Wednesday, September 12th, Day Eight, Omega-3

Wednesday, September 12th, Day Eight, Omega-3

 

Morning

 
Wow!  We have covered a lot of ground already.  My ideas for improving over yesterday will need to be implemented.  Thankfully, I gained only a tenth of a pound from yesterday, but I did gain.  I am 5.5 pounds down from my starting point.

 

Thyroid

 
I took my thyroid medication first thing this morning.  I did not do that yesterday.  If I take it after breakfast, the food in my stomach keeps it from being absorbed as well, decreasing its effectiveness.
 
If you need thyroid medication for hypothyroidism, it is important to take it, or you will have difficulty losing weight.  It may be a challenge anyway, but give yourself every advantage.  If you suspect hypothyroidism, see your doctor.  Hypothyroidism is especially prevalent in post-menopausal women.  I have hypothyroidism from taking lithium, but there are many other causes.

 

Sleep

 
It is 7:25 AM.   I slept okay last night.  I talked to my husband weeks ago about waking me up in the night.  I made it clear that he should only do so for emergencies.   Since then, he has been better about it.  Adequate sleep should also help me lose weight.  Loss of sleep increases the hormone ghrelin, which increases hunger.  It reduces leptin, the “I am full” hormone.

 

Gratitude Practice

 
I could do my meditation first, but today I think I will do my gratitude practice again first.  Sonja Lyubomirsky found from her own research that a gratitude practice is still effective if done only once a week.  But do not forget it!  It can be the key to weight loss, happiness, and success of any type.
 
When we ask the Universe for things, we must always come from a position of abundance.  We must be grateful for what we already have.  So, let me think about that.  I would like to lose some weight, but I already weigh less than 120 pounds.  Let me be grateful for that.  I have weighed almost 160 pounds before.  At that point, I would have practically died to be at the weight I am now.
 

morning directions and goals
 
5-10 things i am grateful for:
1  I am so grateful I weigh less than 120 pounds.
2. I am so grateful I have a loving husband who liberally supports me financially.  He prayed last night that he was grateful for my gratitude towards him.
3. I am so grateful we have a beautiful, convenient, clean place to live with an indoor year-round pool, his-and-hers computers, a jeep, twice-a-week trash removal, washer/dryer, air-conditioner/heater, stove/oven/microwave, refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher, water filter, shower/toilet/sink, twin kitchen sinks, crock pot, toaster, Vitamix, Kitchen Kutter, etc.
4. I am so grateful I am still quite healthy, beautiful, and smart.
5. I am so grateful I have the opportunity to write this book, which could help others and is certainly helping myself.
 
morning comments, feelings, ideas, moods, and empowering questions:
What can I do to be more grateful?
 
mood and energy
 
 
0-100
Link
comments
mood:
85
 
Up there!
energy:
80
 
Doing okay!
 
accomplishments
 
 
accomplishment
reason it’s important
 
next action(s)
date
1
I just made a great gratitude list.
Gratitude, happiness, success
 
Express gratitude often.
 
2
I have cultivated more optimism by believing I can be successful at losing weight while keeping my mood and energy up.
Optimism, happiness, success
 
Keep being optimistic.
 
3
I supported my husband yesterday in everything.
Service, relationships
 
Nurture social relationships.
 
4
I got a shower yesterday.
Cleanliness, health
 
Take care of your body.
 
5
I have been in FLOW with my writing.
Writing, health, happiness
 
Increase flow experiences.
 
 

 
Wow!  Does that make you want to start your own gratitude practice?  A good tool for this on Windows is The Journal, which I have used since March 2011.  I love it.  I am using it to compose these entries.

 

Meditation

 
Now would be a good time to do my meditation.  For some reason, my guided meditation completely stopped mid-way.  Could that be giving me some cosmic message?  Perhaps, instead of completing it, I can do some more writing.  I recorded my own personal guided meditations for my success in programming.  At one time, I felt my only hope for economic security was to return to software engineering.  I did some work, with which I am somewhat pleased.  I wrote JV Life Tracker.  I may want to do some more, in connection with my Joyful Vibrance LLC.  For now though, I want to write this book, which I am also going to post as a blog.

 

Breakfast

 
My body is saying it wants breakfast.  I am doing my high fat, low carb breakfast again, leaving enough room for a pear, in case I want to add carbohydrate.  A Brazil nut gave me my day’s selenium.  I used to take selenium supplements, but now I use Brazil nuts.  They are a tad expensive, but paying for one-a-day is not too bad.  I keep them in the freezer.
 

Omega 3

 
I use walnuts also, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids.  They have a good dose of omega-6 fatty acids also, so I still use fish oil to get my ratio of omega-6/omega-3 down to 4.0 or less.  I cannot quite get there using walnuts alone.
 
