Changes

Been going through a few changes the last couple weeks.  I have finally gotten over the need for 10 to 12 hours a sleep every night.  I now usually get 6 to 8 hours anymore.  This has been going on for a little over a week.  I’m still getting used to the new found extra time.  I was so used to being rushed during the winter as I had only a few hours window of when I could run errands and schedule doctor appointments.  So I think my sleep issues are cured.  And I didn’t even have to take sleep pills for it.  About the only thing I can think of I’m doing different is limiting my caffeine.  When I do have caffeine it’s usually soda pop and only once or twice a day.  I haven’t drank coffee in weeks.  I’ve noticed I’m less jittery too since I reduced the caffeine.

I’m getting more active.  I try to leave the apartment a few times a day just to get out and about.  I’ll get out even for something as simple as going through the drive thru at McDonald’s for a couple cheeseburgers.  I usually keep my windows open until noon.  Since it’s almost summer now, it gets too hot to leave the windows open all day.  We’ve had a nice and long enough spring I was used to leaving windows open most days.  Started lifting arm weights a few days ago.  Too soon to tell any real difference.  Started taking multi vitamins again.  I’ve noticed my aches and pains are not as pronounced now.  I knew vitamin deficiency could lead to problems.  I probably wasn’t getting enough as I tend to eat low carb and high protein diets.

But, not all the changes I’ve experienced have been positive.  Found out my best friend’s mother is on hospice for cancer and isn’t expected to live much longer.  Sad deal.  So we’ve been chatting back and forth via Facebook quite a lot the last few weeks.  She’s understandably sad and shaken by the whole deal.  I wish I could do more for her.  But she lives out of state and there’s only so much I can do over the internet.

As the seasons are changing, so are many aspects of my life.  Besides my best friend soon to be losing her mother, most of these changes are welcomed.  I wish my best friend nothing but the best as she works through the grief of losing her mom.

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Spring Routines

I’m glad that spring is finally back.  I’ve been getting outside a little more often, I’m keeping my place a little cleaner, I’m watching baseball most nights, and I’m even eating less too.  I’m still not as physically active as I would like but I think it’s starting to come back.  After my car accident in October 2015 I gained back most of the weight I had lost in the previous two years.  I think I’m finally back on the right track.  Since I still don’t have a great deal of stamina yet, I’m cutting back on calories as much as I can.  This means I’m giving up most sugar and eating meat only once a day.  I am also doing my best to avoid fried foods.  After several weeks of eating less than usual, I think I’m in a new routine.  I can’t even eat as much as I could last summer.  One of my problems was, after my accident, I got depressed and lost much of my confidence.  From there I just got lazy and ate a lot.  I have made efforts over the last several weeks to break out of this vicious cycle.  And I think I’m starting to see results.

I’ve also noticed my habits are getting better too.  During the winter I had gotten kind of lazy about shaving and cleaning up as there were entire days I didn’t leave my apartment complex.  I’m back into good habits like these again.  I would hate to think I let my personal appearance slide just because I was depressed by lousy weather.  But mental illness can do odd things to a person.

I’m starting to socialize some again.  Not so much with my neighbors as I am family and old friends.  I still don’t enjoy the fact that many of my neighbors are grumpy and irritable most of the time.  I have been around that kind of negativity for years and I don’t want it dragging me down.  I spent enough of my life being depressed, irritable, and a pessimist.  I just don’t want that anymore.

Exercise and Depression

It’s been a little over a week since I started tracking what I eat and exercising every day.  It took some adjusting but I am finding myself eating less and getting more physical activity after only one week.  It was cool enough today I was able to walk outside after dinner.  I’m still out of shape compared to where I was one year ago but I am making progress.  I definitely got rusty and out of practice during the weeks I was limited because of my back.  I’m beginning to get back on track with my exercise again.  It feels like an uphill battle as I have been forced to be inactive since late spring.  But I have won battles like this before and I can do so again.

I’m beginning to spend more time outside of the complex again.  I chatted with some of my neighbors this afternoon while avoiding the grouches.  It can be kind of tough avoiding grouchy people in the tight quarters my complex offers but it can be done.

