The Privilege of Aging

Conflicted…still conflicted …but maybe less so…just a tad. Aging is a challenge for me, that keeps showing up every January 26th …to be truthful, every day that I pass a mirror and stop with surprise …wondering who that woman I see is🤣

“Every birthday is a gift. Every day is a gift.”

Aretha Franklin

The holidays are past …my guests arrived and departed this month …sick husband on the mend for a chest infection …and my own health challenges kept me from being as present here as I would have loved to have been …

Health becomes so much imperative as age demands it portion of our life …losing lean body mass (slowing down our metabolism) and bone density, if we do not make fitness a priority and a part of our daily life …

Honestly, I also ferociously deal with confronting the uncomfortableness of my aging looks …I absolutely detest the idea of being a frumpy old lady baking cookies …or sitting in a rocking chair knitting a scarf for someone …never been and never will …although that has been a hope by daughter carried for many years …

My hair has never seen more than a small sliver of grey since I saw my first one in my twenties …oh, that was a day to be rued …couldn’t change the thinning, but really cut short cuts are much cooler in the steamy hot summer months here in South Africa …no air conditioning is not a norm here and I ‘glow’ quite a bit more during the peak summer months …and that is one strange turnaround …celebrating my birthday in the freezing cold of midwestern life to a sweltering drippy humid kind of day …

Yet, I am finding that there is a relaxing to what is …microscopic but growing …and I am releasing the brittle mask that pinches and that I have held so tightly onto to try and fit into the expected societal norm …there is a gentler pace here and a more natural acceptance to life in general …when I relax and breath into the moment …shutting out the din of marketing …the unreal expectations that we see on television and all the social media outlets …

There is a quiet peace in acceptance and even a joy that bubbles up …this little ele loved blowing bubbles in his water …after all, sometimes we must create our own bubbles

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”

Sophia Loren

It is difficult saying good-bye to the “good ole ‘days” …it is an emotional and difficult one …besides the loss of youthful dewy skin and unbounding energy, losses in life start to become more prevalent …learning how to accept those with loving grace is not a straightforward process for me …a best friend and confidant in the US had a stroke that she will not go home from… we sent WhatsApp messages daily updating our weight progress and pitfalls …supporting the ups and down of life …I did not feel so alone here, even though we were eight hours and 2000+ miles apart …I am still reeling with the loss …

Yet, it is a part of life the is here to stay …as friends and relatives age …I desire to make friends with loss and grieving …looking with love at the memories and love that were shared …gratitude for the life that I have lived …the scars that have healed with renewed strength … it’s time to say goodbye to the physical youth, shed some tears and then optimistically embrace our ever-evolving selves …

That is part of my evolution …gratitude and being present in the moment …living whole heartedly and with wild abandonment (but then taking a nap 😴) …I can now become the wild woman that my soul has yearned to be …embracing the opportunities that are now available …I’m not stopping, but just starting to dance in the joyful creativity that I am able to pursue …the writing (a fantasy novel carried for eons, tapping to be let out) and photography (becoming a story teller of the beautiful of our world) …

Time expands with all the technology at our fingertips …and I can accomplish in my life now what would have taken years, when I started working …Photoshop is so much cooler than cutting and pasting, messy airbrushing and retouching on a lightbox with several magnifiers …yes, I am that old …

Now it is time to continue the path to health, so my years can produce what is within my heart and mind …and I don’t travel onward to my next journey, taking with me what I was meant to share and leave here…

“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.”

David Bowie

This is dedicated to my loving Mom …who I miss every day🥰 I know that she is happier where she is …

Wishing magic and “bubbles” for your day …sent with love from a fellow traveller ❣

The Mountain is Me …

Mountains are often used as metaphors of challenges that feel insurmountable and impossible to scale, as we stand at the bottom viewing the craggy and jagged edges, piecing the sky … cloaked with an insidious mist clutching, hiding the prize that we seek …

The mountain is not so much outside of myself, it is the ‘old ‘self within …the fears, the traumas, the coping mechanisms that became my tools of survival …the bedrock of my life …an obstruction that keeps me from the healthy life that I want to live …

I must become the heroine of my story. Mastering myself and in the doing, mastering the mountain that has loomed over the landscape of my life for what seems like a millennium …

The last couple of weeks have been a fascinating learning journey…after two months of one of an extremely stressful periods in my life …I felt like a failure for not being able to accomplish the desired result that I had dreamed of …I sat there staring at all the little broken in pieces of my heart …

The very day that I came back home …another punch in the gut with news that was life altering …so I just sat and cried, and cried some more …everything within me shattered …then I surrendered …there was nothing that I could do the change the outcomes …Logically, I know that as humans, we do not have control over some of life’s bumps …but I have lived a great deal of my life with the uncontrollable need to try to control situations and people in my sphere …out of the fear of lost, being alone without the capability to survive …

A stressful situation has always triggered anxiety and fear that sweet and Carby foods were able to sooth in the moment …the challenge of becoming healthier now at 60+ has many additional facets that have needed to be addressed …most so neurologically engrained that stepping out of the grooved ruts to build new pathways seemed most difficult, if not impossible …

My being stubborn does have its advantages sometimes …I have dreams and goals that have not dissipated into the midst of the grey hopelessness and depression that often surrounds me, causing me to fall off the mountain so many times … they keep tapping me on the shoulder …’you can’t give up,’ …’you have things to create,’ “people to love” …my obstinacy would raise its head and with bloody nose, broken bones, bruised knees (and my angel’s help) I would get up …to try one more time …

