The ONLY Fat Blocker is ME – My ALMOST 300 Pound Life Transformation

Yeah, you read that correctly. I’m not gonna lie. My heaviest weight was almost a whopping 300 pounds. I will never forget the morning I weighed in only to see that number on the scale staring back at me. It took all I had in me not to break down and cry right then and there. I couldn’t do that though, as I still needed to get ready for the day, get the girls ready for school, prepare breakfast and lunches, drive to the school, and then drive in crazy traffic to get to work. The whole time I was doing everything, that number haunted my mind. How could I let things get so out of control? When did I stop caring about me?

I just want everyone to know that I DID NOT gain that weight from making poor food choices alone. My PCOS added on quite a bit of weight. Me NOT being active literally weighed in on that, and me sitting all day long at my desk didn’t help matters either. I was eating horribly on road trips when I had to travel for events. I would eat late after work or events because that was the only time I had a chance to eat, and I was too hungry to skip dinner. Mind you, I didn’t always have a “real meal” to eat. I’d grab whatever was in the pantry to put some food in my body. Skipping meals isn’t a healthy option either, regardless of what people think.

So, here I am, a totally different person than I was then. The photo on the left was September 2015 (not even my heaviest weight), and the photo on the right was April 2017. HUGE difference! No pun intended…..

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I sometimes cannot see the “big picture” of my weight loss journey until I see side by side images such as these. Let’s face it, I see my body every day when I look in the mirror. I do see transformation, but I also see the saggy, wrinkly skin from the journey. While I know I have lost 150+ pounds, sometimes what I see in the mirror sure does not make me feel like I have lost anything.

There are several contributors to my weight loss success. First and foremost, God’s grace. I know that He has been with me every step of the journey, giving me the strength, courage, and energy to face everything along the way. Secondly, Low Carb is key! Tracking everything I eat has put things into perspective as to what food choices I make. When you see it all out there in front of you, it is an eye opener. Thirdly, you have to keep moving. I don’t care if it is just walking for 10 minutes every hour. For the first couple of months on my journey, I just watched what I ate. Then, I added in some basic weight and strength training that I would do at home. I didn’t go to a gym to get my workouts done. I did create a workout group with some friends to have the accountability of keeping me on track with my workouts. Those women are awesome friends to have. It’s like we were working out together, but we weren’t. LOL I will write about my running and training journey in another blog. They deserve their own entry!

If there is any doubt in your mind about wanting to take control of your weight/health, but are scared to take that first step or think you won’t succeed at it, use me to prove that you have it in you to accomplish your goals.  You cannot just sit there waiting for something to happen. You have to take control of the situation and show it who is boss. Own up to what needs to be done. You are the only one holding you back from being all that you can be! I will be cheering you on every step of your journey!

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A Year Without Tacos….

Gulp…I cannot believe that I have not consumed tacos in a year. Tacos were an essential part of my life up until January 4, 2016. I would consume a breakfast taco several mornings during the week, nachos, crispy tacos, soft shell tacos… You get where I’m going with the whole taco thing. Hello, I’m Hispanic! Tacos are a life-line for my people! HA!!

I have cooked tacos for the family, but they have not even tempted me. Even the soft, greasy taco shells didn’t tempt me to want to cheat on my low-carb way of life. I know, I know, who says no to soft, greasy tacos? ME -That’s who!!

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When these kind of meals have been prepared here at my house, I will weigh out my taco meat in a bowl, and sprinkle a 1/3 cup of shredded cheese on top of the meat. Instead of tortilla chips or taco shell pieces, I have used some pork rinds to scoop up the meat. There was another time that I didn’t use the pork rinds, but I did go all out and use a tad bit of salsa. I like living on the edge. LOL

So, today is my 1 year low-carb, high protein, way of life anniversary. It has been quite a journey, but I have done it! No cheats, no cravings, no hunger. I am proud of myself for making it this far without giving in one single time. I’m glad to have made it this far. I’m one pound closer to my weight loss goal than I was 1 year ago today.

I can still go out to eat with my family and friends without worrying about going off track. There are a few restaurants and fast food places that I do need to stay away from because there is truly nothing on the menu that I can consume. Most of the time, I’ll let the family or my friends eat there, and I will either eat something at home or grab something from a “me friendly” type place.

