Friday, March 30, 2007

How to Boil the Perfect Egg

Since I put up that recipe for the eggs thought you might need a way to boil them. Not everyone can boil eggs properly. This is a fool proof method.

Place the eggs in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil.

Immediately cover pot and turn off heat.

Let stand for 15 minutes, then drain eggs and plunge into cold water.

Tap eggs to crack all over, then peel and dip in cold water to remove any bits of shell.


Using this method for the eggs you can never go wrong.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Egg Recipe

Oh the incredible edible egg, a meal in itself for us who have had WLS. Having a stomach roughly the size of said egg, makes eating them common sense to me. One glorious egg is enough to fill me up at one time. So needless to say I have many recipes for them. Not only is it the perfect food for me, but it can be prepared in countless numbers of ways. Deviled eggs of all types are a staple in my fridge. This happens to be one of my very favorite ways to have them.

Spinach Stuffed Eggs

1 dz eggs, hard boiled
1/2 c chopped frozen spinach, thawed, drained well
1/4 c walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 c sour cream
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T Splenda
2 dashes nutmeg

Slice eggs in half, lengthwise. Remove yolks and place whites on a serving platter. Mix yolks and remaining ingredients. Fill the whites with the yolk mixture and place in fridge. Enjoy.

Now with deviled eggs 2 halves are all I can handle at one time. But keeping them prepared ahead of time keeps me from making poor food choices when I just "want" something. Like with my previous post on Emotional Eating. Eggs are a go to food when those times hit.

Hope y'all enjoy them. I'll be posting lots of recipes---I'm a recipe collector from way back. I may entertain you with some old family favs---not always low carb or WLS friendly but some have great memories attached to them. Then some will just gross you out----I did tell you I was from Alabama. So you've been warned....LOL...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

When Jimmy Talks I Listen....

Okay---anyone who knows me can tell you I'm a big, big fan of Jimmy Moore---I mean what's not to love---right? Anyhoo---I'm catching back up on my blog reading and such when Jimmy asked for the help of all the bloggers out there to link to this wonderful article--

DEAN ORNISH: SCIENCE BE DAMNED, SELF-INTEREST BE SERVED

I would post even if Jimmy hadn't asked us too----more people need to see it. As a firm believer in the healing power of following a low carb eating plan ----as evidenced in my own life----I will continue to tell everyone I know.

See I'm a nurse too. So I deal with this all the time when working with patients. Working in the psych field like I do----no surprise there huh----I see my fellow consumers struggle daily with weight gain brought about by the meds they take. Also alot of the newer atypical antipsychotics cause a drug induced diabetes. Scary. Not only do they have to deal with a mental illness but the meds they take for it, actually GIVE them diabetes. Plus all the research I have found points to how much better the brain functions on a low carb eating plan.

But I have been asked by the MDs to keep my dieting advice to myself. That I am endangering the lives of my patients with that low carb nonsense---as they typically put it. It will probably continue to cause trouble but I refuse to sit back and let my patients suffer for no reason.

So all you low-fat gurus out there----read a report will ya....

Friday, March 23, 2007

Emotional Eating

Okay--this has been a hellish week for me. As with any turmoil in my life I turn to the one thing that has always brought me comfort---food. Yup--I'm a bonafide food junkie. So now you know how I ended up weighing nearly 400lbs.

It's kinda hard to be a food junkie now with a stomach the size of an egg and eating anything with too high of carb content makes me physically ill. But there are ways around that too. Or as we say in the WLS circle--we eat around our pouch. I usually eat every 3-4 hours on a typical day, but this week I've been eating constantly. In other words--I've been grazing. Since I can't physically do the carbs--I turn to other things like deviled eggs, pickles, olives, or walnuts. I've eaten a whole jar of pickles, a couple dozen deviled eggs, handfuls of olives, and a whole 2 pound bag of walnuts. And that doesn't count what I've eaten at my "regular" meals.
I'm not a calorie counter but ---sheesh even I know those calories can add up in the long run.

But the real question is why do I do it. Why do I always eat when I'm stressed. I'm no longer looking for the quick fix that sugar used to give me. I got off that roller coaster when I had the surgery. But I'm still over eating.

