Tag Archives: exercise

In other news….

That picture is soooo not me, I don’t have a picture of me working out! Perhaps I should fix that!

Anyway, to start, my stress triggers recap: house hunt/purchase attempt(s), Equifax mumbo jumbo, mortgage application, frigid weather, sinus cold, my dad’s state of being, hormones, relationships/moving-on from pointless hopes, kids being kids…

Yeah: I think that’s most of the ones I’ve talked about of late.

Now add to that my brand new shiny computer had a glitch from a recent Microsoft update, and the resulting frustrations over not being able to work on my dome designs. I had really hoped to have a significant amount of that completed to show here by now, but alas it will have to wait until the glitch is resolved. I won’t have Sunday time to do that until after Thanksgiving, but I very much look forward to the results when I eventually do get to it.

I am slowly chipping away at the process to become a continuing education course provider. Currently I’m on the portfolio/curriculum vitae. It doesn’t seem on the surface that it would be a big deal, but organizing 15 years of applicable skills into the format they are seeking is a bit tedious. So that is not completely done yet either, and I haven’t even started writing my courses. I projected 6 months when I decided to commit, and like all cases, my estimate may or may not be entirely accurate, but I will eventually complete it. One step at a time, as my schedule allows.

Finally, because of all these stress triggers, I’m feeling the need to burn it off – quite literally!

Except when I’m smack dab in the middle of a stress-trip with a spice cake right in front of me, I have little to no appetite. I’m still eating, but finding it easier and easier to stick to healthy items in very small portions. That’s a great thing! Especially since I’m officially eating vegan now; no grains, no meat, no dairy, no soy, no nightshade vegetables; except that darned piece of cake!

Then, I have a strong desire to move nearly constantly. In between clients I am finding myself pacing quite a bit. I’ve also been taking every opportunity to go exercise. Being it’s been so much colder, nearly all of my workouts have moved inside. I’ve been alternating between the Planet Fitness across the street from work and the YMCA near home.

I have been lifting 2 to 3 times a week, except this week because my cold caused a missed day. I do use the dummy-proof machines since I’m not working with a trainer or spotter.

As for cardio, I am still getting at least 40 min of speed walking via treadmill 4 to 5 days a week, I aim for an hour when possible. I fluctuate between 3.8 and 4.2 mph on the treadmill because I so enjoy matching the beat of the music I’m listening to. This last week though, I’ve been working with incline more, to push the cardio aspect a bit. It’s that or run, and I really don’t enjoy running…. ¿Yet!? …. Will I ever?

Anyway, I just wanted to share my progress with my readers to show you really can do anything you want. For me, that just means a little of everything.

My current lifts are all weights based on 3 to 5 sets of 10 reps at a time. I do 2 sessions, with the second hitting 5 sets, before I raise the weight by 5 pounds again. Last week I had a day I pushed a little too far or too fast and I really felt it for a couple days afterwards.

  • Leg press 205
  • Leg extension 85
  • Seated leg curl 90
  • Inner thigh (Adductor) 110
  • Outer thigh (Abductor) 110
  • -Glute extension 70 (I haven’t actually done this one recently so it may not be completely accurate.)
  • Back extension 140
  • Abdominal (curl- arms up) 85
  • Abdominal (curl- arms front) 80
  • Rotary torso 80
  • Lateral raise 55
  • Shoulder press (I just learned this is also called military press, and it was one I had backslide on poorly, I’m part way back up.) 30
  • Tricep extension 55
  • Tricep press 65
  • Biceps curl 30
  • Lat pull down 70
  • Seated row 65

I haven’t been good about logging my times weightlifting in the health tracker- mainly because I log the pounds and sets in a different app and forget to duplicate it, but here’s my average steps and calories views.

I’m not seeing the results myself yet, but several people have said I’m looking better these days. In my pregnancies, that stage was 2 to 3 weeks before I actually noticed changes myself. Besides the scales have not budged, they still stay between 220 and 225. Merh.

I welcome all of you to share your progress in the comments as well. I’d really love to know if there’s anyone out there that I’ve inspired in any way, or encouraged to persevere through their own struggles. And there’s always room for commiseration in fitness journeys!

May you all have easy stress free times. May you have great work-outs with plenty of support. May you find you only desire the calories your body needs. And finally, may you see results of your own hard work.

