Saturday, August 28, 2010

One leg at a time, just like everyone else...

WARNING: This post contains a photographic image that may not be suitable for…well…anyone, really.

Every woman on earth knows that sizes in the garment industry are notoriously relative. Since there are no hard and fast standards in women’s clothing sizes, various brands can just make theirs up as they go along, and a selection of garments from different manufacturers with the same size printed on the tags will be vastly different in the way they fit. I have a pair of size 22 pants coming out of storage that fit perfectly, I have a pair of 20’s that I wore to work yesterday that are getting noticeably too big to keep wearing, and I have a pair of size 24 slacks in a drawer that I couldn’t get into with a shoehorn, a can of Crisco, and the collective directed prayer of the Baptist congregation down the street.

Two years ago, when my weight was at it’s lowest in my ongoing journey (which is now just a scant 20 pounds lower than it is right now, I might add) I was out shopping and happened upon a lovely pair of cuffed, wide leg trousers in a dreamy shade of cream that were fully lined and—because miracles do happen—were made for someone who is taller than 5’6”. Which I am. By nearly 5 inches. A glance at the tag revealed that they were a size 20, and, get this, they were ON SALE! And by “on sale” I do not mean that they were marked down from ungodly expensive to merely ridiculously expensive, because I have much higher expectations of exactly what constitutes a bargain than some people. You’ll never see me getting excited over a 15% markdown like some people do. (Yeah, Mom. I’m looking at you.) These were deeply discounted, and so I stepped into the dressing room, slipped them on, and though they were slightly too tight to wear immediately I knew that it’d only be a few more pounds before they’d look like they were made for me. So I bought them, brought them home, hung them up in the closet…and that’s where they’ve been ever since.

As life began to spiral downward, my weight began to inch up to fill the void. And so my brand new beautiful white pants hung there, unworn, tags still in place, as a testament to hope and a reminder of better times gone by. I’d see them almost every morning when I got dressed, and I’d often pause to run a finger down the sharp creases in the buttery material and wonder if I’d ever get to wear them. Once, I decided to try them on, but when they didn’t even clear my thighs, I hung them back up in defeat. After a while I moved them back further into the closet, where I didn’t see them as often. They were out of sight, but never out of my mind. Oh, white pants, I wish I knew how to quit you.

Then just the other day, as I was dressing for work, I realized that the pants I was currently wearing had finally gotten too large to be anything but frumpy. So I pulled them off, relegated them to the goodwill bag, and flipped through the rack of trousers I’ve been working to get back into, when a brilliant flash of white wool caught my eye. In a fit of optimism, I pulled them out of the closet, slipped my legs into them, and pulled them up….to my hips. And that’s as far as they were going to go. As I stood there, more or less trapped in trouser limbo, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and saw this:

It was in that moment I made a vow that I WOULD wear these pants. Soon. Along with all the lofty goals we want to achieve through weight loss, it’s important to have some that are more concrete, more easily measured and reported as tangible proof of our progress. And so, internet, I tell you this: I will wear these slacks to Christmas Eve dinner on December 24, 2010. I’ll try them on every two weeks, and I’ll post a new photo each time. And as the weeks go by I’ll compare that embarrassing photo to this one as a way of reminding myself that I am a work in progress, and that there are two really important words in that phrase. WORK and PROGRESS. I want to see the effects of both of them.

So stay tuned, folks. It’s time to show everyone exactly who wears the pants around here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And now for something completely different...

I got an email today from a long time reader who wrote to convey their disappointment in the direction my blog has taken. What once seemed interesting and inspiring was now boring and depressing, and maybe I would be better served by getting back to the grass roots of my journey instead of rehashing “what a shrink said to emphasize your non-fat self worth” and that if I did then self worth would come with reaching my goal.

Well. Ouch.

And so as I hoofed it 3.5 miles around the lake tonight, I thought about what they’d said. I admit that this blog isn’t the same as it used to be. I lost my focus for a while, and my weight loss progress suffered for it. At the time I made the decision that I would keep what I posted on this site on topic, and that what was going on in the rest of my life wasn’t germane. I have always felt that this was a place to tell MY story, but so much of that story was intertwined with one that wasn’t mine to tell, and so I didn’t. Maybe that was a mistake. Maybe a little more information would have bought me some slack. Maybe if I’d hung a sign that said “closed for repairs” and waited until I’d found and glued together all the pieces of my broken heart then I could have returned with a big smile and bypassed all the unpleasant introspection and gotten right back down to the business of finally not being so fat.

