Daily Archives: June 20, 2015

Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density

IMG_1661 IMG_3618

Thank you Kitt, (kittomalley.com) for posting this on your FB page! This is big, very big.

Of course it’s known that meditation has tremendous benefits for practitioners. Now, a study called “Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density” by Hölzel et al, shows how and why. In this Harvard study, they took participants who did Mindfulness meditation 27 minutes per day, for eight weeks and controls who did not meditate. They then took MRI’s of their brains and looked for differences. In the group that practiced mindfulness meditation, the areas in the hippocampus had a major increase in gray matter. The hippocampus is part of the Limbic system, the region in the brain that regulates emotions. They also saw a decrease in the gray matter of the amygdala, the area in the brain that is responsible for stress and anxiety. Therefore, “The results suggest that participation in MBSR is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.”

So it has now been shown how meditation works! It seems like the perfect thing to do if you have a mood disorder! Will you meditate? Well that’s up to you. For myself, yes. I am starting today.

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/01/eight-weeks-to-a-better-brain/http://www.psyn-http://www.psyn-journal.com/action/showMultipleAbstracts


Resurfacing

I’m tired. That’s the only word for it. I’ve been tired for days and I’m only just now enough untired to pop up and say hi. Howdy. Because yanno, from Texas originally.

It’s been a good sort of busy around here lately though. My sister (the other sister) came to visit, which necessitated all the cleaning and running around like a headless chicken that familial visits entail. And then there was the actual visit. We ended up having a fight, but it was good in the end. We finally sat down and discussed things and probably for the first time this century were on the same page. It was amazing, and I look forward to continuing to rebuild our relationship on a better foundation.

But obviously, all of that takes a lot of spoons. A lot of spoons. Add in a couple of sick children, and whelp. I’m not sure how I’ve been holding it all together, but I have. Barely. The husband very kindly arranged for me to have a few hours without anyone in the house earlier today and that helped a bit. Hopefully a good night’s sleep and another low-impact day will see me swung about. Who knows. At least the spot of insomnia that had been blighting me seems to have gone away, so that’s good.

Also, anxiety has gone back a few pegs, but that’s to be expected with a big stressful thing done and over with. I’m not really sure exactly where it is. I had hoped that upping my dose of antidepressant would have done for it, but it seems to be clinging on. Maybe it will start to fade again soon? I don’t know. Maybe I need to find more things different to do? Being out in the garden has been nice, and I’ll need to get out there tomorrow to do some belated planting. I think the weather is going to cooperate. We’ll see.

Hope everyone is doing well out there.

<3

Happy

Originally posted on Beautiful Insanity:

image

I’m feeling happy today! What’s making you happy?

View original

Time in the Mountains

mountain

We are lucky enough to have some good friends who have a condo up in the mountains. They were kind enough to let us use it to escape some of the summer heat. I kept a diary of our time.

Day #1-Saturday

Woke up at five. Just couldn’t sleep. Watched my husband sleep for a while and then got up. This is my least favorite part of the day. It is very quiet and I feel lonely. Kept the dogs company and fell back asleep. Got up about ten and started packing. Had to take my diet food with me and probably overpacked on the clothes. We left at noon. It was a 3 1/2 hour drive and we stopped at Wendy’s for lunch. (woohoo!) Drove on with husband playing satellite sports radio. Used headphones for music and an audiobook. Kept me sane.

We had stayed here before so we found it easily. There are two elderly neighbors downstairs, Dave and Judy. They like to have happy hour on their patio every night at five. They’re pretty nice. (I am pirating off their internet as we speak.) Skipped happy hour tonight…too tired. Husband went off to get some groceries. Am going to watch a little TV and relax.

Day #2-Sunday

Woke up again at five. Very lonely and started feeling depressed. My husband has been playing with the iPad until way into the night so he sleeps in. I took a Klonopin, made coffee, ate something, listened to my audiobook, and generally tried to entertain myself. At nine, I got my husband up. I was just getting depressed with the quiet.