There are few obstacles in life that will not succumb to consistent, sustained, intelligent, positive action. When you are discouraged after you’ve failed at something, remember Edison’s 10,000 failures before he arrived at the solution that forever changed the world ~Napolean Hill

I sat several days with the breath knocked out of me …surrounded by all the broken pieces …sitting there, trying to get my breath back …I kept telling myself “breath in, breathe out,” “breath in, breath out” as I viewed each broken piece that glittered in the South African sun …strange creative thoughts arriving of what a beautiful mosaic they would make …I picked up a piece and gratitude filled my heart as I viewed the memory of that piece of myself …

I cannot tell you what magic occurred during the last two weeks …but the mountain disappeared, and a previously unseen path materialized in front of me …as I relinquished my control over what was and will be …opened my heart with gratitude for the wonder and gifts of each moment …

The path, my broken heart opened, will not be without perils, obstacles, and challenges …for that is what we call “life” …I have gathered all the broken pieces and carry them all close to my heart, in a bag embroidered with a heart❤ with gratitude…I am slowing down, taking one step at a time …embracing each moment with graciousness and peaceful thankfulness of the present moment …finding the way to my destination with less fear and apprehension …

Each extra unhealthy pound that I carry holds an old emotion, hurt, or trauma that I pushed down …to be released, I must hold them to the light of love …until they are transformed and released …the journey is one that may be arduous and painful at times …but less so, than the previous ones of scaling the mirage of that unscalable mountain that I viewed through all the years of listening to the ‘diet industry’ …

“The difference between a path and a road is not only the obvious one. A path is little more than a habit that comes with knowledge of a place. It is a sort of ritual of familiarity. As a form, it is a form of contact with a known landscape. It is not destructive. It is the perfect adaptation, through experience and familiarity, of movement to place; it obeys the natural contours; such obstacles as it meets it goes around.”

 Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Still maintaining the habits that assist me on the path, such as intermittent fasting, low intake of carbs, and less stress in my life …I had lost almost 5 pounds …Christmas Eve with my South African family and Christmas Day were bumps …a charming Christmas Eve dinner with family and a tearful ‘missing’ the traditional Christmas that I observed in the USA with my kids and family …

“Light is to darkness what love is to fear; in the presence of one the other disappears.” – Marianne Williamson

My Christmas gift to you is shining the light of love, sharing the knowledge that you are not alone in the darkness of your struggles in the tempetuous and wild storms of life …you are loved beyond your imagination …love yourself …hold yourself tight …the magic will appear …hold on my dear one❣

No Magic Spell🎇

What???????? No magic spell to cure ADHD and erase all the distractibility, and impulsivity that it drags along with this neurodevelopmental disorder. No wizardry that will ease the additional challenges that ADHD brings to the task of losing weight …

Self-regulation mechanisms – the deficits of self-regulation of attention, self-regulation of emotion, and the short-term memory are demons that I have struggled with …although now they are no longer phantom ghosts, I must now come to an acceptance of their reality for me, and find ways to banish them or at least keep them at bay …

They are like the sirens of old …singing the enticing music of beckoning carbohydrates …wrong signals about what is ‘right’ …the same deficit of impulse control that causes me to struggle with in interrupting conversations, making it more challenging to not respond to stress by stuffing myself with that wonderful dopamine feeling that is released with the sugary carby food that I crave in that moment …

I have hated myself for years …because I ‘knew’ what I needed to do …and sometimes for periods of time, I might have been able to contain the overwhelming desires …mostly through sheer willpower and situations that were supportive unbeknownst to me …but then the virtuoso’s that played the music in my brain, regained control …

I had come to have no faith or believe in myself …hate and self-loathing created such havoc …seas of despair ravaged my shores for decades …understanding the arduous tasks that must jealously guarded, give me the advantage of envisioning a possibility of reaching the shore of a healthy life…aka my the mountain top …so microscopic, yet it is there… but then I have lived my life in the embers of hope …my angels working overtime to keep the small fire burning in the midst of the gales of hopelessness that constantly blew across the landscape of my mind …

I have not come to terms with the diagnosis fully …I do not yet see the blessing or the positive aspects of having a non-neurotypical brain …it will take time to learn to love myself …A misogynistic father, a restrictive controlling cult and all my life challenges did not serve to plant the seed of self-love …I am not a victim to that anymore, and I will overcome this challenge, as I have others …

🤔 I have started researching the best way forward from where I am currently standing …just general scientific knowledge has shown the direct correlation between the fuel we put into our bodies and how the engine (brain) functions …the incorrect or substandard (Western type diet) will cause the circuits to misfire …

There are important ‘rules’ for me that I have found by testing and searching for the magic bullet with weight loss, which assist with my mental health …

  • Avoiding artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives in processed foods
  • Eliminating refined sugars. Who is surprised with that one😂The annoying refined sugar bugs impair brain function and really exacerbates my mood disorders …
  • Take Magnesium, B6, Vitamin D and Omega 3 (are helpful to me)
  • Morning Exercise. 30 minutes of an aerobic exercise that increases the dopamine to get me going in the right direction
  • IF 16 hours (intermittent Fasting). I don’t have to worry about what to eat or when to eat. I do always need to be mindful, to eat after that, because if I get too hungry, all impulse control goes out the window.
  • Support to keep me focused and on track. I recently enlisted a new trainer that is super supportive and understands where I am at …is gentle, yet still pushes me to go the distance. Being responsible to someone, other than my husband, is also a a supplement to the process
  • My ADHD medicine is necessary, along with support of a therapist that understands the struggle …

