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Friday, July 29, 2011

The big, fat lie.

We've all been told throughout our lives that dieting is the solution to our weight woes.  Need to lose weight?  There's a diet for that.  Medical professionals have a plan to recommend.  Our friends and family can tell you about the new thing they're doing.  There are pills and drinks.  Eliminate this food and lose!  Eliminate that food and lose!  Eat this.  Don't eat that.  There's low carb, no carb, low fat, no fat.  You can count points, exchanges, fat grams, calories.  There's the grapefruit diet, the acai berry diet, the belly-fat diet, the paleo diet, the French diet, the Biggest Loser diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Weight Loss Clinic, LA Weight Loss.  Does anyone remember Richard Simmon's Deal-A-Meal?

Most of us have been on several diets during our lives.  We've lost weight, sometimes lots of weight.  But we've always gained it back and usually more.  We unequivocally believe the big, fat lie.  Statistically we are told that 95% of all dieters will fail to lose the weight and keep it off for one year and nearly 100% will fail to keep it off for five years.  We think WE are the problem and that if we could just stick to the diet, we'd finally lose the weight forever.  If we quit the diet, it is because we are lacking somehow.  We have no will-power, no self-control.  We'd rather eat than be thin.  We're stupid, ugly, lazy.

Why does no one ever seem to notice that naturally thin people don't diet?  They may eat healthfully most of the time, but they don't usually go on a diet.  Have you ever gone out to eat with your skinny friends and watched them eat an appetizer, salad with dressing, bread, the entree, drinks AND dessert while you have a dry salad, one drink, an entree without sides or sauce and no dessert?

There is, of course, a difference between following a healthy diet and dieting.  Sometimes it is hard for those of us who've bought the big, fat lie to grasp the difference.  We are prone to black and white thinking.  We label foods as "good" and "bad" and we judge ourselves by extension if we eat them.  We become accustomed to food rules and feel out of control when there are no rules.  It isn't hard for feeling out of control around food to equate being out of control with food.  We hear that diets don't work and we think that means we can just eat whatever we want all the time.

So if diets are the big, fat lie, what's the skinny truth?  The truth is that moderation is the answer.  Moderation.  Balance.  Yin and Yang.  Sustainability.  Moderation in our diets, our work, our lifestyles, our exercise plans, our relationships.  It makes sense, really.  But apparently moderation doesn't make for very interesting head lines and it doesn't sell diet plans, because we don't hear much about it.  And it is hard for those of us who've bought the big, fat lie to believe.  A lifetime of black and white thinking is difficult to give up.  We remember the times when we were "good".  Our diets were squeaky clean and we exercised like maniacs.  Isn't that the ideal we should maintain?  Nope.  Not if we want to lead lives of moderation.   Because of course that period of "goodness" was likely followed by an equally spectacular downfall.  We ate too much or couldn't work out and all of the sudden all bets were off!  If we couldn't be perfect, we would be horrible!

To eat a diet of all things in moderation, you must learn to trust yourself.  You must believe that you can eat and enjoy a serving of cookies and not devour the entire bag.  This can be a tough skill to master when you've bought the big, fat lie your entire life, but it is worth the effort!  Not just because you get to eat a serving of cookies, but because your brain gets to enjoy the benefits of living a life of moderation.  And if you slip up, it is okay because moderation teaches us that we cannot beat ourselves up for mistakes as that wouldn't be a very balanced approach!  Often when we try to teach ourselves to live in moderation, especially with food, we find ourselves turning to the old diet stand-byes like counting calories because we really do not know what a moderate food plan looks like.  And that's okay so long as we understand that it is a temporary tool.  For me, my Lap-band was necessary to teach me to live in moderation because I really could not determine what an appropriate serving size of food was.  I'd start eating and just keep going, convincing myself that I wasn't eating all that much, really.

The big, fat lie or the skinny truth?  What do YOU think?                

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The glass is half empty

I hate my scale!  That stupid POS says I weigh 164.2 (74.6 kg.) today which is a loss of 1.8 lbs. (.8 kg.) from last week.  This is the first time I've seen a new low since June 1st.  So why am I hating the scale?  Because I just know that NEXT week I'll be up and it will probably be another two months before I see this low again.

