Ok Ladies, I know I am not alone in this phenomenon. But I don’t understand it! I am not afraid of the dark, things going bump in the night, people breaking in, kids not breathing, becoming a random murder victim. Ok, now that I think of it…. maybe I am. I suppose all of those years living so close to Gary, murder capital of the universe, eventually had to take its toll on my poor psyche! But I’m not there anymore, no where near. I am in suburbia heaven! Lush green grass, lots of family neighbors, cul de sacs, SUVs, playdates, etc. I am in the land of La La! Maybe I just need to be perpetually cuddled? I don’t know but what I do know is I need some freaking sleep!Immediately! This is what happens, my husband goes away on business and I can’t sleep. Absolutely can not sleep. I’m talking full on insomnia in rampant proportions. What makes it worse is that this is NOT a temporary situation, this is the situation. Last week, I was up every night until at least 2 am. The only reason I went to sleep was because I forced myself to shut down all mental functioning in the name of sanity, and for my children’s safety. I am not a morning person when I’ve had less than 6 hours of sleep. 6 hours is the minimum sane functioning level for me, anything less for more than a day and I am full blown, off the reservation crazy. I do not jest! What do you ladies do to curb this insanity? I’ve spoken to several friends and it seems the only cure for what ails me is my husband, and that is not a possibility at this point. He’s there working, I’m here…NOT SLEEPING! Sleep medication is not an option because I have to be somewhat lucid in case the girls need me in the middle of the night, however, a friend of mine recommended to take a few drops of the best CBD oil, I like to get it from https://cannacured.co/. So, here I am, Sleepless in South Bend. I really wish I was a sleep camel, storing it all up on the weekend to get me through the week. Think that’s an option? It is a nifty concept. Of course, when would I fit my husband cuddles and conjugal visits in if I were practicing my sleep camel antics on the weekends? If you have any suggestions for helping me to catch up on my rest, please share. I know a lot of us could use the advice! If not, I say Who’s up for midnight chats? LOL Stay tuned, as the week goes on and my sleep supply dwindles, God only knows what may end up in these posts. Toodles! I need a nap before Big Daddy leaves the building.
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I used to be an old pro at parenting my girls alone and basically living without another adult in the house, most of the time. I hated it. My husband lived in another state 5 days a week. It was awful. Remember the bald spot that sent me into a tailspin at 3 in the morning? Good times!
I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food. It’s always been the one thing I’ve loved and I’ve hated. I love the taste of food. It comforted me when things were tough. It would console me. Then I would use it to punish myself; to find myself unworthy. I would withhold it from myself, like love from a misogynist. Yet, I never thought sugar is a drug and I never considered myself an addict. This is how I lived in this vicious cycle pursuing perfection that doesn’t exist. It was a controlling relationship wherein I was the victim and the abuser.
But then I had a revelation, food’s an addiction. Sugar is a drug and I was an addict.
Yes, food is a drug and I am an addict and it’s almost killed me twice. Anorexia in the ’90s and diabetes in 2019. I used to proudly proclaim, “I’d rather work out for 3 hours straight than give up my French fries!” I was also the same person who secretly high-fived myself when people started to tell me that I was getting “too skinny” and looked sickly. In my mind, I was winning. I was cheating the system and beating food. Really, I was killing myself.
Here we are, 20 years in recovery from starvation and purging. Nasty little fact, being an anorexic is like being an alcoholic, every day is choosing to not indulge in the bad behavior no matter how much you want to. I won’t lie, there have been slip-ups. I’ve had a big meal and thrown it up. I’ve skipped meals. I’ve worked out excessively. I’ve tried to cheat the system and lied to myself that it was, “Ok, just this once” knowing how slippery the road really was. But for the most part, for the past 20 years, I had to let go of the control.
The problem with me is that there is no in between. There is micromanage everything that goes in my mouth and purge, there is restrict and starve and there is eat all the things with wild abandoned and no worry of consequences.
Let me create a picture, so you all don’t think I was shoving whole sleeves of cookies down my throat. When I say wild abandon, I mean I ate food in moderate amounts but without worrying, caring or writing down anything. I had to do this because the alternative behaviors sent me right back into obsessive, controlling behavior that caused my anorexia in the first place. Basically, I was out of control for two decades to avoid being dead. Or at least, that is what I made myself believe.
Now, here I am. Last month, I told you all about my come to Jesus meeting with my doctor. It was eye-opening, if not traumatic. She told me some hard facts. I feel like, for years, my doctors have been coddling me. I went from 103 pounds and inched up over the years and through the pregnancies to a whopping ( gulp..I’m about to say it out loud) 259.9 pounds at my heaviest. On the day my doctor gave me the bad news, I was 249.9 pounds. I’m 5’7”. I am morbidly obese. You know morbid means deadly, right?
I went home that day, cried my eyes out, stayed in bed for a couple of days, quite frankly, terrified of food. After all, it was literally killing me. But really, it wasn’t the food at all. It was me. I needed to take ownership of that. It was always me from anorexia through to diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
I took my 3 days to cry it out and feel sorry for myself and then I did what I always do, I put on my big girl panties and I figured it out. Not as easy as it sounds. I am still figuring it out.
Here’s where I began to break my food addiction.
I changed my thinking. I stopped thinking of it as a death sentence and began to think of it as a blessing. I was still alive. All I needed to do was change my behavior and learn how to eat.
I began to measure my food. You cannot imagine how off my portions were. Try it, you will be floored.
