Sunday, June 28, 2009

Musings on Exercise

About a year ago, I had a dream, one that woke me from a deep sleep. I woke with a smile on my face (a rare occurence for my sleep-deprived self). In my dream, I was running. I felt so free, so happy, so in-tune with my body. That dream shocked me. I thought about it for days. I'm still thinking about it, still trying to understand both the happiness I felt in the dream and the shock I felt at dreaming it.

See, people like me don't run. People like me are not athletic. People like me hate to exercise.

Wait. Is that true? Why does it have to be true?

When I was a child in elementary school, I was very active. The tribe of children on my road (we didn't have a street, but a road -- a gravel road bordered by a thick hedgerow of overgrown vegetation and, beyond that, a corn field) were always playing tag, olly-olly-in-free, chase games that involved throwing things at one another (apples, plums, peaches from the trees in our yards, gravel from the road, etc.), hide and seek, hiking in the woods, playing in the stream, building "houses" in the hedgerow by whacking at the vegetation with sticks.

No sitting for hours in front of flickering screens for us.

In school, we had a great gym teacher (Mr. Ahrens) who, in his first teaching position right out of college, loved us children and received our adulation in return. He encouraged us to do things that were at the limits of our physical and social abilities -- climbing ropes up to the ceiling, playing all kinds of games, learning to work together in teams. Mr. Ahrens made you feel good about exercise, made you feel good about yourself and what your body could do, made you feel strong.

At our end-of-year field day in fifth grade, Mr. Ahrens encouraged me to run in the hurdles race. He told me that I was really good at hurdles. I believed him and ran a great race -- I don't remember whether I won, but I do remember feeling really proud of myself, and really accomplished.

Fast forward to the horror that was middle school gym. When I mentioned writing this entry to my younger sister, M., she said, "oh, you mean the torture show? Those horrible women who were our "teachers"?" and we spent a good five minutes reminiscing about Mrs. S. and Mrs. O.

They spent our gym classes riding in a golf cart behind us as they herded us forward in the "cross-country running" portion of the class, at best. At worst, they sent us out in the rain to run as they stayed in the gym office playing Boggle and eating Bugles.

The nadir of my experience in middle school gym class came in the spring of 6th grade and serves as a perfect counterpoint to my experience with Mr. Ahrens. It also completely changed how I thought of myself in terms of athletic ability and coordination. During the track and field unit, we had to choose three "events". Naturally, I chose the hurdles. I was good at hurdles, remember?

I'm not sure what happened. Instead of gliding over the hurdles as I leapt like a gazelle, I knocked them all over, falling flat on my face at each. At the beginning and end of the course, Mrs. O. and Mrs. S. stood, watching, assessing, laughing.

Laughing. At. Me.

Mrs. S. thanked me, guffawing, for giving her the best laugh she'd had all year. "I have to give it you, though -- you kept going when anyone else would have given up," she said. Of course, when your teacher laughs at you, it's okay for everyone else to laugh at you too. When your teacher says, in effect, "you should have given up and spared yourself the embarrassment," you listen. I wasn't good at hurdles after all. I wasn't athletic after all. I wasn't "good" at the things you do in gym class.

From that point onwards, gym was a torture in which I had to participate. From the horrible uniforms -- one piece, baby blue "rompers" with a HORIZONTAL pinstrip at top (all the better to highlight our budding breasts and developing waists and hips) to the enforced communal showers -- teachers inspecting us as we left the spray, clutching our inadequate school-supplied hand towels to cover our nakedness. Team sports where teammates groaned when I was assigned to them. Mean girls making comments about other girls' bodies, attractiveness, prospects.

Obviously, I'm still working through all that -- how can I reclaim that child who was good at hurdles? How can I become someone who exercises and moves for sheer joy? How can I burst through the limitations that I let other people, people who didn't care a fig about me, impose?

Me. Somone who exercises. Someone who LIKES to exercise. Whoa.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stasis and Pain

After two weeks, I had not lost or gained an ounce at my last WW weigh-in. That's okay, and actually more than I expected -- after last weekend's dessert extravaganza and scant attention paid to the Good Health Guidelines (I mostly stayed within points the whole time, but fell down on the job when it comes to making sure I got enough dairy, enough fruits and vegetables, etc.), it's more than I deserve.