I had the ‘please, let me just die’ flu last week, so that did help with beginning the process of changing my eating. This week, I am focusing on creating exercise habits …it is more sustainable for me to start one habit at a time …

Routine is my secret weapon, it assists me with a sense of the time of day, as well as the day of the week, not to mention my goals and priorities. I don’t need to stress about what I need to do, when I need to do it …as much as I detest routines being a free-spirited Aquarian, it does increase my ability to cope and stay on my meandering path … And not every day lends itself to following the routine to the dots and tittles …but it is a skeleton that is flexible … perfection being unattainable, 80/20 is a lifesaving rule

  • Monday. Weight-In. 30 minutes 8am exercise. IF Fasting till 12
  • Tuesday. Gym Training 1:30 pm. IF Fasting till 12
  • Wednesday. 30 minutes 8am. IF Fasting till 12
  • Thursday is 8am exercise. IF Fasting till 12
  • Friday. Gym Training 1:30. IF Fasting till 12
  • Saturday. 30 minutes 8am exercise. IF Fasting till 12
  • Sunday is my ‘Rest’ Day…Breakfast and a fun day with my husband💕

There are additional changes that are in the wings …for flexibility and strength training …the trainer suggested swimming exercises classes at the gym and a ‘gentle yoga’ class …currently it sounds overwhelming … yet I only need take one day at a time…

Today, Friday is my second gym day …doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment …but a rung in the ladder …a step ‘at a time’ on this long trek toward the top of the mountain … with courage I am taking each day slowly and with a deliberate focus …as much as possible with an ADHD brain 😂

“Courage wasn’t a matter of taking the whole mountain in a single massive leap. Courage was taking it one step at a time, doing what was necessary now, preparing for the next step, and refusing to worry about whether some step in the future would be the one that would break him.”

– Timothy Zahn, ‘Star Wars’.

I am documenting this journey with ADHD and weight loss at the awesome age of 60+, so if there is anyone that feels hopeless and lost in the gloomy obscurity of life…I leave a little of myself to shine✨ in the mire of despondency that we all feel burdened with at times …

“Don’t feel alone, because there is always someone out there who loves you more than you can imagine.” – Anurag Prakash Ray.

Sending love for your day … love is the magic that creates possibilities where there appears only an abyss of nothingness …Although you may not know me, and I may not have seen you in this physical world …I know you are there, and I walk beside you …may these words wrap a warmth and comforting blanket around your heart …💌

The Abyss of Despair❣

The monster Fear grabbed by hand and led me to the edge of abyss of despair …wrapping its arms around my shoulder, whispering …”there is no hope” ….”Make it easy and just give up”…”the pain will be unbearable” … “there is no way around or through” …”You have always failed, ALWAYS” ….

A recent professional diagnosis of ADD (ADHD) encouraging me to fall to my knees, one more time …some close to me denying the diagnosis …saying that it was incorrect … I do not outwardly exhibit the symptoms that people typically think of as ADHD …I appear calm and peaceful on the outside … not hyper or fidgety …feeling alone because others in my life, do not understand what it means to have to struggle every day with the inability to stay focused and the myriad other mental challenges that ride the coattail of ADD …  “It’s like being a cat with 100 people with laser pointers.” ― Jamie Hynds

“They said I could pass as normal, that I was clever and no one would ever know. They lied. Not about passing. The lie was hidden beneath, in the desire for me to be the same as them. I am extraordinary. They should have helped me soar, be more of me, not less.” ― Anna Whateley

Anna Whateley

Trying to understand myself …I recently read that ADHD can Drastically shorten a patient’s life …”ADHD can reduce life expectancy by as much as 13 years, but its risk is reversible.” https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-life-expectancy …and the darkness enveloped me …shrouding me with the coldness of hopelessness …

That’s all I could focus on … ‘Drastically shorten‘ … “and much higher in women as men” https://edgefoundation.org/does-adhd-shorten-life-expectancy Here I am… enjoying the “best” years of my life, after finding ‘my knight with only moderately dented armor’ and I am being handed a notice of eviction from life sooner than I had planned on …fear saturated every nook and corner of my mind …then I took the keys back …

“As they have taught me, I believe that without asking, we are given all we need. We must have the wit and wisdom to recognize the strengths and tools at our command, and find the courage to do what must be done.”

Dean Koontz, Life Expectancy

The second part of the quote reads, “but its risk is reversible.”… and reading further, “mainly due to accidents” …due to our distractedness and impulsive thinking …I raise my hand 😱…falling after a shower with a nerve damage from a deep shin cut, because I wasn’t paying attention,my mind far away on thoughts of a possible photographic setup …

Although my primary concern is with the health of being at optimum weight for longevity …Hallelujah!!! I understand now, why even though I always have known what I need to do to lose weight and become healthier …I have never been able stick with a program long to lose weight and then keep it off …or lose some weight and then gain it back when life became stressful …

Not only are people with ADHD wired for obesity, but also struggle with the routines that support health …😫ADHD is an executive function deficit disorder …which in laymen means that we lack (in various degrees) the mental abilities that people need to actively pursue goals …our self-regulation …our self-awareness, self-restraint, the ability to hold things in our minds (how we picture things mentally), our internal monologues, emotional self-regulation, and self-motivation, and our planning and problem solving abilities .