Am I a pessimist or what?  Why can't I just enjoy this new low?  After all, I lost consistently for a year until I hit this annoying new low, gain, gain, lose but not to the new low, new low pattern.  I know that I don't lose 1.8 lbs. a week anymore.  The fact is I was sick on Monday and didn't eat much.  This is an artificial low and next week I'm going to get on the POS scale and it will be up and I'll feel like crap about myself.

The really stupid part about it is that I am pretty happy with my appearance most of the time.  I don't really need to lose any more weight.  But we can never be too rich or too thin, right?  I wish I didn't need to weigh myself anymore, but "they" say that we should weigh ourselves at least once a week in order to maintain our weight loss.  Plus I get weird about the scale when I haven't weighed in a while.  I start imagining that I've gained all kinds of weight.

So apparently I can't win.  If I weigh myself, I'm not satisfied with what I see and if I don't weigh myself, my imagination gets the better of me.   

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is it wrong to post a picture so you guys will give me a bunch of compliments?

I posted some pix yesterday from our weekend family reunion in which I was wearing a swimsuit.  I think maybe I post pictures like that from time to time so I'll hear a bunch of compliments.  Is that wrong?

I swear I'm not completely narcissistic!  It's just that I really have never liked the way I look all that much.  Even before I was fat, I was insecure about my appearance.  I thought I looked good at times, but generally I worried about my looks way too much.  Now I have the confidence and wisdom that comes from maturity, I guess.  I know I have many, many flaws, but I am happy with my looks overall.  Sure, I could pick myself apart.  I could talk about my saggy ta tas or my extra skin, but I chose not to focus on those things.

So why do I post pictures in hopes of getting a bunch of compliments?  Maybe I still am kind of insecure.  Maybe I just like hearing that other people think I look good.  Anyway, THANK YOU for all the validation.  I'm working on my insecurities, I swear!  Maybe someday I won't need/want you all to tell me how foxy I look.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Recap!


On Mayfield Lake in Washington State

My sister (left) and I (with the glasses) 

 We had a fantastic weekend!  After work Friday my daughters and I drove north for our family reunion.  We stayed at Mayfield Lake Resort in Washington State.  The resort has RV and tent camping, cabins and hotel rooms.  This works great so everyone can chose the accommodations that they prefer and can best afford.  I picked "tent camping" on what they call Tent Island.  I assumed that this meant we could drive across a bridge and camp, but nope, we had to schlep all our camping gear down a hill and across the boat dock then up a dirt hill and across the camping areas to our spot.  I don't know how far it was - probably a quarter mile.  Did I mention we had to carry ALL our gear?  They had little carts, but with all the hills it seemed pretty likely that my things were going to end up at the bottom of Mayfield Lake (which the signs claimed was 80' deep!).  Luckily my nephews and cousins took pity on us and helped up get our things over to the island and then back again.

Did I mention that there was no bathroom on the island?  We had to hike back to the resort to use the bathroom.  Or pee in the bushes.  Guess what we did ;)

Too bad I woke up at 5:00 AM this morning with an upset stomach.  Then my dog came upstairs and sat outside the bathroom.  I cracked the door and told him to go away.  I tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't so I got up and then stepped in dog mess by the stairs.  Oh! So THAT'S why he was bugging me at 5:00 AM!  I pulled the carpet cleaner out of the garage before I left for work and I'm sincerely hoping that the house elves shampoo the carpet while I'm gone.  I wish I had sick leave so I could go home.

I also think my aunt had gastric bypass.  She has always been a large woman and now all the sudden she's rather thin with TONS of loose skin.  She also mentioned something about sampling an ice cream cone that one of her sons had and it upsetting her stomach, which made me think of dumping.  I don't really know her well enough to ask her, but I'm happy for her, whatever she's doing!  Here's a picture:

                            And here's a picture of my littlest, sleeping in our tent.  Isn't she cute?

                                      I guess I better include the oldest one too.  She's also cute!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Family Reunion

Later this afternoon my girls and I are heading to our annual family reunion.  The fella can't go because he has to work Sunday.  I am working today and I sure wish I didn't have to!  I just mapqwested the route and it is a 3 1/2 hour drive!  We probably won't get on the road until 4:00 PM and we'll have to stop for dinner.  We probably won't get in until 8:00 PM at the earliest and then I'll need to set up camp.