So that's the status update.

The real point of this entry, however, is to talk about something that has been on my mind a lot lately -- PAIN. Serial, unrelenting, stupid pain. Not to complain-- I've had pain of one kind or another for at least 18 months now. In March of 2008, I saw my doctor and discussed with her wanting to lose weight. She was very encouraging, but cautioned me that diet was probably not going to do it for me. She told me that I needed to engage in at least 60 minutes of vigorous, sustained, intentional exercise at least five days per week. I "enthusiastically" started -- exercising with children is not a lot of fun, but I did get some of Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds DVDs and began doing them religiously every morning. I mean, I can walk, right? Anybody can walk.

Wrong. By April, a few weeks later, I had a terrible pain in my left foot. A pain that wouldn't go away and didn't get better. I went to a podiatrist in late May, who diagnosed me with tendonitis and offered me orthotic inserts for my shoes (to the tune of several hundred dollars). That was not very appealing, so I decided to do things the old way -- let's wait and see and it will get better.

Wrong. By October, right before the 20th anniversary of my graduation from the best Catholic liberal arts university in the nation, I was complaining to some friends that I could barely walk and that I was going to be hobbling around campus like I was 142, not 42. A friend looked at me quizzically and said, "why haven't you gone back to the doctor?" Good question. After my return from the reunion (pictures from which make me cringe -- so much for my plans to have lost weight before the reunion -- I'll have to wait until the 25th to fit back into my beloved freshman year pants), I went back to the doctor, who sent me for an MRI. The damage was extensive -- not tendonitis, but a torn tendon. I spent 12 weeks in a "boot". The pain from the torn tendon has receded into background noise -- it's still there, but I can deal with it.

In November of 2008, I came down with a cough that lasted and lasted and lasted and lasted. I was diagnosed multiple times with bronchitis and given four different antibiotics, none of which helped. Finally, I decided I needed to find a new primary care doctor (whom I like very much). She told me that I might have pneumonia, asthma, COPD, or even a lung tumor!!! An x-ray ruled out pneumonia and a tumor (thanks be to God), but didn't solve the problem of the cough. She sent me to an asthma and allergy doctor, who worked with me over a period of months. Earlier this month, he told me that he did not think I had asthma, but that I had had a horrible, drug resistant case of sinusitis, which caused continual post-nasal discharge, which started me coughing and which eventually evolved into a condition that mimicked asthma (recurrent bronchial spasmosis or something like that). I'd been taking Symbicort, Nasonex, another nasal spray, doing sinus rinsing, and a bunch of other things. I feel so much better. I'm not coughing. It's hard to exercise when your lung capacity is at 70 percent. Now that's all over -- I can finally really start to exercise, right?

Wrong again.

Two months ago, I woke up with a horrible pain in my left leg, hip to knee. After a spending a weekend staggering around the house, I decided to see the doctor. She suspected a blood clot (which I also wanted to rule out since my father had just developed one and the pain sounded similar). I didn't have a blood clot, so she wanted me to see a vascular surgeon. After thinking about it, I decided that I didn't want to do that because I wasn't convinced the pain I was feeling came from varicose veins. I really thought (and think) it was from sciatica. So I began seeing a chiropractor recommended by a friend. It really helped, but I'm still not 100 percent better. I need to see him again -- it's just really difficult to make multiple appointments in a week with the chickadees. There is only so far you can impose on friends to babysit for you.
This morning, I woke up with a pain in my back.
I am falling apart.
So what does this pain mean? What is God trying to teach me? I must admit that I am very impatient with it. I am not cut out to be a saint. I think of all the martyrs who bore their pain joyfully, of St. Therese of Liseux who was so patient in illness, and I am ashamed. But being in pain for so long has clouded everything and colored everything with a kind of gray discouragement. I know that I need to lose weight to feel better. I need to exercise in order to lose weight. I can't exercise because I can't walk, can't breathe, or have sciatica (which is horribly painful if you've never experienced it). It's a vicious cycle that I can't seem to break. I think of all the Nike commercials -- just do it. How we valorize athletes who "play through the pain." And I have been trying -- I'm doing deep water running twice a week (all the babysitting we want to pay for right now) and am taking the very strenous "Against the Current" class. So, while three hours of vigorous intentional exercise per week is not five hours of vigorous intentional exercise per week, it is a step in the right direction. I even walked in a 5 K race, for pete's sake -- I should say staggered, actually, and came in dead last. Humiliating. But I "just did it." And I am not seeing the results I want to see. I feel like Sysiphus -- pushing that same fricking boulder up the hill. That same 10-ish pounds comes on and comes off, comes on and comes off, comes on and comes off. Searching for the meaning in all this. Any suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just Desserts

