Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Day 25 (post chocolate ingestion)

0701h. Awake feeling achy. Remind myself that I hate being sick.

0830h. Return to bed, son accompanies me to play with my iPad. Doze off for a short nap.

0900h. Wake up, get dressed for work. Curse feeling sick. Hate being sick.

0924h. En route to work. Even coffee is giving upset stomach. The thought of chocolate is revolting. Ahhh...the cruel, cruel irony.

1032h. Decide to live dangerously--try Mini-Eggs which have been sitting in car centre rest for weeks. After about egg #4, feel queasiness in stomach. Betrayal by even my beloved Mini-Eggs: what is the world coming to?

1144h. Join family for lunch. Husband brought me McChicken: even that has me revolted. Boy, I must be feeling really sick.

1301h. Return to work. Feel sorry for myself. Feel icky. Can eat chocolate but don't feel like it.

1542h. Return home. Kids awaking. Feeling slightly better.

1832h. Bathing girls. Z is going ballistic because she has developed a strange phobia to anything floating in bath water. N is pointing out floating things in water with the intent that I remove them.

1924h. Return to work, again. Remember water I had at kids' dinner time that left me feeling nauseated.

2040h. Return home. Venture a few Mini-Eggs. Go down smoothly. Ahh...might be feeling better.

2100h. Eat McChicken. Feel back to normal. Life is good! Will check out yoga blog to learn about doing chocolate mediation this wknd. Think could benefit from same since after 23 days without chocolate, realize that the first taste didn't taste super special. Maybe I need to work on savoring flavors more.

2122h. Typing last blog entry before returning to work (yet again!). Thanks to all who have read my adventures, given me white chocolate in a show of support, and who have been entertained by general musings. This has been a fun adventure, but truly, I think I have too much on my plate to faithfully do a daily blog entry. And I am certainly not ready to do another "30 Days Without...." challenge anytime soon...

Day 24

0719h. Craving pancakes so making them for breakfast. Kids going crazy in anticipation.

0820h. Finish making rest of pancakes--iron pants, put away laundry and get ready for work in between flips.

1537h. Another crazy day at work; ponder the need for something sweet and life sustaining (ie/chocolate) right about now.

1600h. Company representative from international food company that sells a lot of chocolate stops by for visit. Tell her of my no-chocolate zone and how she cannot give me free chocolate. She suggests I have sex with my husband in lieu of chocolate. Remind her I have 3 small children; no time/energy for such ideas. She responds with him coming to workplace for troubled by conversation and ask for ear muffs...

1610h. Go to fridge to get snack. See left over cookie wafters from cake co-worker made for colleague's return to work (a cake shaped like a raft). Eat it without thinking. Seconds later, realize there was chocolate cake still attached to cookie. Then realize, with sinking heart, that I had a slice of that chocolate cake yesterday.

1611h. Devastated by my unknowing end to my days without chocolate. Only made it to day 23.

1612h. Speak to receptionist--ask her for free chocolate she received from company rep: if I cheated, I might as well go whole hog.

1632h. Eat chocolate bar in front of Tammy. Receive shocked, bewildered stare in response. She realizes she watched me eat the chocolate cake yesterday and didn't even realize my mistake.

1709h. Eating yogurt snack while hearing Tom tell of a friend who upchucked cottage cheese and yogurt on an airplane while taxiing for take-off to Cuba. This tale is to foreshadow something for me...

1925h. Tired. Extremely tired. Losing will to finish paperwork. Give up and head for meeting.

2106h. Community meeting finally done. Feeling feverish, achy, slightly nauseated. Start to wonder if I have food poisoning from yogurt: it was slightly beyond its best before date.

2130h. Get home, ask husband to drive babysitter home (a task usually left to me). Gather myself under blanket on couch in fetal position and curse my not-so-iron tired, forget that I can eat copious amounts of chocolate at will.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Day 23

2203h. Really, really, really long day at work. No, I mean really. However, ended on a happy note. Seriously contemplated breaking chocolate fast on way home tonight and baking chocolate chip cookies once arriving home. Thought about the sensuous pleasure of biting into a warm, soft cookie--tasting that gooey, sweet chocolate amongst the chewy cookie surrounding it. Washing it down with ice cold milk.

2206h. Am losing my mind--having fantasies about warm chocolate chip cookies...can almost hear the cheesy, lame music that often accompanies such fantasies on TV. Must go to bed now, sleep deprivation is causing brain synapses to stop firing. Hallucinated that Pippi Longstocking was at work today. I mean, how is that for depraved?

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Day 22

0730h. Indulge in sleep-in courtesy of husband. Greeted by enormous hug by son upon arriving in kitchen which makes waking up always worthwhile.

0902h. Kids are all playing in kitchen sink. Water is splashing on counter, floor, chairs, clothing...

0903h. Enjoying morning coffee while water mayhem entertains kids.

0905h. Interesting articles in the Sunday book section in the newspaper. Periodically pause reading to mop up part of the flood.

0954h. Remove wet sleepers from girls: advise both to go to bedroom and put dry clothes on. N puts on teal bathing suit. So typical for N...

1015h. Make raspberry pecan streusel muffins with 3 little helpers. Direct each to specific task and mess is actually kept to minimum.

1021h. Recollecting first time made this recipe--when T was baby. He eagerly "remembers" liking them. Inform him he was "drinking mama's milk" at that time and was not old enough to eat muffins. T states his love of drinking milk from breasts and how he still enjoys looking at breasts. No doubt that boy is heterosexual.

1022h. Killing myself laughing from T's breast comments...

1100h. Everyone enjoying muffin. Take one into living room with new book and tell kids I am officially on "coffee" ie/leave me alone. Wonder how long that will last.

1114h. Pondering the tail end of this chocolate challenge. Realize that this is a simple challenge; I mean, come on, I fast (denying myself any fluid or food) from sunrise to sunset, for 30 consecutive days every year. Avoiding chocolate for 30 days is not so bad.

1410h. Leave for short run. Immediately feel shin pain. Curse this new addiction to running.

1435h. Marvel at how at this point of run, one feels great. Cursing gray skies and snow flurries.

1457h. Finishing up--sun is shining, no flurries in sight. Think of Melanie Doane lyric: "without ugly, there is no beautiful." And hence, one could not appreciate the bliss of summer without the misery of winter.

1510h. Enjoying date protein shake. Will enjoy making chocolate protein shakes in 8 days.

1632h. Take kids out on walk. Highlights include kids taking in the local sights: such as doggie poo on roadway.

1728h. Dinner time. N having melt down; wants raspberry muffin instead of left-over grilled cheese sandwich. Ignore her whining and eventually whining dissipates.

1850h. Utilize TV to amuse T while registering for lottery for Nike's Women's Marathon. Excited: hope fills me with the possibility of doing my first half-marathon and of course, absolute fear in doing such a crazy thing.

2020h. Returning from quick visit to work. Craving chocolate. Seems to be a common craving time for me.

2104h. Finishing blog. Think days w/o chocolate are becoming less challenging than doing daily blog entry.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Day 21

0745h. After feeding kids (and myself) breakfast, return to bed to let kids run loose over myself and husband while I eagerly finish reading pleasure book.  This is treat to myself on a Saturday.

0930h. Arrive at work with Z for quick work errand. Bringing Z along was part of mother-daughter bonding morning. Chuckling to myself that I am here this early on my day off.

1001h. Done--now deciding on place for coffee and snack for both of us. Would really like a mocha but will have to make due with a non-chocolate latte. Oh poor me.

1006h. Deciding on muffin; server just about serves me a chocolate chip muffin by mistake--phew: that was close.

1032h. Enjoying cinnamon latte and almond poppy seed muffin. Actually able to read newspaper (although it is The Sun) with Z. Take note of 2005 BMW 6 series coupe on sale at a dealership. Ponder such a purchase and then realize have no room for such a car in my cramped garage.

1044h. Back in car driving a few blocks. Again. A side-effect of living in a small town and travelling with a young child. At least that is my excuse this time.

1103h. Exploring the library with Z. Finding fun magazines for me and entertaining books for her. Love library: am reminded why it is one of my top 5 favorite places on earth.

1132h. Sign out books (including one on revising/editing one's closet). Z receives polar bear stamp on hand.

1159h. Back home--gang is eating lunch. Z eagerly shares her morning adventures with siblings.

1316h. Kids napping; read some more. New book discussing why we make mistakes. Funny anecdote on how physicians who were given chocolate prior to seeing patients made better diagnoses (because they were happy from the recent chocolate ingestion). Very interesting finding. Makes me wonder if I am acting like the stewardess in the nicorette commercial who is trying to quit smoking. Am I extra crabby lately without chocolate?

1317h. Decide that I am not extra crabby--that would only occur if I swore off all sugar. Then it would get extremely ugly. Not even going to entertain such a preposterous idea.

1400h. Editing closet. Come across cute tweed blazer that could be be update into more Chanel-esque jacket if right tailor was found.

1405. Email Tom re: same. Smile that I am emailing a boy for good tailor referral.

1815h. Kids running up and down hallway--racing. N cheats consistently: only completes half of race course and then returns to start/finish line. Siblings don't seem to care. Then N starts to just lay down in the middle of the course; inviting people to bump into her.

1817h. Happy that this racing game continues to amuse them and that I live in single-family home (with no neighbors to be disturbed by the sound of 3 pre-schoolers running like mad on hardwood...).

