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The Girlfriend's Guide to Health will be updated every Tuesday.... Stay tuned dear readers and let me rock your world.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Blue Skies

It’s been raining a lot my dear girlfriends. I know, I know I live in Vancouver. It rains here. And yes, “April showers bring May flowers” but man oh man. Don’t those flowers need a little bit of sun as well?

As many of my girlfriends know I am an avid cyclist- riding my fair streets for ass and country and I must admit the constant spray in my face (and up my back) is getting to me.

Sure I am well equipped with a fabulous rain suit that does in fact make me look like a cross between a superhero and a city maintenance man and yes it does keep me relatively dry. Add to that the fact that I have this crazy ethnic hair that seems respond very well to a good dosing of rain and bike helmet and the advantage that “Bed-Head” is still very much “in”. In fact this rain has really not been something to complain about in the past. Truth be told, I have always loved the rain.

You can’t shovel rain and having spent many of my formative years waiting for public transport during prairie winters I am a fan of weather that allows only for a light trench-coat and a few smartly planned layers. Nothing ruins my winter buzz more than sensible boots with rubber treads and a poufy down jacket that adds 20 pounds and makes me look even more “hippy”.

I love being able to run outside all winter long without worrying about a wind-chill and how long it will take for my face to freeze off.

But lately I am finding that the last 6 months have taken their toll and I am jonesing for a little ray of sunshine. I blame Celia. Allow me to explain.

Celia is my new bike. Correction, Celia is THE bike to end all bikes. Celia (Italian for Angel) is a goddess.

A black, red, white and blue piece of fabulous machinery Celia is lighter and more comfortable than Bella. P.S. Don’t tell Bella- she will only become resentful and I need a bike to ride in the winter when the rain is REALLY bad.

That being said- I was really looking forward to me and Celia having many a sunny day ahead of us. Not so- heads up world- we’re soaked. In the words of B. J. Thomas’s classic- “raindrops keep falling on my head”….  Sing it girlfriends, you know you want to.

So I could not help but wonder if all this cloud cover was indeed clouding my mood as well?

Here’s the interesting thing about darkness and light. Our brains have a physiological response to shades of grey. 

When our eyes detect darkness, a small gland in the brain called the pineal releases melatonin, which establishes sleep cycles. When we detect light, melatonin production subsides and its happier hormonal sibling, serotonin, takes over to promote wakefulness and help elevate mood.

Some of my sisters may have heard of the term- Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Research on SAD has been focused on the brain's response to darkness and light, as the condition has been linked to the shortened daylight hours of winter. SAD has indeed been recognized as a disorder in the DSMIV (the holy bible of mental illnesses) and I am not disputing its existence.

But I wondered if there was evidence that weather affects mood in those of us without SAD? Can the saying be true? Can we really see clearly now the rain has gone? Do the dark clouds really have me blind?

Turns out… not so much.

A variety of research has been done to explore the effects of weather on mood and cognitive function. Summary judgement, girlfriends…. Very little effect. There are a few hallmark trials, albeit of questionable design that show very little effect of weather on cognitive function and mood.

Firstly, A study published in 1997 out of Scandinavia found that people who lived in sunny places were no more miserable than those who lived in rainy ones. Further data came forth in the years 2000-2005 to show that variations in temperature in countries did nothing to affect mood and productivity. I won’t give you all the details- just take my word for it- the science does not support a warm heart and a clean head.

Finally a large-scale trial published in 2008 by the American Psychological Society out of a group in Berlin showed little effect of weather variations on emotions in over 1200 Germans.

The study examined the effects of six weather parameters (temperature, wind power, sunlight, precipitation, air pressure, and photoperiod) on mood (positive affect, negative affect, and tiredness). Data were gathered from an online diary study of 1233 people linked to weather station data, and analyzed by means of multilevel analysis. The results revealed main effects of temperature, wind power, and sunlight on negative affect. Sunlight had a main effect on tiredness and mediated the effects of precipitation and air pressure on tiredness. The effect however was minimal at best. The effect of weather on mood as well was small.