Siva Hir Su

Flogging Story So Far

Listen: https://youtu.be/BZGkxlLZZsM

I am thanking God I’m alive, yet acknowledging that Nathan and my couple of friends might be sick of my fitness puzzle updates, I thought I’d write it out. My story so far does make me who I am, and currently it’s kinda pissing me off.

Despite having birthed 2 children, losing weight during pregnancy, to reach 190 pounds twice; I’m shaking my head as to why the eff I’m hovering between 200-225 now.

At this point I can honestly acknowledge that I’m doing spectacular by all reasonable definitions. I already knew I was doing decent, but there were a few people that thought I wasn’t eating enough and thus causing my body to think it was starving. Because of their doubts I began to use my Samsung Health Tracker app to its fullest potential to find out for certain if my knowing was accurate or if their doubts were.

I have to say, except for the fact that it doesn’t track the calories I burn doing deep tissue massage, I’m really enjoying the accuracy and details it allows me to track. When I enter food I can pick brands, specify my particular serving, even down to individual ingredients for things like my breakfast shake, and it does all the math for me. I love it.

As you can see below, my worst day of food intake (when I’m at the old job) is the number of calories that many people consume as normal. Yet, for me that now only happens once or twice a month. Most days fall more in the range of what I took in on the 26th, which is more of the 850 to 1100 calories. Which, by the way, gives me plenty of energy. I actually struggle more on the high calorie days, because usually those involve succumbing to my food allergies.

That reminds me of a cartoon that Nathan found a few days ago…..(he’s been sharing memes on this topic with me because I’m ranty about it, he’s trying to help me find levity.)…

Anyway, I find it interesting that my nutrient balance score is low. I have been watching that score system and basically I get a better score when the protein to carb ratio is in a certain range. Unfortunately, I usually eat few carbs. My food intake still has carbs, but much lower ratio than most people. I also try to focus on healthy fats and I eat seafood or use pea protein powder for my proteins since I have had issues recently with red meat and never did do well with dairy or soy. I’m betting they factor that into their algorithm as well.

Moving on: in addition to these super healthy lower calorie days, I’m getting plenty of exercise. Beyond doing massages- which do burn calories, I’ve been doing more yoga and core exercises (leg lifts, variety of crunches, and planks) and walking a ton. Today I’ve done 30 min of yoga, about 40 min of core exercises, and then took an hour walk, keeping up pace with my Flogging Molly mix. My app only counted one of my jogging bits as running, but I picked up the place several times during my walk to keep up with the music. That’s despite the cold weather. *I really do love Flogging Molly for exercise.* My average steps per day is generally over that which the app recommends with few exceptions, and the one high-calorie day I hit 18,000 steps, nearly 8 miles of walking!

I’ve also been reeling in my blood sugars, finally getting my fasting numbers to begin to normalize. I have to say that the walking increase has helped with that, but making sure my dinners are on the light side also did. And blood pressure never was a concern, but I’m logging them anyway to make sure it stays that way.

My stress levels are even doing great and even when I push my speed with the walking/jogging I’m still keeping lower heart rates.

I swear that this meme is too true. Too close to home, but still funny.

Damn those genetics.

Anyway, I’m definitely feeling like all my work should amount to something visible. I have nothing to show for 4 months of dedicated exercise and food control. Except slightly better blood sugars. Oh well, I suppose I know, and regardless of people’s assumptions, I still know I can lift my husband (and most of the people I work on). I’m healthy despite having an obese body. Rawr.

I’ll leave you with 2 appropriate funny memes, and my usual blessing.

May you know your hard work matters. May your determination net visible results. May you see your improvement, and may you enjoy a healthful life.

Siva Hir Su

And so it begins…

HAL has begun sending me things to reinforce my last post. One of which is the following:

How to Move On: What It Really Means to Let Go: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-move-on-from-the-past-what-it-really-means-to-let-go/

I guess I will never understand fully because letting go and focusing on love seem to be the bigger message. I still wish I had some understanding.

Anyways, in moving on, I had a really good time today with 2 different co-workers during downtime.

I took a walk with the office manager and we had a really great conversation, with some much needed emotional release for both of us. Plus it helped me reach my step goals today. I was very appreciative of that time all around.