He took a shower (I did not) and we got in the car to head into town. We looked at the stuff we liked to do that was available in a little mountain town. We stopped at an arts and crafts festival and then to buy some new hiking shoes for me. I hope I use them. We then stopped for lunch and I did not stay on my diet. Big surprise there!

Went to happy hour with the friends downstairs. They can sure talk! My husband says they are just lonely.

Day #3-Monday

Slept in after a restless night. Spent a lot of time last night listening to a good audiobook. We got up and went and found a local lake. It had a paved path all of the way around it. It was one mile around. I did it all without stopping. I was proud of that. I wore my new hiking shoes and they were very comfortable.

I came home and took a shower (yay!) and rested. My husband went to the store to look around. He really gets restless up here. Thank god for the internet.

He brought me a piece of carrot cake as an early birthday present.

Plans for tonight: go to neighbor’s happy hour, rent a Redbox movie, listen more to audiobook. Low key, but it is nice up here.

Oh, and helped Danny review for biology.

Day #4-Tuesday

Today was my birthday and I put up a post on the blog. Had many well wishers. Also heard by text from many friends. Definitely felt like I got plenty of attention!

My birthday was a tough day so I rested a lot. Listened to an audiobook and napped. It was awfully hot in the afternoon, so glad I was asleep.

We have friends coming up tomorrow so did a little meal planning. The wife in this couple announced that she is now eating gluten and dairy free. She is seriously on her own. No offense to different diets, but that is a hard one to cook for when you have others to feed.

Tonight plan on “happy hour” with that neighbor and helping Danny with the biology notes. Also will watch “America’s Got Talent”. I am a sucker for a few of these shows.

Day #5-Wednesday

Waiting for this other couple to arrive. Rested a LOT today. Took something like 4 Klonopin. Just could not get rid of that creepy crawly feeling under my skin. Listened to music and my audiobook.

Guests arrived and it wasn’t too bad. We all went to happy hour with that senior couple and then ate homemade chicken pot pie soup and salad. I made the soup myself in the slow cooker so I was proud we had dinner ready on time. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food, even the picky eating wife.

Helped Danny with biology notes. He wants to go over them again in the morning which is fine.

Don’t know what we will do tonight…maybe a movie in or a board game. I hate movies and board games. I cannot wait.

Day #6- Thursday

Today was a good day. Got up and went for that mile walk around the lake. Was excited as I have now exercised four times this month. A miracle! Then I got a shower (another miracle!)

We then drove about 40 miles to a very tiny town for a festival celebrating flowers. It was pretty small when we got there, but we enjoyed it anyway. They had flower cookies, brownies, chicken, and dip. The dip was pretty good and the chicken wasn’t bad. I’ll stick with regular brownies.

I missed happy hour as I took a nap. Then we went out for Mexican food and watched another movie.

Went over Danny’s notes with him in the morning. He texted later to say the test was easy. One more week of biology!

My back started killing me and I have no idea why. It seems really stiff.

Day #7-Friday

Everyone got up a little later and had breakfast about 8. We sat and talked for a while and then decided to go to a little town about 30 miles away for a hamburger restaurant with a really good reputation. We headed there, ate, and then walked all over at antique stores. Stayed there way too long in my opinion, as I was exhausted.

Came back, took a Klonopin and fell asleep.

They all went to the neighbor’s happy hour and then off to a movie. I told my husband I needed a break. So I stayed home and listened to an audiobook.

This Abilify is still getting to me. I am irritable on it. My husband was telling his usually stories I have heard 100 times and I was gritting my teeth. I felt like I could never get a word in. It felt like no one cared about my opinion on anything. I sulked for a while but got over it. I try to remember how patient my husband was with me when I was sick. But I am still sick of him hogging the conversation.

Tomorrow we get up, pack up, and head home. I’m ready. I miss my kids and pets.

talk to you soon,

lily

Wellness Warrior Reborn

Not going to lie, lately the number I’m seeing on the scale is distressing me. I’m currently about ten pounds higher than I was when I was diagnosed with bipolar and subsequently started on meds. I guess ten pounds in two years isn’t anything to complain about, but it’s pretty depressing to attempt to put on your favorite jeans and find you can’t get them past your thighs. Sigh. Having fibromyalgia means I’m limited in what I can do to keep myself in shape. My rheumatologist advised I shy away from high impact exercises, so my time as a runner seems to have come to an end. I do plan to pull out my bicycle now that the weather is better and I’m back into yoga and pilates.