My husband and I went away for the weekend, arriving back home on Father's Day. On Friday and Saturday we enjoyed two of the loveliest desserts I've tasted in a long time. The first was a strawberry tiramisu -- ladyfingers soaked in Grand Marnier, a layer of strawberries, a layer of sweetened marscapone cheese, and a drizzle of strawberry confit on top. Believe me when I tell you that it was worth every single calorie -- I counted it as 10 points since the two of us split the dessert between us. The preceding meal was also lovely -- smoked tomato soup, a crabcake on a very tasty hard roll, and a salad of bitter greens with a Dijon vinaigrette. On Saturday, after a day spent in various pursuits (curio shopping, birdwatching, antiquing, beach walking), we enjoyed another good meal at a restaurant in Rock Hall, MD -- Maryland Crab Soup, a crabcake, baked potato, and asparagus. The blackberry cobbler looked too good to pass up -- and it was. Luckily, we split that dessert too.

However, I am afraid that my Thursday weigh-in day will be disastrous. I did try to follow the Good Health Guidelines, but it is quite difficult to do that when you are not in control of the food you are eating -- not in control of the production and, apparently, not in control of the consumption, LOL.

I've had a few days to recover, and have one more day before Thursday to "be good". I've been mostly good.

One wonderful thing is that I've been keeping really busy -- I took the chickadees swimming on Sunday, which is never horribly active for me, but the elevated heartrate caused by trying to keep track of children running in opposite directions near a drowning hazard should count for something. Yesterday, a friend called and invited us to lunch at Cheeburger, Cheeburger -- she's doing WW too, and was smart enough to ask about the nutritional content of their burgers -- 64 grams of FAT. How that is possible, I'll never know -- they must deep fry the burgers. I don't think that 4 ounces of beef naturally contains 64 grams of fat. In fact, I know it doesn't. Luckily, armed with that information, I chose the grilled chicken sandwich. Unluckily for me, I just found the nutritional content of this chain's food -- the grilled chicken sandwich, while better than the burger, contains 590 calories and 26 grams of fat. How the heck is this possible with a GRILLED piece of chicken --do they grill on a bed of Crisco? Sigh.

Anyway, the Cheebuger, Cheeburger fiasco was preceded by a kickass workout (Against the Current, offered by Montgomery County Department of Recreation -- this class deserves (and will get) its own post) and followed by a stint picking blueberries. Today's roster of activities included chickadee wrestling (they've been fighting a LOT lately -- that 2 year old is a fierce contender), Moms group at church, and swimming. We haven't been home a lot, which is good in terms of snacking. less good in terms of housework....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Just Knew It Was A Conspiracy

Forget the "vast right wing conspiracy" that then-First Lady Clinton slammed for going after her husband when he was caught with his pants down. Forget the Bush-Hitler hysterics. Forget the "Obama engineered the financial meltdown to get into power" theory. This is the real conspiracy: David Kessler, former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, has written a new book called The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (Rodale Books, 2009). The Women's Health website discusses the new book in its article, Control Your Cravings. Evidently, "menu scientists" at major chain restaurants manipulate the levels of salt, fat, sugar in their foods so as to trigger an addiction-like response in brain chemicals. So you really can't just stop at one french fry. Call me outraged.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weight Watchers Good Health Guidelines

The Weight Watchers Good Health Guidelines are pretty basic -- when you look at them the first time, you say, of course -- am I not already doing this? Shouldn't we all be doing this?

The guidelines are:

  • Eat 5 fruits and vegetables servings each day

  • Eat whole grains when possible

  • Get 2 servings of milk products each day

  • Get 2 teaspoons of healthy oils (olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower, or flaxseed)

  • Eat 2 servings (at least) of lean meats, skinless poultry, fish, beans, soy products, and lentils

  • Limit added sugar and alcohol

  • Drink at least 6 8-ounce glasses of liquid each day -- water is the best.