I also got to play a couple of games of “Magic the Gathering” with the one chiropractor. It’s a game I used to play with the brother that’s closest to me in age. It has been …. let’s see…. since early 2003 that I’ve played. That’s 16, almost 17, years. Wow!

I still have my cards from back then, but so much has changed that the new decks are much better, so he has been encouraging me to use his. I feel like I’m starting from scratch and completely relearning everything. It’s so fun though. I totally lost big time- on both games, but still enjoyed every bit of it.

I am so out of practice that the strategy feels over my head yet, but I get the concept. The layering of steps and which cards work better in what order can be very complex. I literally had a card in my hand that I’d been holding for several turns, but forgot to leave myself enough mana(land) to use it and it cost me the one game.

I enjoy learning so much though, and it is definitely a fun kind of learning, so it literally made me giddy at one point. I felt like I got silly hyper with the fun. That was a very much needed distraction from my previous focus.

As for learning: I’m still working on hindi and telegu in my spare time, but since I have no idea why God nudged me to do so (especially since I’m letting go of that person) , it’s at a very relaxed pace. I’m getting to where in hindi I can pick out letters and sound out words even though I know very few translations. Telegu I know more translations, but have fewer of the characters memorized. It’s merely a symptom of the different apps and how they teach languages. I like Duolingo and Drops, which both offer hindi, but neither offer telegu. The telegu apps are much less sophisticated, but still get the job done.

I’ve also begun the slow tedious process of becoming an approved continuing education provider for massage therapy. Essentially, the easy part is proving my qualifications to teach a handful of courses by documenting I have so many years working using said techniques, I also have a bachelor’s degree, which though they would prefer it to be related (a BS), it doesn’t hurt. Once I do that easy step, I literally have to follow rules and write my own curriculum which can be no more than 30% cited source material. Finally, once I’ve written everything, I can apply by submitting my CV and courses for approval; of course paying the appropriate exorbitant fees. They really try to dissuade people from becoming providers: can’t have too many teachers and too few students you know!

I’m not intimidated by the process in the least. Their basic calculation is 1200 words equals a credit unit. That’s a blog post for me, so I’m guessing I’ll have more trouble pairing down or figuring out how to subdivide my topics for multiple related courses. However, after having written the operations manual for my previous position, I’m certain I’m up to the task. It’s more about convincing myself to do the free work knowing that eventually I’ll recoup the benefit in paid courses with students in multiplicity.

I’m also contemplating the investment of a site where I can host web-based courses. Essentially, the text/testing coursework can be provided via web interface without practical hands on CE hours. Ultimately that helps spread the information side, but the CMT loses access to the extra CE’s for the hands on practicals. It’s a lower cost solution for both parties, but longterm it would benefit me as the provider more. It’s a huge up front investment, to also have to market like crazy, but longterm reaping significantly higher benefits. Ultimately, it will happen, but I’m not sure I’m ready for the investment side just yet. I’ll contemplate web platforms and do the math several times during my writing phase of this momentous step, and make my final decision during the application process.

Long story short, I’m having fun and learning and inching toward another significant step of improvement. All by my not-so-little own self. I feel like screaming “HA, Take That World!”… but alas I know no one would really truly care anyway. So, I’ll keep my ‘I win’ moment to myself, and relish that I know I’m the only one that gets credit for digging myself out of a decade of hardship…. me and God that is.

May you all have happy dances of overcoming obstacles. May you find kindness around you and moments of connection with others. May you find joy in continually learning and ways to share what you’ve already mastered. May you see God’s grace and support guiding you through all of life’s moments toward brighter futures.

Siva Hir Su

Beautiful things…

Like the song by Annie Lennox “A Thousand Beautiful Things”:

” Every day I write the list

Of reasons why I still believe they do exist

(A Thousand Beautiful Things)

And even though it’s hard to see

The glass is full and not half empty

(A Thousand Beautiful Things)

So light me up like the sun…”

I write my list today to remind myself of things I love. Things I miss when they’re gone. Things I want to see more of. Things I relish and enjoy every last bit of. Things that brighten my day and my life. AND I apologize to everyone for having gone negative for a while again. Suffice it to say no-one enjoys being negative and in the hole, and let my negative posts be validation of my efforts to heal myself, as when you’re down you always want to get up again. This is my effort to do so. This is my effort to start to turn things around regardless of my physical experience. I’m doing as Abraham says “Shift away from the what-is-ness and toward the what can be.” Shifting yet again and taking to heart “you’re always in the right place at the right time, but sometimes you’re looking at it in the wrong way”.

