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Dealing with some difficult emotions

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We made an appointment to put down our oldest dog, Brynn. The appt is for tomorrow evening. She has cancer & is starting to show signs of suffering. It is a terrible responsibility to decide when another being's life will end. Last fall, with my Bojangles, it was my decision when the time was right... and hubby thought we left it far too long. This time, with Brynn, it's his decision. I wonder if it's not too soon. I feel like I have shards of glass in my lungs every time I look at her. I am profoundly sad.

I've been dealing with this grief and pain in some constructive ways. I have been logging the exercise minutes like a fiend. I have allowed myself to experience these emotions, cried a lot and allowed others to see that pain and comfort me. I have been concentrating on making Brynn's last days enjoyable - walks, treats, extra love. I have been focusing on the wonderful life Brynn has had.

I've also been dealing with it in some non-constructive ways. Specifically, an entire pizza, 4 cookies, 2 chocolate bars, 6 marshmallows, pasta and cheese. I'm aware of what I'm doing, but so much energy is being directed elsewhere, I haven't had the energy - or truthfully the will - to stop it. I find myself saying "This is not the time to be hard on yourself." Even though I know the food will make me feel worse, not better. Most of the time now, I don't comfort-eat... but these emotions are so intense. I am cutting myself slack here.

I am purposely deciding to not track my food until Monday. I am going to accept whatever weight gain this week without regret. At the same time, I will continue to try to care for my body's needs for good nutrition and plenty of exercise. At least the exercise part is easy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VICIOUS421 8/28/2010 4:35AM


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PONYFARMER 8/25/2010 10:55PM

    My heart is breaking for you as we speak. I went through the same thing a year ago, and even made an appt. then decided to ask the Vet, becuase I was not ready and she told me that Zoey could wait, she was not in any severe distress and I took her home and loved her and enjoyed her love for me for a few more weeks and then one night she woke me up with difficulty breathing and I new the time had come. I still miss her as much today as then but I new that I could not let her suffer. The cancer was in her mammory glands but now it had spread to her lungs.

They give us so much and ask for so little in return.

You love Brynn and you will know when she is suffering more than living. She loves you and knows you will not do anything to hurt her. She trusts that love and bond you both have. It just hurts so deep that you cannot stand it, celebrate her life and grieve, we will grieve with you. To help me with the grieving process, I pull out, when I am able, all of Zoey's pix and then I tell a story of her life. I cry and weep through the process, when I am done, I put it away for awhile until I can handle seeing and reading it again. The pain will lesson and you will remember the fun things you did, the silly things she did and you will NEVER forget her.

May God give you peace as you go through this very tough time in your life.

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LALASLAND 8/25/2010 10:35PM

    Oh, I am so sorry about your precious Brynn... I understand. My 13 year old sheltie, Ginger, died on my watch, and I always hope that she wasn't suffering...

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LALASLAND 8/25/2010 10:35PM

    Oh, I am so sorry about your precious Brynn... I understand. My 13 year old sheltie, Ginger, died on my watch, and I always hope that she wasn't suffering...

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HDHAWK 8/25/2010 9:54PM

    I ran across your blog through another spark friend. I had to put my dog down in Dec. and my other dog just had cancer surgery a month ago. He's doing well and we're hopeful it hasn't spread (skin cancer). That being said, he's old and we know his time isn't long. It's so painful when we lose our pets, especially when we have to make the decision. I think we always question whether it's the right time. Give yourself a break and do what you need to right now. There's nothing wrong with focusing on your pup right now. Hugs to you.

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FRECKS96 8/25/2010 9:12PM

    I'm so sorry you're dealing with this now. It truly is one of the hardest decisions we ever make. *hugs*

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PRINCESS_TWISTY 8/25/2010 6:24PM

    I think the fact that you are at least attempting to deal with these emotions constructively is definitely progress. You're allowing yourself to actually feel the emotions, instead of numbing them with comfort foods.
I know it's a difficult time for you, but I hate to think of Brynn suffering too. I know you and your hubby will make the right decision.

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JLITT62 8/25/2010 2:52PM

    I'm so sorry. You're right, now is the time to treat yourself & Brynn well -- and not to beat yourself up for being human, either. It's the hardest decision we have to make, but the kindest one we can. And I also find my reaction to it is different each time, altho I've actually only had to do it twice so far (and hopefully not again for quite some time).