I can only tell my story. And this darkness, the one that’s finally lifting, was a part of it. But you know what? So is the light that is finally shining again, and maybe it’s time to write about that. I’m kicking the fat’s ass lately, shedding the pounds and reaping the benefits--and those are my stories to tell too.

In fact, just this morning I set a new goal combining the upcoming holiday season with a pair of winter white wool pants that have been mocking me from my closet for the better part of two years now. I’m on a quest to show those smug slacks who’s the boss around here…complete with embarrassing photos. Wanna see ‘em?

The revolution begins tomorrow. Tune in then!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

One (point two) is the loneliest number...

But I’ll take it!

The scale ponied up a 1.2 pound loss this week effectively putting an end to two weeks of involuntary maintenance, and saving me the jail time that would inevitably have ensued if I’d been forced to make good on my threat to take the weigh-in lady hostage if she told me my weight hadn’t budged yet again. (You got lucky this time, Gloria.)

In the fight against the fat, it’s tough not to get obsessed with the scale. In fact, its counter intuitive (and kind of stupid, frankly) to say that focusing on the numbers isn’t important. The goals of better health, increased mobility, rising self confidence, and improvements in quality of life are all a direct result of the steady decline of the same numbers we try and diminish the importance of. All the benefits of working to be at a healthy weight are side effects of watching the digits on the scale go down, and when they stand still even for a short period of time it can be easy to lose sight of everything we’ve gained in the wake of what we’re not losing.

As I paused for the applause at receiving another 5 pound star, I considered my answer to my leader’s standard “So tell us how your weight loss is affecting your life” that I knew would follow. I considered regaling the group with the fact that this is not my first go round with WW, and that while I’ve lost over 30 pounds since rejoining in May, my grand total is much more than that, but even just composing that speech in my head made me roll my own eyes so I refrained. When the question was posed, I decided to just go with the truth as it stands for me today:

This is another day in a lifelong struggle, and I know that they key to this whole weight loss thing isn’t dwelling on the last year, or month, or day, or weigh-in, or choice. As a very good friend of mine is fond of saying, the only thing that matters is what I do next. And that’s what I’m concentrating on today. And tomorrow. And beyond.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

I took a personality test a few weeks ago and was rewarded with a 30 page long in-depth assessment detailing 15 different dimensions of just what this Sara person is all about.  This is not the first time I’ve been exposed to one of these personality inventory tools, and with exception, every time I’ve taken a similar test (Cosmo quizzes about your flirting style and “Which twilight character are you?” viral web tests don’t count.  But FYI, I’m a Jacob.) I find myself flabbergasted at just how accurate the findings are.  There are days when I can’t seem to take what’s pinging around my skull and form it into a coherent set of thoughts in 1000+ words (and for proof, I offer the last, oh, 90 or so entries below), but 45 minutes of yes/no answers, multiple choice questions, and rating various characteristics on a scale of “very much like me” to “not at all like me” appears to be adequate time to have me analyzed, pegged, printed, and spit out.

Flipping through the results (read: poring over the pages and highlighting particular passages in two separate colors, one for items that resonated with me for their accuracy, and another for the things that were totally true but not terribly comfortable to read—then adding a third color for things I want to bring up in therapy. Yep. Sell crazy somewhere else, we’re all stocked up here.) I found myself flattered by some things I knew to be true, enlightened by a few things I realized were true after I read them, and moved to action by a particularly accurate passage.  In the section that explores the impact that our words have on those around us, my report had this to say:

“You've learned over time to speak kindly. You find the right word to let your friends or your partner or even strangers know the best things you feel or believe about them. You have opinions, of course, and you hold strong beliefs, but the first thing out of your mouth in response to what someone says is not a contradiction to or a complaint about what they've said. You find a compliment either for what they've said or how they've said it, and you mean what you say. It may not be the whole truth but it's the truth that matters to you between you and the person in front of you.”