My brain craves dopamine (as most ADD brains do) …the neurotransmitter that impacts mood …although exercise increases dopamine …so does the bread, chips, and sugar …which is so much handier and easier to get quickly …

Symptoms like impulsivity make us more prone to give in to cravings for high-fat, high-sugar foods. And the dopamine rush we get from carbohydrates and sweets becomes addictive; it feels as if our brain needs that grilled cheese sandwich.

By ADDitude EditorsJohn Fleming, Ph.D.Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D.

This week, it was heart wrenching to hear again that the one person that I rely on for support had given up on my losing the weight and being healthy 💔…what is more devastating is the knowledge that there is no way to explain sufficently the difficulty that I deal with on a daily …a minute by minute struggle …when I am actively doing my absolute best to do what I know is supportive of weight loss …even more of a struggle, because I am also in an incredible stressful situation currently …

I had no idea, how much the ADHD worked against me with this goal of becoming healthier …

ADHD creates problems with self-regulation — of attention, short-term memory, and emotion—that extend to food intake. Trouble with impulse control keeps people with ADHD from thinking, “I won’t eat that because it’s not healthy, and I will regret it later.” Instead, we grab an unhealthy snack without considering if it’s a good idea or not.

The ADHD brain has low levels of two neurotransmitters: dopamine (responsible for feelings of reward) and GABA (responsible for inhibition). We crave sugar to stimulate dopamine production. This, paired with a lack of inhibitions, can set the stage for weight gain. https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/adhd-weight-loss-tips

Still, possible …just more challenging …’Diets’ are not going to work …but that’s the case for even the 90% +/- of the world’s “neurotypical” … So where do I go from here???????????

It’s going to be one beautifully, blessed day …or minute, or second at a time …even a nanosecond, if necessary … because I have not come through burning hell to lie down now …I am determined to live … I will fight for that privilege with every breath that I have … if a few more scars are incurred…I am willing to pay that price …my scars are my beauty

Always sending love, happiness, and magic for your day … for those who are struggling …please hold on and find beauty in the darkness …it is there, if you search …You are never alone …I promise❤

“My thoughts are like butterflies. They are beautiful, but they fly away.”
― Anonymous

Should I Just Give In…and Up

Daily tripping over myself and rolling down this steep mountain…over bruising rocks and broken twigs poking holes and leaving long bleeding scratches in the skin of my soul and spirit… continuing fighting for a goal, that appears unattainable, every single day seems counterintuitive …so when is it pure foolish dogged grit and when is it time to let something go…

Photo by Sander Sammy on Unsplash

Is being a healthy weight at 66…almost 67…an unhealthy obsession? …I have fought with my weight issues for most of my life …starting with the dissolution of my first marriage …gaining weight as I stuffed emotions of every kind … feeling that I wasn’t worth loving …I was inadequate as a woman (my own Father pounded that in…I wasn’t a good enough woman to keep my husband from cheating …I had no skills to combat all the despair and depression …wanting to just to die because of the incredible pain that enveloped me every moment of every breath…

…I digress …this writing is not about delving into the situations that occured to cause emotional overeating …and more about where I go from here …I wanted so much to make this the “last” and final time to try and get healthy …I live with a vision of being healthy and fit …just sliding into a dress and not worrying about which lump or bump that might show …of being able to get up of the ground when I want to take a photograph from an inspiring creative angle… taking hikes with my Mr. P …and on and on …the desire is there

Thirty years of “dieting” hasn’t worked …there is always a stressful situation that arrives knocking on the door …that is the siren’s call of fatty, sugary, and carby beckons ….bringing all the comforting numbing and pleasure of earthly fare (however fleeting) whispers …you know …the legal substance to anaesthetize overwhelming emotional pain …

When I first arrived here in South Africa in 2019 …I weighed the heaviest that I had ever been in my life …and with support I lost 50 pounds …it was such an incredible feeling …it wasn’t easy …but walking, exercising, and low carb eating it came off without too much pain …although the first month my body ached every day as I started moving after about 3 years of dealing with PTSD and just surviving day to day …so, it is possible …

Then life smacked us all ridiculously hard with Covid lock-down …here, we couldn’t even leave the house for walking for a fleeting period of time …then my knight was diagnosed with colon cancer and the next year, and a half consisted of an overload of every conceivable emotion and anxiety that one deals with in this situation…topped with being alone in a new and unknown country with a new partnership …needless to say, that knocked me off the healthy lifestyle that I had developed …falling back to my lifelong coping mechanisms …

I have never fully recovered …and although I didn’t lose all the ground, I had gained with my endeavors …I am now in another challenging situation that is continuing to sabotage the loss that I had …and I am concerned …currently losing ground rapidly

So …should I just let go … and just say, “f*** it all” and just live the shortened life that I will have (if I give up) …

There are days that it feels that it might be such a relief to just float into oblivion of not caring anymore …

Yet …there springs the smallest flicker of hope that I can still beat this …so tired of fighting …is there another way to find peace and health at the same time …the paths that I was walked before …definitely didn’t lead me to the place that I wanted …just more frustration of failing one more time …belief in myself dissipating …

The situation is not going to change for a little while …it is a situation that I am caring for a young girl who is hanging on for her own life …I won’t abandon her when her loneliness and despair …I know too well her journey … her heart is beautiful and shines through …

So now what …unfortunately or fortunately …I have never been able to give up on something that is important to who I as a person …I still want a life filled with joy and happiness and the longer I ride this planet …the more glimpses of that magical joy I can stuff into my pockets of memories to warm me when life is cold and the blustery winds curl their tendrils around me …intent on pulling off the cloak of my peace …

