Moving on.

Right now, I feel fairly raw and newer in my skin than I ever have.

I am in the process of letting go of all of my knowledge about weight loss and food I’ve ever known, and letting go of expectations of being skinny, weight loss, and how I will get there. I am in a place of uncertainty, excitement and my motivation is no longer about a “how will I look” result.

***on a side bar, my motivation before was driven on this idea that I wasn’t good enough, thin enough, pretty enough… whatever enough… the motivation was always to make myself better, or look better for someone else. . When we get to the “better” state for someone else, there will always be something to continue to change right? Who is this someone else exactly, and what are we trying to achieve here?

I started this Blog (I know I say this a lot), to talk about my process, and what is happening right now. As a place to see the growth over time, as someone puts in the work along their journey.

Rarely do we hear about the process and the journey, and we usually when we see people who are at a different place in their journey from our own we usually see the before and after picture and gather some of the journey, but rarely do we capture how hard it was to transform into whatever their after picture is.

We wish, we hope we dream about being where they are, wherever they are. We drool over their bodies, because we also want the admiration from people. We also want to stop that negative cycle and self talk I’ve talked about so much. Like I said before, we have been conditioned to not like ourselves and we have to be something were not. We are conditioned to believe we are not enough, exactly as we are.

As I step into this new un-adventured part of my journey, I have surrendered in a way. I have not surrendered to a higher power, and I’m not saying I’m powerless against sugar. Because that is bullshit. Seriously, it’s an excuse to not truly take care of myself. (I can say that I do better staying on track when I don’t eat lots of sugar, carbs etc. I tried that several times, I KNOW that if I DEPRIVE myself completely… It doesn’t work.) I have surrendered to myself, and the control, to the feelings of shame, guilt and living in the moment mindfully. Addressing the things, ALL OF THE THINGS.

I am de-constructing years and years of negative thinking based off of what other people have allowed me to believe about myself. I keep saying this statement to my therapist “Slowing it down the process even more” and when I say that I mean really… taking my time through the day and the things that I encounter. Not being willing to budge on my wanting to get better. This looks like… If I feel uncomfortable, instead of ignoring it (which would end up with me eating all of the scones like I mentioned in my last post), addressing it. Speaking my truth, and also talking myself through it in my mind. Giving myself a voice, not only out loud, but in my brain. My goal is to quiet that negative Nancy so much that all I hear is positive self talk when I encounter things.

If I KNOW ANYTHING, everything takes practice. It’s a slow process, and won’t happen over night.

Thank you for reading, I feel more grateful now than ever.

 

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Parallels of two

I am not sure If I’ve written about this before, but with this food addiction stuff I’ve always felt like I was two people. The girl, the human struggling to be Rachael, and then the addict, something bigger and almost outside of myself that wants me to stay in this victim, shaming place with food, and my body.

Recently I have found even more parallels between these two that I wasn’t really expecting. Because I’ve been doing these patterns on and off for so long with weight loss and gain, I became really good at understanding what those felt like. It was late one night and I was on lots of cold medicine, but I saw the parallels between how I felt as a kid with my father and how I felt when I was totally out of control with my food and the spiral thinking.

Growing up I was always walking on egg shells and was always trying to make my father happy. I was always waiting for him to get angry, I got good at predicting his yelling, though it never stopped the way that I felt when it happened. I felt rejected, hurt, let down and left always dreaming for more. I quickly learned how to check out, and disassociate. It didn’t matter what you said back to him, he would make it your fault, he would harass and bully me.

I remember one time as a child, my mom was being yelled at, and I jumped into defend her. I remember his yelling switching to me, and me feeling all of those things I just mentioned which I did quite often in that house. I remember going into our computer room, locking the door, and sitting in the closet with my arms wrapped around my knees. My body felt shaky, or anxious and I felt like I did something wrong, or that I was the bad guy. I felt ashamed, I was to blame, and like I did something bad. Which eventually translated later to “I am bad”.

Of my lowest times, when I felt like I hit rock bottom with my food and body stuff… I remember I was about 240-250. I cannot remember exactly how much, and it doesn’t really matter the number, but it wasn’t my highest. I was in college, alone in my room, and I was sitting up against the wall, in the furthest corner in my bed, with my arms wrapped around my knees (as much as I could with a bigger body). I remember feeling full to the brim of food, anxiousness, uncertainty, starving for help, on the verge of a panic attack, scared, stress, fear and… well you know the feelings when you’ve lost control.

