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Goodbye, Aspartame

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I think I'm ready.

I've been planning for the last several days to quit diet soda. I told my husband to not buy any more Diet Dr. Pepper, because I lose all control when I see it. So I've been drinking his soda since. I had two on Monday and Tuesday. I had one yesterday and today.

I'm going to get a crazy bad headache that won't go away with medication or sleep. I decided to do it today because I have a four-day weekend. I hope that the headache doesn't last that long. From the past experience, I'd say at least two days.

I'm still trying to figure out the logistics of everything. For instance, what do I drink when I am tired of water? I generally drink between 10 and 15 glasses of water a day. I'm going to get tired of it. I did last night. None of the usual answers sound interesting to me. Not Crystal Light, not cucumber, not lemon, not mint, especially not sparkling water ('cuz that's gross!) I don't know!

And the other thing, and I call it a "thing," because I don't know if it's an "issue," a "problem," or a "solution," or anything else, but I realized that some of the husband's pop is sweetened with Splenda.

Could I have one of those a day? Or is that a cop-out? What if I have a regular pop if I have calories leftover? What if it's a Throwback with real sugar? Do I really have to give it up altogether? I'm a little scared.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Perhaps instead of saying, "It's not that bad" you might want to ask yourself, "Is it GOOD for me?" Sparkling water answers yes to that question. When I got rid of my daily soda habit I found that within a couple of weeks the bubbles in sparkling water were enough for me (and some brands, like Pelligrino, even have small amounts of calcium, which soda depletes) I have a soda very rarely now, and when I do, it's a child size regular one, preferably made with sugar.

In time, I don't think Splenda will be shown to be all that safe. It hasn't been around long enough to really know, and it's a highly processed lab product just like any other fake sweetener. I remember when Aspartame became all rage early 80's as a replacement for saccharine, and that people were saying aspartame was a safe product made of "amino acids". Given my own adverse neurological reactions to aspartame after it had built up in my system, no one will ever convince me that it's safe. Splenda gives me headaches, too, so that's "proof" enough for me!


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JECKIE 7/1/2011 7:15PM

    I think Splenda is better than aspartame as well, but if you're looking to give up caffeine just quit the soda all together (I refuse to give up caffeine. It's my one vice and dammit, I love coffee!) Double check DH's soda, though. Even some sodas that say they're made with Splenda have aspartame in them too.

I just stopped drinking soda on a regular basis and I have no idea why. Very strange. I have a Throwback once in a while if I have the calories to spare, but otherwise I just have very little craving for it.

Seltzer water with some juice, perhaps? Or I've been on an iced tea/lemonade (about half and half) kick lately (I make lemonade with Splenda). Or iced tea with crushed fresh raspberries in it.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 7/1/2011 2:39PM

    I would try to give it up somewhat completely, at least at first. While I do enjoy the occasional diet soda, I rarely if ever CRAVE it and I definitely don't have any withdrawal symptoms at this point. Maybe schedule a regular soda pop in once a week. I have a feeling you will actually start to be grossed out by it. I had a glass of regular sugary pepsi last week and it hurt my stomach.
Here are some other drinks I enjoy from time to time - Honest Tea brand (i love almost all of them), those kool-aid fiz tablets in some water, regular old green tea, juice mixed with water. Regular juice is sometimes to strong/sweet for me, but I love to water it down, especially cranberry juice.
I crave water and only once in a while do i "need" one of my alternatives :) emoticon

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    Alternatives to water...tea, milk, almond milk, juice. As for having to give it up all together - well, I don't personally give (or plan to give) anything up all together, but I understand your desire to do so because of the "addiction" per say. If it's the caffeine you're addicted to, then perhaps a caffiene-free, sweetened with real sugar pop alternative (if calories are available) could be an occasional option for your. Provided you can keep it in check.

Good luck.

- Michelle

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AMYLONGHORN 7/1/2011 8:22AM

    I have no advice for you, because I still love me some Diet Dr. Pepper....I KNOW it is bad for me, but I'm just not ready to give it up. But GOOD FOR YOU for trying!!!! Let us know how it goes...and sorry I can't be of more help in the what to do when you get sick of water department!!

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RUTHXG 7/1/2011 12:51AM

    Is it the caffeine withdrawal that gives you nasty headaches? or is it something else that your body reacts to when deprived of diet soda?

I'm not enamored of Splenda as an alternative . . . As you know, I really like things made with actual sugar/brown sugar/molasses/honey, & despite the downside of those, I'd rather have them in small doses than artificial sweeteners of any kind.