Some things I have found myself doing these last several days is avoiding sugar and eating more vegetables.  I still get cravings for carbohydrates but I have met this need by adding more rice to my diet.  I cook most of my own meals and I have found I feel more clear and less depressed on days I don’t eat lots of wheat or fast food.  I still like the occasional delivery pizza but I have found I’m not as weighed down and bloated if I order the thin crust pizza as opposed to traditional.  I still get upset stomach and feelings of lethargy when I eat lots of breads or pastas.  So I wouldn’t be much fun dining at a high end Italian restaurant 🙂  I haven’t had much soda pop over the last several days.  I think I’ve had only two diet sodas in the last ten days.  I still get caffeine in the form of coffee and iced tea.  I guess caffeine is one of my guilty vices.  But I do feel mentally less irritable and less sluggish on days I don’t drink soda pop, even diet soda pop.  I really can’t drink too much regular soda pop because of too much sugar.  I do like Mexican Coca Cola when I go to Mexican restaurants though.  But that is only a rare treat.

I have spent most of the summer more inactive than I would have liked.  As a result I have gained some weight and lost a lot of my stamina.  But things are starting to come back after a week of exercise and better diet.

 

Changes

It’s been one week since I started the medications change.  I’m noticing big differences already.  For one, I make it a point to leave my apartment multiple times a day whereas I may have left only once or twice a day if at all.  Not only am I getting out more, I actually want to get out more.  Driving doesn’t cause me as much agitation now, so it’s easier to get across town.  Been to the park most days this last week.

I am more motivated and less lazy too it seems.  Finally shaved my winter beard.  I looked more like a mad prophet than a mountaineer with my growth.  I never looked good with beards.  I rearranged my apartment.  I even find myself watching baseball every night, especially since the season started a few days ago.  I used to go weeks without watching regular tv as I thought it was mind numbing and soul killing.  I still think most tv is mind numbingly stupid but I no longer swear off it entirely.

The only real negative I have seen is that I do get hungry more frequently.  Used to be I could eat a large breakfast, a small afternoon snack, and a decent dinner and that is all I would need for the day.  Now I have eat smaller meals every five hours it seems.  I’ve also developed a bad craving for sugary food.  This may make my weight loss tougher but then I have always been a naturally very large person.  I was one of these heavy kids in high school and college who had a lot of muscle in addition to being a little fat, so I looked a lot better than my measurements would have indicated.  I have had female friends for years tell me I was handsome despite how big I am.  I never put much stock in it until I hit my thirties because, really, how many teenagers and twenty somethings are satisfied with their looks even on a good day?  I guess my sugar cravings have replaced my cravings for caffeine.  I have drank maybe three cups of coffee in the last week.  I used to drink that many before noon most days.  I don’t have problems with blood pressure or cholesterol, at least not enough to be on medications.  But maybe my decreased want of caffeine will lower my blood pressure and reduce my anxiety level.

It has been an eye opening first week of a medication change.  I normally don’t experience this many changes this soon when switching medications.  But I hope the positive changes keep coming and the negative ones can be compensated for.

Eating To Avoid Food Allergies and Mental Illness

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It’s been a week since I had my esophagus scoped and was started on two news medications for my EoE problems.  I’ve changed my diet too.  I have severely cut back on bread and most processed foods.  I’m beginning to notice that my mental health is improving in addition to having a more settled stomach.  I haven’t had real problems with delusions and auditory hallucinations since this change.

As EoE is made worse by food allergens, I’m thinking about switching to foods with less gluten or gluten free entirely.  Been doing some research on gluten free foods and found that there are gluten free alternatives for many foods.  Found that some places even have gluten free beer and I didn’t think that was even possible.

So my shopping routine has considerably changed.  For several years I had been buying groceries only twice a month with buying mostly things that had long self lives or could be frozen.  Since I’m buying more fresh vegetables and making smaller purchases, I’ve been to the grocery store at least three times just in the last week.  But I do feel better physically and mentally overall.

Been going to the chiropractor for three weeks.  My back is feeling better already.  I had a tailbone injury as a teenager that for years would flare up on occasion.  But even that has gone away.  I think the chiropractic routines are working.

It’s been an eventful last five to six weeks for my physical and mental health.  I’m still adapting to buying more fresh vegetables and foods with fewer preservatives.  I’m now having to read labels for everything I buy, not just for calorie content.  I don’t think many people realize just how many preservatives are in many supermarket foods, at least here in USA.  Regardless, healthier eating that doesn’t flare up food allergies can be done.  It takes more planning, but it can be done.  I’m still learning how to do this.  I’ll keep everyone posted.