The process has to be different than that the greedy businesses of weight loss tries to sell us …the pied pipers of the perfect body …companies that “peddle fad weight-loss products.” to line their pockets with the hopes and dreams of people believing the lies that are spun …

I know that there are no easy fixes …no quick diet …I do not have enough fingers and toes to count the times that I’ve believed and spend my blood and sweaty tears for a new hope filled scheme …

It’s only a long term…exercise and calorie deficit lifestyle …living life …80/20 and not perfection that laughs in my face with the impossibility …I have a meeting with a trainer that I meet with last week …not for losing weight specifically …but to increase those sly muscle tissues that keep disappearing somewhere in the wild blue wonder as I age …and the flexibility that would support less chance of injury ….yada…yada …yada…things we all know are important for a better life as we age …

Bottom line …I just want to feel a whole lot better than I do currently …and the rocking chair doesn’t entice me at all …is it too late …I don’t think so …as long as I have breath, it is not too late …more difficult, but possible …

I had tried a trainer last year …but it wasn’t the right fit …he was a buff guy that just knew how to do that …”buff up” …not a long-term, slow healthy journey…a sustainable lifestyle for the rest of my life …a lifestyle that supports the attainment of my goals and dreams that I still carry tucked away in the deepest dark corners of my mind from the prying and grubby hands of those that say, that I must release them and let them go …you’re too old …

I have worked really Damm hard to get this far in life …to survive … maybe not thrive as well as I would have liked …but I survived and that is a victory that I can celebrate …and I am not too old to be what I want to be or at least enjoy the journey …

So I am putting on my “big girl panties” …and go to work …one more time …”I can do all things through Him who empowers me” …maybe pure foolishness …but often in history, what the world saw as foolishness became a greatness that enhanced the life of others …

Sending so much love, laughter, and magic for your life ❣…

Here’s Looking At You 😁 from Penelope

Flying Free …

“If you want to fly in the sky, you need to leave the earth. If you want to move forward, you need to let go the past that drags you down.”

Amit Ray, World Peace: The Voice of a Mountain Bird

This is difficult writing …my diagnosis of having ADHD … I started therapy for support and tools for finding out why I could not climb the mountain of weight loss …and then suddenly, I found myself in the twilight zone … wrangling with a mixed bag of emotions that I am still untangling …

I’m 66 years old and just now finding out why I have struggled all my life is heartbreaking …Exhaustion, both mental and physical, has been a constant companion in my life…pushing hard to accomplish my goals and dreams …yet never quite attaining what I felt I could do … I would get tired and would give up for a period when I didn’t have the ‘umph” to try that day …yet, the minute ember of hope for my magnificent and heartfelt dreams would not die …

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” ~Ghandi

I mourn for all the self-hatred, self-criticism, low self-esteem …heartache for the impulsive decisions that cost me years of happiness …resentment and grief for the years that I struggled alone…sadness for lost opportunities … for thinking that I just wasn’t strong enough …a lifetime of depression …there is grieving to walk through …

Don’t recall. Don’t imagine. Don’t think. Don’t examine. Don’t control. Rest.

Tilopa

… Now there are answers and new shining possibilities … as I accept and understand what Adult ADD is, there is Hope …I’m not broken …it is a quirky, fascinating thing that’s just part of who I am; and is manageable …

“All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary” ~Sally Ride

I have only been on the medication for less than a week …and it already makes a difference in the goal of becoming healthy …before I received the diagnosis, I still had been trying to figure out why I felt mentally resistant to losing weight …and a part of the stubbornness and refusal to be consistent appeared to be from coming from the point of view of weight loss for beauty …or the common social media type of beauty …

Becoming thin for the accolades of people (in particular the male species) …for beauty only …seems to be more effective short term …and that does not work for the long-term healthy life that I want to create for my future… I am modifying my ‘why’s’ for climbing the weight loss mountain …

It takes a great deal of pressure off …it’s not about losing weight quickly for the vacation and then gaining it back again …but gradually learning new healthy habits that I can be consistent with day-in and day-out …changing how to relate to food so that it becomes an aspect of my life that I enjoy …that I don’t need to obsess about every single moment of the day …

A much easier path to take …longer and more circuitous …but the path is easier and less stressful to walk daily …for lifelong sucess, it will be the slow building of self-care habits … I started last week by Intermittent Fasting …not every day, but most days (80/20) make life more realistic …it’s been easier this week to maintain consistency …not worrying or tracking every bit of food …but learning to be conscious of what I eat …even enjoying a wonderful date night with my husband relishing wonderful flavors of well-prepared food …

Exercising began with just a 1-mile (15 minute) exercise in the morning …dog walking in the afternoon if not raining or recovering from a fall on slippery tile …last week was a definite win …not perfect, but I’m giving myself grace to not be ‘perfect’ …especially since it’s an impossibility …

I lost less than a pound …it’s ok …I moved forward toward my goal …this week is another step forward …a little more practice with consistency and just learning to function with my diagnosis …I read that ADHD can contribute to health problems such as compulsive eating, substance abuse, anxiety, chronic stress, and tension …all which causes emotional eating (in my case) …

I had lost hope of things working out the way I had dreamed (I am incredibly blessed to have my Mr. P and his loving support) …my big goals had been reduced to faint misty illusions …I had fallen into a tenacious holding pattern … just keeping my head above water, so no one knew how close to drowning I was…my dreams had kept collapsing …now there is a gleam of light through the streaky dirty window that my spirit looked onto the world with ….for me it now suddenly feels even more awesome and incredible …a beautiful journey ahead …

I have lived enough of life to know that it is not going to be all smooth sailing …but now I remember who I am … that my story is important, eternal, and sacred …I may have been taking the longer route … the sights along the way are going to be pretty incredible, now that I can see more clearly …

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “life is a journey, not a destination”

“Dance. Smile. Giggle. Marvel. TRUST. HOPE. LOVE. WISH. BELIEVE. Most of all, enjoy every moment of the journey, and appreciate where you are at this moment instead of always focusing on how far you have to go.”