First on my list of loves is every single thing in that song.

Then:

I love hugs and cuddles from those I love, and giving them as well.

I love my children and my kitties, especially because they unconditionally love me.

I love playing with my kids.

I love art: drawing, coloring, painting, all kinds of making art, and most kinds for looking at.

I love music: listening or playing, and most genres, especially all 64GB I have.

I love massages, mostly receiving because it’s so darn helpful and feels good, but giving helps people so I like that too.

I love getting things that help me feel better: exercise, sun, healthy foods, sleep, and fun activities.

I love comfy quiet spaces.

I love starting my day with a hot shower, they are so refreshing and relaxing and help me start my day in the best frame of mind.

I love waking up refreshed and on time to start my day easily and smoothly.

I love things to do, being balanced with time to just be.

I like nice cars in tip top shape, well oiled machines so to speak, including good tires & brakes, and would love a new electric vehicle.

I love it when people communicate effectively, and when they talk to each other consistently.

I love when people talk to me about their interests and desires, and things they like and enjoy.

(conditional ones… oopsie)

I love feeling really supported and cared for. (that’s more unconditional, maybe Abraham can help me find some more words here…)

I love feeling love for others and receiving love.

I love feeling appreciated.

I love feeling happy and having fun.

I love feeling content.

I love feeling comfortable in my body (though it could be way more often).

I love peace and peacefulness.

I love being inspired and feeling accomplishment when my inspired actions pan out positively (I’d love to do that much more often also).

I love the feeling of wholeness and completeness.

I love feeling abundance and prosperity.

I love knowing that the universe supports me and is working on a solution to pay for all of my needs (including the birth costs).

I love knowing that the universe can flow money to me many, many more ways than I can even begin to think of, and love knowing all I need is alignment to allow it.

I love feeling relaxed and centered.

I love the feeling of balance in all respects.

I love the feeling of freedom.

I enjoy feeling welcomed.

I enjoy the feeling of belonging.

I love that my children are loving and doing their best to find their way in this world. I look forward to mastering my guidance system to show them how to do the same. Because I also know actions do teach better than words.

I love the feeling of friendship.

I love the feelings of having good conversations and really connecting with someone.

I love the feeling of stability and homecoming that a close knit family home brings.

I love feeling calm and centered and knowing that things are progressing smoothly and easily in perfect timing (that could totally happen a lot more).

I love knowing that others around me function well in chaos, because it makes up for what I’m unable to handle.

I love knowing that I can distract myself from that same chaos by retreating into my mind or simply watching funny videos, or even walk through it and recenter alone.

I love knowing that others around me are also doing their best. That they have the best intentions when they offer things to me or make suggestions, and that they really are doing their best to support me.

I love knowing that “IT” never gets done, so if someone promises me something and forgets or is unable to fulfill their promise, another way will show itself.

I love knowing that God ‘has my back’ and will make up for those dropped moments/promises. I just have to allow it.

I love the feeling of well-being, of naturalness and of normalcy. I love knowing that those feelings are a good symptoms of my body and brain functioning in tip top shape, perfect alignment. I look forward to feeling like that everyday.

I love feeling prepared for whatever is in progress.

I love being excited for good things coming.

I love being on time, even early, for everything, and I love the feeling of knowing I always have plenty of time (no rush).

I enjoy feeling that I’m in the right place at the right time.

I love feeling safe and knowing that my family is safe. I love knowing that my family strives to be in alignment so they can do lots of fun things safely.

I love being able to say yes, go for it, it’s OK.

I love feeling passion, and being passionate, about people, places, and activities.

I love knowing that I’m a vibrational being.

I love the feeling of alignment with that inner being.

I love knowing that my inner me/vibrational-being loves everything. (I’m always in the right place, but sometimes looking at it from the wrong physical viewpoint.)

I love knowing the universe will give me wonderful things when I find alignment with that inner me.

