I'm taking a week off of work, and so far it's been pleasant and relaxing. I haven't done much of anything productive. I finished up my "weekend stuff" like laundry and vacuuming and grocery-buying yesterday, and today I'm free to knock things off my to-do list, or just do nothing productive at all. I realized that out of my 17 vacation days for the year (three weeks vacation plus two floating holidays), I'd used one before yesterday. I was going to take a vacation this summer, but then I realized that I hate the summer weather, and that's exactly the time of year that I'd rather be at work, indoors, under glorious artificial light and air conditioning. But now it's cold, a perfect time to take a week off and stay at home. I just need to remember that my thermostat is set to not warm the house while I'm generally at work, or otherwise it's suddenly noon and I remember this fact when my nipples are about to puncture my shirt. And, after this week is done, I'll work for one more month and then take three weeks off in December.
I may not be working, but I still have to work out five times this week, which is kind of a downer, but at least I get to do it whenever I want today, so I got to sleep in a little. I've dropped about 25 pounds now, and I'm a quarter finished with my 24-week program. This week, bread was returned to my diet, albeit in a limited form. I can have only whole wheat bread, and up to one piece a day. I did, however, find some fantastic whole wheat naan at a local niche grocery store (that doesn't deliver to my door—lame). I can't exactly slather it in butter like how naan should be, but it's still quite good dry. I'm having it with some fairly unspectacular homemade chicken curry. Bread is among my favoritest foods ever, and it feels really good to have it back.
I've still been really good about not cheating on the diet, having made no more significant transgressions than a single Reese's peanut butter cup, which was a delicious and deliberate error on Halloween. I've been experimenting with bending the rules a little bit and having a little more artificial sweetener than recommended. My hatred for drinking plain water continues to crystallize, so I've been trying to incorporate tea. The sweetener doesn't add any calories, and it's hesitantly accepted by the diet portion of the program, but there is evidence that artificial sweetener will cause many of the same reactions as sugar, including additional insulin production, which can be an inhibitor to weight loss, so they recommend avoiding it when possible (though it's certainly preferable to using sugar). Having a few artificially sweetened drinks a day instead of one or none hasn't seemed to be problematic yet, but I'm trying to be watchful.