That rings true to me.  I believe that in nearly every situation in life we can choose to be kind, and that all too often the phrase “I’m just being honest” is code for “I can say any jackass thing I want because I deem it to be true”.  I will call a spade a spade (or a douche bag a douche bag, as the case may be) when appropriate, but I will also be truthful without being an ass about it.  For instance, I will never tell anyone they have an ugly baby.  The appropriate response to “isn’t she adorable?” is never “My God, if that showed up at my bedside in the middle of the night asking for a drink I’d fling holy water at it!”  The correct response to that question is “She’s so sweet, you must be so proud!” The choice to be kind and still be authentic is one that I’ve worked to make whenever possible in my life.  So that’s why I caught my breath a little when I went on to read this:

”Hopefully you are as kind toward yourself as you are toward others; hopefully your inner dialogue with yourself is as laced with positives as are your conversations with those you love. This may be an issue. Some people speak kindly and believe what they say about others, but their kindness toward others comes in part as a comparison with their more hostile feelings about themselves. You may want to check this out. There's an easy test: do you use the same vocabulary toward yourself that you use toward others? If not, why not?”

That was truth all right. Kindly stated, no less.  When I take that test, I fail.  Miserably.  Compassion for others is a trait that comes naturally to me, the impulse toward kindness isn’t an affectation, it is a part of who I am.  I can’t imagine meeting anyone on the street and looking them up and down and declaring them disgusting, or ugly, or unlovable, or pathetic.  But I’ve stared into the eyes of my reflection and thought all of those things and worse.  I can give just about anyone a break for behavior that makes the rest of the world cringe because I believe that it’s unfair to permanently judge otherwise good people by their worst moments, yet I will replay my own moments of shame on a giant drive-in screen in my head and judge myself harshly for them long after the moment has passed.

For most of my life, I’ve bought into those things that so much of the world still believes go hand in hand with obesity.  Fat people are undisciplined, they’re weak—and as a result they are disgusting, unattractive, and pathetic.  When I step back and look objectively, I realize that I am NONE of those things.  It’s time for me to take the golden rule, flip it on it’s ear, and start treating myself the way I treat others.  I’ve been practicing this lately, and while I’m no Stuart Smalley yet, it’s getting easier to look myself in the eye and realize that I like what I see.

Do you use the same vocabulary toward yourself that you use toward others?  If not, why not?

