1 Year on T!!!

Okay… so really long time no post… I apologize to anybody that really wanted to know how things have been going in my transition.  Life has been crazy over the last several months.  I moved across the country for a new job, while August remains on the west coast for a little while.  I’m living in a crowded house in the meantime, residents here include myself, 2 adult roommates, and 2 children.  With that many people in a 3 bedroom house doesn’t give much opportunity for privacy so I’ve found it hard to get around to taking pictures lately.  Additionally my eating habits went down the drain the first few months here, and I definitely gained a bit of fluff, as you’ll see in the pictures.

That being said, I’ve gotten back into going to the gym on a fairly regular basis, especially since I got a new car (so nice to not be reliant on my roommate for transportation anymore!!!) and eating better.  In fact, I am on day 6 of this year’s Whole30, and my roommates are both doing it as well.  We’re working on being healthier and less prone to eating the kids’ snacks that we were guilty of grabbing when we weren’t feeling like actually cooking.  So far, things are going awesome with the whole30, I’ve gotten into a good routine for cooking and I already feel like I’m past the worst of the cravings and am starting to feel my energy levels even out.  I can’t wait for another week or so to go by and to really be seeing and feeling the effects of it fully!

So, yesterday was my one year T anniversary.  As such, I have a series of comparisons to post.  There’s some pretty obvious changes, I’m much hairier than I was before.  I’m also a lot bigger, my muscles have grown a ton, and you can see some of the fat I’ve gained in my period of crappy eating too, unfortunately.  I think my hairline might have changed slightly, though not a whole lot… but it’s hard to tell since one is a fresh haircut and the other isn’t.  The full body pics I took were for my whole30 comparisons, so I’ll be taking another set of pics in about 25 days for that, which I’ll probably post on here too.  So, here are the pics and voice recordings.

Day 1 Voice

Year 1 Voice

1yearface1yearfront

1yearside1yearback

1yearjaw

1yearchin

1yearstomach

All the pictures are pre-T followed by the one year pics.  I’ve definitely gotten a lot more body hair, though I’m still wishing I had more facial hair growing in.  That being said, I really started noticing the facial hair coming in more significantly than it had been within the last few months, so hopefully it’ll keep up that pace.  I would really like to go with longer sideburns, but need that stuff to grow in a bit thicker before I can realistically do that.

I’m pretty happy with how far my voice has dropped in the last year for sure.  I’d love for it to drop even more, since a good portion of my job is answering phones and I still occasionally get a “ma’am” from people on the phone, but in person I almost never get misidentified, unless somebody sees my legal name before meeting me.

Speaking of legal names, I got my court order and doctor letters to get the name and gender marker changes on all my documents!  I just mailed off the paperwork to get my birth certificate changed and a new one to be sent out to me, as well as a form for gender marker change that I have to mail to the DMV here and await approval before I actually go into the DMV to get everything changed.  I’m so excited!  Once I get the birth certificate back, I’ll take the necessary documents to social security and after that actually go to the DMV for my license.  This state has veteran ID cards as well, so will be getting that done too (it’ll be nice to be able to take advantage of veteran discounts and such without having to worry about having my DD214 on me, lol).  Can’t wait to have all of these things taken care of and no longer having to worry about the “Well, that’s my legal name, but I go by Alex” conversation with people!

Anyway, that pretty much gets you caught up on everything for now.  I’ll be posting a follow up with comparison stuff for this Whole30 I’m doing, and… well… we’ll see after that.  I can’t make promises on my posting frequency, I never seem to follow through on them… but I do want to try getting back into blogging more regularly.

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Whole30 Day 2

Okay, it’s more like day 4 since August and I started, but I’ve only started keeping track of exactly what I eat yesterday since our gym is doing a Whole30 challenge that started yesterday. The way they’re doing it is you get points for following the Whole30, exercising ( only get points for up to 5 days a week to encourage people to take two off days), getting 8 hours of sleep, and spending 20 minutes doing something relaxing that does not involve technology (reading, napping, mobility / stretching, so long as it doesn’t involve electronics in any way).  You also get a point for any new personal records (PR) you set on any major fitness category, such as the weightlifting movements or mile runs.  What they did last time, and I suspect will happen again, is they did a WOD the first day and did that same one again on the 30th day to see how much people improved.  At the end of the 30 days, they total up the points from all the good behavior and they are planning to give prizes to the individuals that did the best.  A fun way to encourage people to pick up better habits, not just in their diet but in their overall lives.  I really like that they give points for getting an adequate amount of sleep and for taking some time to do something relaxing every day.  It’s a great way to help people do things that will better help them manage their stress levels and just be healthier overall.  I’m also fond of having a maximum amount of points for working out every week to avoid people over training themselves just to get more points.  Off days are just as important as the training days themselves.  So yeah, anyway, I’m participating in this since August and I were going to be doing a Whole30 this month anyway.

