Minus 20lbs: Day Four and Five

Day Four: Thursday, October 22, 2015

So far, Day Four has been the easiest day of the “Master Cleanse” preparation. I felt really good the entire day. I did not dry out like the last three days. And I accomplished my mission, to stay away from solids.

I woke up in the morning and had 25 ounces of lemon water, I made carrot juice from scratch and had that for lunch. At night, I had apple cider tea [not the apple cider, but the tea spiced with apple cider, which does not contain sugar].

That’s pretty much it.

I prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner for child. He did not go to school because he hurt his knee. So, I sat with him, as he eat pancakes for breakfast, plus papaya, my favorite fruit, all for himself. For lunch, I gave him the leftover from Mac & Cheese mixed with tuna and shrooms [of course I had to give him, the “usual rap about, “The nutritional benefits of eating shroomies”, with all the vitamins, especially Vitamin D, low calories, low sodium content, and high fibre, that he very much needs for his constitutional. For dinner, I gave him a piece of the Sorghum bread that I made, with veggie soup. He eat and loved all of it! I had a taste of the veggie water.

 

Day Five: Friday, October 23, 2015
Today is Day Five, but a mixed bag. I had to drive to Washington, DC and back. So, I strayed away from my no additives commitment. I drunk coffee – Black no sugar no cream from a coffee dispenser. I was starting to dose off on my drive, so I needed something to rejuvenate me.

I might have binged on sugar, with a cup of hot chocolate, while meeting a friend in Wash/DC. I did not turn it down. It did not have too much sugar, but since I had my freshly squeezed apple juice that I made the previous day, had more sugar.

I am kind of drinking out my fruits and veggies, because I do not want them to go back, while I am on “the Cleanse”, starting on Monday. The good news is, I think it is gonna be super easy…I will tell you why….And I might be able to regain my weight…

Life is about to change, so I hope. I might not have to cook for anyone for a while longer! That my speed up the process of getting back in my skin. Oh! I got home in the night and had a cup of Almond Milk with non-caffeinated natural cocoa beverage.

Again, just liquids, so I told myself. In fact, I was so proud that I resisted the temptation of eating while out of town. Not even a veggie soup! Which probably helped me stay away and alive to drive back in record time.

Minus 20 lbs – Chronology – Day Two and Day Three

Day Two – Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Today was very hard for me, especially the morning period. I dosed off, while helping out in a special-ed classroom. Yes, with kids, doing kids activities. I am not a morning person I wonder, if the hunger caused it, or the lack of enough sleep hours during the night. I am not a morning person, running is my wake up drug. Tea and warm water helps, sometimes, somehow!

Sadly, I forgot my lemon and ginger warm water in the car that dropped me off. Had to suck it up, until after 11:00, when I went to the neighborhood convenience store to buy a Large Lemon Tea [with drop-ins], no sugar, no extra additives! It served me well.

The afternoon was not too bad; I held my own much better. Still, I was so weak, but thankfully, less sleepy. But elsewhere, crap happened. Got home and binged on water and ginger. I should add lemon tomorrow, since I bought plenty today. Or, should I still keep them for my “Master Cleanse” starting next week?

My “Cheat Shit” today had Apple juice, homemade by yours truly, from the neighbor’s apples [NON GMO, locally grown]. Be happy, I diluted it with a full 8 ouches of water. Apple Sauce (Homemade)
Had a taste of COM’s veggie soup for dinner. Just the water in the soup, and only tongue- not teeth-tasting.Nothing of those yummy veggies. Ok, maybe I chewed a tiny weeny, but did not swallow, like a real Californian!

Good reassuring news? This morning, I weighed 13*lbs +change. In the evening, the scale gave me -2 lbs+change [we can believe in]. Could it be true that I am shedding off so fast? How can it be! Does this mean, everyday, I consume 3 lbs of food?! Very scared! So so scared of this American life, of food and big people everywhere!

Still, my body has valleys and hills and curves. My face, neck and stomach are still hosting plenty of meat. My bum bum is not in Klass. Still have at least 10lbs to go.

Day Three – Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I woke up feeling hungry, very hungry. Half the day is gone, and I have still withstood the eating temptation. I had 23 ounces of water in the morning. I had another 23 ounce this afternoon. Now I am gonna make cookies for COM. Oh on!

