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    Journal - Second Quarter 2003  

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur. *       

April thru June 2003:

All entries are organized in reverse-chronological order so the newest entry is always at the
top. (If you're reading the journal for the first time, you might wish to start where I began
(the 3rd Quarter of 1999) and go to the bottom to begin reading.

3rd Quarter 1999 4th Quarter 1999 1st Quarter 2000 2nd Quarter 2000 3rd Quarter 2000
4th Quarter 2000 1st Quarter 2001 2nd Quarter 2001 3rd Quarter 2001 4th Quarter 2001
1st Quarter 2002 2nd Quarter 2002 3rd Quarter 2002 4th Quarter 2002 1st Quarter 2003
2nd Quarter 2003 3rd Quarter 2003 4th Quarter 2003 1st Quarter 2004  

May 2003:

May 6, 2003:

It's the first time in two weeks I've been able to come up for air, but since some of what's been happening here has most certainly affected my diet and my progress, let me give a little run-down. My last entry was Easter, and as you saw, I had a great week. Two days after Stuart and Laura left, I had a visit from my Mother in Law. She stayed one full week (and brought Richard's youngest brother with her.) To say I was stressed would be quite an understatement. I went back and forth in my own mind about what to actually post here (in so public a way), and decided in the end, to be as honest as I could be, at least to the point of making it clear why my diet during this week was not optimal.

Richard's mother was not exactly thrilled with his choice of me 14 years ago when we got married. In point of fact, at our wedding, she was seated with Rich's ex-roommate. Now this roommate was a fellow that I came close to marrying before I knew Rich. And as she sat there, us taking our vows, she leaned over to him (Michael) and said, "I wish it was YOU she was marrying." He said he wished so too. It was overheard by a number of people that told us about it. Well, that pretty much set the tone for the years to come.

Each Christmas and a number of other times over the years, I'd sit down and write her a letter to let her know how we were doing. Rich never wrote because, well, he's a guy. He doesn't do that.

So one day about 7 years into our marriage, the doorbell rings. (It's the middle of the day on a weekday, and I am home alone.) I open the door to find the police there. If you're thinking she called them, you'd be right. She had told them that it had been quite some time since she'd heard from Richard, and I seemed like I was "hiding something." She feared he was dead, she told them, and that perhaps I'd been keeping that from everyone. They searched my house for him and had to confirm he was at work; alive; and well. They apologized and left.

I heard little from her after that until a few weeks ago. She starting calling and acting as though there's never been a problem. I was totally freaked out by this, and now that I found she was coming to stay with us for A WEEK, I was at a loss to know how to make everything go smoothly.

I spent weeks planning a special dinner for her at Ruth's... flowers on the table, a special cake from a bakery that they'd serve at the end of the meal... the works. My 'guys' at Ruth's worked their butts off to make this come together for my sake. We also paid for their plane tickets, and for everything else while they were here.

Let's just say, the visit did NOT go smoothly, and I tried so hard. I could get into the whole icky week, but I'll leave it at lots of stress, no notice or appreciation of the special touches at the big dinner, and lots of criticism of my cooking (and I know I'm a good cook.) I did not push low carb at them, and indeed shopped for carby fare before they came. You should have seen me trying to remember how to buy that stuff... and looking around the store cautiously to make sure no one I knew SAW me with Wonder Bread and Entenmann's cookies in my cart. It was eerie.

So, did I go off my diet while they were here? No... I didn't want to give her that much power in my life. But I did eat far too MUCH while they were here. The more stressed and nervous I got, the more likely I was to eat a bit more. It would not surprise me if I doubled my intake of calories while they were here. By that Sunday (they'd come on Wednesday), my dear friend Aaron suggested to me that I tell her I was giving her a day alone with her son (Richard) to bond. Then I would go to Columbus to spend the day with Aaron. I did just that. We met at Champp's and had lunch and talked for hours until Adrian called my cell to see how I was holding up and discovered I was in town. He had us come over to Ruth's and Aaron and I walked over, had dinner, and talked for more hours. I didn't want to come home until I knew they were all in bed and I wouldn't be seeing them.

It was my one good day that week. They finally left on Tuesday when we drove them back to the airport. As I said, I am sparing you the details. At first, I was feeling like a failure. Friends pointed out that I'd done all I could, and the failure was not mine. I'm trying to accept that now...

Weight-wise, no additional progress, and in fact I am showing a 2 pound gain, but I think it's water considering the time of the month.

April 2003:

April 20, 2003:
Happy Easter!