Because my workplace is quite air-conditioned, I drink a large mug of hot herbal (or decaf) tea 2-3x a day--I keep my water bottle beside me & drink hot tea or cold water, whichever I'm feeling more need of. There are several great varieties that I never get tired of: Earl Grey decaf, coconut rooibos (or Celestial Seasoning's decaf Chai Tea Sweet Coconut Thai), Trader Joe's organic red (rooibos) chai, peach, decaf Constant Comment--& a recent discovery, lavender! All unsweetened.

My experience is that after a while without soda, you just lose your taste for it. It doesn't appeal to me at all anymore--too sweet or too chemical-tasting, or both. So good for you for quitting, & strength & good cheer to you!

Comment edited on: 7/1/2011 3:22:10 PM

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SASSACAIA 6/30/2011 10:14PM

    Personally, I think Splenda is a better option than aspartame. I don't know if it's actually been proven healthier, but I'm banking on the fact that m stomach doesn't react within seconds of ingesting the stuff. I can't drink diet because it makes me sick to my stomach. So I think if you need to wean yourself off of the diet, the Splenda version might be a good way to go. But in any case, I commend you! I know kicking that habit is a hard one. I used to drink Coke like there still was cocaine in it, and still allow myself one once in awhile, as a treat. (The full leaded stuff, mind you!) So it can be done! I promise!!

Oh, and we joined Gold's Gym yesterday!! I went for the first time tonight and I love it! AND there IS a pool! I'm so happy!!


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An ounce of prevention...

Monday, June 20, 2011

I have every intention of going to the gym today. I really do!

I have a new book to start on the bike, and I read the back before I got out of the car this morning, and it looks supremely interesting. I took a day off yesterday from working out, and two days is pushing it, especially if I want to duplicate last week's success.

I am in a really good mindset for the gym today. I really am!

But I am still going to ask a favor. Please comment on this blog like I'm trying to weasel out.

I am SO TIRED. And while I'm totally feeling it right now, I can totally see myself later saying, "I'm too tired. I did so good last week, I can take another day off. I won't eat too much tonight, promise. Com'on, let me go straight home if I promise not to smoke! But I have to go to bed early, and I want to spend time with Sammy, Judge Judy and Jem. My book doesn't look THAT good; I should have brought my magazine instead. I'll bring my magazine tomorrow. Then, I can go to the gym. My arm still hurts. I'm hungry. I'll do strength training at home...really, I will! Even though my arm still hurts..." and whatever else.

I know me. I've spent many a morning into early afternoon being jazzed about the gym. Not just resigned to it, but actually happy to be going, just to see it fizzle with the afternoon slump, a bad phone call, or a traffic jam. And my afternoon slump is starting early, like, an hour and a half ago.

If it happens that I start to feel weasley, I'll have your comments to look at. And because I asked for them, I can't disappoint, right?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMYOMG 6/21/2011 10:18AM

    So glad you made it to the gym!!!! I've been in that slump too but I also made it to the gym yesterday! :o) Going back tomorrow! Good Job! emoticon

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TAICHIDANCER 6/21/2011 12:18AM

    Good job! Now do it again tomorrow!

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BEATLETOT 6/20/2011 6:51PM

    Thank you, guys! I made it to the gym. And the book I'm reading isn't as good as the back says, but that's okay. I'll keep going in case it gets better. It's called "In Praise of Prejudice." It's a series of short essays, and the back said things about "style" and "wit," and I'm not really seeing it.

I think I may take the magazine tomorrow, anyway.

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BALOOSMUM 6/20/2011 2:00PM

    Thou shalt not WEASEL!!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 6/20/2011 12:58PM

    This happens to me all the time. BUT YOU WILL GO. You will feel so good after and happy that you got to read your book - that's awesome multi-tasking!
Plus, you know we need the MILES!!
PLUS, if you work out today you can get through the week knowing you can take a rest day if needed later this week and not feel crappy about it!

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RUTHXG 6/20/2011 12:52PM

    Exercise at the gym will help you shed the nasties of the workday . . . they will all melt away with your sweat.

You are on a roll with exercise hours & weight loss--keep it up!

Do tell what the new book is! I find books much more enticing than magazines, myself.


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CARLYG8 6/20/2011 12:41PM

    How many days off will it take you to get to goal??????????