Mandy Hale

A word of Advice from a dreamer …NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP! Life is challenging with its twists and turns …when you least expect it, the world will open into the most magical of places

This was a Magical Hidden Place in Hogsback, South Africa❣

“Life can be so unpredictable, always remember that!
The rain can pour down and the winds can blow hard,
sweeping away those peaceful moments you had.
It’s never the end of the world when things go wrong.
Just keep faith in yourself, keep going and stay strong.
Never give up on your dreams and never give up hope.”

― Mouloud Benzadi

Blowing magic your way with Love ❣ and Hope

Not My Monkey…Not My Circus

I almost laughed out loud when my therapist spoke those words aloud…I had been upset because I had been trying to control something/someone that I had no control over…being an Empath has always muddied the waters by feeling the emotions of others …always devoting my precious energy to trying to thinking, ruminating over and over …trying to control situations that I had no business trying to manage…partly to make everyone happy and in part, trying to control out of fear …an old childhood trauma reaction

“Not my circus” is code: you are not the ringmaster here. You can watch the show, and certainly decide whether you stay in that tent, but you cannot control what happens there. Learning which circus is yours can diminish your stress remarkably. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/depression-management-techniques/201412/not-my-circus-not-my-monkeys

Just love that passage…Backing off and relaxing the grip on the need to control everything and everybody within my sphere of influence feels like taking gulping in a huge breath of air after I’ve been holding my breath for eons…or what feels like eons

It’s never to late to learn better ways to navigate life…even if I was told that it’s “a little late to be learning” how to travel this plain of existence in a slightly healthier manner …or in my case, I just want my life journey to be happier and more filled with joy with the time that I have available …much better way to be available to give love to those who need it than from a depressed and sad place …

The recent path has been passing rather rapidly …the time feels long when I am in the work but the last few weeks …a down hill runaway train feels like a more apt description …just raise my hands and scream …I heard you should do that on a roller coaster to release the fear😂

I realize that there is still a decent amount of work to do to step off the brakes of life …I’m still ok with that …progress is progress and any amount is going in the right direction …so on I go


“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”

 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

As I continue to work on becoming a more balanced empath and controlling my own circus of magical unicorns, dragons and friendly lions …not worrying about what I cannot control and shifting to what joyful life I can create …there is still the view of the mountain of losing weight in my sight…

I took a break for a few months to find some balance and work at removing the rocks and boulders that kept tripping me up …I’m ready to try again …a firm believer that when you’re ready the teacher comes or the path is revealed …this morning was an “aha” moment …

There are hundreds…thousands of ways that the diet industry and every “Tom, Dick and Harry” suggest is the best way to lose weight and be healthy …the scientific community changes it’s opinion right and left also …and I’ve tried almost every single one of them …ashamed of the money and energy seemingly wasted on the endeavor …past is past

Anyway…back to this morning …talking to my friend that has been struggling right along beside me …she told me about her sister that had lost over 100 pounds in less than a year …and about the same age bracket …a light blinked on…

I had been reading an Instagram account of a younger woman who had followed the same basic principles …but I was skeptical that it would work for a post menaposual woman …those pesky hormones and all that …but here was a perfect example that the simplest solution might be the answer …

Both of these women did the same basic things … 1) Each day when they reached their calorie allotment, they quit eating. No food restrictions or special types of food. 2) Exercise. One 30 minutes of treadmill walking and the other an hour of fast walking. No special equipment. Just moving. 3) Tracking weight…one recorded their weight daily and the other weighed once a week.

So that is the plan to start climbing again …I’m rather excited to see what I can do…70 days till home USA

“Wouldn’t it be powerful if you fell in love with yourself so deeply that you would do just about anything if you knew it would make you happy? This is precisely how much life loves you and wants you to nurture yourself. ~Alan Cohen

Sending the gift of love and laughter…a peaceful heart filled with joy and sprinkled with the magic of a life❣

Burning to Emerge…

When I started writing about my “climb up the mountain” of weight loss…there was nowhere in my wildest and crazy thought processes that I could envision where it would take me on my soul’s journey…

 “Don’t hoard the past. Don’t cherish anything. Burn it. The artist is the phoenix who burns to emerge.” – Janet Fitch.

This segment of the path is not completed…yet, I have come further than I would have imagined in a short about of time…

Tears have fallen like a molten lead flame…rising from a broken heart…sliding from beneath my eyelids…the soul rendering grief as I whimpered…sobbed convulsively…moaned…and cried seemingly endless tears…the agony of grieving hurts like hell as the saltwater of tears burns through the wounds… burning past chapters of my life…some I have saved and hold tight within my memories…most I am burning and letting go…“Even a spineless arthropod sheds what’s no longer useful and leaves it behind them. Are you not greater than they?” ― Jason Versey

 “Darling, you’re not falling apart. You’re getting rid of the pieces that no longer serve your purpose, this is a surgery of the spirit, and it can be painful as hell.”