Stuart and Laura (son and daughter-in-law) arrived last Thursday to spend the Easter Holiday with us. On Friday, we went to King's Island. Had a wonderful time, too. We rode nearly all the coasters, and a lot of other rides as well. I come back a little bruised, but happy. :) I discovered that no ride in the park seems to be too intense for me... I just eat this stuff up. Laura and I rode the front car of Son of Beast just before we left the park for the evening, but Aaron tells us that the back car is the way to go. Guess we'll do that next time! We had a good breakfast before we arrived, and ate dinner when we got home, so food at the park was never an issue, and no one was hungry. (We did drink a LOT of water, though!) By the way, the air rush on Drop Zone was amazing... just amazing. I love free-fall!

Then on Saturday, Laura and I went shopping together, had our nails done, etc. It was good to be out with her.. gave the two of us a chance to have a really good talk. I have the sweetest dear for a daughter-in-law. I'm telling you, I still ask myself every day, how did I get so lucky to have this amazing life??

I'll bet you can guess where we took them Saturday evening, right? Yes, we drove up to Columbus. Yes, we went to Ruth's. Yes, Adrian took care of us, and yes, Aaron waited on us. It was lovely as always, but I felt like celebrating a bit, and saying a toast to Dr. Atkins as well. So I admit I had a couple of Bacardi shots. They brought me Diet Rite on ice. (Yeah, they keep Diet Rite on hand so I don't have to drink aspartame, and they also keep Mich Ultra for me.) Stuart and Laura had wine. Rich was designated driver, so no alcohol. I had a wonderful French Onion Soup (on which they always give me double cheese, extra toasty), a petite filet with béarnaise, broccoli au gratin, and Adrian cut strawberries into a beautiful presentation for me for dessert. Because Stuart and Laura had to leave today (Easter) mid-day, this was our big holiday meal.

Adrian stayed with us through much of the evening and as soon as the crowds thinned, Aaron joined us as well. It was fun, and Stuart and Aaron got along well. It was the first time Stu and Laura had met either of them. When the check came, they had taken off all drinks, and yes, all liquor/wine, all desserts, and half of the food. This is getting embarassing. A really wonderful night, though.

This brings us to Easter! When we were kids, and were finally old enough to find out that it was not actually an Easter Bunny out hiding those eggs, we had never wanted the tradition to stop. So for years and years, my brother and I hid eggs for my MOM to find on Easter morning. She always got such a kick out of it, and that became our new tradition. Mom finding eggs before we'd get ready for Church. It was something I'd mentioned off and on over the years since she's past away, and apparently this year, Richard and Stuart took it to heart. When I got up this morning, they had hidden 2 dozen beautifully decorated eggs for ME to hunt. It seems so silly. But ya know, I really had a blast searching out those eggs. And yes, I found them all. Can you imagine me out searching for Easter Eggs in my little flannel bunny PJ's? Ah well...

It's early evening now as I type this, and Stuart and Laura are gone. It was a wonderful Easter week, and only the passing of our dear Dr. Atkins made for a negative moment in it.

Tomorrow I prepare for some minor surgery; then I have to get ready for Rich's mom. She'll be here in three days and will be spending a week with us. Am I nervous? Well, yeah. I'll let you know how it goes.

April 17, 2003:
We've lost Dr. Atkins. This is a dark day indeed. We will be putting together a tribute page as soon as we can with thoughts from others in our little LCL community (Please write us if you want to contribute something. They will be stories of how Dr. Atkins and/or his diet changed your life for the better. We'll also be devoting the next magazine issue to Dr. A.

I feel like a member of our family has been lost. We are praying for his family and those who loved him right now.

April 16, 2003:
I meant to get back to this journal a bit earlier this month. It's been a very busy month indeed. My April 8th entry mentioned wanting to write more on the 'how far I've come' thing. I've decided to write it up in more detail than I can effectively do here in my journal, so expect it in article format soon.

We spent most of yesterday finishing our taxes. Can you believe it??? April 15th and we were still getting the last "T's" crossed and "I's" dotted? Oh well... at least they're done. As is almost always the case, I owed the government money (both state and federal.) Argh...