Another consideration is that ALA (alpha linolenic acid), the omega-3 fatty acid in walnuts does not convert to the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids used by the body very readily.  You can improve your conversion rate by taking curcumin, an extract of turmeric.  I have some curcumin, but I am not currently using it.  I am relying on fish oil for now.  When I relied on the omega-3 in chia seeds in my green drinks, which I explain it detail in Joyful Vibrance:  Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood, I would sometimes put curcumin right in the green drink.  Do whatever works for you.  Omega-3 is very important.
 
Barry Sears, Ph.D. believes that fish oil played a part in the evolution of the human brain.  Fish oil use has been correlated with intelligence.  It benefits the heart, reduces inflammation, decreases depression, aids in weight loss, reduces pain, and reduces the severity of chronic diseases.  Cronometer helps you gauge whether you are taking enough.  I recommend using Cronometer for that reason and many others.
 
I wrote support@orgain.com and asked about the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in their protein powder products.  They wrote back, saying they have no data on that.  I was disappointed.

 

Serotonin

 
The pear was delicious.  Cronometer is currently set for 128.6 net carb grams per day.  I have usually been exceeding that amount.  I thought 140 grams would be okay, but perhaps there is wisdom in cutting back a bit.  ‘Perhaps’ I say, because I need carbs for serotonin, which I am probably going to have to amplify through l-tryptophan supplementation.
 
I take 500 mg of l-tryptophan at night, but I may also need to take a bit during the day also, maybe just after dinner, which is when my mood goes down, and I seem to need it the most.
 
This is all to the best of my knowledge.  My knowledge is not perfect, but I know more about my specific body than any doctor, so I will make a decision, try something out, and if that does not work, I will try something different.
 
You may not experience mood drops in the evening, so your strategy may be different.  Perhaps morning is your nemesis.

 

Exercise

 
For exercise, I walked to the mailboxes.  One older gentleman zoomed past me, took the stairs, and whipped down them.  He has probably been doing this for decades.  Today, I took the stairs on three out of the four legs of my walk.  Maybe I can learn something from that man.
 
Alright, now it is 10:16 AM.  How shall I proceed?
 

Today So Far I:

 
1.        Took thyroid medication.
2.        Reviewed what I wrote yesterday.
3.        Wrote over 1200 words.
4.        Practiced gratitude.
5.        Practiced meditation (at least part-way).
6.        Ate breakfast.
7.        Dressed.
8.        Took a walk.
9.        Greeted many neighbors and staff.
 
A maintenance staff member just showed up to remove our window screens.  Window washing is going on in the court yard right now.  We have a courtyard residence.
 
I am doing my JV Life Tracker:  942 points for yesterday!

 

Sponge Bath

 
I just gave my husband a sponge (actually a wash cloth) bath.  He is holding back getting his hair washed in the kitchen sink.  [Later, I learned he was afraid I would disturb the sore area where his stitches were removed.  Unbeknownst to him, that area needs to be washed twice a day.]
 
Hopefully he will take a rest and be ready to get his hair washed.  I only have so much energy myself to get all this done.  Whew!  I am so glad he let me sponge bathe him today.  I have been trying for weeks.
 
It is now 11:04 AM.  That sponge bath ought to be worth some serious points in JV Life Tracker.  I think 50 points would not be too many.  Let us say 52 for good measure, representing 52 weeks per year.  That will remind me to try for once a week.  Doing this will increase my point total on days I have the courage and strength to wash my husband.
 

Afternoon

 
Okay, so what about lunch?  I am not all that hungry right now, which is a very good thing.  That pear, topping off my breakfast, was a nice addition.  When the orange season comes in the winter, I will be happy to eat oranges for breakfast.

 

Essential Oils

 

I can just anticipate those oranges I love right now.  Speaking of oranges and other citrus fruits, I have grapefruit and orange essential oils I could inhale right now to help make me happy.  I could share them with my husband as well.
 
I got the essential oils and asked my husband to guess what they were.  I said if he guessed correctly, he would get two kisses.  He asked, “What if I guess incorrectly?”  I said, “Then you get three kisses.”  He did not guess.  So I kissed him once and said, “If you do not guess, you get one kiss.”  Then I spread a little essential oil from my hands to his pulse points.  He does not usually like my games, but he seemed to be okay with this one.
 

Games

 
Speaking of games, we once did one in the bedroom.  We found items whose names started with ‘A’ then ‘B’ and so on through the alphabet.  I knew we had ‘Q’ covered because we had quilts.  We kind of cheated on ‘X’.  It was kind of fun.
 
My husband does not have any board, card, or video games, so I have resorted to inventing games.  Maybe when he gets his eyeglasses back, he will let me buy a game or two that we can play.
 
I thought of a Joyful Vibrance game once, but I did not get my ideas recorded, and I have forgotten them now.  I was manic when I thought of it.  I forget most of that.
 

