The Whole Earth Overflowing

I just wanted a creation meme that wouldn’t offend anybody.
Ancient Astronaut Theorists tend to have a sense of humor.
Enter Giorgio Tsoukalos

So I’m still not necessarily recovered or up to par. I’m finally out of my cast but am stuck in a brace and splint and awaiting physical therapy. Again. I’m also still dealing with some stitches. Today was supposed to be my follow up on surgery but I woke up at 5 this morning throwing up so that didn’t happen. But all this time divided between sleep, vicodin, and not really a lot to do has given my brain plenty of time to wander so of course I start pondering theology, cause who doesn’t when they’re bored, right?  Anyway… I could go into a long story here about a conversation that inspired this post but all it would really amount to is me calling someone stupid, and instead of that I decided to make a Learn Something post today.  Soooo, in order to accomplish that endeavor while still feeling miserable I decided to utilize a Powerpoint that was made for my Anthropology of Religion course some years back.  I hadn’t ever anticipated sharing it with a wide audience (not that this is really a wide audience) so suffice to say none of the images contained within are owned or copyrighted by me, I only researched it, wrote it, and picked images out of Google.  So you can find their sources on the last page if you’re interested. (Props to whoever made the lego God image, it’s pretty awesome.)

If you ended up here searching for Anthropology of Religion Powerpoints you’re welcome to view mine as an example (my professor is actually using it as an example of how to do things “right”, woo! not too shabby for my first ever Powerpoint) but for real, go make your own. All Rights Reserved on intellectual property and all of that, plus you’re supposed to learn stuff in college, you’re paying enough money you should learn stuff.

But without further ado, I give you two stories of creation:

Origin and Creation


A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Let Creation Sing (Live)
Album: God He Reigns

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‘Til the Heavens Stop the Rain

Article by guest blogger A.F. Brat

Touch: Powerful Medicine, Powerful Toxin, or It Depends?

Love Languages

Have you heard of Love Languages? Dr. Gary Chapman has degrees in Anthropology and Theology and is a Senior Associate Pastor at a Baptist Church in North Carolina. He wrote several books and created a theory of communicating love that makes sense to a lot of people. (The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your MateThe 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, etc.)  He also publishes a free quiz that you can take to discover your own love language.

Chapman believes there are five ways that we can express love to our loved ones. The interesting thing to understand is that most of us grew up learning some version of the Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or treat people the way you want to be treated. It would make sense that when we get into love relationships that we take that rule and magnify it. Our love relationships are pretty significant relationships with a lot of emotion and our most vulnerable self laid out there to be rejected or revered. So we treat them the way WE want to be treated and expect that should work really well. However, just because we believe that if someone loves us they will express it a certain way doesn’t mean that our partner shares that belief. It could be that they are just as certain that there is another way to best show love, and they are just as positive as WE are that THEY know how a person will act if they are expressing true love. So knowing our own love language and that of our partner can really help us to understand what’s being communicated in a relationship. The five love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. The key is to express our love to our partner using their language, while they express love to us using our language. (I’m not sure what that’s called – but it’s not the Golden Rule.)

Unwelcome Touch

Much can be said about all of the languages, but today we are going to give a little thought to touch. Obviously, as we just said, not everyone is going to think that physical touch is the best way to feel loved. For some people that’s fifth out of the five, and is NOT their choice for receiving affection. There are definite cultural differences and norms related to touch. And for some people, especially people with chronic health problems, including Fibromyalgia, touch can be painful and unwelcome – even when offered by loved ones. Allodynia is a heightened sensitivity to touch, which results in pain from things that normally would not cause discomfort. “This increased skin sensitivity and pain from touch is hypothesized to occur for a number of reasons,” says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, medical director of Fibromyalgia & Fatigue Centers. May 21, 2012. And sometimes touch can be downright creepy if someone’s intentions are not loving or pure. It’s okay to clearly and emphatically decline touch when it’s not welcome or respectful! And some cultures and genders have specific rules about who can touch and where they can touch! Men seem to have the least comfort and Finns are surprisingly the MOST open to touch.

Development and Growth

But if we assume that touch is not aversive to someone – what do we know about how touch might be a source of healing and growth? Reports from orphanages in the early 1900’s taught us about a condition called Failure to Thrive (FTT). Babies who were not held or touched failed to grow and develop and as many as 1/3 died. Bodies are complicated and there are many hormones that are triggered by touch, and the lack of touch and lack of hormone stimulation is thought to be the cause of this early failure to grow and even death. Failure to thrive in human infants has been shown to result from lack of individualized, nurturing, physically affectionate parental care, whether in an orphanage or due to extreme parental neglect.

On the other hand, touch of other humans can create improved health and well-being.

This little video describes the health benefits of hugging trusted people, pets, and even a particular plant! Our hormones thank us when we open up to healing touch and hugs.

Free Hugs!

If you have been a little resistant to hugging and maybe wondered a bit about those who seem to like it, do yourself a favor and watch this Free Hugs video:

What do you notice? What resonates with you? How does this affect your mood? And then another brief video made after the Dallas Police shootings a year ago.

Is a hug potentially powerful medicine after a traumatic event? I believe it can be. You?

A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Touch Me
Album: The Very Best Of The Doors (2CD)

A huge thanks to today’s guest blogger for helping to keep the page going while I recover from surgery!


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Sometimes Is Never Quite Enough

I’ve officially hit the part of summer where I’m dealing with crippling depression (no, I don’t want you to call me to talk about how depressed I am) and right now have too much adding to my misery to feel good about anything, including where to take this blog.  I know I said July we conquer the world. And I do conquer every summer, blog or not, so that will still be the case, but I don’t know how to go about things in relation to the page right now.  I feel like my past several entries everything I write someone is taking exception with and while I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable and open someone is contacting me every time to tell me that I’m just wrong.  So I don’t feel like I’m being helpful or inspirational, and I don’t feel like I’m comfortable being open, and even as I type this I worry about the call that will come telling me that they try to help and can never do anything right and fail to acknowledge or implement my feedback on how I feel and make the problem about them and how bad they feel instead and frankly that’s a pretty shitty way to feel about going in to writing any blog entry. I either address that I’m feeling bad about the way that interaction is happening in relationship to this environment and then feel bad for expressing it, or I don’t address it and let it continue and go into every post I want to write knowing I’m probably going to get a phone call making me feel like crap about it.  It’s a frustrating position to be in.