I didn’t make cookies, but I made munch bars (with shredded coconut, oats, wheat bran, almonds, marshmallows, butter, vanilla extra and a couple of other ingredients). Oh! The pain and agony of not being able to taste! You better believe, I did not even try to taste the mixture of all ingredients. Agony, indeed! As I do not even know, how and if they came out good?

Then I made Sorghum bread, with Rice flour, potato flour and a little corn starch (instead of tapioca), eggs, cinnamon, raisins. Quite frankly, both were total concoctions of ingredients. I am not sure how this came out either. I will let child tell me tomorrow, when he tastes.

Cheat Shit
Half a little cup of almond Milk. Then I rinse with water COM smoothie container and apple sauce bottle for breakfast with water, and drank the residues.
Technically, though, I am not cheating per “Master Cleanse” directions. The body needs to be prepared for the fast, with a week with soups or fruit drinks. So, perhaps that is in order. Hopefully, that’s all the cheating I’ll do.

Oh well, I cheated again! Child did not drink the smoothie I made him for school because, “he ran out of time.” Talking too much, I know…what it is….

Fasting is the worst form of cruelty to animals! You don’t agree with me? Try crossing a hungry lion, and tell me, if all will end pretty.

I am into my Third Day of the < 20 lbs fast, and it is plenty of pain and agony. I am definitely low, on sugar, low on energy and low on tolerance. I don’t wanna talk at all, but I have to because it is not all about me [didn’t I tell you, I ceased to be about me?].

I put myself in “Running Exile”, after the marathon 10 days ago. Nor have I been working out, except long walks and yoga at home. Perhaps I should put in a couple of more workouts; even if it’s just yoga. It might help me feel better, because I need to get busy with something else besides thinking about not eating.

I am still drinking primarily water, beside my “cheat shit”. I served COM dinner tonight: sausage, cabbage and avocado, the latter two are on my “fav list”. But I did not taste, not even taste the salt!

This punishment is killing me softly. But I need to do this for myself because I have abused my body so badly. I need to take off these extra luggage, disfiguring my mind, body and soul.

I read somewhere today that, “Nobody wants it more than yourself.” If I want it, I gotta make it happen.”
Yes, I do want it….and I want it so badly!

But it is just three days of a long haul! I hope I can make it through this week, then start off my Master Cleanse next week. That aint gonna be easy, either. I dread thinking about the “Sea-salt wash”, the yuckiest concoction I ever consumed! I am not sure, if I can do it for all the weeks [I am not gonna tell you how many weeks I am doing the fast], but I will try.

Hopefully, all this starvation will be worth it…and I can keep up afterwards. It is all about self-control. I hope I will control my eating, and throw away food when I have to, or my head will agree to freeze it [even though I do not like freezing my cooked meals so much].

But, I want to fall in love with the body I run in, again. I want to feel myself, not a tired cow, a frumpy country mom or thunder thighs I want to bring my body I want to fit perfectly into my clothes, without a concern for the front and back bumps.

Anyway, time to move my brain elsewhere, away from mourning over food.

Adios Day Three

How Can I Run Away from Food?

Trust me, I am a runner. I can run away from just about everything. I run away from people, to rejuvenate myself. I run in my thoughts to shut the world away. And I run to take care of my physical and mental health, nurture my soul. But, How Can I Run Away from Food? Why am I struggling?

Breakfast at Camping

Breakfast at Camping

Not that I am eating all the time. Perhaps I am, mentally. But I still have trouble throwing away left-over food. I am very good at ignoring eating and can avoid cooking. But that’s when life is all about me, a fantastic wish! My reality, before I became responsible for the well-being of another human, who deserves to be fed, and fed good meals. I am big on home-made food, and pack my child homemade lunch meals. Now, I have to wait until COM starts school to cut down on cooking or induced-eating.

I am not obliged to feed myself. Left to myself, I care less about preparing meals for myself. I survive perfectly on water and fruit, especially hot water. I may pick up couple of nuts, even though I should stay away from those “hip-hugging legumes.”! They are destroying me bad-slowly! Water is my life and companion, and tea. I binge on those two all day, all night.

