Sunday, September 16th, Day Twelve, Family

Sunday, September 16th, Day Twelve, Family



It is Sunday.  Unfortunately, I gained back half a pound, as I suspected I would do last night.  Oh well, that will give me that much more time to carry on this journey with you.  I am enjoying the ride.  I hope you are too.
I thought I was out of fruit yesterday, but I found some apples this morning–organic apples.  I chose organic because apples are one of the “dirty dozen.”   It is only 3:52 AM.  I could go back to bed for a while, but I probably will not sleep.  I want to start my day.  I honestly thought it was later.
I just discovered I have no records in JV Life Tracker since September 11, 2018.  I thought I was keeping a faithful record.  I could try to piece it together, using my journal entries, but I cannot remember everything that far back.  I have been under a lot of stress since September 13th, when my medical appointment fell apart, and I found out about my Cadillac.
That is okay.  It is all part of the journey.  I tend to fuss over details.   That is a good trait, but I can be stopped by perfectionism.  My husband has long tried to break me of my perfectionism.  What is essential?  I sometimes lose sight of that.  “What is essential?” is probably a good question to ask myself daily.

Forgiving Weaknesses

Yesterday I wrote about wine.  I do not want to encourage alcoholism.  However, I do not want to let contempt enter into my marriage.  That is deadly.  We all need to be forgiving of the weaknesses of other people and forgiving of our own weaknesses as well.  Our marriage vows included a vow to be accepting of the other’s weaknesses and to help him or her overcome them, if possible.  Life is not about being perfect.  I could wait around forever in order to become “perfect” before sharing this book.  What would that do?  It is working through my weaknesses that is going to give this book its strength.

Side Effects

Last night as my husband was eating, I talked to him about the side effects of my medications–some I have shared:  hypothyroidism; diabetes insipidus; intolerance to heat, cold, and sunlight; hand tremor; weight gain; fatigue; kidney issues; cramps; thirst; fertility issues–just to name a few.  I can be gentle on myself about my desire to get off of the medicine and for even doing it a number of times.
I wish there was a better solution, but science has not found it yet.  Good nutrition helps, but it does not replace medicine.  Fellow students at IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) thought nutrition could replace medicine.  They were lacking in understanding.  New possibilities are costly to test.  I am dealing with these issues to the best of my knowledge.  A doctor I saw for over a decade tried to help me off my medication.  That resulted in a costly hospitalization.  I was devastated.  If I had been successful, it would have been worth it, but it was costly to try.
I could discourage myself, thinking about this, but now is not a time for discouragement.  It is a time for rejoicing.  Potassium could be the key to dealing with my kidney issues, thirst, and cramps.  In addition, it can solve my hereditary high blood pressure.

Thyroid and Sunlight

Alright, so what can I do right now?  I took my thyroid medication.  That is one thing I can do, even though the medication does not completely restore my thyroid function.
I am in a nice climate-controlled building.  I can do almost everything without going outside.  Sunlight is good for you but only to a point.  I have a sensitivity to sunlight.  Colorado is known for being the skin cancer capital of the U.S.  If I do go out much, I need to protect myself.  I have vitamin D3 pills to compensate, maybe not fully, but they help.  I have been taking 5,000 I.U.’s per day since 2009.  My doctor said they would help prevent depression.

JV Life Tracker

After some contemplation, I decided to resume JV Life Tracker, starting today.  I must have forgotten to “export to date” one day after scoring, and then with the stress I had last week, I totally forgot to keep a record.  I lost some potentially valuable information.  However, if I cannot do a valuable activity on consecutive days, it is best to resume as soon as possible.
There.  I scored 1030 points in JV Life Tracker for yesterday (Saturday).  Most of my points were for my writing and blog.  These are activities that further my purpose, as I have defined it for myself.  I have experimented with different point structures, and I suppose I will keep experimenting.
The point of a point is to motivate while still permitting adequate rest and relaxation–balancing the activity of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system.  Points should encourage balance, along with achievement.  Perfect balance is not possible at all times.  In striving for accomplishment, we often get out-of-balance, sometimes dangerously so.  We neglect the basics.  JV Life Tracker is designed to keep all activities in my life in front of me, in perspective, so that a healthy degree of balance is retained, while still propelling me forward.
Does JV Life Tracker work?  As long as I do it, yes, it is effective.  It has lifted me out of numerous depressions.  It helped me get my blog started.  It helped me write JV Life Tracker itself and its accompanying book about transformation.  It helped me lose weight.  One of the reasons I got deeply depressed and gained weight earlier this year is that I stopped using JV Life Tracker.  It will only work if I use it.
How do we keep from getting derailed, from falling off the wagon, from relapsing?  That is something I would like to know.  Consistency is one of my top values.  I have to admit I struggle with it.  It seems that bipolar disorder deliberately keeps me from being consistent. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy explains how slight differences in daily behavior compound their effect over a period of time.
If you do an activity that furthers a goal every day for three years, the effect of that consistent action will put you light years ahead of where you would have been had you not done it at all or had been inconsistent with it.  There is true power in consistency.  For this reason, I designed Statistics in JV Life Tracker to display how many consecutive days my tool has scored.  This function potentially helps me to be more consistent.  Insight Timer has a similar feature built into it, to improve consistency in doing meditation.


