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Jayhawkjen - Wednesday Feb 08, 2017
(Naturally Slim)
Weight: 199.4

 Day #3 on N.S.  I wasn't hungry this morning so I didn't eat anything until 1:15 or so, and even then wasn't really hungry.  Technically I shouldn't have eaten, but I'm not perfect, so I did.  I think I got a little panicked that I would not get hungry all day and wouldn't get to eat.  I had 1/4 apple, about 3 oz pork and 1/2 cup mashed potatoes.  It's a weird thing... trying not to restrict, but also trying to wait for true hunger.  I felt better and had more energy today than the other two days.

I used my new device and walked 30 minutes to work this morning, which means I also have to walk 30 minutes home.  It was kinda cool to see my heart rate in graph form.  I also did three "circuits" so far today.  A circuit is my made-up exercise routine while at the offfice.  I walk up to the 5th floor and then walk back down to the basement and then return to the first floor.  It only takes 5 minutes or less but it really gets the pulse up.  I should be doing it hourly... maybe I'll work up to it.

On N.S., you are supposed to eat the things that make you drool.  Well, mostly that involves sweets, which are not allowed the first three weeks.  I've been trying to think of food that I really, really love.  Oddly, nothing much comes to mind.  Maybe a nice hamburger and fries.  Mexican.  I'm not sure.  But I do foresee a problem getting enough fruits and veggies in.  Nonetheless, I'm giving it a try and will see what happens.



Progress as of today: 5.6 lbs lost so far, only 29.4 lbs to go!

Horn_of_plenty on 02/09/2017:
nice job incorporating exercise into your routine!!!

Jayhawkjen - Tuesday Feb 07, 2017
(Naturally Slim)
Weight: 199.6

I did it!  I picked up the fitness device and filled out the form.  Thanks for your encouragement.  The funny part --  I didn't even have to list my weight.  LOL.  All that agonizing for nothing!   Now all I have to do is use the thing!

I started the Naturally Slim program yesterday.  It's pretty interesting.  Basically you eat when you're really hungry, but you have whatever you want.  (instead of changing what you eat, you're changing when and how you eat.) There are some other aspects of it, but that's the main idea.  Normally I eat a pretty big breakfast, possibly up to 1,000 calories, but for this program I am not eating until I'm hungry.  I realize I'm not hungry at breakfast, which is really weird.  Maybe that will change.  They say your "true hunger pattern" will emerge after 3 - 4 days.  So I guess we shall see.  I will say that I did truly enjoy my food yesterday.   And I ate much less than usual.  



Progress as of today: 5.4 lbs lost so far, only 29.6 lbs to go!

Horn_Of_Plenty on 02/07/2017:
I am very proud of you. I am glad you didn't let your mind stop you from taking advantage of the work program! good stuff.

that would be too hard for me - the Naturally Slim as i'm prone to stuffing my face and overeating.

if you can actually do the program and work with it...you are one step ahead of so many of us! ;)

i just stick with overeating on veggies.

Horn_Of_Plenty on 02/07/2017:
I agree with Donkey below also.

innerpeace on 02/07/2017:
Great job picking up the form! I hope you use the device as well!

grannyannie on 02/07/2017:
Awesome! Good luck. Interested to see how you do.

Jayhawkjen - Thursday Feb 02, 2017
(Healthy choices, mindful eating)
Weight: 201.6

 There was a special offer at work -- I can get this really cool fitness device for a good price.  Of course I signed up immediately.  Then I received a reply that I would have to fill out a health history form, which includes my height and weight.  Which is making me reconsider my participation....  I am so, so, so deeply ashamed of my weight.  And I would be turning in the form to people that I know and work with, so it would not be anonymous at all.  I don't know what would happen to my form, who would see it, etc. 

This is a perfect example of the way my weight holds me back.  Any activity that requires me to disclose it (and there are surprisingly quite a few) is strictly avoided.  One time i was going on a helicopter ride and I didn't realize I was being weighed as I signed in.  I'm really glad I went, but if I had known in advance, I would have declined.  And I weighed a good 20 lbs less at that time!

So I'm not sure what I'll do.  I could certainly buy the device on my own.  It would be more expensive, but mainly I really wanted to participate in this thing.  But I don't know if I have the guts to do it.  I don't know why I'm so ashamed!  I mean... to the point of putting myself at risk because I can't go to the doctor for anything... I don't even have a doctor any more because mine moved away.  I feel like I could go if I just lost about 25 pounds, but I can't bear the shame at this weight.  Damn.  I know it's crazy.  I know it.  