Some say my body is craving something because I follow the low carb eating plan---they assume that my body is craving carbs. Sorry but I don't buy that. I've been doing just fine without them since 2004. But the food cravings are still there.
I think it comes down to how I was raised. Food was given as a reward for being good. And withheld when bad. So it is a learned behavior in my opinion. But for the life of me--I'm having a dickens of a time unlearning it.

Also we are a food obsessed society. When friends get together food is always involved. Be it a wedding, funeral, first date, or any type of social gathering. It is always about the food. We even have an entire network on TV devoted to it.
Have you ever just sat and counted the number of commercials on TV related to food? It is mind blowing. Everywhere you go you are bombarded with food. I live in a small southern town and we have nearly two dozen restaurants located here. Granted it is a college town but come on folks even college kids don't need 2 dozen restaurants.
Here I go rambling as usual--so back to my point.

Emotional eating affects just about everyone. You eat when you're happy, when you're sad, depressed, lonely, bored--yup boredom is an emotion too. So how do I deal with mine---apparently I eat---but I also talk about it alot with my therapist. Getting to the bottom of the whys and what fors helps me get a handle on it. It takes time, but at least I'm working on it. Now it is only pickles and such. That's a whole lot better than an entire chocolate cake like it used to be.

Oh well just one day at a time.....

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Success in Weight Loss



One of the biggest things that has helped me on my weight loss journey comes in the form of support. I was very lucky that my family was very supportive of my decision to have WLS. So supportive that they began to watch every morsel of food I put in my mouth. But that is a topic for another day.

In my research done on the net prior to my surgery I found an abundant of info for what we term newbies. Newbies are those people who have just recently had WLS. But I was at a loss to find too many who were long term. The center where I had my surgery offered support group meetings twice a month---but here again they were mostly newbies or pre-ops. I was looking to the future--I had heard the stories of those who underwent WLS and gained all their weight back. I didn't want to be one of the statistics. So loving the net the way I do, I began an exhaustive search trying to find anything I could on doing this long term.
I finally found what I was looking for. And in the oddest way.

I had done my own research and found out low carb eating was the way to go after WLS, so I hit all the best sites for low carb on the net. I followed link after link from these sites gathering tons of info along the way. On one particular site there was a link under the heading weight loss surgery. What---you're kidding me here---a low carb site was actually giving a link to a site dealing with WLS. I was shocked---because of the way I was received on some of the low carb sites was not pretty--I was accused of taking the easy way out---should have done low carb eating and not had surgery, and other such stuff---although not quite that nice the majority of the time.

Any hoo----the link I found led me to a blog called LivingAfterWLS. It had only been around a few months but it was exactly what I had been searching for. The author of the blog was Kaye Bailey---a wonderful person who was 5 yrs post op when I met her. Well that was two years ago---and that little blog has grown to be one of the most informative websites dealing with WLS. There is also a forum that began a year ago, called the Neighborhood. We have people from all walks of life. The people there are in this for the long haul---we laugh together, cry together, and give lots of cyberhugs too. But when you mess up we also let you know it ----you are no longer normal and never will be ever again. We not only support our WLS side of life but lives as a whole.

I've also received lots of wonderful support from some low carb sites---such as Jimmy Moore--Livin' La Vida Low-Carb. He and other low carb sites keep me true to my way of eating. You ought to check out some of the other low carb links I have in my blog roll----they are all wonderful. And they don't judge me because I had WLS.

But it all comes down to the support network you put in place in your life. To be successful at anything you do in life---you need the support of those around you. Everyone wants a cheerleader in their corner---it makes the bumpy road a whole lot easier to travel.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Crocheting For Charity

I'm an avid crafter----but crocheting is a passion for me. I'm always scouring the net for new patterns. And with the wide assortments of yarns available today--I'm able to turn out some ppretty wonderful things.
Most crocheters and knitters alike have a sense of giving back in common. Many of the things they make are donated. There are lots of worthy causes out there that can use the things we make.
I just finished sending off 100 caps and scarves to a psychiatric facility in Washington state. Now I'm working on some things for the local humane society. I've also made things for the residents of a local nursing home. They enjoyed the visit as well as the lapghan. The same goes with the little furbies at the humane society.
You don't have to be an experienced crocheter or knitter to get in on the act. Most craft stores carry the new knitting type looms---they are very simple to learn to use. Besides being theraputic for you---you get that warm fuzzy feeling when you are helping out someone less fortunate.
Also alot of the big chain craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael's give classes on howw to knit or chrochet. Why don't you give it a try.