1915h. Kids in bed (again) except now for the night. Ponder what to eat that is sweet and not chocolate...

1933h. Distract self by making card for neighbor.

2032h. Do homework (AKA answer-key for upcoming work seminar). Reminded how lucky I am that I am done school! Would not return to it for a million dollars...or absence of muffin top...or non-achy lower limbs...or lower resting heart rate.

2208h. Working on this blog. Wonder what to do after this. Wonder if I am reaching chocoholic blog-writer's block. Blog block? That sounds funny. Say that fast 10 times....blogblockblogblockblogblockblogblock...

Friday, 15 April 2011

Day 20

0834h. Get to work. Meet up with intern who is plotting practical joke on other intern. Htas even made funny props. Feel absolute giddiness at silliness of this. Phone husband to send camera with neighbor so she can take video at event (where joke will take place).

0852h. Thinking of how I came up with this plan on a whim last night. Kidsfest being held at local community centre today; next-door neighbor is taking her son and volunteered to take mine as well. Unsure whether many young kids will be there. Gave birth to this plan as a result. Emailed office interns stating they would have to entertain pre-schoolers at the event; these particular interns don't particularly like pre-schoolers. Perhaps hate might be a more accurate term. Also emailed one of the interns warning her that the email was a joke.

0853h. Run into community centre and notify organizer that gag is being played on intern. Assurances received that she will play along. The trap is set...

0859h. Another co-worker comments on the spring in my step and extra cheery demeanor today. Accuses me of eating chocolate. Happily tell of excitement re: pending gag and deny any chocolate consumption.

0930h. Have iPad set up so I can frequently check for status update regarding gag. Never has been a Friday at work been so fun...

1104h. Recipient of gag is so choked up when finds out truth, goes home as a result. Success!

1150h. Call interns (both gaggee and gagger) and invite to lunch. Both decline. More fries for me! My Friday keeps getting better and better!

1210h. Home for lunch. Son excited about lip balm he received at kidsfest. Sisters extremely jealous.

1311h. Read book: a brief break before returning to work. Brew cup of tea for cozy caffeinated afternoon beverage.

1331h. Parking vehicle at work. See intern Tom striding across parking lot; his extremely upright gait suggests anger...or extreme buttocks muscle tension. Maybe he needed an anti-inflammatory suppository for back pain.

1332h. See Tom--he seems calm and pleasant. Remind myself not to turn back on never know what a scorned intern might do.

1444h. Done work officially. Impressed how a practical joke can divert one's mind from chocolate. Now onward to kidsfest to see the mayhem firsthand.

1454h. Driving a few blocks to community centre. I see a pattern of driving short distances here. Could this also be contributing to my weight gain?

1446h. See suspicious gentleman walking along sidewalk--slow down and note it is Tom. Debate between speeding up (and hence splashing cold, dirty puddle water on him) or slow down and offer ride. Given recent practical joke, decide on latter.

1448h.  Hope he doesn't note faint odor of fries in car from lunch take-out.

1449h. Dazzled by the array of cute kids' stuff including organic, pesticide/lead/PCB/feces/chocolate-free personal care products. Very exciting indeed!

1610h. After much visiting with friends and colleagues and other random strangers, leave kidsfest. Feel good about organic sunscreen and other "granola" products purchased.

1616h. Excitedly show husband produce bags; to minimize plastic bag use. He vehemently refuses to use them; will transfer produce into them once he gets home. Explain that defeats the purpose of bags. At an impasse. My excitement over my net produce bags fade slightly.

1617h. Hand girls free lip balm from kidsfest. N and Z estatic; especially N. Quickly, she steals Z's lipbalm.

1930h. Returning to work. Silence in car. Exhaust pipe still intact--phew. Think of "Rose & Thorn;" our daily family ritual at dinner time. Every member of family has a turn and describes the "thorny" ie/ not so great part of his or her day and the "rosey" or highlight of his or her day. N's usually involves how a sibling hit her on the head, Z usually alternates between pointing to someone randomly and accusing them of being the rose and thorn of her day, T is variable: on some days he even has NO thorn! I am amazed by the number of days where I struggle to come up with a thorn and how I need to restrict the number of roses. A rose bush is a good metaphor for life. Most moments are beautiful: just like the perfection in a single rose blossom--the bud, the bloom, the perfume. In contrast, there are a few thorns that prick from time to time. But when I think of the numbers of times I have been pricked by my rose bushes versus the countless moments of beauty I have enjoyed from them---the beauty always surpasses the pain. Isn't that like life?

2044h. Finally home---after pit stops at craft sale, gas station, Dairy Queen (in that order). Check mail--have package from my professional college. Why do professionals belong to colleges? Isn't that kinda silly? We have graduated from college (in some cases, many times over)--why do we STILL belong to one? Or lawyers--why do they belong to the bar? Doesn't that sound kinda seedy? But teachers' have an association and so do nurses. And trades have unions. Hmmmm. What do chocolatiers belong to? Maybe I should google that.

2045h. Open other package in mail: pants from Banana Republic. Love sales, particularly love sales that make pants cost less than if bought at Old Navy. Just about as much as I love chocolate---mmmm, chocolate.

2136h. Going to check out cool websites in anticipation of vacation to Vancouver next month. Already thinking of yoga classes, running routes, fantastic coffee shops, spa it May yet?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Day 19

0705h. Open son's blinds. Shocked at the sight before me: snow. Lots of it. Start to groan.

0706h. Son in kitchen groaning over dramatically (gee, I wonder where he picked that up from) about the snow.

0755h. Give girls' new shoes to wear around the house to keep them happy while getting dressed.

0902h. Sipping coffee, feeling good about my day despite the snow. Don't even miss chocolate currently.

1014h. Having such a smooth morning with intern; spending free time checking out rubber boots online.

1159h. Ask colleagues about the lame factor for driving to meeting in a building that is ~ 2 blocks away. Receive reassurance that in this weather, it is totally acceptable.

1200h. Enter vehicle--feel sharp, biting wind with blowing snow hitting my bare legs (no tights today--what was I thinking?). Feel I made the correct decision about driving 2 blocks.

1405h. Colleague spies me web browsing rubber boots online--is shocked at such unprofessional behavior at work.

1535h. Wrapping up paper work, crave chocolate. Start to see pattern; need chocolate at end of work day. Is it like people who need a glass of wine to unwind? The odd thing is I don't usually eat chocolate at the end of the work day---or do I? Hmmm, my desk is surrounded by various chocolate filled granola bars.

1901h. Washing dishes while son consumes the following: remains of his dinner, eats 3/4 can of pears, a bunch of grapes, a half-finished ice cream cone from the freezer and another scoop of vanilla ice cream. Ponder my love of Tim Horton's coffee while washing travel coffee mug. Really wonder if I need to do a new "30 Days Without..." after this 30 days.

1920h. Driving to work: hear noisy exhaust note for a moment. Oh no, did the patch job on the exhaust pipe repair (see blog of day 18 for better understanding) come undone?

2127h. Driving home: no more noise. Utilize windshield defogger and copious amounts of windshield washer fluid to clear windshield of frozen bits of ice.

2140h. Feel weary--need chocolate of some sort. Settle for white chocolate covered pretzels. Yummy!

2216h. Decide must end blog post early if want to get up early to work out. Must eliminate weight gain of this week some how...

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Day 18

0910h. Yoga at home. Son states he wants to join; that lasts 20 minutes.

1001h. Do crow for 3 seconds. Woohoo!!! N joins for some yoga: just stares.

1021h. In rush to get out of door to drive to city. Cannot find cell phone. Call it from landline in desperation. Hear it ringing in closet: workbag--of course! Search workbag thoroughly. Still cannot find it. Call cell again: go back to closet and discover it in a vest.

1025h. Wonder where all my brain cells migrated to? Oh...maybe my muffin top....always losing my cell phone, sunglasses, driver's license--what next: my religion? (Get it--"Losing My Religion"--song by REM from decades ago. OK, bad joke.)

1034h. Dash through drive-through. Why is it when you want a wee bit of a line up or to actually hit a red light (to give you time to open up coffee lid or select proper playlist from iTouch and hopefully avoid searching for songs on highway and hit piece of lumber and rip huge gash through exhaust pipe--the latter all being hypothetical, of course) you actually sail through drive-through quickly and hit all the green lights? Funny how life works.

1120h. Making good time because driving a tad over the speed limit. N whines about some of my song choices (Pink and Goo Goo Dolls). Play "Boom Boom, Ain't It Great to Be Crazy" to appease her (can't you guess it is from the CD: "150 Great Toddler Songs to Delight Your Kids (and Put Parents into a Mental Sanatorium)."

1219h. Arrive at destination: rehab hospital so N can show off her psychological acumen. It is just a follow-up to a study I participated in while pregnant.

1401h. Finally done. The verdict: N is above average in fine motor tasks (hello neurosurgery!) and is below average in expressive communication (again, hello neurosurgery!). Time for a late lunch.

1435h. Spy dessert cooler at restaurant: all choices include varying amounts of chocolate. First time today I have thought about chocolate and feel extreme temptation to cheat.

1440h. Sitting contentedly at Urban Diner: desire for chocolate fading. N is being fantastic. Given she has missed her nap, and is having an extremely late lunch, she is content as can be. Even comments on the infant boy in the booth behind us.

1441h. Thinking of many of the previous meals eaten here. Reminisce about late weekend brunches pre-kids (ahhhh, those were the days), lunches with friends, dinners with friends with kids...doesn't seem so long ago.