Currently, I have eight consecutive days in Insight Timer.  I just finished The Settling Moment by Tom Foulstone.  I like this meditation because it can be done while walking and is just over three minutes.  I walked just now while doing it.  It was refreshing.  Now that I am grounded in the “moment now,” I can continue writing.


My eyes need consistent attention.  I need to hot pack them and should do that every day, but I have yet to become consistent at it.  Nevertheless, let me pay attention to it now.
Done.  It does no good to beat myself up for inconsistent behavior.  I can just say, “Resume” and make a mental movie of pressing the button on my CD-player to play again after it has been paused.  I can associate that button with my eyes.


Let me make a list of things for my niece to bring with my car from Utah.  She said I could email her about it.  There, I have a list.  I will email it later, in case I remember something else.

Gingered Lemonade

Now it is 8:52 AM. Gingered lemonade sounds good.  Let me make some.
It is clearing my headache and mild nausea.  This drink is so good I thought of marketing it.  In a sense I am, right here.
Now that I feel better, I could:
1.        Go for a walk.
2.        Clean the kitchen.
3.        Read a book.
4.        Clean mail off the table.
5.        Check my email.
6.        Check on my husband.
It is now 11:27 AM.  I could give myself a day of rest or I could publish Day Four.  I think I will give myself a day of rest.  I will still write, but I will give myself a break on the hard part, publishing.

Joyful Vibrance, Volume I

You have probably noticed that this is Joyful Vibrance, Volume II.  You may wonder where volume one is.  Right now it is just about ready to publish.  It has been in that condition for months.  I have even gotten a graphic designer to do a cover for it.  I must admit I got discouraged about it.  I let my negative self-talk and perfectionism take over.  I was self-conscious about revealing to the world that I had bipolar disorder, even though I had planned to be courageous and open about it.  That is deadly.  By the time I post this entry, I plan to have it available here for download on this blog.  I want to publish it on Amazon too.  I can certainly do that.  That will come later.
Volume I has a completely different format than this journal-type volume II.  Volume II will probably be longer because I plan to chronicle my whole journey of weight loss.  During this second week, it is moving very slowly, if at all.  I know from past periods of dieting that my second week tends to stall out.  The solution is to endure and keep going.
So download Joyful Vibrance, Volume I here.


I think I can assume that one of your values is good health.  In Joyful Vibrance, Volume I, Appendix A, I have an exercise where you determine your top values.  I listed my top values in the book.  What I did not fully realize when I wrote volume I was how important relationships are.  They affect your overall health.  If you value your health, you will also value relationships.
Connectedness is crucial to the fabric of our society.  My parents have a huge extended family.  It is so large I tend to take family for granted.  My husband, on the other hand, has a very small extended family.  Everyone older than himself has already passed away.  He has one first cousin who has passed away.  In contrast, I have ninety first cousins.  My parents each have approximately 100 first cousins themselves.  My parents are both living, though my father is now in a care center.  I have eleven siblings and over twenty nieces and nephews.
I attended a family reunion one year, and my uncle exclaimed, “How are we going to get you married!”  Being the hypersensitive person I am, that turned me off to going to family reunions.  Being single much of my life, I did not feel I fit in with my family.  In 2009, I left the religion of my birth, which made me different than the majority of my family, so that widened the gap.
To their credit, my family has never excluded me or tried to change my mind concerning my religious decisions.  Now that I am further away from family, with a husband who needs attention night and day, I do not think I will be attending many family reunions.  However, I have links to many of them as Facebook friends.  If I want to be in touch, I have that option.
My mother writes a family newsletter every month for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  Over the years, she has compiled a lot of data just in the form of newsletters.
So why do I bring this up now?  Relationships are primary food, as described by Joshua Rosenthal, founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  They are even more important than secondary food, which is your nutrition.
My relationship with God is more important to me than any other relationship.  God said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