Many friends and family are supportive on my choice of eating, but I do have the “nay-sayers” who always have something negative to say about my choice of food. I’ve also been told that if I do not let myself consume some “good stuff” every now and then, I am considered as having an eating disorder. Really? It’s called will-power, and not quite ready to go off track….not even just one meal or one bite. Maybe one day I will have a bite of something, but just not TODAY!

So TODAY is my day to reflect on the 137.2 pounds that I’ve lost this past year. My Winter insulation is gone, and I tend to freeze all the time these days, but you know what, I’M SO HAPPY ABOUT THAT! I am a stronger and healthier me! I’ve got about 15 more pounds to get to my weight loss goal. These last few pounds have been the hardest to lose. There are weeks that the scale won’t even budge. I do my best to not let it discourage me. I just keep moving forward!

Here’s to the start of a new year….a new me! Can’t wait to see where my journey will go. I just know that wherever it leads me, it is in the positive direction!! Always moving forward, never looking back!

It’s Not ALL About Me….

When I first started on this journey, I was pretty quiet about it. I myself knew that I needed to change me, and I had several others suggesting that I needed to change me, without coming right out and saying so. From past experience, I knew it was best to keep things to myself just in case I didn’t stick with it. I didn’t want anyone calling me out in front of a room filled with people if I were to eat something that I shouldn’t. Trust me, it’s happened before.

As I started seeing positive results, I decided to share this lifestyle change I was doing. After researching challenges to keep my body moving, I started exercising at home after everyone went to bed. Two months of doing them on my own, I decided to start a challenge group to get others to join me. I expected maybe 5 people or so to jump in. Instead, I had about 45 friends join me. I was so excited to see their “before” and “after” photos at the end of round 1. Round 2 brought on more friends, and those friends invited their friends. We are now on round 3, and we have 154 members in our group. I’m so excited that these women want to tone up their bodies along side with me.

They tell me how I’ve inspired them, and they thank me for starting the group. In all honesty, they inspire me, and I appreciate them being in the group. They help keep me motivated and pumped up to be a better me. There are days that I’m so tired at the end of the day, and I’d rather go to bed than workout. However, I see the women checking in that their workout is complete, and it pushes me to get up and get moving. If it weren’t for them, I’m not sure I’d stay on track with the daily workouts.

At first, we were focusing on toning up our arms. We are now doing full body toning and sculpting. Seeing the results from their hard work is amazing. They work so hard, and I’m proud of each and every one of them. They help motivate others in the group, and I love that they are active with one another’s progress and struggles.

Avenue A, a local company, designed a logo for our group, and has made muscle shirts for some of our members. I can’t wait to see the ladies in their awesome tanks, showing off their guns.

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So, here’s to the awesome ladies who push me to want to do better for myself! Thank you for joining me in becoming a healthier person. You ladies rock, and I can’t wait to see all of our results at the end of this month!

Keep on working hard, and you will see the results in the end. Push yourself to reach the finish line, no matter how long it takes you to get there!! It may not happen tomorrow, this month, or next, but it will happen!

Nike’s Dri Fit Be Strong Capris

Today I went to the Nike Outlet Store. I decided to go there to buy some workout pants/spanx since nothing I own at the moment fits the right way. Plus, I wanted to try some stuff on to find out what size I wore in case I ever wanted to purchase anything on their website.

I ended up buying 1 pair of “training” capris, 2 pairs of running capris, and 1 shirt. Since I now know how this stuff feels while working out, I plan on going back to get a few more items.

Instead of posting just pictures of my purchases, I decided that I would do video reviews of my workout gear so that people could hear my words. 🙂

My first review today is of the Be Strong Dri Fit Capris. I got some black ones. They are really comfortable and soft. Man, my feet look really big….Haha!

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At first, I was skeptical to purchase them. I was afraid that they would be too tight, but they went up with no problem, and I wasn’t spilling out of them or anything like that.

To view my video review, click HERE to be redirected to my YouTube channel.