There’s a moderately well-known saying that you cannot exercise off a bad diet. My diet, once really great at the time of my food allergy diagnosis, has slid into fatty comfort foods, super unhealthy convenience foods and too much candy. So, I’ve committed to improving my diet. Part of this includes adding a (gluten free) protein powder into my diet. No, I’m not trying to have huge muscles, but I have read several interesting articles regarding the use of protein powder as a successful treatment for fibromyalgia. And honestly, if I have a protein shake for breakfast rather than sugary cereal, that’s an improvement. Obviously, this is taking a lot of dedication and preparation. I’ve always seen food as a reward, as a comfort. I am an emotional eater, with a tendency to binge eat when I’m manic. Fortunately, I haven’t had a binge eating episode recently, but I definitely needed to look at my relationship with food. So re-vamping my diet and nutritional choices was long overdue. I also invested in a FitBit, which has been a great help. The app allows you to create a food diary, which is essential for me to lose weight. I also set an alarm on it to remind me to take my medications. You also can track sleep, calories burned and so on. It’s definitely worth the price, I find it to be motivating.

In addition to increasing my exercise and improving my food intake, I’m also researching alternative medicines, specifically ayurvedic medications. I have a wonderful co-worker who hails from Chennai and she introduced me to meditation (and the amazing Sattva app) as well as suggesting some ayurvedic herbs I might want to incorporate into my medication regimen. **please note, although I work in a hospital, I am NOT a doctor. I cannot recommend you take any supplements, please check with your doctor/psychiatrist as many herbs can interfere with medications.**  My psychiatrist changed my antidepressant a few months ago, after a particularly bad depression plagued with suicidal thoughts. So, here’s the list of medications I am on, as well as the ayurvedic herbs and vitamins I use, as well:

  • Depakote DR 250 mg twice a day
  • Fluvoxamine 50 mg at bedtime
  • Gabapentin 300 mg three times a day
  • Trileptal 150 mg every morning
  • Relpax 40 mg as needed for migraine
  • Vitamin B Complex every evening
  • Ashwagandha 2 capsules twice a day
  • Turmeric 1 capsule twice a day
  • Tulsi (Holy Basil)  2 capsules twice a day

I get all my ayurvedic herbs from OrganicIndiaUSA.com. You can also find Organic India products on Amazon, usually for a few dollars less. I do recommend visiting the Organic India site, you can read a lot about ayurvedic medicine there. I’ve been meditating with the Sattva app almost nightly. I find it’s really helping my sleep, and I have also noticed I can shut the negative dialogue off in my head a little bit more. It’s not completely gone, but it’s not so loud, which is definitely an improvement. So, am I turning into a hippie? Maybe, but truth be told, I always was one.

It’s going to be a long road to reach a sort of peace with my weight and body issues. I had a great period of confidence several months ago, and then I started noticing how tight my waistband felt on my scrubs, how sluggish I felt. I understand that a scale cannot measure my worth as a human, and fortunately I have some great friends who are supporting me and also making healthy changes in their own lives, as well. So much has to do with the ridiculous standards of beauty set forth by society, of our homogenizing beauty to blond hair, blue eyes, tan skin and a size 00.

Are there things you’re doing, either diet, medicine or exercise wise to help your conditions/disease/general well-being? I’d love to hear all about them, so tell us what’s going on with you in the comments!

Filed under: Wellness Warriors Tagged: acceptance, binge eating, chronic illness, diet, exercise, fibromyalgia, health, medication, nutrition, pain, pilates, yoga

Wellness Warrior Reborn

Not going to lie, lately the number I’m seeing on the scale is distressing me. I’m currently about ten pounds higher than I was when I was diagnosed with bipolar and subsequently started on meds. I guess ten pounds in two years isn’t anything to complain about, but it’s pretty depressing to attempt to put on your favorite jeans and find you can’t get them past your thighs. Sigh. Having fibromyalgia means I’m limited in what I can do to keep myself in shape. My rheumatologist advised I shy away from high impact exercises, so my time as a runner seems to have come to an end. I do plan to pull out my bicycle now that the weather is better and I’m back into yoga and pilates.