Yesterday, day one of the gym sponsored Whole30, I got pretty much everything that I could get points for, despite spending 6 hours at work.  I had eggs, bacon, and onion for breakfast, put a paleo sriracha sauce that August made on the eggs, so good!  Then had a single cup of coffee with homemade hazelnut milk in it.  I miss my heavy cream in my coffee because it made it so thick and creamy, but I can deal with this for 30 days no problem, hazelnuts were meant to go with coffee.  Then I brought left over paleo chocolate chili that August made over the weekend, and added a little homemade olive oil mayo to it, which has a similar effect as putting sour cream in chili so was a good replacement.  I also brought an orange with me for lunch.  I used my 30 minute lunch break at work to read while I worked, so got my technology free relaxation time in.  Then I went to the gym as soon as I got off work and did this terrible WOD:

“Fortius Chipper”
– For Time –
100 Double Unders
70 KB Swings
60 Wall Balls
50 V-Ups
40 Goblet Squats
30 Burpee Pull Ups
20 HSPU
10 Muscle Ups

[30 Minute Cap]

O/R: Singles, Light Russian, 8/4#, Situps, Air Squats, Burpees, Box HSPU, Ring Rows
Beg: Singles (3x), 35/26#, 14/8#, Burpee Jumping PU, Box HSPU, Ring Dips
Int: 53/35#, 20/14#, Ring Dips (2x)
Adv: 70/53#, 20/14#

For those that don’t know, double unders are jump roping in which the rope passes under you twice each jump.  I basically did it at the male beginner level, which means 300 singles (I can’t do double unders very well yet), 35# kettle bell for the kettle bell swings, 14# ball for the wall balls, and did hand stand push ups (HSPU) from a box… I can do HSPU but not a whole lot at once yet, and definitely not after all the stuff that came before that part of the workout.  I did normal burpee pull ups, though, instead of the burpee jumping pull ups, so that was the one movement out of the workout I did at intermediate level.  I just finished the box HSPU when time ran out, so didn’t make it to the ring dips.  It was one second for every missed rep, so that put me at 30:10.  Looking forward to seeing my score on this next time we do it, I have a feeling I’ll improve a lot.

When I got home from the gym, we had dinner, which was citrus-garlic marinated steak that turned out really delicious and tender!  We had a mixture of veggies with it: bell pepper, carrots, and kale.  For the fat we just drizzled a little olive oil over it.  That was the hardest thing for me the first time I did a Whole30, making sure I got enough fat in my meals.  Too little and you end up hungry again real quick, but if you get enough it’s easy to make it to the next meal without snacking.  Despite a couple things waking me up in the middle of the night, I got my 8 hours of sleep.

So far today I’ve had eggs scrabbled with onion and kale and I mixed together the sriracha and homemade mayo to make a creamy sriracha sauce. Naturally, I had another cup of coffee with hazelnut milk in it.  Plan to go to the noon crossfit class today and today’s strength is max testing the clean and jerk, so should get a PR for a bonus point today.  I probably won’t post about every day of the Whole30, but I’ll be sure to update every few days or so and to link any recipes that were particularly delicious for those that want to check them out.