Windy, cool and darker days seemed to have just a slight negative effect on mood, with many subjects reporting that they felt tired or sluggish.
The problem with this study is that it can be very subjective and really at best, it strains to draw any consensus. From the range of responses the study's subjects recorded in their journaling, the researchers determined in the end that "people differ in their sensitivity to daily weather changes." Really? No shit.
So, there you have it. Another day- another rainy dark and gloomy day. I don’t have science to back me up and my bike shoes are soaking wet. Off I go for another ride in the rain safe in the knowledge that humidity is good for my curls and bitching although necessary at times… is not to be made into a habit. As J.D. Thomas says… (sing it with me girlfriends)

“Cryin’s not for me- cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining… because I’m free. Nothing is worrying me.”
Amen my sisters, Amen.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Let's Pretend

Well my girlfriends- I have seen the future. I have glimpsed into the universe beyond and well, it is a rather interesting place. Just last weekend I attended Vancouver’s Fan Expo.

For my girlfriend’s whom I’ve left in the dark Fan Expo is a rather interesting event which takes place in cities all across North America. It is a weekend endeavor where (how shall I say this politely?) fans of comics, superheroes and science fiction convene in a given location and show their love in a collective expression.

Translation? Fan Expo is convention where geeks far and wide gather together to speak Klingon and feel for one great weekend that yes, they will indeed inherit the earth in the event of a zombie take-over.

What was I doing at Fan expo my girlfriends ask? Had I mistakenly wandered in under the pretense that this was a sample sale gone wrong? Heaven’s no. I was there for love.

As many of my cybersisters know, the love of my life is a first class geek. His comic book compilation rivals my own collection of Italian footwear. I am told that they remind him of his youth and days gone by. In fact the whole “geek mystique” really is about a place in time when we were the superheroes in our head. When we dreamed about being Superman, saving the world from the villains and of course getting the girl.

And so, not a fan of comic books but most definitely a fan of imagination and the act of embracing the best our memory banks have to offer, I Made a date with my beloved to walk down his boulevard of broken dreams and dwell in the possibilities.

Enter Fan Expo. Firstly- let me say that what follows is an outsiders account of the geek world. I do not intend to mock or make fun. I love geeks. Hell, I live with one and think he is the best person I know. My favourite people are geeks.

By the same token, I don’t pretend to understand the allure of dressing up like a Japanese gaming character and standing in line to pay $60 to take a picture with Adam West from the old Batman series.

There we were in a room full of people who en masse looked really like the smart guys in grade school. The dress code seemed to involve either a costume of some kind or a grey hoodey.

I of course did not dress appropriately. Decked out in Dries van Noten fabulous trench coat and 3 inch Louboutin pumps (these shoes were made for conventions such as these) I felt like my own version of a superhero. If these could dress up like Superman or Batman or Ghostbusters, I could be my very own superhero clad in a stylish Italian made cape and heels- ready to leap tall buildings with a single pump.
It struck me that these guys (yes there was easily a 7 to 1 ration of men to women) were truly dwelling in the times gone by. Hundreds of boxes of comics were stacked with every kind of comic book from generations gone by. Every imaginable superhero paraphernalia was for sale including a batman bathrobe and a porcelain figurine of the SHMOO (remember him?)

There were a number of booths where star wars characters were dressed up ready for battle complete with light sabers and an audience. As well, the room was full of booths of aspiring comic book artists, media artists and character creators all selling their wares in the hope of becoming the next Stan Lee (he made Spiderman for those of you who did not know that).

At the end of the hall was the autograph area where a number of famous characters were available for a “meet and greet”.  Lou Ferrigno (aka:the Hulk) was sitting patiently waiting for his fan base. Lou’s in great shape and seems like a lovely fellow. I said hello and mentioned that I was a fan both of his “Hulk” days and his stint on Celebrity Apprentice. Lou was charging $40 for an Autograph and $30 for a photo with him.

Yes, my girlfriends, step right up- memories for sale. I could not help but wonder what happened to it all. When did our nostalgia get its own price tag? When did it become okay to sell an interaction or a service that really has no meaning? Hey, I could understand if Lou had a biography for sale and he wanted to sell me a signed copy.

But $40 for a signature on a piece of paper? What is that? Am I the only cyber sister who thinks that if you are going to shell out cash you should at least have something legitimate (like an accessory) to take away with you.

