Friday, February 27, 2009

Daifuku heaven! And other glorious discoveries.

So, as you may know, I work in midtown. And while NYC in general is extremely vegan friendly, midtown is NOT.

I have spoken of this problem before.

Let me put it this way. Pretty much across the street from my office is Smith and Wollensky, one of the most famous steak houses, like, ever. (It's a green and white building; during Christmas season they put a huge red ribbon on it so it looks like an enormous present. It's just charming.) I've often said that "the v word" in midtown means "veal" - *shudder*.

What we do have, though, is a healthy portion of "ethnic" restaurants. As in, restaurants of particular ethnicities or regions: Indian, middle-eastern, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, et cetera. And as we all know, these places can be a haven for vegans in unfriendly territory. Indian? Just make sure there's no ghee. Thai? Watch for fish sauce. With middle-eastern you're pretty much set - it's almost all either vegan or meat; not a whole lot of dairy or egg going on there, with the exception of a few weirdos who will slip mayonnaise into the babaganouj. Fortunately they're rare.

After staring work on 3rd ave, it quickly became apparent to me that in my particular few blocks of midtown (high 40's, low 50's) there is a particularly high density of Japanese and straight up sushi restaurants. My favorite is Tanaka on 50th (between 2nd and 3rd aves). This is partly because they have a four foot high Japanimation character on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant flipping passersby a peace sign, and partly because they offer mango rolls and peanut rolls. Yeah. There's also the rice ball place, Oms/b down on 45th street. It's fairly seafood heavy, but there are several awesome options for me (pickled plum!!) that can't be found anywhere else.

What I didn't know for a long time, though, is that 47th street between 3rd avenue and Lex is the real epicenter of the midtown Japanese scene. And what changed my life (or at least my lunch experience) this week is that a new Japanese market has opened up there.

They seriously have more kinds of daifuku and mochi type things than I've ever seen assembled in one place before. (I'm still on a mission for vegan ice cream mochi - they've got the regular stuff, but still no dice on vegan. Come on world. Rice dough! Rice milk ice cream! Make it happen!) They have real food too though - easy picks in the fridge like seaweed salad, and a set of three maki that was called "squash/pickled". Make no mistake, I'm still bringing lunch to work about 90% of the time. But in the event that I forget, now I have a whole new option.

And we like options.

(Oh, and that awesome photo of the black sesame covered daifuku? I so totally did not take that. I so totally did steal it from the internets. Thank you internets. And thank you daifuku.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feeling more treasured all the time.


Thanks once again to Vegan Samples, I've been featured in another treasury on Etsy. And once again, my item is top row center - this time it's the print of my raingirl drawing. I also have pins of her, and I need to make stickers... she's really one of my favorite things that I've ever drawn. Thanks Heather! Everybody, go check out the treasury... and the other wares of the Vegan Samplers and the VeganEtsy team!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Have I ever told you that goats are my spirit animal?

Did you know that they can climb trees?



Respect the goats people. Respect. The. Goats.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A contest! A contest!

When I saw it, I couldn't help myself. I had to bring the challenge! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is such:

Check out this blog post over at Vegan Samples. Take special note of the title of the post. Then email me (bastian613@gmail.com) and tell me this: what movie is Vegan Samples paraphrasing in this post title?

The caveat: it must be the ORIGINAL movie, not anything that has subsequently quoted or parodied it.

Also, please don't post your answers in the comments! Email answers only.

The prize will be... a sticker! Well it's something isn't it? I'll even send it to you in a fancy envelope.

OK, to sweeten the pot, I'll throw in a bonus. You'll also get a button if you can tell me this: where are the "good guys" in the movie trying to get to when the scene with the paraphrased line takes place?

The first THREE PEOPLE to email me with the correct response will be winners! That's right, three winners! Because really, we're all winners.

Have fun kids. Hear from ya soon.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Me and my ass, back on track: week six.

So it seems that, despite my recent set of flareups, my weight loss plan has gotten back on track. When I saw measurable change reflected in my scale this morning, I immediately tried to make it a bad thing. Maybe I'm losing muscle mass because I've been so much less active! Except that this week I've been more active than for the previous two - which probably has more to do with the more noticeable drop, right? The Friday-Saturday flare I think was actually triggered by the fact that I dared to walk for a full 20 minutes on Thursday.