There’s a moderately well-known saying that you cannot exercise off a bad diet. My diet, once really great at the time of my food allergy diagnosis, has slid into fatty comfort foods, super unhealthy convenience foods and too much candy. So, I’ve committed to improving my diet. Part of this includes adding a (gluten free) protein powder into my diet. No, I’m not trying to have huge muscles, but I have read several interesting articles regarding the use of protein powder as a successful treatment for fibromyalgia. And honestly, if I have a protein shake for breakfast rather than sugary cereal, that’s an improvement. Obviously, this is taking a lot of dedication and preparation. I’ve always seen food as a reward, as a comfort. I am an emotional eater, with a tendency to binge eat when I’m manic. Fortunately, I haven’t had a binge eating episode recently, but I definitely needed to look at my relationship with food. So re-vamping my diet and nutritional choices was long overdue. I also invested in a FitBit, which has been a great help. The app allows you to create a food diary, which is essential for me to lose weight. I also set an alarm on it to remind me to take my medications. You also can track sleep, calories burned and so on. It’s definitely worth the price, I find it to be motivating.

In addition to increasing my exercise and improving my food intake, I’m also researching alternative medicines, specifically ayurvedic medications. I have a wonderful co-worker who hails from Chennai and she introduced me to meditation (and the amazing Sattva app) as well as suggesting some ayurvedic herbs I might want to incorporate into my medication regimen. **please note, although I work in a hospital, I am NOT a doctor. I cannot recommend you take any supplements, please check with your doctor/psychiatrist as many herbs can interfere with medications.**  My psychiatrist changed my antidepressant a few months ago, after a particularly bad depression plagued with suicidal thoughts. So, here’s the list of medications I am on, as well as the ayurvedic herbs and vitamins I use, as well:

  • Depakote DR 250 mg twice a day
  • Fluvoxamine 50 mg at bedtime
  • Gabapentin 300 mg three times a day
  • Trileptal 150 mg every morning
  • Relpax 40 mg as needed for migraine
  • Vitamin B Complex every evening
  • Ashwagandha 2 capsules twice a day
  • Turmeric 1 capsule twice a day
  • Tulsi (Holy Basil)  2 capsules twice a day

I get all my ayurvedic herbs from OrganicIndiaUSA.com. You can also find Organic India products on Amazon, usually for a few dollars less. I do recommend visiting the Organic India site, you can read a lot about ayurvedic medicine there. I’ve been meditating with the Sattva app almost nightly. I find it’s really helping my sleep, and I have also noticed I can shut the negative dialogue off in my head a little bit more. It’s not completely gone, but it’s not so loud, which is definitely an improvement. So, am I turning into a hippie? Maybe, but truth be told, I always was one.

It’s going to be a long road to reach a sort of peace with my weight and body issues. I had a great period of confidence several months ago, and then I started noticing how tight my waistband felt on my scrubs, how sluggish I felt. I understand that a scale cannot measure my worth as a human, and fortunately I have some great friends who are supporting me and also making healthy changes in their own lives, as well. So much has to do with the ridiculous standards of beauty set forth by society, of our homogenizing beauty to blond hair, blue eyes, tan skin and a size 00.

Are there things you’re doing, either diet, medicine or exercise wise to help your conditions/disease/general well-being? I’d love to hear all about them, so tell us what’s going on with you in the comments!