Both experiences, all though were different, were similar in how I was reacting. I essentially, just kept this abusive person with me all along with my body and food. I mean he did tell my mom once that I needed mental and physical help with my weight. That didn’t help my perception of myself and my body, at all.

Sorry for this long post… I promise I’m almost done. When I decided to stop the dv with my father, I stopped talking to him for a while. Because he couldn’t hear very well, he argued with me in email, IN EMAIL. I can’t remember what I said to him at the time, but it pretty much said “I’m done”. I tell people now that I stopped talking to him because I was tired of being abused as an adult. I was tired of having my expectations of him be shattered all of the time. I was tired of feeling like, maybe this time will be different and then allow it to continue to happen. I was exhausted physically and mentally. I had to change my perspective and approach in our relationship if I wanted anything from it, and of course my expectations. We can’t change anyone but ourselves.

I had attended like 5 alanon meetings, let go of my expectations. I grieved for months, and maybe still do today to an extent about what I would not get from him. It was hard, and since then I have taken the emotional piece out of our relationship and approach things tangibly, and factually. I let him know what is happening in my life, and do not engage any sort of emotion with him. Once, he yelled at me on the phone. I said… “Dad you can be angry, but you do not get to yell at me”, then he told me why he hated talking on the phone. I learned my lesson, while standing my ground at the same time.

A lot of this food and body stuff will shift in time, as I let go of the control and the dv aspect of it. I am seeking a new relationship with myself which includes building on positive thinking, being in the moment more with who I am. All of this is hard, and new to me, and I’m sure there will be plenty of grieving.. And I’m ready for it.

Progress Noted

More progress noted:

I can’t remember the last time I binged.

I haven’t said I’m cured by any means… But, I really truly cannot remember the last time I’ve binged.

I’m not sure when or why I stopped.

(Possible trigger moment, I’m going to talk about what happens when I binge, or why I do it.)

I think I stopped because I’ve been trying to take care of myself better emotionally. I think that binging comes when I feel mentally and physically exhausted, it’s the thing I do, after I’ve done other naughty things all day, usually it’s with foods full of sugar. The only way I can describe it, is that I am so Stressed out and I don’t allow myself to feel anything too deeply. It comes as a progressive thing, and usually starts with mindless eating over the day. It starts with me, eating something,  (more on the line of carbs because that is usually what is available at work most of the week) eating anything really, because something else happened. I believe I do this now out of habit.

I can remember a time recently where there were scones in our office and I was caught in this non-awareness loop. You know the ones… Where we are doing our life, and we are not present with what’s going on, like we check out. What happened was, I was feeling stressed out because of something that was happening with one of the youth I was working with at work.

Side bar: Actually writing this, triggers something I didn’t realize before… Which will tie into my next blog post a lot more (which I’ve already wrote on paper)… Ready for this one? I’m a little shocked myself. What I’m about to write you, is totally live and candid and I wish you could have seen my brain produce it. When I am feeling uncomfortable about a conversation I have to have with youth at work, I tend to check out and procrastinate with shoving food in my mouth. What happens with my body and my mind at the time, is I get so anxious and worked up (hence stressed out), and allow myself to check out of those feelings and use to alleviate them. The interesting corrilation though, is that these feelings that I have at this time, are very similar to the ones that I had as a little girl when my dad would engage in arguing with me. (I will address this more in the next post, I promise.

Going back to the example I was giving before, I caught myself mid scone, okay mid-3rd mini scone, and said… “WOAH, Rachael, what are you doing right now?” and I threw it away, and started to talk to myself positively. I can’t remember what I said to myself then, but I know I started to say things like:”You are safe, you are okay, breathe, and you will get through this. I started to create more of a positive dialogue in my brain about what was happening in the moment. With time, the more we practice, the easier self soothing becomes down the line. Also, if I spend time worrying about what others think, the harder it is to take care of myself right now, in this moment. And, why worry about something you have no control over or, in the real reality… we don’t know how someone is going to react, and worrying about something you don’t know, only keeps you trapped in those spiral thinking mind traps.