I began to count carbs. My doctor gave me grams per day; 45 per meal 3x a day, and 15 per snack 3x per day. The thing about counting carbs is first, carbs were not taken away. There is nothing that makes me want something more than making it forbidden.
I eliminated all pop and juice because they are nothing but sugar. Instead, I opted for fresh fruit and if I need a drink other than water or milk, I drink Bubly. Actually, I am obsessed with the cherry flavor.
I am learning to say no to things. I am learning that sometimes it is ok to say yes to a bite or a ½ of something you really want but always in moderation and always aware of the portion size and carb count. Through this process of cutting my carbs and portion control, I’m learning that I really don’t love some of the food that I thought I loved as much as I do.
Case in point, pizza. I can have one piece with a salad if I feel the need. However, wasting 27 carbs on one slice feels ridiculous and it just doesn’t taste the same to me anymore. Pizza, the food that I thought I couldn’t live without. I don’t even really like anymore. It tastes weird to me.
I’m eating real food. I’ve been focusing on lean meats, fresh vegetables, fruits and logging every single thing I put into my mouth. I’m not living on chicken broth or cabbage. This isn’t a diet. I also weigh myself every morning and check my blood pressure and my blood glucose every day. It feels a little bit like restricting and that terrifies me because I can’t slip back into those old behaviors but I can’t eat with wild abandon either because my life is at stake. For now, this is what is working for me.
So far, I’ve lost 20.5 pounds in 6 weeks. I’ve lost 17.5 inches since May 29th ( that was the first time I measured but by then I had already lost about 10 lbs. so I’m sure I’ve lost more than that). My blood pressure is completely normal. No more headaches. My blood glucose is completely in the normal range. No more insomnia. I’ve had insomnia my entire life. Now, I shut my eyes and go to bed on most nights by 10 p.m. I feel better than I’ve felt in years.
Maybe food’s an addiction. Maybe sugar is a drug and I was an addict but I’m changing all that and you can too. Do you think you’re a carb or sugar addict? Does your health say otherwise?
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Do you have trouble winding down at night? An endless list of things show up in your brain right at the exact moment you’re supposed to be drifting off to LaLa land? If so, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, millions of people have difficulty relaxing and getting ready for bed. I’ve been an insomniac since college so I know a little bit about this topic. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help yourself calm down, relax and prepare for sleep. This blog post will discuss 6 ways to relax at night, chill out and get ready for bed.
Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned in this post were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions and gynecological misadventures are all my own.
Listen to calm music
There is something about music that can soothe us and make us feel more relaxed. So if you’re struggling to wind down at night, try listening to some calm music. This can help you relax both your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep.
Some suitable genres of music to listen to for relaxation purposes include classical, jazz, and nature sounds. Many apps and websites offer calming music specifically designed to help you sleep.
Do some gentle stretching
Gentle stretching is another great way to relax your body and mind before bed. It can help relieve tension and reduce stress. You can do several different stretches, so find ones that work best for you. Start by doing some simple neck and shoulder rolls. Then, move on to other body areas such as your back, legs, and arms. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds before moving on to the next one.
Doing some light stretching before bed can also help improve your sleep quality and reduce the risk of pain waking you up during the night. But don’t do a full cardio workout unless you want that rush of endorphins at bedtime. Be warned it won’t bode well for your insomnia.
Sit outside for a while
If you have trouble relaxing indoors, try spending some time outside. Sitting or lying down in a park or other green space can help reduce stress and anxiety. I keep a comfy sectional on my deck for just this reason. The fresh air and natural light can also do wonders for your sleep quality. If it’s not possible to sit outside, simply open a window to let some fresh air into your room. You can also try smoking marijuana outside if it helps you to relax. But you might want to invest in this spray to get rid of weed smell and keep the neighbors out of your business. Or just go the edible route, no nasal evidence left behind.
Take a relaxing bath
There is nothing quite like a warm bath to help you relax at night. Add some soothing aromatherapy, add a few drops of lavender oil to your bathtub or light a delicious smelling candle to help further promote relaxation. One of my favorites is GYV MesoAmerican Beauty Mango pineapple candle. The heat from the water can also help reduce muscle pain and tension. Soak in your tub for 20-30 minutes to give yourself enough time to relax fully. Moisturize yourself from head to toe. I love the Mango lotion from GYV. For luxuriously attractive and beautiful glowing skin I’m obsessed with Dignity Coconuts lip balms and raw coconut oil.
After your bath, avoid any activities that will stimulate your mind or body. This means no working, watching TV, or using your phone or computer. You want your body and mind to be relaxed, so give yourself time to wind down before bed.
Pop a gummy
IYKYK if you don’t, I’m definitely talking about a CBD gummy. Just 1 Inflamade Yummy Watermelon Vegan Sleep Solution gummy and you will sleep all night long. Deep Sleep CBD + CBN Vegan Gummies combine the power of CBD + CBN – and works to put your mind at ease and sleep throughout the night. With 20mg CBD + 5mg CBN, and 3mg Melatonin per watermelon gummy, products are lab tested to ensure 0% THC and 100% Drug Test Safe.
The compounds CBD and CBN have different impacts on the body, but when combined, they aid in alleviating restless nights and insomnia.
If you are looking for something with THC to relax your mind before bed and get a great night’s sleep, I highly recommend Berry Burst Indica Gummies by Encore Edibles at your local dispensary. It’s one of my personal favorites for overwhelmed and exhausted moms who just can’t relax. It does the job 100% of the time.