New Beginnings

As it always seems to happen when I sit down to write, I realize it’s been quite a while since I last wrote a post.  A lot has happened lately.  I finished my first semester of school, got out of the military, and started a new part-time job for a little extra money while I’m in school.  Two of the three months have passed since the CT scan that I wrote about having gotten in my last post, so one more month until I get another one to make sure the ground glass nodule they saw is going away and was just related to me being sick a little before the first scan.  With all the good changes happening, I’ve been doing a pretty good job keeping that health concern out of my mind and focusing on other things at least.  So about those other things…

As I said, finished my first semester at the community college I’m going to and did pretty well despite having to balance 14 credits worth of online classes with long days at work.  It was especially stressful when the replacement for my boss who had just retired came in and decided we weren’t leaving until a certain time, regardless of whether we had actual work to do during that time or not.  That resulted in frequently being stuck at work doing absolutely nothing when I could have been home working on schoolwork.  After he got there, I had a lot of 9-10 hour days there.  But that’s not something I have to worry about anymore.  My military days ended just in time to start the new year as a civilian.  I’m excited that I can focus on school and work my new job around my classes rather than my classes around a job I don’t intend to stick with.  This will be the first time I’ve been in a position in which I’m truly able to make school my top priority.  I’ve always had to work full-time and deal with family chaos when I’ve gone to school in the past, so I’m really looking forward to this new semester starting up and having so much less on my plate this time around.

Then there’s the new job, a certified technician at a retail store.  Nothing terribly special, but allows me to put my technical skills to use while I focus on school.  The best thing about this job is this:

Featured image

It’s only been a couple days since I started this job, but it’s so nice to be able to go by my chosen name at work.  It’s like a weight has been lifted off me, no longer having to worry about if the people I work with figure out I’m trans, no more having the knowledge hanging over me that who I am is banned where I work.  When I told my new manager about it and that I intend to start transitioning in the near future, he seemed genuinely excited for me and congratulated me on getting out of the military and being able to transition.  He also made sure to tell me that if anybody gives me a hard time about it to let him know immediately.  I feel pretty good about this new job for that reason, for being so easy to work around my school schedule, and for how low stress it is for me.  Even with both this job and school, I’ll have way more time off to do whatever than I’ve had in a really long time, so much more time to unwind and get chores and such taken care of.

Speaking of transitioning, I think sometime in the next couple weeks August and I will be going to the clinic to start the process to get my transition moving along, as well as to see about August’s needs as he continues his HRT.  From what I understand, as somebody that hasn’t started any treatment at all, it’s about a month from when you first go into the clinic to when they actually give you a prescription.  I’m not starting as soon as I had originally been hoping, but it’s still so close.  It seems so unreal that I’ll actually get to start sometime soon!

So I started the new year off as a civilian and with a new job in which I can be myself.  In addition to that, August and I have started another Whole30.  It seemed like a good idea to get back on track with healthy eating after the holidays.  I did get pictures and measurements to compare at the end of the 30 days, but will wait until then to post them.  I’m mostly just wanting to get back to good eating behavior, as well as back into working out regularly now that my schedule allows for it.  That was another thing that suffered with the long hours at my old job, especially after the last couple months.  It feels good just knowing I’m in a position to better take care of myself again, and I’m sure it’ll feel even better as I continue on with this plan and improve my health.  Hopefully I’ll be back in good enough shape to start looking at doing CrossFit competitions again before I know it.  The one I got to participate in before was a blast, and I really want to do more.

So, that catches you up on most of what I’ve got going on right now.  Hopefully I’ll have more to post about and make more regular posts now that I’m not so busy, but we’ll see how it goes after school starts up.  At any rate, 2015 I think is my year.  I’ve started it off well already and still have so much to look forward to this year.

School, Work, and Life

So I know I had things I wanted to write about, but now that I have a good opportunity to sit down and write, it all seems to have left me and I can’t seem to remember what it was that I specifically wanted to discuss. Oh well, can’t be terribly important if I can’t remember, right? Maybe it’ll come back to me later. In the meantime I’ll just write about whatever comes to mind. I still want to write that part two to my previous blog post about my history, but that requires a much more serious and deeper mood than I’m in or want to be in right at this moment.

Things are going pretty well right now. I’m registered for classes starting this fall. Online classes since I’ll still be working then, but should be free to physically go to classrooms come spring semester. I’m really excited about eventually not having to worry about scheduling things and working around a work schedule that is unpredictable and takes me out of town or out of country so much. This will be the first time since reaching adulthood that I’ll be able to focus on school and not have to balance a full time job with it. I’m really grateful that August is giving me this opportunity. It’ll be a little bit of role reversal as I shift towards school and he, having recently graduated, eventually finds a job and becomes the primary source of income for a while.