I'm sending you vibes for finding peace within yourself, an easy passing for Brynn, and that hopefully sooner rather than later you'll be able to remember the good times you shared without pain.

And oh, BTW, I thought of you this morning as I was opening the window to the cat flap for my boys, and saw birds flying around inside their kennel. Thankfully I was able to slam shut the window before he got out there, and eventually to convince those birds that a kennel with 2 very efficient killers in it is not a good place to nest. Hoping that gave you a little chuckle.

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A_DAWN84 8/25/2010 1:58PM

    Oh I'm so sorry. I agree - it is really hard to decide when to end someone else's life. It is good that you are aware of how you are dealing with all of these emotions as well as how you are eating. I think you are taking a really good approach - recognising it but not getting angry with yourself about it. Hopefully the next time you go through something this intense you will be able to recognise it more easily and perhaps change what you are doing with the emotions. Sending good thoughts your way.

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If I didn't have animals, my days would be uneventful!

Monday, August 23, 2010

As I was recounting my day to hubby, I realized that without animals, my days would be uneventful. Today's blog will be (hopefully) funny, but not weight loss related....

Today, I got caught with my pants down, literally. Dooley (my in-laws water-crazy dog) escaped the leash and made a mad dash for the swamp. I swear to you that he turned and laughed at me as I chased crazily after him. He knows I don't have a chance! In the water he goes & immediately swims the 100 yards to the other side. He's thickheaded, but he's not stupid. Resigned to going in & retrieving that rotten dog, I decided to strip off my clothes so I wouldn't have to walk home wet. Just as my pants were around my ankles... a big old dump truck comes barreling in (the swamp is just beside an old sand pit). Yikes! Long story short... I ended up going in fully clothed, but called MiL to pick us up & bring towels!

But my day isn't over & the animal adventures continue.... CAT (pronounced si-ah-ti) is our 5 year old cat & a huntress surpreme. CAT isn't just a hunter, she's like an Olympic champion of hunters. We should have named her "Ecological Disaster" because I'm certain that is what she is to the rodents, birds and snakes in our area!

Now, I have a rule. If whatever is in CAT's mouth is still alive - even if it's a mouse or a snake - I try to give it a second chance at life. As you can imagine, CAT does not appreciate this philosophy & does what she can to thwart me.

So, I'm sitting at the computer, near the door, when I hear the very particular sound of CAT meowing with something in her mouth. I hear this sound nearly every day & it immediately gets me into action! You have to understand, I have spent countless hours of my life scrabbling around under beds and over couches trying to convince some hapless mouse or bird or squirrel to exit the house... all the while, blocking the deadly advances of not just CAT but also the other cat & the dogs who think this is a great game!

Today, I am lucky. I head her off at the pass and block her from getting in the house. I see that today's hapless victim is a little squirrel & I can see it's still alive, so I go into action and reach down. CAT quickly evades me, but drops the squirrel about 10 ft away... the squirrel runs around in terrified little circles and then right on top of CAT's back.... where it STOPS for about 3 seconds and catches its breathe. CAT looks back at it, but doesn't even seem interested. I stand there dumbfounded at this bizarre little scenario. But as soon as the silly squirrel jumps off her back, CAT is back into action and so am I! The dogs rush past me... and the squirrel starts running directly at me. I hop up on one leg so it won't climb on ME! But as soon as it's past, I use my body to block CAT & the 2 dogs who are in hot pursuit. All 3 sniff around me looking for the squirrel - they lost sight of the lucky creature... and the squirrel safely escaped into the trees. Whew! Another life saved.

For your viewing enjoyment, two pictures of CAT

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REDDOGMOM 8/27/2010 1:57PM

    Your house sounds like mine, 3 dogs and 1 inside cat, numerous barn cats, goats, sheep, geese....you get the picture. It does make life interesting! Thanks for the laugh today. CAT is beautiful. She reminds me of one we had when my daughter was little. She named him Licorice because he was black and sweet.

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    Wow, and I thought my pets kept me busy. You get plenty of exercise along with super big stories to tell with yours! :)

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LINDAKAY228 8/24/2010 10:11AM

    I just loved your story today! I can just picture it. Sounds like you get a workout just trying to rescue the poor critters. If there was just a way to track how many calories burned doing that LOL!