Meanwhile I'm still hanging in there without my happy hour.  I really wanted a drink last weekend but I was able to go without.  Sweets are creeping back in to my diet again so I need to watch that.  I walked for an hour yesterday again, but today I don't have time.  


Progress as of today: 3.4 lbs lost so far, only 31.6 lbs to go!

grannyannie on 02/03/2017:
Would colleagues have access to your form?

innerpeace on 02/03/2017:
I used to have this same mindset...there comes a time when you just have to ask yourself - do these people really matter? You have to look out for yourself and do what is best for you. They will probably wish you well and good luck on your adventure - wow - look at her, she is trying - she is NOT happy with her weight or how she looks so she is doing something about it! And I always remind myself - you don't have to live with these people but yet you have to look at yourself everyday in the mirror. Don't let these people have that power over what you want to do! Live your own life and stop worrying about what other people think about you - haven't you heard that saying - what other people think about you is none of your business! Do you!

Horn_of_plenty on 02/04/2017:
I agree with IP and what she wrote is also what came to my mind. The people at your work are not caring about your weight as much as you do. Everything about you affects YOU MUCH MUCH MUCH more than anyone at work. They will see your number and not get fixed up on it like you do. Your weight is a sore spot to you - but the people at work will not care.

Don't worry about what they think - do not let the number on the scale hold you back from any opportunities like what you mention above.

I mean this - the only person holding you back is you. I wouldn't worry about having to put the number down. The number can always change. it's all in your grasp and power. The number is not what identifies you - you are choosing to allow yourself to be identified by the number though..

Donkey on 02/05/2017:
Look at it this way: It's just a number. It doesn't define you. And signing up shows that you're trying to improve yourself. Nobody can fault you for that. I bet you'll find that you have more cheerleaders out there, cheering you on, than you might think. Count me among one of those :-)

Jayhawkjen - Tuesday Jan 31, 2017
(Healthy choices, mindful eating)
Weight: 201.6

 Double victory today:  


Part One: I parked 30 minutes away from the office and walked.  

Part Two:  I left part of my breakfast uneaten when I felt satisfied.  Not full.  Just satisfied.  This took some thought and listening to my body.  



Progress as of today: 3.4 lbs lost so far, only 31.6 lbs to go!

Maria7 on 01/31/2017:
That is wonderful!

Horn_Of_Plenty on 01/31/2017:
Congrats on being accepted into the lifestyle program you mentioned below!

Also regarding above, nice job stopping when you are full...i do NOT do this as I do NOT like to - I am still nervous leaving things over but more power to you - your way is the bEST way.

10 resee's cups is not the worst don't worry.

Mindful eating is very hard.

Human beings have a tendency to want to give into the unhealthy urges and temptations regardless of them knowing they can do better....it's part of being human. This is why mindful eating is so difficult.

innerpeace on 01/31/2017:
30 minutes - OMG how long was that walk and did you make it? That is so admirable. If I parked 30 minutes away I would have to walk from home.

Jayhawkjen - Monday Jan 30, 2017
(Healthy choices, mindful eating)
Weight: 202.2

Progress as of today: 2.8 lbs lost so far, only 32.2 lbs to go!

jayhawkjen on 01/30/2017:
Well, I was accepted to Naturally Slim so that's awesome! It starts on February 6. In the meantime I'm still trying mindful eating which is surprisingly hard. I do pretty well when I'm eating along but have yet to be able to do it otherwise. But at least I'm eating fairly slowly most of the time.

Also, I made it through the whole weekend without a single drink. I wanted to drink on Friday, but I did not. I'm not seeing much difference in my weight yet, but having 500+ fewer calories from alcohol and snacks every day will make a difference sooner or later. And even if it doesn't, I know I'm doing something for my health.

I did have a little bump in the road on Friday when I ate about 10 mini Reeces cups. But I choose to accept it as something I needed to do, I will not judge myself for it.

I notice when I'm eating, and trying to eat mindfully, that I have a lot of tension in my body which I have to let go of. I think I must normally be eating with a lot of tightness, if that makes sense. I have to consciously breathe, relax, etc. It helps to light some candles and turn down the lights. Doing that lets me focus on my food and focus on the enjoyment of it.

This morning I was doing well with the focus and I left two cashews and one sip of smoothie at the end of the meal. It was such a tiny bit that normally I would have just eaten it, but my body said, "enough" and I listened.

