Guest post: NonFiction – Health – Drug and Alcohol Addiction: Benefits of A Healthy Diet and Exercise by Sharon Torress #guestpost #nonfiction #health #exercise



Credit: Kimber Pine via Unsplash


‘You are what you eat.’ Many of us have heard this statement throughout our lives. The funny thing is, there’s a surprising amount of truth to these words. What we eat affects our health throughout our lives.

This truth is, especially, the case for recovering drug and alcohol addicts. People suffering from addiction deal with more than the effects of the drugs. Heavy drug and alcohol use can affect eating habits and nutrition. Addicts might:

— Abuse drugs that suppress their appetites.

— Become so involved in their drug use that they forget to eat.

— Eat junk food instead of healthy, nutritious food.

— Not be able to afford to buy food (or healthy food) because they’re spending all their money on drugs.

It’s not surprising, then, that some addicts (and recovering addicts) suffer from malnutrition. Some rehab centers employ nutritional counselors that teach former addicts how to eat well to regain their strength. However, one might wonder what happens after a person leaves rehab. Recovery can be a lifelong process that goes hand in hand with healthy eating.


Credit: Christian Stark via Unsplash


Eating well during addiction recovery can aid an addict in maintaining the strength they’ve regained in rehab. It’s a shame for a person to go through the work of rehab programs, only to become weak because they eat a ton of junk food. Sadly, this is a common phenomenon.

It turns out that some people recovering from alcohol abuse are also dependent on sugar. There is some debate about whether sugar is an addictive substance, but researcher, Jeffrey L. Fortuna, contends that many people who abuse drugs and alcohol have a preference for sweet foods. He notes that studies have shown that when these people consume sweet foods, their brains react similarly to if they had used drugs or alcohol.

Consuming large amounts of sugar isn’t the best solution for those recovering from drug or alcohol abuse (for anyone). But there are steps former addicts can take to improve their diet and maintain their sobriety. Even if you aren’t recovering from an addiction, many of these steps promote healthy nutrition and exercise.

To eat healthier, a former addict could consider finding help at Rehab centers, which have nutritional counselors — as do many hospitals. Enlisting the services of professionals such as dietitians, nutritionists, family doctors, (etc.) can help a person learn to how to eat more nutritiously. If a person’s received addiction treatment at rehab, why shouldn’t they seek help for nutritional needs?

Utilizing online resources is also a great idea, and can provide a wealth of useful information on nutrition and exercise. The internet also contains harmful information, so one must be careful about which sites they trust; be wary of sites that make grand promises. Instead, consider searching for healthy recipes on Pinterest or online food magazines.

Moreover, there are many fantastic blogs that discuss the role of nutrition and exercise for a sober lifestyle. Other blogs and pages provide awesome health tips. Online reviews and recipes can also give a person ideas about what might work — and what won’t work when creating an improved health plan.


Credit: Google


Eating more vegetables is essential to improving one’s diet. Nutritional diets aren’t only about avoiding unhealthy food, but adding foods that enhance a person’s general health. Eating more vegetables provides the body with several significant vitamins and minerals.

As well, vegetables can fill a person up without adding a lot of calories or fat to your diet. If you’re a person who hates vegetables, you might want to reconsider. More restaurants are encompassing varied types of vegetables and preparing them in unique and tasty ways that might appeal to more people when eating out.

Also, adding more protein to your diet is vital. A person doesn’t have to go on the Atkins diet or eat a side of beef to incorporate more protein. Eating a few nuts or some Greek yogurt can prevent a person from becoming ravenously hungry and making questionable food choices later in the day.


Credit: Cyril Saulnier via Unsplash


Also, if a person exercises they’re taking vital steps to improving their health. One also might be more inclined to eat healthier while exercising, since they won’t want to undo their improved physical appearance and sense of well-being caused by increased exercise. Physical activity also releases chemicals into the brain called endorphins.

Endorphins can create positive feelings and prevent stress and depression. Stress and depression both contribute to drug addiction and eating disorders. As a consequence, exercise can prevent addictions and eating issues from returning or occurring in the first place.

Taking small steps is key to improving one’s overall health. If a person can’t change their entire diet and exercise routine, there are small things one can do such as not ordering soft drinks and not choosing french fries as a side dish at a restaurant.