Last month was supposed to be our recap and refocus month but because of unplanned travel I bumped that to this month and promised there would be new content with it.  My intention was to start adding some vlogs here and there to keep things interesting, and in particular to show some of the challenges I face.  Right now my leg is in a cast and the idea of setting up a vlog area sounds like a lot of work when it hurts to stand or walk or drive and I’ve had to do too much of all of the above.  I also have oral surgery on Wednesday which I forgot was coming so soon and will negate my ability to talk clearly or be sober and awake for at least a few days if not much longer if it gets infected like it did the last time we tried this surgery.  That was quite probably the worst physical pain I ever experienced and I don’t want to go through it again and I’m more than a little terrified.  And I’d really like to let them put me under for the surgery, but I have no one to drive me and they can’t put me entirely out because of the tachycardia. So. I just get to watch my bone and blood going everywhere, and that’s fun.

Summer is a bad time for me and has been for years. Kicking off with mother’s day I get a whole month of reminders of my miscarriages and the kids I want and don’t have, followed by Father’s day in which I can now officially know that my father doesn’t want me and refuses to talk to me at all, followed by neighbor kids being out of school so just making excess noise all day every day while they remain unsupervised and I get to sit here hoping they don’t vandalize my car again, followed by Independence day, which out here past the city limits means 3 months of morons with fireworks exploding them over my house, or in some fun cases the field behind my house. Nevermind how prone to fires Colorado is on any normal year and that this year we didn’t even get a real winter and are dry as all get out.  I do not like fireworks, I have never liked fireworks, even as a kid when I was told to sit and watch them and have fun like other kids I was terrified.  That whole autistic overwhelmed by sensory input thing means both the noise and the light and the rapid fire succession of fireworks makes me want to die.  Then there’s the 90 degree weather everyday that Colorado isn’t supposed to have, but we totally do this year.  Add that to the inability to take a proper bath or any kind of shower with the cast and I’m sweaty and gross and miserable all of the time.

So I’ve spent the past week and a half that I’ve been in the cast (which I was not expecting and not prepared for) trying to figure out what to blog about this month that won’t just be regurgitation of month one and won’t get me phone calls that make me feel like I should resign from the project altogether. I don’t want to do that. There are people that have also contacted me telling me how much this extravaganza has helped them (admittedly when we were newer and I was doing a better job of daily entries) and that is what this is all about, so I’m stil committed to making it happen, but I think my conquering the world this month may end up being a more medical endeavor on my part than I had hoped.  Provided surgery and ankle issues resolve without further complications this may be a minor set back, if surgery in particular goes badly it could be a very big one. So.  At this point I’m going to request two things from y’all:  1)  If there’s anyone who wants to take over the responsibility of writing for July, let me know, I’d appreciate the help.   2)  If not but you have ideas of what you’d like to see me write about, let me know that too. I do best when I have a theme to stick to, and I think at this point if I can make them more generic and less about my own experiences so I don’t feel so beat down by the reactions my personal posts get, send them on over and on the days I’m not entirely in a medicated coma I will work on them.

Happy Independence Day weekend to our US members.  Stay safe and remember what we’re really celebrating.

 

A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3:Perfect
Album:Jagged Little Pill

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Sparkle, Bubble, Get You In a Whole Lot of Trouble

Quick, don’t think about it, what’s your best physical feature?  Did you say eyes? Everyone says eyes. I used to say eyes too.  Because really, I have blue eyes with a ring of gold flecks around the pupils. How awesome am I?  I’m one of those rare genetic mutants with the blue eye gene, I’m special!  Except that I have to hide them behind glasses so no one ever notices them until I take them off, and then I’ll get some fool trying to hit on me complimenting my “green eyes” and then I get irritated because while green eyes are lovely, my eyes aren’t green, so it’s a pretty quick way to show me you’re just giving me a line.  And when it was super trendy for everyone to have profile pictures that just showed their eyes:

I thought lots of them were pretty and decided to see what I’d come up with if I did my own.  Eventually I determined I was coming up with ridiculous and it became a comedy photo session that no one has seen any part of until now:

By the time I’m mean-mugging the camera there I was already well aware that nothing was coming out the way my head envisioned and I may as well have some fun.  Those last two mostly never got shared because my skin is so awful, otherwise I’d be fine with them for the sake of amusement.  And hey, wouldn’t you know it, on my computer monitor… my eyes look green.  But I do promise they’re blue.  Anyway.  I fail at makeup.  My skin fails at makeup, but so does my ability to apply it.  Both eyeshadow and liner in those pictures are a charcoal grey. Every time I wear grey eye products people comment on my blue eyeshadow :\  I like blue eyeshadow, but it’s not what I’m going for with conservative grey and I’ve had some harsh comments about it.

When I was a teenager, I never let anyone see me with my glasses on, ever. I was incredibly self conscious about it and once everyone found out I had glasses, my long-term (for High School) boyfriend convinced me I had to put them on and show our little group what I looked like in them and he had this huge excited reaction about it and I’ll never forget him saying “You look so smart!” because I AM so smart and it was weird to me that he wouldn’t have noticed that until I put something extra on my face.  Eventually while I was with my ex-fiance I was wearing my glasses much more frequently and he actually told me I wasn’t allowed to wear contacts because my eyes look too much like my dad’s and he didn’t want to see my dad in me so I needed the glasses to hide them some.  I had major huge self esteem issues about that when I was planning the wedding and everyone wanted me to wear contacts and I was all “But he doesn’t love me with contacts!”

Do NOT let people tell you how you can or can’t look.  I love my dad, I love that I have his eyes, my ex can suck it and I should have said so at the time.

However, after a number of products with skin tightening serums and under eye bag removal creams and allergy pills and whatever I could come up with, what I have learned from trying to be less autistic (ha) and looking at people’s faces more, is that my eyes aren’t set in my face the way the majority of people’s eyes are.  I have what are called protruding eyes. (Do NOT google that if you are squeamish about eyes like I am, it will show you a much more severe kind of protruding eyes that are actually bulging eyes and that I wish I could unsee.)  And if I’ve been crying they swell to the point where I look rather like a frog. Even (especially) if all the crying was done the day before.

Having protruding eyes is a big part of why eye liner always seems to look ridiculous on me.  When I try to use it I always either end up looking like I have two black eyes or that I have super-massive exhausted bags under my eyes and have colored them in.  I cannot tell you how jealous I am of girls that can do winged eyeliner.

I have adored that look since being a tiny child and thought I’d never get to wear it just because it went out of fashion and would look outlandish, but it’s back, and I still can’t do it, because my eyes do not sit flush with the rest of my face so my wings have to go down then up and it just doesn’t work. I also went through a phase (that I might still be in) that convinced me I NEEDED eyelash extensions because every single woman on the Bachelor franchise has them and these are supposed to be the most beautiful people America has to offer up to a single man, right?  But google tells me that eyelash extensions look ridiculous on protruding eyes. And since I haven’t had a new pair of contacts in 12 years if I did get eyelash extensions they’d probably just run into my lenses and be obnoxious.  But oh how I want them.