You may have to start wearing a swimsuit under your clothes if you're going to have to dive into the lake when you walk Dooley!

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JLITT62 8/24/2010 7:54AM

    Oh, CAT is a beauty!

Yes, they do keep us laughing, don't they?

My cats don't get to roam free, but they do have a large outdoor dog kennel (with a roof my husband devised -- we even moved it up from Austin!) -- so that they can get fresh air & sunshine (and of course grass).

And the list of what they've brought in is quite long, but being a kennel, thankfully not so frequently.

Once when I came back from a walk there was a bird flying around IN the kennel frantically. Thankfully the cats weren't out. I shut the window they use to get access, and went in. The dogs, of course, thought this was great fun (they are thankfully too small to actually catch anything -- at least so far). After fruitlessly trying to herd it to fly back out for about 15 minutes, it suddenly dropped down to the ground and simply walked out one of the corners . . .

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VICIOUS421 8/24/2010 3:42AM

    LOL I love this blog!!!! It reminds me of several similar encounters I have had with my cat Vicious though none of his released prey has ever climbed on his back to rest LOL I bet that was a sight!!!!!

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LALASLAND 8/23/2010 10:55PM

    Girlfriend, you had me cracking up OUT LOUD! I LOVED this blog! Loved it! What a workout you got TODAY! emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 8/23/2010 10:03PM

    emoticonI must admit my life here in Santiago is a lot quieter to when I live in Perth, Australia with 2 cats and 2 dogs! emoticon
thanks for the wonderful story!

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FEMALEWRITER 8/23/2010 6:46PM

    Animals bring happiness and laughter to our everyday lives, don't they. And like you, my days would be uneventful if it weren't for my little zoo.

Thanks for the laughs. I'm glad the squirrel was able to escape.

Take Care!


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DCATNAPPER 8/23/2010 6:21PM

    Thanks for the laugh! I can just see you with the squirrel, CAT, and the two dogs. And of course the dump truck caught you with your pants down. I have two cats and do not know what I would do without them to entertain me. One of my cats is black like your CAT. He weighs almost 24 pounds and is not a hunter at all. He is a sleeper an a lover; he loves to take catnaps with me and to be petted all the time. My Maine Coon is the hunter; she weighs a mere 7.4 pounds and chases everything. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Wild Food - Chantrelle Mushrooms

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Me with fresh cut chantrelle mushrooms

I've become fascinated, on my hikes in the woods, with the variety of mushrooms that grow here. I started taking pictures and doing internet research keeping an eye out for possible edible species. I was sure that I had found a stand of chantrelle mushrooms, deep into the woods... but I was reluctant to pick them because some wild mushrooms are deadly poisonous. I started spreading the word in my community that I was looking for someone who ate mushrooms from these woods - and today I found her!

Angela is a 90 year old German woman who has been collecting mushrooms in these woods for over 50 years. She looks just as you would imagine - small, white haired with spritely blue eyes. Hubby & I collected a large sample of the mushrooms and went & knocked on her door. She invited us in and was happy to confirm that these are chantrelles - and was even happier when we gave them to her! She explained that she isn't physically able to collect mushrooms anymore, so this was a real treat for her. When I asked if I could bring her other samples, she seemed really pleased. She says she's alone a lot now & always home... so I think I'll start dropping by with treasures from the forest. A little company for Angela & a mushroom mentor for me! We're going to have the chantrelles tonight with whole wheat pasta, prawns and white wine sauce. Yum.

On another note, the picture above sparked a discussion between hubby & me. I said that I was surprised by how small I look in this picture. The angle of the camera must be distorting the image. He snorted and said it wasn't the camera angle that was distorted - it was my image of myself. He said "You look just like that. THAT is what you look like." Really? I feel much larger than that. Much larger. I may be wearing size 14 - but I still feel like a size 22. C'mon brain - catch up to the body!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAKAY228 8/23/2010 10:16AM

    That is so neat to meet someone like that! You're both going to be blessed by getting to know each other.
Yep, sometimes the brain doesn't see the progress we've made. You really do look small in that picture. You've come a long way!