A Business man giving dietary advice---please!!!

Edward Raver

To briefly describe myself, I am a full time business professional, who enjoys freelance writing as a part time endeavor. I find it quite rewarding; moreover, my professional experience, education and interests give me unique insight in my writing.

The Atkins Craze and Low Carb Diets

There is an old saying that puts forth the proposition that we are what we eat. In the 21st century, this takes on additional meaning due to the emergence of nutrition issues which not only impact the lives of individuals today, but also will have long term health, social, and economic effects. No better example of such an issue exists today than the so-called "low carb craze", which maintains that a diet low in carbohydrates (breads, pastas, etc) and high in proteins (meat, animal products, manufactured foods) as well as the interrelated "Atkins phenomenon" (the Atkins Diet, which advocates the low carb/high protein approach). In this paper, various facets of these issues will be discussed in an effort to better understand the present and future situation, and to draw some educated conclusions based on research.

First of all I would like to know just where he got his so called research.

When considering strictly the appearance value of the low-carb diet, one finds it to be an excellent diet program, as the elimination of carbohydrates from the diet, which convert to sugars in the human body, does in the majority of cases lead to weight loss, which of course translates into at least the appearance of a healthier individual, based on the fact that they have lost body fat and are more visually appealing to others. Moreover, the loss of weight and the resulting positive body image in the eyes of the dieter usually makes the individual feel more positive about themselves, boosting self esteem, which in turn can equal more success in careers, interpersonal relationships, hobbies, and the like (Gabel, et al 2002). Beyond the fa├žade of an apparently healthy person, however, are more serious, and negative consequences to fathom.

Appearance of a healthier person---shoot yeah I'm healthier---never more healthy in my entire life. The way he talks obese people are just slugs and when they lose weight they magically transform into something society can stand so they then are able to feel good about themselves.

The low carb craze itself is motivated and nurtured by societal trends that are as revealing about the values of modern society as any psychological study that has ever been conducted. Overall, few would argue that the modern society holds beauty, or at least an appearance of health, as one of the most positive attributes a person can possess. When we meet other people, or describe someone to other people, we usually use their physical appearance as the basis of the evaluation or description before taking the time to get to know the person inside of the physical body (Miller, 2000).


I do agree with him here that society judges people by their looks.

While it is true that the Atkins Diet resulted in weight loss for millions and millions of people, its long term effects are questionable. In fact, Dr. Atkins himself died suddenly some years ago, and while his public relations machine attributed his death to brain damage from a fall, the rumor has it that he had a massive heart attack, likely brought on by his own diet program (Miller, et al, 2000).

Here we go again---can't produce facts for your arguments so attack Dr Atkins personally. He did die as a result of the fall. Why do we have to continue pointing that out. Stop attacking the man and READ his book.

He then goes way off on a tangent about engineering of foods if the low carb craze talks hold in the 21st century.
If he truly had a concept of what the low carb eating plan entails---he would see that there would be no need of engineered foods---we prefer whole foods---meats, eggs, fruits and veggies---clearly a balanced diet---we just don't eat carbs.

In his bio--he states he is a history buff---well he needs to look into the way humans ate for 10,000 years---long before agriculture came into being. But my point in all this---is what the heck does a self proclaimed business man know about cellular biology---which is the science behind the low carb eating plan.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mental Health and WLS

I've been open about my diagnosis of Bipolar disorder. It is just a part of me. I do not define myself by it. I've also had WLS. Here again it is just a part of me. But the question is do the 2 things have anything in common.
Part of the pre-op course prior to being approved for WLS, you must undergo a psychological exam. The reasoning behind this is find out if you will be able to handle all the changes that will come about after losing so much weight in a relatively short period of time. Also they want to determine if you will be able to stick with the restrictions put on you post op.
WLS brings about a lifetime of change. Some adjust to it some don't.
I found this article recently in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Disorders Among Bariatric Surgery Candidates: Relationship to Obesity and Functional Health Status.
Approximately 66% of the participants had a lifetime history of at least one axis I disorder, and 38% met diagnostic criteria at the time of preoperative evaluation. In addition, 29% met criteria for one or more axis II disorders.