Going BACK to the binge piece, because I’ve been able to stop myself more and more in these daily traps, I think the binging stopped. It’s usually that when I allow myself to continuously follow through with those daily traps, that I would get home and be like “fuck it”, or intentionally do it because I cannot cope with what is happening around me at the time.

It feels good to be winning for a while. 🙂

 

 

 

Day 6

I missed writing Friday and Saturday.

It’s been a busy weekend, unintentionally.

Friday we were out with a friend for dinner, I ate a sandwich, mostly just the filling of the sandwich, and probably half the bread and a salad for dinner. I also had two drinks. Saturday came, and I can’t remember what I had for lunch, but we got our tree, set it up, and decorated it. We also put a new faucet in our kitchen for our sink. Well, we attempted to. Then my boyfriend wanted a new sink. So we bought one, and after taking out the old sink to replace it we found mold in the counter tops.

Since finding mold in the counter tops, we had to rip them out. Because we didn’t have a sink, last night we ordered Mexican to be delivered. I swore I ordered chicken fajitas, which would have been fairly okay, especially if I didn’t eat the tortillas. What came was chicken enchiladas. I made a mistake. I ate them, and they had flour tortillas. I ate the beans too, just not the rice. That was probably my only hiccup of the day.

TODAY we bought new counter tops. I sanded the wall where the glue had been from the previous “back splash”, I then taped up most of the kitchen and painted the wall a beautiful shade of robins egg blue.  We ordered take out again… We mostly don’t want to do all of the dishes… in the bathroom, because we were un-sure when the sink would go in. We ordered Thai food, which was pretty easy to get healthy.

It’s almost 9:30, I’m physically and mentally tired. Our house looks like a tornado came through. All of our kitchen drawers are in our living room, our kitchen aid is in the craft room, all of the pots and pans are in there too, along with our food processor… Trash can, recycle bin.. All living in the living room temporarily. It feels chaotic. It is chaotic.

Food this weekend wasn’t great, but… it wasn’t bad. I still haven’t dipped into the Halo ice-cream in the fridge. I haven’t eaten any of the cheeze-its my boyfriend bought from Target today… even though I want to. I haven’t drank since Friday. I did treat myself to a diet coke today. Which is something I haven’t had in a long time.

Also… The coffee I’ve gotten this past weekend have been 1/2 calf americano’s and I add some artificial sweetener and some half and half.

I’m ready for the week, and am looking forward to having my house back!

No picture today, but I have paint in my hair, paint all over my shirt, and probably on my face. My hair is wacky and my feet hurt pretty bad.

Goodnight, more tomorrow.

 

Day 3

I really have to prep my day better with food. I am also coming down from the sugar and the carbs pretty hard.

I have been crazy cranky for two days now in the afternoon. And I think if I pack my morning and lunch with MORE protein, I will probably feel better through out the day.

Today I had a smoothie for breakfast, and a giant “Italian chopped” salad for lunch, and then I had some nuts with some cranberries for a snack during the afternoon with some kombucha. I became so cranky that I was really having a hard time focusing, and my head was hurting and I was growling… Well not literally growling, but complaining about everything. It was a busy day, and I didn’t have much time to dedicate to the work at my desk until about 4:20 or so. I stayed there til about 5:15, came home and layed in bed for about twenty minutes quiet, and with my eyes closed. At some point, around 315 I went to get a n/f 8 oz decaf latte. I don’t know about you, but for some reason coffee is something that can calm me down pretty quickly, it’s a really bizarre phenomenon. Coffee is the one thing that I can sit down, close my eyes and when holding it I tend to breathe better. It’s not so much about the coffee, as the ritual and the familiarity in that piece.

I got up after my little nap, did the dishes and ate some veggie burgers, veggies and about 3/4 cup of rice. I felt so MUCH better after dinner. I am pretty sure I just need to eat more, since I’m eating less calories at a time. It really just all looks different when you are eating better foods.

My water intake has been less than ideal, but I’m still drinking it.

I wanted to also bring up something that I admitted to my counselor yesterday. This idea that I think fat is bad, because it’s been ingrained in my mind for so long from being called that and treated so badly when I was younger. I have also been really obsessed with what other people eat, all of the time. The first day, I could tell you all about what other people eat, and then today when we were out celebrating a co-workers last day in her position I was glancing around the table and eyeing all of the people’s food.