These capris really do hold in the moisture as you workout. You can’t feel or smell the sweat until you take the pants off. LOL They work really well to keep you dry.

I recommend these to anyone who needs new workout gear. They definitely do what the labels say they do, and they are really comfortable.

Until my next blog and/or review…..

 

They Say The Hardest Part is Letting Go

When you experience a loss of any kind, there is always something that you hold onto. Whether it be a photo, letter, t-shirt, etc. There is always that one thing that is going to remind you of a special time, place, or person.

I’ve been on my weight loss journey since January 4th. Here we are August 12th, and I am having a problem with letting go. Letting go of what you ask? Well, I have yet to clean out my closet and dresser drawers to get rid of the clothes that no longer fit due to them being too big. I know that once I do decide to let go, my closet and dresser are going to look rather bare. I actually had a dream that someone went into my closet and removed all of the bigger clothes. I freaked out because my favorites were gone, and there were dresses in there that I just wasn’t ready to get rid of. I remember waking up, getting out of bed, opening the closet door, and being so happy that it was only a dream.

I cannot even begin to tell you how many articles of clothing I own. Right now, there are only a handful of things that fit the way they are supposed to. One thing is for sure though, there is not one piece of clothing in there that is too small. As a matter of fact, I need to go shopping to buy some stuff that actually fits without me having to fold the waistline over just to keep them from falling down. My dress shirts swallow me up, and the t-shirts are really big. Some of my most favorite dresses hang too low in the front and on the sides, and if I choose to wear them, I have to wear an undershirt or something with them to not expose parts of my body. LOL Sad, I know……

Then there is the decision of donating the stuff or trying to sell it to make some money to buy new stuff. I know that there are plus sized women who would rock the dresses I have, and they’d look awesome in the skirts, jeans, and shorts that are feeling neglected right about now.

Why am I so afraid to let it all go? I know that I don’t plan on going back to where I was before. I’ve come so far, and I do not want to take any steps back. I’ve lost 95 pounds, and I’m not done just yet.

I have favorite t-shirts from special moments in my life. I can’t see myself parting with a few. I will keep them to sleep in since my gowns and night shirts are just way too big.

So, here’s to letting go…. I’ve let go of 95 pounds, and I don’t want them back, so why can’t I part with the clothing to go along with it? I’m going to pray for peace to help me start the process of letting go.

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BLC 6 is Over

I have been participating in a Biggest Loser Competition with some of the Mommies in my January 2011 group. We started the competition on April 25th, and today was our last weigh-in.

This was the first time that I completed a BLC from start to finish and gave it 100% effort. Usually, I’d give up right at the beginning, take passes, not post body/scale pics, and I’d drop out. I’m excited to say that I was in the top 3 spots throughout the entire challenge. I’ve been able to hold onto the number 1 spot over the past few weeks. I’m anxiously awaiting the final chart post to see how I did!!

On the first day of the competition, we had to set a personal weight loss goal for ourselves. While my goal seemed a little far fetched, I was able to accomplish it!! I lost 32.4 pounds, which is a weight loss percentage of 13.94%. I was so excited to see the scale this morning. I honestly didn’t think I could reach the number that I was looking for.

The ladies in my group are awesome! We all helped each other get thru the competition. I compared my intro pictures to my pictures today, and I can see the difference. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m on my way…….

Words Are Like Weapons….

If we don’t accept who we are, flaws and all, how can we expect others to accept us? These are my words to someone else, but this is one of my BIGGEST struggles. I have a very hard time accepting my appearance, my weight, and who I am because of things I’ve been told during my lifetime. I don’t want to be that way, but when I think about things that have been said, I can’t move on to think about myself any differently.

I always wonder what others think of my appearance or if they are making fun of me in any way. What are they thinking? Are they talking to themselves in their head about how I look? Do they think I just sit around eating tons of crap? I know that’s not what we are supposed to feel, but I just can’t help it at times.