The therapist I see has numerous clients who have undergone WLS. So for me this raises the question of which came first--the mental illmess or the obesity. Did the obesity bring about the mental illness. Or is the obesity the result of a mental illness. Or could it be both.
An article from Reuters Health that I found on Medscape went into a little further detail


Overall, 66.3% of subjects had a lifetime history of at least one axis I disorder and 37.8% were currently diagnosed with such a disorder. The most common lifetime axis I disorder was major depressive disorder, seen in 42% of subjects. Binge eating disorder was the most common current disorder and had a prevalence of 16.0%.

A lifetime history of an axis II disorder was noted in 28.5% of subjects, the most common being avoidant personality disorder, which was seen in 17.0%.


There is alot of research dealing with this to be found online. One such study--Psychosocial and Behavioral Aspects of Bariatric Surgery goes into a lot of detail--even stating that some see improvement in their mental illness post op.

With more and more people looking to have WLS--there needs to be more followup post op. As it stands right now---after the first year post op most patients are typically on their own.

I would love to hear from any one who has had WLS and is willing to share their experience.

Monday, March 12, 2007

My 30 lb Weight Gain

I've been telling you I would share about this. So here goes. This past year has been very trying for me due to a number of factors. But first a little back ground.
Due to the mal-absorption issues related to having WLS----medications can sometimes not be absorbed properly. Kinda difficult when you are on a truck load of psych meds. At the beginning of the year I went into a huge manic phase. My therapist kept telling me I was getting sick but I felt it was because I was feeling better since losing 200+ lbs. I was getting out more, living life, having a ball. But as with the pendulum that is classic for Bipolar---it swings both ways. As they say what goes up must come down. My sweet grandmother---who was 107--passed away in July and this triggered a downward spiral--along with me returning carbs to my diet---but more on that in a minute. I finally hit the wall and had to be hospitalized. I ended up staying in the hospital for a month. Over the time of my downward spiral I gained 30 lbs ina very short period of time.



When my grandmother passed away--I lost my appetite completely. My primary care doc convinced me to add some carbs back into my diet----yeah---I know ----why do we do this to ourselves---I knew better---but just wasn't thinking at the time. Once I began down that long road paved with carbs----all the old cravings resurfaced. I was like a heroin addict---couldn't wait for my next fix. I was living on carbs---eating very little protein and my depressive symptoms were getting worse and worse. It wasn't long until I could do nothing but eat(carbs mind you) and sleep. This is when my pdoc decided I needed to be hospitalized.
Luckily for me---the dietitian at the psych hospital was very familiar with WLS. She devised a very strict low carb eating plan. So I went through a forced carb detox. Within a week my depression had lifted to the point I could function. My pdoc was able to find a good combination of meds for me also. But I feel in my heart the carbs are what landed me in the hospital.
So now here I am back to my low carb eating plan and completely stable. I still have the extra 30 lbs but I'm working on getting those off slowly but surely.
I know there is research out there about how carbs affect your mental status---but Im living proof of how good life can be when your are---to steal a phrase from a fellow blogger and firm believer in eating low carb--Jimmy Moore---Livin' La Vida Low Carb.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Can You GAIN Weight After WLS

Well folks I don't want to burst your bubble, but this happens quite frequently. Most people who have surgery try to go back to eating "normal". First off let me say---once you have WLS--you are never normal----your entire life has to changed. Like with any "diet" you have to change how you look at food. For me food was always a source of comfort. I used it to make me feel better.



You have to follow the rules that were layed out by your surgeon and the bariatric center. Now follow up varies widely from center to center. First and foremost you need to listen to your doc. But as time goes by you learn to listen to your body. We all react different to the surgery in general. But with work on your part----and you must work on it ---you will be successful.

The biggest problems I run into with my online friends is their continued reliance on prepackaged foods and carbs. Most tend to head for the chips or sweets when dealing with stress. I'm a big believer in a low carb eating plan. It attributed to my losing my weight quickly and being able to maintain it. Except recently when I have had a 30 lbs gain---but will share that in another post.