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FRECKS96 8/23/2010 8:39AM

    How cool!! We had a wonderful neighbor for years that recently passed away, I regret that we didn't learn more from her before she passed. Enjoy your time with Angela AND your mushrooms, yum!

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JLITT62 8/23/2010 6:04AM

    Yes, that's you! It's very common to take a long time for your brain to catch up with your image.

How cool to find a mushroom mentor! And what a great friend you're cultivating. That's awesome.

And I sure wish I could've come over to your house for dinner last night!

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PRINCESS_TWISTY 8/22/2010 11:03PM

    Lol Momma_Little...I was having the exact same thoughts!
It's a great photo, you look gorgeous!

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JEMPOWER 8/22/2010 9:26PM

    You look like little red riding hood.


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LIBBYFITZ 8/22/2010 9:04PM

    You look really cute with you're hair down! Loved the story of the german woman. how lucky are you all to be able to help each other! emoticon
You're meal sounds scrumptious!

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LADYHUNTER82 8/22/2010 8:37PM

    I love the story! How wonderful! Sounds like you might have met a wonderful friend also. And your husband is right, you look beautiful.... I hope you have a wonderful week. Thank you so much for sharing.

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LALASLAND 8/22/2010 6:43PM

    OK, SparkSister, listen to me! I was reading your blog about the mushrooms, and trust me, I really was interested... But my EYES just kept going to that PHOTO, and your words were interrupted by the thought, "Gosh! She needs to change her PROFILE photo... this is GORGEOUS!"

THEN, I read farther down, and BEHOLD! Your husband verifies my reaction and the reason I couldn't pay attention what you were saying as much as your pretty picture!

Change your profile picture to this enchanting, beautiful one! You're lovely!

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BADGERDANCE 8/22/2010 6:32PM

    what a great story! And you look fantastic!

tried wild chantrelles for the first time a couple weeks ago: yummy! Very pretty mushrooms, too

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Huge Change In Perspective aka the REAL Impact of Changing My Lifestyle

Friday, August 20, 2010

Earlier today, I literally & virtually stomped my feet, p***ed off at the scale and the unfairness of the world in general.

Fortunately, I have some new tools in this old toolbox... so I put on my running shoes and dealt with my emotions the best way I know how. I ran hard. Faster than ever before. Pounded those feet into the earth. Ran until my breathe was ragged.

And then I felt better. Nothing, nothing, nothing beats running for stress relief.

After the run part, the dogs and I carried on hiking through the woods, stopping at the swamp so the dogs could cool off with a swim. I have Dooley (my in-laws dog) with me as my FiL is still in hospital. Now, Dooley is insane about water. If you let him off leash, you best expect to swim in to collect him because there is NO WAY that he will come when he's called. I am not wearing a bathing suit & I'm not planning on skinny dipping either!

So I create a long rope with 4 leashes (I carry leashes for my dogs - but hardly ever use them), tied one end to a tree and released Dooley to the water. I'm standing there watching him thinking "You fool. If you'd only learn to come when you're called, you wouldn't be frustrated with the confines of the leash."

Then emoticon pops up and says "You could learn a lesson from this dog. HE isn't capable of looking at the bigger picture and gaining a new perspective. He can only see what he wants right now & can't see how he's hindering his own desires. You have a bigger brain. Don't be a twit. Change your perspective, girl!"

Here is a pic of water-crazy Dooley in his favourite toy... his swimming pool!

I started thinking about what had led to my loss in perspective - the scale. You see, I'm soooooo close to being under 200 lbs that I can almost taste it. 203.5 today. 203 last week. All week, I've been thinking about getting into one-derland. Of how it will feel to pass that milestone. I used that desire to really be strict with myself in diet & exercise. Then to see I was moving backwards... I was devastated.

So how to change that perspective? How to change the focus? Where have my gains be made? How can I measure them to see progress?

One of things that came to mind was finding out if the changes I've made have had any impact on my "virtual age" or life expectancy. When I got home, I did a quick search on "real age calculators" and ended up here :


34 questions to determine your virtual and biological age. I did it twice. The first time answering the questions based on my CURRENT lifestyle & the second time answering based on what I recall of my lifestyle FIVE MONTHS AGO.


