somebody - anybody - the seeming disparity between the X-large and 1X. I don't get it. Is it me or does the XL seem to be "bigger" than the 1X? How does that work? What am I missing? Yeah well, the upside is that I can even stress about XL's at all.

I think I mentioned this in my rant the other day, but you know what's tripping me out lately? Bones. My bones, my body, my skeletal structure. It's so weird to feel all these bones emerging. It's the weirdest thing because it's like I never had any tactile experience of them and now I do. I touch my shoulders and can feel the bones and muscles and how they fit and work together, it's amazing. Same thing with my hips and legs, I can feel my hips and my diminishing butt and get a sense of the structure of my pelvis. I can pinch my collarbone. Wow. I feel human.

In one of her posts, Ann mentioned having a hard time dealing with compliments. When I read it I nearly jumped up and yelled "Amen, sister!" Man, they are coming fast and furious which I am not sure I like so much. BP keeps calling me skinny. I hate that. People I see at least weekly keep saying "wow" at the most random times, usually catching me off guard. At times I feel more self-conscious than I ever did when I was 500 lbs. In fact, I feel more unease about compliments now than I did, say, 3 or 4 months ago.

Yeah well, time for food!

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17 September 2007

3rd Quarter Whinefest... You have been warned!!!

I am having a hard time of it all. Mentally I am not in the game and have little motivation to figure out why. My lack of blogging is a direct result of me feeling, well, tired of doing all this. I am incredibly bored with food, I have essentially been eating the same thing for over a year and I am tired of it, I tell ya, TIRED OF IT. If I eat another egg or protein shake or bar or piece of bacon or sausage or piece of chicken, I just might have to jab a fork in my eye! I'm not sure what to do. I just want to eat normal food and not have to watch carbs. I want to eat cheese. I just want to be normal already. I want to weigh 199 lbs already, but nooooo, I have another 100 lbs to lose for crying out loud! ARGH.

I want to curse, I want spew forth all manner of profanity, but I can't bring myself to do it, at least not on here.

I find myself with zero motivation. I'm tired of plugging away, I'm tired of drinking water and taking vitamins. I'm so over it. My skin is flabby, it's like I'm wearing heavy, clumsy, over-sized clothes that I can't take off. My calves are flabby. My head is ginormous. All these bones are popping up, making themselves known. I feel like I am withering away. WTF?!?

I have to go home to see about my parents next week because my idiot siblings, all of whom are older than me, can't seem to get their shit together and come up with some kind of manageable, actionable plan to make sure our parents are taken care of. These are the same folks who are going to be so guilt-ridden when our parents are gone. I made a promise to myself that I was not going to have any regrets when it comes to mom and dad, I will never have to feel guilty about them. Not me, it's just annoying that those that are so close are so full of themselves that they can't find their way to do the right thing. Very annoying.

I'm annoyed with my business partner. I am annoyed with her daughter. How is it that I am in the middle of their crap? How freakin' hard is it for two people not to yell at each other at every given opportunity? I don't get it. God, if y'all can't figure out a way to speak like normal people, then stay away until you can! Must you bait each other all the time??? Christ Almighty!!!

Good grief. I need some kind of emotional boost or a vacation or something. Thank God my support group meeting is this Thursday, I really need it.

I am holding steady at 292.0 lbs which is mostly due to the never-ending constipation, the bane of my existence. Why can't I have normal DS poop?

Gah! I'm going to bed!


14 September 2007

Still Here

Been an interesting past few days. Too tired to go into it. Down to 292.0 lbs. Woo-hoo!

07 September 2007

Claim it!

Hopped on the scale this morning fully expecting a bounce back of a few pounds and much to my surprise the scale said (mine talks) 294.2 lbs. I'll take it! I can't really explain the weight loss except maybe it's catch up weight loss from last month. I know I've pooped a lot over the last couple of days. I had a suspicion it was poop related so that could be it, either way, I'm a happy camper. An interesting tidbit, two weeks ago I weighed 319.2 lbs which means I "lost" over 25 lbs in two weeks, most of that water obviously, but still crazy! Buh-by3 300's for sure!