But for Child OM (COM), I have to cook breakfast and dinner during the school year, plus lunch, when he is out of school in the summer. That’s when my food problems become gigantic. I am a social eater, I will eat because others are eating, not because I am really hungry. So, chances are, when I serve my child, I will serve myself a portion of what I made for dinner. My brain becomes too weak to convince my hands and mouth not to touch. Painful putting the food portions on my plate and into my mouth.

Worse, when COM does not eat all the food on the plate, he ‘gifts’ it to me, “Mommy, I do not want the food anymore, you can have it.” Like I am sitting around, excited to have it, right? When I am very terrified, but intimidated to say no, because I don’t wanna see food dumped in the trash, “when plenty of people around the world are starving.” Yes! I am eating for the entire world without food [bite me:)]! You should see my current body, looking like a fat jumpsuit.

I have my pregnancy and early postpartum weight. How do I know? I don’t need to step on the scale [fortunately I do not own one]; the fit of my clothes is enough to alarm me. How do I stop this weight from killing me softly, and pushing me out of my clothes that once fitted perfectly? How do I return to the body I so desire, when I am always caught up eating for two?

Now do dare jump ahead of yourself, about my “I am eating for two” remark. I am talking about eating my serving, and then eating COM’s left-overs, to avoid wasting food…blah blah blah…

But why do I have a problem with food? I am so active: I run and workout at the gym, doing both with all of my high. But whatever I work off comes right back unto me, with COM’s “food gifts”. I need to run away from food, until I learn to say. And I am starting right how….

No! I Do Not Like Green Eggs. Gimme Yellow….

Perhaps nothing better illustrates my commitment to eating all-Natural and Organic with a Capital “O”, like the color I want my eggs. And I have a couple of things “Natural” that I believe in – Natural health remedies and regimens, Natural exercising and fitness, Natural childbirth, Natural sleep patterns, Natural living, most importantly my Natural foods and drinks.

Let me also clarify that I am committed to beer. Nothing comes closer to “Natural” than the “Brown Amber Nectar”! All fermented, with all natural spring water, and all germs killed. Right! Ok. maybe I am biased, but I’ll stick to that.

N’way, back to my eggs. I am the typical fruits and veggies eater. I love and enjoy my fruits and veggies. I do not buy meat, do not fall for that temptation. Nothing against meat per se. Then and again, I may eat meat, all kinds of meat, by social co-option. Not really a chicken and turkey person, unless it is “Tofurky.

Thankfully, I have plenty of meat substitutes when I need it, -tofu, eggplant or beets, plus meatless burgers, sausages, patties and meatballs. Of course not to forget an abundance of veggies -tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, squash, cucumber, the list goes on. I take great care to shop in the “Healthy”, “Organic” and “Natural” food section in our grocery store, spending a little more to get the finest foods.

Truth be told, I cut myself some slack on fruits and veggies, purchasing some without the “O” tag, like apples, strawberries, avocados, pears, grapes, to save a buck or two. Well, that is because I failed to find a difference in taste between the “certified “Os” and non-O among this category of my main fruit and veggie shopping. Strawberries, whether certified “O” or “Non-O ” the same tasteless buds to my tongue. Avocado O or non-O certified has the same yummy taste, and so do apples, pineapples and pears I have had. So, I cannot justify spending more money for the same taste or look.

But there is no alternative to Yellow eggs! Nothing! I don’t care whether your eggs comes straight from the farm to you, yours are free range, all-natural, whatever. If they are not yellow, I am not having them, no more!

See, I grew up with chickens in my farming family. No! We were not farmers by profession, but like most families then, we grew our own food and kept a few chickens in small coops. These chickens were free-range; they woke themselves up in the morning, left for the day to wander off into places, and returned late in the evening to sleep. They found their own food, except a few times we gave them leftovers from our food. For the most part, they did not find ‘fertilized foods’ in their food hunt, but worms, leftover foods, bugs, anything and everything wandering or lying around on the ground.

When the girl-chickens, aka hen came home to lay their eggs, which were always yellow! Later, we began seeing white “eggs”, bought from grocery stores. The chicken meat got bigger too; and bigger! We started calling the hens that lay Yellow eggs, the “local” hens, meaning they are native to the county [well, each geographical region claimed those hens. Their meat was tough, too. We called the hens with “White” eggs, Mzungu hens or “White Hens, implying they were foreign/exotic or originating from the world of [western] white people. The meat of the white chickens was soft, as well.