Practice some deep breathing exercises:
Deep breathing is a simple but effective way to relax your body and mind. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep quality. To do a deep breathing exercise, simply sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough to expand your stomach, not just your chest.
All this to say, there are many things you can do to relax at night. By listening to calm music, doing some gentle stretching, spending time outside, taking a relaxing bath, and practicing deep breathing exercises, you can wind down and get ready for a good night’s sleep.
These are 5 ways to relax at night, chill out and get ready for bed. What is your top tip for relaxing at night?
I am a member of the Collective Bias ® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.
Women’s Health has suddenly become top priority in my life. Recently, I’ve been focusing more on creating my own healthy habits. Maybe it’s my age or just the fact that the older my daughters get, the more time I have to actually focus on my own health and mortality; you know, now that I have a free moment to pee alone now and again.
Did you ever consider that what you do for a profession could affect your health? I mean, we know that if you are a stunt man or a cop, your life is generally at higher risk than the general population. Of course, I never considered that being a blogger/writer/ sitting at my desk all day could be detrimental to my health. We all laugh at “blogger butt” and joke about sitting around in our pajamas all day but did you ever really consider that blogging could be bad for your health? Me, neither. But when it comes down to it, bloggers can suffer from issues with our vision from staring at a screen all day. One option is to look into great glasses from https://www.eyeglasses.com/. It can also result in issues such as repetitive strain injury.
Blogging has made me happy. I love what I do. I love freelancing. I love social media. I love letting my girls see me pursue my dreams and get to do something that I am passionate about. It’s important to me to be a good example for my girls. In fact, as a mom of girls, being a good example is probably the most important thing to me that and just being around to see them grow from my babies into women.
So imagine my frustration when I went to the doctor and aside from gaining weight, which I can obviously see, my sugar and cholesterol levels were both elevated but normal. All that I heard was blahblahblah HIGH blahblahblah AT RISK blahblahblah.
My brain went directly to all the things I would miss if I were to suddenly die (yes, I am one of those people); first dates, driving, graduation, college, falling in love, growing up, getting married, getting pregnant, becoming a mom, repeat. Then I thought of all the smaller things like taking care of them when they are sick, holding them when they experience the first crushing blows of falling in and then out of love, the fear and excitement in the big moments, giving the gentle nudges forward when they need to be pushed in the right direction or even just being there to listen when they needed undivided attention and a mother’s unconditional love. I need to be an advocate for not only my health but for #herhealth, as well; both of them. In that moment, I knew exactly what I needed to do. My path had never been so clear. I made all of the doctors’ appointments and I made a plan. I need a plan. I can accomplish almost anything with a plan in hand.
My first stop was the corner Walgreens to buy myself a bottle of Vitafusion Women’s Daily Multivitamin, Gummies. These have been my favorite vitamins as an adult. They are small and easy to swallow because you chew them and they don’t have that bitter mineral after taste that many adult multivitamins have. I like them so much that I started buying Vitafusion multivitamins for the entire family.
Next, I started paying attention to what my FitBit was telling me. The first thing that I noticed is that without consciously making an effort to move, a blogger can exist on only taking 337 steps in a day; my goal is 10,000. No wonder why “blogger butt” is a thing. Now, I am getting between 6500 and 12,000 steps a day just by spending an hour every morning taking a walk or bike ride with my daughters. I can feel the difference. I can do better but at least I am off in the right direction.
I’ve eliminated pop from the menu and replaced it with iced water and switched out my daily coffee for unsweetened green tea. I love coffee but I was using so much creamer that it made each coffee have about 250 calories and the caffeine itself was contributing to my terrible insomnia. Now, coffee is a treat that I look forward to once a week (early on Saturday morning) and sleeping without the help of some kind of pill is a wonderful new bonus in my life.
I linked my FitBit to My Fitness Pal app and started logging everything I eat. You have no idea what you consume until you log it. You might think, “I don’t eat that much or that badly!” Believe me, you probably do. Some days, I found that I didn’t get enough calories and other days, I was going over by about 1000. My Fitness Pal also lets me stay aware of the sugar and cholesterol in everything I eat. In the past month, I have lost 12 pounds. I’ve also committed myself to seeing my doctor once a month to check in on my progress and keep me accountable. These are all baby steps to make sure that I am around for the big and little moments of my life to come.
What do you do to maintain or improve your Women’s health so that you are around for the big and little moments?
I’ve never needed streaming television more than I do now. This coronavirus pandemic has begun to affect me in ways that I never could have expected. I’ve watched everything in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Swedish and Belgian that I could find. I’ve always loved Asian horror because it’s simply the scariest. What I never expected my heart would need is Asian Rom Coms, all Asian Drama, K-dramas, C-drama, J-drama, coming of age series and kPop soundtracks. I’m not even a Rom-Com girl. But Asian Rom Com series just hit in a different way than their American counterparts. They are pure and innocent. I find myself smiling a lot.
If you’re not familiar with this genre, acquaint yourself. These series can also sometimes fall into the categories of K-Dramas, J-Dramas and C-Dramas. If you’re wondering why I am out of the blue recommending these shows, I’m going to be 100% honest with you. I’ve been really stressed during this pandemic but I’ve been keeping it all neatly bottled up inside because this issue is so huge and insurmountable that keeping a lid on my feelings about it is the only way for me to mentally survive it.