I’ve always struggled with my appearance as far back as I can remember. My friends were thinner, prettier, wealthier, etc. I have always felt like I was in someone else’s shadow, not the person in the lime light. I know that we aren’t supposed to compare ourselves to others, but I have done it all my life. One of my friend’s Mom would always mention something about my weight, even though I was skin and bones, and had been questioned about having an eating disorder. That was the first time in my younger years that I remember questioning myself as to whether or not I was overweight. Are young children supposed to be thinking about things like this? Why would adults put down a younger person by saying something about their weight unless there really was some truth to it? That day is vivid in my mind. I remember staring at myself in the mirror for a long time before taking a shower that night. I couldn’t see what she was talking about, but then I started convincing myself that maybe she was right. I mean yeah, my legs did have a little thickness to them, so the title of “thunder thighs” (as she put it) did apply to me. But where was this fat she mentioned? I felt like I was pretty thin, but yet, I questioned my appearance because of a comment that was made. I was always self-conscious about myself when I was around this Mom after that day. I still am, but the good thing is, I don’t see her very often.

There was one time that I felt super confident with myself in my adult life. I was confident with who I was, my appearance, and where I was in life. I wore cute clothes, and I didn’t see any “bad” in it. It wasn’t until one day that I read something that someone wrote about me. It stopped me dead in my tracks, and those words still haunt me to this day. That person was talking about me being fat, along with some not so nice things about my appearance. I was shocked. This was someone that I confided in for so many years, someone who I would do anything for. Is this really what they thought of me? What made them say this? Why do they act differently to my face when I ask for their opinion? I remember being hurt for quite some time. Heck, just thinking about it brings back so many mixed feelings. They don’t know that I ever read that. Would they try to explain themselves for what they said? Would it even matter? Words are words, written or said, and they cannot be taken back. I never even told them that I knew what they thought of me. I was just way too hurt to even bring it up. To this day, unless they are reading this and remember writing that, they have no idea that I know what they really thought about me back then. What does this person think about me now? Do they still call me fat behind my back? Do I care about their opinion….yes, I really do, but now I know better than I did back then to think that they fully accept me for who I am and that they are truthful with their words.

I really do hope that my girls will never have to go thru any of this. I do not want someone’s rude, untrue words to play mind games with them all their lives. I know that people say things sometimes just to be hurtful, and I know they will go thru heartaches, but I hope it isn’t anything that anyone has said about their body and/or their appearance.

NOBODY needs to deal with ANY of this! It breaks my heart to read things on social media where people are body shaming others. What’s the purpose in doing that? Do you feel that insecure about yourself that you have to put someone else down? Why not say something to try to help them up? Do you know the path they have been down? Do you know if they have any illnesses that keep them from appearing healthy on the outside?

I’m slowly starting to feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m a work in progress, and I hope that writing out these instances will help me be able to heal and move on. I’ve carried these things with me for so long, and it is now time to “let them go”. Will that be easy to do, no, the scars are there, and they always will be. Do I hold a grudge for what was said? No, I’ve “forgiven” them a long time ago. It’s taken me a long time to be able to discuss these things “out loud”. I believe it is part of the healing process.

So, if you take anything with you from this blog post, I hope it is this:

NEVER USE UNTRUE WORDS TO BEAT SOMEONE DOWN. THEY WILL HAUNT THAT PERSON FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES WHILE YOU MOVE ON! THEY MAY PUT ON A FAKE SMILE IN FRONT OF YOU AND ACT AS IF THEY ARE OKAY, BUT DEEP DOWN INSIDE, IT’S EATING THEM ALIVE!!

51.2…..but Who’s Counting?

ME!!! I’m counting…. Drum roll please….. 51.2 pounds gone! Good riddance….you’re NOT welcomed back!!!

At the beginning of January, I decided that it was time to make a change. I wasn’t happy with my outward appearance, and I needed to regain control of my body. The evilness of PCOS had commanded my body long enough. I decided that “Day 1” of the new me would start January 4th. Did I think of changing my mind? NO! Had I done all my research before doing the low carb way of eating? NO!! Is this new way of eating working for me? YES!!!!

I can’t even begin to tell you how different I feel. I can move faster, I don’t get easily tired, I look forward to doing my workout, I can wear some clothes that I haven’t in a long time, and I feel “lighter”. Sometimes I don’t recognize my body when I’m standing in front of the mirror, when I’m wearing an outfit that’s been sitting in my closet for a while because it no longer fit me, or when I’m wearing one of my favorite shirts/outfits that fits way too big for me now.