And to make it worse, I forgot to lay my tent out after we went camping LAST weekend and now it smells all musty.  It rained the morning we broke camp and for the next couple of days at home so by the time it had cleared up, I'd completely forgotten that my tent was all wrapped up, apparently molding away in its bag.  Crap!

I am looking forward to seeing my family though.  Most of them have been there since yesterday or even earlier so what often happens is they do all the family stuff they're going to do BEFORE we get there and half of them head home on Saturday or early Sunday.  It kind of makes me wonder why I'm spending all this energy and money to drive so far! is what it is.  I'm sure we'll have fun either way. 

I've been working extra hours all week so I could cut out a little early today and then like the genius I am, I set up an appointment at 3:00 PM.  It will take 15 minutes or so and then I'll have to drive across town, get my kids and get on the road.  If I'd been more organized, I wouldn't have set anything up so late so I could be leaving work at 3:00 and on the road by 3:30.  I always do things like that.  I spread myself too thin at work and my personal life suffers.  I wish I knew how to set better boundaries.  I work with my sister and she took today off and part of yesterday to get ready.  I always work more than she does.  Her husband works full-time (my fella, Matthew has three part-time jobs, but I am the main bread winner) and it used to be that their economic situation was much better than ours, but lately they've been struggling financially.  Still, it doesn't  seem to make a difference when she decides to take time off. 

My financial situation has improved in the last few months.  I've been slowly building my savings account up a bit after Matthew was unemployed for all of 2010.  I also have money saved for Christmas, back to school shopping, my bi-annual car insurance payment, and vacation as well as the $1,000 "cushion" we're all supposed to have.  Luckily I didn't have to touch one of my CD's, my IRA or the kids college fund during Matthew's unemployment (or year's vacation as I like to call it).  Even though our income isn't huge, living frugally really pays off.  So does planning.  All together, it isn't all that much money, but as long as I don't spend any of it, we're doing okay.  Of course there's all the stupid B.S. that comes up in life.  I need to order flea stuff for my dog.  He also needs his rabies shot and license renewed.  The money I have for back to school is probably half of what I actually need.  Oh, yeah and I told my daughters we could paint their bedrooms AND I'm looking for a new (to us) bed for my oldest daughter. 


The reason my daughter needs a new bed (or new mattress) is that she has an occasional bed-wetting problem.  She's 10.  Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing?  It really, really upsets her.  I don't think it is all that big a deal, other than that it upsets her so much.  She wore pull-ups at night through most of her childhood thus far, but six months ago or so she decided not to use them anymore.  I think the reason she wets is that she sleeps really soundly.  We've tried waking her up when we go to bed, but she'll sometimes still wet in the middle of the night.  I encourage her to make herself get up whenever she wakes up a bit in the night, but I don't know if that is helpful or not.  I just figure she'll outgrow it.  Everyone seems to eventually.  I have told her I'm going to buy her a new bed when she's ready for one, not to reward or punish her behavior, but maybe to give her some incentive to work on it.  I think she is so frustrated by it that's she's convinced herself that it will never get better.  I know that oftentimes when people develop "mental blocks" to things, it makes it that-much more difficult to figure out. 

Boy I sure seem to be rambling away this morning!

Anyways...I hope you're all having a great Friday!  I know much of the country is dealing with sweltering heat.  They're calling for weather in the 90's here on Sunday, but it has been cool (low 70's) all week.  I'm actually looking forward to a little sunshine and HEAT!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Maintenance is...

Maintenance is kind of a weird thing, but in a good way.  I have weighed about the same weight (+/- a couple lbs.) for several months.  I've considered myself at goal since December, but I've lost 14 lbs. since then so I'm not sure that really counts. 

I suspect this is the longest period in my life in which I've been at the same weight.  Always before I was gaining or losing.  I stayed within a range of about 40 lbs. (between 119 and 155 or so) for most of my life.  But from month-to-month and year-to-year, I was up and down.  I still looked "normal".  I wasn't overweight, at least not until I hit my 30's when I really started gaining weight.  Then I put on 100+ lbs. in seven years.  Some of it through pregnancy, but most of it through just throwing up my hands and giving up.