Controlling Mania

 
Speaking of mania, I think I am fairly stable now.  As long as I take Risperdal and lithium, get enough sleep, and stay in counseling, I should be fine.  I praised my husband this morning for letting me sleep through the night.  That is helping considerably.

 

Stress

 
Stress in general can put pounds on you.  This has been explored thoroughly by one of my favorite health coaches:  Dr. Libby Weaver from New Zealand.  I have read her books Accidentally Overweight and Beauty from the Inside Out.  She has another book, Rushing Woman’s Syndrome, that explores in-depth the effect of stress on weight gain and loss.
 
Cortisol is a hormone that increases from stress.  It is life-protecting, but when it hangs around long after a stressor has occurred or in times of chronic stress, it can rob bones of minerals, depress mood, and put weight around the middle.  Humans are designed for stress, but not for chronic stress.
 
One of the best stress-busting techniques I know of is meditation.  Exercise can help too, but if overdone, it can become a stressor itself.
 
Memories
 
I lived through my teenage years in a very stressful environment with twelve children at home.  I was the oldest child, and I escaped from situations as much as I could to de-stress myself.  My mother was not happy with the way I did that, creating stress between the two of us.
 
I excelled in school, worked, led in church youth groups, played musical instruments, tutored kids, and helped out at home.  My mother did not appear to be happy with me however, which caused me some unhappiness as well.  I did not think my mother was supportive of my efforts to do well in school.  Years later, she said she had been proud of me, but I did not know that while growing up.  The stress could have even activated my bipolar illness, which became a serious problem later on.  An adopted sibling of mine developed bipolar as well.
 
So, now that I understand stress better, what is the best thing for me to do?  My life is moderately stressful right now:  adjusting to my father’s disability, the marriage, the move, and my husband’s disability, not to mention my own disability.
 

Blog

 
Writing is one outlet I love.  I want to share it as well.  Today, Wednesday, is the day I intended to do my first posting.  I feel a bit timid about letting the world know all of this, but according to my interpretation of the Bible, if I bury my talent, the Lord is not going to be happy with me in the day of reckoning.  Joel Osteen reminded us of this on Sunday.
 
Wow!  I finally got the first day of this book posted on my blog.  It was harder to do than I thought.  In the meantime, I got lunch, ordered some groceries, and made veggie fries for my husband and myself.  I ate lunch of garden salad, fried breaded chicken, and dressing.
 

Evening

 
It is 5:18 PM, and I have consumed about 1294 calories for the day so far.  I got so involved with my blog that everything else went to … well, you know where.  Nevertheless, I got into a flow state and lost track of time, so that was a happiness experience.
 
After our groceries arrived, I put some NeosporinÒ on my husband’s stitch area near the eyebrow, where it looks a little red and swollen.
 
The nuts.com shipment arrived, so I do not have to worry about running out of coconut tomorrow.
 

Medication

 
Tomorrow, I will be driving east of here to a med appointment, my first since being in Colorado.  When I moved here, I called my previous prescriber and asked them if they would give me an additional 90 days worth of medicine.  They were willing.  That gave me enough medicine to last up to and past this appointment tomorrow.  Right now, it sounds as if that whole process was easy.  It was not.  I called back and forth, back and forth until I made all the arrangements.
 
With bipolar, I cannot miss a day of medication.  It has to be top priority.  My husband still seems to think my medicine is optional.  I tried to educate him by describing the worst features of manic episodes.  That scared him a bit.  I wish I did not have to get into details in order for him to understand how crucial my medication is.  However, he is not as educated on bipolar as I am.  I just wish I did not have so much first-hand knowledge.  In addition, I have done my reading.
 

Sharing My Blog

 
It is 6:02 PM.  I now have the kitchen cleaned, so I can relax a bit.  I could post my blog link on Facebook and other social media, but I think I will wait until I have a week’s worth of blog posts ready to go.  That may take me a week to do.  It may take less time.  Then, if someone wants to read the journey’s progress at least up to the point I lost five pounds, they may do so.
 
It was déjà vu reading the poem I wrote my first day, where I said I wanted to share my journal entries with the world.  I was not even thinking blog at the time.
 
L-Tryptophan
 
I ate too many carbs today, according to my Cronometer settings, but I am feeling better than I did yesterday at this time.  Taking l-tryptophan is not needed yet, and I still have about 60 calories left in my budget.
 
My husband is here in the living room, sitting in his rocking chair.  The day is winding down.  I feel tired but at peace.  My mood has not taken much of a drop.  There are two more hours before bedtime though, so I will keep my l-tryptophan ready to go.
 

Energy

 
My energy level is surprisingly good.  I am running around for my husband, taking care of every detail of his life and mine.  Just last March, I fell on my knees and hands on the concrete driveway while returning from the mailbox in Utah.  I hurt my chest so much I feared I had broken a rib.  Afterwards, I could hardly walk.  Now I am getting around constantly.  For this, I am extremely grateful.
 
There is still one hour until bedtime.
 

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