Paying for an interaction with a person that seems more like a common fan courtesy seems well, like Lou has become…. How shall I put this? He’s become a memory whore. Yes, harsh but true.

I suppose a man has to make a living but this does not seem to be a proper defense of charging your fans money to support you when they are the reason you are where you are in the first place- sitting at a table and charging for the pleasure of you signature.

Perhaps I am being too harsh. I am told that most ex-superheroes, Star Wars cast and the entire crew of the Enterprise charge for autographs and photos at such events. Insert sad face here.

I wondered if I had attended Paris Fashion Week, would Karl Lagerfeldt expect me to pay 50 euros for his autograph? Wouldn’t the price of a Chanel jacket be enough for me to get him to sign the inside of the lapel?

So all of this make-believe had me wondering…. What does dressing up and getting your superhero’s autograph do for the psyche? Is there any evidence that shows that a fantasy world can heal the real one?

According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal video games and fantasy worlds may in fact reduce depression in young people.

A total of 187 adolescents ages 12 to 19 who sought help for depressive symptoms but had no major risk of self-harm were enrolled, and 168 completed 3 months of follow-up.

The study looked at the effect of playing SPARX on depression scales in these teens who were diagnosed with depression but who did not express any warning signs of self harm. Subjects enrolled were randomized to either playing SPARX or to a control group who received regular care.

The game is set up as an interactive fantasy in which the user chooses an avatar that is charged with restoring balance in a word dominated by "gloomy negative automatic thoughts." Cognitive behavioral therapy is delivered during those challenges via a guide who puts the game into context, provides education, gauges mood, and sets and monitors real-life challenges.

The player typically spends 20 to 40 minutes on each of seven modules, delivered over 4 to 7 weeks.

The other group were given regular care which was in-person counseling delivered by trained counselors and clinical psychologists.

Overall the study, published online in the British Medical Journal on April 20, 2012 found that SPARX was as good  as treatment as usual.

The study found the effectiveness of SPARX wasn't related to sex, age, ethnicity, or setting, but participants who were more depressed at baseline had a significantly greater reduction in depression scores with SPARX than those who were less depressed.

There you have it my girlfriends… evidence that imagination may in fact heal the soul. Whether it is a SPARX video game, dressing up as Wonder Woman or just dressing up- we could all use a little fantasy in our lives. What better way to define one’s priorities than the pretend picture in our heads? Now that’s an image you can never put a price on.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Made it Through the Rain

Oh my girlfriends I am dwelling in bliss. Catch the buzz quickly before I once again descend into the usually bitchiness that is me (hey a girl’s gotta be what a girl’s gotta be). But for now at least I am in an exceptionally good mood.

Here’s the details, my cybersisters- as some of you may know I had torn my hamstring some time ago. This was not a serious injury but it did require a year’s worth of rehab including physiotherapy and those lovely bandages wrapped around the leg.

Yes, I bought bandages in every colour. I considered my tensor bandages my new accessory that of course should highlight the given outfit- as important as a handbag or good footwear. Of course like and like every good patient with an eye for health and fashion I made sure that yes, my bandage on my hamstring matched my outfit.

In addition to the bandages, came the physiotherapy and strength training. Rest assured my girlfriends- I was a terrible patient. My physiotherapist, Jeremy should be sainted for putting up with me.

In fact one might argue that the reason my injury took so long to heal was that I was remiss at the daily exercises required for prompter healing. Furthermore, part of the healing process involved resting the injured area and of course nothing says rest like scaling Kilimanjaro or cycling across country.

I would not rest and therefore, my tear took longer to heal. Jeremy of course was very patient with me (big love to Jer if he’s reading this).

Finally in a weekly training session with my beloved and equally patient trainer (Mr. Veino – there are no words) we would focus on hamstring strengthening lessons. Slowly but surely my wounds would heal.

And so my cybersisters it is with great pride this week that I crossed the finish line safely and successfully at this year’s Vancouver Sun Run. Said run is the annual 10km city race which occurs every year in Vancouver and boasts one of the largest turn outs in North America.

Make no mistake, this was not my first race. Hell, for the last 6 years I’ve been running (both in heels and track shoes) like a crazy lady. Countless 10km races, half marathons, triathlons and even one marathon and I had begun to take running for granted.