Speaking of not working, I have a little over 5 months left at my job, which is really exciting. If you haven’t read my previous posts, it is because of my job that I haven’t started physically transitioning yet, and have only socially transitioned in my personal life. Still living as female as far as work is concerned. I’m fulfilling my contractual obligations, but am eager to move on to the next stage of my life. August and I have talked about how early I’d probably be able to start T without it making too noticeable of a change before I leave this job. What we’ve discussed is possibly starting about a month before my last day. At that point, even if they catch on, which seems unlikely, it would take them longer to kick me out than it would take to just let me leave as planned. Some Google research has told me that with the policy at a specific local health care system, I’d need to visit them about a month prior to when I’d want to start. So, little over 5 months until I’m done with this job, 4 months until I could be starting T if I go ahead with what August and I have been considering, which would mean in a little over 3 months I could be at the clinic getting blood tests and starting the process.

After waiting so long and watching August transition and reading about others’experiences here on WordPress, it’s a little overwhelming to think that my turn is finally coming up. For so long it felt like it was so far away, this thing I could see on the horizon but never seemed to get any closer, and then all of a sudden it’s there right in front of me. I’ve dealt with a lot of depression issues during this period of waiting since I came out to friends and family as trans. It’s been hard to go back and forth between being myself at home and in my personal life and falling back behind that mask that I wore for so much of my life while I’m at work. To work in a male dominated environment where nearly every day the fact that I’m physically a woman is brought to my attention, that results in certain behaviors and treatment by coworkers… The holding back on jokes because they are afraid of offending the woman in their company, the insisting on taking anything heavy from me and carrying it for me, the asking my advice about women and what their girlfriend or wife might like as a gift, often jewelry related, because obviously as a woman I would have some insight for them despite the fact that I’m not exactly feminine in appearance, behavior, or interests. There is rarely a day that goes by that the fact that I’m not one of the guys to them isn’t made painfully obvious. The social dysphoria I feel in the workplace is a challenge to deal with. The idea that this is nearly over and I can be living as a man in all aspects of my life in the near future is a very powerful thought. I feel a little less burdened, a little brighter with each passing day now. Soon I’ll go to the clinic, soon I’ll start hormone therapy, soon I will be forever done with this job and this double life. I know transitioning comes with its own challenges and it won’t fix everything, but I look forward to facing these challenges as me and finally taking off the mask for good.

Granted, we’ll see what my insurance situation is then, I’ll have to use whatever coverage August gets when he gets a new job since I obviously can’t use the health care provided by my job. Not sure what the out of pocket expenses would be without insurance. Everything I’ve read and knowing how much August’s T costs, the prescription itself we should be able to afford, but I’m more concerned about the clinical visits and the blood tests. I’ll have to look into that more in case things don’t go quite like I hope in regards to insurance. It may set me back on when I’d like to begin my transition, but hopefully not by too much. I do have options for after I get out of my current job if we don’t get adequate insurance from wherever August ends up working, but I’d have to wait until I am officially done with work and I suspect the process is probably longer than the clinic I’ve looked into.

In other news, things are going well on the fitness front. I recently hit 205 lbs on my one rep max deadlift, which was exciting. That’s about 1.71 times my body weight, so closing in on being able to deadlift two of me. I feel like I have more personal records to beat in other lifts coming soon as well. Getting back into things after our trip to San Fransisco is going well. My strength hadn’t left, though my endurance suffered after those 3 weeks of not working out, but it’s coming back quickly and I’m finding myself starting to perform closer to my expectations again. I’m looking into participating in my first crossfit competition soon, if I can find people to form a team with. I decided to compete as female, even though most the people at my gym know me as a guy, since I haven’t started T yet. I’m trying to be realistic about my performance capabilities since, regardless of how I identify, I’m facing the same physical limitations any woman would face. It just makes me that much more excited to see how much my strength grows when I do start and future competitions that I’ll be able to enter as male.

The whole 30 is going pretty well, I’m not taking it too seriously though. I just finished a whole 30 recently and my birthday was just the other day and I wanted a birthday dessert. Everybody deserves a birthday dessert. I think the next time I do a whole 30, August and I are considering doing it once a year, I’ll do a better job planning it for when there are no special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) or major holidays. That really seems to be the only times we feel that tempted to cheat. Outside of that it’s not all that different from our normal mostly paleo eating habits. Other than dairy in the form of heavy cream in our coffee and occasionally eating rice, most the time we have anything that isn’t whole 30 approved is when we eat out, which we don’t do that often.