It’s funny, I’m not usually into fads and trends but I seem to be all about ways to enhance my eyes, and not a single one of them does me any good, with the exception of the tip that brown eyeshadow works best with blue eyes. I have no pictures of that on myself, but it does seem to be the case.  I want to wear glittery eyeshadows in fun colors though, and glitter shadow is BACK (I could not find it anywhere as a teenager and was advised to “just use body glitter” which was a mess.)  Google has informed me I’m not allowed to do that with protruding eyes either but that may well be one where Google can go to hell, I want my glitter. That will hide behind my glasses.

So, I guess my point is, that while I’ve never seen a (non-medically or drug affected) pair of eyes that I didn’t think were absolutely beautiful regardless of colour or shape, I have a lot of self esteem issues about my own.  Cause I let stupid boys tell me what was and wasn’t okay about my face when I was a stupid girl, and I’d never heard anyone complain about anyone’s eyes before so I thought mine must be something extra terrible.  Maybe they are, I don’t know, but they’re my eyes and I love them and I need to learn to appreciate them, even if I do have to sacrifice all my cosmetic dreams.  And apparently I may be alone on this struggle to feel good about my eyes, because I wanted to share a youtube video for eye self esteem affirmations or hypnosis or subliminal messaging or anything… and there isn’t one.  Except a woman who looks very stressed out with a video entitled Lazy eye & self-esteem – How to treat people, and I’m not gonna open that one because the thumbnail makes me think she’s going to be yelling at me, and I don’t have a lazy eye, so…. *shrug*

So, for today, give yourself some eye love with cucumber slices or tea bags or fancy makeup or under eye cream or serums or whatever makes you feel good about your eyes, or relaxes them when they’re tired or strained.  And then my request to you is to tell us what you love about your eyes, and if you can think of some positive eye self esteem affirmations, comment with those too.  And anyone with protruding eyes like myself, please understand that I am NOT saying anything against your eyes. I was being quite literal and honest when I said I’ve never seen a pair of eyes that I didn’t think were lovely.  Like I said, I have my daddy’s eyes, and I love them on him, I just struggle to make it work for myself, and I do think it all stems from listening to an abusive jerk.  So if you have protruding eyes and want to tell me any of your secrets for how to make them look their best I’m all ears 🙂

If I’m being honest, I really prefer eyebrows more anyway 😉

A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Them There Eyes (Single Version)
Album: Instant Party: Let’s Swing


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Flow It, Show It, Long As God Can Grow It

Hair has been on my mind lately (no cheesy pun intended.)  When I think of my best features, I think of my hair first, but then I conclude that it’s really only special because it’s long and sometimes I put fun colored streaks in it.  Otherwise, historically when I’ve gone to the salon for a trim they complain about the length, tell me I’m “naturally frizzy”, tell me I should have bangs to hide some of my face, take off many more inches than I have authorized, and in one case started giving me unauthorized long shag layers until I saw my hair on the floor and started crying.  All I had authorized her to do was give me side swept bangs and take half an inch off the ends of the rest.  That was my last trim, and that was around 8 or 9 years ago.

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My hair was really nice when I was little, light sunbleached blonde from running around in Texas, straight unless I slept in curlers, nothing to complain about except when my mom would cut my bangs.  I dunno how mom hair cuttings always manage to be so completely crooked.  But it seems to be universal. Mom cut bangs either go at a 45 degree angle or start out cut clean up to the top of your forehead.

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Then sometime when I was 6 or 7 one of my neighbor friends showed up with a spiral perm that looked AMAZING.  I was fascinated by the idea of perfect spiral curls without having to sleep with things attached to my head and determined that I needed this in my life.  It was a battle, largely because when asked for it at the salon they said my hair was too long and would have to be cut.  Obsessive girl that I am I kept asking till I won out and got my hair cut, and eventually my perm.  I looked very much like a poodle who’d received a bad shock.

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Sometime in the 4th or 5th grade a boy in my class told me I needed a perm.  I told him I had one and that that was what was wrong with my hair.  I had no knowledge whatsoever that to him, as a black kid, a perm meant something else entirely and he was telling me to get my hair straightened.

When we moved to a new state midway through the 5th grade I got my first pair of glasses.  The other kids started calling me “Garth”, referencing Wayne’s World, because I had glasses and blonde puffy hair. And probably lots of awkward facial expressions, cause that’s who I am.

 

That picture is actually 6th grade I believe, so I had lost a lot of the perm by then and switched to thinner framed glasses, but can still thank my mom for the awesome feathered bangs <3  That perm was a hard lesson learned.  What looks beautiful on someone else, will not necessarily look beautiful on you, and you need to follow your own individuality when it comes to style.  I cried a lot over the Garth comments, even though Garth is super awesome, because I didn’t want to look like a man, and certainly not an awkward man.  Mind you these guys making fun of me and calling me Garth were the same guys that were making inappropriate comments about my T&A and how I’d hit puberty before the rest of the girls, and constantly poking at my butt with pencils if I dared to have a chair in front of them within their reach, and snapping my bra band against my back if I dared to walk in front of them.  Adolescence is a painful confusing time.  Maybe more so in North Dakota because there wasn’t a damn thing for kids to do so they spent a lot of time being awful to each other as entertainment. But I digress.

Anyway, that year my parents had pity on me moving to another new state and not really having any friends and rented out the on base pool for me to host my birthday party with all of the girls from my class and one or two that I knew from family connections.  The only black girl in my class declined the invitation because she had some kind of function that she needed to go to the next day or something so she didn’t want to get her hair wet.  I didn’t have a concept of ethnic differences in hair at that stage of life and felt rejected and like it was a really lame excuse. I still don’t really know what’s wrong with getting a black girl’s hair wet, just that I’ve heard it mentioned from other sources too. If Tyra Banks says it it must be true, right?  But why is there no cultural education for kids to understand each other better?  I think the closest thing we ever got was assigned reports on Hanukkah and playing with dreidels, which is actually kind of weird when I think back and am not sure I ever encountered a Jewish classmate in any of my 13 schools.