Do tell…

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Someone Like Me

This will probably come as a surprise to most of you, but I have a tendency to over think things sometimes.
(Pause for exclamations of shock. None?  Really? Ok then.)
This propensity toward mulling is tempered with an oddly compatible impulsive side that pops up seemingly out of nowhere to put an end to the ruminating and just make a decision already.  One day I’ll be thinking to myself “Gee, I’d sure like a new throw pillow for the chair in the living room” thus kicking off weeks (or months, or years) of looking at the pillow selection whenever I’m at the store, scanning the pages of magazines for pillow related inspiration, scoping out fabric for the purely theoretical pillows I could (read: never will) sew myself, until one day I’m walking through Target and upon seeing a pillow that looks absolutely nothing like I’ve been imagining all this time I’ll throw it in the cart, take it home, and voila! Pillow problem solved.  I sum up this particular offshoot of my crazy like this: I don’t always know what I’m looking for, but I know it when I see it.  
And this is how, in a rare burst of self-esteem, I decided that I was ready to start dating again.  Never mind that I haven’t been “out there” in over a decade, or that I’ve rarely even been “out of the house” for a significant portion of the tail end of that same period.  Never mind that 39 year old neurotic fat girls aren’t exactly in high demand in the marketplace, or that I don’t have the foggiest idea what the young people consider “dating” these days.  These were thoughts I’d spent months mulling over, imagining the consequences to, weighing the pros and cons of, and putting off for consideration later.  Then one night about two weeks ago, a switch clicked in my mind and I sat down with my laptop and credit card and signed up for a major internet dating service (I’m not going to name names, but I’ll give you a hint: It rhymes with “Bee Flarmony”).  
As soon as I made the decision to give this whole dating thing a go, it was like an enormous weight was lifted off my shoulders.  About ten minutes into filling out the (LONG) personality questionnaire and contemplating what to write on my profile and which pictures I would upload, that same weight came crashing right back down with a vengeance.  Why had I thought that this was a good idea, again?  Did I really believe that with thousands of pretty girls in the metro area looking for love that anyone would give me a second glance? Would it be a better use of my $300 to pay a random guy on the street to take me to a movie, or would $300 even be enough to convince him to do so? What the HELL was I thinking?
It was then that the rational part of my brain, the one that so often gets slapped down by the emotional whirlwind it shares my skull with, spoke up and told me to get a hold of myself.  I’m not exactly a troll, after all.  In fact, on paper I’m almost a catch.  I’m raising a terrific kid, I own a home, I have a job I love, I’m smarter than the average tree stump, I have a good sense of humor, I am kind and articulate and have all my teeth. All those things combined are part of a decent package…it’s the wrapping paper that makes me doubt that anyone will ever want to open it.
There’s not much about myself that I really dislike.  I am confident in my abilities and talents, I know my strengths, and I can even make a list of attributes that I am proud of without having to pause too many times to think about it.  There is only one issue that causes me to doubt all the other things I know to be true.  Whatever hand I’ve been dealt, the Queen of Fat is always in play, and when I lay my cards on the table it trumps them all.  It always has.
It’s not impossible to find love when you’re overweight.  I’ve done it before, and statistically I tend to believe that I’ll do it again.  But I know that, despite all the feel-good rhetoric to the contrary, it can be a speed bump in the process.  Fat can be a deal breaker for some people, and even when you do click with someone and you start to believe that maybe the weight isn’t an issue, it can still be the unspoken barrier to full fledged romance.  Or the spoken one, for that matter.
Case in point: Years ago I was dating a guy that was a heck of a catch.  He was smart, funny, mentally stable, and I liked him a lot.  And, because wonders never cease, he liked ME.  We’d only been dating a short time when, while we were out to dinner one night, we were discussing what a good time we’d been having with each other over the few weeks since we’d met.  He said some very complimentary things to me, and then followed it up with the fact that in the past he’d always dated really pretty girls, so when he first met me, it was—and I quote—“hard getting used to someone like you”.
I remember that moment so vividly that even recalling it now 14 years later my chest gets tight and my mouth goes dry, and I’m right back there sitting across the table from a man that had basically told me that I was OK for a fat chick.  The difference is that the woman I am now probably wouldn’t have smiled brightly while she died a little inside, she wouldn’t have nodded like she totally understood what he meant and could see how he felt that way, and she certainly wouldn’t have thanked him for giving a “girl like her” a chance and made pleasant conversation for the rest of the meal before going home and bursting into tears and never returning his phone call again.  At least I’d like to think she wouldn’t.
But the truth is that, in some respects, I’m still that girl at the table that night hoping that it’s not too late to find someone willing to take a chance on “someone like her”.  The difference is that this version of me is a little older, and a whole lot wiser.  Or at least a little wiser, anyway.  I know now that I have a lot to offer the right person, and that the key word in that phrase is “right”.  As I look through the profiles of men who have been deemed to be compatible with me, and of the men who have made contact to learn more about me, I realize that I have developed some pretty high standards in my old age.  I require more from a partner than their mere ability to take a chance on “someone like me”.  I want to find a man who is looking for someone just like me.  He’s out there somewhere.
I hope.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pete and Repeat were sitting in a boat, Pete fell out and who was left?

A reading from the book of Scales, Chapter 8, Verse 14:

"Blessed is she who is faithful in the counting of her points and does move her larger than average booty over the land on a regular basis. She is secure in the knowledge that for her faithfulness she shall have the promise of numbers that diminish with each week she endures. And lo, on the seventh day, Sara didst step upon the scale to claim the fruits of her labor, and did see a number not smaller, nor larger than the one she had seen seven days hence. What a kicketh in the groin."

Seriously, universe?

I'd tell you in great detail exactly how I feel about this week's non-event at the scale, but it turns out I already did that about 4 inches south of here, so I'll wait while you read my last blog entry again. Go ahead, scroll down and feel the frustration all over again. Done? Ok then.

I've had a great run since that May morning when Weight Watchers welcomed back the prodigal daughter with open arms (but no feasting, because have you SEEN the nutritional information for fatted calf? CRAZY!), and I suppose that statistically I was due for a week or two of tribulation. I'll keep the faith, and my nose the grindstone, secure in the knowledge that this too shall pass.