Kalen Dion.

Excess weight has been a survival mechanism that I needed…and I find myself still “eating” as a means of grounding myself when the world “feels” overwhelming…why?

Being an empath is difficult and has often felt like a curse, more than a blessing…how do I explain what an empath is…it has become a more commonly accepted way of being…so much that neuroscientists and psychologists now accept and use the term…

“The term ‘Empath’ has become popular in recent years, often used to describe someone with a higher-than-normal degree of empathy. Empaths absorb others’ energy to the point where they feel like an ‘emotional sponge’. They do not have the filters most people do, and they seem to feel other people’s stress and feelings in their own bodies”https://eggshelltherapy.com/empath/

Probably brought on due to the trauma of my childhood wounding and “growing-up” years…it became a survival mechanism that I needed to have to tune in to how my narcissistic parent (which is also caused by his own childhood wound) was feeling so I could do what I needed to be “safe”… Being empathic makes it easier to notice other people’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings

I didn’t understand what was happening and as life progressed and I continued to draw narcissistic people into my life…the emotional load became too much…I always felt overwhelmed and not grounded in my own body….the food that I have craved…are heavier vibrationally dense…foods and drinks that are processed and lost all of their natural energy…alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, GMO foods like corn or soy, soft drinks, beverages with added sugar, wheat and products containing gluten, unhealthy fats and oils…the added weight adding an additional benefit …serving also as an added blanket of protection…both physically and emotionally…


“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.”
― Anthon St. Maarten

So, what’s next on this journey…definitely continued healing…releasing the outdated offensive energy blocks (the pain and hurt) that I carried for years…and filling those empty spaces with more love…learning how to serve as an empath without losing my own identity…it is a process that I must be patient with and love myself through…

I had my first meeting with a psychologist last week to help guide me in this continuing expedition up the mountain…the first meeting was more about mapping out the journey of my life up until now …I was blessed to connect to the right one for me…her suggested reading was The Source written by a South African Tara Swart…“a neuroscientist and MIT lecturer that shows how science supports the Law of Attraction as a tool for discovering the authentic self”…

How synchronicitous is that…it is a rather exciting process for me…like the cage doors are opening and I can finally be free…do you have any idea of what even the thought of freedom means for the Aquarian freedom loving person🤣…like air…necessary

I haven’t lost any weight yet …but it really is ok…I will as I learn new skills to cope…and I know that my optimum weight is about 130…I have so many exciting things to look forward to…and losing the weight is just a fraction of the blessings that I am in anticipation of…

I choose to share the journey to be brave and bold …to view my scars is to know you are not alone …much love, joy, and magic for your day❣

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

 Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

There is a new story that will be written from the ashes of the old…

The Fork in The Road For the Empaths

Dear Empathic Soul

It is terribly challenging

to live with little or no filter;

To hear every drop of tears from near and far away;

To see human and non-human expressions of sorrow;

To every day have the world’s pain piercing through you;

To sensing the lies and hypocrisies when others don’t;

To feel trapped in your heightened sensitivity and perception.

At some point, you reached a fork in the road

where you had to decide:

Either to stay here with us, in this imperfect world, or you float up, dissociate, and leave.

I bet you have tried them all:

The spiritual bypassing, the closing down, the tuning out, the numbing using addictions, or dulling through drugs.

The desert offered transient tranquillity, but eventually led you down a path of emptiness, deep aloneness, meaninglessness and eventually,

despair.

Boredom is a result of fear—

It was all too edgy to sit with, so you left.

As you withdraw from the heartache, you also leave behind your hope and love.

At some point, you will reach another fork in the road

where you have to decide:

To stay, or to leave.

A yes or a no to the marriage with life.

The key to moving forward is ‘commitment’;

You either commit to being a part of humanity, or you divorce yourself from it all.

You might have thought that you were too weak, too porous, too soft

for such a commitment.

Yet something magical happens when you say ‘I do.’

The words clear your path, the intention gives you strengths.

How does this work?

By committing to staying with the world, you must also live with other people’s limitations and dysfunctions.

Then, you come face to face with your shadows and your own dysfunctional parts.

Your heart softens, and you learn the art of unconditional love and acceptance of yourself and others.

By committing to cohabiting a space with others, you deal with the daily irritants, inconvenience, and transgressions.

In doing so, you come to embrace life for what it is, rather than constantly trying to change it to the way you want it.

Eventually, you become strong.

With all the terrors comes glory.

As your commitment to the world ripens, it rewards you with richness, joy and strength.

So you were born an empath.

Where do you go from here?

Do you rise to the occasion, yield to the path that you were given,

let it shape you, and allow Life to use you as a vessel,

Or do you hide, shrink, and leave?

Ultimately, you root to rise

not because it is moral, or even particularly honourable,

But because it is the only way to go.

https://eggshelltherapy.com/empath

Walking the Path…

When I started writing about my weight loss journey…little did I know that it would take me through this dark journey…and never would have thought about sharing…but I do so in the hope that it may be a guiding star in someone else’s darkness…

I cry almost every day, right now …and often feel like I have no skin and my innermost being is raw … screaming internally with every breath of air…irrationally I am not depressed…I know that there is an end…this is only the beginning to a beautiful ending …this is the beauty of the darkness

 When you feel like you need to cry, when you want to just get it out, relieve some of the pressure from the inside – that is true pain. Because no matter how hard you try or how bad you want to, you can’t. That pain just stays in place. Then, if you are lucky, one small tear may escape from those eyes that water constantly. That one tear, that tiny, salty, droplet of moisture is a means of escape. Although it’s just a small tear, it is the heaviest thing in the world. 