My eyes stopped at several people’s plates, and I closed my mind. I breathed. I said… Rachael, it’s not something you need to worry or care about. I opened my eyes and focused on the people around me and the conversation, and engagement. The conversation I had with my counselor was more about if I’m judging myself with my own eating habits, that’s how I’m treating other people. The better I treat myself, the better I treat others. Less judgy and more open and positive.

Anyway, I’m so sleepy and I need a shower before bed. If you have jumped on board with me to eat better, and cut out the crap. Comment below with what has been working well for you! ❤

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Day 2

It’s been a different day than normal.

I was lucky that I had a counseling apt today, she was super helpful and of course on board with my plan. She usually is on board where ever I’m at. She’s pretty good at helping, when I need help, and has given me lots of feedback before about food stuff. A while ago she suggested I had two proteins for breakfast, and two for lunch, mostly because living with a vegetarian, we don’t have real meat at home. I also know that in the past when I’ve been successful, I’ve eaten more meat protein during the day. It helps keep me energized an full longer.

Wednesdays is also bread day at work. I work at a non-profit, we get donated bread and treats from our local Panera for our families and youth at our organization. What sucks, is it gets brought to my floor, right next to my office. Every Wednesday I walk in and will walk into a plethora of bread smells. I have really thought about all of the places that bread could go instead of that room, but there is no other place. It’s a break room, the only break room we really have. It’s where the bread lives on Wednesdays and Thursdays. If there are too many bread snacks there, someone will bring snacks into our office area. So often times there are scones, cookies and bagels right in front of my face. I didn’t eat any today, and that will remain the same as time goes on.

I left early today for an interview. This isn’t normal either. My plan was I was bringing a smoothie, and would leave at 12:30, knowing I would be hungry and needing to go home and eat before I got ready. 12:30 came, and everyone and their mom, or so it felt wanted to talk to me. I at some point, I had to apologize for being cranky because I knew I was hungry and had a plan and needed to execute. I ended up looking at my co-worker and saying… If you could finish this, and completely take care of it I will buy you a coffee. What I was asking him to do, was sometimes my job and sometimes his job, and probably more my job than his. And then I left.

I ate some lunch, went to the interview… And replayed all of the questions in my head with what I wish I would have said differently. After talking with my boyfriend, and replaying some of the things, he said I actually did pretty well. It really felt like a learning lesson more than anything. It’s the first time I had interviewed for anything in a while. It was helpful to practice. We will see what happens.

This is starting to feel like a long post, so I will try to wrap up the evening quickly… Even though it probably is the most important part of my food stuff for the day.

After my interview, I ended up going grocery shopping. If I’m in it to win it, or if I’m being dedicated to my goal, I need to be prepared. I bought easy protein. After brainstorming with my counselor this morning, I found out that they sell cooked, prepared chicken breasts in separate packages at Trader Joes. YESSS! So I bought them, plus some chicken burger type things that are easy to cook and low in calories. I also bought a few other things that will probably help me stay successful.

I ate two cheese sticks in the car, a little package of trail mix (both from trader joes), and then I ate a few bites of left over sweet potatoes and apples from Thanksgiving, and then…. I went out with my boyfriend for dinner and had three tiny chicken tacos on corn tortillas, a 6oz of beer, kombucha, and came home and had a bowl of left over buffalo cauliflower.

I stopped at that. The cauliflower seemed excessive. I don’t know how many calories I’ve eaten today, or yesterday and I’m trying not to care. Counting calories makes me crazy. I don’t really regret food today. I think the only thing I would have done differently would have been the 3pm range to 6:30 range with the cheese, trail mix and sweet potato apples.

I wasn’t sure when my boyfriend was going to come home, and it was almost too early to eat something big. SO I snacked, and after the sweet potato mix, I stopped. If I would have given it more thought I probably would have eaten one of the chicken burgers I brought home instead. That would have curved my snacking and extra eating when I got home after tacos. I also need some sort of snack between my smoothie and lunch, maybe that’s a good time for some nuts? Maybe. 🙂 I’m also going to switch up my breakfast as well.