Into every weight loss journey, a few maintains must fall. Can we declare these my "few" and get on with it already?

Whine over. Resolve rebooted. Game on.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The scale, she is a cruel mistress...

Seven days ago, after a solid week of Points counting and daily bouts of vigorous activity (which I performed in temperatures akin to those at the bottom of an active volcano, I’ll have you know. It’s been so hot I haven’t taken my dog out walking with me because it’s just too dangerous to expose her to that kind of heat what with her inability to sweat and all. My safety, however, isn’t an issue as I happen to be a gifted perspirer and maintaining a protective layer of sweat at all times has prevented me from bursting into flames. So far. Stupid global warming.), I stepped on the scale with a positive attitude and a smile for the Weight Watchers employee behind the counter and was rewarded with the following sentence:
“You stayed exactly the same as last week.”

To which I shrugged and replied: “Bummer. Well, whattaya gonna do, huh?”

That’s what I said out loud, anyway. My internal dialogue was somewhat less philosophical. While my face was all “Hey, those are the breaks!” my brain was sneering, stomping it’s imaginary feet into the dirt, and cussing like a longshoreman. Nothing? At all? I bet if I’d stopped to use the bathroom before weighing in I could have eked out* at least a tenth of a pound. I had JUST weighed myself at home before I left (Yes. I weigh myself occasionally during the week, and I know some people don’t do that and have many, many opinions as to why it’s a bad idea that range from sensible to holier than thou. I’ve heard ‘em. I get it. Don’t judge me!) and according to my scale I was down nearly 2 pounds and the two scales in my life are generally 100% in sync. And while we’re at it, I should mention that even my expected 1.whatever loss wasn’t exactly making me jump for joy in the first place, so ending up with a big fat goose egg for the week left me a little on the bitter side.

I know this is a silly attitude. I know that the five seconds we step up on the scale each week is just a snapshot in time, a single frame in the thousands—millions, really—that make up the rest of our lives. I know that my weight in that same five seconds isn’t always a reflection of the work I put in the seven days that preceded it. I know that sometimes the scale doesn’t cooperate no matter how well your week has gone, or how much you deserve to see a payoff when you step on it. I even know that there is one week every month when that most blessed gift of womanhood wreaks havoc on my system in ways too numerous to mention (but not too numerous to track on the iPeriod app!) and that last week was that very week for me. I know all of that. But right that second, when the sting of unearned disappointment was fresh, I just didn’t care.

I slipped on my flip flops, stepped away from the scale, and started toward the chairs in the meeting area when the thought entered my petulant little brain that I shouldn’t stay for the meeting that day. Since I hadn’t gotten the validation I deserved from the scale, surely the best way to retaliate would be to refuse to sit down and participate in a conversation about a program that clearly didn’t work like it’s supposed to, stomp off in a huff and let them watch my big behind sashay right out the door thank you very much while I rolled my eyes because THAT WOULD SHOW THEM!

So I began digging through my purse for my keys, my sunglasses slipping down off my head while I juggled that week’s meeting materials and my water bottle in one hand, while using my other hand to plumb the depths of my handbag for the keys that I suddenly realized weren’t there because I’d left them on the counter in my haste to run away from that hateful little bucket of bolts that had taken a pin to my good mood balloon seconds before. So I walked over, slid the keys toward me, and the lady behind the counter asked cheerfully “You’re staying for the meeting, aren’t you Sara?”

And just like that, I was.

I’ve been doing this for a long time. And the truth is that I’ve learned to accept that I’ll be doing it forever. And as such, with forever being such a long time and all, it’s probably likely that not every day is going to be hearts and flowers and slow-motion romps through fragrant meadows. Some days are going to be harder than others, and I’m going to have to let the rational, mature Weight Watcher inside me grapple with the holy terror of an inner child who still believes that not being able to eat all her points each day in Hostess cupcakes is like so, TOTALLY unfair. On that morning, that particular battle ended with a stern look and a whispered threat to the little girl who took over my body temporarily instead of me having to take her whiny self outside and pop her on her ample bottom.