(you know I love ya...go to the gym!) emoticon emoticon

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TREASURINGLIFE 6/20/2011 10:35AM

    Just do it - you'll feel supremely wonderful afterwards. You know it. That proud, accomplished feeling is WAY better than the feeling of "ugh" you get when you don't follow through...and you spend the evening sitting on the couch. Right?! RIGHT! :)

Stay focused and WORK towards you hitting the gym and leaving with a huge feeling of pride after the fact!!

- Michelle

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JECKIE 6/20/2011 9:18AM

    Well here's the thing...

- You KNOW if you go to the gym you'll actually be LESS tired. ;) All that energy will make the evening better, AND you'll sleep better.
- "I can take another day off" leads to TWO days off, leads to FOUR days off and pretty soon you're back in bad habits. Don't do it.
- How awesome will it feel to have some SERIOUS celebrations the end of this week when you can look back on all you've accomplished and be proud?
- Do you bike with your arm? No? Then a sore arm is NOT a reason to skip out! ;)

So what book is it?!?! emoticon

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AMYLONGHORN 6/20/2011 9:14AM

    You WILL go to the gym today, you silly goose!!!

Have a good day and get on it after work!!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today, I worked toward making Freddie's rockin' world go 'round.

Oh, my God.

I went on the biggest carbo-binge in history today. It started with my boss. He fed us today, in a general sense. He gave us bagels today, and before I knew what happened, I ate two. TWO!!! Smothered in cream cheese, of course.

Well, after that, as you can imagine, I was LETHARGIC. And full. And ready to skip lunch, since breakfast was 11:30, and was sooooo bad!

So during my lunch break, I went on a walk with my colleague so I could buy a diet soda. One of my other colleagues gave me cash to buy her salt and vinegar chips. My favorite, too.

I don't know why I did it, but I came back with two. And I ate the bajeezus out of my chips.

How did this happen? It was like I wasn't there while I ate both times. And I ATE. Boy, did I ever.


Further musings:
I wrote a blog a little while back about how frustrated I was with my weight loss progress. After I wrote it, I noticed other people writing the same genre of blog. Except that I noticed they were saying, "I don't get it. I only went over my calorie range once. I only went out drinking twice. I only skipped one workout." And I thought, "Of course you're not losing weight fast! How can you not see that?" Then, I went back and read my blog, and it had the same stuff!!! So I gotta be better, and not have this kind of stuff happen!

NO. I do gotta be better, but "not have this kind of stuff happen"? This kind of stuff doesn't happen. I DID this.

How to make it better? I feel like exercise won't be enough in this case, but I guess it's the only way. That and eating properly in the future. And I gotta eat something else now. Because I feel like CRAP, and it's because I ate CRAP. I have to eat some nutrition. Right? Or should I just try to sleep it off? I dunno. Who knows?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAREN_NY 6/15/2011 1:46PM

    emoticon I hope you feel better by now, and see that Kristen and Ruth are all over it, but I had to write to say that we had the same kind of day yesterday...except mine was triggered by having too light of a lunch, and then, when I was really hungry at 4pm, I caved to what was most available -- all of which was garbage. And I paid for it for hours of ickiness.

So I made myself record it.
And drank tea all evening, and made a breakfast & lunch today of entirely whole foods.
And even though I still didn't feel like a workout this morning, I walked the dog and will run with her tonight.

Also love the opening line of your blog! emoticon emoticon LOL!

Moving on!!

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AMYLONGHORN 6/15/2011 8:51AM

    Oh sister...don't be down on yourself! Take your plan from yesterday and use it today and you'll see a difference for sure! I hope you feel better today...get your good eats on and workout a little bit and hopefully you won't feel like CRAP. I hope that you being tired with your new job isn't negatively affecting you...I'm worried about ya, so hoping you get on track today and feel better. Love you, sis!!

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BEATLETOT 6/15/2011 2:34AM

    I wound up eating a little of both: I ate a chicken fajita with bell peppers and onions on a whole wheat tortilla. Homemade seasoning. No salt.

I have my lunch food and snacks waiting for me at the office, because I had planned properly yesterday, but then the day totally got away from me. CRAZY. And it's so...I don't know. It's not weird. It's not surprising. Interesting, I guess, the way that these things are cyclical. Like, I overate a bunch of junk, so I was too tired and yucky to go to the gym. And I might be able to take it a step further: I was tired from working weird hours, so I overate a bunch of junk, so I was too tired...

So it's 2:30am, and my stomach is still PISSED at me. I normally strength train at home on Wednesdays because I have my voice lesson, but I think I'm going to have to get cardio today to try to make this better.