In reality, I’ve lost as many pounds as my five year old weighs, and I’m a pound or two from losing as many pounds as my seven year old weighs. I can’t even imagine the fact that I was carrying that weight on me. How did I not struggle to get things done? How did I function with that extra weight packed on? Crazy how my eyes are so open to that now!

I know that people are different, and what works for me may not work for you. I’ve tried things in the past that friends and family were doing to become healthy, and it had NO impact on me whatsoever. I’m so grateful for finding something that works with my body.

There is one thing that I could do without on this new journey. That one thing is the “food nightmares” I’ve been having. What are those, you ask….. Well, last night I dreamt that I was eating a saltine cracker. All I could think about was how many carbs I was consuming, and how I wasn’t supposed to be eating it. I felt guilty while eating eat, but I still did it. I also was thinking about how it was going to impact my weigh in, but I ate every single piece of that saltine. When I woke-up, I was relieved to know that it was all a dream. I’ve had dreams of eating handfuls of chips, cookies, pizza, etc., and in those dreams I spit out the food when I realized what I was doing. LOL Crazy dreams!!! Between those dreams and work dreams, my mind is in overdrive!!!!

My game plan is to keep moving forward from here. I appreciate all of the support I have gotten from family and friends. I will share more of my journey another day!

Until then……….

30, 44, and Losing Part of Me

You’re probably wondering what the subject of this post is all about. Well, I will explain it all now. It’s probably not as exciting as you’d like for it to be!

30 – That’s how many pounds I am down now. Some of it has come off quickly, while some has taken it’s time. I’m excited about what’s been lost, and I can’t wait until I lose more. I know the process is slow, and it takes more time to take it off than it does to put it on, but I’m ready to hit another milestone in this journey. Baby steps to the finish line!  Thank you to all of you who are by my side, supporting me along the way!

44 – That’s how old I turned today. I don’t feel my age. I feel younger. I remember when I used to think 40 was old. I didn’t really dread my 40th birthday or cry over it. I didn’t feel like I was really going to be in my 40’s at that time. It’s hard for me to sometimes believe that I am the age that I am. Being in my 40’s isn’t bad at all. Yes, metabolism and other things have changed, but it is all part of becoming older and more mature. At least that’s what I keep telling myself! 🙂 Today I was told, “just wait until you’re in your 50’s, it doesn’t get any better.” Haha! I don’t even want to know what will happen then. For now, I’m going to enjoy my 44th year of life that God has given me. I know I will learn more than I already know, I will give my best,  and I know that I will experience things that I never have as well. I know that some of you don’t believe that I am 44 because you think I am younger, but I promise you, I was born in 1972!!!!

Losing part of me – Well, see, what happened was….. I had a minor medical procedure yesterday. I had a cyst under my right shoulder blade for as long as I can remember. It ruptured once, but it came back. I consulted with a surgeon a couple of weeks ago because it had gotten bigger and it had started to hurt. He agreed that it needed to be removed. So, I had my procedure with him yesterday morning. I was awake during the whole thing, and I did feel some pain. I let him know when I could feel what he was doing, and he’d inject more stuff into my back. It took a little longer than he anticipated for the removal, and it was bigger than what he thought. For some reason, when I have surgery, that seems to be the story of my life…always more than the Doctors/Surgeon had expected. I wanted to see the cyst, as he took it out as a whole, but it wasn’t anywhere to be seen when I was finally able to get up, move around, and look around. Yes, I’m weird like that. That stuff fascinates me. For some reason, I felt the urge to cry after the procedure was over and I was walking out to my car. I don’t know if it is because something that had been a part of me was gone after all of these years or if my body was just going through emotions from the procedure. I did manage to hold back the tears, but they were right there had I let them flow.

So, that’s it! Thank you to all of you who take the time to read my blog!! ❤

I’m A Loser….There, I Said It!

Not many people in this world will admit when they are a “loser” or when they are trying to become a “loser”. One of my 2016 goals is to be a “loser”. I know some of you are thinking, “Um, why would you want to be a loser”. The kind of “loser” I am talking about is something to be proud of. I want to be a “loser” of losing some poundage that I no longer want to carry around with me.

