What Worked in 2014

Better late than never, I’ve been thinking about what worked and what didn’t work for me in 2014.

What worked

Lexapro: I don’t know why I need to take an anti-depressant.  I’m not depressed.  It’s anxiety, I guess although for me it manifests as irritability.

Anyway, 2014 was the most peaceful year I can remember, and I’m thinking it was a chemically-induced peace.  During the homily on New Year’s day, the priest talked about how all peace comes from God.  Sometimes God even works through big, bad pharma.

Floradix: I’m mildly anemic and notice a big drop in energy when I don’t take this liquid iron supplement regularly.

What didn’t work:

Cow brain supplements (i.e., bovine pituitary gland pills): “prescribed” for me by my witch doctor by way of pressing down on my arm, these made me feel crazily irritable.  It didn’t help that I tried to wean off Lexapro at the same time (another thing that didn’t work), but even once I got back on Lexapro, these continued to make me feel irritable.  Maybe I didn’t give them a fair chance, but I’m not going back.

bitch mode

What worked:

Magnificat magazine.  I resisted subscribing to this for years because of the expense and because I already own a breviary.  Silly Laura.

Audiobooks: for the girls, mostly rented for free through a library consortium.  We are loving the Ramona series.  And Frog and Toad, read by the author, is a delight.

Chiropractic/massage: My back is the best it’s been in a long time.  It starts getting out of whack again when I don’t exercise for a while though, which brings up–

BodyFlow: I love this exercise class.  I only make it once a week and that’s only if we aren’t sick.  But it’s the perfect combination of stretching, relaxation, and strengthening.

Fabulous Forever: It’s a stretching DVD for old people, and I love it.  It feels great.

What didn’t work:

Pilates at Gold’s Gym: Hurt my back no matter how carefully I modified.

T-Tapp: A little more on that here

What worked:

Paper plates: I meant to add this to my goals post–I hereby resolve to eat more often off of paper plates!  Better to eat healthy food off of paper plates than convenience food off of fine china!

What didn’t work:

Red food dye: Girl 1 had three rough weeks at school in November, after doing really well for the first two months.  The only thing I could think of that had changed in her routine was that I had given her over the counter cough medicines regularly, and those medicines all have red dye in them.  We cut out the dye and, upon her return to school after Thanksgiving break, her behavior greatly improved.  We’re avoiding artificial food dyes now.

Every diet I “tried”:

The Christian ideal diet has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried [for more than two weeks].”

G.K. Chesterton, ed. by me

  • The No-S Diet: Ha!  Yeah, no.
  •  Calorie counting using My Fitness Pal–There was a time when I could lose weight just by keeping my daily calories under 2,000.  Not anymore.

  • Weight Watchers–I started off on their “Simply Filling” program and found myself pigging out on low-fat microwave popcorn, sugar-free jello, Weight Watchers brand shakes, and fat-free everything.  A low point was when I tried fat-free ricotta cheese.  It’s an abomination.  The alternative to the Healthy Start is the traditional point-counting method, but I didn’t feel like paying for what is basically counting calories plus weekly meetings I didn’t enjoy.
  • Thin Within–a prayer/ positive thinking method of eating only when you are hungry.  It makes sense, it really does.  And it’s still my goal.  But food has too much of a hold on me for this method to work on its own.  A dilemma I run into is trying to eating slowly and mindfully when sharing a meal with the two resident barbarians of the house.  Eating with them is stressful in itself, but it doesn’t work to eat separately from them for each meal.  So.

We’re back to Perfect Health Diet, which I went on initially because food has such a hold on me.  It’s not a panacea but it worked better than anything else I’ve tried.  Also, Pat wants to go back on it.  So here we go again.

And the barbarians are waking so I need to end this abruptly.

What worked and didn’t work for you in 2014?


26 thoughts on “What Worked in 2014

  1. This is a great post! Good for you for owning what does and does not work for you. I’ll just come out and own my biggie of 2014: scheduled c-sections work for me.

    We are big paper plate fans over here. Before I got my dishwasher in the spring, it was mostly paper plates for every meal, but now I try to use my fiestaware at dinner time. Breakfast and lunch though, all about the paper plates. Environment, what?

    One of my goals this year is to find a good chiropractor. Both my parents started throwing their backs out in their 30’s so I want to get established with a chiro to hopefully avoid that, or at least have recourse if I do develop back problems.

    • Thanks Ellen. I’m so glad your babies have arrived safe and sound. 🙂

      Yeah, I was raised to be skeptical of chiropractors, but mine really has helped. I mean, there’s always the chance that it was just the passage of time. But I doubt it. Hope you find a good one!