I know that exercise is my hurdle. I need to tackle that eventually.

innerpeace on 01/31/2017:
I would like to know more about naturally Slim is that a doctor's program, a gym program or something else. Great job on paying attention to what you eat. Sometimes we need something sweet - last night I drank 1/2 of the milk shake I ordered and gave the rest to my DH - victory!

jayhawkjen on 01/31/2017:
Good for you!

Naturally Slim is offered through work. I'll letcha know!

jayhawkjen on 01/31/2017:
Good for you!

Naturally Slim is offered through work. I'll letcha know!

Jayhawkjen - Thursday Jan 19, 2017
(Healthy choices, mindful eating)
Weight: 202.2

My goal tihs morning was to eat breakfast mindfully and slowly enough to make it last for 20 minutes. I made it to about 18 minutes and stopped... not because I finished, but because I had no desire for the remaining breakfast.  I did not read the paper, play with my iPad, or do anything other than eat my food.  Definitely I could have eaten more slowly, but I realized that I must normally snarf my food in 5 minutes or so, and I normally eat it all and go back for a little more. What a victory!  

Since I decided to cut way back on sugar, I have also cut way back on the sugarless gum.  I don't like the taste of food in my mouth when I'm not eating, so I usually chew gum immediately after a meal.  I have Binaca breath spray and I'm using that instead of gum (Had to order it from Amazon, LOL!)   I am consciously trying not to snack unless I'm hungry and I really, really wonder if the gum habit was priming me for snacking.  I have not had the urge to snack that much this week since I've cut back on gum and sugar.  And if I do, I stop and examine my motivation.  Normally it has nothing to do with hunger, but if it does, then I have a little snack.  I know there is this concept of rating one's hunger and I've been thinking about that, but it's difficult. I have this really strange fear of hunger.  I've never been in a position where having food or access to food has been an issue, so where does this anxiety and "defensive eating*" mentality come from?  Maybe it comes from self-deprivation from my long history of dieting.  I don't know.  For example, when packing my lunch for the day, I worry about whether I have enough.  That's totally irrational since I am surrounded by vending machines, restaurants and a cafeteria.  I am not going to go hungry!  But it's there, the anxiety, deep down.  

One final thing:  I have slept so well for the past two nights!  Could it also be the healthy choices (less sugar)  or just coincidence?  To be clear, I haven't totally cut out the sugar yet, just the most obvious sources like candy, cookies.  I had Chinese food last night and I'm aware it wasn't a great choice, but I have to accept that this eating style is not perfect.  I feel like that's a big part of the process.  To observe, think, and be non-judgemental about myself.  

For the first time, I feel like my primary motivation for this is not my looks.  It's about health and about feeling good about myself.  Maybe that's what middle-age does for ya!  Maybe that's why I will succeed this time.  

Healthy choices, mindful eating.  Healthy choices, mindful eating.  Healthy choices mindful eating.  Peace.  


*Defensive eating = eating "just in case" I might get hungry later.  Example, going somewhere and having a snack first in case I can't get something to eat at my normal time.  

Progress as of today: 2.8 lbs lost so far, only 32.2 lbs to go!

Horn_Of_Plenty on 01/19/2017:
I like your plan to make breakfast last. Whenever I actually take my time, I also get full a bit easier, without needing to stuff my face – although I usually do anyways as I am a “volume eater.” Have you ever heard of Volumetrics? It’s an eating approach based on eating low cal foods (like lots of veggies) so you can fill yourself up with tons of volume but still not high calories. I don’t follow that method, but that’s my idea as a calorie counter – how can I get the most volume for the least calories. I am not saying my method doesn’t have pitfalls – oh it does – especially in terms of nutrition. As not all calories are made equal. Like, 100 cal of ice cream is not the same nutritionally as 100 cal of nuts or 100 cal of turkey….but to me, sometimes I eat based on calories and nothing else and then miss the nutrition…anyways…moving on!

Your breakfast approach is a healthy, mindful approach. I really do enjoy reading about your approach to your eating and health. You have good ideas and they are healthful for the mind & body.

Yes, I’d agree with you that chewing gum probably does spark an appetite. It does to me – getting the juices flowing in my mouth and stomach – I only chew gum at work – not home – when I am craving something besides water and when I know I don’t need a snack bc I ate not too long ago…But it’s not that healthy and can produce bloating – from too much sugar-free gum.