As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 when I was 27. I haven’t had a manic or depressive episode in over a decade. To be honest, the only “depression” I’ve truly ever experienced was the result of an overly stressful coming of age time in my own teens when my dad was a volatile alcoholic and again in 2012, when I lost our third baby. I actually feel like both of those instances were completely normal responses to the situation however, I am not trusted to assess my own emotional well-being. My point is that this pandemic has me terrified for my own mental health.
READ ALSO: Best Horror Movies to Watch with Your Teens
Rather than feeling like I’m depressed, at least not anything like I’ve ever known, I’m feeling anxious (again, I feel under these circumstances is a pretty normal reaction for anyone) but what’s scaring me is this walking a tightrope feeling in my gut that feels like mania is lurking right beneath the surface, just waiting to break through. That terrifies me because I’ve never had an episode since becoming a mom. But, I’m also not who I was in my 20’s, I know the disease I’m battling. I know it well. I’ve researched it, made peace with it and embraced it. I’ve had extensive training on how to move through it and how to get myself off the ledge. Still, it’s scary. The feeling that any wrong move can send me freefalling and crashing towards earth as my daughters and the Big Guy watch on. That scares me the most.
Luckily, I just had 2 weeks off of school (Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that I’ve gone back to school to get another Masters of Science (this time in Digital Marketing) during a pandemic?) but today, I went back. It gave me the time I needed to look more closely at the situation and realize what’s happening; to get my bearings. When I had my miscarriage, I had this same walking a tightrope feeling, I survived it with binge-watching the UK version of Shameless…all 10 seasons. I’m the kind of person who needs to feel her feelings and I write to process but when it gets to be too much, I start to short circuit. Recently, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to write. I can’t even will myself to commit my thoughts to keyboard. That means for my own mental health, I have to let go of the overthinking and I have to relinquish control and numb myself to relieve the pressure.
READ ALSO: The Last Goodbye
Before I knew what my diagnosis was, I used to drink to do this. I was in college so it seemed pretty normal. Didn’t every anorexic 100 lb girl drink 6-12 beers a night? I did. I don’t do that anymore. Seldom do I have even 3 drinks in a year these days. Caffeine and alcohol are on my “in moderation” list. Sleep for me is supposed to be 10-12 hours a night, to maintain normal. I live on 4-6, if I’m sick, I can force 8. My insomnia is my constant companion. I’ve noticed it’s gotten worse these past few weeks. My bedtime is frequently at 4 am. I know this is not normal but nothing brings the sleep, not even the sleep medication. This is a trigger warning for me.
My point to all of this is that Asian Rom Coms are currently saving my sanity. I need their quiet, sweet, romantic, coming-of-age endearing storylines to focus on and laugh and cry with to process my emotions in small quantities. These series are literally my emotional support series’. When I’m in a manic episode, I become obsessive so binge-watching is better than eating or shopping. The alternative is giving myself over to the erratic, reckless and self-satisfying darkness. Instead, I’m choosing to quiet my mind by anesthetizing it with the calm voices of Asia’s finest young actors. I’m enjoying them so much; I’m thinking of trying to learn Mandarin (because speaking 4 languages is not enough) …this could be the mania talking but I’m going to give it a try with no expectations (that’s how I know I’m still aware of my behavior).
READ ALSO: How to Love Forever
I know that the pandemic has brought about its own unique challenges for everyone, I’m not the only one whose mental illness has been reactivated in the wake of the world being on fire. I’m not special (look at me not having grandiose thoughts of self-importance). I’m not saying that Asian rom coms are the answer to saving the world’s sanity from the Coronavirus pandemic, but I’m not saying they’re not either. They are very entertaining, add levity, laughter and cathartic sobbing when needed and unlike the typical American teen dramas we are used to there is not any of the excessive drinking, juuling and sex scenes. It’s just endearing and thoughtful naïve first love, the kind we had in the beginning and wish for our own children to someday experience. Plus, the people, the music, the language and the culture are so beautiful to watch and learn more about. Right now, I’m truly thankful for Netflix and Rakuten Viki.
For me, I know that Asian rom coms can’t fix mental illness but just like psychiatric drugs, behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy, in my recovery, they definitely have their place. Here are my favorite Asian Rom Coms for beginners. For reference, my top 4 are the first 4 on the list below. Also, this list includes Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese recs. Don’t worry if you don’t know the languages, that’s what subtitles are for and honestly, even without subtitles, you can enjoy these shows. Seriously, Asian Rom Coms can help us all survive the pandemic. TBH, the worst thing about Asian Rom Coms is that they end and I want more seasons.
Top Asian Rom Coms to watch for beginners
Chinese/ Netflix /2018
Dong Shancai is determined to excel at her dream university, where she encounters an elite clique of dashing, popular high-achievers — and finds love, Dao Ming Si. Starring Dylan Wang and Shen Yeu.
A Love so Beautiful
Chinese / Netflix/ 2017
The ups and downs of school, family and growing up test the love between a budding artist, Chen Xiaoxi, and her handsome but indifferent classmate and neighbor, Jiang Chen. Starring Hu Yi Tian and Shen Ye.
Go Go Squid
Chinese/ Rakuten Viki/ 2019
At 19, Tong Nian, a brilliant IT programming student with stellar grades and an equally impressive social media following, is winning at life. She never has a problem meeting new people. But all that changes the day Han Shang Yan walks into her life. Starring Li Xian, Yang Zi and Hu Yi Tian.
I Hear You
Chinese/ Netflix/ 2019
Love blooms between a bubbly, aspiring voice actress and a cool, enigmatic violin-maker after they cross paths on a reality TV show. Starring Riley Wang, Zhao Lusi and Zhang Jiongmin.