1442h. Continue to be amazed by N's magnificent behavior. Suggest to her we go to chi-chi frou frou (or in other words, overpriced kids' store) which is located across the street afterwards. For a girl with limited expressive communication (and a vocab of ~ 10 words), she clearly indicates she is in favor of this plan with a emphatic nod of the head.

1507h. Browsing girls' shoes. Settle upon a pair (that I might add are on sale). The sale price is equivalent to:
         a) sponsoring a World Vision child for one month
         b) a pair of casual shoes from Tom's closet
         c) a meal for one at corsa 32
         d) all of the above
         e) none of the above
Take your pick of which option is correct...

1509h. N enjoying polka dot mary jane shoes (ie/the chosen pair). Has great taste in shoes. Must get it from her mother.

1510h. Spot delectable ladies' rubber boots. Oh no...I have already expressed my absolute shock and horror at the price some people have paid for designer rubber boots...what if these are in that league?

1511h. As I suspected: peacock patterned boots (with mink lining for extra warmth) are vulgar in price. However, that doesn't stop me from proceeding to try them on...

1531h. Wrong size. Maybe this is the universe telling me something. Leave store and delight in compliment saleslady gives N on her stellar behavior (which I must admit was impressive given I was ignoring her in my search for rubber boots in my size).

1735h. Finally on my way home. Marvelling at the blissful day with N. Wow, parenthood is actually fun when your kids are older and more independent.

1847h. Feeling extremely tired. N napping contentedly. Ponder ending this whole chocolate thing right now and raid stash of mini-eggs and kisses in centre arm rest.

1849h. Talk myself down from the ledge of chocolate hysteria.

1850h. Eating gala apple. Glucose immediately perking up my brain cells.

1902h. Home! Enthusiastic homecoming from all. Feel delighted by my day.

2027h. Would like some chocolate; however, will contentedly watch "The Good Wife" with husband instead.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Day 17

0933h. Playing a rousing game of doctor with T and Z. Seem to be in a very cramped ambulance as T drives and Z nurses my wounds.

0945h. Discharged from hospital. Dr. T gives me bill. I shake my head in disbelief. Must be utilizing his billings towards his dream black truck and hot dog stand/trailer combination...

1014h. Coffee break time. Only contraband chocolate chip cookies remain (butterscotch-coconut ones are all gone!).  Again, one wonders why one is doing such a silly experiment. Day 17 and still no book deal...or Oprah appearance...

1129h. Make fantastic tuna melt. Very proud of my creation.

1316h. Client #1 of day is already setting me behind. Oh...this does not bode well for the afternoon.

1616h. My foreshadowing was correct: crazy behind. Searching coffee room for snacks. Really need some chocolate. No, really.

1617h. Snacking on yummy cake. Reflect on the fact that the lovely women around me continue to bring non-chocolate desserts to social events (eg/bookclub last night did not include any chocolate items--instead yummy fruit & dip, a heavenly apple cheesecake and irish soda bread). Again, women rock (and guys are from a different universe--yes, universe, not planet).

1706h. Slogging through clients. Have to admit it is fun working with Tom and Tammy. Will miss them when they return to their urban training post.

1910h. Yay--finished seeing clients. Catching up on paperwork.

1911h. Phone call from other worksite: I am needed emergently.

1913h. Instead of just sending a minion (ie/Tom or Tammy), decide to go with Tammy.

1930h. Doing paperwork in worksite #2--co-worker tells of seeing a dead cow in parking lot today. What? Yes, a dead cow. I know that this is rural Alberta, but even that is over the top.

1931h. Really think we should do a reality show here. Come on, a dead cow in the parking lot?!?

1947h. Tammy informs me that during her time in Africa (which involved no chocolate and was partly the inspriation of this blog) led to a 15 lb weight gain. What??????? She did not inform me of this 17+ days ago. Throw object at her.

2035h. Finished project at worksite #2. Really craving some ice cream. Looking for pen. Where are all my pens? You see, I really like rollerball pens. I like how smoothly they write and the lack of pressure needed. And lawyers support this as well. Uhh? Did I lose you? You see, at a seminar several years ago, a lawyer (insert your own personal favorite lawyer joke here) suggested people use rollerball pens because you can actually write faster with them...and of course, as we all know, time is now I love rollerball pens even more. Which takes me to the original point: where are all my pens going? The pens that I even mark as my own with green tape?

2037h. Tammy states Tom is glibly stealing them: ie/removing the green tape. Shock and dismay overwhelms me. Then I think that Tammy is putting me on.

2044h. Invite Tom for some ice cream. Tell him to bring some pens.

2100h. Enjoy medium soft serve ice cream. Only 240 calories.

2237h. Driving home after long day. Actually happy because I am surrounded by people that are all about as crazy as I am. I mean, who goes to a workplace and hears about a dead cow?

2330h. Husband offers cookie--remind him that it is chocolate-chip and hence forbidden to me. His look in return seems to suggest that he thinks I am nuts. Uhhhh...of course I am, has he not been reading this blog?

2332h. Up 2.8lbs. I am going to KILL Tammy tomorrow; she tells me of the 15 lb wgt gain NOW?! Argh. Might need to end this experiment early...

Monday, 11 April 2011

Day 16

0520h. Alarm rings. Get out of bed and second guess working out this morning. Legs sore from previous day's run.

0523h. Look at husband sprawled in bed. Suddenly bed and comforter looks very inviting. Maybe this is a sign to just do morning prayers and go back to bed.

0540h. Fought urge and eating quick breakfast while checking email on iPad. Note response from fellow blogger: "zen girl in the city." What a witty and cute blog on yoga. Love entry about the archetypal yogis in class--she forgot to add a few more types: #3: lululemon devotee (the blonde decked out in lululemon from head to toe in full make-up and perfect hair), #4: silly, mediocre yogi extremely deprived of chocolate for 16 days...

0600h. At gym, awaiting class. Hoping it does not involve a lot of running.

0631h. Doing fast feet. Unsure if the jiggling is my muffin top or my breasts. Oh boy, that is not a good sign. Maybe I need to lay off more than just the chocolate.

0640h. Please stop with the intervals with the skipping rope for 1'. Ay carumba---no more skipping! What is it with cardio teachers and skipping ropes?

0830h. After unexpected pit stop at work, run home for a quick shower and proper breakfast before officially starting my work day. Greeted by cheerful, dancing children at door: unsure who they belong to.

0916h. Fantastic--not running too behind, drinking coffee: this is great. Hmmm...maybe I should make my next challenge "30 Days Without Coffee." Nahhh...that is what Ramadan is for.

0930h. Co-worker shows me Easter gift card from Wal-mart: complete with scratch and sniff component guessed it...chocolate scent! You gotta to be kidding me.

0940h. Discover Tom is working with me today. He has already been working on the foil wrapper mystery from the weekend: even promising immunity to Tammy if she gives up the identity of the sly prankster...I suspect a new suspect: "Barb." A co-worker with a stellar reputation...the perfect cover.

1159h. Husband calls to tell me he brought lunch home (McDonald's) and wondering when I will be home for lunch. For a change, running on time and will be there soon.

1201h. Ponder the unhealthiness of lunch from McDonald's. This could explain why my chocolate free 16 days has not resulted in any significant weight loss.

1225h. Hanging out with children on driveway: me on the outside, the 3 of them happily pretending to drive or ride inside my vehicle.  N and T are now arguing over whose turn it is to this foreshadowing my future when they are teenagers?

1230h. N has discovered the garage door opener: up and down, up and down...

1231h. Please don't discover my secret stash of Hershey kisses.

1300h. Head back to work. Marvel at my ability to tolerate muddy rubber boots sloshing around the inside of my vehicle. Wow, a leopard can really change its spots...kinda like me surviving 16 days without chocolate.

1640h. Yelling to see if anyone is left in office to fax something. Discover I am last person in the office. Eating almonds. Look at boxes of chocolate granola bars on my shelf; collecting dust, I might add.

1655h. Run to grocery store to purchase supplies for bookclub meeting tonight. Stroll by bakery and manage to avoid anything that resembles chocolate. However, there is a multitude of other sugary, buttery delights such as iced vanilla cookies, croissants, hmmm...what else was there?

1701h. Note chocolate bars (2 for $1!) on sale at check-out. Feel sad.

1706h. Greeted by happy, fed children. Son informs me that he is now capable of urinating standing up. My baby is growing up...

1740h. Z is resisting post bath rubdown with moisturizer (organic almond oil, if you must know). Sedate her with a song..."The Wheels on the Car" (because she is requesting a song with car in it and that is all I can come up with off the top of my head). Amazed that the lyrics of "The Wheels on the Bus" work quite well on my car version.

1815h. Z and N off to bed. Each requested a goodnight from their father. Saddened because many evenings out of the week, I am not there to kiss them goodnight but their dad always is so he is more of a constant in their lives than I am.

1822h. Slicing apples for bookclub crowd on ledge in living room while watching son through open front door. Now this is multi-tasking. I hope I don't lose a finger.

1825h. All fingers intact and food prep done.

1924h. Enjoying good company of fellow bibliophiles. Confront suspect #6 ("Barb"). The expression on her face assures me she is not behind the foil wrappers. At least I don't think so.

1935h. Confronted with question: "Why do blog?" Wonder answer to that. Think it is because I actually like to write and oddly enough because it has helped me find a voice as a writer.