Today's the first day that I feel really good post-race, where I don't have to decide whether or not I really want to get up and move. I've been massaging my muscles at night, I don't know if that is a good or bad thing, but it sure feels good. I haven't been on any long walks yet, just short ones to get rid of the stiffness, I will probably head out to the park this weekend to do a couple miles. Hopefully it won't kill me.

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06 September 2007

Normal Again

I can finally walk like a normal person today. Yea! Last 24 hours have been sketchy food-wise. I mistakenly ate chicken Tuesday night (yes, I am stubborn) and I think that did me in at some point yesterday afternoon when it seems everything backed up in my gut. I think I am just a slow digester when it comes to chicken which caused everything else I ate after that chicken to be held up and contributed to my nausea and malaise most of yesterday. After a couple of big poops today, all seems to be well and where I didn't want to eat much of anything after around 2:00 PM yesterday, my appetite kicked in about two hours ago and I'm ravenous!

Today I weighed in at 295.8 lbs. I don't think I can officially and definitively say buh-bye to the 300's just yet as my weight this morning is most likely due to not eating much of anything yesterday and the first part of today. I don't know, call it paranoia.

I talked to my older brother, J, yesterday. He's one of the people I wanted to reconnect with this year and he's planning to come down to Atlanta at some point in the next few months so that we can hang out. We were very close growing up until he hit Jr. High and understandably it wasn't cool to hang out with your baby sister. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to it especially since I can get around so much better nowadays. I'll feel much more comfortable going out (like I know he'll want to do) and doing stuff. Reconnecting with him was one of my 20 Things for 2007. I've 4 more months in the year and I doubt I will accomplish everything on the list, a few things are just not feasible like going to St. Louis although I will be visiting with that sister later this month and going to my alma mater...just couldn't fit it in. Swimming will happen in a couple of weeks although I ain't buying a swimsuit. I will be wearing swim trunks and a t-shirt. Riding a roller-coaster...hmmm, I don't know if I am small enough for that, in my mind, I am not. A few more things I should be able to knock out -- strength training, home improvement projects, photo-books. All in all, I'm guessing 13-15 things will be accomplished. Not bad.

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04 September 2007

So. Much. Pain....

Weight this morning: 299.2 lbs.

Oh boy. That was rough! I hurt in places I didn't expect (back, shoulders, toes) and of course, in the usual places (legs, feet) BUT not as bad as I thought I would. I actually felt the worse during the first hour after the race. Cramps suck.

It was an experience to say the least and very hard. I met with Kim and her husband at the start and we were off, of course they outpaced me and I just tried not to burn out too quickly. The challenging thing about this course is that the toughest hill is at the beginning which in retrospect is probably a good thing since if it had been near the end, I probably would have died. I was actually pretty good through the first 4 miles or so, but then my hips and left ankle really started to hurt and my pace really slowed down. The last mile and a half, all I did was stare at the ground and focused on putting one foot in front of the other, if there was another hill ahead I didn't want to see it.

I didn't have my iPod with me so I was pretty much left to my own thoughts and I thought a lot about this whole journey of mine over the last 15 months or so when I first contact Dr. Marchesini to pulling together the money to going to Brazil, coming home and working my tool. At around the 2.5 mile mark, I got a little teary-eyed because it was a little overwhelming for me to realize that I was actually doing this and then again when I crested the last !@#$-ing hill and saw that the end was right there. I had the slightest burst of energy and when I reached the finish, I plopped myself down on the ground. I was unsteady and exhausted. My legs and feet started to cramp. I sat there for like 5 minutes, called a few people to let them know I finished and cried some more.

I finally got up and struggled my way toward the food, most of which had been already devoured by the 12,198 people who had finished before me, but I grabbed two apples, two bottles of Gatorade and devoured those in record time. I stumbled my way to get my hat and t-shirt and I was good to go, until I saw the crazy line to catch the shuttle buses back to the start. It looked to be another mile or so I knew I couldn't do it so I found a cool spot under a tree and plopped myself down and finished off a protein bar. When the line was gone, I walked over and caught the shuttle to my car and went to my friend's house. I drank two bottles of water and had two 5 inch pancakes with butter and syrup.