Anyway, much like last time, I’m feeling leaner and stronger during this. I’m looking forward to taking measurements and after pictures at the end of this to see what my results are. I haven’t felt much of a change in my energy levels or digestion and such that I felt during the last whole 30, but again there wasn’t much time between that one and this one, about a month, so there wasn’t as much to work out of my system this time around. The results will likely be less dramatic this time around since it is so soon after the first one.

I feel like this pretty much sums up the current events of my life right now. I’m sure the other stuff I had wanted to write about will come back to me later, hopefully at a time that I’ll actually be able to do some writing.

Whole 30 Again

So, I’m doing another Whole 30.  My crossfit gym is doing it and I wanted to participate in it, even though it had only been about a month since I finished my first one.  I also felt like after the trip to San Francisco where I felt like I was eating pretty badly, it’d be good to get me back on track with what I want to be doing.  You can’t go to San Fran and not eat delicious foods, though.  I’m also aware that my idea of “pretty badly” is still better eating habits than the average person now, but still felt like I should get back to the healthier eating I’ve grown accustomed to.

It’s only been a week since I started this Whole 30, so don’t have a whole lot to write about in regards to it just yet.  I didn’t take measurements at the beginning, so I’ll just be comparing to the measurements I took at the end of the first one.  I did, however, take before pictures so I can post before and afters when the time comes.  One exciting thing is that August made hazelnut milk from scratch to put into our coffee to replace the cream we usually during this Whole 30.  It turned out really good and hazelnut always goes well with coffee.

Anyway, I’ll post more as I get further into this, as well as other life happenings that I should really get around to sitting down and writing about.

Whole 30 Results

Okay, so took measurements yesterday since my Whole 30 ended.  Keep in mind that I am only 5’1″ when you look at those measurements.  Between the Whole 30 and attending my awesome crossfit gym, here are the comparative 30 day measurements.


 

Before               After                     Difference

Weight              119.2 lbs          117.6 lbs              -1.6 lbs
Neck                  13.25″                13.5″                     +0.25″
Shoulders        37.75″               38″                         +0.25″
Biceps               11.5″                   11.5″                        —–
Forearms         9.5″                     9.5″                          —–
Chest                 29.5″                  31.5″                        +2″
Waist                 28.5″                  28.25″                    -0.25″
Hips                   35.5″                   35″                          -0.5″
Thighs                 22″                     22″                         —–
Calves                12.5″                  12.5″                       —–


 

So, the changes of a slight loss of weight and inches in waist and hips, and gaining of inches in the neck, shoulders, and torso may be indicative of loss of body fat and gaining of muscle, especially when paired up with comments I’ve received from people on my appearance lately.  Multiple people I work with or friends that have visited after not seeing me for a couple weeks during the Whole 30 have commented on how I look like I’ve lost weight, despite the weight loss being a pretty negligible amount, and look noticeably leaner.  Additionally, August mentioned that he is able to see more definition in my back muscles now, which would theoretically mean less fat covering those muscles.  Things I’ve noticed myself have been more definition in my shoulders, arms, and upper abs.  The veins in my arms definitely seem closer to my skin than they were before.  I also feel as if my face looks a little thinner in the mirror.

I reintroduced dairy yesterday and will be reintroducing something else this weekend, though I haven’t decided which thing I want to reintroduce next yet.  As for daily eating habits after the reintroduction period is over, I intend to stay pretty close to the Whole 30 for a while still, except for having heavy cream in my coffee and having protein shakes instead of full meals after working out.  I’m hoping that the fat burning will continue until I get to a body fat percentage that I’d like to have.  After that, I’ll be shifting my focus to muscle building so will be changing my diet to something more appropriate for that.

That’s pretty much all I have for today.  It’s exciting to see the results I’ve gotten from the Whole 30 and crossfit so far.  I’ll post more about how the reintroduction process is going next week when I’ve gotten through more of the stuff I’ll be reintroducing and seen how my body reacts to them.  I’ll probably start posting pictures every so often for comparison as I continue towards my fitness goals.