They say in Weight Watchers circles that sometimes you need the meeting and sometimes the meeting needs you. I needed the meeting that day. I needed to remember that I really believe all those platitudes about the scale only being one measure of our success, and that in the end the number it reads doesn’t matter as much as we think it does. I had a really good week last week. I had another one this week. If I’m doing what I should, then the scale will pony up the goods. Eventually.

But just for the record: Grrr.

*Editing note: I originally used the phrase “squeezed out” in this sentence but it skeeved me out when I read it back.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky...

I believe that we are all essentially the product of our experiences, and that as our lives progress the memories of where we’ve been and what we’ve learned combine to form the core of who we are and help to steer where we’ll go next. In my nearly 40 years on this earth, experience has let me to believe in a few fundamental truths:

Number 1: If there is someone or something in your life that your family doesn’t like (assuming that your family is functional and good for you), then you can be assured that in nearly every case, they are usually 100% right.

Number 2: If you’re going to accidentally wear your shirt home inside out after a night involving activities of a questionable nature, it’s best to make sure that it isn’t one with shoulder pads sewn into it.

Number 3: There’s something wrong with me.

I was talking to my therapist the other day (which is good, since that’s what I pay her for and all. I suppose I could sit in her office and silently crochet for an hour, but that seems like a waste of $120 and since I only know how to crochet one thing I don’t know what I’d do with all the resulting pot holders), and she was grilling me about my childhood. And by “grilling” I mean she was asking me pointed questions in a polite tone. And by “pointed” I mean normal questions a therapist might ask when presented with a patient who says she had a good childhood but still manages to be moderately bat-shit crazy in spite of that fact. And by “moderately bat-shit crazy” I mean that despite all evidence to the contrary, it turns out she doesn’t think very much of herself. Where, she wants to know, does this stem from?

The truth is that I did have a normal childhood. I had two parents who loved and supported me, very little in the way of chaos (unless you count that ten pound bundle of joy they brought home from the hospital when I was six and have always liked better than me), and certainly no abuse or trauma in my past that might have been the sparks that lit the fire of self-doubt. There are a lot of reasons people grow up with an impaired sense of self-esteem, but none of them seem to apply to me. I was not berated tirelessly for my faults, my family situation didn’t force me to assume responsibilities far beyond my age, and I didn’t suffer indignities at the hands of those who were supposed to love me and protect me. I got good grades, I won recognition for my talents, and I managed to eventually grow into a responsible adult in charge of raising another human being who happens to be a pretty great kid. There just isn’t any reason for me to doubt my value as a person. Except one.

It always comes back to the fat, doesn’t it?

I’ve spent about 35 of the last 39 years struggling with my weight. I’ve written before about some of my experiences as an overweight kid and all the ways that my parents tried to help me shed the pounds. I am adamant in my insistence that there was no malice in their efforts, and that every attempt to help me slim down was made out of a desire to make my life better. But it turns out that even my sincere belief in the purity of their intentions doesn’t change the fact that, from a very early age, I knew that there was something wrong with me. Something that needed fixing. Something that was so bad that they’d do nearly anything to change it. Something that I could fix if I just wanted it badly enough and worked hard enough that I could give it to them…and I never could.

Somewhere along the line, the knowledge that no matter what else I was or how much I achieved, the fact that I did it in a body larger than anyone else I knew became the mitigating factor to every achievement (or failure) I racked up. The fat became the cornerstone of my self worth, the broad and wobbly foundation upon which all the other things I am have been laid. My weight has been a defining force in my life, a barometer of my greater success over the years. It’s how I’ve judged who I am, and what I deserve…and I didn’t even realize it until recently.

Do not mistake this revelation as an indictment of my parents in any way. They are wonderful people who continue lovingly support me as they have my whole life. There are millions of people with legitimate parental grievances to air and I won’t pretend that I am among them. The truth is that my feelings about my weight and how it’s defined my life are much less about them than they are about ME. I am a muller, a thinker, a dweller of thoughts. Plant a seed in my brain and I’ll nurture and fertilize it until it grows in to a sturdy plant with deep roots and an impressive canopy of branches…but I just might look up and realize that I’ve been fostering a weed. I’ve been mulching and pruning and watering this sucker for decades, it seems. What a colossal waste of time.

Its time tend to the rest of the garden, to see what else might be hiding under that big fat weed’s leaves just waiting for a chance in the sun. I think I’m ready to find out.