I don’t think your defensive eating is a bad idea. I would say it’s a GREAT idea…Why always wait till you realize you are beyond hungry. I think defensive eating is important especially like during inopportune times – like when traveling or when at the beach all day (I used to bring tons of cut up veggies to the beach to “defensive volume eat” which would take a LONG TIME to eat all the veggies, keep my hands & mouth occupied, stomach digesting, and on low calories..I’d bring other things also, but, extra veggies so I could enjoy and endulge while relaxing at the beach! This year, I don’t know if I’ll go to the beach that often, as the friend I used to go with for YEARS, we had a major falling out. I don’t regret it.

Just like you, I’m making some good changes in my diet but also accepting that I don’t need to be perfect and that I don’t always have to make the best choices. It’s about overall what we do and giving ourselves a bit of leeway and wiggle room as well. And a learning process as we go.

I think that you are less anxious maybe…and yes diet definitely has an influence on your sleep. I’d say that’s wonderful you are also sleeping better and probably as a result.

sarsbars on 01/19/2017:
I always get that same feeling of worrying I won't have enough when packing my lunch .. sometimes I pack extra things just incase , and end up eating all of it . I think that mentality does develop after years of dieting . I know that my whole life has been a diet , personally. However , I like your mindset of making good choices and mindful eating . That is pretty much what I've been trying to do . I try to be aware of my body and listen to it when it's had enough. Although it's hard to do when you are not present with yourself and stressed! One step at a time .

puddles on 01/19/2017:
As long as you start every day aware of what you want to accomplish staying away from the unhealthy choices will eventually all turn out good.

grannyannie on 01/20/2017:
Well done on your mindful eating. I've tried doing that but it is tough. I find that sugarless gum makes me hungry.

Jayhawkjen - Wednesday Jan 18, 2017
(Not sure)
Weight: 202.2

 Took a 2-mile walk last night after work!  It was a good way to keep busy.  

I am trying a mantra:  "Healthy choices, mindful eating."  I repeated it during my walk, kind of meditating on it.  This morning tried to eat breakfast mindfully but I had trouble ignorming the newspaper while I ate.  I did better than usual however.  

I have a serious sugarless gum habit.  That might have to be addressed when trying to give up sugar.  

Progress as of today: 2.8 lbs lost so far, only 32.2 lbs to go!

Horn_Of_Plenty on 01/18/2017:
i like your methods...you inspire me.

jayhawkjen on 01/19/2017:

grannyannie on 01/19/2017:
Good mantra!

jayhawkjen on 01/19/2017:
Thank you

Jayhawkjen - Tuesday Jan 17, 2017
(Not sure)
Weight: 204.4

 I've been thinking a lot -- about where I am and where I want to go.  I've lost weight so many times, only to gain it back and more . I remember when I was 155, believing I was fat....  Now I would kill to be there again!  If only I had never tried to diet, I would not be in this situation now.  But at this point, it is what it is.  For the past few years, I've basically lived under the belief that I could never diet again, because I would only end up bigger.  But I think that part of me uses that mentality as a "go wild" excuse.  Not that I really "go wild" as in bingeing, but I certainly had my fill of candy, sweets, chips, beer and wine.  And it has caught up with me.  I'm at an age where I really do have to start worrying about diabetes, heart disease, etc.

So I started this thing with the idea that if I stopped drinking (with all the accompanying snacks) that I would lose weight.  It has been about a month and I haven't lost anything.  Nonetheless, I feel sooooo much better having cut alcohol.  Oh, sure... I still have a drink or three with friends, but I was drinking every day after work, and that has stopped.  I've gone from 14-20 drinks/week to maybe 3-4.  And that's huge.  (It's embarrassing to admit how much I was drinking, geez!)  I'm sleeping better, feel better, and so many fewer headaches.  I was also feeling guilty and worried that I was developing a problem with alcohol.  

Where do I go from here?  I can't stand hauling this weight around and feeling terrible about myself.  I think I have to tackle sugar.  I'm still waiting to find out if I'm accepted in to Naturally Slim, but I peeked at the principles, and one of the first things they ask is to cut out sugar.  The more I read and research, it sounds like sugar is really, really bad.  I know it is, and it's everywhere.  Today I threw out my office stash of Butterfingers, (only two left, but still...)  The Christmas candy can be thrown out now without anybody noticing, so I'll do that, too.  In the past I have had success with low carb diets, but I don't think I'll go there at this time.  Just baby steps, right?  So I'm going to cut back on sugar and see if it helps.