In 7th grade it was into the 90s era where wedges and other adventurous hairstyles were fashionable.  I was always told I had really thick hair (I don’t really, I just have a big head so I have a lot of hair) and that year one of my stylists asked if she could shave the back of my hair to make it thinner.  It got the approval from my mom and despite being very nervous I decided to go for it and was really happy with how much lighter my head was and how soft the shaved part felt and you could only see it if I wore a ponytail so it was no big deal if I decided I didn’t want it seen on any given day. I was excited to show it off because it was probably the first time I ever changed my appearance in a way that I liked.  Upon getting to school I excitedly told the first “friend” I saw that I had shaved the back of my head. Her response was “I know. It looks stupid.”  She hit me up on Facebook back when I very first made the jump over from Myspace.  Turns out a decade later she was still kind of a jerk.

In the summer between 7th and 8th grade I got lice for the third time in my life.  I think I had a habit of making friends with kids that were kind of poor and maybe not as closely parented as I was and being girls we always had sleepovers and did makeovers and shared hair products and all those fun things, but by that time I couldn’t handle another day of sitting in the bathtub for hours on end while my mom ran that tiny little comb through that awful smelling shampoo and there was nothing to do but sit and be miserable. So I told her to cut it off.  And for the second time in my life my long beautiful hair got chopped to my chin.  I was comfortable with chin length, but when we were done with the lice treatment on the remainder and went to a salon to have it “evened out”, it went from chin length to closer to earlobe length.  There were no compliments on that look either.  The only reaction I remember at all was my long term crush riding up to my house on his bicycle and saying “Why did you chop all your hair off?” I don’t remember how I answered him. I know I didn’t say “Because your sister gave me lice.” But whatever I said ended the conversation and off he went.  I had the summer to get it back down from my ears to my chin, but as you can see, I was still not happy about it at all.

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About a year and a half later at 14 I had convinced my parental unit that having colorful streaks in my hair would not bring the world to an end and I happily rocked 3 purple grape colored streaks around my conservative military town.  It, along with the rest of my fashion statements and charming personality of course, attracted me a little following of groupies that went around wherever I happened to wander, but I got ugly cat calls and names from the jocks and “good kids” in the hallway, and a girl sitting behind me in 9th or 10th grade English started talking about me like I couldn’t hear her and said if she had purple hair her parents would kick her ass. Then revised it to if she had purple hair she’d kick her own ass.  People judge each other on the weirdest things.  I still don’t quite know how my purple and blonde mixture offended or affected this girl that I didn’t know.

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That just doesn’t look threatening to me.  Since then I’ve done a lot of time fully blonde, but still frequent moments of purple, green, pink, and/or blue streaks mixed in. I enjoy it. It makes me feel like a My Little Pony. And now that everyone does it I don’t hear about how I should kick my own ass.  And I’ve never again allowed for a real haircut. Only trims. With the exception of the unauthorized layers.

And that’s more or less the full evolution of my hair.  Contrary to what digital cameras would have you believe, I am not and have never been a redhead.  My natural color is dark blonde, and is still extremely affected by how much sunlight I get. I get none so right now it’s pretty much light brown, except that if I spent any significant time outside it would go back to blonde.  But not having had my hair trimmed in those 8 or 9 years has got it looking lifeless and dull and weighed down and doing that natural frizz thing that stylists like to inform me of, which I still blame on the perm all these years later, though a significant portion of it is that I play with my hair a lot and take it up and down many times a day so of course there’s breakage and I have these little strands that have broken off that like to stand up and wave around in the breeze enjoying their freedom to the fullest. So I’ve been contemplating that trim and MAYBE seeing if I can get someone to do those side swept bangs without cutting off all of the rest of my hair.  But I haven’t done anything with it because I don’t know where to go or a stylist that I would trust.

So I’ve been agonizing over my hair problems.  Then today I read this article:

10 Times Schools Failed To Embrace Black Girl Students

And I’m back to feeling like I don’t understand different ethnicities hair as well as I’d like to, and that my hair problems are pretty minor in comparison.  My little half/adopted sister is biracial and when she was little her mother (not mine) used to either never brush her hair or if she did she’d just tear a brush through it so hard without any regard to how much it was hurting her that to this day she’s still completely against hair brushes.  Before I moved out I would wet her hair with a spray bottle and brush it gently and let her do the same to me to try to teach her it wasn’t supposed to be a bad or painful experience, but she has some disabilities and is now an adult who will not brush her hair.  She’s had weaves and braids and all manner of things to try to help, but in the end she just keeps it cut short and lets it stick out however it might, and I wish I knew more about how to help her.

I think my hair would be very curly if I were to cut it short and lose the weight of it at this stage in my life, it acts like it wants to take after my mom’s if I would let it.  My mom has beautiful hair, but my face can’t pull it off.  But it’s heavy enough now that it mostly stays very straight or curls from being worn up in a bun all the time so just very big soft curls.  I’ve never had extensions, but I used to have a friend who liked to cornrow it for me (I don’t want to hear about cultural appropriation, I’m allowed to have braids in my hair, no one owns that) and it would take hours and hours and the coconut oil definitely was a pungent smell that required some getting used to.  I can’t imagine having to sit for hours while someone oiled and tiny braided my hair on a routine basis, especially if I had to pay someone to do it.  I would like to see our society make bigger steps to embracing different kinds of beauty.

That is my point with this post and how it fits in to the self esteem theme I said I’d be going with for the rest of this month.  Whatever your hair color, texture, length, or style – long, straight, curly, fuzzy, snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty, oily, greasy, fleecy, shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen, knotted, polka dotted, twisted, beaded, braided, powdered, flowered and confettied, bangled, tangled, spangled and spaghettied – your hair can be beautiful however you choose to make it represent you.  Don’t let anyone make you feel like a Saturday Night Live character, or listen to them call you a brillo pad, or tell you what constitutes “good hair”.  Good hair doesn’t have to be purchased, your hair is good.  If you’re nice to it, it’ll be nice to you.  “Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re forty it will look eighty-five.”  Don’t overheat your hair, use products that help your hair bring out it’s natural beauty, give it that good conditioning hair mask on a regular basis so stylists don’t chase you away for your naturally frizzy hair.  Learn to love your hair, whatever kind you may have, or if you have none at all.  There are times I would love to shave my head and start over and have it be nice and healthy, but I always hear that after a certain age your hair doesn’t get any longer, and based on my hair length the past several years I think I’m at that age. I don’t know where it goes, it gets longer from the top based on my dye lines, but it doesn’t ever get longer at the bottom.  Weird. But I know so many people that are beautiful naturally bald or with shaved heads.  Honestly, when I was a kid my sister had cancer and it was normal for me to see so many people that were bald from chemo and they still managed to be beautiful.

So today, apart from just giving your hair some extra love with a hair mask or a scalp massage or a healthy trim, just remember that beauty comes in every look you can imagine. Beauty is not owned by one race or one social class or one cookie cutter formula.  Beauty is all around us, and you’re beautiful too whether you know it or not.