It’s almost 10:20, I almost didn’t write tonight, but I am glad I did. I’m pooped.

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Day 1

Today wasn’t so bad, but it was tricky.

When I’m on track, or when things get hard, one of the most effective things I can do is be prepared. I didn’t really prepare last night for today, except pull out some taco filling I had frozen last week. I also had plans to make a smoothie in the morning with spinach, protein powder (It’s called RAW, dairy free, soy free, vegan, and vegetarian), almond milk, frozen fruit and water. Today I woke up suddenly, and was in a hurry. I got dressed really fast, and followed through with my smoothie making plan. It really doesn’t take that long, so I shouldn’t have any excuses really.

I toyed with the idea of not bringing anything else, and a little voice in my brain said… Rachael!!! You know better. I have been getting the lettuce and spinach in the container, and threw some in a container to take with me to eat with my taco filling (fake beef (Quoran), corn, onion, bell pepper and chilies). The vanilla creamer is apart of a routine that I can break, and I know it… It just takes practice. I’ve also done sugar free flavors in the past, and they were not triggering to me for some reason which was great.

I ate my lunch around 12:45, and was hungry again around 1:45, which I ate two single serving tuna packets, and some walnuts as a snack later in the day. I keep several tuna packets in my desk drawer at work which help me when I forget to bring food to work.

There were several moments today that I felt I needed or wanted to eat candy. We have a bag of it in my work space. A co-worker was actually eating it right in front of me. At-least they were Tutsi-rolls, I don’t like those. Another co-worker also brought a giant bag of chips into work today and was munching on them all afternoon, AND another one went and got a cheese burger. Tomorrow I think I’m going to practice not paying attention to what they have and how much they have.

I  wanted an extra cup of coffee in the afternoon, but opted for a cup of tea instead.

It’s the end of the month, and I get paid tomorrow. I looked at my bank account today, and realized I had a little bit of extra money. Another co-worker bought a pizza yesterday after work, and it really stuck with me. I could pick up a pizza on my way home I thought! After realizing what I was thinking, I had to shut it down. It’s not that I will never eat a pizza again, just trying to get through this week, and the next few weeks and months. I think pizza will come again. I just need to get through the brain pieces.

Dinner came, and I made buffalo fake chicken (Quoran) and cauliflower. I had seconds, and all I want to do is eat some of the Halo Top ice-cream in my freezer. It’s 745PM, other than being tired because I didn’t sleep well. I’m full and happy. I’m going to finish drinking my 2nd water bottle for the day, and tomorrow I plan on drinking 3. It’s important to continue to increase my fluids as coming down off of sugar and carbs could give me a head ace.

I’ve got this!

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Giving up the Junk… Again.

I have decided to give up the sugar and the junk food again… for like the 9 millionth time in my life. And… Like every time I try to announce it, as some form of accountability. Well… What you’ve already discovered, maybe, if I wrote about it, is the real accountability comes from you. YOU have to decide and want to do it, and follow through which can be really hard.

I, like every time, usually have made some public announcement, or start a blog… much like the one here. Only I’ve already started the blog, and since I started this blog for many reasons, one of the most major reason was to give people the in-on the process piece of getting from A-B.

So… I have decided to give up junk/sugar/carb food… AGAIN… Only this time, I will write one blog post every day for a week to talk about how it goes and the daily struggle of overcoming the first week of detoxing from the crap. I will also take a picture of myself in real time, mostly to just show the real life piece of this journey.

This is my What the FUCK have I been doing to myself face, the I am vulnerable no make-up just got out of the shower face, the I AM TAKING RESPONSIBILITY face. Frankly I’m a little scared, food scares me and I know when I’m not “on” sugar, or not eating crap, it is easier to not feel so obsessed all of the time. win_20161128_21_42_00_pro-2

I will write more tomorrow, and let you know how day one went.

Labels.

I was going to entitle this post, “Addict? ADD? or both?” and then I thought, really Rachael?

I have a problem with labels.

Often times we will be labeled by other people, and their assumptions behind them. This is where stereotypes come into play. People like classification, and understanding. When we put labels on people, it makes us easier for us to understand them. It creates ideas about people, with out true understanding.