The other thing I know I need to do is exercise.  I have gained about 20 lbs since I got my iPhone.  Deep down, I know that I've gained weight because of all the time I spend on my phone and iPad.  Facebook is such a weird addiction.  There's hardly anything interesting on it, and all the political poison is making me bitter.  I've tried deleting the app and telling myself that I can still access it on the internet if I must.  Touching that little app button is so easy, and next thing you know, it's an hour later and I could have been walking.  There are (ironically) apps that you can use to limit your screen time.  I downloaded one, then gave up on it immediately.  I think I will tackle sugar first, and then work on the screen addiction.  I need to keep myself busy -- which should be pretty easy to do, but somehow is not.  

Progress as of today: 0.6 lbs lost so far, only 34.4 lbs to go!

Horn_Of_Plenty on 01/17/2017:
You don't have to make all the changes overnight, no. As you figure out one change, and you get used to it, then add in another. It can take a couple months just to get used to one change, like the drinking that you've reduced so well. that's all there is to it!

You got this!

Horn_Of_Plenty on 01/17/2017:
i use fb to relax at the end of the night...but not as into it as i used to be for some reason - maybe bc i go on so much that i'm not as interested to be on for long periods. maybe allow yourself to browse fb as you walk on threadmill if possible.

Donkey on 01/17/2017:
It's the political stuff that's toxic. I feel your pain. I've actually taken to unfollowing some of my "best friends" because of what they've revealed about their true beliefs. SMH.

grannyannie on 01/18/2017:
I'm very bad at gaining-losing-gaining-losing. Not good for our health, but still do it.

I love Facebook as it's the best way to keep in touch with family and friends. I have gained a ton since the election - comfort eating. And beer is hard for me to resist, especially when we spend winters in a hot climate. Nothing like an ice cold beer.

jayhawkjen on 01/18/2017:
So true! I can relate.

Jayhawkjen - Monday Jan 09, 2017
(Not sure)
Weight: 203.0

 I had a good holiday season, although too busy to write.  I feel really good about kicking my happy hour habit.  Now I need to work on another habit.  I'm thinking of cutting back on sugar.  I'd like to get all the holiday candy out of the house, but sugar goes way beyond candy.  It's everywhere!  

Just signed up for Naturally Slim through work.  I will start on February 9 if I'm accepted.  I can't imagine why I wouldn't be!  

Exercise might be a good idea....LOL.  One thing at a time. 

Progress as of today: 2 lbs lost so far, only 33 lbs to go!

puddles on 01/09/2017:
Sugar is a hard one to kick to the curb but after a week or two you will not crave it. It take a while to get it out of your system but it is a good one to eliminate. Good luck. You are doing good. Good luck also with Naturally Slim hope it all goes your way.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/09/2017:
I am also working on lessening my sugar. without even realizing it, i admit being addicted. I was eating it so frequently causing really bad breakouts on body and face....and now it's getting better. all i had to do was stop so much processed food at night...i was eating a low cal ice cream for dinner (like 300 cals in the whole pint) and just counting calories but forgetting that it was around 20g sugar = too much. also i have some other things, but i'm thinking the ice cream was a major culprit. Seriously that is my rule now - no ice cream on work evenings.

tonight i actually have a real dinner, no added sugars / fruits / yogurts / ice creams of any kind.

Horn_of_plenty on 01/09/2017:
habits sure are hard to break....and i know that because of my own personal habits. it's good to try to improve.

If i can break mine, my skin will again improve into what it used to be as a teen - clear and free of acne & quite beautiful, to say the least! Many times, we ignore the disservice we are doing to ourselves because it's become such a habit. i have simply forgotten what it's like to enjoy clear skin most of the time - for me it's a rare occasion to have clear skin, very rare, and i'm finally ready to break the cycle.

grannyannie on 01/09/2017:
Sugar is so addictive. Good luck!

Donkey on 01/14/2017:
Sugar is my weakness. I wish I could tolerate Stevia. I have yet to find a sugar substitute that I can live with that doesn't come with awful implications.

Donkey on 01/14/2017:
PS If you do the Naturally Slim, I would love to read about your journey with it!

Jayhawkjen - Tuesday Dec 20, 2016
(Not sure)
Weight: 202.0

I had a perfectly imperfect weekend.  I had several events which would normally mean several pig-outs and lots of imbibing.  Instead I had a drink or two and ate what I wanted, but not to the point of stuffing myself by any means.  It was a big change, and yet I didn't feel deprived.