And at least this week I can't blame it on dehydration like I usually do - I've been drinking water like a madwoman all week.

So right now you're thinking, wow, this girl is NUTS. Um, yeah, pretty much. Any time a achieve anything I immediately start trying to figure out why it doesn't "count". It's years of programming that I haven't successfully re-wired yet. I can talk myself out of the reasons that I find (sometimes), but I can't yet keep myself from generating them.

That's part of why this project is kind of good for me. They're numbers - you can't really argue with them. Since I began in January I've lost almost 11 pounds. That's measurable progress at a healthy rate. If it was all somehow muscle loss, I'd wouldn't look thinner (which I think I do), I'd look flabbier (which I don't). Sure, I still have a long way to go. But at least I know know that the methods I'm using will produce results - even when I can't walk right.

One thing I've determined, though, is that somehow I've gotten away from healthy foods. Yes, I'm coming in at good calorie counts most days, and I'm vegan as always, but... It's probably related to the fact that I've not been feeling well for weeks (maybe months) now. I want to coddle myself, and I do it with comfort food. I have weird ideas about comfort food, for sure, but it mainly involves slipping away from the raw vegetables and whole grains into more packaged and refined foods. And that is certainly not what my body needs right now. The wintertime doesn't make it easy.

I also need to quit it with the sugar. Even though I am working it into my calorie scheme the thing is that, as I love to tell other people, calories aren't the end all be all. What makes up the calories matters, and eating huge jolts of sugar puts my body through a chemical roller coaster. Again, something I should not be doing, well, ever probably. But definitely not now, when my body is obviously already struggling.

So over the next week or two I'll be concentrating on bringing it back to the real foods, the good whole foods, foods as nature intended them. I love those too; I just get lazy. But dernit, this is important! I will eat raw almonds! I will go to my juice cart man for a carrot-orange-celery juice! I will cook ratatouille with fresh vegetables! I will eat brown rice instead of white pasta! It's just not that hard.

So, here's where we're at.
1/11/9: 185 (starting weight)
1/18/9: 183.2 (less 1.8 pounds)
1/25/9: 181.8 (less 1.4 pounds)
2/1/9: 177.8 (less 4 pounds!!!)
2/8/9: 177.0 (less 0.8 pounds)
2/15/9: 176.2 (less 0.8 pounds)
2/22/9: 174.2 (less 2 pounds) (Total loss: 10.8 pounds)

Just imagine what would happen if I could walk over the bridge a couple times a week! I know, I know, I can't do that to myself. It's just so frustrating. I keep wanting to do my yoga routines too, and then I think about just trying to get through the sun salutations with my food being wonky and I know how it would turn out. Yoga may not be about strength, but it sure does require all of your body parts to be functioning properly.

About my most recent flare-up, well I did have to stay home on Friday. I didn't leave the house on Saturday either. I was so frustrated and scared on Thursday night that I wanted to cry instead of sleep. But I'm tired of feeling that way, so I spent Friday and Saturday (the time that I wasn't sleeping anyway) trying to channel all that energy into something productive. What came out was an extremely long zine about fibromyalgia: my experiences with it, and my thoughts about the "wisdom" and advice that's put forth by major medical entities about it. Due to its length and recent problems I've had with photocopying, I decided to publish it through lulu.com.

And, you know, it's for sale. Once I get my hard copies at the end of this week or the beginning of next week, I'll be putting it up on my etsy page. For now though, you can buy it on the lulu marketplace. The physical copy is $7.00, and you can get a digital copy for $1.00. Here's a button that will bring you there:


Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.


Trust me, the price isn't about profit; it's just not cheap to have things actually printed instead of running them off at kinko's. And the digital copy is actually significantly cheaper than I could make a photocopy for. Even when I have the physical zines to sell, the digital copy will be available from lulu - I think that's cool.

Aaanyway. If you take a look at it, let me know? In the meantime I'll be sticking to the diet plan, trying to lay off the sugar, and hoping that long walks are soon in my future. Once again I implore you: keep your fingers crossed for me? Thanks a million.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Treasured.