Chase Brooks

The analogy that comes to mind is the treatment needed for third degree burns …my past traumas caused damage to the very depth of my being …I hadn’t realized the severity …I numbed the pain to survive…the best way I could …anaesthetizing the deep inner wounding and brokenness in whatever way I could manage… now the scar tissue must be scrubbed clean …and it hurts like the dickens …

Instinctively I knew that this healing would be painful …I humbly submitted to God that I would walk the path …it is my “valley of death” that I am walking through …not to live in or die here …but to walk through …releasing the infectious thoughts and beliefs that have kept me small and hidden (out of fear) …definitely, “It would be easier to keep playing life without being whole …it is done all the time …but that is not what I choose …

My first session with the a registered clinical psychologist and pastoral therapist is still about 10 days away …I am responsible for my own life and have been experimenting with spiritual practices to find what works for me …EFT tapping helps with anxiety …many people swear by its weight loss attributes … I haven’t gone that far with it yet definitely helps in several ways for me…

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

EFT Tapping has been used successfully in PTSD survivors … a lot like acupuncture without the needles …EFT uses fingertip tapping to apply pressure to the meridian points …points in our body which the Chinese believe that our energy flows through …

There are several steps …but the one that spoke to me first was the “setup phrase”… a common setup phrase is: “Even though I have this [fear or problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.” …affirmations are about what we want to become … not acknowledging where we are and loving ourselves in spite of those imperfections …

So much of my issues stem from not knowing how to love myself …something I never learned as a child to do …that statement I deeply and completely accept myself” along is very healing …self-acceptance even when I am not that “perfect” version of myself I feel I need to be to be accepted and loved …EFT tapping has worked for me in shorting the overload of anxiety when I use it …

Learning to heal the inner child …is my biggest challenge …. “adulting” is not something I really learned to do well …I had no role models …and my parents were unable to provide the knowledge I needed to navigate the world due to their own traumas …and being kept secluded in the cult” gave me no other options to come across any …

“When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us, so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves.” ― Jess C. Scott

Today I completed a YouTube Video Yoga for trauma healing …a gentle yoga not focused on hard poses to master …a way to safely connect with my body …slowly starting to release the lower vibrational energy that I have stored in my body …helpfully liberating tension

That is how I view the extra weight that I carry with me …a lower vibrational energy that I stored with every bite of food that I used to stuff anger, hurt, fear and all the other negative emotions and feelings that food helped me to manage in a more societal acceptable way …

“The fact is, all of us are living with the invisible wounds of some kind of war. Yoga helps you to let go of the things that don’t serve you anymore.”
Dan Nevins, yoga ambassador and US Army veteran

Tomorrow will be a new day …new hope …a gift to be opened with grace and gratefulness …this is not the end, only the beginning…there is a reason that I wear a butterfly tattoo🦋

Across the miles ..I send you love…with prayers for all the laughter and magic you can hold❣

Atomic Habits…

Atomic Habits…a book written by James Clear is one of the best books that I have read on the importance of tiny habits making a dramatic difference in our lives…

I saw my dietician last Friday…three days ago…I had gained some since I first saw her in February…but now I am in a different place…more aware of the emotional components in this process…I am so proud of myself.. I started the program the next day…not waiting and gorging all weekend till Monday morning…which is a first for me (a very good sign)

She has a different approach than I have been programmed to believe is the answer…she believes in a lifestyle of healthy eating…not a dieting mindset…Focusing on behavior…not just on diet…

Taking the time to make permanent changes to lifestyle…wanting to use the meal plan guide towards change…on practical lifestyle changes…Focusing on one thing at a time…identifying old habits and substituting new habits…aiming to follow the plan 80% of the time (the old 80/20 Rule)

“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.”

― James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

To lose weight at approximately +/- 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) a week…my Total Average Energy Prescription (for my Height/Bone Mass etc. is 4,500 Kj (it is still difficult thinking in metric versus imperial) 🤔

Daily Portion Distribution:

  • Carbohydrate (Starches) (4)
  • Protein (7)
  • Fat (4)
  • Fruit (1)
  • Vegetables (at least 3-5) Most vegetables are ‘free’ food items and should fill 1/2 the plate

Non diet goals is to try and exercise at mínimum 3 times a week …choosing something that I enjoy and is sustainable…

Back to learning how to navigate life all over again…the spiritual, physical, and mental without overwhelming myself in small sustainable steps…I’m not very good at that…the changing life gradually and in an integrated style…but, heah…I’ve tried everything else…and what’s the definition of insanity😂…doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results…

I have a goal…to traverse the mountain and reach the healthy goal of being at my optimum weight for me…but now I must develop the system that will take me there…

A lot of people want to lose weight (the same goal) …but the ones that achieve that goal are the ones that are consistent with their system…daily habits with small consistent improvements…the Japanese have a word for this “Kaizen”…”change for the better” or “continuous improvement”…

Today, I exercised…but only 10 minutes of yoga and 15 minutes (1 mile) of walking…that’s one system that I want to be consistent in…it makes my day so much better when I begin the morning with movement…

What system do you need to develop to meet your goal…to cross your mountain? May I suggest…read James Clear’s book or at least the summary…it’s lifechanging…or it was for me…

Lots of Love. Laughter and Magic for your day❣