2021h. Discover I have synesthesia (personification sub-type, numbers) after fellow bibliophile mentions she has same after looking up Tesla on wikipedia.

2101h. Given book to read: "No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days." Giver suggests that we all work on a novel in 30 days for an upcoming bookclub. Hmmmm. Intriguing idea.

2145h. Home. Had delightful evening filled with good conversation, good company and good food. Still craving chocolate.

2247h. Ponder gustatory synesthesia. I wonder if I could develop an association between a particular word and the taste of chocolate...boy, that would solve a lot of problems...

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Day 15

0814h. Slept in. So did husband. However, hear no screaming from either of children's rooms.

0830h. Meander out of bed. Husband said he would let me sleep in this morning.

0832h. Join the bedlam outside in kitchen. Husband and son are preparing the ingredients to make an omelette. Hmmm...that sounds tasty.

0901h. Eating omelette and preparing to Skype with sister in Ireland.

0907h. Z knocks down glass of water. Receives firm recriminations from husband and starts to sulk.

0908h. Z still sulking with eyes starting to well with tears. We ignore.

0909h. Sister points out popsicle she is eating--which includes some chocolate on the top. Wow, she is suffering from severe nausea and even she can eat chocolate? That doesn't seem fair...

0915h. Z still sulking. Happen to come by her chair and she gestures for a hug. Give her same and all is forgiven--starts to chatter to Auntie in Ireland.

0946h. Discussing backsplash/tile color ideas with sister's significant other. Suggest oxblood since they want a red tone. Drat, must get ready for work.

1015h. Arrive late to work. No foil wrappers in mailbox today. "Tom" emailed a vehement denial last night. Actually believe him. Wonder who the culprit is.

1104h. Playing pirate ship at home. Son is arguing with husband over who is the captain.

1116h. Z wants to read story. Read several. N comes by with glass of water and pours over my leg (accidentally). Change out of jeans into dry clothing. Flip sofa cushion over.

1118h. Resume reading story.

1211h. Kids eating lunch; I steal a few moments to read novel. Realize I didn't even pay close attention to book cover (with lemon cake and chocolate icing) this time.

1224h. Decide to put some frozen cookie dough into oven.

12267h. Take cookies out. Gee, those chocolate chip cookies look so darn good. All ooey-gooey goodness.  Be strong! (Isn't that some of kind of slogan for some ex-boyfriend of a rocker, ex-cyclist, testicular cancer survivor? Bet he hasn't survived 30 days without chocolate! Or was it "Live Strong?")

1334h. Going for run with much younger comrade. Shins aching a bit. Remind myself to resume physiotherapy exercises.

1414h. Joking about going for computerized running analysis. Reminded about cocky, strange, braggart fellow comrade and I met a few months ago and his flamboyant story of undergoing muscle biopsy testing to find out what type of exercise his body is suited for. Wonder if my good fortune (ie/very comfortable salary) makes me come across similarly?

1416h.  Contemplate how I spend money. Years ago (as a poor student reliant on student loans, etc), paid close attention to how much everything cost. Remember hearing of a teacher who went to The Sony Store to buy her son's birthday gift because it was much more convenient that way even if it cost more. At the time, I thought to myself that going to a discount store would have made much more sense. Now I realize sometimes one's time is actually more precious than the money that might be saved in getting the best deal. Yet find it difficult to spend excess money on everyday things but enjoy being able to treat myself to special meals, superb coffee, functional (and cute) workout wear on occasion (which inevitably seems to always lead to lululemon--damn you lulu!), gifts for close friends and family...but I guess saving on my toilet paper allows me more resources to spend money on the fun stuff.

1545h. Finished 15.55km. Wowee. Admit to myself that I actually buy into this whole 10' run/1' walking method. It does work!! Run at much faster pace than would otherwise. Even survived steep, long hill at the end of run. Although--I think I might feel a heart palpitation kicking in...

1617h. Enjoying fantastic date smoothie. Forced to share some with 3 mooches named T, N and Z.

1619h. Son whining re: playing downstairs with his sisters. Explain that this is not a possibility (ie/ditching them upstairs)--also point out that there is beautifully decorated playroom downstairs that no one is utilizing!

1701h. All of us are hanging out in playroom and no blood has been shed (yet.) Reading stories with Z while N throws memory game cards all over the place.

1730h. Loud stomping from upstairs. Realize husband is signalling us to come upstairs for dinner. Really? Floor stomping?

1731h. T has minor melt-down due to the interruption of his floor puzzle. Ignore and haul him upstairs.

1734h. Dinner time. Not hungry: feeling nauseated and the beginnings of a headache. After downing a few acetaminophen, realize that this is a migraine. Hmm, but why?

1805h. T and N are running around like wild animals. T swiped N's bag (she is the quintessential bag lady and shoe lady...boy is she going to cost me a lot of money in the future) and N is trying to re-claim it. Z is providing a play-by-play (in a dialect of English that only she understands) because she is still munching on her pineapple. The girl loves pineapple! She inhales it like I would inhale chocolate almonds after an all-day fast (AKA Ramadan). Yesterday, her and T managed to eat an entire pineapple between themselves.

1808h. Z has joined the sprinting in the hallway. Now they are screaming like banshees. Really, they are. What are banshees anyway?

1809h. Husband and I are smiling at each other and covering our ears with our hands. I truly think this pitch of screaming must be within a dog's hearing range.

1907h. Cleaning kitchen table while son enjoys coconut-butterscotch cookie and milk. Wonder how people with migraines who discover that chocolate is a trigger live a healthy, fulfilling life? I mean--severe head pain or chocolate? What an awful choice to make...almost like deciding which of your children to save from a rabid dog or something...of course, I would choose chocolate (and the child with the greatest future earning potential--just kidding). One can always take analgesics for the migraine. That is why God invented them.

1927h. Thinking of analgesics, remember funny plot element from "Death At a Funeral." Fellow has a bottle of pills marked "valium" when in actuality they contain an acid-like/hallucinogenic substance. As you can imagine at a funeral, the "valium" is taken by various characters and frivolity ensues. Very funny movie.

1939h. Wow, past the half-way mark of this chocolate-free experiment. Feeling pretty good; enjoying a light dinner of greek-style yogurt (a whopping 18g of protein per 3/4 cup serving) with some vanilla yogurt (a measly 5g of protein per 1/2 cup serving), frozen raspberries and shelled hemp seeds. I know, sounds a bit odd but a light meal is what I need to soothe my tipsy-topsy, migraine tummy.

2020h. Drat, missing first part of "60 Minutes." Must turn on TV. Must eat chocolate. Must clean laundry room. OK, just the 1st and 3rd parts.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Day 14

1001h. Driving to work. Seriously wonder if I have much more to say about my chocolate deprivation. This blog is getting a bit redundant, I think.

1002h. Realize I am only half-way through; may discover a sleepless, chocolate deprived night yet to come.

1005h. Look in mailbox at work--note empty foil wrappers from tiny chocolate easter eggs. Could be the work of only one person: "Tom."

1114h. Listening to Jen Grant song: "Getcha Good." Makes me think of revenge for "Tom."

1139h. Outside washing car with kids. First outside car wash of the season. Love this! How pathetic is it to be excited to wash your car on your driveway after winter?

1147h. Impressed by N's car-washing skills. Definitely a little OCD in that one. Remember comment friend made a few days ago about previously being a neat freak before the arrival of her daughter. Think back to my previous neat freak days...those are long over.

1201h. Kids are all inside vehicle pretending to drive to Australia. Boy, that will be a long journey.

1229h. Hanging out with kids in spring sunshine and chatting with neighbor. Poor thing got pulled over by RCMP for driving too slow! Accused of drinking (despite being dressed in her hospital uniform and being 8+ months pregnant). Where's the justice these days? Don't they have real criminals to catch versus pregnant moms driving Suburbans?

1300h. Kids eating lunch: appetites seem a tad diminished. Did they discover my chocolate stash in the car? Noooooooo...

1315h. Microwave left-over coffee from morning and enjoy the quiet bliss of children's naptime. Not thinking about chocolate! Yay!

1350h. Finish second cuff (successfully) of jacket for babysitter with arms that are growing faster than the rest of her. Feel immense satisfaction and want to celebrate with some chocolate.

1924h. Reading book ("The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake") and struck by description of lemon cake with chocolate icing. Mouth is watering thinking of it. Then wonder if lemon cake with chocolate icing would even taste good. Remember lemon cupcakes I made in past with chocolate icing that actually did taste good.  Cake on book jacket looks very good. Remind myself that I haven't fulfilled the ultimate challenge: make a chocolate cake with chocolate icing during this chocolate fast. Boy, that could be quite the high wire act. Akin to an alcoholic entering an Irish pub...what is with me and all the alcoholism similes?

1939h. Think of another place in my top 5: strolling City Centre farmer's market on a warm, sunshine filled summer morning. I don't even think I would be tempted by anything chocolate there: just pretty jewelry, sinful fig tarts, amazing jams & chutneys (my faves being the one's made from rhubarb and lemon yummy on freshly baked scones from the oven...). Now throw in some Transcend coffee, and I would be in heaven. Hey, there is a new Transcend just metres away now. Need to work on making this a reality soon. Again, no chocolate involved. OK, just a bit for the mocha from Transcend (but I discovered a plain latte is good too). Rambling now. Need to stop blogging...