Biological Age: 40
Virtual Age: 29.9
Ave Life Expectancy: 75
My Life Expectancy: 85.1


Biological Age: 40
Virtual Age: 50.5
Ave Life Expectancy: 75
My Life Expectancy: 64.5

I needed a change in perspective and I just got it....

By changing my lifestyle - eating, exercising, de-stressing, sleeping - I have


Holy Smokes! That is utterly freakin' AMAZING!


In my last blog, I calculated that I had spent at least 600 hours of concerted effort, in the last 5 months, for a weight loss of 30 lbs - and questioned if it was worth it.

This blog, I have a new calculation....

20 years = 169920 hours
169920/600 = 2832

For every hour I've invested in my health, I have gotten 2832 more hours of life.

Now that's worth it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRINCESS_TWISTY 8/22/2010 11:34PM

    Fantastic blog! I can't imagine how liberating this realisation must have been for you! Life's lessons can come from some strange places at times!

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JLITT62 8/22/2010 5:56AM

    Great perspective (and realage.com is another great site).

Now, give up the smokes and you'll be even younger!

I always know it's worth it. I know I don't want to go back to the person I was 30 lbs ago. I'm much happier now.

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VICIOUS421 8/21/2010 3:54AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 8/20/2010 10:10PM

    Wow that is amazing! emoticon emoticon
I just did the same age thing
Virtual age 34.4
Life expectancy 100.6!

Actual age 57 on monday!

Thanks for the website!

Just love that dog!!!1 emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/20/2010 10:26:38 PM

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JEMPOWER 8/20/2010 9:42PM

    My dear friend, run with the dog, swim with the dog, and let the dog love you because we all love you as you go after that golden prize.



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DVANDIE 8/20/2010 9:17PM

    Bravo! Your perspective has now become mine! It's not about the scale! It is about living!

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LINDAKAY228 8/20/2010 3:50PM

    Awesome new perspective!!! I really like that!

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LALASLAND 8/20/2010 3:04PM

    Oh, this blog is an AWESOME blog! I am so impressed! What a LIGHT BULB! emoticonA true Ah Ha! moment! emoticonThis blog should get an award! emoticonYou go, sister! emoticon

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P*ssed off beyond belief at that stupid scale.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I am so ANGRY. I've been swearing and stomping and sitting and glowering. I am so mad and frustrated and there's no where to put it or anything to do with it because it is all seemingly out of my control.

Stepped on the scale today. Up 0.5 lbs. No biggie right? Wrong!

I have pushed myself to exercise, even when I didn't want to.
I have stayed within - or under - cal range on a consistent basis
I have tracked and blogged and read articles.
I have worked to find low-cal recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth.
I have made healthy choices.
I've improved my attitude and stayed consistent.
I drink my water.
I get enough sleep.

I basically eat, sleep, dream healthy eating and fitness and tracking.


Every day, I focus on getting healthier and losing weight. On average, I spend
1 - 1.5 hours exercising
1 hour food prep
2 hours tracking, blogging, reading articles
and every other minute of the day THINKING about all of this!

So roughly a minimum of 4 hours a day for the last 150 days = 600 hours of concerted effort for 30.5 lbs weight loss. Is it worth it?

My sparkfriends will, of course, tell me that it IS worth it. I've written the same thing to support others. What is the alternative? Go back to the way I was living? No, I don't want to go there either.

But I'm so pissed off that I'm sitting here in tears. Am I defective? All this effort, barely any result. I can focus on all the positives all I want. But the truth is I'm working my ass off, feeling like a freak because I'm the only person I know right now (in real life) who is exercising and watching what I eat consistently. And the f***ing scale still won't move.

No choices today. I can't go back. I can't seem to move forward.

STUCK... and ANGRY... and SAD... and FRUSTRATED... and FED UP.

I've come too far on the fitness front to stop now. There is that, at least. But, SERIOUSLY, I can not continue to give it my all and not see results. Why bother? I'm sure I could be finding a much more PRODUCTIVE use for my time.

I am SICK AND F***ing TIRED of exerting all of this focus and energy on something that just isn't happening.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIAEL 8/20/2010 1:16PM

    I have literally just started the scale moving again after 3 weeks of very, very small ultimate losses, after swing gains and losses all the way through it. Up 0.5, down 0.2, up 0.9, down 0.4. For me, this is rapidly becoming a pattern despite eating perfectly well within range and varying it up with food and doing plenty of exercise and changing it up and around. I was also around the 30lb loss mark, if that helps!