I especially love that I’m starting to get better at catching myself. I’m starting to recognize those misalignments faster and thus start correcting faster. I realize that I am still letting some of those moments snowball too much and build much negative momentum, but acknowledging that, every single time it happens, helps me inch towards catching it sooner with less momentum to correct for. I look forward to when I catch all of my negative misalignments in their infancy before they have any significant momentum at all. I love knowing I will eventually get there, and it just takes practice (maybe a lot, but that’s OK too).

And with that I leave you all with blessings of fast alignment recovery in any contrast situation.

Inching up again. 

I’ll make this post short.

Yesterday sucked.  People suck. I’m ashamed to live and work in a metro where innocent intelligent people are killed by dumbasses carrying guns that can’t tell a criminal from a green-card holder.

I sent well wishes and my concerns to my friends that were probably impacted by the Olathe shooting.  That’s all I could do.

Then I forced myself to start climbing out of my emotional hole. I walked a mile on the treadmill. It’s all my lungs could handle.  I’ll do that again this evening. I feel better,  but having asthma always makes post sick hard. It’s always more difficult for me to breathe after having been sick,  usually for about a week or 2 afterwards.  I’m hoping forcing myself to exercise will help the breathing in addition to my mood. Plus, I keep doing breathing treatments,  at least once a day- it ensures that I avoid pneumonia.

I’m not spectacularly better,  but inching in that direction.

I left for work this morning crying on Nathan’s shoulder,  asking forgiveness.  I told him “please know I love you even when my brain doesn’t work”. I meant it. I do love him and the kids.  Sometimes I care too much,  and that mixed with malfunctioning brain, and hopelessness is a really bad combination. 

He left me to drive away with the solace that he’s slowly seeing the pattern that triggers episodes like that.  He said it’s not reliable yet,  but the pattern is emerging. I hope we’ll both get to where we can stop it before it gets that bad.

I’ll continue to ask the divine for help, with fixing my brain and with providing some incentive – some kind of improvement to want to keep making myself try. 

That’s all I can do for now.  My prayers already include others,  but after the shooting,  I will send many more for other’s sake.

 I really wish that God would grant me the ability to create Atira. I so badly want to provide a real tangible positive ripple in this world. I’m not sure how much  good my prayers,  meditations,  and mantras do, especially considering my constant battle with the negative malfunctions inside my brain.  Atira manifesting would finally show the positive effects in a real tangible way for myself and hundreds,  even thousands, of others. I wish for that. 

But for now I send peace and love and prayers for everyone being lumped in with the handful of terrorists in this world.  I pray for clarity to strike the United States so that everyone could realize that olive skin doesn’t make you a criminal,  and that those “out to get us” are an extreme minority of misguided individuals led by an even tiny-er minority that have managed to create mass hysteria. Every time someone buys into the mass hysteria, the tiny minority of fear mongers wins.

I will not buy into any of it, I have my own brain to fix, and my own life to improve. One tiny step at a time.

Many blessings on this Shivaratri weekend.

Depression: Shared & my experience.

I read THIS BLOG POST back in September when it was written. It struck close to home for me. The quote at the beginning was what resonated the most for me. When you’re really struggling, it does become about what is most frightening: continuing to live with the disease; or escaping through the route of suicide with unknown consequences, but with which comes a certainty of escaping the symptoms of the disease- the ultimate final end.

Being a new-agey type, having alternative beliefs to much of society, I spend a lot of time around people that think you can just think your way out of depression with the power of the law of attraction. Think happy thoughts and you’ll be happy.

As I’m discovering, that is hardly right.

The book I’m Reading, which was provided by my therapist, has been super helpful.

See It Here:

The Deression Cure by Dr. Stephen Ilardi

It really gets to the heart of the matter. There is a distinct difference between the emotion “Depression ” listed at the lowest position #22 on the emotional guidance scale, and the clinical disease with the common umbrella term of the same name.

The emotion Dr. Ilardi points out, is often a short lived disposition, the feeling place of something very difficult having happened in your life experience. It serves a role in the grief process and can help us make sense of elements within our life journey.

The disease, though it shares many characteristics of which the feelings and emotions are definitely present, is a much more sinister and all consuming state of being often with a medical cause.

As I wrote in my previous post, it seems a major factor for me is Inflammation- possibly because of my severe allergies, but also possibly [as Dr. Ilardi posits] simply due to an imbalance of Anti-Inflammatory Omega 3’s-thus diet related. Regardless, the most basic mechanism at play is that the inflammation is happening in the brain, literally causing a build-up of pressure on the brain, and causing it to malfunction.