However, a year or so ago my injury threatened to make running a thing of the past. As my girlfriends know- I took up swimming and cycling with a vengeance- perhaps to compensate for my lack of ability to race with the best of them.

So imagine my delight when I was able to lace up my sneakers once again and hit the pavement. Ahhh, to feel the asphalt beneath my feet, the wind in my hair and the pains in my ass…. It was a joy I had missed.

According to a review article on running injuries published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 1996 certain muscle groups are at highest risk for strain and injury than others.

Findings from the laboratory indicate that certain muscles are susceptible to strain injury (muscles that cross multiple joints or have complex architecture). These muscles have a strain threshold for both passive and active injury. Strain injury is not the result of muscle contraction alone, rather, strains are the result of excessive stretch or stretch while the muscle is being activated.

When the muscle tears, the damage is localized very near where the muscle meets the tendon.

In the review, the most commonly injured muscles associated with running include the hamstring, the rectus femoris, gastrocnemius, and adductor longus muscles. These are essentially at the back of the leg above and below the knee

Studies show that an injured hamstring is at significant injury for repeat tearing.

Newer research has show the beneficial effects of warm-up, temperature, and stretching on the mechanical properties of muscle. This has been seen in both injured and non-injured alike. These benefits potentially reduce the risks of strain injury to the muscle.

The key factors protecting muscles include strength, endurance, and flexibility. Studies show that the stronger and more flexible a muscle group- the less susceptible it is to injury.

This becomes even more important when a muscle group has been injured and is at greater risk for repeat injuries.

There you have it my girlfriends. Deepak Chopra once said- “success is not how you rise- it is how you rise after you fall”. This fallen angel is feeling pretty good about the road ahead.

As for my girlfriends out there struggling with a setback of one kind or another? My advice is simple- be tenacious. Like any good girlfriend at a Barney’s outlet- keep searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Don’t give up or settle for status quo.

We don’t do that with our choice in shoes (the hunt for the perfect pump continues) or with our choices in friends, hairstylists or ice cream flavours. As women we are forever searching for perfection. Why shouldn’t we strive for it when it come to our own health?

As the evidence suggests- when injured take the time to heal properly and then get back to work at making it all make sense. Seek the proper treatment plan from people who know best (no, Dr. Oz- I am NOT talking to you) and behave accordingly.

Who knows, my girlfriends, what future celebrations lay in store. I’ve been good to my hamstring these past few months and today, she was very good to me. Rest assured I rewarded the both of us with a fabulous pair of mint green 5 inch pumps that really do complete me. What better way to mark the occasion, No?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You Can Always Go Home

Hello from Winnipeg my dear girlfriends. Birthplace of Neil Young, Cherry Pepsi and yours truly. As you read this I am in Beasejour giving a talk on healthy living. Rest assured I decked out in my finest and yes, my shoes really do make me look smarter.

It is the day before this talk however as I write this blog from the confines of a cute little coffee shop in the exchange district. Ah it takes me back dear girlfriends to days gone by when I took musical theatre lessons just down the street back “in the day”. It began when I was 7 or 8 years old at Prairie Theatre School and continued until I was somewhere in my teens. When I was 12 I promptly announced to my family that I wanted to be a Broadway theatre legend.

My parents, ever the supporters promptly informed me that I would most definitely be a doctor but could absolutely act on Broadway as a hobby, in my spare time.

I had many a musical theatre class over on Princess Street not three blocks from where I now sit. I remember hanging out in these very coffee shops between classes dreaming about my “big break”. My teacher’s name was Nancy and she thought my improv skills were something else (if I do say so myself).

There it began, my sisters…. The chance to be something you were not and to dream about a future somewhere else. I would argue, in fact that my imagination really took flight only a few blocks from this very coffee shop.

Now I’m back and the memories of days and dreams gone by puts a genuine smile on my face. Make no mistake my girlfriends, I do not have regrets. As the parental units had predicted, I did become a doctor. My Hobbies however are numerous, but none include being a Broadway legend. As for my spare time? It is often spent in search of Italian footwear that will of course complete me.