Vegan Craft Samples was sweet enough to include me in an Etsy treasury, most components of which came from VeganEtsy team members and all components of which came from crafters who are contributing to the Vegan Samples project. My object? It's top row center, a striped polo with a stenciled heart design - perfect for the girl or gal in your life (or you)?

In case you can't tell, I'm really enjoying being part of the VeganEtsy team, and being on Etsy in general. I'm trying to do all of my gift shopping there now. To my friends who have birthdays coming up: set up an account and start marking favorites!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm sick again, and I don't know why.

I don't understand what's happening. My body is revolting, but there is nothing for it to be revolting against - except the weather, of course. I've been taking good care of myself: paying close attention to what I'm eating, drinking more water, at least trying to keep reigned in the amount of stress I allow work to put on me. And yet, I am relatively sure that I've been in a fairly steady decline since the summer.

I call not fair. Not fair, of course, doesn't mean anything. What's fair about having an unpredictable invisible untreatable illness in the first place? What's fair about all of the people who are far sicker than I am? Nothing. But there's a point at which I just want to stamp my feet and pout, as if it's the same as someone cheating at a board game or cutting in line. Alas, no.

It's just that it seems like I'm playing by the rules. And it seems like that should count for something. I'm doing what I'm supposed to to keep myself as healthy as I can be. It's just not working anymore. Pain is one thing; pain I can handle. I can handle the fatigue too, and the not being able to digest things properly. What's really got me upset is that it's reached a point where I'm having a pretty hard time doing what I need to do to get through a normal day - and it seems to be staying there. This is exactly what I've been fighting for fourteen years, and right now I'm losing.

I've decided not to try to make it in to work tomorrow. I knew it was going to be difficult - after a daring 20 minute walk my foot has flared up again, which means no more walking, which means two very crowded trains at the most intense rush hour of the day with not even a short walk up to the less crowded station to save me. And then I checked the weather, and saw that tomorrow morning it will be 24 degrees with 22 mile per hour winds making it feel like 13 degrees.

Frankly, I just can't fucking do it.

I've always sort of known this day would come - I guess I just thought it would be a lot farther down the road. Middle-age, perhaps. Not 31, for the love of god. It's never now, is it?

I know, I know, I'm jumping to conclusions. I could be fine by Saturday. But I could also be worse by Saturday.

That knowledge sits like a heavy stone upon my chest, making it hard to breathe. I am afraid to go to sleep.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A vegan nightmare (not for the faint of heart).

A good pal of mine was kind enough to point me to a website called This is why you're fat. And now, I will forever be haunted... by items such as the krispy kreme sloppy joe:



the bacon-burger-dog with cheese:



and the one that trumps that old atrocity, the turducken, any day: the "12 Bird True Love Roast".



After gazing upon this website, I feel that I have a new weapon in my arsenal to explain to people why I choose not to eat meat. Really? I can say. You find this appetizing?

Of the two pictures below,I can't decide which looks more disgusting: the hot dog encrusted with french fries, or the turducken wrapped in bacon. In case, gentle reader, you don't know what a turducken is, let me edify: it's a chicken stuffed inside of a duck stuffed inside of a turkey. Apparently some fine folks somewhere thought it wouldn't be quite complete without some strips of pork fat though.




















Now, the corndog pizza made me get a little analytical. See, this is not at all how I would make a corndog pizza. They did it all wrong! You gotta take the corndogs OFF of the sticks, and slice them in thick fat slices. Then use them as a pizza topping. Like, duh. One thing I do miss from my vegetarian days is the Morningstar Farms corndogs - those things are freakin good! Stupid Morningstar owned by stupid Kellogg, putting stupid eggs in stupid everything, grumble grumble other discontented noises...



Alright. If that didn't inspire you to eat a grilled veggie sandwich on sprouted whole wheat bread, nothing will. For those of you who actually ate the food items pictured here, I'll say a silent prayer for your arteries.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Me and my static ass - week five.

Well, things are... pretty much exactly the same as they were last week. I'm still working too much, and still can't walk properly because of my damn right foot. The left one musta got kind of jealous, because it's now trying to get in on the action.

It's actually been an extra-stressful week - work has been insane, both with the workload and with the difficulty of that work. And I had two, count them two, traumatic events, one somewhat self-propagated and one that is utterly out of the control of anyone.