So it is really strange to see the same numbers month after month.  At first, it frustrated me because I'd still like to lose another five lbs. or so, but I am pretty sure that wouldn't make much difference and it isn't going to happen without a bunch of effort I don't really want to put in SO I have learned to be okay with where I'm at.  More than okay, very pleased to see that my eating plan and lifestyle or working for me.

I haven't been logging my food for a while so it is also nice to see that I am not deluding myself into thinking I am eating okay when I'm actually gaining.  I put on 70 lbs. that way so I'm glad my Lap-band combined with my efforts really seem to be keeping me right where I want to be!  I have spent several weekends out of town lately, either camping or staying in hotels and eating out, but I'm still holding steady.  I feel really free!    

Thank you guys for all your nice responses to my Arglefark post yesterday.  I appreciate knowing I have you guys around to commiserate with me!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Not sure what that title means...It is the sound that expresses my frustration best right now, I guess.

Why am I frustrated, you ask?  Maybe this is going to call for bullets.
  • I am a property manager which means that I have a job that requires that I be somewhat involved in a very intimate part of everyone's life: where they live.  This means that I hear way more than I want to hear about what goes on behind closed doors.  Having money problems?  I know about it.  Your neighbor has sex too loud?  Better tell the landlady.  Come by the office and I've stepped out for a minute?  Better phone the office and leave a five minute complaint message about how you came by to pay your rent (18 days late) and no one was there (this happened yesterday) and how dare I put a default notice on your door and then not be there when you come in to pay?  Reserve your student apartment in June and then break up with your boyfriend/roommate?  Better have your mom call and complain about you not getting the security deposit back when you breached the contract.  Tracked cherry stains all over your carpet?  Better tell the landlady that you shouldn't be held responsible for it since the carpet was three years old.
  •  I'm taking a vacation in a couple of weeks and I have a budget of about $850. Why does the idea of taking my kids and boyfriend somewhere sound more like torture than relaxation?  I don't want to hear the bickering, the arguments, the constant drain on MOM.  Why am I the only person capable of doing practically anything?  I am so overwhelmed.  I love my family, but I am so tired of the arguments.  I feel like I am living with a house full of starving puppies, with each of them trying to get as much of the food for themselves as they possibly can.  I guess in that analogy, I'm the puppy chow.

  • One of my nephew is a heroin addict, another is in a juvenile detention center, a third one has a stripper girlfriend and they drink every night. 
Triple Arglefark!

  • My mom wrecked her car yesterday.  She wasn't hurt, but the accident was her fault.  She is very broke and not in a good situation to cope with this extra stress.  She has insurance with a $500 deductible.  Part of me feels like I should give her my vacation money.  That might solve two problems.
Maternal Arglefark! 

  • I have been working 9-10 hour days for a week and a half.  I wish I had more paid time off.  And health insurance.  
Employment Arglefark!

  • The spell check DOES NOT like the word arglefark.
Phonemic Orthography Arglefark!

  • I saw the new Harry Potter movie on Friday and I thought it was an excellent movie BUT it really bothers me that it deviated from the book in what I feel were fairly significant ways.  Also now that the series is done, it is done.  Over. Finite.  No more movies.  No more books.  Nothing to look forward to.
Anticlimactic Arglefark!

  • It has been raining.  In July.  Grey, cloudy skies. The whole country is having a heat wave and we're having a throwback to March weather.
Meteorological Arglefark! 

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Exercise or EXCUSEercise?

    I'm a walker and a cyclist.  Every morning I walk my dog, Brody.  We go for about 30 minutes at a park near my house.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays I bike to work (7 miles round trip).  On the weekends and in the evenings I often take another walk or ride my bike.  I do it because it feels good and I want to.  I never have to force myself to do it.

    Now working out in a gym?  That's another story.  I've done it before, but right now I don't have the extra time or money for gym work outs.

    Do you know what? It doesn't really matter what sort of activity I chose to do as long as I do it on a regular basis!  I might have more muscle definition if I lifted weights or worked out in a gym, but from a health-benefit perspective, it is the doing that makes the difference rather than the activity!

    So what do you ENJOY?  Are you a runner?  A walker?  A swimmer? A dancer? 