Miss In Kiss
Taiwanese/ Netflix/ 2016
A quirk of fate sends an ordinary, sweet-natured high school girl and her father into the home of the school genius, on whom she has a huge crush. Starring Dino Lee and Esther Wu.
Put Your Head on My Shoulder
Chinese/ Netflix/ 2019
As Si Tu Mo’s graduation is nearing, she is confused about her future plans. She tries out all sorts of things all the time and is unable to make her own decisions. Starring Lin Yi and Xing Fei.
The Liar and His Lover
South Korean/ Netflix/ 2017
Love Story of a genius composer and a high school girl who sings. She falls in love at first sight but it’s never that easy. The drama is based on the popular Japanese manga Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru by Kotomi Aoki. Starring Lee Hyun-woo and Joy with Lee Jung-jin, Lee Seo-won and Hong Seo-young
South Korean/ Netflix/ 2015
Almost 40, Ha No-Ra’s son is about to go away to college and her husband wants a divorce the moment the kid’s out of the house. Ha No-Ra goes back to school and meets Cha Hyun-Suk, an old schoolmate who is now a professor. Unknown to her, Cha Hyun-Suk had the biggest crush on her in high school but she never noticed. Starring Choi Ji-woo and Lee Sang-yoon.
My First First Love
Korean/ Netflix/ 2019
Due to various personal reasons, some of Yun Tae-o’s friends move into his house, where they experience love, friendship and everything in between. Starring Ji Soo and Jung Chae-Yeon.
Hello, My Twenties
Korean/ Netflix/ 2016
Five female housemates and college students meet and live at the Belle Epoque. While strangers at first, they are able to bond and connect over the traumas they experienced while growing up. Together they juggle the perils of adult life. Starring Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-soo, Park Eun-bin, Han Seung –yeon , Han Ye-ri, Yoon Park and Shin Hyun-soo.
Good Morning Call
Japanese/ Netflix/ 2016
A teenager has finally gotten her own apartment. The only problem is that she’s sharing it with the most popular boy in school, and they have to keep it a secret. Starring Shun’ya Shiraishi and Haruka Fukuhara.
Korean/ Netflix/ 2019
In a world in which an app alerts people if someone in the vicinity likes them, Kim Jojo experiences young love while coping with personal adversities. Starring Song Kang and Kim So-hyun.
Korean/ Netflix/ 2017
The quiet life of an extreme introvert is thrown upside down when his company hires a cheery and outgoing new employee who’s not all she seems. Starring Yeon Woo-jin, Park Hye-soo and Yoon Park.
Accidentally in Love
Korean/ Netflix/ 2018
A popular singer decides to go back to school, becoming the center of attention there and meets an ordinary female student who is more than he ever imagined. Starring Guo Junchen, Amy Sun, Zhao Yiqin and Yuan Hao.
This is just a beginner’s list of some of my favorites. There are so many more and I encourage you all to check them all out. I highly recommend you check them out and if you do, please come back here and leave me some comments. I’m fairly new to the genre but would love to discuss it with all of you, especially if you’ve watched them or have recommendations of K-Drama and Asian Rom Coms that I should check out, bonus points if they have Li Xian, Dylan Wang and Shen Yeu in them.
Kanye West is in the middle of what appears to me to be a shit storm of a manic episode and I should know because I’ve lived through my own fair share of shit storms of manic episodes. They’re not pretty and coming out of one is the worst part. It’s like being held hostage while your mind spins out of control and explodes all of your relationships. Surviving marriage with a bipolar partner is one of the hardest things anyone can experience. Of course, I never had my manic episodes in full view of the public. I was never a celebrity and thank God for that because what an asshole I was. I am Kanye West.
Bipolar is a mental illness. I don’t even know how to accurately describe it as I’ve only ever known it from the inside out. When I’m non-episodic, I can look back with a clear vision and see the outrageousness of the manic me but in the throes of it, I couldn’t recognize it if you paid me. This is why the Big Guy and I have a system in place.
He doesn’t blame every bad mood on my bipolar 1 and I don’t get away with bad behavior because I have a diagnosis. We both know that when I’m flying high, the last thing you can do is try to reason me down, so when/if I have a full manic episode, he’s my rock to keep me grounded. He agrees to be my reality check and I agree to give him that power. It’s the greatest trust you can give to anyone else. This is surviving marriage with a bipolar partner. You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all of this. There is a point.
I’ve seen what Kim and Kanye are going through. More importantly, I see what Kim is going through. It breaks my heart because I’ve been Kanye. I’m telling you this because I read Kim Kardashian’s Insta Stories posts and they got in my head and in my heart. You see, I’ve been watching Kanye and I see myself. I’ve been him. This is mania. Mania is a gift and a curse. It’s like having wings; you feel invincible. You just keep rising higher and higher until no one can touch you. And then, just as suddenly and unexpectedly, you come crashing down in one of 2 ways, you either fall into a pit of despair and depression or (like me) you get stuck on “ON” and you can’t stop and your body gets exhausted but your mind won’t turn off and you are trapped in a mind and body at war and you’re the hostage. It is exhausting, it’s irritating and in the end, it’s terrifying to never be able to turn off your on switch.
READ ALSO: How my diagnosis saved me
You’re asking yourself, why not take medicine? If only it were that easy. We’d all be chemically balanced. Well, I did take medicine and many years of behavioral therapy because after accepting your illness, you have to learn to live with it. But it’s not easy figuring out the drug cocktail to a definitely not one size fits all mental illness.