Filed under: Wellness Warriors Tagged: acceptance, binge eating, chronic illness, diet, exercise, fibromyalgia, health, medication, nutrition, pain, pilates, yoga

Wellness Warrior Reborn

Not going to lie, lately the number I’m seeing on the scale is distressing me. I’m currently about ten pounds higher than I was when I was diagnosed with bipolar and subsequently started on meds. I guess ten pounds in two years isn’t anything to complain about, but it’s pretty depressing to attempt to put on your favorite jeans and find you can’t get them past your thighs. Sigh. Having fibromyalgia means I’m limited in what I can do to keep myself in shape. My rheumatologist advised I shy away from high impact exercises, so my time as a runner seems to have come to an end. I do plan to pull out my bicycle now that the weather is better and I’m back into yoga and pilates.

There’s a moderately well-known saying that you cannot exercise off a bad diet. My diet, once really great at the time of my food allergy diagnosis, has slid into fatty comfort foods, super unhealthy convenience foods and too much candy. So, I’ve committed to improving my diet. Part of this includes adding a (gluten free) protein powder into my diet. No, I’m not trying to have huge muscles, but I have read several interesting articles regarding the use of protein powder as a successful treatment for fibromyalgia. And honestly, if I have a protein shake for breakfast rather than sugary cereal, that’s an improvement. Obviously, this is taking a lot of dedication and preparation. I’ve always seen food as a reward, as a comfort. I am an emotional eater, with a tendency to binge eat when I’m manic. Fortunately, I haven’t had a binge eating episode recently, but I definitely needed to look at my relationship with food. So re-vamping my diet and nutritional choices was long overdue. I also invested in a FitBit, which has been a great help. The app allows you to create a food diary, which is essential for me to lose weight. I also set an alarm on it to remind me to take my medications. You also can track sleep, calories burned and so on. It’s definitely worth the price, I find it to be motivating.

In addition to increasing my exercise and improving my food intake, I’m also researching alternative medicines, specifically ayurvedic medications. I have a wonderful co-worker who hails from Chennai and she introduced me to meditation (and the amazing Sattva app) as well as suggesting some ayurvedic herbs I might want to incorporate into my medication regimen. **please note, although I work in a hospital, I am NOT a doctor. I cannot recommend you take any supplements, please check with your doctor/psychiatrist as many herbs can interfere with medications.**  My psychiatrist changed my antidepressant a few months ago, after a particularly bad depression plagued with suicidal thoughts. So, here’s the list of medications I am on, as well as the ayurvedic herbs and vitamins I use, as well:

  • Depakote DR 250 mg twice a day
  • Fluvoxamine 50 mg at bedtime
  • Gabapentin 300 mg three times a day
  • Trileptal 150 mg every morning
  • Relpax 40 mg as needed for migraine
  • Vitamin B Complex every evening
  • Ashwagandha 2 capsules twice a day
  • Turmeric 1 capsule twice a day
  • Tulsi (Holy Basil)  2 capsules twice a day

I get all my ayurvedic herbs from OrganicIndiaUSA.com. You can also find Organic India products on Amazon, usually for a few dollars less. I do recommend visiting the Organic India site, you can read a lot about ayurvedic medicine there. I’ve been meditating with the Sattva app almost nightly. I find it’s really helping my sleep, and I have also noticed I can shut the negative dialogue off in my head a little bit more. It’s not completely gone, but it’s not so loud, which is definitely an improvement. So, am I turning into a hippie? Maybe, but truth be told, I always was one.

It’s going to be a long road to reach a sort of peace with my weight and body issues. I had a great period of confidence several months ago, and then I started noticing how tight my waistband felt on my scrubs, how sluggish I felt. I understand that a scale cannot measure my worth as a human, and fortunately I have some great friends who are supporting me and also making healthy changes in their own lives, as well. So much has to do with the ridiculous standards of beauty set forth by society, of our homogenizing beauty to blond hair, blue eyes, tan skin and a size 00.

Are there things you’re doing, either diet, medicine or exercise wise to help your conditions/disease/general well-being? I’d love to hear all about them, so tell us what’s going on with you in the comments!