About an hour later I had a couple slices of deli turkey and ham and then the killer fatigue set in. I went to sleep and slept for almost 3 hours. I got up, cleaned up and we went out to eat to celebrate where I had a couple of onion rings, about 6 chicken wings and a Diet Coke. By the time I got home, it was maybe 10PM so I made myself a protein shake and I went to bed. Sleeping was a little restless, I dared not move too much and I feel a little wiped out this morning, but I'm surprised I feel as good as I do. Believe you me, I am in pain, but I seriously feared that I wouldn't be able to get around at all, but thankfully I can, just not very fast or with any grace. I got a pretty good semi-hunched over waddle going on.

A couple of DS specific things:
Water: They had water and/or Gatorade stations every mile and I regretted not carrying a bottle of Gatorade with me. I wore this little backpack thingy that I kept my essentials in and I'm glad I had it, but I wish I had some backup liquid with me. I was surprised at how well the Gatorade worked, I tried to drink 2-3 cups full at the 2- and 4-mile marks, they only had water at the other ones. That sucked.

Poop: They had port-a-potties at the beginning, the 4-mile mark (I think) and the end. I went twice before the race (no poop) and didn't go until I got to my friend's house and I pooped a lot. I felt my stomach rumble quite a bit during the race but I just could poop in a port-a-potty. Totally gross. BTW, I totally believe the idea that exercise helps with constipation.

Food: I talked to Kim early Sunday evening and she mentioned "carbing up" for the race. I had no idea about that so I went out and bought some Gatorade and two plain baked potatoes from Wendy's. I ate one baked potato with some butter, salt & pepper and I mixed some protein powder (46g protein) with the Gatorade and drank that and called it a night. That morning, I had drank another 32 oz Gatorade with 46g of protein and another 26g protein drink before the race. No solid food. I don't know if that was a problem or not. I had planned on eating the other potato in the morning, but didn't.

Supplements: I took all my supplements except for the diuretic. I was just unsure about whether or not it could hasten dehydration so I opted not to take it and I made sure I drank as much fluid as I could. I also tripled my Potassium.

Weight: Morning of the race, I weighed in at 300.6 lbs. I wish I could have weighed after the race to see the difference, especially with how many carbs I had over the previous 18 hours or so and with the water loss. It was funny because after all my sweat had dried, I had all these salt crystals on my neck and face. This morning I weighed in at 299.2 lbs which I am totally happy about considering everything.

Well, the first few hours after the race I swore there was no way in hell that I would ever do that again, but now I am not so sure. I averaged 25 min miles, I would like to do better. I didn't train for too many hills and in the next few months, I will keep that in mind. There is a 5K walk in October that I will probably do, compared to this 10K -- piece of cake!

Today, I may amp up the protein a little bit, maybe sneak in an extra shake. I don't think I need to do much outside of that. Overall, good experience and I'm happy I did it although I am in no hurry to do it again. I am going to start hitting the gym, probably beginning of next week so hopefully the experience of my next 10 or 5K will be better.

Woo-hoo!!! BTW, I am totally framing my race number!

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03 September 2007

Hardest thing I ever did...

... BUT I did it! Yep, I finished the 10K in about 2 1/2 hours. Out of 12,200 participants, I came in 12,199th. I don't care, I finished and I wasn't last and I totally finished so I'm excited and unbelievably exhausted! Everything hurts and I totally dread the pain that tomorrow will bring.

I'll have a full write up later 'cause I'm going to bed! Woo-hoo!!!

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02 September 2007

Loooong day...

So my day yesterday was supposed to be pretty mellow, but unfortunately things went downhill mid-afternoon. Two words an IT person never wants to hear: Server down. Sometimes I hate computers. Long story, short I spent most of the day, night and early morning trying to resurrect a server. I finally got to bed around 4:00 AM. Not exactly how I want to spend my weekend and to top it all off, my alma mater got their asses kicked in our home opener. Sigh. So I'm running off 4 hours sleep, I gotta go pick up my race number for the US 10K Classic and I have a ton of work to do to bring back all the services (including the Lab Rat Data page which is currently down). All of this, however, can not diminish my unmitigated joy at seeing 299.6 lbs on the scale this morning!!!! Server-Gods be damned, I'm in Twoterville!!!!

Buh-bye, 300's!!! A-woo-hoo!!!!