Credit: Raw Pixel via Unsplash


Moreover, people shouldn’t beat themselves up for not eating healthfully all of the time. Most of us eat birthday cake now and then, and sometimes binge on junk food. These behaviors happen, but dwelling on them does nothing. We’re all human and no one expects those around them to be perfect. Likewise, a person shouldn’t expect themselves to have perfect eating habits every day.

Finding ways to eat healthier and exercise is not difficult; although, implementing these habits can be trickier. This fact is, especially, true if people had poor diets and (or) were suffering from substance abuse.

However, former addicts and all people can consider incorporating a few of these steps into their diets little by little. Creating a healthy diet and exercise plan that works for overtime, is key. In general, those who focus on eating healthier diets and on increasing their physical activity, maintain their sobriety; they improve their health as a whole.


Sources:

Benefits of vegetables:  Better Health Channel, Victoria State Government, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/fruit-and-vegetables

Exercise, endorphins, and addiction:  “Exercise and Depression,” WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression

Sugar, drugs, and alcohol:  Jeffrey L. Fortuna, “Sweet Preference, Sugar Addiction and the Familial History of Alcohol Dependence: Shared Neural Pathways and Genes,” posted on PubMed.gov, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20648910


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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Where I’m At: Catching Up in March


Healthy-eating-2-small
http://www.adigaskill.org
Every so often, I try to update you with the details of my life, beneath the writing, and the subtext behind poems. I don’t think I’ve done this since the end of February, so I’d like to share a bit about my life lately.

One of the biggest areas in life I’m working on is my health. Those of you who have been with me a while know I suffer from a mood disorder (depression) and from that depression,  excessive amounts of fatigue.

 

Psychiatric drugs are evil little pills. I started with Invega which stopped an initial psychosis (which has never occurred again) but also made me ‘flat;’ caused a great deal of pain in muscles of my back, shoulders, and neck;  as well as resulted in a weight gain over ten pounds. After switching to risperidone, I gained another ten pounds and using a medication to help me sleep called Gabapentin, added twelve pounds or more. The antipsychotic I’m on now works a great deal better for me then any of the ones I was on before, but as usual, I gained another ten pounds.

Experiencing fatigue most of the time makes it difficult to exercise and do cardio. I have been feeling well enough to walk for twenty to thirty minutes three or four times a week. And on off days, I have been trying to do yoga for twenty minutes.

My big change lately has been a diet and supplement overhaul. I use supplements from a

Heart Vegetables
http://www.adigaskill.org
system called the  ‘redbox.’ It is a system of health focused not only on losing weight but living a healthy lifestyle. Different supplements in the system have helped many people lose weight; stop feeling chronic pain such as fibromyalgia or arthritis; given people a ton more energy; and aided people in maintaining a fitness level at the gym or otherwise.

Using the supplements you start with an Eight Day Ignite, a detox in which your body gets rid of bad toxins and resets your metabolism so you can lose weight and function better. In my first Eight Days, I lost 5 lbs and 8.5 inches. I was pleased with my initial result, especially losing inches in my hips, waist, and thighs. Many women lose much more then I lost initially. I’m continuing on the ignite plan for the rest of the month (the detox part is finished) and I’m hoping to be able to lose 9 lbs by the end of this month, to reach my first weight and health goal. After, I will continue on some of the supplements on the weight loss plan.

A meal plan is provided, and the plan includes eating well in small meals throughout the day focusing on eating protein and green vegetables. One day I get to eat carbohydrates such as fruit, rice, whole grain bread  (etc.) and on Sunday I can eat what I like, it’s a cheat day. The plan also includes exercise of about thirty minutes a day and using some of the supplements. Many people have had great results on these products. So I’m excited to see where they can take me, especially since losing weight without significant cardio has been a challenge.

—-

pen writing
http://www.fanpop.com
Besides my health, I have been up to many other things. I have been working a lot on developing short stories and other pieces for submission. I was excited to submit one of my first short stories developed off a Flash Fiction piece I wrote in the past. And I’m looking also at submitting some pieces of poetry in the future.  I keep discovering new ideas and new topics that I would like to write short stories to submit. It’s a bit of a challenge as many of you probably know because each place you submit to has different submission guidelines and wants stories of specific length. Short story for instance, vary widely from 800 words to as many as 40, 000 in some of the places I’ve been looking at.