Day 13

0759h. Wondering if chocolate addiction is being replaced by white chocolate fixation. Enjoying the latter much more than I ever have enjoyed in the past. Is this healthy?

0855h. Discover I have an extra 35 minutes to catch up on paperwork, enjoy coffee, think about chocolate etc. before my first client of the day.

1301h. TGIF. Will be able to head home soon; what a treat for a Friday. Craving something sweet and chocolately.

1615h. Field trip with family to the library. LOVE the library. Among my top 5 places to hang out. Find "Death at a Funeral" at library; friend told of this extremely funny movie months ago and glad to finally watch it. Eagerly check it out along with a cornucopia of neato magazines and some reserved books. If the library is among my top 5, wonder what the other 4 places are?

1921h. Watching young girls figure skating. Marvel at their hutzpah. I could never have the guts to do that sort of stuff--in front of a crowd, on thin metal blades, in a coldish ice rink, wearing spandex. Gee, they have a lot of guts.

1929h. Note what people are snacking on: ponder what Blizzard flavors I could consider that don't contain chocolate.

2004h. Ordered ice cream; decide soft serve is preferable to a lame non-chocolate Blizzard flavor.

2007h. Licking scant amount of melted Blizzard (mint Oreo for husband). Quickly feel guilt but then realize no chocolate was contained in that miniscule bit because I can't taste it.

2109h. Watching "Fair Game" with husband. Snack on vanilla Girl Guide cookie. Gosh, these are lame compared to the chocolate.

2202h. Decide hanging out in my family room on a Friday evening is among my top 5 places to be (even in the absence of chocolate).

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Day 12

0712h. Getting daughters out of cribs. N steals book from Z's hands. N delights in tormenting her to the point of balancing same book from her feet as I change her diaper. Z is going crazy angry; throwing various objects (diapers, plastic potty, clothing) around and finally attacks N: culminating in a bite (no skin broken) to N's cheek. I laugh and feel little sympathy for N. Distract Z with a different book and N instantly drops book #1 and goes for the new book in question. I think someone has a serious case of "I want what you have..."

0735h. Having nice breakfast. Ponder what kind of fights the girls may have over chocolate. Remember how Z mooched some of N's chocolate cookie last night.

1014h. Open drawer at work and find half-eaten white chocolate bar. Yummmmm....intend to only eat a little bit but eat a bit more.

1019h. Finish white chocolate bar. Definitely didn't intend on that. Is it lame that I thought about chocolate bar yesterday when I was at home on my day off yesterday?

1255h. Eat vanilla sandwich cookie for dessert. Ignore the luscious chocolate cookies nearby.

1858h. Son eating chocolate almonds as special treat. Very tempted to have one myself. I love chocolate almonds! Oh, and chocolate covered macadamia nuts from Purdy's...that hint of salt and sweet...which reminds me of chocolate covered pretzels.

2018h. Pleasant run with two comrades. Think about Mini-Eggs as we jog by grocery stores and drug stores.

2025h. Thinking about rainbow birthday cake a friend emailed me about yesterday--contains no chocolate. Very intrigued by idea. Think about chocolate porn (chocophilia website): store in City hosting chocolate tasting session next month. Chocolate tasting!?! I can think of somewhere else to go to celebrate my break from chocolate celibacy...

2040h. Remind myself of white chocolate covered pretzels. Think it is time to break those open.

2041h. Run upstairs, grab pretzels, and weigh myself. 0.6 lb above baseline!!! What?!

2042h. Eat "gourmet white chocolatey pretzels" in defiance.  Need to remove those from my vicinity quickly: argh--140 calories for 8 pretzels. Calories burned are quickly being replaced.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Day 11

0939h. Yoga breakthrough: do 1 second of crow! Wow. This is going to be a good chocolate-free day.

1004h. Rushing son to swimming lessons. Decide that coffee would be good--leave daughters in van and run son into pool. Tear off pants to discover he is wearing underwear: no swimming trunks. Specifically told husband to put trunks on under pants. Tell son to stay put.

1005h. Back from van with swim bag and trunks. Quickly dash off to change room to put appropriate swim attire on. Internally cursing my husband with the most vile language for making this harder than it needed to be.

1008h. Return to van and daughters. Have not felt this angry for a long time. In past life, had viscious temper (OK, still do but flares up less often). In recent months, have found God, yoga, and shelled hemp seeds which have led to inner peace (or something like that). Not sure how to calm down; especially over something so insignificant--come on, is my son being late for a swimming lesson really going to change anything? For gosh sakes, the kid still refuses to put his face in the water despite going through two sessions of swimming lessons already (this will go-around #3 at this level...).

1009h. Driving to Tim Horton's. Tempted to send husband nasty text message: this is a huge deal given that I do not text under any circumstances usually and the time it would take to send such a text would probably take longer than if I just found him and beat him up side the head myself.

1010h. In drive through: decide upon coffee and maple pecan danish as a way to appease myself. Instantly feel calmer.

1045h. Chatting with neighbor while kids enjoy snack after son's swim. Run into acquaintance that I haven't seen for ages. Introduce my three kids and catch up on the ages of hers. Learn of a most fantastic thing: a jr. kindergarten starting in the fall at the school near my home. My neighbor and I almost fall off our chairs in excitement: somewhere to dump our sons for 3 hours a day, four days a week--yippee! I volunteer to pick up registration forms for the both of us this morning.

1105h. Leave pool; thank my lucky stars that I decided to chit chat with neighbor versus rushing off to next kids' activity after swimming lesson. It was sheer luck that I ran into LS and learned of the jr k-g.

1107h. Finish coffee and roll up the rim: win a donut! Whooohoo! Will add that to the 2 free coffee rims sitting in my car. I feel like such a winner this morning. And no chocolate in sight providing this winning feeling!

1138h. Pick-up registrations--learn that it is filling up fast. Rush home to complete form.

1200h. Speak to neighbor and urge her to complete form ASAP. We giggle in excitement at our good fortune like two 13 year old girls finding out they just got Justin Beiber concert tickets. Is this what my life has come to?

1403h. Kids napping, finished Skype work meeting--feeling restless. Need a bit of chocolate to take the edge off. Darnit.

1734h. Cookies and milk time with the kids: give them chocolate sandwich Girl Guide cookies, give one vanilla one to myself. Son acts like he has never seen anything so miraculous in his life.  Two out of three kids feel compelled to split sandwich cookie--revealing the creamy centre. Why do kids like to do that?

1930h. Quick errand to Walmart. Pass by Mini-Eggs and feel magnetic attraction towards them: keep walking briskly by.

2034h. Typing this blog. Satisfied by my day of successful jr k-g registration, cleaning the kitchen floor, changing the mantle scape from a winter theme to a spring one, winning a donut, and trying to ignore the nagging craving for something sweet. Maybe I should check out that chocophilia (boutique chocolate online shop) that kinda like chocolate porn? Mmmmm---chocolate porn...

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Day 10

0712h. Getting kids breakfast and spot bar of white chocolate on kitchen counter. Note from babysitter accompanies it: it is a token of thanks for sewing cuffs on her jacket. How sweet!

0737h. Thinking of the tokens of white chocolate from various sources. Is ii a mark of female solidarity that I have received white chocolate from them versus tempting (and forbidden) milk chocolate from others? Although I am assuming the temptor is a male, and I do not know that for certain.

0803h. Finish lemon white chocolate received on weekend. Feel very proud that I managed to eat the 247 calorie hunk of chocolate over 3 days. Husband thinks I am crazy for my pride on such a minor accomplishment.

0914h. Have discussion with husband on how I could be cheating all along (ie/eating chocolate--not other types of cheating!) and no one would be the wiser, except God. Reassure him that I am not cheating because I would feel way too guilty. Would take away all the fun of this experiment.

1014h. Off for grocery shopping with 3 kids in tow.

1017h. Arrive at grocery store: forgot grocery bags. Drive back home.

1019h. Back at grocery store. Impressed by the fact that I live 1 minute away from my grocery store.

1034h. Buy bulk pack of chocolate chip granola bars that kids know I will immediately open to allow them a quick treat/snack. Momentarily think of having one for myself but stop myself.

1044h. Spot cookies & cream chocolate bar on sale at check-out. Think about purchasing until realizing that the chocolate chunks of cookies in the white chocolate aren't allowed. Darn.

1205h. Eating parsnip/potato puree. Recipe from It tastes funny.

1206h. Tummy hurts: suspect parsnip/potato puree (with just a smidge of horseradish: yes, horseradish--what was I thinking?) is the culprit. Gee, that wasn't such a great recipe. But I wanted to get rid of the parsnips that have been sitting in my fridge for a bit too long.

1245h. Tummy still hurts. Consume some white chocolate to cleanse palate. Strangely enough, it is helpful.

1313h. Busy working--noticing foil easter egg chocolate amongst dish of paper clips. Ignore it.

1426h. Clean out jacket pockets and dispose of chocolate chip granola bar wrappers (courtesy of daughters--see above re: trip to grocery store). Co-worker quickly spots them in the garbage and accuses me of cheating. My denials sound hollow; but they are indeed true!

1629h. Spot co-worker wearing red shoes (I too am wearing red shoes.). Comment that it is kinda like "Single White Female." Receive blank stare: she is too young to understand the movie reference. Feel very old. Need some chocolate to help soothe 30+ year old ego...

1705h. Open desk drawer: spot another foil wrapped easter egg. Now it is clear that I am being set up.