Pre-Transition Identification and Other Stuff

This weekend has been a good one.  It was our anniversary which was a great time between the safari park, lunch at a brewery (felt like anniversary was worth cheating during the whole 30 for), and a wonderful steak dinner.  It’s crazy to think that it’s already been a year, and unfortunate when I realize I was gone for the vast majority of that year.  At least I won’t have to be away from home for so long ever again, though.  I appreciate how much August has had to deal with over the last year with me being away for so much of it, especially since he had started his transition only a little while before I left.  Despite all this, it’s been a good year together and I look forward to more even better years.

In other news, the other day we went to the grocery store to get some more of the particular olive oil that August likes to use to make mayo.  When we went up to the register to check out, the cashier was helping an older gentleman.  She was all smiles and chatted with him while she worked.  As he left, she turned and looked at August and me.  The smile almost immediately fell from her face and I felt as if she was giving us a dirty look for some reason.  She didn’t say a single word to us as she rung up our items.  Not a “Did you find everything okay?”, “How are you?”, or even a simple “Hi”, very much exactly what you aren’t supposed to do when you work in customer service positions.  This is the first time I’ve ever had somebody give me a dirty look and give me such a cold shoulder for what seems to be nothing more than appearances.  I can’t be sure of what she was thinking or why she behaved that way.  Maybe she didn’t like August’s ear piercings (plugs), maybe she just couldn’t think of anything to chat about in regards to olive oil like she had chatted with the previous guy about his ice cream, maybe August and I are starting to get identified as a gay couple and she is homophobic, or maybe it was something completely unrelated to us at all and I’m reading too much into a look that wasn’t really there.  It did seem weird, though, and was a first of that sort of interaction for me.

When I was on deployment and we’d stop in different countries and got to go out and explore the area a bit, I was pretty consistently identified as male by the locals.  At least until I spoke, then they wouldn’t be sure.  There were several times when my friends and I were browsing stores or markets and one of the shop owners or employees would ask one of my friends if I was a boy or a girl.  One lady asked my friend if I was her little brother (I’m 6 years older than this friend).  This was all rather exciting for me, especially when people just identified me as male and didn’t question it even after they heard my voice.  In the states people do identify me as male some of the time, but pretty much every time I speak they notice how high pitch my voice is and apologize because they feel they misidentified me.  That is until the other day.  The same day we had the weird encounter with that cashier, we went out to dinner after catching a movie.  The waiter that helped us called us gentlemen when he was talking to us, and specifically called me sir a couple times when I ordered and when I paid for dinner.  He obviously heard my voice when he took my order, earlier in fact when I asked for a glass of water while we were looking over the menu.  So even after hearing me speak, he still identified me as male.  This was a cool experience for me, it was a first here in the states.  No apology or correcting to ma’am or anything.  It kind of made my day.  August didn’t seem as impressed, but I feel like that might be partly because he’s far enough along in his transition that he is consistently identified as male by strangers and it’s lost it’s excitement for him.  I, on the other hand, haven’t even began my transition at all yet.  It’ll be nice once I do and my voice starts to drop some so this can be a regular thing and it’ll lose it’s excitement for me as well.

Today we did a Memorial Day run of Murph.  For those that don’t know what that WOD consists of, it’s as follows:

1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 hand release push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run

We have to start and end on the runs, but we could break up the pull ups, push ups, and squats however we wanted.  The time cap to do all this was 50 minutes.  I didn’t complete it in time, but I did get to start the final run before running out of time.  I think we’ll be doing this again next Memorial Day, so my goal for a year from now is to be able to do all the pull ups without having to resort to jumping pull ups in the middle of it, and to complete it within the given time limit.  This was the first time I’ve done this particular workout.  It was pretty rough at the time.  The second mile at the end was particularly bad after all the stuff you do before it.  All that being said, I felt pretty amazing about 15-20 minutes after I finished and had caught my breath.  A couple hours later and I’m really tired and feel like taking a nap, though.  Burned a lot of energy today.

My next post will come later this week when my Whole 30 ends and I get my measurements, which I’ll be posting the before and after measurements.  I’ve been really happy with how much fat I’ve burned off during this and intend to stay mostly Whole 30 for a while afterwards.  I’d like to get my body fat percentage down a little bit more before I shift my focus more towards muscle building.  The exceptions to the Whole 30 are mostly drinking coffee with heavy cream, and maybe having an occasional beer, though I intend for those to be few and far between still… Oh, and not fretting as much about what might be in the food when we go out to eat.  Can’t wait to find out what my exact results are when I take measurements later this week!