A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Hair (Album Version)
Album: The Best of the Cowsills: 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection
(This album is only $3.99! The Cowsills are worth way more than that.)


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Now and Then I Get Insecure

Caring about people is complicated. Being cared about is complicated. Interacting with people is complicated.  Raising kids to be well adjusted and healthy adults is complicated.  Health issues are complicated.

Since this month got all jacked up early on I’m going to save that refocusing to work in with the things I planned on doing for next month and instead spend the remainder of this month focusing on something that has recently become a little more important to me: Self Esteem.  Mine is generally healthy and robust. I know I’m awesome and I like me and if other people don’t like me it’s because they’re intimidated and don’t like being inferior and who cares because I don’t need them anyway.  This is a defense mechanism I learned from years upon years of being the undiagnosed autistic girl that was just doing my thing and mostly keeping to myself which other kids took as their cue to call me weird, crazy, psychotic, and ugly (and a slut, while I was a virgin, just for fun).  I heard it daily, multiple times every day, in every school, in every state, and I eventually had to look in the mirror and say “I’m not beautiful, but I’m kind, I’m intelligent, I’m caring, I’m loving, I’m ethical, I have integrity, I’m sexy, I’m fit, I’m imaginative, I’m honest, I put others first, I’m funny, I’m very in tune with my body, mind, and spirit, I’m all the things that society and 80s cartoons have told me I am supposed to be in this world to be a good person.  I have done everything as “right” as I can do it, I’m continuing to do it, I don’t care what people say about me, I am exactly who I am supposed to be and I have full control over who I am and I like me.  Other people need to step up their game to achieve my level, and until they do, their opinions do not matter.”  Every time I encountered awareness of a real flaw within myself I tackled it hard and felt like I defeated them with flying colours.

Some flaws we’re not aware of because they’re deeply rooted in our subconscious, and at times there are some flaws that we don’t have control over, or don’t know how to control.  And then again some flaws just take longer to tackle than others.  This week, one of those flaws in particular did a number on me.

A person that loves me and cares about me, and whom this has already been addressed with and doesn’t need to continue feeling bad about it because I’m talking about it right now, decided that because I have been open in this setting about my weight and my desire and need to fix it, that that meant it was okay to talk about in whatever way they deemed appropriate, which consisted a lot of making me feel like a punching bag.  There was hammering on the potential ramifications of obesity, repeated discussion of how well their recent weight loss has been going and how easily I could do it if I did what they did, lots of jabs about it, and then trying to give me food every time I turned around after telling me how fat I am XD (no, those direct words were never literally used, but we both knew what was being said.)

Everything they said was true, with the exception of the fact that I’ve done their weight loss method and it was not impactful to me and that they have trouble respecting the things my doctors have told me and want or don’t want me to be doing (which is an ongoing pattern), but I was already aware of it, have already made it clear that my weight is something I’m aware of and am striving to improve, and I didn’t ask for any opinions or advice.  There are people in your life that you will spend your entire life seeking the approval of, and when you don’t get it, and actively get disapproval, it stings.  My openly acknowledging my flaws does not mean I want other people to bring them up or try to fix them when they aren’t affected by them in any regard.

If my flaw was that I smoke when and where I want and it’s making your house smell, sure, bring it up.  If my flaw is that I come into your house and put my feet up on your table and unzip my pants to make myself comfortable while simultaneously making you uncomfortable, by all means, tell me that’s inappropriate and bothers you.  If my flaw is that I take up more space than you want me to, it’s really not your concern or place to say anything. My fat does not hurt you or affect you.  One of my former therapists informed me it was really vital to healing that I be willing to say the words “I was raped” and acknowledge it, so I acknowledge that in a matter of fact way when it’s relevant.  That doesn’t mean that I want other people to bring up something that is my personal business that was traumatic and painful.  The same goes for my obesity. My acknowledging it does not give anyone a free pass to beat me up with it.

My being autistic and never having been able to outgrow the childhood mentality of having to do what I’m told makes it extremely vital that people in my life do not contradict my doctors or other professional care providers.  It’s a really good way to make the problem worse and my depression deeper, because I get stuck and unable to do anything because I feel like whatever I do will displease someone, so I do nothing.

So, today’s entry is about me and my struggles, but I think it’s probably something we’ve all experienced about one topic or another even if it isn’t our weight.  Everyone has flaws, and the world is full of people who like to tell us what they are.  So there are a few things I’m going to ask everyone to do today.  Write down a list of your flaws.  Whatever they are, don’t agonize over them, just write them down.  Then write down a list of your strengths, positive attributes, talents, and things you just plain like about yourself.  If you get stuck on getting the ball rolling then go through the alphabet thinking of adjectives that describe you. Adventurous, brilliant, charismatic, so on.  Really write these lists down, don’t type them, physically write them on separate sheets of paper.  Look at them side by side and you’re not done until that positive list is bigger than the negative list.  When it is, tear up the negatives. We don’t need them today, and it can feel really damn good to just absolutely shred through them.  We’ll look at them and how to fix them another day, today we’re just loving ourselves and who we are and all the good things we bring into the world.  Put that positive list someplace where you can look at it when you need a reminder of how absolutely amazing you are.  If you want to, put sticky notes around the house in places where you might need the reminder. On the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator door, on your night stand, on your computer monitor, wherever you might tend to feel negative emotions or go to when you’re feeling negative emotions, put that reminder note there that there are positive things about you that balance out or outweigh the negatives.

Then, working around your schedule, every couple to few hours today I want you to listen to some positive self-esteem affirmations. If you keep a tight busy schedule, and can’t listen while you multi-task, then just be sure to pick one and listen to it before going to bed tonight. Because sometimes we do need to affirm that we are good enough, we are smart enough, and doggone it, people like us. I daresay people even love us.

This one is LONG!  Only choose this one if you have 3 hours to listen or want one to listen to as you’re falling asleep:

And that’s it for today. Remember that you are loved, flaws and all, and you are important and worthy.


A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Beautiful
Album: Stripped


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July Will Be Fantastic

Well. That was quite the short lived refocus month.  Today has been insanely busy and tomorrow I’m going out of town without advanced planning as a last minute I need to see someone I love before they die kind of trip.  So the next 24 hours will be spent packing and sleeping and bathing and probably not a lot else before I hit the road.  As a result I may miss the question of the day until I’m back too, I’m not sure yet what kind of coverage I will have and the internet just honestly won’t be my top priority this week.  Or next week I guess.  Whichever. I shall be home late next week and will get something rolling again. But July. July we conquer the world.


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Happy Half Birthday DRTL Community!