1812h. Eating lunchable (ie/cheese & crackers pre-packaged for little kids to take for school lunches but which I find oddly yummy and comforting to eat) for dinner. Realize that I cannot eat the KitKat. Gee, that's the best part!

2100h. Finishing paperwork--indulge in some more white chocolate. Would it be evil to develop a fondness for white chocolate as a side-effect of this deranged experiment? Smokers often gain weight when quitting because they substitute food for nicotine. How about alcoholics? What do they use as a substitute? Or people addicted to narcotics? Or sexaholics? Hmmmmmmmm....

Monday, 4 April 2011

Day 9

0540h. Only awake 20 minutes and already staring down a piece of white chocolate and reminded of the lack of "real" chocolate...

0733h. Making post workout smoothie--trying to come up with something in lieu of chocolate to add to banana-PB protein smoothie. Instant coffee granules do the trick to make it a mocha-banana-PB smoothie. Yum!!

0744h. Google date smoothie recipes and vow to make same for Wednesday's post workout smoothie.

0832h. Running behind but stop at Walmart to pick up Mini-Eggs. I might be a lot of things, but I don't squelch on a promise.

1001h. Someone mentions open bag of chocolate in office. Quickly realize that it is the aforementioned Mini-Eggs. Argh...oh so tempting...

1513h. Feeling peckish. Leftover cinnamon buns from lunch in coffee room; snack on one and thank my lucky stars cinnamon is not part of the chocolate family.

1601h. Notice that there is no scent of chocolate in the office today. that a clue to the diabolical person who has been tormenting me? Suspect #1 is not in office today--immediately suspect "Tom."

2100h. Driving home after yoga. Start thinking of how many more days it is to chocolat-la-pooza (AKA my chocolate lover's feast---kinda like the fisherman's feast at Red Lobster except with chocolate!)

2155h. Google "dog poo chocolate." There is actually dog poo shaped chocolate on sale in the internet universe!!!!!!! What is the world coming to? Oh, also google "Mrs. Brown's Bikini Wax" on You Tube. Nothing to do with chocolate but kill myself laughing watching geriatric woman doing own bikini wax. "I feel like there is a hedgehog in my knickers!" hahahahahahhaha.

2158h. Google "chocolate air freshener." Again, it exists! Wow. Wow. Wow. It is absolutely mind blowing to think that I can come up with some kock-a-manny idea and all I have to do is google them and voila: it actually exists. Hmmm...I wonder if I could google more hours in the day? How about a safe supplement to increase my energy, make me 10 times more efficient, contains no calories, and tastes just like real chocolate?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Day 8

0737h. Gather items for upcoming run when discover boutique chocolate bar. Must have been left by babysitters by mistake. Nope, it is for me: a note accompanies it:
"Congratulations on 1 week! Enjoy!! Your chocoholics anonymous sponsor :)"
And its lemon white chocolate; totally allowable under my 30 Days Without Chocolate rules. Yippee!

0814h. Leave for Running Room to meet others for a ~ 16 km run. Never run that far before. Seriously contemplating cheating today with a transcendant mocha from Transcend coffee afterwards.

0829h. Discover only doing 13km. Yay!!! When did I become such a nutbar that running 13 km would suddenly be a good thing?

1024h. Enjoying yummy biscotti (chocolate and gluten free) and latte (plain, I might add---no chocolate in it whatsoever). Wonder if server thought I was a bit weird when I asked about which baked goods had no chocolate in them. Find myself enjoying latte and only coveting running buddy's mocha just a weeny, teeny tiny bit.

1035h. Mini-eggs are mentioned in conversation. Never thought about those until now. Have a major fondness for those. That delicate, crisp shell overlying that smooth, soft milk chocolate. Entirely delightful and currently forbidden.

1233h. Waiting for husband. Remember lemon white chocolate in bag. Sneak a little bit (forced to share with daughter #1 and not surprisingly she asks for "ma:" translation---more) quickly before I am discovered by husband (and forced to share some more). Impressed that I had such fun on run that I didn't remember the chocolate was in my pocket for extra sustinence.

1301h. Strolling Superstore for shoes for daughters and for last minute snacks for drive home. Note the plethora of chocolate containing products: the piece de resistance being President's Choice chocolate chip ice cream sandwich bars. Stop in middle of aisle and stare at them. Really? They had to introduce this product now? Why couldn't they have waited just a few more weeks? Need to add that to my chocolate meal extravaganza.

1405h. On way home. Think about all the chocolate products recently witnessed. Is my addiction to chocolate a product of my environment or is it a true reflection of my taste buds. Kinda a "chicken or the egg" argument: which came first?

1755h. Discover a practical joke has gone terribly wrong. Feel an enormous amount of guilt. Nothing like a nice smooth piece of chocolate to help relieve that. Oh right, can't do that. However, will reward practical joke receipient with a big bag of Mini-Eggs. And for my co-conspirator in the practical joke: do they make chocolate in the form of doggie poo?

Day 7

1701h. Dinner on the run with family. Craving some ice cream. Need to figure out what to have sweet this evening...

1850h. On way to a play with husband. Told that very good coffee house is blocks away from hotel. Search for same but unsuccessful; enjoy pleasant walk towards theatre. Pass by new bakery specializing in tarts (many of which do not contain chocolate) but is closed. Already wondering what can be had that does not involve chocolate.

1910h. Arrive at theatre. Look at coffee stand with various desserts. Stare down brownie: smooth, glistening icing, pecans. Debate about warm drink. Decide if can't have chocolate, won't have anything.

2100h. Intermission. Not really enjoying play which is shocking because usually I like most plays. Seriously contemplate not returning and going to dessert place for non-chocolate dessert (?carrot cake). Husband convinces me otherwise.

2104h. Everyone around me is eating a Haagen-Daas ice cream bar. Wonder if husband would eat just the chocolate layer off for me so I can enjoy the vanilla ice cream?

2105h. Go with strawberry-kiwi bar. Not bad for 100 calories. Still, I would never choose it again because would much rather have Haagen-Daas bar.

2301h. Babysitters leaving; throw away coffee cups and GASP: chocolate wrappers. Am feeling left out. Intrigued by wrappers; doesn't look like a brand of chocolate I am familiar with. Again, begging myself: why am I doing this?

Friday, 1 April 2011

Day 6

0707h. Driving home from boot camp. Marvelling at the fact that have been awake for 2 hrs and only now thinking of chocolate. I am so proud of myself!

0850h. Seated at my desk and look over to shelf. Look at banana and notice---HALF A CHOCOLATE BAR! Who put that there? It wasn't there yesterday. Quickly go to other areas of office to confront suspects #2 and 3. Both vehemently deny any involvement and use the same excuse: "I would never leave half a chocolate bar; I would eat it myself." Things are getting ugly.

0855h. Still pondering who left the chocolate bar. I suspect #3.

1303h. Go out to lunch with suspect #1. Ask him about the mysterious chocolate bar. Acts all innocent and oblivious to its existence. Still wonder about his involvement.

1854h. Friday night outing with family. Daughter covered in remnants of triple chocolate cookie on mouth.  Give her a kiss but make sure to stay clear of chocolate. Eventually use mommy cleansing trick (AKA saliva) to clean face.

1856h. Glimpse chocolate chunk escaped from one of children's cookies. Think of eating it momentarily. Recover.

1920h. Kids in bed: feeling restless. Go for run.

2004h. Stretching post-run and looking at cute espadrilles in mail order catalog. Remind myself how much I love online/catalog shopping. Wonder if chocolate is available online. Of course it is--everything else is. Actually, make mental note to order some cinnamon chips online (which of course are available). Oh, and still need to look into availibility of chocolate-scented air freshener.

2005h. Knock at door. Girl guides selling chocolate. "Mint or sandwich?" I ask. Sandwich is the answer. Thank gosh it's not mint cookies---I might have been sunk on day 6. Buy two boxes. For first time ever, actually look forward to eating vanilla cookies.

2227h. Glimpse Harper ad on TV. "Tough on human smuggling." Really? That is one of the highlights of his administration? Quickly run to bathroom to vomit. And wretch. OK, now that I have expunged my body, check weight. Hey, I'm down 0.2kg. Whooohoo! What was I thinking? Ah yes, I wonder what Harper's favorite chocolate bar is. Given a recent newspaper article comparing various little facts about him and Ignatieff (things such as wardrobe sources, inspiration, newspapers read, etc.) where Harper was reluctant to reveal such important details (that may breach national security); Harper would probably not tell us what his favorite chocolate bar is anyways. Hmm, let's play a game: what could his favorites be? Possibilities might include--"Oh Harper" or "Conservative Crisp."

2245h. Husband offers chocolate cookie. My expression quickly reminds him of his faux-pas.

2246h. Only 26 days to go.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Day 5

0830h.  Sun. Snow. Ice. Ahhh...looks like spring in Alberta. March is leaving like a lamb. On a morning like this one, I just about forget my lack of chocolate surging through my veins. Just about.

1255h. Searching for sunglasses. Instead, come up with Hershey kisses in a tote bag and in the car. Why do I seem to have kisses everywhere? It's like an alcoholic who has flasks of vodka stashed everywhere. And why do I suffer from sunglass amnesia since the birth of my children? I cannot keep track of these sunglasses to save my life. Argh. Can I have some chocolate to help ease my frustration? Just a wee bit?

1256h. Still no sunglasses but take some deep breaths and avoid cheating.