If you do get the right drugs, you have to get the right amounts and you have to constantly monitor for changing moods and chemicals. Think of it as having an imaginary balance scale that you’re constantly needing to adjust so that you don’t chemically topple in one way or the other. On top of all of that, you have to be cognizant that your actions can be catastrophic to the people you love. It’s a lot especially when we are usually known for our creativity, so we’re assholes from the beginning.
It’s like being Icarus, you go so high you touch the sun, you get burned, catch fire and turn to ash and the world watches on. You watch on, held captive by your manic mind, only to come down to be confronted by all the destruction you caused while eclipsing the sun.I went through the worst of mine as a college student and newlywed before I had kids and before I lived my life online. Still, even without kids, for the Big Guy surviving marriage to a bipolar partner was almost impossible. Our marriage would not have survived if I hadn’t gotten help.
I am Kanye West
Kanye has had to live his Bipolar episodes under the scrutiny of the public eye and I would not wish that on my worst enemy. Anyways, back to why I am writing this, Kim Kardashian. She wrote some powerful words about the disease. Words that only a person whose been through it or watched someone they love descend into madness could write.
Kim’s words of love and compassion are a true commentary on what it’s like loving someone with bipolar. It’s brutal. Like seriously fucking hard. My husband, I don’t know how he stayed but I’m glad that he did. I was as difficult as anyone could possibly be. I had no boundaries and no respect for consequences. If you know me now, you wouldn’t think that about me but I am who I am because I went through what I went through to become who I am.
READ ALSO: I am Robin Williams
So when I say that Kanye is acting crazy, it’s not an insult. It’s not me being flip about mental illness, which I think some people thought that from a post I put n Facebook. I forget that not everyone knows my business. I’ve written about it quite a few times on here and I guess I take it for granted that everyone’s a fan.
It’s me recognizing my illness in someone else, having compassion and empathy for Kanye. Hoping that his marriage can weather this storm because of all the things we are forced to sacrifice to our illness, our partnerships shouldn’t have to be one of them. It’s rooting for him to come through this on the other side without damaging too many relationships or ruining his career.
Kim deserves to know the road map for surviving marriage with a bipolar partner.
The thing with mania is when we’re manic, we don’t think beyond the moment. We’re not capable. It’s a very id serving illness and you can’t tell us any different because we can’t be reasoned with because we are not in a rational state of mind. This is not a choice we make. Honestly, the recklessness is something that comes along with the mania and drags us along for the ride. The easiest way to recognize someone with bipolar is reckless behavior. It’s a red flag. Pressured speech. CHECK. Speeding. CHECK. Spending a lot of money. CHECK. Insomnia. CHECK. From the outside, I was fun on steroids and then I was hell on wheels. There was never an in-between for me. I was all or nothing and it ruined relationships, friendships and opportunities.
Now, I live in the in-between with slight ticks up and falls down but nothing like before I was diagnosed. It’s still hard. There is no cure. You learn to live in the in-between. I have moments when I can feel the mania coming on but I don’t give myself over to it anymore. Instead, I hold on and I do whatever I can do in my power to minimize damage and destruction to my life, to my family and to the person I am today. The luxury of just riding the wave and feeling it all isn’t an option because the price is too high. I say all this with the clarity of education, therapy, wisdom and experience because I’ve been living with this illness most of my life but diagnosed for the past 20.
My diagnosis did not scare me. Hope is in accepting the broken. Relief came in knowing. Ready to embrace the disease by the time I received it because I was so weary from surviving it. I read everything I could to learn more; immersing myself in understanding. Giving myself forgiveness and grace because it was the only way to move forward and separate myself from the disease was the only thing to do. Otherwise, the shame spiral would have been too much to overcome.
We all do things that we otherwise wouldn’t, especially when chemically imbalanced. We have no control before we know what the problem is, we accept it as it is who we are. Just because we are bipolar doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to be loved. But it’s not easy to love us. We’re difficult even on our good days. I am Kanye West and this is what surviving marriage with a bipolar partner looks like.
Have you ever heard that song by Tim McGraw, “Live Like You were Dying”? Today, it’s personal. It’s real. I found out Monday that I’m a diabetic with high blood pressure. Now, there’s nothing I want more than to reverse diabetes and high blood pressure.
In the past, I’ve implemented a “no special occasion” rule ( meaning every single day is special) and decided to go for it now (stop waiting for conditions to be right). Eat the cake. Dance like no one is watching. Enjoy life. Laugh. Love. Tell people you love them every single chance you get. Be more tolerant of people because you don’t know their story. But I was never actually in harm’s way.
Monday, I went to the doctor for my annual physical. Only it’s been more like a year and a half because of all the health issues that happened to me in the fall. The 3-month period and the removal of my lady parts who were trying to kill me. I thought I was finally out of the proverbial health woods. I should have known better.
READ ALSO: Why I’m having a Hysterectomy
I spent 3 months sitting during my last recovery. I’ve been eating like there were no consequences. Pop. Yes, please. Fast food. Yep. Juice. Yep. Late night snacks. Hell yeah. Insomnia makes you hungry. I’m joking but it’s really not funny.
My doctor gave me a whole lot of bad news this week. Not the “you need to eat better and work out”, usual news they give everyone. Nope, I got the “you are severely sick; morbidly obese, extremely diabetic, your blood pressure is so high you could stroke out at any moment and oh yeah, your cholesterol is up too” news. I was shocked because how can you be prepared for that kind of news.