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RUTHXG 6/14/2011 10:25PM

    Interesting--Kristen suggests ending the day with freggies, I was going to suggest eating some lean protein. You've undoubtedly dealt with supper long since anyway.

One other suggestion: track everything you ate today, here on SP's tracker so you can see exactly how the calories/carbs/etc. shake out. Look at the fiber too, because with those refined carbs you got almost nothing to move the food through your system. Sometimes the cold, hard details are SO helpful!

Then forgive yourself & decide ahead of time what you're going to eat tomorrow--each meal, each snack. Healthy food that is tasty, so you don't feel deprived & martyrish! We've got to keep outwitting ourselves.

Just so you know, I'm writing this to myself as much as to you. I didn't carb-binge today, but of course I've been known to do it from time to time!


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 6/14/2011 10:11PM

    End the day with something healthy. Sometimes even after a bad day, if I eat some fresh fruit or a big salad it all just seems better. Plus I wake up less fluffy the next day.
I know what you mean about the bagels. We have a new "intern" starting tomorrow (The boss' son, ugh!) and so we'll be having "welcome bagels"... I love bagels too much to pass, but I'm going to try to go with the healthiest option. and bring my tomatoes in to put that on top. Love bagel, cream cheese and tomato!
Hope tomorrow is better for you, Brenda!

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MARTY728 6/14/2011 6:59PM

    It happened, you cannot change the past. You can only control the decisions you make in the current time. Those decisions will dictate the future. So, start over, reset the counter, get back on track, or whatever else you want to call it now so you can achieve your future goals.

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Cheeseless Fridays

Friday, June 10, 2011

I LOVE CHEESE!!! emoticon

Not all cheese, some of those smelly, lumpy ones don't suit my fancy, but in general, I love cheese! I eat string cheese for my snacks at work, I smother bagels in cream cheese, I love grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner if I have the calorie allotment, my husband cooks me macaroni and cheese on birthdays and anniversaries. I could go on. Cheese and I have a well-known and long relationship. You may have seen us walking together arm-in-arm in a recent issue of OK! magazine.

Which is why I regret to announce that I have to give up cheese on Fridays.

Why would you do this to yourself, BeatleTot?

Because, gentle reader, I have to weigh-in on Saturdays, so I've decided that I need to shrivel myself as much as possible on Fridays. So I have to aim for very. low. sodium. And cheese has lots. Surprisingly lots.

The sodium thing in general is a problem, because I've long had a love affair with salt. It shows up everywhere I go. I can't blame it. I give it mixed signals, you know. I try to push it away, but then I run up to it on the soup aisle. I hold it lovingly as I pour it on my macaroni and cheese.

So, yes. Cheeseless Fridays. Also known as the Weekly Shrivel. See you tomorrow, cheese! Because for today, I gotta replace you with asparagus.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUTHXG 6/11/2011 10:43PM

    emoticon I hate to respond to your hilarious post with this graceless emoticon, but I really did laugh out loud--your punchline was a witty surprise. Dang, you write well.

I look forward to hearing how this new strategy pays off! Just try not to salt your asparagus too heavily, heehee.

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AMYLONGHORN 6/11/2011 11:59AM

    You're silly!!! I just recently started eating string's yummo! But I like your Cheeseless Friday idea...hope it works out for ya on the scale!!

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KAREN_NY 6/10/2011 2:17PM

    This is a GREAT idea! I love cheese too, but really like the idea of having to acknowledge its role in my weight/health by setting aside a cheeseless day. Maybe I'll make mine a monday. :)

It also helped me a lot when I learned that cream cheese is so high in fat and low in protein that it is barely a real cheese, lol. Made it much easier to cut back.

Good luck!

Comment edited on: 6/10/2011 2:18:16 PM

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 6/10/2011 11:28AM

    Great idea! I always seem to treat myself on Fridays even though I know the scale is looming the next morning... you're so smart!! emoticon...and brave. I LOVE CHEESE!!!

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CARLYG8 6/10/2011 11:06AM

    Shrivel on Friday=Sizzle on Saturday!!.....I like it!!!!