Filed under: Wellness Warriors Tagged: acceptance, binge eating, chronic illness, diet, exercise, fibromyalgia, health, medication, nutrition, pain, pilates, yoga

Wellness Warrior Reborn

Not going to lie, lately the number I’m seeing on the scale is distressing me. I’m currently about ten pounds higher than I was when I was diagnosed with bipolar and subsequently started on meds. I guess ten pounds in two years isn’t anything to complain about, but it’s pretty depressing to attempt to put on your favorite jeans and find you can’t get them past your thighs. Sigh. Having fibromyalgia means I’m limited in what I can do to keep myself in shape. My rheumatologist advised I shy away from high impact exercises, so my time as a runner seems to have come to an end. I do plan to pull out my bicycle now that the weather is better and I’m back into yoga and pilates.

There’s a moderately well-known saying that you cannot exercise off a bad diet. My diet, once really great at the time of my food allergy diagnosis, has slid into fatty comfort foods, super unhealthy convenience foods and too much candy. So, I’ve committed to improving my diet. Part of this includes adding a (gluten free) protein powder into my diet. No, I’m not trying to have huge muscles, but I have read several interesting articles regarding the use of protein powder as a successful treatment for fibromyalgia. And honestly, if I have a protein shake for breakfast rather than sugary cereal, that’s an improvement. Obviously, this is taking a lot of dedication and preparation. I’ve always seen food as a reward, as a comfort. I am an emotional eater, with a tendency to binge eat when I’m manic. Fortunately, I haven’t had a binge eating episode recently, but I definitely needed to look at my relationship with food. So re-vamping my diet and nutritional choices was long overdue. I also invested in a FitBit, which has been a great help. The app allows you to create a food diary, which is essential for me to lose weight. I also set an alarm on it to remind me to take my medications. You also can track sleep, calories burned and so on. It’s definitely worth the price, I find it to be motivating.

In addition to increasing my exercise and improving my food intake, I’m also researching alternative medicines, specifically ayurvedic medications. I have a wonderful co-worker who hails from Chennai and she introduced me to meditation (and the amazing Sattva app) as well as suggesting some ayurvedic herbs I might want to incorporate into my medication regimen. **please note, although I work in a hospital, I am NOT a doctor. I cannot recommend you take any supplements, please check with your doctor/psychiatrist as many herbs can interfere with medications.**  My psychiatrist changed my antidepressant a few months ago, after a particularly bad depression plagued with suicidal thoughts. So, here’s the list of medications I am on, as well as the ayurvedic herbs and vitamins I use, as well:

  • Depakote DR 250 mg twice a day
  • Fluvoxamine 50 mg at bedtime
  • Gabapentin 300 mg three times a day
  • Trileptal 150 mg every morning
  • Relpax 40 mg as needed for migraine
  • Vitamin B Complex every evening
  • Ashwagandha 2 capsules twice a day
  • Turmeric 1 capsule twice a day
  • Tulsi (Holy Basil)  2 capsules twice a day

I get all my ayurvedic herbs from OrganicIndiaUSA.com. You can also find Organic India products on Amazon, usually for a few dollars less. I do recommend visiting the Organic India site, you can read a lot about ayurvedic medicine there. I’ve been meditating with the Sattva app almost nightly. I find it’s really helping my sleep, and I have also noticed I can shut the negative dialogue off in my head a little bit more. It’s not completely gone, but it’s not so loud, which is definitely an improvement. So, am I turning into a hippie? Maybe, but truth be told, I always was one.

It’s going to be a long road to reach a sort of peace with my weight and body issues. I had a great period of confidence several months ago, and then I started noticing how tight my waistband felt on my scrubs, how sluggish I felt. I understand that a scale cannot measure my worth as a human, and fortunately I have some great friends who are supporting me and also making healthy changes in their own lives, as well. So much has to do with the ridiculous standards of beauty set forth by society, of our homogenizing beauty to blond hair, blue eyes, tan skin and a size 00.

Are there things you’re doing, either diet, medicine or exercise wise to help your conditions/disease/general well-being? I’d love to hear all about them, so tell us what’s going on with you in the comments!