What I did notice in this period was that I lost inches instead of weight. Clothes that I couldn't squeeze into 3 weeks ago now fit and a measuring session yesterday confirmed that everywhere is smaller. My trainer gave both of us a shock when she measured my body fat percentage, which seems to have plummeted.

My theory is that the body can't concentrate on doing everything at once. It needs a period of adjustment to consolidate what it's doing with muscles, tissue and fat and it's priority isn't how YOU choose to measure it.

So, when the scales stop showing you results, look for success in another way. Keep the tape measure and body fat handheld machine next to the scales. When one frustrates you, use the others. Don't be a slave to the scales, because those bustards lie occasionally. ;)

Have a great weekend. Stay strong!

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KNOWMOREBBK 8/20/2010 11:48AM

    I want you to perform the following steps..

1.) Go to the nearest Walmart or dollar store.
2.) Buy a cheap scale.
3.) Bring home the scale and take it out in the back yard.
4.) Take a sledge hammer and beat the everlivin crap out of that scale.

You may want to wear goggles for your own safety.

I ask you to do these things because it will put a huge smile on your face and you will burn calories at the same time.

If you want, you could make your existing scale watch the carnage....as a warning.

Please cheer up! You are doing so great! You know that all of your exercise could be resulting in inches lost but not necessarily pounds lost. You could also try increasing the protein and reducing the carbs... That's what I am trying to do to get me off of this plateau. We will get there.. KEEP THE FAITH!!


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THATS_LOVELY101 8/20/2010 11:26AM

    I think I have a bit of advice that is going to sound a bit backwards, but my spark friend and I have both tried it and it works every time for us. Try having a cheat meal. I don't know why it works but it does. Select a day every week to eat something a little indulgent. Have dessert, eat some pizza, go to your favorite restaurant and splurge a little.

I was feeling the same as you last week. Every single day for two whole weeks I tracked perfectly within my range, was working out really hard, and my scale actually went up a couple of ounces. Then on Saturday I ate way too much. But suprise, suprise I LOST 2.5 lbs in the following days.

After a while your body gets used to your calorie deficit. That's when you need to change it up. It keeps your body guessing and you'll be suprised how eating a little pizza can HELP your weight loss, assuming you do it in moderation. Try it and let me know how it works for you!

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LINDAKAY228 8/20/2010 11:17AM

    I really do know how you feel and have been there before. I'm glad that you still feel it's worth it. The scale is fickle and so are our bodies at times. Sometimes we retain just a little water for a known or unknown reason that can throw the scale off. There are just so many variables. But then the next time you step on it you may have lost more than anticipated. Or you may be in a plateau but it will break. I just read this blog and your last one and you said your ring is getting so lose you may have to take it off. That's where the proof really lies, in how much various measurements have changed. So don't let the scale get to you. Just keep on going forward with your plan and your rewards will come!

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LALASLAND 8/20/2010 10:54AM

    Oh, my goodness, I understand! I have to say I agree with everything RUCOBB said and can't think of a thing to add except that I'm here cheering for you! DON'T QUIT, my friend! You have come so far and the stupid scale has no clue sometimes! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUCOBB 8/20/2010 10:47AM

    So of course I'm going to tell you it's all worth it, as you knew all of us Sparky people would. But I think all of us have been (or will be at some point in the future) where you're at right now - doing everything right and not seeing the results. So you're definitely not defective or a freak or anything like that. But it's frustrating as hell. So some advice: change it up. Do something completely wacky for exercise. Play with your calorie range for a couple of days and see if eating more or eating less gets your body to shed a pound or two. Can't believe I'm saying this, but maybe take a day or two without SP just to refocus on yourself and your goals and your reasons without feeling the pressure to log absolutely everything and post to the boards and huddle and read articles and get sparkpoints and welcome new peeps. All of these things are wonderful, but maybe a wee break from them might help? Sorry this is such a long reply, but I have so been there and I know how upsetting it is. But in the end, all of this is definitely worth it. And 30 lbs ain't nothin' to sneeze at.

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