1520h. Convinced there is a conspiracy going on at the office. Someone must be spraying chocolate-scented room freshener (Is there even such a thing? Make a mental note to google that.) It really smells like an Aero bar. Compile list of suspects who would do something so evil:

Suspect #1: "Tom" (office intern)
-presents a tough exterior, but beneath it, likely a big chocolate chip cookie (evidence: has pictures of his young nieces on his desk)
-has memory like steel trap and good researcher--could source such an air freshener

Suspect #2: "Callie" (office assistant)
-very efficient, knows where everything is
-enjoys sweet things, may be tempted to ingest freshener herself

Suspect #3: "Elise" (office manager)
-comes off as very sweet and nice but extremely shrewd tough cookie underneath
-perhaps thinks that driving me into a chocolate crazed delirium will make me overlook grossly erroneous paycheques (hence giving herself an unexpected "bonus")

Suspect #4: "Gary" (dead co-worker)
-loved practical jokes when alive
-supposedly haunts various places around town

Suspect #5: "Tammy" (office intern)
-very friendly and helpful demeanor
-working on developing her "inner bitch," recently assaulted youngster with a crochet hook
-seems determined to entrap me to cheat on this experiment

Suspect #6: "Larry" (alive co-worker)
-could not plan this without the help of his wife
-thinks internet is a brand of internationally acceptable fishing net; likely not even aware of my chocolate-free experiment

1525h. Still undecided on most likely suspect. Will do more research tomorrow.

1911h. Face the ultimate challenge: make chocolate chip cookie dough. Split dough in half: half will destined for chocolate chips, the other half butterscotch chips and coconut. You can guess which ones will be devoured by me this evening. While investigating the chocolate chips in the cupboard, debate about whether the chips are semi-sweet or milk. Really think tasting is the only way to know. Wonder if one chip counts? Hear voice of intern from office; "Would one sip of wine count for an alcoholic?" Yes it would. OK, I have my answer. Darnit--the smell of chocolate is intoxicating. Again, feel empathy for alcoholics. And why am I hearing voices now?

2050h. Marking darts on cute fabric for summer (well, truth be told, seasonless because it is a beautiful 100% wool fabric) sheath dress. Doing this now because I need to remove pins so that I can use them to pin knit cuffs to babysitter's jacket (arms have outgrown cherished dance jacket) and try to sew new cuffs to it. As I do this, I seriously wonder why in God's name am I doing this. No, not sewing (no, that's fun---I love sewing), why am I doing this suicide mission---no chocolate for another 25 days. I really want some chocolate now.

2053h. Darn cuffs are proving to be a bit challenging. Chocolate would ease my pain. Me want chocolate.

2154h. Just finished two large, warm from the oven, butterscotch-coconut cookies and a glass of milk. On most days, that would have been overkill and more than sufficient to satisfy my sweet tooth. Not today: still thinking about the chocolate chip cookie dough cooling in the fridge...mmmm--warm chocolate chip cookies from the oven...God, give me strength.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Day 4-1

0614h. Running around obstacle course devised by boot camp instructor. Feel like research rat in a maze; minus the rat food pellets and electrical shocks. Think about how my general intake of all things sugary is down. Good this be the start of something positive? Make mental note to check weight today to see if any objective change has occurred.

0755h. Congratulate myself on how much better I am eating lately; then remind myself I have not faced two of the most dangerous situations for a chocoholic like me: fresh baking containing chocolate and a social event with chocolate items. Again, feel a kinship to alcoholics.

0859h. Give very hungry kids left over chocolate chip muffin from yesterday. Feel extreme temptation to sneak a little morsel for myself. Talk myself down and survive. Eat a date.

0952h. Doing boat pose without ravenous cravings for chocolate. Unfortunately, this yoga session is intruded upon by work and not chocolate fixations. Return to work after sun salutation.

1022h. Looking in car for something and stumble upon Hershey kisses. ignored and kisses are left alone.

1054h. Visiting fire hall with children on a fun little field trip. Notice food debris on daughter's cheek; use oldest trick in book (mom saliva and elbow grease) to remove. Wonder if some of debris is from chocolate chip muffin and if this counts as a cheat.

1425h. Enjoying a nice cup of strong tea and finishing off a book (Annabel by Kathleen Winters). Very thankful that my favorite companion to tea is shortbread: no chocolate in sight!

1644h. Watching children splash around in puddles. SPOILER ALERT: GOOEY MOMMY MOMENT AHEAD.
Am reminded of chocolate because both girls' spring jackets feature brown as the dominant color. Laugh to myself that I am quite happy NOT to be eating chocolate right now anyways because I am doing something much better; watching the giddy smiles and giggles of my daughters as they discover the delight in splashing in mud puddles.

1645h. Ponder the endorphin rush of chocolate. Does the endorphin rush of spending time with my children exceed that of chocolate? OK, the sappy answer is yes.

The alternative answer is: eating chocolate makes a great deal less mess than cleaning up after 3 kids under the age of five. Why did I not just consider a constant chocolate infusion in lieu of having children. Berate myself for being terrible mother for even entertaining such a thought; however, this might be an interesting hypothesis for future research (for those without children). Who would participate in such research? Where could you publish it--The Journal for People with Too Much Time on Their Hands? Oh... I just thought of a great title for the investigation: "Novel Way to Curb Over-Population: Offer Populace Chocolate in exchange for Sterilization." Will alleviate guilt of coming up with such a cock-a-mainny idea by eating something chocolate. Or not.

1805h. For the first time ever, do not feel any guilt in eating my dinner from McDonald's. Why? Because there is no involvement of chocolate in a McChicken and fries! (Just obscene amounts of trans fatty acids and sodium.). I said I was swearing off chocolate for 30 days; not turning into some nutrition nut.

1921h. Quick grocery shop to pick up bananas. Quite fitting given the fact that the consumers of these bananas are 3 little monkeys. (Now before animal rights groups get all upset that I have 3 monkeys in captivity; it is just a little joke--the monkeys are my three kids. I'm sure that is much more politically correct; calling your children animals versus actually keeping animals in a cage.)

1921h. Spot chocolate-chip cookie dough ice cream on sale. Darnit--very tempted.

1923h.  Add box of granola bars that do not feature chocolate in the ingredient list for my work desk snack stash to grocery basket.

2145h. While watching "The Good Wife" (one of the few must see TV shows in my life: the others being--"60 Minutes" and this week's coming episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?" featuring Gwyneth Paltrow), check weight.

2146h. Feel slight disappointment that it is exactly the same as my baseline. Couldn't I have lost even a teeny-weeny bit of weight for all my troubles?

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Day 3-1

0823h. Pondering my day ahead. Hear my children fight about who gets to go on a field trip with mama to visit her workplace. Decide that any drug (chocolate or otherwise) might ease my pain...

1022h. Purchase muffins at Tim Horton's (to help placate children who didn't get to go on work field trip)---unsuspectedly choose chocolate chip one.

1100h. Get home and realize that I cannot split the chocolate chip muffin into 5 (to share amongst all family members) since chocolate chip muffins contain chocolate chips in them (news flash!)...divide said muffin into 4.

1601h. Moment to catch breath in busy afternoon; walk by front desk and smell chocolate immediately. Accuse receptionist of eating chocolate. Greeted with vehement denials and pointed in the direction of the waiting room: look suspiciously at people seated--see no evidence of recent chocolate ingestion. Is this like people who smell burnt toast and then have a seizure? Am I going to have a seizure now?

1602h. Still conscious--no sign of seizure.

1603h. Wonder about this sudden acute sense of smell regarding chocolate. Is this like blind people developing heightened senses? What else could I develop a heightened sense for if I restrict myself from it? Women on the verge of labor? That could be worth a bundle.

1640h. Receive visit from lovely friend. Given details on a chocolate containing tea that tastes delightful. Chocolate tea? What will they invent next; chocolate underwear? Oh, wait a minute, that has been invented, and I think I received it for a bridal shower many moons a go. Will not go into further details since I promised to keep this blog "G" rated.

1645h. My babysitter decides she would like to try her own chocolate-free trial. Convince her to re-consider since on a good day she is very likely to be caught in a gust of wind and sent to the Far East. Suggest she try carob in lieu...

1647h. Revise post chocolate-deprivation celebration menu:

Post meal apertif: chocolate tea.

1939h. Winding up last tidbits for the workday and think about the place chocolate has in my life. Is it like a nice glass of wine some people enjoy after a hard day at work? Is it the taste? The texture? The smell? The sudden sugar rush?

1940h. Come up with various items that are covered with chocolate that I adore: chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered pretzels: until now, I hadn't even thought about the pretzels. They are the perfect blend of sweet and savoury. Suddenly remember about the WHITE chocolate covered pretzels hidden above my cupboard (courtesy of a boy scout fundraiser months ago). The thought of eating white chocolate pretzels was abhorrent just a few short weeks ago. Will need to reconsider that.

1941h. Think about watching Black Swan at home in a few short moments. Thankfully, I will be deeply satisfied simply eating hot buttered popcorn and drinking cola--no chocolate necessary.

2232h. Finish Black Swan. Deeply disturbed about Nina's descent into madness. Suspect a great deal of regular chocolate ingestion could have solved many of her woes.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Day 2-1 (ie/day 2 of my 2nd attempt)

0108h. Home after a long night at work. Got to late work because I was working on this blog. Could that mean the next 30 days (after the 30+ days it will take to complete this experiment) should be to stay away from blogs?