Maybe it doesn’t sound too scary to you. Let me explain. My sugar numbers are twice what they should be. I am a diabetic and I wasn’t on Sunday. My blood pressure was 200/130. I cried. I sobbed in my doctor’s office because how did I get here? How did I ignore my body so much that it could, quite frankly, kill me? Literally, I could die. I might be crying while writing this post. My entire life has changed this week. I have a new perspective on life.
All I want to do is get healthy
I’m still trying to wrap my head around it all. My doctor and I made a plan. Dying is not an option that I want to consider. All of this is reversible. It’s a lot of hard work, planning, completely overhauling my diet and lifestyle but it’s not optional. I have a husband and two daughters who love me and depend on me and I made a promise to be here for them. My goal is 103 years old. This was never part of the plan. I can see so clearly now what is important to me…my family.
I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food or my body. Food is basically my arch nemesis and my body has taken a beating over the years. I was stupid when I was young and I starved myself. I punished my body.
READ ALSO: Burden of Being a Fat Woman
I realized that I could live with being fat a long time ago because perfection and I have a longstanding struggle and to not let it go was going to kill me. Maybe I don’t love being overweight but I knew eating disorders were off the table. Maybe you think there are more options but when your eating is as disordered as mine, it’s like being an alcoholic. You are eating disordered for life. You have to make a choice every morning to not act upon it.
Now, I’m having to make a choice every single day to commit to staying alive. My goal is to get healthy and reverse it all but what damage is it doing while I’m trying to lower my sugar and my blood pressure? I’m so scared. I’ve been walking around in a funk trying to get my bearings since they told me. It’s knocked me off my axis.
“You’re diabetic…have high blood pressure and are morbidly obese”
If you could have seen my doctor’s face, you would have seen the severity of my situation. I cried because did I actually let bad food choices rob my children of their mother? I have a responsibility and a profound want to be here for as much of their lives as I can. I don’t want to let them down. That’s the last thing I ever wanted to do.
And the Big Guy, I made a commitment to him to love him for the rest of our lives. We’ve only had 20 years. It’s not enough. I’m terrified right now. I feel overwhelmed. But I’m not giving up. I’m doing everything I can to right this wrong.
I always put myself last. I remember every few years to make myself a priority but then it falls to the wayside. Everyone else gets their dental appointments, physicals and eye appointments. I make sure to meet everyone’s needs but my own. I put myself on the back burner because my job is to take care of them.
“It’s all reversible. You don’t have to be a diabetic or have high blood pressure. But you’ll have to make serious changes.”
I get a physical every year, but it’s been a year and a half. Either something came up for the kids, or I was dealing with the hysterectomy saga or we had someplace to be or something to do or finances were tight. Every time, I went to the bottom of the list by my own doing and now, I have to focus on me. No more excuses.
I have to let things go. The most important thing right now is my health and my family. Nothing else matters. I want to live more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my entire life. Food is fuel to me now and there is no food worth dying for. If I have to eat sandpaper for the rest of my life, I will. If I have to give up sweets, eating out, pop, juice, bread and coffee, I will. If I have to work out every day for the rest of my life, I will.
If you have any diabetic friendly recipes that don’t taste like sandpaper, I will take them. If you have prayers to spare, I’ll take them too. Please, remember to take care of yourselves because if you don’t…you might not be there to take care of the people you love the most.
My family, the Big Guy, Bella and Gabs, they are my reasons for everything including taking care of myself. They are worth living for. I forgot that. I was so busy putting everyone else first that I forgot about me. Don’t forget about you.
Do you work at a desk like most adults? Ever have trouble reconciling how to get healthy from your desk and still maintaining your career? It’s so easy, as we get older to blame our out of shape bodies on kids, business and sitting at a desk all day. We’re tired. I get it. I’ve been doing the same thing for years and guess where it’s gotten me? It’s gotten me a muffin top around my waist ( way less cute than it sounds) and looking like a linebacker for the Bears from behind.
We all love to imagine ourselves as outdoorsmen. We say we hike and do yoga, maybe even barre or spin. What that means to me is I walked to take the garbage out and pick up the mail (hike). I almost fell and killed myself but I caught myself (yoga). I got ambitious and tried to do barre with my two girls and got stuck and my back went out (Barre). I rode my cruiser around the neighborhood at a leisurely pace wherein my neighbor’s 100-year-old dachshund outpaced me (spin). Things are not what they always appear. And no matter what lies I want to tell myself about my health, the hips in the jeans don’t lie.
Hey, I’m with you. We’re part of a society who wears yoga pants as everyday clothes. Little honestly for you, my yoga clothes have been to one yoga class. I am trying to change that. I am not happy with the status quo. I don’t want to die in my 60’s because I was too lazy to do anything about it today.
I used to work out, hardcore. I loved it. I am an endorphin junkie and I love being proactive in my life. If you know me, you know I am a planner with end results in mind at all times. My goal is to live to 103 years old. No, I’m not joking. My grandpa was 99 when he died. 103 is not out of my realm of possibility for these genetics.
But I’ve got to get off my derriere and do it. You see, my brain has done the math and while it’s totally possible to live to be 103, it becomes exponentially harder when your job is sitting on your bottom all day long. Add to that insomnia and a trash fire diet and well, in my current state there is no way I am hitting my goal and people, I am no quitter.
Here are my list of how to get healthy from your desk
I am serious, worrying is a useless emotion unless your goal is to stress yourself out, have your body mutiny and release cortisol and make you gain weight. It’s also not good for you mentally. It’s just one more thing to overwhelm you. Worrying never made anything go away or get easier. It only ever makes things worse so stop doing it.