Work on my novel continues, albeit, at a slower pace then I have been doing. Working on

Writing Once Upon A Time
http://www.tribecomics.com
the novel and working on pieces in-between, often results in the novel being left for a week or two. I do plan to write up a couple of chapters this week if possible. The book is at an exciting  part  so I have to move onward. I thought initially, I was writing long chapters and would have plenty of length for a full book. But PJ asked me if I was doing a novella or novel, and I thought about it a bit and I think I might have to add some parts into the novel, or weave in a second storyline. I will see where I am at the end of the first draft which is rapidly coming to a close. I’m thankful to have a blogger friend Martin, offering to go through and help edit my book once I have all the chapters together on word, and I will do the same for his book. Then, I suppose I will be doing a whole bunch of rewriting.

Blog Words
http://www.linkedin.com
My blogging schedule has been hectic. Since I’m not in a course so I can write, I don’t mind it at all. Although, sometimes commenting and writing takes a great amount of time. So you know, my blogging schedule is as follows: Sunday Sunday Photo Fiction with Alistair Forbes,  MondayMoral Monday’s with Nortina S from Lovely Curses and La Duchesse D’erats Lists, Tuesday Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer with Priceless Joy, WednesdayLiterary Lion with Laura from I Smith Words ( every second week) and 3LineTales with Sonya from Only 100 Words, Thursday Echoes of My Neighbourhood with Jacqueline from A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales, FridayFlash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner with Roger Shipp at It’s All In Finding The Right Words, Saturday – Free Day.

In-between this all I’m still working through different forms of poetry, doing the one word prompts provided by The Daily Post , as well as my novel. I will not be doing The Daily Post prompts in April due to National Poetry Writing Month. But, you will still find I do the odd beauty post and other topics that come to my mind.

I’m not sure how completing the POPSUGAR booklist will end up. I read here and there but have only been able to get through two or three books lately. I know when spring finally arrives (in appearance), and I can see the flowers and not see it snowing outside, I will be in much more of a reading mood.

In addition to writing and health, I’m going to movies, catching up on my favourite shows such as Scandal (my favourite right now), watching movies on Netflix, seeing friends whenever I can, doing a bit of dating, and fitting everything else in when I can. Hope all is going well for you.

napofeature2
http://www.napowrimo.org
I know there is an A to Z challenge going on with some bloggers in April but I also wanted to bring up another fantastic challenge I’m doing in April. April is National Poetry Writing Month or NaPoWriMo. It is similar to Blogging 201 Poetry except for you’re writing a poem with a prompt provided on the website, everyday for the month of April. You can check it out and add your blog to the list of bloggers participating here if you want to join me for the challenge.

Thanks for reading!

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: A Few of My Favorite Things


Prompt: Of all the awful possibilities, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you today? Now, what about the best?

——

 

http://www.facebook.com A Happy Dog Hoarding her Twizzlers
 
Don’t ask me what’s the worst of all the possibilities that could be today. It isn’t a good idea to tempt fate like that.

Don’t ask me all the horrible terrifying things that could happen to myself or my loved ones. Don’t wonder about things you never want to be. Don’t ask for the worst.

It maybe superstitious but you see, worrying about terrible happenings doesn’t help you get through the day. It doesn’t help anyone you love either.

Wondering about the terrible things that could happen, well it’s bad juju. It’s bad Karma. It’s whatever you’d like to call it. But it isn’t safe, and it isn’t worth the time or effort 

The tears it inspires. The rage that could implode. The nightmares caused by this kind of thinking. No don’t think of the bad things in this world and imagine even worse.

What if the worse happened? Well you’d only blame yourself for thinking the thoughts you did that occurred. Is a thought worth a lifetime of misery? No, it isn’t.

Think of the good times you had in the past. The parties and meetings with friends and relatives.

Think of Christmas think of snow. Think of watching movies curled up on the coach. Think of your favourite things, as Julie Andrews once sang.

Thing of beautiful clothing made of silk and cashmere in a rainbow of colors. Think of jeans that fit perfectly. Think of a flat stomach. 

Think of the endorphins you feel rushing through you after you’ve done 50 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical. Think of walking your dog as he bounds and leaps for joy in the snow.

Think of meeting the one you love the most. Think of weddings, the birth of a child, think of Birthdays and summer vacations at the fair. Eating cotton candy and going on frightening rides and through haunted houses.

Think of little girls dressed up as Princesses at Disneyland. Think of camping,hiking, and drinking beer. Think of drinking wine with friends by the fireplace.