Since starting therapy, reading the book, and taking action steps to adjust my diet and lifestyle choices. I can honestly say there is definitely a connection. Dr. Ilardi lays out 6 areas of lifestyle choices and swears that making very specific adjustments to those areas will result in reducing inflammation and essentially curing clinical depression.

Now, I’m not fully through the book. Still reading, but I’m working on making positive changes weekly, if not daily. One of the areas, meaningful social interactions, I felt pretty good about. I haven’t gotten to that chapter yet, but I know my friends are large factor as to why I’ve gotten as far as I have. I’ve never quit interacting with them or our home-school group, and I am grateful that they have literally held me and walked me through some of my rough days.

So first, was to go back on my strict version of the Pregnancy Diet (I plan on detailing what that means for me at some point soon). Second, was I started exercising again. I aim for 3 times a week, but some weeks I’ve managed 4 times. 3rd: I started taking fish oil. The book walks through how to determine how much to take depending on the nutrition label of the supplement you choose. For me that’s 6 a day, but occaisonally I feel the need for a 7th one (usually when I know I’ve made bad food choices). I mostly remember to do this, because in my morning routine I put all my supplements and allergy/thyroid meds into a pill box. The trick is remembering my lunch and dinner doses, and I do sometimes forget to take them.

Then I re-introduced light therapy. I had done light therapy in college, and for a while after graduating. It was when I was working in cubicle land and experiencing a severe bout of seasonal depression. At that time I simply had a high wattage bulb in a desk lamp that I aimed at my face the entire time I was working. This time however, my therapist gave me some tips to  ensure optimal results. It apparently needs to be above eye level aimed downward at a minimum of 30degrees. The higher the watts the better. And if you do 30 to 60 min of light in the first hour after waking it works best- gets you a really good kick start. I’ve been successfully remembering all that about 2/3 rd’s of the time for about 2 weeks.

The one element I’m struggling with is sleep hygiene. As of the first of the year I had adjusted my schedule to accomodate a 7 day paper route for extra income. It’s roughly 3 hours of work a night, and equals a little over half of what my current massage work comes out to. So, it’ll end up not quite doubling our family income. The schedule adjustment would have been fine if the papers were reliably on time. As I’m discovering what is actually the case, is that they rarely are. So, where I’d allotted myself 6 to 7 hours a night/morning during a fairly steady window. In actuality, I’m getting more like 4.5 to 6 hours of  sleep. It’s the same time frame each day, which is good, but I’m simply not getting enough. Nathan has offered to remedy this by doing the route by himself at least most of the time. I worry about a black man with dreds  (& heart disease) tooling around rural Missouri in the middle of the night, every night, so I’ll still be helping as often as I can manage. I don’t know what I would do if he died on route by himself, especially if it was at the end of someone’s gun. However, that being said, I think I’m not going to argue, as I desperately need more sleep each night.

As it happens, the sleep manifests fairly quickly for me. I get super cranky super fast, and I nose dive into depression when my minimal energy reserves run out. I also start having disjointed and incomplete thought processes. It makes for very difficult communication. So, the last 13 days have been fairly roller coaster like for me. Last night though, Nathan went out alone, so I’m doing better today.

That being said, even at my most sleep deprived, the last 2 weeks has been better than prior to Thanksgiving. I’m not 100% better, not “cured” yet, but I’m better enough to acknowledge that Dr. Ilardi’s TLC program is working. When I’ve had sleep I feel great. Even if I’ve had most of a nights sleep I still manage. That to me is huge, because before Thanksgiving that wasn’t happening.

And that is where the Law of Attraction has been able to come back in. Now that I can see my bad days for being related to sleep, diet, or exercise; I am now able to tell myself “It’s ok, I am where I am becasue of ___ and it will be short lived, this isn’t permanent, it’s meerly a side effect of certain choices catching up to me.” I am able to dig out with phrases like that, at least enough to function. I am able to keep myself going, and to make better choices to help pull out of the nose dive.