I could not help but wax nostalgic about days gone by and the hope that was so much apart of me so many years ago. Being back in Winnipeg always makes me feel just a bit nostalgic. I think anyone’s hometown can have that effect on them but somehow Winnipeggers will tell you that here the effect is ever more prevalent. This city somehow has its way of helping you become who you are. Anyone who denies it really has bad manners. (Hey, Burton Cumming, I am talking to you)

Think about it. How else do you have a sense of self if you never have a frame of reference? Who we are is where we come from. Where we spent our formative years; the coffee shops where our dreams were born.

Make no mistake; I have a great deal of content about where my life has lead. Sure, It would be nice to be a Broadway legend but I’ll be quite content watching Broadway from the orchestra seats for the rest of my life if it means that I get to still have the life I’m currently living.

Forgive me for waxing on emotional my girlfriends, but if you can’t share your insides with a cyber sister, than what good is the Internet? I can’t help but sit in this coffee shop and wonder how many of my girlfriends think about the choices life has made with us or for us and live without regrets?

Bonnie Ware is a palliative care nurse in Australia who collected information from her patients in the last 3 months of their lives. She recorded the most common regrets they had and formulated them into a book and then into a full-length inspirational book. According to Ms. Ware, the top five regrets of the dying are:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself and not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
5. I wish I had let myself be happier.

I’m not sure an anecdotal book counts as evidence this week, my girlfriends but when you do a literature search in the medical literature the only real evidence that tends to come up involves a woman’s right to chose and given that I am full on PRO-CHOICE, I figure it would be a no brainer.

That being said, I could not help but think of Ms. Ware’s observations as I walk down these boulevards of broken dreams.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself and not the life others expected of me.
Sure, I went to medical school for my parents but everything I’ve done since then has pretty much been a self-serving endeavor. I think as with most thing- the dreams of others often become our own. Your spouse, your beloved, your kids, your friends- often many of their hopes and aspirations indeed do become woven into your own. Life is not an independent film. We live amongst others and I would argue often the lines do get blurred beyond what they may have been. Will I regret never being a Broadway legend? Not likely. I’m not sure that Broadway would have loved me the way my current life has.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
Do I wish I worked less? Hell no. I love work. I like being busy. Relaxing is torture for me. I tried it just this morning. I lay in bed in the hotel room for a solid 20 minutes before I grew bored and had to get up, go to the gym and go for a run.

3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
Do I wish I had the courage to express my feelings? I think we can safely say that I will go to my deathbed without worrying about that one. In fact I would argue that I often express far too many feelings… all at once. But hey- in life we take what we are given and make the best of it.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
As for friendships passed? I’m not sure that is worth a regret. People come in and out of your life for a variety of reasons. I have found its best to remember them in the moment and take the memories with you rather than dwell on the absences. If any of my long lost girlfriends are out there- do feel free to give me a call. I would love to hear from you.

5. I wish I had let myself be happier.
Finally I wonder if many, many years form now (hell all this healthy living has to lead to some longevity) will I wish I’d let myself be happier? That one remains to be seen. I think at this point happiness is the bliss you make not the bliss you take. If that is indeed the case, I should be going to the great beyond with a smile on my face.

Another week gone with reflections in tow and a trip down memory lane. I leave tomorrow with no regrets and a quick stop in Toronto before heading back to the coast, the boy and the life I have for the most part chosen. I’m as content with the parts that were in fact chosen for me as the bits that I picked out myself. Goodbye little cafĂ© and my Broadway dreams. It was a lovely place to visit but I no longer live here in so many respects. Remind me to treat myself to a great pair of strappy sandals to mark the moment.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Water, water everywhere

Confession time again, my girlfriends…. I am not a big drinker. Yes, I know you’ve heard this from me before. I have previously waxed on about my “little liver that could”, or rather doesn’t and namely how at any given function you only need to give me one cocktail to get the party going. This will not be THAT blog. What I mean is that I am not a big drinker of (wait for it) WATER.

Make no mistake- I’m a big fan of water. Salt, fresh, distilled, all of it. I love to swim in it and bathe in it. I rely on it twice a week to wash my hair and do my laundry. I brush my teeth twice a day and take pride in the fact that I am relatively clean. But as for drinking it on a regular basis? I just can’t be bothered.