We mailed them from Columbus as we were on our way to the restaurant to dine with friends. Sometimes I wonder why we don't live in Columbus... I love the city and we're now at a point where we drive out there twice a week — sometimes more. My friends are there; my favorite theatre is there; my favorite restaurant is there; my favorite clothing store is there. And now, their groceries carry the Splenda sweetened Waist Watcher sodas that we still can't get in Dayton. Depending on what the future brings, I may want to look at relocating there at some point... when it's the right time to sell my home. Of course there are other possibilities right now that could take me to Cincinnati instead. So we'll see. But I'd like to leave Dayton/Xenia in the next 1 to 3 years. Oh, I've rambled again... :(

Back to the dinner. I guess I should explain a little... Over the course of the last few months, we've gone from being semi-regular diners at Ruth's Chris, to being pretty regular diners there. And as we have, we've gotten to know the manager, Adrian Rosu, exceptionally well. He's become a friend we both value very much. Adrian and his wife Kim bought their home in Columbus only a year ago when they first got married. Aaron, the other friend you now hear me mention frequently, is a waiter we first met at this same restaurant last Summer. While he's a terrific waiter, he's become an even more wonderful friend. He's very bright (and has been soaking up everything I tell him about the low carb lifestyle), and has a singular witt that keeps me laughing... a lot. Whether or not it might seem a bit 'unusual' to have come to know him because he was first my waiter, matters not to me. The fact is, he's an exceptional person and I am blessed to be able to consider him one of my dearest friends. Over the last several months, he's always been there, for the good and the bad. Even if I needed someone to talk to at 1 AM. Richard and I both enjoy having him over to the house, or going out to dinner with him.

Okay, so now you're up to speed on who Adrian and Aaron are when I mention them — especially in the context of our going to "the restaurant." And NOW back to the dinner... no, really, I mean it...

Adrian and Kim left two weeks ago for a cruise. Now, they're back, and we wanted to drive up and find out all about it! (And yes, of course Aaron was included in that.) When we arrived, Adrian was waiting at the door, with what seemed an unusually bright smile that stayed firmly in place most of the evening. Then he tells me (just so casually), well, we stopped at the drugstore just before we left town for the cruise... we needed to take a test... and we PASSED! Oh, my heavens, they're expecting a little one!! I am SOOOooo happy for them! Dinner was great, the company was great, and it was a very happy night indeed.

Adrian arranged for the meal to be 'on the house', so this was our second $120 meal in a row that we were given gratis. Wow, what perks. Wait a minute... second meal that was comped? Uh, oh, this means there's more I didn't relate.

Rich and I had driven out to Louisville a couple of weeks ago to pick up some items for a friend (we volunteered because I love Louisville.) We went to the Ruth's Chris there because I'd never been to that one. It's at the top (16th floor) of the Kaden Tower (what the locals call the "lace building".) We'd made reservations, and apparently the manager recognized our names in the book (from having talked to our local restaurant, I'd guess.) They treated us well, to say the least, and at the end of the meal, their general manager, Kevin Anderson, told us our meal was on them. I was so touched. I still don't understand the way this restaurant (all of them) treat us, and why we are so pampered. But, I probably don't want to look too hard, since I am just totally enjoying it, and I can think of no valid reason for this in any event.

April 12, 2003:
I just got back from a shopping excursion in Cincinnati (about an hour from me.) I had some clothes to return that I'd bought a few weeks ago for an event that never happened. I never wore them and today I realized they are now too big (hooray!) So I figured, well, go return them and just see if there's a little something cute for the coming warm weather.

Rich offered to take me to dinner first, but we hadn't planned for it, so it was a Saturday evening and no reservations. We took our little "we'll beep you in an hour and a half when a table opens up" device and I went off to search for clothes.

I just had to come home and post this, because oh joy of joys! I bought my clothes in a Petite Size Small. Now before you go telling me that there's such a thing as a Petite Extra Small (which I know there is, but this store didn't have any), do you have any idea how it feels to walk out with a bag of PetiteSmalls when you started this road wearing a 34W???? (That's like a 4X, if I remember correctly.) Looking back, it doesn't seem like that was ever me. Perhaps more like remembering a character from a movie...

For those of you keeping track, my stats are now:
281 (start weight) / 137 (current weight) / 120 (goal weight)  (I've now lost 144 pounds.)

April 8, 2003:
Tonight is the first time in more than a year (maybe two years?) that I have taken the time to go back and really read my own journal start to finish. I am struck by how much I have changed since this all began, and how we all evolve. I read about what my days were like, the music I listen to, the television and movies. I rediscovered what my attitudes had been about low carb's acceptance into the mainstream. If you're a person who keeps any sort of journal, I urge you to go back 2 to 4 years and read about your life. You can't see the little things as they happen, but when you look back from a distance, the small events all add up and form patterns.

The chief thing I realized is that I completely and totally love my life now. It's filled with such joy, such achievement, and some of the most spectacular people I could ever have hoped to know. How can one person be this lucky? I'm going to have to write more about this... soon.

*Anything in Latin sounds profound.