Think of finishing all your work for once. Think of travelling and fantastic art work. The Cistine Chapel, Monet’s Water Lillies, Andy Warhole’s Soup Cans and print of Marilyn Monroe. 

Think of Yoga poses that calm you and stretch out all your tired muscles. Think of how it smells after it rains and how clear the scent of air feels.

Think of summer nights walking in the night, with your guy or gal. Think of dancing until dawn. Think of conversations about trival and universal topics at 3:00 a.m.

Think of the place you grew up. The place you call home now. Think of your first pet. The cat that was morbidly obese on farm mice. Think of all your joys and all your trials and how good you felt after facing the latter.

Don’t think of all the terrible things that could be in this world. Think of better things. Be an optimist. Better yet drink the water, and live life to the fullest. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

A New Season Of Life


 

http://www.galmeetsglam.com
 
As I look at my past few blogs throughout December, it seems as if it has been awhile since I have given a general update of my life and where it is headed. I think I have talked about it in pieces in various works but I haven’t sat down and told the entire story.

The house feels empty after having everyone home during the holidays. It bothered me on Monday but now I’m feeling more relaxed and fitting myself into a routein again each day. I have spent a great deal of time blogging and reading other blogger’s posts. I’m at the point where blogging is taking a lot of time. I’m not complaining I like to do it and it’s part of the whole blogging experience, but I know if I want to do some of the other things I need to I might have to cutback in certain days. I’m especially thinking for university courses.

My main goal right now is to do an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of BC starting in May 2017. This gives me almost a year to prepare a portfolio on two to three types of creative writing; write up a five-hundred word essay about why I want to take creative writing; as well as submit university marks and three letters/forms of recommendation. 

But I also feel I could use some more background in creative writing. I have taken a few courses here and there but most of what I have learned about creative writing has come through being self-taught or learning from other bloggers and writers. To fill the time until I can apply for my Masters I’m going to start work on a Certificate for Creative Writing online through the University of Toronto. 

It is only six courses and it has many options I can look at taking for creative writing courses and the online courses go throughout the year. So, I’m going to do one course in February and one course in March or April. They courses are ten sessions and go for two months each. The first course is an introduction to fiction. And I haven’t decided on the second course as of yet. But I’m excited to do writing courses. 

Not only because it keeps me busy and working towards a goal but also because it is difficult to get into the Masters Program at UBC. Since this Masters Degree is online and highly sought after, UBC only take twenty-five percent of their applicants. A certificate is some consolation if I can’t get into the Masters or if it takes me a couple of years to be accepted.

As for New Years Resolutions, I took a typical route and decided I needed to work on my health and fitness. So, New Years Eve I signed up for Weight Watchers online. It is reasonable at only $23.00 a month and it restricts your diet to a certain amount of points foods are worth. Fruits and vegetables are unlimited and worth no points. Weight Watchers is trying to encourage people to eat them this way. Also, you have a certain amount of fitness points each week and exercise does’t have to be hard or for long periods. I have done yoga for twenty minutes, gone on the elliptical all out for ten minutes, walked for 2o minutes at a brisk pace, and done seven minute intervals, and they are all great easy ways to get your fitness in.

 I felt after gaining weight again off a new medication and then not giving much thought to the way I ate over the holidays, weight watchers program promotes excellent habits to achieve. All through an application on my phone I track what I ate and how much exercise I’ve gotten. I track my weight and I’m also taking waist and hip measurements myself. The program is starting off well so I hope it continues that way. 

I was also inspired by Rosema from A Reading Writer to try POPSUGARS 2016 Reading Challenge. There are boxes for forty books to check off on this list.  And I invite anyone who wants to join me to simply print out the list below. I have tried to start doing the list but as Rosema tried to tell me, it requires a bit of research on your part. 

I do not want to commit to any book I have chosen so far except the book I am reading. I started with the easiest one #30. Read a book with a blue cover. My book I chose is called New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick. I read on my IPad but it has been giving me real problems lately so until I can replace it (hopefully soon) I have been reading in paperback again. It feels weird actually having to flip pages and use a receipt as a book mark. I hope to do a semi-regular post or part of a post on my progress on this list. 

 

http://www.goodreads.com New Uses for Old Boyfriends (Black Dog #2) – Beth Kendrick
 
Here is the basics of New Uses for Old Boyfriends. Lila is twenty-nine or thirty -years old. She grew up in a life of privilege and married a wealthy guy named Carl. At the beginning of the book Lila is moving out from her house having been divorced by her cheating husband (Carl). She has everything stuffed in her vehicle and she is going back to her home town haven and doesn’t have much money or a job. She was fired from her job as a late night sales woman on the shopping channel and Hawks her engagement ring for money. 