Be aware of portion sizes. Try to eat more naturally, less low fat, less processed and refined sugars and more organic. More fruits, veggies and lean proteins and whole grains. Less red meat, rich sauces and salt.
I know some people say to throw your scale away. I personally need accountability. Pick one day every other week and weigh yourself. I am currently using the WW scale; it tracks weight, BMI and body fat.
I also like to monitor my food intake so I use a food scale to keep my portion sizes honest and an app on my phone to keep track of the foods I am eating.
Last but not least, I use BEEM UNITED: BeActiv S100. They are an in-ear precision heart rate monitor. They not only monitor your heart as you workout, they allow you to have clear hand free calling for up to 8 hours of use. It has a built-in personal health management app and are waterproof.
Through the BEEM Sport app, listeners can choose their preferred workout, including running, jogging, indoor or outdoor cycling and more, and receive real-time heart rate data as they workout.
I’m an insomniac and it’s not fun. It’s also unbelievably unhealthy. I feel a zillion times better when I go to sleep at a reasonable hour and get enough sleep. When I only get 4 or 5 hours of sleep, I feel ruined for the rest of the day. But when I get at least 7 hours of sleep, I feel invigorated and equipped to face life. I’m more tolerant and generally, more pleasant and clear minded.
Going for a bike ride or walking 30 minutes a day can do wonders for your health but if you can’t manage that, I have the next best option for you the Flexispot bike. It’s so simple but it allows me to work out while I work. In fact, I burned 300 calories writing this post.
The Flexispot bike is height adjustable, stationary bike with a desktop built on it so you can stay sedentary even when you are doing sedentary activities, like checking your emails, working remotely or even watching television. It’s whisper quiet and has 8 adjustable levels. It’s great for the entire family. My girls love it as much as I do and it even won the 2018 CES Innovation Awards.
Disclosure: I was provided a FlexiSpot bike for review purposes but all opinions are my own and the 300 calories I burned writing this post, all mine.
Drink Your Water
I am a water addict. It’s probably the thing I drink the most. When I was younger, I loved Coke, juice and cocktails. As I’ve gotten older, my favorite drinks are water, iced tea, an occasional iced coffee and the rare, blood orange San Pelligrino or martini. Water is good for your skin and keeping you free of toxins.
Take Your Vitamins
I always made sure to give my girls their vitamins. I even started giving them Vitamin-C to boost their immune systems because, let’s face it, schools are cesspools. But what about me? I need to be around to take care of them so that means, stopping, breathing and caring for myself.
READ ALSO: 5 Kitchen Appliances You Need to Get Healthy
What do you do to stay healthy?
What’re your best tips for How to Get Healthy from Your Desk?
Have you ever heard of Felix Gray? I hadn’t either until they sent me a surprise in the mail. I spend most of my day staring at a blue screen. It’s what I do. I work online, it’s part of the job requirement. I love what I do but my eyes, not so much and they’ve begun to mutiny in the form of headaches and eye strain.
Did you know that one-third of Americans spend eight hours or more looking at screens? So it’s not surprising that 60% of us report symptoms of digital eye strain. Until now, eyewear designed to protect eyes from blue light were unfashionable and unattractive, resulting in low usage. And then, Glasses Online Canada came in and made eyewear attractive.
I know what you’re thinking, “Debi, you’re a grown woman with insurance and everything… go see the eye doctor!”
I’m way ahead of you, I went to the eye care center. In fact, I made the whole family go. We got our eyes dilated and looked like those freaky stuffed animals and everything.
Nope, I’ve still got Superman like awesome vision. Yey me! However, what about the eye strain? There’s no option to not stare at a computer all day. I want to work. But I’m not crazy for the headaches and dry eyes.
Quick pro tip from my ophthalmologist: Every 30 minutes or so, look away from the screen.
So now, not only does the blue screen aid and abed my insomnia, it’s also playing tricks on my eyes.
I’m already losing my words from the sleep aids, I can’t afford the headaches, blurry vision and twitching so I had to find a solution. I found it.
My fellow bloggers, social media managers and just anyone who spends a huge chunk staring at their laptop, desktop, iPad or phone … so everyone I know, this might be the answer for you too.
Behold Felix Gray blue light filtering non-prescription glasses. They help reduce the eye strain, headaches and fatigue resulting from hours spent staring at screens, the glasses are the first computer eyewear created with fashion as well as function in mind. The frames are premium Italian acetate with lenses that eliminate the blue light that leads to eye fatigue and sleep issues. Not only do I get to look like a total hipster, I get to do my work without that pesky buggy eye side effect.
Felix Gray wants to change that, helping new generations of professionals to protect their eyes and improve performance at the same time. Users can just hop on the site and select a few of their favorite designs to try. In days, they get a custom package delivered to their door and let the fun of trying on begin, until you’ve found the best match for you. Then simply mail back the others.
Now if they could just create an office chair that burned calories while I sat working on my laptop. Or maybe pizza that makes me skinny?
Who knows with the wonders of modern technology, I can see it coming… one of these days.
For today, I’m pretty ecstatic to not have the eye strain while I do my dream job. In the future, I’ll also be looking into laser eye surgery to correct my eyes.
And for those of you who have recently found the need to use a larger font, no fear, Felix Gray offers magnification too.
Disclosure: I was provided product from Felix Gray to review but all opinions are my own.