Fast forward, this child moves to America and all there is in abundance are the “white hens and chickens”, fat, with tender meat, and boil too quick. Given my low chicken tolerance, I did not develop a love for them. Moreover, all the stories about, how chickens in America are injected with growth hormones, with chemicals not exactly healthy for human consumption, deterred me from venturing into eating chicken. With that, follows my selectivity for the eggs I consume.

I buy my eggs with labels that they are “free-range”, organic feed and naturally fertilized. I will pay an extra penny to get the most health eggs. I will not care that you get your eggs direct from the farm; not every farmer uses organic products. I will tolerate the fact that my eggs might be transported a distance away from my geographical zone, a distance from my neighborhood grocery store. For as long as they are Yellow;

No!

I will not eat Green Eggs

I do not like Green Eggs

I will not try them

I will not try them in a boat or on a goat

I will not eat them in the rain or on the train

I will eat my Yellow Eggs

America the Beautiful!

It’s been a while, since I sat down to write something thoughtful. Forget about the daily email traffic, and posts on social media. WordPress is where I share my self-inspired “non-chatty” thoughts.

I am glad though, that I am breaking this writing block with something dear and exciting. About America the Beautiful! There are so many reasons I have come to love America. Obviously, there is an ounce of sad news and sad people that shape this nation. But there is so much beauty in and about this country, its peoples and societal norms.
Especially today on this snowy day, I am reminded of the generosity and uniqueness of the American spirit. The huge snowstorm that started last night, with sleet and frozen ice, left some places in the North East without power. I live in The Independence State of Pennsylvania, which is among the areas caught up in these snowstorms. Exactly as I thought out loud the night before the storm, “I hope these indefatigable snowstorms do not leave us without power. It’s freezing up here!” But Lancaster, PA folks are not that fortunate;  left without power! Trees fell and damaged cars! Some colleges have asked students to return home until the weekend, when hopefully the power cuts will be sorted out. Terrible!
Yet, the American spirit is already alive and kicking. True, the State government is up and about, reassuring its peoples that help will come through as fast as possible. Good job and comforting! But the American social spirit of good neighborhoodliness is rolled out already, too! A good friend, in Lancaster posted on her public profile, an offer to any Lancastarians who need a place to warm up or charge their phone. The America Red Cross has set up soup kitchens and places to warm up and charge phones. And many more folks are coming through. This is America! This is the collective spirit that defines America, transcending individual(s) sentiments of bitterness, xenophobia, discrimination and hate. Those negative spirits do not define America!
Personally, I take moments like this to reflect on and ponder over the American Spirit of giving, reaching out, sharing and positive healthy living, both in my neighborhood and my American family. I live in a suburb in the Poconos. My neighborhood has plenty of “stay-at-home moms”, who I have met and interacted with, while waiting at the school bus stop. They are pretty much of mixed identity: Latina, Black, White and Arab. They are wonderful people. If I got to the bus stop late, after my son came back from school, I would trust that one of them would not leave him on his own. At times, I get a call from any one of them, in case were are late to the bus stop in the mornings. Plus, they usually help out anyone with kids who need a ride to the bus stop, for instance, if there is a 2-hour delay and mommy has to go off to work before the bus comes around, or when kids get off the bus and need a ride. They are sweet people.
Then, there is my American family. With all the drama of each family, there is a beautiful spirit among  my [son’s] American. We laugh, we share, and we party together. There is an openness among them that is beautiful and welcoming. They do not make me feel like “a foreigner”, typical of plenty of folks with whom I have interacted. Perhaps because, they are well traveled, or because they lived in New York for-ever, the most multicultural US city. They have met and interacted with folks from all walks of life, I assume. Of course the “open secret that, Grand dad – my son’s father’s step-dad, who raised him, is Puerto Rican.