Rice Pudding

It is now 3:30 PM.  This afternoon I have been planning my shopping list with my husband.  I just put on a pot of brown rice to cook.  Rice is so healing and economical that I recommend keeping it in your diet plan.  Of course, it is composed of mostly carbohydrate, but it can fit into the carbohydrate portion of your meal (if you do not pig out on it).  Cooked brown rice has a caloric density of 1.12, which is not much more than one calorie per gram.  When combined with almond milk, its overall density is less than one calorie per gram.
There is a Tai restaurant near my home in Utah.  They serve a huge portion of rice with their meals.  I do not recommend consuming that much rice in one meal.  Rice can fit in your diet, but use caution.
I am planning to make rice pudding this evening.  It will not be exactly like Mom made it, but it will be inspired by Mom’s recipe.  We used to have rice pudding often on Sunday evenings during my youth.  We usually had some kind of pudding, and we often had popcorn.  We would watch TV as a family or have a family meeting, which we called a family council.  I am making the following substitutions:
white rice
2 cups cooked brown rice
white sugar
about 1/2 teaspoon stevia
3 chopped figs
1 cup almond milk
3 beaten eggs
cinnamon and nutmeg
cinnamon and cardamom to taste
We shall see how it turns out.  The only challenge remaining is not to eat too much of it.  I love rice pudding.
I had a small snack this afternoon of cheese and crackers.  I do not really recommend that as a first choice, but it was easy.  I used the pasture-raised cheese, Old Croc Extra Sharp Cheddar.  The advantage of that kind of cheese, besides being pasture-raised, is that it is extremely flavorful.  A small amount goes a long way.  When I first started buying it, I would consume it all in a day or two.  Now I use much more restraint and share it with my husband who likes it too.  I was afraid I would have to quit buying it because it was a trigger food.  However, I have been able to master that particular food.


Be cautious about “trigger” foods that cause you to eat uncontrollably.  As I described cookies are my nemesis.  Just about anything containing white sugar is.  I have to avoid white sugar entirely.  When I first came to live with my husband, he did not seem to understand how I was battling a serious addiction of my own.  I enlisted his help in getting sugary foods out of our residence.  For now, we are clear.  It has been quite a few days since I have eaten sugar.
My sugar addiction will require constant vigilance.  Sugar has been found in rat studies to be even more addictive than cocaine.  If you have a sugar addiction, and almost everyone does to a degree, do not beat yourself up about it.  Get help.  You may even want to go to Alcoholics Anonymous.  While everyone there is talking about their alcohol woes, in your mind you can substitute sugar.
While battling sugar, do not go overboard and take everything sweet out of your diet.  I allow honey, stevia, monkfruit, eurythritol, fruit, and even some dried fruit.   If these foods are all trigger foods for you, back off, but do allow some leniency.  Trying to be too strict will probably backfire on you.  There is a reason we evolved a taste for sweetness.
Except for some clumping of egg white, the rice pudding turned out great.  It tasted great, and my husband liked it.  I have to learn the correct technique for handling eggs in pudding.  If you know it, go ahead and try the recipe.  It is a great pack of B vitamins.  For half of the recipe, at 443 calories:
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B3
Vitamin B5
pantothenic acid
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12
I usually depend on B Complex for my B vitamins, but today I will be satisfied with this rice pudding, even though not all my values are greater than 100%.  Since B vitamins are not listed on the standard food label, it is easy to forget about them, but it is not as easy to get them as you might hope.  Cronometer can help you track them.  It is tempting to just take a vitamin pill and think you are covered, but it is best to supply yourself nutritionally as much as possible with real food.
Today’s food was a little high in carbohydrates.  I consumed 128% of my net carb allowance.  Cronometer says I have consumed 1709 calories.  It is 6:19 PM.  If I can fast until bedtime, there is a good chance I will take off some weight for today.  If I can get a little more exercise in today, that would be beneficial.  I do not normally record my exercise in Cronometer because if I consume more calories to compensate for the calories I supposedly burn during exercise, I end up gaining weight.  I just need to burn an average number of calories each day in activity of some kind.  Just running around for my husband must burn quite a few.
I am planning to ask my niece to bring my pedometer from Utah.  (I hope she can find it.)  Then I will have some idea how many steps it is to the mailboxes.  Until then, it might be a good idea to time it.
Instead of exercising, I rested and visited with my husband this evening.  I also put my groceries in the Instacart shopping cart for tomorrow.   Tomorrow I have a med appointment.  I will be gone a while and hope everything will go well for my husband while I am away.

Evening Prayer

Dear Lord,
Thank you for this lovely day.  I was tired again, but I bore up well and got a lot done anyway.  I was able to spend time visiting with my husband and relaxing.  Bless me with safety tomorrow while on the road.  Help me to remember everything I need to take.   Bless the doctor that he will be willing to prescribe all the meds I need and that he will be willing to fax my prescriptions to my pharmacy.  Bless him that he will do all of that correctly.  Bless the pharmacy that they will fill everything correctly and in a timely manner.
Lord, my husband is being very kind to me.  Today he has been lucid and alert and has been involved in planning.  He even reminded me to take out the trash.  He worked out the details for our grocery shopping.  I look for every sign of improvement, and I am finding some.  Bless my husband with healing and wisdom as well as happiness.
Lord, I have not discussed Grand Junction with my husband for several days.  Maybe he realizes we are better off here for the present time, at least until his condition improves.  Help me to use wisdom about moving.  If I do not feel comfortable about it, there may be good reasons to stay here.  However, I know that feelings can be deceiving, and sometimes it is best if we venture beyond our comfort zones.  Help me to reconcile these two considerations by using wisdom.  I may want to analyze the pros and cons.  I know that my feelings can affect that analysis though, so it will not be entirely objective.

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