When Lila returns to Black Dog Bay she finds her mother is not in a good state either. When her father died he left her mother in debt due to his construction business. Lila’s mom thinks Lila will fix everything and has ran up her credit cards. They have to sell the house her Dad built for her Mom. The family fortune is gone and Lila’s mother is in denial. Lila can barely take care of herself. 

Lila decides to open up a Vintage Clothing Boutique. She tries to find new uses for old dresses and attempts to reunite with her high school sweet heart, Ben Collier. But she also discovers it’s too late for some of her old dreams. “She’s lost everything she thought she needed but found something — someone — she desperatly wants. A boy she hardly noticed has grown up into a man she can’t forget,” and a second chance at love.

Yes, it’s a chick book I know. But I think you know from some other books I’ve posted about, I like a good romance book at times. So far, I like it and find Beth Kendrick to be a funny and engaging writer. Thanks to my BFF Tara for the book. I’ll let you know what I think of it in the end.  

http://www.pinterest.com
 
Also, I would like to continue exploring new forms of poetry with you each day from Shadow Poetry. It’s a self study thing. I am hoping to be able to write with different kinds of poetry more easily and to learn about forms of poetry I’ve never studied before in a poetry course in school or WordPress courses on poetry. 

Additionally, I have been finding some of the products I received in Luxebox and some additional beauty items I received over the holiday are quite good. There is also some products I received I don’t like. I have a post idea for guys about shaving and what you need to take care of your skin. I did a Clinique Men and Women’s skincare but I think I will search around for some cheaper more common products you can find in any drugstore for this post. Additional ideas for posts pop up at will in my mind. 

Enjoy your days. I hope it’s not cold and snowing where you live. 

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Villanelle – ” Health Habbits.”


A Villanelle

is a nineteen-line poem consisting of a very specific rhyming scheme: aba aba aba aba aba abaa.

The first and the third lines in the first stanza are repeated in alternating order throughout the poem, and appear together in the last couplet (last two lines).

One of the most famous Villanelle is “Do not go Gentle into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas.

See Shadow Poetry here.

——

 

http://www.ironforgedfitness.com
 
I think it is time to change my habits.

To make better choices and decline extra helpings,

Maybe it’s time I eat as the rabbits.

—–

If I could exercise intensely for only seven minutes and be avid,

If I would back away from boxes of chocolates with a welp, 

 I could be fit  counting points and exercising,  and not grab sweets as a stealing bandit.

—–

It’s time for push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, and lunges; all exercises of habit.

I cannot pretend I don’t understand the consequences of extra weight; I’m not a young whelp, 

Who can eat as she chooses; no more, being a sugar addict.

—–

It’s time to move forward into a new kind of fitness habit, 

It’s time to start my healthful journey with self help,

Weight watchers points; I’ll count cause I know I can be a health addict.

——

It’s a new world today for making good choice habits,

I’ll find a way to do yoga stretches even though the stretching makes me yelp,

I know in life there are so many health facets. 

We can achieve what we dream and try to be stronger; we can live in a year where our fitness goals happen.

______

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

New Year – Be Present. 


 

http://www.happydiwali2015.org
 New Years like Christmas, maybe gone sooner then you think. After nursing hangovers from late nights, booze, or both, the future will become clear on January 2, 2016. 

We will all arise from our holiday slumber and the chocolate binging — eating the whole box; the wine and egg nog guzzling (not at the same time); the superfluous shopping; the endless company; the traditions that we practice once a year; the singing of carols and playing of Christmas music; the dressing up in party wear; playing with our new pieces of technology like they won’t be replaced by a newer version soon; and we will pack away Christmas and New Years celebrations for another year. 

The Christmas tree will have no ornaments and be put away until next November; the spice and pine candles and trinkets will go away in a box; special dishes and table clothes will go into storage; and the wreaths on our doors won’t welcome anyone anymore. The house will seem bare inside and outside you’ll probably take down your Christmad lights — or turn them off at least. What could be so good about the empty feeling in the house when reality sets in. What’s so important about a New Year anyway? 