So I’m actually a day late on that, cause we turned 6 months old yesterday, but I also turned 35 yesterday so it was a busy day all in all.  So happy half birthday to us as a community, and thank you thank you thank you for all of your love, support, and staying around while I get things back on track.  I’ve been entirely unable to adjust to those new meds that I was struggling with last we spoke, and I’ve now gone back to the amitriptyline + klonopin combo I did for a couple of years.  It doesn’t work as well on my chronic migraines, but it does much better for my massive anxiety, and between the two I’ll take headaches over anxiety and the new stuff I was taking for the headaches was making me extra absent minded and just dumb anyhow and I find that really frustrating. So.  I’m back to where I was. Ibuprofen and Naproxen to try to make it through the migraines, which the amitriptyline does still help with, just not as much as it did when I first started taking it. I get used to it and have needed to increase the dosage multiple times.  But if I stay out of florescent lights and excessive noise I seem to be mostly managing right now.

I had PLANNED to start our next 6 months with a new feature to use for some entries, that I thought would make things perhaps both easier and more fun, but right now I’m still trying to heal from my most recent sprained ankle and confined to an immobilizer sprain boot that still hurts to stand in and does terrible things to my back and hips if I stand or walk too much so I’m a little more immobile than I need to be for that extravaganza, so barring any need for surgery, we’ll plan on implementing those new features in July, and what I want to do for June instead and am actually glad for the opportunity to do, is to retouch on the things we did in month one.  The focus was new years resolutions, and being half a year in we might need refocusing and getting back on track.  We also had focused on getting our houses and bodies healthy and that may need some refocusing too, though I know some of you have made great progress over the past 6 months and I’m super excited about that!

I’m not going to totally rehash and reprint the previous entries, cause that would be boring and a cop-out on actually doing any work, but for the next month a lot of the topics will be the same, and we have new members since then that may never have gone back through those entries, so, one way or another I trust we’ll all benefit from a review, and then I do promise July will have brand new topics and content.

Meanwhile, in addition to refocusing and daily tasks, I’ll also be adding in details of what I’ve done in my personal life each day for the purpose of providing inspiration or ideas on things you may want to do yourself to get up and out of bed and off the couch and enjoying life and part of every day. You don’t have to do what I do in that regard, you can, but let it just play in your brain and see what it sets in motion.  Those daily event recaps will be a day behind, because, well, I don’t know what will happen today so I can’t write about it.

As for yesterday, yay for 35 years!  I’m not at all happy about turning the age that officially puts the nail in the coffin on how long you’re supposed to be allowed to use your uterus, and I wish I had heard from my dad, but apart from those things it was the best birthday I’d had in quite a while.  I got spoiled with presents from family and friends, and didn’t have to prompt anyone to remember to acknowledge me, and that was nice.  I actually managed to deal with my anxiety enough to go to the grocery store in the middle of the day. I won’t be doing that again any time soon, but I came home with healthy food instead of my frequent get in and grab whatever is closest and get the hell out of there.  And celebratory plans didn’t get cancelled despite my boyfriend having a cranky and unreasonable client to deal with and my offer to postpone, so I feel loved that I was made a priority.

So we celebrated my existence with some super awesome food that my mommy sent from Omaha Steaks, but he did the grilling and cooking and I got to sit and rest my ankle and that was nice and luxurious.  It’s the second time he’s ever cooked for me in our 11.5 years of seeing each other 🙂  So birthday dinner was bistro steaks (essentially filet mignon, bacon wrapped and everything), stuffed baked potatoes, and asparagus in hollandaise sauce.  First meal cooked on his new grill and it came out very well.

And yes, that is grape gatorade in wine glasses.  The last time he cooked for me he had asked what I wanted to drink and I said I thought pinot noir would be nice, but he doesn’t drink alcohol at all and despite living in this city his whole life he didn’t realize that grocery stores here are not allowed to sell alcohol over a very low proof and wasn’t sure why he could only find cooking wine, so grape gatorade ended up being the closest thing he had.  This time I brought it with me, cause hey, tradition.  There was also pineapple upside down cake, but we both ended up too stuffed to eat it, so I get to look forward to enjoying that later 🙂

After we ate we FINALLY watched Doctor Strange, which we’ve been trying to find the time to do for several weeks or a couple months or something and kept falling through.  I know it’s been out for a while now and probably most of you have seen it. If you haven’t, it’s worth a watch.  If you’re unfamiliar it’s among the Marvel comic book movies, and starred Benedict Cumberbatch.  The effects were so phenomenally beautifully done to make it worth watching on that basis alone.  I was disappointed that the plot wasn’t a little deeper, particularly having such an amazing actor to work with, it relied heavily on the visuals (boyfriend’s hearing is better than mine and even after asking him to turn it up I didn’t understand probably half the dialogue but don’t feel like I missed out on following any of the story because of it.)  But there will of course be a sequel, so I will hope they delve further into plot then, but really, the effects were beautiful and the plot that there was was good, there just wasn’t as much of it as I wanted.  If you’ve already seen Doctor Strange but haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy 2 I strongly recommend making that happen. We went Monday and absolutely loved it.  If you’ve already seen both of them, go show Wonder Woman some love.  Sure it’s DC instead of Marvel and there has been practically no promoting the movie, but the preview looked good and when’s the last time we got to see a superhero movie where a woman is the star?  And the reviews are good even.

I had things I thought I would do when I got home, but I hadn’t slept well for the past few days and I laid down to give my feet/ankle a break “for a few minutes” and was out cold till my boy-cat, Lir, decided to wake me up at 5 this morning demanding snuggles.  And once he was satisfied that he’d been loved on sufficiently I was back out till 11 or so this morning.