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Perhaps a better illustration of  “America the Beautiful” is its diversity in food, clothing, languages, culture, origins, beliefs, recreation activities, tastes, fashion, interest, power, knowledge -endless list! I have endless experiences of things  deemed “archaic” by some in this country and other “modernizing geographical spaces”, making their way “back to the future” as trendsetters and ‘PC fads’. Goes to prove that, it is often the innocence of limited knowledge or the individual(s) dogmas that make that make people shun any experiences alien to them and/or pass judgement. For instance, the mothers at my son’s bus stop and I were talking about women stuff, when one recalled ‘the olden days’, when mothers delivered at home or on the road before they got to the health center. I told them, those ‘olden days’ are ‘now’  in my country of origin, Uganda. Indeed true as well, here in the United States, where “young trendy mothers and couples” now choose home births with Doula or midwives. Another friend in Georgia told me about ‘the olden days’ when people used kerosene lamps for light. I let her know that those “olden days” are still “present days” in Uganda, and I bet in rural America. Yes! Some parts of this country, folks use boreholes as a source of water, and wash their clothes from the barks of trees without access to a washer!
It is amazing that plenty of stuff often deemed traditional, archaic or rudimentary are now en-vogue! Picture this, folks are paying more money for membership to co-ops instead of shopping in large chain stores, for the love of easier access to more“farm fresh” or local farmers produce. Others are spending extra monies for organic produce at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Earthlight, and other large chain store that have an “organic foods section”. Ironically,  American food producers, large funders and their intellectuals activists are pushing GMO into countries of Africa in the name of “creating food security”, without issuing the same caution to consumers that is availed to the American public.  While more Americans are embracing “small [eating or shopping] is beautiful [from organic section or co-ops], plenty of Africa is moving toward mass quick production and large chain stores, including in Uganda.  Some of us have taken trouble to concern and inform ourselves of “what we eat or where we shop, and are carefully and consciously picking what we eat, so we can live longer cleaner lives, sans health disasters that have befell America, especially, high obesity and high heart diseases. Though, it is still a challenge to communicate the dangers of fast food eating and colored juices to many in Uganda. Last year, 2013, Kentucky Fried Chicken open its first franchise in Uganda to divided opinions: screams of “hell no” from plenty of Ugandans in the Diaspora vis-a-vis “bring it on” by plenty in Uganda. In South Africa, I noticed a huge consumption of deep friend fast food and colored and sugary goods, especially in the “most affordable” Shoprite supermarket, which has also set up shop in Uganda. While McDonalds and Coca Cola, two of the largest brands of quick and fast food/beverage addiction are losing market share in America, they are reaping huge sales outside the United States.
Fortunately, America the Beautiful, one can get a wide net of fresh, health, conscious and fairly-traded products. Almond, hemp or flax milk is available, so is Tofurky in place of real Turkey meat. We have access to gluten free pizza, meatless anything for the meat lovers with real meat problems. It is possible to eat food not fried in oil, but if one wants to, there are plenty of options of non-animal oil – canola, coconut, olive, sunflower, vegetable and more. We can fill our refrigerators with a variety of fruits and vegetables, and our shelves with plenty of nuts – almond, cashew, pistachios, walnuts, groundnuts, to feast on daily. We can stay gluten-free forever, and feed on raw food effortlessly!
And if you heard that “traditional marriage and family is out of vogue” in America the Beautiful, don’t believe the hype! No! Marriage is not about two people coming together, making a decision to love one another through sickness and health! Marriage is a family affair, and family as a community and clan affair. I recently witnessed a beautiful moment of two families of their soon-to-be married children coming together to review the marital contract that their two children were about to enter. The families went over what is expected of children to each other as a married couple, and to their families;  how to conduct each other once married, and what each owes to the other and to their families.  It was beautiful! It reminded me of what marriage was always about in Uganda, where I am from. Not about “blissful everyday moments”; in fact plenty of folks found themselves and found love after they were married, and stayed together as lovers not for convenience till death separated them. It was about, the meanings of marriage to the family the newly-wed were to form, and to their families of origin. It was also about their belonging in society, not “behind self-gazetted closed doors”.
At heart, I am a traditionalist, when it comes to culture and community. But then again, I am only human after all. We all pick and choose what appeals to us, and how to make it work for us….And, that’s what defines America the Beautiful!