I’ll tell you,  it’s a chance for change, a new beginning. I’m not going to tell you to make a New Year’s resolution you can’t possibly keep. I have read that the reason people fail so much at their resolutions is due to their high standards. People aren’t setting achievable goals or do not realize that making changes takes time. It is best to break your goals down into little steps. These steps will make your goal more reachable. Keep the end goal in mind, but focus on the little steps along the way. That’s only if your heart is set on a resolution. But something is more important then your resolutions.

I think we all have to stop thinking that when we achieve some lofty goal (say lose 10 lbs) our life will change drastically. We will have all dreams come true! No, reality check. Life is here right now, there is no later without the now. I know it’s yogi talk but I think it is good advice to know: stay present and in the moment through each event of life. People will not remember you for what you said but for what you did. Be present in the lives of your children, your partner, your family, your closest friends and even your suspicious cat or crazy dog. Perhaps, if we are present we will choose where it is wiser to spend are time and with who. 

Perhaps, we will stop wasting time and thinking, ‘Should I?’ And instead go, do it! Go travel, buy that expensive pair of shoes; pay off your debts; choose to not work on Sunday’s; find God in a Church; meet new people; take a course; write until your fingers hurt; publish that book; create your own job; have another kid; retire early.  Live life boldly, with zest. You only live once and then we go “into the night.” 

And don’t be frustrated when the things in life you want don’t come your way right away. Life takes work, everything takes work and time. You want to stick to your small goals, then be present as you make those milestones; even if you are only going out and walking around the block twice for exercise at lunch. Even if you are trying painting for the first time, pick up a brush. Book those flights to Amsterdam.

So, do I have any resolutions of my own I do? They are small goals. To only eat when I’m hungry and never until I am full. To do 10 minutes of Cardio on the bike or elliptical every week day. And to choose to do things with people rather then buy stuff. To be present. 

—–

Inspiration For Your Thoughts:

1. Forever is composed of nows. – Emily Dickinson

——–

2.The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. – Eleanor Roosvelt

———

3.  Let everything happen to you,

Beauty and terror.

Just keep going,

No feeling is final.

– Rainer Maira Rilke

———

4. You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.

– Henry David Thoreau

———

5. Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour. – Walt Whitman

———

6. If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that nobody is here forever. You have to live for the moment, each and every day . . . the here, the now. – Simone Elkeles

———-

Cheers! 

http://www.yesmagazine.org
 

——-

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

Writing 101: Day 16 – Twitter Poetry Advice 


Hope is a life line, you just have to grab hold and never let go.

You inspire my inner serial killer.

Freaky lightening strikes in Australia – surely heralds the end of days.

Exercise is like telling your body : “You’re gonna hate me for this, but you’ll thank me later.”

That’s how I feel. Your writing is beautiful and you create beautiful characters.

Love your enemies. It makes them so damned mad!

Those leopard bottles are so shot! Grab your’s now.

Get out of your comfort zone. It just might #changetheworld.

Sometimes when you innovate you make mistakes. It’s best to admit them quickly and get on with your other innovations. (Steve Jobs.)

A story of a devastated Britain ruled by a ruthless military.

I took a Date Night out of the Budget and almost ruined my marriage.

Go to bed with dreams. Wake up with plans.

Just be good to people, get to know them.

Weighting to Exhale 


I have some thoughts to share tonight just about my life and hopefully some of you out there can relate. I have touched on this topic before but not for awhile.  Weight is always a touchy topic because it relates to body image. 

We are taught these days that women are beautiful at whatever size they are, a size two or a size twenty-two. I think that’s wonderful and I hope that girls can be satisfied with their weight and looks as they grow and become young women. I’m happy to see models in fashion shows in New York and Toronto, who are plus-sized models because the average size for a woman is around size 12 to 16 in North America at least. 

 When I was young (maybe six or eight) I was shamed for being fat. Body image is something that it is engrained in you when you are young. I ate healthy food and only small amounts of junk food. We had a large garden, raspberry bushes, and an apple tree — all organic food. My Mom froze beans and peas, we always ate whole wheat bread, we hardly ever had sugary cereals for breakfast. We biked and walked regularly. But fat has always been something I’ve been afraid of being. It’s a demon I left in childhood only to be met again in my mid to late twenties. It’s too late for me I’ve already developed in my mind a picture of the ideal woman figure. I was never her, even when I played sports and/or worked out regularly. I was always that fat little girl, and in my mind I still am. 