I've run across many who are losing very slowly or have started regaining weight without ever hitting their goal. The common thread is they all eat way to many carbs. Some think I'm a little fanatical about the low carb lifestyle. But it works for me. I'm not the exercise hound many of them are. I don't count calories. I very seldom even weigh myself---shoot I don't even own a scale. When I'm hungry I eat. I did the low fat diet/ low calorie diet before and stayed hungry all the time which in turn leads to binge eating.



I'm even running into fellow WLSers over on low carb boards--trying to get a handle on their weight. So don't go thinking that WLS is the easy way out. It takes just as much and on some levels more work than other eating plans AKA diets. The key is making lifetime changes.

As for me---I sure didn't have my insides rearranged just to gain the weight back.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

My Low Carb Life


As a long time carb addict and yoyo dieter, I have finally found an eating plan that I can stick with for the rest of my life. I had WLS back in May 2004 and the recommended eating plan was a low carb one. I call it WLS Protein Power eating. We have to get a minimum of 64 gms of protein in each day. This for me is divided up over a couse of six small meals----since I try to maintain less than 30 gms of carbs my weight loss was fairly rapid---in 18 months I had lost 240 lbs. But have since regained 30 of those lost---so now my weight sits at 160. But that will require another post to explain in detail.
I essentialy follow a paleo diet---I'm a good cook so all my meals are prepared at home. This way I control what goes in my body. I tend to eat more whole foods than I ever had in my life. Protein in the form of delicios mouth watering meat is the mainstay of my life. Very few veggies are consumed and even fewer fruits. but my labs are excellent so that is that matters to me.
When my family found out that what I would be eating---they had the typical reaction----you can't eat that way---it is unhealthy for you. But they watched in awe as the pounds melted away. But they constantly cautioned that I was missing vital nutrients and would end up having a heart attack because of all the fat I was taking in.
Now not all of those who have WLS are able to eat the higher fst content as I can it brings about many side effects for them. but some of them are able to eat carbs and sugar without a problem. Then they want to know why they are gaining. I can't eat sugar and most of the typical higher carb items such as the whole grain things. I am able to eat legumes on occassion but the tend to cause weight gain. The others make me deathly ill. I ended up in the ER my first year post op after eating rice. This is called "dumping syndrome"so for me I live behind the fear of these symptoms and stay away from carbs.
So many of my online friends are still stuck on the idea of low-fat low-calorie way of eating----talk about hard to follow---with all their so called healthy white meat chicken with no flavor. I'm a food addict. I need flavor. So give ma juicy piece of ribeye smothered in herbed butter and I'm a happy camper.
They are also against any type of snacking----being an emotional eater that just doesn't work for me. I still do what they call snacking---but I turn to deviled eggs or a few olives or a handful of walnuts or even a dill pickle.
I'm also not a calorie counter. I eat until I'm full---which doesn't take much 2 deviled eggs and I'm through. I'm constantly being told I'll regain my weight if I don't start counting my calories. Except for this 30 lbs---story to come on that---I've maintained my weight loss without having to obsess about every little morsel I put in my mouth. When you live the low carb lifestyle you don't have to worry about calories.
Another advantage to my low carb lifestyle---and it's the most important one in my book----my mood swings are more stable. Is everyday perfect---no Bipolars life ever is--but I can atest to the fact that doing away with carbs plays a major role in keeping me on an even keel each day. Actually it was my pdoc who recommended the WLS in the first place. When you suffer from a psychiatric disorder such a s Bipolar---and huge medical problems like I did---diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia---when one of them is out of sync they all are.
On the many forums I visit there are countless others whose psych disorders /symptoms are decreased remarkably by living a low carb life. Now if that is not a testament to the positive effects of low carb---I don't know what is.

No More Panic Attacks


A couple of months ago I was given the cutest little ball of fur---he looked so much like a grizzly bear cub so I named him Bear---a pretty big name for such a little tyke. He has been Goddess sent to me on so many levels---but since he came into my life---I no longer have panic attacks. My panic attacks used to be so disabling I ended up in the ER or more than one occasion thinking I was having a heart attack. Scary huh----bet your bottom dollar they're scary. I f you have never experienced one first hand then you are unable to comprehend how bad they can be,




He's just like having a little kid around. What with the teething, and potty training and teaching him not to bite. Plus there is the added bonus that he gets me outside 4 times a day for exercise.
We walk the outter rim of the property line and it a quarter mile around. Then there is always the game of fetch. Is it the sunshine that is helping me to feel better or the exercise or both. Of course it's the combination of the two.
I remember when I was hodpitalized the past two times---pet therapy was part of our treatment. I looked forward to those visits each week. There is such a calming effect when dealing with animals. Just stoking thir fur you can feel life's pressures just slip out of you body.