Filed under: Wellness Warriors Tagged: acceptance, binge eating, chronic illness, diet, exercise, fibromyalgia, health, medication, nutrition, pain, pilates, yoga

Wellness Warrior Reborn

Not going to lie, lately the number I’m seeing on the scale is distressing me. I’m currently about ten pounds higher than I was when I was diagnosed with bipolar and subsequently started on meds. I guess ten pounds in two years isn’t anything to complain about, but it’s pretty depressing to attempt to put on your favorite jeans and find you can’t get them past your thighs. Sigh. Having fibromyalgia means I’m limited in what I can do to keep myself in shape. My rheumatologist advised I shy away from high impact exercises, so my time as a runner seems to have come to an end. I do plan to pull out my bicycle now that the weather is better and I’m back into yoga and pilates.

There’s a moderately well-known saying that you cannot exercise off a bad diet. My diet, once really great at the time of my food allergy diagnosis, has slid into fatty comfort foods, super unhealthy convenience foods and too much candy. So, I’ve committed to improving my diet. Part of this includes adding a (gluten free) protein powder into my diet. No, I’m not trying to have huge muscles, but I have read several interesting articles regarding the use of protein powder as a successful treatment for fibromyalgia. And honestly, if I have a protein shake for breakfast rather than sugary cereal, that’s an improvement. Obviously, this is taking a lot of dedication and preparation. I’ve always seen food as a reward, as a comfort. I am an emotional eater, with a tendency to binge eat when I’m manic. Fortunately, I haven’t had a binge eating episode recently, but I definitely needed to look at my relationship with food. So re-vamping my diet and nutritional choices was long overdue. I also invested in a FitBit, which has been a great help. The app allows you to create a food diary, which is essential for me to lose weight. I also set an alarm on it to remind me to take my medications. You also can track sleep, calories burned and so on. It’s definitely worth the price, I find it to be motivating.

In addition to increasing my exercise and improving my food intake, I’m also researching alternative medicines, specifically ayurvedic medications. I have a wonderful co-worker who hails from Chennai and she introduced me to meditation (and the amazing Sattva app) as well as suggesting some ayurvedic herbs I might want to incorporate into my medication regimen. **please note, although I work in a hospital, I am NOT a doctor. I cannot recommend you take any supplements, please check with your doctor/psychiatrist as many herbs can interfere with medications.**  My psychiatrist changed my antidepressant a few months ago, after a particularly bad depression plagued with suicidal thoughts. So, here’s the list of medications I am on, as well as the ayurvedic herbs and vitamins I use, as well:

  • Depakote DR 250 mg twice a day
  • Fluvoxamine 50 mg at bedtime
  • Gabapentin 300 mg three times a day
  • Trileptal 150 mg every morning
  • Relpax 40 mg as needed for migraine
  • Vitamin B Complex every evening
  • Ashwagandha 2 capsules twice a day
  • Turmeric 1 capsule twice a day
  • Tulsi (Holy Basil)  2 capsules twice a day

I get all my ayurvedic herbs from OrganicIndiaUSA.com. You can also find Organic India products on Amazon, usually for a few dollars less. I do recommend visiting the Organic India site, you can read a lot about ayurvedic medicine there. I’ve been meditating with the Sattva app almost nightly. I find it’s really helping my sleep, and I have also noticed I can shut the negative dialogue off in my head a little bit more. It’s not completely gone, but it’s not so loud, which is definitely an improvement. So, am I turning into a hippie? Maybe, but truth be told, I always was one.

It’s going to be a long road to reach a sort of peace with my weight and body issues. I had a great period of confidence several months ago, and then I started noticing how tight my waistband felt on my scrubs, how sluggish I felt. I understand that a scale cannot measure my worth as a human, and fortunately I have some great friends who are supporting me and also making healthy changes in their own lives, as well. So much has to do with the ridiculous standards of beauty set forth by society, of our homogenizing beauty to blond hair, blue eyes, tan skin and a size 00.

Are there things you’re doing, either diet, medicine or exercise wise to help your conditions/disease/general well-being? I’d love to hear all about them, so tell us what’s going on with you in the comments!

Filed under: Wellness Warriors Tagged: acceptance, binge eating, chronic illness, diet, exercise, fibromyalgia, health, medication, nutrition, pain, pilates, yoga