What gave me the motivation to want to become “loser” status you ask. Well, take a look at this picture.

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Yes, I’m putting myself out there even though this photo is not something to be proud of. Who is that person looking back at me? That my friends is someone who suffers from PCOS, someone who consumed and injected quite a few fertility medications, someone who is a stress eater, and someone who has put everyone ahead of herself.

My Endocrinologist had been wanting me to start a low carb way of eating for a while. Did I listen to her? Heck to the NO! I wasn’t quite ready to go there just yet. I love food, and I wasn’t ready to give up my favorite stuff. Besides, what would I do if I got stressed out? How could I turn down delicious cake at the events I am at? I’m okay with the way that I am. I am loved no matter what…..

That was all fine and dandy until I started being on the other “side” of the camera. My fellow photographers would snap photos of me when we’d be testing lighting, and I’d see those images come edit time. I wasn’t sure who that person was that I was looking at any longer. How did I let myself get to that point? Yes, PCOS plays a major role in my weight, but I can do something to manage that.

I had been waiting for someone to start the low carb way of eating with me, thinking that I would fail if I didn’t have accountability. I have several online friends who are accountable, but text on a screen can only do so much. After waiting and waiting to get with it, I did it on my terms. My friends who I wanted to start this with me weren’t quite ready yet. I couldn’t make them join me if they weren’t prepared to take the first step with me. I had to decide to just do it or wait for someone else to want to do it with me.

On January 4, 2016, I decided that it was time. No more yummy loaded baked potatoes, no more awesome breakfast tacos, no more cake, candy, ice cream, chips, fried food, and no more Chick-fil-A sandwiches and yummy waffle fries. What would I eat, just salads, stuff I don’t even like? Nope, that wasn’t the deal. I found that I could eat eggs, cheese, pickles, steak, chicken, pork chops, fish, pork rinds, and yummy things that had lots of protein, low carbs (if any), and low sugar. After contemplating it for a while, I realized that this was something that I could do, on my own, without waiting for anyone to join me. The time to start was NOW! No more excuses!!!

I joined quite a few Facebook pages for this “new” way of eating. These “supporters” post so many recipes, encouraging stories and photos, and they offer great advice. There are many women who suffer from PCOS on these forums. This way of eating has been the best thing they’ve ever done for themselves. I feel that I can connect with quite a few of the people in these groups even though we’ve never met in person.

So now, I’m one of those people who reads labels at the grocery store, log in every single thing that I put in my mouth via MyFitnessPal, use a food scale to weigh my food, and a person who brings her own food to an event just in case there is food that is “not friendly” to my way of eating. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Yeah, I used to think the same thing. It really isn’t a lot of work. It has become part of my routine.

I have not had any problems turning down food that I used to love. It doesn’t even bother me to see others eating those foods either. Honestly, I feel great, I have more energy, and I can see changes in my body that other people may not be able to see yet.

Here I am 56 days on this new way of eating. My clothes are sagging, and my face is taking on a new look.

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I was really excited to jump on the scale this morning to see that I hit my first goal. I’ve lost a total of 25.8 pounds. Do you know what 25 pounds of fat looks like? Yeah, I didn’t either. Let me show you………

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So the globs of the yellowish/orangish stuff in both pictures is now gone! I’ve lost 5 bricks. Think about how much lighter my body feels after dropping those bricks. Crazy, huh? Seeing these photos puts things into perspective. I do not want those 5 bricks back, nor do I want those globs of fat back either!

Can I continue to do this until I hit my final goal? I’m going to say YES, I CAN! Have I ever had thoughts of having a cheat day, um YES, but have I, NO!!!! This way of eating has become a part of who I am. I don’t force it on others. I’m doing this for me! Okay, I’m doing it for my kids as well because I want to be here for them!

So, if you’re on the fence about starting something new, really think about it, and do it when you are ready. If you’re not ready, you may not succeed in reaching your goals. Trust me, take it from someone who had people wanting to help me, but refused their help. You’ll know when you’re ready!!!!