When we label things, even if you don’t think its’ true, people tend to live out those labels. It for some reason, puts limitations on our abilities to complete, or finish, or advance. It creates rules around how we should live, and it sometimes means we can’t be anything different, well at least in the eyes of the ones who have stereotyped us. It’s crappy. It’s crappy because people are not always what other people think they are, based off those stereotypes.

One of the labels that I take on is eating disorder not otherwise specified. I know it will always be with me, and also I know I break the mold from the usual eating disorder. I’m heavier-taller than most women. I have struggled with it since I was a kid, and also its’ not a “typical” eating disorder. I think it’s important to break stereotypes and stretch peoples minds. When I say I am a food addict, or I am emotional or a binge eater… People assume a lot of other things about me that may or may not be true. There is way more understanding though in eating disorder. Either way, it is treated similarly… Well at least I think it does.

When I wrote Addict? ADD? or both? I found some humor in that ADD are the first three letters of addict. Which is interesting because, when we are addicted to something, we get so far gone we don’t even know why we are doing it in the first place. I mean, there is so much more to it than just that. My thoughts on this are, we are so distracted from the original thing, it’s so hard to get back to the beginning. People who are ADD seem to have a hard time staying focused, and can run around in circles before they find there way. I know this, because I also have ADD.

The better I start to understand myself, and the more mature I get… The more I care about what I own, and how much I try not to care about what other people label me as. I once wrote about being an addict. Sure, I think addiction runs in my family. Sure, I have food addiction. At this point, I can realistically say that I drink sometimes more with some friends than other… Because I’m bored. Because my ADD cannot handle sitting, and talking about the same things over and over again. I need something that engages my body, my creativity. It’s a struggle.

I worked with a woman once who labeled me pretty quickly. I don’t really know what she labeled me as, and I could only assume she labeled me as a “goody goody” type person… Until she saw my tattoo on my arm, saw me take shots when we were out down town, and maybe even swear. She said, Wow, I didn’t expect that from you. Working in a social work field, I was a little surprised she was so surprised.

In the end, we are who we are, and we get to be who we want to be. Either way, I like to surprise people. It’s pretty fun being myself.

 

 

Shifting self care.

Self care looks very different to different people.

Recently I met with my counselor and we brainstormed some self care things. Of the list I made she said that she really liked the one of me “laying in bed with out electronics quietly” best.

Its the only one where I was still and almost in a meditative position. When I’m feeling at my lowest, or rather when I’ve had a bad day, my boyfriend will come home and find me in my bed. Usually with my phone, but more recently just being still in the space. It’s because its a place where I feel safe, and cozy. It also gives me the opportunity to be still in my mind and body, which I rarely allow myself to be.

It’s important for self care to be simple sometimes. Realistically, it maybe all we can really can handle at the time. I know at least for me, sometimes when I’ve engaged so much with people, or I’ve been really busy, or have had a rough day… All I want to do, is not do.

When we are engaged with something, we tend to use it for dissociation from the actual problem itself. This is okay, as long as we don’t get stuck here, or rather there. Then it becomes this cycle we cannot get out of. Dissociation, is much larger than this blog post can handle and something I am very good at. Briefly though, we use it to pretty much pretend like the problem doesn’t exist, and use something else to replace it, or to cope with it.

As an example for me: as a child I would eat food and watch TV. I would do this because I was lonely, I would do it because my father didn’t engage me, and also because well frankly he wasn’t nice to me all of the time. I used television as an escape from my problems. Dissociation is deeper than just that, it becomes a problem sometimes when you are engaging with people, suddenly you drift off in mid conversation. It’s like the light is on and nobody is home… It’s separating yourself from what you are feeling and what is present.

Self care, until recently has been watching television and zoning out. At this point it isn’t really self care anymore. It’s habit, and it isn’t serving me. Now don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy binge watching TV, and I think it is and can be very useful in relaxing and unwinding.

Because self care has been so repetitive, it is important to sometimes just be alone with yourself, with no distractions.

Other things I enjoy doing, and are also self care things include: Walks with friends, tea, warm baths, painting, cooking and writing. They are things that I want to take over instead of the “Nothing” things that I do (like zoning out on tv). Like all things, new habits take practice. Until then I will lay in my bed, quietly for self care until I am ready to actually do the other things. Until then, they are just fun. 🙂