So bringing us to today, the things we need to refocus on and make sure are taken care of are:

  • SMILE!  – At everyone you see for at least the next 24 hours
  • Greet People! – Say hello or good morning or give a friendly wave or nod to strangers you walk past when you’re out in the world for at least the next 24 hours.  You don’t have to stop and chat with anyone (unless you both want to) but say hi!
  • Wish People Well! – Every time you end an interaction over the next 24 hours don’t just say “bye” or walk away, tell them to have a good day or a blessed day or however you convey well wishes.
  • Be Polite! – Say please. Say thank you. Say you’re welcome. Literally you’re welcome, not “sure”, “no problem”, or “uh-huh”.  You’re welcome.  Say excuse me or pardon me when it’s appropriate.
  • Write in Your Journal! – Daily. Nightly.  This should always be happening, but if you’ve let it fall by the wayside, recommit to it, make it happen today.
  • Clean a Bathroom! – Start with that guest bathroom if you’ve got one, if not then go with your main one, but really get in there and do a deep thorough cleaning.  Light fixtures, switch plates, mirrors, countertops, sinks, faucets, cabinets, medicine chests, toilet, shower, bathtub, drains, linens, attached closets, floors, waste baskets… take care of it all.  If you’ve got empty bottles or tubes of anything or used up air fresheners or anything that has been used up but it still taking up space, take the time to toss it out or recycle it today.  If you have any expired medications or cosmetics dispose of them appropriately. Razors too dull to still use get tossed out too.  If you keep your litter box in your bathroom don’t forget to pay it attention.  Scoop it or change the litter or the liner or the charcoal odor filter, pick it up to sweep under it, lysol wipe any external parts that need it.
  • Do Some Cardio! – Ideally get on that elliptical for a while.  We asked for 10 minutes 6 months ago, let’s make it at least 15 or 20 today. No elliptical? Go for a jog or a run, get on a bike, stationary or otherwise, run a treadmill program with some hills, use the rowing machine or a boat or kayak if you have access to such things.  Whatever you do, just make sure you’re moving and elevating that heart rate for a MINIMUM of 15 minutes. Make it happen.
  • Focus On Your Skin! – Whether you want to youtube a guided meditation, meditate on your own, or listen to a Subliminal Skin Improvement Track, it’s all good.  Just pick one and go with it.  Stress is horrible for your skin, so spend a little quiet still time being calm and telling your body that you love it and appreciate it and expressing what you want from it, whether it’s a clearer complexion, fewer wrinkles, less cellulite, softer skin, less itching or flaking, whatever you want fixed, visualize it transforming from how it is to how you want it to be. If it’s already perfect for you, then just spend some quiet time appreciating it and being grateful, we still all benefit from the quiet reflective time.

And that’s it for today!  Pretty easy stuff if we stick with it and make it habitual 🙂  Here’s looking forward to a better month and a strong finish to the remainder of the year!


A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: The Mad Tea Party / The Unbirthday Song / Twinkle Twinkle / Clean Cup Move Down / Mad Watch
Album: Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (Classic Soundtrack Series)


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Know Where I’m Going and I Know What To Do

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So I guess this is where I make my monthly post to explain why I haven’t been posting.  This month’s issue has all been medication.  My Klonopin up and decided it was done working for anxiety and sleep both with no warning and no apparent reason and it just decided it was done after years of faithful service.  I have in its place been put on a medication that I’m supposed to take 3 times a day, which is too much and I don’t remember to do that middle dose, and it doesn’t work anyway even when I do remember to do all three doses, I keep waking up in the middle of panic attacks and having stress dreams.  I see my psychiatrist the day after tomorrow, so I guess I’ll be reevaluating that. I want to go back on my Klonopin and I want it to just WORK.  This new stuff seems to be a less effective version of Xanax, and Xanax wasn’t good enough for me which is why I went on Klonopin to begin with. Anyway. There’s been lots of lab work and things to test for lupus and celiac and levels of different things and I tested negative for everything except that after what feels like it has to have been a year of this stuff I’m still anemic and my white blood cell count is still too high and still no one knows why.  I’m now on 3 pills when I wake up, that one I forget in the middle of the day, and 9 at bedtime, and I’m tired and nauseous 100% of the time.  So.  That has not made for productivity, inspiration, or writing energy.  Sorry 🙁

But as with every month we’re gonna take another crack at this and eventually one of them will stick.  So what we want people to do for today, is to make sure you have (or, if not, acquire) a reliable bathroom scale, a flexible tape measure, a notebook, and the fortitude to see where you land on the BMI spectrum. Wherever you are on it, don’t beat yourself up about it.  I’m well into the obese range.  Some people may be quite underweight, some may be mathematically perfect and just need to know to maintain a healthy weight while they work on other things, we all are where we are, and we can’t change where we are today, but we can know where we land and what adjustments need to be made to start being the healthiest us possible and get that number to its target range.

So for today, log down your weight and your measurements. Make a chart in that notebook, or make yourself some excel spreadsheets if you’re techy like that.  Do NOT retake your weight and measurements daily, that’s a great way to get discouraged.  You can take it weekly if you want to. If you get discouraged by slow progress then consider taking it monthly.  The healthiest way to change your weight is only by one or two pounds a week, otherwise things just tend to yo-yo and rebound.  So it’s to be expected you won’t see huge changes on a weekly basis.  We’re gonna have some fun making it happen together though, nauseating medication or not.

Hop on the scale (if you have pets, beware and make sure it’s balanced properly.  My cats like to think my scale is their personal expensive flashy light up throne and every time I get on it I’m excited to see I’ve lost anywhere from 13-34 pounds… until it occurs to me it’s off balance.  So make sure you resituate it on a flat, even surface every time you check your weight so you don’t end up disappointed like me.)  and jot down your weight.  Remember, no beating yourself up, it is what it is but not what it’s going to be.  In addition to logging the date and your weight, also write down your measurements for your chest, your waist, your hips, your wrist, and your forearm.  Ladies, this is a good opportunity to make sure you’re still wearing the right bra size for you and whether your life would be much happier with proper fitting support.

BMI is calculated using that pesky metric system, that if you’re in the US like me is probably not something you’ve used much since the 5th grade.  So here’s how we calculate it:  If you already use the metric system, your BMI is simply your weight over your height squared.  If you don’t, we need to do a little conversion.  You’ll want to multiply your weight in pounds by 0.45. I, for instance, tend to hang out around 250 lbs.  So I’d take 250 x 0.45 = 112.5.  To get your metric height you’ll want to multiply your height in inches by 0.025.  I’m 64 inches tall, so for me 64 x 0.025 = 1.6.  Then you want to take your metric height (1.6 for me) and square it.  So more of that math stuff.  But squaring a number is just multiplying it by itself 🙂  So, in my case, 1.6 x 1.6 = 2.56.  Then you want to divide your metric weight, by your metric height.  For me that’ll be 112.5 / 2.56 = 43.94.  That gives me my BMI. So, mine is 43.9, or for all practical purposes, 44. A healthy BMI is considered between 19 and 25.  So, I’m about double 🙁 Sad face, but like I said, we’re not gonna beat ourselves up today, we’re just going to take stock so we know where we stand.

Theoretically, we should try not to be more than 11 pounds heavier that we were at age 18.  For me that means I need to be no more than 130 lbs (At age 18 I was fighting a battle between 115 and 120 lbs and thought my 120 was shameful and drastically overweight.  Bah.)  The less you move around in your daily life the lower you want your BMI to be (while still falling in that healthy range, so no lower than 19.)