Check this out:

“They may have been touted as the ultimate diet food during the low-fat/no-fat craze of the late 1980s and 1990s, but don’t be fooled. Rice cakes can have a glycemic index rating as high as 91 (pure glucose has a rating of 100), making it the kind of carbohydrate that will send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. This is bad for weight loss and for your health.” http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/7-foods-nutritionist-would-never-eat
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That’s right….It is the Rice Cake…my son’s [paternal] grandma’s favorite snack. She likes them too much. Fortunately, I have rejected the taste of them on my tongue even when my son put it on my mouth. I knew there was something to it, like most  American processed snacks. They are too good to be true. 
 
For one thing, I am so proud of myself. I go to the grocery store, and walk through those aisles with colored juices and processed foods without picking any ONE of them! It is empowering to resist all the temptations of picking up a bag of chips, plantain peanuts, granola bars, chocolate bars, alphabets, a large bag of frozen french fries (at ONLY $2.99) and all of that I call “junk” And they are available everywhere – healthy and regular aisles! Instead, I stuff up on fresh veggies and fruits, 100% juice (but I might be suspending some of it), fresh salmon, eggs, a couple of meatless frozen dishes, oat and corn cereal, almond milk, coconut and soy yogurt (taking a break from Almond yogurt) and canned beans, peas and carrots and garbanzo chick peas. I will not tell you what my bill comes up to. But, think “twice”, what it takes to feed healthy decisions for a family of two. But, eating health is way not under a $100 bill.  Still, I try the best I can to eat as health as possible, shouldering the cost. It is a smart investment, for myself and my son.
 
I have a five-year old, who needs to grow up with the value of “eating healthy”. I have boasted several times that I homemade ALL my his meals when he started supplementing breastfeeding with solids at six months. I boiled or grilled carrots, squash, peas, apples, plums. Then pureed each on its own to make meals for my son, which I would then froze, and serve whenever he was ready to eat. Since then, I started out on a strict diet for him, primarily vegetarian. I am not much of a meat eater, but don’t be surprised to catch me enjoying a piece or two in places where meat is a routine. Plus, he was lactose and wheat intolerant, and got lots of hardship constipation, and restless days and sleepless nights. Not even prune juice, plums and tomato juice broke it easily.  Plus, because American food is rather bad by international standards- I kept most of it away from him. You know these a whole list of popular American foods and beverages banned in Europe but ONLY served in America, right? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2345564/Shocking-list-US-foods-BANNED-countries-containing-dangerous-chemicals.html
 
Yet, my dietary routine for my son and I suffers peer and social pressure. Depending on where we are, we might not be able to get certain things and have to supplement. In South Africa, we could not easily find Soy yogurt, except a very small stock in Woolworths, when in was available. So, baby had to adjust to cow milk yogurt. In Uganda, it was predominantly cow milk yogurt, so we settled for the “nutritional content”. In fact, there is so much eating I can really control, especially when I leave my son in the hands of child minders at home, at the neighbors and at school.
 
 In Norway, he ate his first meatballs in Norway at the daycare, even though I had told then that my son does not eat meatballs. In Uganda, he had plenty of bread and had sugar added to his tea, even though I laid down the script from the start of our arrival in the country. But my objections got “lost in translation”.  I could not help it! So, I made up the excuse was, it was all natural and fresh food, except for a few times I took him out to enjoy American food. Yes! We had our outings at Javas Cafe or Endiro Coffee – the latter being the favorite! for the most part, he fed on corn and millet. Tried to keep rice at a distance – but my family has a different take on eating. They are not into fastidious  “organic”, GMO, fat and no unnecessarily food color eating. Typical of many places around the world that  tend to associate imported processed foods as “better than local”. Think  how well Coca Cola thrives internationally with all its food coloring, caffeine, over and above water – the most healthy natural drink!. 
 
Which brings me back to rice cakes and gluten free. So, does it mean that, if it is not wheat it is ok? because it is Gluten or fat-free or less fat, then it is supposedly healthy? My son’s grandmother tends to think so. Well, I do not buy into it….and turns out, my suspicions were right on the Rice Cakes. –good for nothing kinda food. So, I will stick to making my own meals or making sure my purchases are too far from these “eat-quick-easy options”. They are harmful to your body and blood system…and can get so addictive. Plus, I will get all my nutrients from fresh and healthy eating. Just because we are back to America with its plenty of options and quick fixes don’t mean we should start consuming it all. Even if it says “gluten free”, I still check on the content table…to make sure the ingredients and nutritional content is right…. and so should you!w