Those same phrases with untreated depression, when I had no idea that things were compounding to create inflammation in my brain, were worthless. Positive thoughts would bounce off of me, or flat off piss me off, I had trouble thinking even remotely positively when I was untreated. My brain was so inflamed it wasn’t able to make those connections, I wasn’t able to think straight. I had trouble communicating every day, loosing important things, and melting down at every turn. I simply had no idea that my emotional hurting, my mental hurting was because of very real physical pain caused by inflammation  in my brain.

So I write this in hopes that everyone dealing with depression can read this book. Put it into practice, and begin to heal their brain and their lives. I know I’m on my way there, even if I can’t see the finish line yet.

I hope one day to see every medical practitioner, from CNA to RN to midwife to MD to PhD, tell people about TLC. I have seen literally dozens, possibly over a hundred medical professionals, in my 22 years of struggling with depression. Those medical professionals half-ass-ed my thyroid, failed to treat it, but often offered psych meds. When in reality the thyroid was literally not even half of a larger issue, and failure to treat the whole package is why I’ve struggled with depression for those 22 years, and nearly lost my life to it several times over. IT could have been avoided all-together- if the first doctor being told I’d gained weight and was struggling with depression had genuinely dealt with my thyroid on a unique basis and utilized TLC to treat the rest of my life.

Although that makes me angry to contemplate the hazardous effects it had on my life, I’m more angry that it isn’t being corrected. We continue to crank out doctors, nurses, and all manner of medical professionals, that turn around and create assembly line medication stations instead of actually listening to patients and putting available knowledge to good use to figure out a puzzle and actually provide a real solution. Living on meds that merely mask chronic disease symptoms somewhat while additionally causing side-effects,  then planning to do that for the rest of your life, is not a solution.

That being said, neither option is cheap. I spend approximately $270/month on my Allopathic medications: Fast-acting Inhaler, nebulizer solution, Oral-Steriod (cumulative effect) Inhaler, Zyrtec, Singulair, and Desiccated Thyroid. I spend that much or more on quality supplements that I have seen the benefits from. I continue to take the ones that I’ve watched drop blood sugars. I continue to take magnesium because I have watched leg cramps disappear, and my stress levels drop. I take a good quality multivitamin to avoid all my allergens. I take a good methylated B-complex, with extra p-5-p and 5HTP, because I noticed significant mood improvements before TLC was even a possibility for me. And yes, it’s all very expensive, but I would have lost the battle long ago without them. I am utterly grateful they got me through when none of the doctors did. Perhaps one day, when I’ve mastered TLC, I can eliminate the need for all of it. It’s a process though, my sugars are still high, and I’m still having allergies and asthma symptoms, so for now I keep doing what I’m doing. One step at a time, one little improvement at a time.

On a final note. If you have ever lost someone you cared about to suicide, please stop for a moment and realize how much pain they were in. Think just for a second, did you ever try to genuinely help them, did you offer a ride to a clinic, did you do any research, did you make suggestions in a real hands on “lets try to beat this” approach? IF you had really cared you would have acknowledged their pain. I don’t care if it’s invisible or not, it’s still pain. When someone is in pain, our natural inclination should be to do our best to help, not offer “think positive, it’ll get better” or “think of your family”, those are neither helpful attempts at a possible solution, nor acknowledgement of very real pain. You wouldn’t offer “think positive” to someone with a broken leg, and you wouldn’t tell someone with cancer to “think of their family”. Yet when you do that to someone with clinical depression you are accomplishing both situations. Heaven forbid, you actually did loose someone to suicide, and still choose to blame them. If they were hurting enough to choose suicide, then their pain was unimaginably unbearable, and my heart goes out to them for their suffering, not to you for your loss. What could you have done to acknowledge their pain, and attempt to help find a real solution, and would they still be alive if you had? My own family has no clue that they were almost the ones that missed this message. I no longer talk to or associate with most of my biological family for that very reason. I’ve also lost potential friends in realizing they had no clue, blaming me for being depressed. A depressed person never wants to continually  live with the horrendous pain they bear, yet as a society that is what we have come to expect.

Be different, be the one that actively attempts to help someone out of their pain. Help them find Dr. Ilardi’s book, help find a therapist, if they are having finaincial difficulties help them fill out assistance forms,  if they need transportation see if you or someone you know can give them a ride, help them make TLC changes by being their “buddy system”. You will make at least that person’s life better, and may actually save them from  having to choose between a lifetime of horrible pain or death. They will know you care, because you will have shown it in real-time practical help.