  • Take a multivitamin each day

  • Do 30 minutes of intentional exercise most days.

So, why is it so hard to do those things? I'll be honest -- my adherence to the Good Health Guidelines is spotty.

I usually eat enough fruits and vegetables, but it's a struggle.

I choose whole grains when I can, though it would not be incredibly difficult to make the change to whole grains all the time --not doing so is just laziness, I guess.

Getting two servings of dairy every day is difficult for me. I tend to get my dairy from cheese products, which are full of fat, even when they are part-skim (because what's the point of eating fat-free cheese?) I don't particularly like yogurt, though I do like Greek-style better.

Healthy oils are really hard for me. I've been trying.

I choose lean meats whenever I can -- the beef we eat is all at least 90% lean, with the very occasional (non-lean) yummy steak thrown in. We eat a lot of chicken breast and turkey and some seafood, but only rarely eat beans and lentils -- and never soy!

I very, very rarely drink alcohol -- mostly because it's just not part of my lifestyle and I don't think of drinking -- also, I hate the taste of beer. Limiting sugar can be more difficult -- I do love baked goods.

I sometimes drink enough liquids -- though rarely confine my choices to water -- I like diet sodas and iced and hot tea.

I don't take a multivitamin because they make me choke (bad memories of prenatal vitamins!)

Intentional exercise is not every day -- usually 2 to 3 times per week for 40 minutes to an hour.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Success! (and Frustration!)

At last, after 3 weeks of solid gains, I had a major loss this week -- 3 whole pounds. Now I'm back where I was a month ago, LOL. The trick is going to be how to make sure that that loss continues next week. One thing I did differently this past week was really work to get my milk in each day. I'm not a big milk drinker, and have tended to get my dairy from other sources, like cheese. And cheese is a less-good option than skim milk (Fat, constipation, bloating). I also have tried to ensure that I get at least 2 tsp. of "good" oils every day. My oil of choice is olive -- I use it for cooking whenever possible. I use canola when the olive oil taste would be instrusive. So, for the next week, my goal is going to be to ensure that I follow all of the healthy guideliness from Weight Watchers.

Much later this evening.... Chickadee #2 is still awake at 10:28 pm. I wish I had a HUGE PIECE of Death by Chocolate cake right now. It wouldn't make me feel better (and might make me feel sick), but I could turn the anger and frustration I'm feeling against myself -- at least then it would have an object. Death by chocolate indeed!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday -- behavior modification with ditalini

I've been reading WFMW for a year or so now, and I'm so excited to be posting my very own tip!

So, if you have a preschooler who has MAJOR trouble listening but who is motivated by strange things, this is the tip for you.

Have a discussion with the preschooler after a temper tantrum resulting from not being able to go to the playground after school because she has ballet in 40 minutes (or similar situation). The discussion is about TRUST. "See, Chickadee #1, I can't let you go to the playground after school because I can't trust that you will come with me when I call. How can we build trust? I know, let's build ourselves a "trust bank".

Get yourself a formula dispenser (the kind with three wells). Label one well Neutral, one well More Trust, and one well Less Trust. Get yourself some ditalini or other small pasta (elbow macaroni would also work). Fill the Neutral well to the brim. Explain to recalcintrant preschooler that she will be allowed to go to the playground after school or other fun activity only when the ditalini in the More Trust well are more numerous than those in the Less Trust well.

Watch the behavior improve. Watch the preschooler ask "Do I get a ditalini?" after good behavior and do a victory dance when the answer is yes. It's key, however, to just add ditalini to the Less Trust well at bad behavior without making a huge production of it -- otherwise, you'll get into a power struggle and invite a tantrum.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?

I'm a veteran reader of weight-loss books. If you could get thin by reading, I would have no problems. One of my recent favorites is Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? by Peter Walsh. The premise of the book is that many of the clients that Peter Walsh, a professional organizer, works with have problems keeping many areas of their lives under control -- weight is just one of them. A cluttered home and a cluttered body are evidences of a cluttered mind, and Walsh's premise is that if you get your mind straight, both your home and your body will follow.