If all of that in the example was a lot of numbers and confusing and you prefer fill in the blank so you don’t get it wrong (I’m with you) equations, the formula for calculating your BMI without my numbers cluttering it up is your weight in pounds multiplied by 0.45; your height in inches multiplied by 0.025 and then that answer times itself; the resulting number from your weight divided by the resulting number from your height.  If you’re still all “meh. Math.” then here’s a handy dandy excel spreadsheet you can use if you’re on a pc that I’d love to give credit to the creator of, but I snagged it off some website back in like 2015 and have no idea where I got it, just that it was free and downloadable. So. Thank you unknown generous person with math and tech skills!

BMICalculator

It’s even got a handy-dandy chart to let you fill in those numbers from your measurements of different body parts.

So, why do we care about BMI?  It helps to determine your fitness level and your risk of developing chronic diseases.  If it’s too low it’s an indicator that you need to check out your dietary habits because you may be malnourished.  If it’s too high you run the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.  I am very aware that there is a big movement of “just because I’m fat/obese doesn’t mean I’m not healthy” people out there, and you’re absolutely right, your weight or BMI by itself doesn’t mean you aren’t healthy, your appearance doesn’t mean you aren’t healthy.  But they’re indicators of risk, and that’s something to be aware of.

Another thing to be aware of though is that the BMI system, while the best thing we’ve got going in home fitness assessment right now, isn’t flawless.  It’s the same formula for both genders, and by nature women have more body fat than men.  It also doesn’t recognize that muscle weighs more than fat, so you may be buff instead of fluffy and end up in the higher end of the BMI spectrum.  I don’t even know how plastic surgery and various implant and extractions and whatever else affect your BMI and how it indicates your fitness level, and certainly all of that has become much more common.

Don’t let it get TOO into your head.  If you feel like a healthy, fit person, and your BMI tells you you’re obese, measure your waist and compare it to averages for your gender and age.  Wider than average waists are an indicator of obesity, and can help you determine if you need to visit your doctor to discuss whether you’re as fit as you feel. You might be, you might not be, it helps to know.  If you feel fit and healthy and are under the recommended BMI range, there’s not really an external measurement that will help you out, but you can still have a chat with your doctor and see if a blood panel shows you as being deficient in any vital nutrients or if they think it’s a good idea for you to chat with a dietitian to make sure you’re getting enough healthy calories and variety in your daily diet.

As for why we’re tracking BMI, measurements, and weight to begin with?  It’s important to know where you stand and what adjustments need to be made.  You may know “I need to lose weight” and think, okay, diet, exercise, I don’t need a tracker to tell me this.  But different methods work for different people, and tracking your results while using consistent approaches to fitness will let you know whether or not it’s working, and how well it’s working compared to other approaches you might try.  At the end of the day all that really matters is that you feel good, and sometimes being active is all that that takes and weight just really isn’t a big deal.  But it’s still good to know what you’re working with.  Don’t ever let numbers make you feel bad. Let them make you feel motivated.

I’m gonna feel so freaking amazing when I cut my BMI in half!

 

And because it’s been a while, to make sure we’re all still on the wagon, for today:

  • Use a good quality cleanser on your Face. Give it some extra love.
  • Clean your Guest Bedroom if you’ve got one, or another bedroom if you don’t.
  • Do some Body Weight exercises. Planks, pushups, crunches, leg lifts, lunges… anything where your body is your only fitness equipment.
  • And since it’s that time of year, listen to a guided meditation or subliminal audio (or both) to help with allergy and sinus symptoms.

A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: New Attitude
Album: 80’s Soul 1’s (Eco-Friendly Packaging)


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Consumed By All I Consumed

I apologize for the late post.  Hopefully most of you caught my Facebook message and were able to do today’s project if you wanted to, but I spent most of the day just exhausted and sick to my stomach (I think lunch didn’t agree with me) and I just couldn’t make it happen till after I had a decent nap, which was hard to get when I was fighting my stomach.  But anyway, today’s project is/was to try a drink you’ve never had before. Bonus points for being something old or obscure.  You know all those glass bottles everyone walks past in the soda aisle? Those are a good place to start.

As far as I’m concerned if you’ve never seen any form of advertisement for it, it counts as obscure.  I decided to go with one I’ve never seen any brand of before and have only ever heard of in westerns and had no idea what it would even taste like, and bought myself that bottle of Sarsaparilla.  Which I never would have even spelled properly, there’s a whole lot going on in that word that I didn’t know was there.

Earp’s Original Sarsaparilla, the one I ended up with, uses cane sugar rather than corn syrup like most sodas, so it’s a way healthier option and also safe for the big portion of the population with corn allergies.  Despite its association with westerns I’m surprised to see it marketed as Earp’s since it’s the drink that would get you beaten up in a saloon if you ordered it instead of whiskey.  But their website informs me that “a beverage this fierce is enough to rival even the meanest, darndest bandits in the seedy saloons of the great yonder.”  They also let us in on the secret that the fight at the O.K. Corral was really about keeping the Earp’s Sarsaparilla recipe “out of the hands of the bad guys.”

In the 19th century Sarsaparilla was sold as a medicine for skin and blood problems.  I have both, so I guess we’ll see if I’m miraculously cured tomorrow.  I have a breakout trying to start on my forehead today, so it’ll be easy enough to see if it clears up any differently than normal.  I’m guessing not, apparently if you take enough of it it makes you sweat, and I only intend to drink the one bottle and don’t tend to have much luck with sweat clearing up my skin anyhow.  Wikipedia advises me sarsaparilla was also used to prevent venereal disease.  I can’t help you out with whether that one works or not, I’m all good in that department.

I also found that Sarsaparilla is still widely available in some other countries, and that some of them, notably Australia, have a much different tasting sarsaparilla than we do here in the states.  I know we have some Australian members and would be interested in hearing more about that.  Ours tastes a great deal like Root Beer.  Evidently US sarsaparilla isn’t made from the actual sarsaparilla plant but was originally made from birch oil and dried root bark from the sassafras tree.  Now it might have original components or it might be entirely artificially flavored.  The bottle I have says only “natural and artificial flavors.”

So while I’m probably not getting the real old-west experience, and doubt I’ll be getting any medicinal benefits, I’m enjoying the soda.  It’s snowing here today (finally) but I can see where this stuff would be AMAZING served super cold on a really hot day.  And I like to try new things. Hopefully you do too cause we’re gonna do lots of that when we can 🙂  Life is after all all about the experiences. Let us know what you decide to try and how it fairs!

A word about music:  We include songs for a reason.  Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much.  Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason.  If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Sarsaparilla
Album: Sold for a Smile


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