    Are you trying to force yourself to do an exercise that you hate because you think you should?  I read a lot of posts from people who talk about how they haven't exercised in ages because they don't have time or they have to get up at 2:00 AM or because they worry about what people think of them when they work out.  I always wonder why they're trying to force themselves to do something that they don't want to do.  Wouldn't it be better to do something you DO enjoy on a regular basis? 

    I think too often we select an exercise routine that we used to follow back when we were previously thin, but we often didn't have the same obligations then.  We might have had more free time because we were in college or didn't have kids, spouses, mortgages, etc.  But despite the evidence that it isn't realistic to attempt to embark on this routine, they pledge to do it four days a week, are unable to follow through, feel bad about it and do no form of exercise instead.  They set themselves up for failure.  And each week they pledge to start again, not recognizing that it isn't the right exercise for them.

    So is your routine an exercise in excuse-making or is it the right activity for you?  Only you can answer that, but if you are having to force yourself to do it and are constantly skipping because you can't quite squeeze it in, then maybe it is time to pick a different exercise routine.  Maybe Nike had it right with the Just Do It slogan because the most important part of exercise is making it a regular part of your routine. 


    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    The 100 calorie principal

    A few months ago I read a great post and I wish I could remember who wrote it so I could credit it here.  It was a thought provoking discussion on how easy it is to become overweight and obese.  Basically the blogger explained that a person must consume an extra 3,500 calories above and beyond what their body needs to gain a pound.  To gain one pound in a month, that works out to just over 100 calories a day (116.6 to be precise).

    This has really stuck with me.  I have started calling it the 100 calorie principal. 

    Think about it...If you gained a pound a month for a year, you'd be 12 pounds overweight.  In five years, you'd be 60 lbs. overweight and possibly obese depending on your height.  In a decade you'd be more than 100 lbs. overweight.

    All this from just an extra 116.6 calories per day.  As women we probably need 1,500 - 1,800 calories per day, depending on our activity level.  That means that 1,616.6 to 1,916.6 calories per day could be a weight-gaining diet that would put us on track to obesity in less than ten years.  That's less than three extra cafĂ© mochas per week.  Or an extra regular soda and a regular McDonald's cheeseburger per week.  An extra 116.6 calories per day is NOTHING, really.

    For many people simply getting older and the associated metabolism slow-down is all it takes.  They eat the way they've always eaten, but find what used to be a weight-maintenance diet is now a weight-gaining diet.  Or an injury may cause them to become less active than they've been in the past and they do not adjust their caloric intake accordingly.

    The 100 calorie principal.

    I find this significant because it demonstrates just how easy it can be to end up overweight and obese.  Society assumes that fat people are gluttons, but would anyone consider it gluttony to have a couple of coffee drinks every week? 

    I didn't become fat stuffing my face with crap all the time.  I actually ate pretty healthfully, but I ate too much.  Both of my pregnancies left me about 40 lbs. overweight and the rest crept on over a few years.  Yes, I did sometimes eat food that wasn't especially nutritious, but everybody does that at times.

    It is easy to become overweight and obese.  People need to understand that.  The stigma associated with obesity doesn't help anyone and hurts all of us, fat or thin.         

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Perfect restriction...for me

    I read a post be the wonderful Amy W. yesterday about the elusive green zone.  We talk a great deal about restriction here in Bandland.  We've even heard that we shouldn't worry about restriction because that isn't what makes the band so effective.  Despite that, for most of us the idea of restriction is a critical part of our understanding of the band.  We want good restriction.  We bemoan being too loose.  We worry we'll never hit the sweet spot.  We fret when we must have an unfill for some reason.

    Let me tell you a secret: I have .7 ccs (point seven as in 7/10th of one ml.)in my band.  Shhh....don't tell anyone.  And guess what else: I'm perfect ally fine with it.  How can that be?  Doesn't that mean that I can eat bread and pasta and rice and pizza?  Yes, I can eat all of those things.  I can also take moderately big bites and I don't have to chew everything to the consistency of baby spit.  I don't eat so slowly that the people I'm eating with are ready for their next meal by the time I finish my first one.