Great premise. And I was seriously demonstrating the obverse yesterday and today. After my husband left for a week-long business trip, I started working on an assignment for work that needed to be completed yesterday. I hadn't started it because we had had a very busy weekend (birthday party to be attended by chickadee #1, graduation party for my fabulous nephew later the same day, birthday party for my husband (who turned 40!) on Sunday, dinner out with the family, then home so hubby could pack.) And I wanted to finish this assignment bright and early because my babysitter was coming at 12:30 so I could go swimming. I had to run out to the post office with the chickadees to pick up a registered certified nastygram from MOMS Club International (an organization with which I am no longer affiliated, so I refuse to link to them or to use the "circle R" they keep telling members they must use at every mention of the sacred name. No, I'm not bitter.) At any rate, when I arrived home, chickadee #2 was acting like the 2 year old she is and insisting that I give her my keys. I kept them away from her and continued working. When the babysitter arrived two hours later, I grabbed my keys.... No, wait -- my keys were not in their spot. I started looking. Couldn't find them. Couldn't find them. COULDN'T FIND THEM!!!

The babysitter stayed with the chickadees and I was able to finish my report, so at first, I chalked up the key disappearence to my higher power telling me that I should stay home and do my work. Later, though, my higher power and I had some serious disagreements because I STILL COULDN'T FIND MY KEYS. Car keys, house keys, access cards for the pool, teeny flashlight. A huge bundle.

We tore the house apart (and I live in a very small house). No keys. Desperation set in. I pictured being stuck in the house until Friday, when my husband returned with the extra set of keys. We had no groceries. We needed other things. The children need excursions to keep me sane. We all went to sleep last night with a very unhappy mommy and children who added helpful things like "I saw your keys in the bag of crayons." and "I hide them under the table."

Anyway, we woke up this morning and started looking again. I decided that the best thing to do would be a grid search, like they have on nifty police procedurals like Law and Order: SVU. I wrote up a list of all possible places to look, room by room -- as in, Living Room: couch, under, beside, behind. Shelves in LR --1, 2, 3, 4, 5. ... Dining room, corner table, on, beside, behind, inside... and then went through the places that had not already been searched bit by bit. Luckily, I started in the kitchen. And I found my keys, in a teacup in "Corner Cabinet, Shelf 2." I wish I'd followed my desire last night to have a nice soothing cup of tea.

A friend of mine told me last month (when I misplaced my pool access cards for three days and prayed fervently to St. Anthony for aid) that St. Anthony obviously wanted me to find not only the access cards but also something else, and I needed to figure out what that was. I thought to myself, and maybe even said, "Yeah, he wants me to find my sanity." Well, I guess the lesson was not learned, so the patron saint of the lost needed to give me a refresher. Lesson learned, dear St. Anthony. The first thing I did this morning was to order a remote control key finder from e-bay.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sisterly Advice

After I wrote the first entry or two of this blog, I sent the address to my three amazing sisters, L., M., and K. They are wonderful -- my best friends from childhood through adulthood -- always there, always supportive, always honest, always insightful, always funny, always fun. After my husband, they're my biggest supporters, as I am theirs. I thought they all had really relevant things to say.

First, my big sister, L., emailed me to say:

Your blog is interesting and a neat idea. I don't know why there are contradictions like self sabotage in our lives..what is it that keeps one from "just doing it" Nike has marketed this truth everywhere and I along with everyone else in the world wishes that it were that easy. It is not, but then again nothing worthwhile is easy anyway. There are lots of things that each person struggles with... weight is just one of many hangups we humans deal with. I think it is good that you can identify the facts that surround your self sabotage and maybe that will start some self actualization...who knows. I say do what works...if a blog helps so be it. However, you are a bright person and one thing you could easily let go of is the idea of wasting. Eating out is wasting money...eating candy and cake is just wasting time. If you want it eat it -but keep in mind that you will have to answer to your actions. In other words, you will have to "pay up". If you eat the cake, be willing to walk the mile or whatever you do to burn the calories...on the same day. I guess it is about being accountable to oneself. That is a life journey. One other thing I'd like to suggest is to. stop looking in your is gone. Instead be happy that is was part of your past. You never know what great things might come in the future and that is where you need to set your sights. Instead of looking at what you were, start planning for what you will be... it is not OK to look back and say I did that ...instead think about the great stuff you did and figure out ways that you will do it better in the future. I don't know how to post to a blog but if you want you can put this on the page.