The first one I won't talk about, since talking about stuff that I shouldn't be talking about in a public forum is how I got in trouble in the first place. You'd think that, at 31, I'd know better. Apparently not. The second I'll only brush upon: a friend of mine has been diagnosed with cancer. It's a "good" cancer - one that is in this modern age treatable, curable. Still though. Scary as shit. I went through a "good" cancer with my mom. And trust me, even when it's one that can be taken care of, it's nothing that resembles good or even vaguely OK. For those of you that like to channel positive energy, please send your prayers, good vibes, et cetera, to "mel's friend" - the universe will know who you mean.

So anyway, about my diet. I was pretty good this week. With the exception of Friday, I was really on plan the whole time. Thursday I was even significantly under calories - because I was so damn exhausted that I went to bed without eating my last meal of the day. But alas, the numbers don't want to budge for the time being. I seem to have hit a plateau of some sort; I'm just hoping it's temporary, because I am not yet anywhere close to where I wanna be. The enumeration:

1/11/9: 185 (starting weight)
1/18/9: 183.2 (less 1.8 pounds)
1/25/9: 181.8 (less 1.4 pounds)
2/1/9: 177.8 (less 4 pounds!!! no idea how this happened.)
2/8/9: 177.0 (less 0.8 pounds)
2/15/9: 176.2 (less 0.8 pounds)

So I guess that actually is something; almost a pound. It's just hard to deal in anything less than whole numbers. Thank goodness I know better than to weigh myself more than once a week (or, anyway, to write it down more than once a week) - can you imagine how I'd scrutinize?

Anyway, for now I'll stay the course. I have high hopes that my foot will actually be really, truly better at some point in the next, say, two to three weeks, at which point I can start working my way back up to my real walks. Springtime is coming, feets. Try and keep me out of that sunshine, I just dare you.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Apparently vegans like to show their pride.

Thanks to Emma's k9 Kitchen, I've been included in the Vegan Pride Treasury on Etsy! It makes me feel kinda special. My item is the "being vegan is awesome" zine - a snappy little number really. So far it's met with rave reviews, which is fairly exciting for me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We'll make great pets.







Updated! At the top is January aka Jani, in true happy-go-lucky form waiting at the back door after tearing the crap out of the back yard. The tiny puppy is Sushi - she started out so small that we couldn't even let Jani play with her. But after a couple of months, she was twice Jani's size! The kittenface is my Monkey - Monkey Rat-Cat Chickenhead Jones, if you want his complete title. Humph. I miss my kids.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Me and my bloated ass: week four.

Well, at least I haven't lost any ground. But I haven't gained any either. That's confusing, because in that metaphor losing weight would equal gaining ground and gaining would be losing... humph. Perhaps I should just tell you what I'm telling you. This week, my weight is 0.8 pounds less than it was last week. Not nearly as much of a change as I saw between each week increment for the first three weeks. The numbers:

1/11/9: 185 (starting weight)
1/18/9: 183.2 (less 1.8 pounds)
1/25/9: 181.8 (less 1.4 pounds)
2/1/9: 177.8 (less 4 pounds!!!)
2/8/9: 177.0 (less .8 pounds)

I think there are two main reasons for this.

1) I've been a lazy jerk, not cooking or counting my calories the way I'm asposed to.

2) It's the glorious time of month where I retain what feels like about ten gallons of water - but in reality that would be about 80 pounds, so I doubt I'm retaining more than an extra quart or pint. Still though, it could be affecting the numbers. Maybe.

It may also have something to do with the four pound jump the week before - I'm not sure what that was about. Maybe I was really dehydrated? Or something? So maybe more realistically the 4.8 pounds that were collectively lost over the past two weeks could be considered 2.4 pounds per week? Which is a really good rate. Almost a little too fast. I dunno.

The foot is getting better. Still nowhere near good enough to think about walking over the Queensboro bridge, as I would LOVE to be doing each morning rather than dealing with the trains. But at least good enough that I can resume my normal 10 block walk between 50th Street and 60th, thus cutting the second train out of my commute to and from work. Perhaps by springtime I'll be able to resume the long walks, the real walks, the good walks.

Anyway, what to do? Well, shape up. Get back on track. Any other such trite expressions you'd like to throw in that mean "do what the hell you're supposed to be doing - and no whining about it either!" Ooh, here's another one: I'm only hurting myself by not following the plan. Ever so cliche, ever so true.