Take last night for example. We were out for dinner to one of my favourite little places in Vancouver. The rime comes for us to order beverages and my beloved politely tells the waitress that he is “Fine with just water.”

I am never fine with just water. Sure it is good for you and yes 60% of our bodies are made of it- but really? Must I drink so much of it? The only time I am “fine with just water.” Is when I am hiking up some mountain and worried that there won’t be enough water.

In fact truth be told, I climbed Kilimanjaro with two boxes of Crystal Light in my pack ready at any moment to turn my water bottle into “pink lemonade” or “Peach berry explosion”.

Make no mistake- as a hard-core fan of healthy living I try NEVER to drink my calories. No juice and no sugar drink for me. Yes, I sometimes indulge in a diet soda (insert shame here).

In fact in an effort to wean myself off of the diet pop I took to drinking Pellegrino… by the bottle. This of course was some years ago and in response to the fact that I could easily consume 2 litres of diet Pepsi in a sitting. I know, not good.

It began innocently enough. I was 7 years old and a chubby kid. My mother let us drink as much diet pop as we could. Sorry mother- I must again blame you for my shortcomings, but hey, what are parents for?

You see in my house growing up we had bottles of diet pop in the fridge and yes, we as a family all drank out to the same bottle- back wash and all. Pretty gross that we would just open the fridge from time to time and take a swig from the family pop bottle, put the cap back on the bottle and return it to its place in the fridge door. We would then close the fridge and move on with our lives.

I realize this behaviour is pretty twisted, but it was the 70’s after all and cultural norms were pretty wacked. That, and my family although awesome was pretty weird. It is safe to say, that in addition to the “pop swigging”; I have some other vestigial behaviours from childhood that are still present today. These remnants of my upbringing are pretty odd under any circumstances but I just can’t shake them.

As for the “2 litre a day- diet pop budget”? Fortunately this childhood madness has long since stopped and I look forward to the upcoming cancer diagnosis that will come as a payment for my years of aspartame and saccharine abuse while standing in front of an open refrigerator.

Back to the water issue. Could it be that I am not a big water drinker because as a kid I had a bigger taste for diet pop?

Make no mistake this water deficit could come to bite me in the ass. I’m currently training for the New York Marathon (cat out of bag- pray for me girlfriends) and I worry that I should be drinking more.

According to the American Board of Nutrition and their recommendations published in 2009, the average intake (AI) of water recommended for men is 3.5 litres per day and 2.5 litres per day for women. This is total fluids and not just water. So yes, coffee does factor into this equation (phew).

Active men and women should also increase their water consumption to account for losses during exercise.

As for water aiding in weight loss?? Not so much….According to a study published in 2008 in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association water consumption only helps with weight loss in older adults (over age 65). The study randomized people to two groups of dieters. Both groups were counseled on healthy eating and exercise and were followed for their weight loss. One group however was asked to drink two cups of water 30 minutes before breakfast while the other group was told to leave well enough alone.

The group who drank the water ate 75 less calories on average than the non-water drinking group. However as far as weight loss goes- only people in the over 65 years of age group lost an extra 5 pounds in the water drinking group. This did not hold true for other age groups.

Some data out of Germany suggests that this effect may be because as we age our gastric emptying slows down and that consuming water before a meal may have a larger effect on those with already delayed gastric emptying. Further data remains to be seen….

So, ever neurotic, yesterday as an exercise, I calculated my fluid intake for sport….
2 large coffees with a splash of soy milk (400 cc each)
1 large water bottle of water (750cc)
3 cups of chrysanthemum tea (750cc)
2 glasses of water (with dinner- yah, I caved) (600cc)
A Ginger margarita (it was really small and I don’t have to justify my life choices to you my girlfriends, do I?)

My grand total is just over 2.5 litres and I had an hour of weight training, an hour bike ride and a 30-minute run. I am facing the realization as I write this that I am not drinking enough water.

In fact I am now pausing from the creative process to flag down the waiter at the coffee shop I am in to ask for a glass of water.

Make no mistake- it's not for the weight loss but for the fact that I'm a little low in the tank and my kidneys could use a little watering....

Excuse me dear girlfriends while I drink up and wash these new neuroses down.