My next youngest sister, M., emailed me all the way from Paris to say:

I like your blog and it's title Wrecklamation - very clever! I also think it is a very good idea for the work you wish to do on yourself. I was touched by what you wrote, so thanks for sharing. It seems that one can become a "follower" of blogs, but I think I have to set up an account with google or something. In any case I plan to follow it - I like the way you write.

Finally, my youngest sister, K., said:

I don't know how to get "into" the blog to write, if that is what you are supposed to do but I wanted to tell you, you look beautiful in the pic. None of us will ever look like 20 somethings again, BUT we can be healthy, happy beautiful 40 somethings. I hear ya and relate all too well. I am hoping to enjoy my approaching 40's and I know I won't be able to unless I get my mind and body in the right place. It sucks to give up cheese steak and cheesecake but I think I'll like squeezing into a 12/14 more than I enjoy squeezing that grease and fat into my belly! I will pray for you and encourage you, you can do it!!!!

Thanks to all my sisters for their support. I love you all.
And I do actually have a brother, who is also the most wonderful brother a person could have. I haven't told him about the blog yet because he's been out of town. Was going to do it at lunch today, but he cancelled on me. He's still the most wonderful brother a person could have.


Today is my first weigh-in day since starting this blog. I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't nervous. While I've stuck completely to my points this week (with the exception of Monday's cheeseburger debacle, which was within my weekly bonus points range), I confess I have only been deep water running once (40 minutes of blissful cardio in peace). But I have not been drinking water (WW now allows you to count all fluids, not just water, towards your daily 64 oz total, but I do think that water is best) or paying huge attention to the healthy guidelines. I HAVE been better about tracking, which is good. So it was not a great week, but not a terrible week -- and I have a feeling that the scale is going to show it.

I've been fighting a rearguard action since starting WW in January (yes, I've wasted six months on this, losing and gaining the same 5 pounds). I'm frustrated and need to shake something loose. That's one of the reasons I started this blog -- as a way to motivate myself and introduce an element of "oh no -- someone else is looking at how I'm doing." The question remains, though -- why I can't motivate myself for MYSELF.

More on that later, I hope, after I go to the meeting. I'm sure I'll have a lot to say then.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Planning ahead

Last night, I went to a local restaurant with the chickadees to participate in a fundraiser for chickadee #1's school (15% of all proceeds from the meals sold between x and y time would go to the school). The restaurant specializes in eggs, breakfast foods, crepes, and American sandwiches -- very yummy. However, I didn't plan ahead by looking at their menu online (the last time I was there, I was told that they didn't bill their food as healthy, so they didn't make nutritional information available -- red flag!!!). I should have looked. If I had, I would have found that now they do publish their nutritional information and I wouldn't be suffering eater's remorse this morning.

The fundraiser was such a smashing success that our party of nine had to wait for almost an hour for a table, and we ended up being separated anyway because they didn't actually have a table for nine! I sat in a booth with my girls and my friends' two girls, who are a bit older than mine. Super hungry children + waiting a LONG time for a table + very crowded restaurant + "let's get this show on the road; it's past bedtime" = me ordering the first thing that looked good on the menu. A lovely cheeseburger and french fries. And I can attest that it was very good and I enjoyed every single bite and was sorry when they were gone.

I'm not so sanguine this morning after figuring out the damage I did -- calories = 1429, fat = 79 g., fiber = 8 g. for a grand total of 34 points for the cheeseburger ALONE (at least I think so -- I've emailed the restuarant chain to ask whether the information is for the whole meal (burger and fries) or just for the burger). People, that's more points than I get for a day. Thank heavens I wasn't tempted by dessert!

This situation is one the reasons I love WeightWatchers. I have 35 weekly points that I can add to my daily points for special occasions. This qualifies. I could wallow in self hatred and remorse (why didn't I have the grilled cheese with tomato bacon and cheddar (11 points) or even the asparagus and swiss omelet (21 points)). But I didn't plan ahead. And I enjoyed the meal. Moving on.

Chicken a la Carte

This short movie, Chicken a la Carte, won the People's Choice award at the Green Unplugged Online Film Festival. Moving. Disturbing. Shaming.