It's the Friday night of what felt like one of the longest weeks I've had in a very long time. When I got home from work tonight, all I wanted to do was collapse. That's how spent I was. But I didn't allow myself to. Instead, I got changed and forced myself out to the gym. I missed going last night, one of my regular nights, because Ken and I had a prior engagement. And I was feeling kind of flabby. I really didn't expect myself to last very long, but I surprised myself. I did my full hour + of cardio and then I hit the weight machines. The weight machines are a new addition to my routine. I started using them earlier this year. I was always intimidated by them, mostly because I'd never used them before. I'm easily intimidated of the unknown, like that's any surprise to anyone. But last fall a friend of mine gave me a quickie once over on the machines and I promised myself that once I hit my mileage goal for 2011, I'd start using them. You see, I've always hated my arms. I have these skinny, disproportionate to the rest of my body Olive Oyl arms. I thought that when I lost all the weight they'd start to look more normal sized, but I lost mass in them while losing mass everywhere else. I also have ZERO upper body strength. I've spent the last however many years working my legs, but zero time on the arms. So about six weeks ago, give or take, I started working on my arms. They're still way too thin in comparison to the rest of me, but I'm definitely gaining mass and I can not only feel a difference in them, but I can also see a difference. And I'm really proud of myself. More than I can say. The added mass has had one "unfortunate" side effect, but one I'm not freaking out about. My weight has gone up slightly. I think it's a huge step for me not to freak out or go fetal about what I'm seeing on the scale. I think keeping in mind that my clothes fit the exact same as they did a few pounds back has helped. Looking at myself in the mirror before weighing myself has also helped. I'm always going to have extra belly flab. The skin was stretched out way too far way too long for me to ever have a flat stomach without surgery (which I will never do). It's a constant reminder to me of what I once was and what I will never be again.