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MARTY728 6/10/2011 9:59AM

    After reading your blog I now undestand why you are doing "Cheeseless Fridays". Based on the title, I thought that maybe you needed someone to cut the cheese for you. I was going to volunteer to cut the cheese for you anytime you want. That way you would have someone to and know who cut the cheese. emoticon

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MSKITYOCAT 6/10/2011 9:14AM

  You have given me a great idea on how to cut down on my cheese consumption. My cholesterol needs some help. I'll just eliminate a day of the week for a few months and then add a second day with out cheese for a bit and so on and so forth until its eating cheese several days a week instead of several times a day. Thank you for planting that idea. Blessings to you

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    LOL - I totally feel you! Cheese is good stuff...and I'm all about the Weekly Shrivel for a Saturday weigh-in!! :)

- Michelle

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JECKIE 6/10/2011 8:59AM

    awww. I love cheese, too (even the lumpy, smelly kinds!) I never really considered the sodium content in them, but it's a good point.

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The Sum of Y'all's Experience

Monday, June 06, 2011

I started a cool new job. Part time. 6 hours a week. From home.

The problem is that the 6 hours are from 2am to 4am. And what I'm wondering is, if I normally need 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and now I have to break it into 2 periods, how much more sleep per night should I aim for? An extra half hour? An extra hour? An extra 90 minutes? More?

I tried the Google, but when I typed in "how to break up sleep," I got a bunch of results about post-breakup insomnia. So I dunno.

In other news, I'm having a hard time feeling up to working out so far this week. Today was just kind of a blah day. I had fun with the part time job (which is running 4-6 this week), but there are so many irritants at my day job! Pretty unique, huh? Ha ha. And I suppose my problem is that I tell myself that I can let all the stress out at the gym, but I don't feel like that actually happens. The workout doesn't change my frustration or make me feel better about it, so there's always a little disappointment. I guess it's not so bad, it's only Monday, but with the 5% Challenge weeks starting on Saturdays, that's practically half over!!! I'm off work tomorrow for an exceptionally cool reason, which I'll tell you about tomorrow, so I can and definitely should go to the gym tomorrow.

And in case you're wondering, it's not phone sex!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUTHXG 6/8/2011 1:00AM

    Congrats on this fun new job! I have absolutely no advice about the sleep issues--I can't imagine breaking up my sleep on a regular basis. Well, my son interrupted my sleep each night years ago in his first year of life--& of course I survived, but not by making any clever decisions about making up for the interruption. I'm sure you'll figure it out, especially since you enjoy the work so much.

I get stress relief from any exercise that works up a sweat--bummer that you don't!


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KAREN_NY 6/7/2011 4:46PM

    So if you ever take the phone sex job, you can do it in different languages - cool. :) JUST KIDDING!! :)

I don't think I could break up my sleep on a regular basis, and would probably try to create a new biorhythm based on a 2am-7pm "day." Not ideal either... sorry, no good ideas in this corner!

Good luck with the new job though - it does seriously sound fun!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 6/7/2011 4:17PM

    That is a cool job!! Congrats! I hope you can get the schedule figured out! emoticon

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MARTY728 6/7/2011 12:35PM

    Congratulations on the new job. I was not wondering! LOL

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 6/6/2011 10:53PM

    I'm not sure about the sleep - I definitely don't think I'd be able to do that. How long on average does it take you to fall asleep? Maybe figure that out in order to add more sleep to your first half?
I agree about the stress relieving. I do feel some, but never like I used to when I was kickboxing three times a week. I think workouts where you actually simulate getting aggression out (like boxing) might be best for that. emoticon emoticon

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CARLYG8 6/6/2011 9:37PM

    I have had insomnia since my hysterectomy, and naturally wake up around 2, and can't fall back to sleep until after 4. Whatever the job is, it sounds perfect for me! But I know that I struggle sometimes with going back to sleep at 4, and then getting up at 5:15ish, I feel horrible. But if I don't go back to sleep, I feel better, not so sluggish. Maybe move your going to bed time way up, and then get up at 2???? work your ummm, night job (laughs) and then work out or something . (stop laughing....its just a suggestion...but I think that I would have to start my day at 2 am, and adjust the rest accordingly.) I am not sure what time you start your day job??

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AMYLONGHORN 6/6/2011 8:50PM

    I seriously LOL'ed about the phone sex thing! HA HA! You're silly! Unfortunately, I have no idea what to tell you about the sleep stuff, though....all I know is that whatever you figure out, it will take some getting used to!!

P.S. I saw you called, but I don't really want to talk about "the situation" anymore tonight...we've calmed down A LOT, but I will fill you in tomorrow....that is, of course, if you have TIME for me, you big balla!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/6/2011 8:50:54 PM

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AMBERZADE 6/6/2011 7:33PM

    LOL I was wondering!! I used to work overnight and the thing is you never quite get rested. I don't know how much extra you need exactly but half an hour is a good start.

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