1911h. Encouraged by the feedback from friends. One will even refrain from bringing a chocolate dessert to book club! She is a nicer soul than I; I would definitely bring something deeply chocolately to tempt and torment! Another sent a link describing carob. Hmmmm...gram for gram, carob has more calories and tastes different. Nice thought, but not my cup of tea. It would be like driving around my Honda with a BMW emblem on the front; just because the emblem there, doesn't make it a BMW. Similarly with carob--I think I will plod along on my chocolate free experiment (without carob--although I may change my mind; I am only on day 2 of my 2nd attempt).

1920h. Driving to yoga class. Think back to yummy organic chocolate bar that a very astute person brought me back from a trip to visit his very astute girlfriend. It was so good that I tried to hide it from husband (was very disappointed to find some of it missing despite my attempt to hide it!). Makes me think that maybe chocolate is a great equalizer. Maybe it could even solve world wars. Remember back to when I was a student on a practicum in Southern Manitoba. We visited a nearby Native reservation twice a week. The children had challenging lives (to put it mildly), and I found it hard to develop a rapport so that they would trust me. A few weeks in, I decided to bring some Hershey kisses along. I asked the children to close their eyes, and I gently placed a chocolate kiss in each of their hands. The glimmer in their eyes when they opened them was priceless. Wow, maybe there is something to this chocolate free experiment; it is making me realize what an important role chocolate plays in all our lives.

1925h. Wonder if anyone will believe above story. If I get a book deal out of this blog (my main motivation for starting it, if you want to know), and I'm on Oprah (or whatever turns out to be the equivalent of the Oprah Winfrey Show on OWN next fall when the show is done forever) plugging my new book, this is where the truth will come out, and she will crucify me for making up elements of my 30 day challenge (a la A Million Little Pieces).  For the record, I never brought chocolate kisses to me to work to help engage the little kids on the reservation. Truth be told, I was just afraid of being bitten to death by the dogs that swarmed the vehicle once we arrived.

1957h. Started yoga class. The theme is core. Moments into boat pose, I realize something terrible: there is a direct correlation between doing core work and craving chocolate deeply.

2045h. Thought about chocolate for most of the class (despite having a very different intention set out for myself at the beginning of the class).

2047h. Relaxation time--everyone's favourite part of yoga class. Planning the menu for my dinner once the 30 days are up:
Salad: ants on a log (celery with peanut butter and chocolate chips)
Appetizer: PBN sandwich (PB & Nutella sandwich)
Main: my famous chocolate/Reese's PB cup cake
Dessert: chocolate-PB pudding cake
See a bit of  a theme there--AKA chocolate and PB?!?

2150h. Just about ate chocolate chip granola bar. Substitute with date.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Day 4 (or 1-1?)

1632h. Speak with breakfast guest from yesterday. She noticed slip up and thinks it counts; I am back to square one.
1633h. Have further discussions with colleagues; dread upcoming events that will tempt with incredible chocolate desserts: play at the Citadel and dessert (at Vi's, no less!) this coming wknd, book club in a few weeks (which always include a multitude of scrumptious desserts; a common occurance in female-led pot lucks) this how alcoholics feel during Christmas party season?
1703h. Lament to husband that I am going to forfeit next Sunday because I want a smooth mocha latte at fantastic coffee shop in City after a long run. He reminds me that I survive 30 days of fasting (AKA Ramadan); I can survive this.
1705h. Decide to get vanilla latte instead this wknd.
1959h. Finish great yoga flow. Seems to work wonders for sore legs from 10.5km run this afternoon. You know what else would work wonders for my legs? Chocolate. Hmmmm, I seem to have an issue here...

Day 3

0815h. Making blueberry pancakes. Spontaneously think it would be fun to invite a few guests to join in same. Decide to stay in pajamas as a sign of my spontaneity.
0930h. Made hot chocolate for one of said guests who does not drink coffee. Totally forget that hot chocolate contains chocolate (duhhh!) because enjoying company of people over the age of 4; consequently pour hot chocolate into my own coffee.
1411h. Realize that I drank hot chocolate inadvertently. Have discussion with husband; decide that this does not count because it was an unconscious action.
2155h. Crave something sweet. Chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter chocolate pudding cake come to mind. Fight craving by making scones: an experimental batch of raspberry almond scones.
2225h. Try out scones fresh from the oven. Taste lovely but a few too many raspberries; use less next time.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Day 2

0606h. Running around indoor track wondering why I am doing this. Then I suddenly realize that it is similar to why I am exercising at this ungodly hour; the hypothesis being that the first few moments are painful but afterwards it is pure bliss.
0707h. Drive by newly opened Tim Horton's location. Hmmm...would it be an issue avoiding chocolate there? No, not really. Coffee is my weakness there. Perhaps that should be the focus for my next 30 days (after these 30 days are up, of course!).
0709h. Park in garage and spot lululemon bag. Eureka--the reason I am doing this: "Do one thing a day that scares you." This is my one thing: avoiding chocolate. Nice to know that 17.3% of my disposable income is going to lululemon; now their philosophy is dictating how I live. What's next? Doing yoga on Wreck beach while drinking a mocha latte? Wait a minute: that does sound like a great day to spend an afternoon...although I have just cheated in my fantasy (mocha latte).
0715h. Notice recipe for milk chocolate crinkle cookies on my fridge. I have been meaning to try that recipe out for ages. Here is the ultimate question: can I stay chocolate-free if I bake with it?
1245h. Really, really craving a nice, warm cup of hot chocolate right now.
1834h. Contemplating all the other yummy desserts that do not include chocolate: cheesecake, apple pie, pumpkin cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes, blueberry and white chocolate scones (remember, in this experiment, white chocolate does not count!), rice pudding...
1902h. Would love to make peanut butter-chocolate pudding cake...
1910h. Husband going to get himself take-out. I request cheesecake.
1955h. He returns with aforementioned cheesecake and Blizzard for himself. Oh, I forgot about those--all the good flavors contain chocolate! Darn, another thing to avoid!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Day 1

0830h. On my way to work. No thoughts about chocolate...until now.
0927h. Friend comments that her boyfriend doesn't understand why I am doing. My brain comments that it doesn't understand why I am doing this. Why am I doing this again?
1254h. Manager tells me she found hot chocolate Tassimo cartridges at IGA. Mmmm...that sounds yummy.
1255h. Realize I can't have hot chocolate because of my self-imposed moritorium on chocolate.
1522h. Doing paperwork at my desk. Look at my nearby shelf and see my "emergency" work snacks: 2 types of granola bars that both feature chocolate as key ingredients. Eat 7 almonds instead.
1705h. Left-over chicken mole for dinner. Wonder if I should eat something else. But isn't this kinda like an alcoholic having coq au vin? I don't think it counts.
1907h. Just finished putting son to bed. Feel like something sweet. How about those milk chocolate/white chocolate swirl chocolate chips in the baking cupboard? No, that won't do. Eat blueberry/brown sugar with flax cookie instead.
1914h. Think about why I am doing this while sweeping kitchen floor. Debate about a donation to charity. How much? Which charity? Perhaps $1/day; no that seems pretty biddly. How about $1/hour? That sounds better. Now what charity? How about the charity the Palestinian physician who lost 3 daughters in an air-raid attack set up in his daughters' names? Good cause, but not really tied to the chocolate prohibition. Decide to donate money to local soup kitchen.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Day 0

0844h. So it all starts so innocently. A trip into Edmonton for a work meeting, a conversation about how some of us need to hide chocolate from our husbands, another story about how a friend experienced a craving for chocolate so strong while in Africa that she suffered from terminal insomnia---until she finally gave into her uncontrollable craving at 3am. She begged her friend for a chocolate bar from her secret stash; after reimbursing her of course!.

Hmm...I wondered, could I do it? Could I give up chocolate just for fun? Just to prove it to myself?

1252h. Yummy. That chocolate cake and brownie was delightful. Oh wait, wasn't I going to give up chocolate? OK, I will start again. Gee, I lasted a whole 4 hours.

1346h. Does white chocolate count? One advisor suggests no: it technically does not contain cocao. Another suggests that perhaps I should compare it to giving up something else, like alcohol. If I drank 24 oz of vodka a day, would I consider a beer cheating? Touche. Good point. Given the fact I do not crave white chocolate, I will put it on the allowed list.

1701h. Errand at London Drugs. Why are all the aisles covered in chocolate? Oh right, Easter is around the corner. Companion reminds me that perhaps this was not a good time of year to try this chocolate-free experiment.

1702h. Still looking for Tassimo drink cartridges. Why are we still surrounded by chocolate?

1717h. Carol's Sweets. Are you kidding me? Really, more chocolate?

1731h. Manor Cafe. Walk in and immediately confronted by dessert tray, and you guessed it--two, giant pyramidal brownie hunks.  Discussion ensues on the various food items that contain chocolate, such as the chicken mole I made for dinner last week (2 tbsp of Quik syrup in the sauce).

1844h. Time for dessert selections: the above mentioned brownie, a luscious sphere of chocolate cheesecake surrounded by more chocolate, tiramisu with chocolate...I will have some creme brule, please. And coffee.

2131h. Tell husband of blog idea. He wonders why I am giving up chocolate. I suggest he should be happy that I am not giving up other things. Don't they say chocolate is often a substitute for other things?

2202h. Happy that I have survived day 1. Hmmm, should I do a baseline weight as well?