Friday, March 9, 2007

My Journey

My life has taken many roads to lead to where I am at now. But one of the tools that has helped me along the way was gastric bypass surgery---or WLS. Back in May of 2004 I underwent laprosopic RNY WLS. I went from weighing 375 lbs to a nice goal of 130. Pretty good huh. Well let me tell you it has been a difficult time. Contrary to popular belief---WLS is not the easy way out. It takes a lot of hard work on my part and the complications have not been too good.

The nature of the surgery ---for those who aren't familiar with it--is to cut your stomach into two parts. The pouch is the size of an egg and the rest is just left there. Then they bypass part of your intestine. The bypass part makes it a mal-absorption procedure. This coupled with the fact that you can not eat much at one time because of the pouch is the science behind the weight loss.

It was the mal-absorption part that has been difficult for me. It makes it difficult to get medications absorbed properly. As well as many nutrients. My psych meds have had to be adjusted over the course of time. And I've had some bouts of my iron being to low. And don't even get me started on the calcium issue---I now suffer from osteoporosis. Bet your thinking---sheesh D why in the world would anyone willingly do that to themselves. Sounds like it's not worth it. But for me the surgery was worth it. These ailments I have are much better to control in a thinner body than a morbidly obese body. I'll take these over the health problems I had prior to surgery. Insulin dependent diabetes, high blood pressure, unstable Bipolar disorder, triglycerides through the roof, shortness of breath, nearly in a wheelchair to get around, and a host of others co-morbidities.

Now I workout at least 30 minutes per day doing something---hate exercise but I'm working on it. I'm able to breathe easily. I no longer require and meds for diabetes, blood pressure or lipid problems. My Bipolar disorder is much more stable---not as many cycles as before. So all around I'm in better health.

One of the things that helps me keep on an even keel is my diet----sheesh I hate that word---so that's probably the last time you will see me use it. It is not a diet ---for diet in my mind is something done on a short term basis. The way I eat will be for my lifetime. So what is the big deal you ask. Well part of me is afraid to tell you---but I will---it is the low carb life ala Atkins diet----ooops there's that word again. Some of you are probably screaming---but low carb is not good for you long term---BUT it is the recommended way of eating for those having undergone WLS. Yep if we want to be successful long term we must stick with a low carb eating plan. But I will cover that in another post.

So this is only part of who I am. Stick around to learn the rest.

Where to Start

Hello my name is Diane and I'm a blog junkie. For years now I have been addicted to online blogs. I read about anything and everything. There is so much info out there in cyberworld that just calls out for my attention.
I have been amazed, astounded, ticked off, tearful, joyful---plainly put ---emotional. But I'm and emotional type of gal. It's lucky I live alone or they would surely cart me back to the psych ward. I've been known to yell and scream at some of the things I've read. I've cried along with some and died laughing with others. I'm a big time science geek and get a kick out of all the latest research to be found.
So after so much time spent reading some one's story and observations---I've decided why not share my own. I'm a long time journaler so a lot of the posts may be in a rambling mode---I sooo tend to do that. You may not always agree with what I have to say---but tough cookies---I get to say them.
First off--where in the world did I come up with the title. It is kinda an ongoing thing between me and my dad. Years ago I was hospitalized because of my ongoing fight with bipolar disorder. On his first visit my dad made the comment as to why someone so smart would end up in those dire straits. I told him ---haven't you heard---"there's a fine line between genius and insanity---I just crossed that line" And his reply to me was---"well come on back across the line now" It has stuck, even after all these years. Whenever my family sees me getting way out there----showing symptoms of getting "sick"---that's what they tell me. I do the same thing when the consumers (consumers are mental health patients) I work with get symptomatic.
So sit back and enjoy the ride---it could be a bumpy one---but no journey is ever easy.