    To be honest, I feel a little ashamed to admit these things.  Not because they are shameful, but because I know that technically speaking that isn't exactly how the band is designed to work.  I've heard people say that their surgeon's office tells them that they will never eat bread, rice, or pasta again.  I've read many blogs where the writer is planning a fill BECAUSE they ate two pieces of pizza or they were able to eat a piece of bread. 

     I don't offer this information to suggest that my way is the best way.  I just want to put it out there that there are different ways of viewing restriction.  What I consider good restriction, you might consider bandster hell, but it works for me.

    I think it comes down to eating behavior.  I need my band to help me keep my portion sizes in check and that's what it does for me.  Pre-band I would sit down to a meal with a full plate, clear it and get another plateful.  I would happily munch away on several pieces of bread with my meal.  At a restaurant I'd have a salad, bread, the entire entree, (diet) soda and possibly dessert.  My meals were not necessarily made up of unhealthy foods, but they were definitely much too big.  I didn't stop eating when I was physically full.  Eating between meals wasn't really my problem.  I didn't graze or snack all that much and I still don't.  With the Lap-band, I cannot eat the same quantity of food.  I physically cannot do it.  I do not need the band to restrict the types of food that I eat.  I do not believe that any foods need to be off-limits because I can't handle them.  I do not believe in "good" or "bad" foods. 

    So that is what perfect restriction means for me.  What is perfect restriction for you?

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    New Follower

    I hope you'll join me in checking out a (relatively) new blog.  Robyn was banded in May and she's doing fantastically!  She also very sweetly nominated me for an award.  Thanks Robyn!

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    It's all in my head

    Good morning, Blogland!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I enjoyed being off work for three days and setting off fireworks with my kids.  Oh yeah, I also realized that I'm still crazy.

    Maybe crazy is too strong a word.  I realized that my food/scale/weight obsession is still alive and well, despite losing 114+ lbs. in 17 months.  Allow me to explain.

    Last month I was rocking it.   I was logging my food using My Fitness Pal.  I lost four pounds over a month, which at this stage in the game is pretty amazing!  I saw my lowest low, 165.6 (2.6 lbs. from a "normal" BMI, but who's counting?).  And then one day, I stepped on the scale and I was up almost two pounds.  WTF?  My food and exercise had been spot-on.  There was NO reason for the gain.  Now this sort of thing is not completely unprecedented in my world so I told myself not to freak out.  I kept logging and weighed again the following week.  I was right about the same even though I did major physical activity one weekend when we re-roofed my house.  Whatever. 

    I didn't freak out, although I wanted to.  But I did feel my enthusiasm slip a bit.  I stopped logging my food in My Fitness Pal.  This isn't the end of the world for me.  I consider logging to be optional at this point.  I do it when I want to and I don't when I don't.  My girls and I went away for the weekend and we ate out.  I didn't go overboard, but I also wasn't super careful.  When we came back I noticed I was feeling "weird" about the scale.  My weigh-day came and I didn't get on.  I was afraid that I would be up from all the restaurant meals.  I kept thinking I'd weigh the next day.  Then I had popcorn and I never weigh myself the day after eating popcorn.  Then it was my BIL's birthday and I didn't want to weigh myself after eating cake.  Then I went clothes shopping and I bought some cute new clothes, but one of the pairs of pants I bought without trying them on first didn't fit. 

    In my mind, I'd gained 100 lbs.  I kept looking at my stomach and thinking I saw bulges where they hadn't been before.  I felt fat.  I was sure I'd gained, but too afraid to get on the scale.  I wasn't eating badly.  I tallied my calories most days and they were fine. Why wasn't I fine?

    I got on the scale yesterday and I weighed 166.4.  Not my lowest-low, but less than my last weigh in.  Which make me wonder what the hell is wrong with my brain?  Why can't I get over all this?

    I have gone years without weighing myself because of this same scale phobia.  Since WLS, however, I've weighed myself pretty consistently.  I know I can't weigh more often than once a week, but I've generally wanted to weigh myself when weigh-day roles around.  I felt pretty good about my progress up until this point.  I felt much less obsessed with food and weight and the scale.  I guess this is just a good reminder that I'm always going to have to work at this.  I have made a lot of progress, amazing life-changing progress, but I am still the same person with the same struggles and demons that I've always had.