Alright. So today we're going to the store. And no excuses - I'll cook some meals for the week. I'll have proper lunches (and dinners and snacks) laid out, have my work cut out for me as it were. I want this. I've been hiding parts of my body, trying to mask what I refuse to make a real effort to change, for two thirds of my life. It's so beyond time.

You can still be hot in your 30's, right?

New York Fat Cats want to be Svelte

Maybe it's because Morgan Spurlock's fast food documentary, Supersize Me, was made here in New York City? OK, probably not. More likely it's because this is a place that always wants to be on the leading edge of any trend. Whatever the cause may be, the fact is that New York City and State officials have been more and more inclined to litigate with regard to the quality of food available to its citizens.

I am, for the most part, totally for this movement. Recently I've been particularly impressed with a demand that was fought tooth and nail by the chain restaurants of the city. Having lost a fierce battle, any food operation with more than 15 locations nationwide is now required to post caloric values for all menu items. They won't be getting away with printing up a pamphlet and then hiding it behind the counter either; the information must be displayed prominently.

This is precisely the kind of action I feel is necessary. It doesn't tell any consumer what he or she can or can not do - it simply gives each person enough information to make a properly informed decision. The restaurant postings are even backed up by an ad campaign on the subway encouraging appropriate daily calorie consumption. I can just see people standing at the fast food joint, thinking to themselves: Hmm, if I'm only supposed to have 2000 calories today, maybe I won't have the cheeseburger that's almost a thousand calories all by itself. As far as I'm concerned, labeling laws such as this should apply to every fast food or "family restaurant" chain in the country.

As far as the infamous trans-fat ban, now fully enacted here in NYC, I (and many others) feel that the city went about it in the wrong way. Rather than putting a flat-out ban upon the substance citywide, I believe it would have been more effective to use a tactic similar to the calorie disclosure scheme: require that food establishments clearly label which items contain or get cooked in trans-fat, and let consumers decide for themselves. I have a feeling that many restaurants would have voluntarily dropped the trans-fats, as after all "trans-fat" is the new "cholesterol". It's practically cussing at this point; no business would want to print it on a menu.

Then there's the so-called fat-tax, a statewide measure which proposes a 15 to 18% tax on sugary soft drinks. Its intention is to address increasing rates of obesity, particularly in children; it would reduce the consumption of "liquid candy" while generating significant revenue for the state. The revenue would then be spent on health campaigns. In all reality it doesn't seem so different from the cigarette tax that has now been in place in the city for several years.

However, by the time the cigarette tax was made law, the vast majority of adults already regarded smoking as an unhealthy and undesirable habit. After decades of campaigning by groups like the American Lung Association, the general public had accepted the carcinogenic realities of tobacco smoke; it was then not such a shock for civil officials to place health over vice. Conversely, the long term effects of imbibing copious amounts of high fructose corn syrup have only just begun to be studied. We as a society are still far from reaching the conclusion that it is a substance that should be considered dangerous or taboo. In short, the New York government is probably jumping the gun on that one.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is the most recent New York official to weigh in on how to address poor diet habits and ridiculous food-sourcing practices that are rampant throughout the island. On Saturday, February 7th, Stringer released a report called Food in the Public Interest; among his main concepts are creating tax incentives to encourage supermarkets and greenmarkets to move into areas currently lacking in food resources, placing restrictions on fast food restaurants, and directing city agencies to source 20% of foodstuffs from within a few hundred miles of the city.

These strike me as fairly logical steps to take to begin to combat what is a widespread and ever-growing issue. As Stringer stated at a press conference Saturday, "Our stores are full of apples that come thousands of miles from New Zealand and Washington State, rather than hundreds of miles from New Paltz in Ulster County or Whitehall in Washington County, New York. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers live in ‘food deserts’ where there isn’t enough fresh food".

The issue of produce shipped needlessly across countries or oceans is one that drives me mad each and every time I shop for groceries. My attempts at purchasing bell peppers provide one good example. Bell peppers are one of the few vegetables which I will only buy if organically grown, because when grown "conventionally" they tend to be among the crops most heavily doused in pesticides. Among numerous other negative aspects, these pesticides are made of petrochemicals, the use of which is now well understood to be a short-lived endeavor. Imagine my consternation, then, when the only organic bell peppers available were shipped in from Holland! Any illusion of sustainable agriculture disappears when a trans-Atlantic journey is involved.