  2. I love it when you do posts like this. And it was a good reminder to go back to the chiropractor! I swear, I was at least an inch taller when I went regularly, which def helps with bmi, right? 😉

    Your food dye comment reminded me of my younger brother. He was diagnosed with ADHD in first grade and my parents really really didn’t want to go the Ritalin route, I don’t even think adderall was available back then. Anyway, long story short, they took him to this treatment center that analyzes chemical imbalances in the body using samples of hair, blood, and urine, and then they recommend a supplement regimen. The big ones for him were needing more DHA, and lots of zinc…which is depleted by copper…which is in things like artificial food dye, especially red, so when you mentioned it, totally made me think of him!

    • Anne, I recently came across some studies showing that high doses of zinc decreased ADHD symptoms. (Not that I read the whole study, just the summary). Must be the same principle at work. The human body is so mysterious. … I couldn’t find zinc supplements for kids and girl 1 isn’t swallowing pills yet. So I’m not sure how to implement it. But we’re avoiding the dye!

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. Wow. Same genes. I was on zoloft, got off zoloft and went straight to lexipro. I’m not depressed either – but anxiety has a grip on me too much if I’m not on meds for it. I’m taking gabapentin now for the pain of bursitis in my hips – cortisone shots didn’t help, and I’m sick of hobbling around; so I take the gabapentin as Rx’d. It also helps with the anxiety too, but I still need the lexipro. Hard to wean off that s**t. Also – we LOVED the Ramona tapes narrated by Stockard Channing. Love her voice! I really loved the first grade episode – it’s been awhile, but she staying there waiting for “the present”. It was hilarious!

    • Yes! For the present! We’re listening to tue same stockard channing recording. I love how Beverly Cleary captures all those confusing, mysterious parts of childhood. The next chapter “show and tell” has Howie and the stuffed bunny. Actually I was reading the book aloud when we came to thy chapter and I laughed so hard I cried. The girls didnt know what to think.

      Sent from my iPhone

    • It’s so awesome to see people talking about taking depression/anxiety meds like it ain’t no thang. In the (very recent) past it was so shameful and embarrassing, at least in my circles.

  4. Oh! I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one who’s anxiety manifests in irritability! While I do suffer from depression (mostly in the winter), my anxiety when unmedicsted makes me very very difficult to live because I’m angry and grumpy.
    I too am glad I’ve found something that helps it!!

  5. These are the kinds of posts why I LOVE your blog. I so admire your honestly about the diets. Counting calories and all that totally doesn’t work for me either. Food has a really strong hold on me as well.

    And so glad for you that you found a medication that is helping!!!

  6. I love everything about this post. Especially the “I was born and things started bothering me.” Man… diets. I’ve honestly never really tried one unless you count Lent. Is it just me or is Lent like New Years take two? (I never said I was spiritually mature here).

  7. I’m really trying hard to lose 10-15 pounds of baby weight and it’s been so, so difficult. The amount of whining I hear per day directly correlates to how much chocolate I consume!

  8. I have no idea how 2014 was…but I’m glad it’s 2015. So, maybe that’s my answer? LOL Well this is interesting. Irritability – depression meds. Thats interesting. Cranky cranky and short tempered for no reason = me

    • Aw man, I’m sorry you had a rough year! And yeah, the meds have been a life saver for me! My first impulse is to encourage ppl w/ similar symptoms to try them, just b/c they are sooooo helpful for me. My patience in a pill bottle. On the other hand, withdrawal symptoms are really rough, making it hard to get off of them. So. No advice here. But prayers for a better 2015!

      Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 02:35:00 +0000 To: laura_in_virginia@hotmail.com

  9. I loved this for all of it’s honesty and slightly tweaked Chesterton quote. Thanks for answering an age old question. According to my BMI score, I’m really short too!

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  12. I’m a quite late on this, but I just came across your blog…I love this! My sister is one of those practitioners, and my husband caller her our “witch doctor,” and tells people we go to her for our voodoo medicine. It makes it hard to explain when people find out we’re Catholic. 🙂 I agree, it’s so hard to do – and expensive (we’re off and on the program depending on our budget). My kids (3 and 1) and husband have had a lot more success on it than I have (seriously, I am amazed at the effect this has on my children, and my husband has lost 35-40 pounds without effort. I, on the other hand, gained 20 pounds in 2014), and I’ve also found that what is “supposed” to work for me often doesn’t (luckily, I can look through her books and have her test me with similar supplements until we find one that actually helps). It also helps when I never, ever look at the ingredients of the supplements. Ever. Anyway, this is a long response to say, I totally get the witch doctor thing, and why it’s so hard to stick with! I also totally get struggling to find what works for you health-wise — I am there with you! Good luck!

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