And now the stress of Christmas is upon me.  Honestly I'm a little down & out...  My son is leaving for Vietnam today to spend the holiday with his sister.  He's only 19, so that kind of solo-trek makes me nervous, but I'm glad my oldest daughter (who lives in Saigon) will have a visitor from home -- and it is a way for me to send her gifts.  So I hope and pray everything goes OK and he avoids malaria and manages to not get killed on a motorbike or do anything which would offend Asian authorities.  

I'm stressed out about the state of the world in general -- Berlin, the Russian ambassador....  the political situation in this country.  I know I have anxiety, and I think that's one of the reasons I fell into the happy hour habit.   My house is a mess because we're doing construction and having some painting done, and I'm hosting Christmas brunch.  I'm working all week and have no time to finish up my Christmas errands... AND our exchange student is unhappy and is thinking about going home.  My son would be devastated if he left and I would too.  But he says this is not the experience he had hoped for, which is also hurtful although he doesn't realize that.  We have opened our hearts and home to him, and have gone to so much trouble for him but I guess it's not enough.  

It sucks being a mom at Christmas.  There is so much pressure to make it perfect for everyone and inevitably someone is disappointed.  

OK!  But at least it's getting easier to make good choices and I just have to remember to keep on.   I brought an avacado for lunch and I'm going to put a little chili on top of it.  I had a beautiful grapefruit and some mixed nuts for breakfast.  So far, so good.

I hope everyone else is having an easier time of it.  

Progress as of today: 3 lbs lost so far, only 32 lbs to go!

innerpeace on 12/20/2016:
I understand exactly what you are feeling. My son trekked to both Korea and India by himself, he is a little older, but he is and will always be my baby. Mom's will always worry. I have refused to let myself get all worked up with the political situation, just because I go stand in the road and stop traffic, there is just nothing I can do to change anything because of lack of $$$ funds $$$. So i just let the wheel turn.

That's a shame about your exchange student, makes one wonder what exactly he was expecting.

Keep making good choices and have a little fun with your company.

Horn_Of_Plenty on 12/20/2016:
Hi Jen the Jayhawk!

I am really happy for you in the fact that you are being mindful when you go out. Not stuffing face is hard for me also when out. When with people I am comfortable with, which is usually the case, I am even more into stuffing my face so I sorta plan on a few extra cals but I order tons of veggies when I can so I can eat more but for less of a calorie bang. It’s my way. I enjoy stuffing my face and can still do this / moderately / when there’s good choices to stuff with!

Yes, I wish your son good luck on his travels and I think it’s so nice he’s going during holiday-time to be with his sister. I am sorry you feel lonely. Only thing I can think is that at a time when everyone is so busy, you will have more of a relaxing time at home? No?

Also, I hope you can at least Skype video call with your family while the two of them are in Saigon.

I wouldn’t take offense to your exchange student’s personal opinion and experiences. You sound like a wonderful lady who tries really hard to do a LOT for both her family & community. If the student goes home, so be it. It’s not your fault if he changes his mind. Maybe he wishes your son was here still. But he’s not.

So if the kid wants to go, I’d say don’t let it affect your emotions too much…maybe it has to do with him having trouble making friends at school or something. You can ask him…see if maybe it’s something that can be changed at school. ?

Your breakfast and lunch sound very healthy especially the beans on avocado. That’s filling! Nice.

grannyannie on 12/20/2016:
Wow. That's a lot of stress. Hope everything works out the way you need. Is your son taking anti-malarial medication? I think the risk is quite low for malaria in Viet Nam, especially in cities. But I hope he knows to use mosquito repellant faithfully. The part of Thailand we stay in does not have malaria, thankfully.

I've been very stressed about world events, especially US election. But I overdosed on getting angry, stressed and depressed about it, so I've reached a point where I put up a wall between me and the news about it. We haven't even put on the tv news for days, but I still see news online but not as stressful.

grannyannie on 12/20/2016:
Can't remember what country your exchange student is from?

Donkey on 12/24/2016:
(((hugs))) The recent world events have completely toppled my personal life, as well -- long story, involves religion, blah blah blah -- so I feel your anxiety. In this crazy world, I'm glad to hear, though, that I'm not the only one who is really, really worried.

I echo the others' sentiments about the exchange student. It might not be anything you did or didn't do, but rather just the circumstances of being in a different culture.

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