Currently, I think for me body image and fat are something that I’m struggling to reconcile. We all have that number on the scale that we think, we are very overweight if the scale reads that number. We feel that we’ve got a major problem on our hands because the number is too high a weight for our bodies. I have reached that magical number and I am pulling out all stops to get back to a healthy weight. Believe me it’s going to be a lot of work. 

You see, as much as I want women and girls to be satisfied with their bodies, I also want them (myself inclusive) to have bodies that are healthy, whatever size or number on the scale that might be. It’s all fine to say that you are happy being over weight and you love your body; I’m glad if you do. But lately, I don’t feel that way because I’m not fit and I’m not eating right. If I don’t develop some type of plan to deal with my body, fatigued or not, my weight will only increase, and my physical health problems will increase.

Some of my weight issues probably have to do with genes on my Dad’s side due to the fact that many of my relatives put on weight as they get older. But also, having a mental illness and chronic fatigue almost all the time has lead to my weight gain. Mostly, due to weight gained through the side effects of medication — clozapine most recently. I put on roughly ten pounds each time I am on a psychiatric medication for awhile, they usually all cause weight gain. I try to be okay with it. I’m too fatigued to do significant cardio to counteract the weight gain.  But I think part of my problem is not paying attention to what and how much I am eating. 

This means going back to portion control and also not drinking my favourite drink that’s bad for you – Pepsi, especially in copious amounts. It means not ordering burgers, even though my smaller and fitter mother does, and ordering a salad with water not pop. It means trying my hardest to do some type of exercise a day, this will require all my effort. 

I’m trying to do two types of exercise: yoga, just some gentle stretching to keep me limber, and walking for 20 minutes, even though it still feels weird walking without a dog. Sadly, I will feel worn out after 20 minute walks for awhile, that is what seven years of fatigue does to you. It makes it harder and harder to be physically fit. 

The last part of my plan is that I am trying  a few products that have worked for some people I know to lose weight, but they are the kind of products that could work or could not — you never know with diet products. The first is a product that involves drinking veggies, so I receive all of my veggies in my diet; the second product is a product that helps break down fats in your body around meal times; the third product is wraps that help break down fat in your body from the outside  (I don’t know about the wraps but maybe they too will work). I will try these products for three months and if they work they work, if they don’t, it’s no significant financial loss. But I am hoping the products help together with portion control, adding back in some exercise, and getting rid of Pepsi by drinking water and green tea blends. 

If I can lower my weight I can improve the image I have of myself because I’d feel more positive about my body being healthier, especially around my middle. Your stomach is the worst place to have extra fat because that fat is visceral. In addition, I would feel and be healthier because my BMI and waist would be smaller. These are two major indicators of good health, although, they are not one-hundred percent accurate. My limbs would also feel less stiff if I did yoga and my cardiovascular activity even walking would be better then just sitting. And clothes would fit better as well.  I could even drop a size or more and have  a greater of variety of clothes to choose from. I’m a size 14 US right now (sometimes a 12) and not all stores go that high in sizes. 

 I know my weight doesn’t devalue me as a person, it doesn’t define me; weight doesn’t devalue or define anyone. But in my case, I feel I have little control in my life, especially with my health. That is another reason losing weight appeals to me, because it is a small piece of life that I have some control over. I can do little to change my mental health and the fatigue it causes, but I fight it because at somethings I can win. Maybe, I will never be a size 8 again but being a 12 or a 10 that’s in better physical shape then I am now, that is worth the effort, worth the fight.

We can’t control everything about our size or our weight. Woman exist into a variety of shapes and sizes. Weight is often a grave subject to talk about because many woman can’t do anything about it due to health problems such as medication, thyroid issues, having kids, lack of time to exercise, and many other reasons. But there has to be a point where you say I will control what I can and at least change that. Take the initiative to be healthier, no matter how small the change. Make changes you can live with through out your life and keep your body physically healthy. 

How’s Your Year Shaping Up So Far?


Prompt: How is this year shaping up so far? Write a post about your biggest challenges and achievements thus far.

It’s a difficult task to look at your year in terms of challenges and accomplishments and put it all in perspective. I suppose I’d prefer to turn the question back on you and have you comment on how your year has been thus far? Any takers? But in all seriousness it’s been an okay year. Nothing to brag about but nothing to get upset about either.