The concept of 'food deserts' is one that has now been thoroughly examined - and by Yale University, no less. In two studies conducted last year by Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, researchers dissected what most city dwellers already understand: that lower income neighborhoods often have little or no access to fresh produce or more healthy versions of processed foods.

The result? As stated in one of the Rudd Center's reports, entitled Access to Healthy Foods in Low-Income Neighborhoods, "[l]ow-income people, minorities, and rural residents suffer the highest rates of preventable, diet-related diseases linked to insufficient consumption of healthy foods." Given this truth, the wisdom of encouraging real grocery stores and greenmarkets to establish themselves where previously only bodegas (i.e. convenience stores) could be found cannot be denied.

The consensus among the leaders and the edified seems to be that it is time to take decisive action. For those who may have to change their ways or (heaven forbid) lose profit, though, it's a different story. It is expected that soft drink giants Pepsi and Coca-Cola will have a strong word or two to say about the fat tax proposition should it near legislation. I doubt these megaliths will be heartened by the fact that sources as prominent as MSN are advising investors not to purchase their stocks in light of the proposed tax.

Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association, doesn't seem to be happy with the fat tax suggestion either; she has been quoted as calling the tax "misguided" and "ridiculous". The ABA's science and policy expert, Maureen Storey, went so far as to provide testimony in Albany on Monday that there is no sound research showing a link between soft drink consumption and obesity. Incidentally, until 2004,the ABA was known as the National Soft Drink Association.

As to local food sourcing for New York City agencies, Karen Karp, a food consultant for the city, stated "we need citrus, we need coffee beans, we need sugar all year round... It’s a bigger picture than just apples and carrots." Well, 20% local still leaves 80% from whatever sources the city agencies deem fit, does it not? And, Ms. Karp, I strongly suggest you make your way as soon as possible to one of New York City's numerous greenmarkets. There you will be able to see for yourself the bountiful, gorgeous array of just what is produced within the state of New York; I'm relatively sure you'll find more there than apples and carrots.

* * *

With much difficulty, this article was published somewhere other than my own blog; trust me it's not as exciting as it sounds. If you wanna here about it, here's where you'll find my tirade.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Me and my somewhat narrowing ass! week three.

It's been a difficult week. The foot injury, that I thought had gone away or at least was dwindling, by Wednesday had returned and was raging even louder. I won't go into the gory details here, as I've already written about it in depth in this post. What matters in this context is that, what with the trauma and pain and frustration and disruption of daily patterns, I fell off the wagon big time.

For Thursday and Friday I tried to estimate calorie counts. I guess Thursday wasn't that bad, despite the ice cream bar I slipped in there. But Friday, woah man. Friday was definitely pushing the bounds even of a healthy 2000-ish number. Saturday went vastly the other way; I was alone in the house all day for reasons I'll not get into. We didn't have any food that I could just eat, and I didn't feel like I could stand long enough to cook anything, so I ended up hardly eating. I just put together the calorie count - barely over 1000. Not good. No wonder I was starving all night.

Today is sort of a hodge podge; I've got my head back together at least, and I'm trying to make sure that I have lunch for the workweek. To that end, Jonathan is now at the grocery. Any additional exercise is definitely out of the picture for the immediate future, though I have been doing a lot of chair dancing to Lykke Li.

Despite it all, or maybe because my body is working so hard right now just to get through daily activities, or maybe simply because I'm not just shoving food into my face whenever I'm bored and instead am actually participating in that grand thing called portion control, my weight does seem to be consistently dropping. And yes, I'm rather excited about it. The quantification:

1/11/9: 185
1/18/9: 183.2
1/25/9: 181.8
2/1/9: 177.8

So yeah, the numbers say that things are going well. But you know what I'm more excited about? When I was getting dressed on Friday I put on a pair of pants that I haven't worn in a couple of weeks, and it didn't feel like the seams were about to bust! Now that's the kind of change I can get behind. (HA HA HA, sorry, the puns just kill me.)

So then. Onward ho.