My biggest challenges I think revolve around my health and will for much of my life. If you think of yourself going to sleep most of you wake up with a full battery or a full amount of mental and physical energy. When I wake up in the morning I have three hours worth of physical energy in my battery and two hours worth of mental concentration. It was extremely disappointing for me when I lost physical and mental energy last summer and went down to the amount I currently enjoy. For me this means less time I can be out at night, less time I can be with my friends conversing, and less time I can spend studying for classes or spend reading. I really miss it! It also means less time I can spend walking around sight seeing and shopping on vacation and that hurts to as you know I am going to Las Vegas in two weeks. 

Plus, the amount of exercise I can physically do is sad indeed. Recently, I have started doing 7 minutes of exercise a day — 15 squats, 15 push-ups, 45 seconds plank, 15 toe raises, 15 bicycle crunches, 15 knee raises, and 15 diagonal knee raises — and it was extremely tough beginning that and I’m proud I can do that but it still kills me that I can’t do more and that that is less then I have ever been able to do. Keeping my weight down is always an issue since I can’t exercise but I eat very carefully and try to eat small healthy portions. Of that I am proud.

I am proud of my online classes even though editing is not always the easiest task for me because of the detail involved. But I go over my work a number of times and mistakes are becoming easier to pick out as well as copy editing symbols easier to remember and use. I am also proud of myself for submitting fiction in a course and receiving good and bad comments I can learn from and rewrite some of the fiction I submitted.

I managed awhole year without a dog in the house. This may not seem like such a big accomplishment but when you are at home all day it is nice to have a companion. And I really miss Nikki at times, I still miss her, but I have managed to live without sharing my food, without tumble weeds of hair, without Nikki pestering me to go out every 5 minutes, I have managed to live without cuddles, without dog kisses, and barking every time someone comes to the door. These aspects of pets you adore and hate but you learn to live with them and miss them when they are no longer there. 

I have taken many writing courses and thus, improved my writing. I have learned to think of new ideas to write about, to write pieces of fiction, and to give compliments and constructive criticism to other bloggers. I have written a lot of poetry some good and some bad and I have taken many pictures both good and bad as well. 

To sum up my year, it has been a year of difficulties health wise and learning writing wise and I couldn’t be happier to have the year turn out like it did. Now is your turn, how was your year?

Ways to Frustrate a Sick Person


I”m hesitant to write on the issue of weight, especially after writing another blog a few days past about loving your body at whatever weight you are at. But I’m find that hard to do now. I haven’t gained much weight from where I’ve been at for a while but speaking of ways to frustrate a sick person, is the side effect of gaining weight when you don’t have any choice but to increase medication. Something with great evil in this universe decided that the best way to make it seem like you were better but still mentally destroy you was to let humans find medications but medications that made you fatter.

Frankly, I am tired of people who tell me its okay that I’m this way because I can’t help it because I have to take medications and have chronic fatigue that doesn’t allow me to exercise off the weight. But it’s really not okay because it doesn’t feel like I’m in my body. My body feels good after exercise and my body knows that it needs exercise to function well, but it isn’t performing accordingly.

Maybe if I didn’t grow up from being a chubby kid or maybe if I was never a thin young adult it wouldn’t matter, I’m not sure. But I’m definitely finding tough the image I see in the mirror of someone whose body holds on to fat more and more each time she has to increase her sleeping pills. It isn’t a choice it’s sleep and gain weight, I’ve been through too much other sleep medication that didn’t work to not take my sleeping medication. My body gets used to the sleep medication, I have to take more and this results in an extra 5 lbs that are really hard to escape from.

I have tried all kinds of ideas for this not to be so but when in comes down to is just that I need exercise, no diet, or drink, or supplements, is going to keep me thin once my body starts hanging on to the weight I’ve gained. It’s an issue I can’t escape from and it goes round and round in my head. I want to be a fit strong person who doesn’t have to buy her clothes a size up because she gained a few pounds. I don’t want to be so exhausted from a Pilates 20 minute video that I can’t do anything else the rest of the day. I just want 25 lbs gone like that in 3 months (I’m willing to be a bit lenient). I wouldn’t care if I had to do cardio every day for most of the rest of my life, I’d just be grateful if I could do it without feeling sick and defeated.

This is an old story but I don’t know what to do. It’s unacceptable to me to be this way because my body is not in a healthy state, but I feel stuck. Love your body, but I think you need to be aware that your body needs to be healthy no matter your shape or size. At least that’s what I feel about my own.