Friday Link Love May 29, 2015: Shoeties and More!

1. Apparently one of the secrets of longevity and health is to . . . eat more beans and walk a lot and live in community. This short article about the living habits of people in areas, like Sardinia, with very high longevity made me want to read the author’s book on the same subject, The Blue Zone Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People.

It also made me think that our American obsession with diet and exercise is so ridiculous.  Drinking shakes and counting calories and doing workouts are not really hallmarks of a healthy lifestyle.  They’re substitutions that might help–maybe–when we can’t live an actually healthy lifestyle.  (Says me, for whom shakes and the gym would be a huge improvement from the status quo.)

via the Wall Street Journal

2.  This article cracked me up.  The title is No More Ballet Flats: Summer Shoes for Work: Designer Ruthie Davis favors colorful looks but doesn’t sacrifice comfort.  These are the photos attached to the article:

via the Wall Street Journal

via the Wall Street Journal

If there’s a single comfortable anything in either picture, I can’t find it.  Maybe her watch.

Also, the lady in the article is fond of the “shoetie,” a cross between a bootie and a shoe, like the shoe on the bottom right in the second picture.  “She likes that most styles have a zipper in the back of the heel, making the shoe fairly easy to slip on and off. ‘You’ve got some coverage but there’s an open-toe aspect so there is breathability.'”

I can’t think of anything worse than a shootie.

3. The Magnificat recently had this passage written by Saint Philip Neri:

To preserve our cheerfulness amid sickness and troubles is a sign of a right and good spirit.  A man should not ask tribulations of God . . . he who bears what God send him daily does not do a small thing.

I’m thinking about this today, since the girls have been puking all day, and Pat and I are feeling puny too.

I’m just going to have to leave off with three quick takes for this week.  Click over to This Ain’t the Lyceum for more.  Have a happy weekend!

Grace in a Little White Pill

Grace in a Little White Pill ~ thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

I’m sharing some of my experience with postpartum anxiety and depression as part of a Blog Hop sponsored by my friend Katherine at Half-Kindled.  I’ve written a little bit about it before (here and here).  It’s a topic that is still hard for many people to talk about, and I’m convinced the more we remove the shame and the taboo of talking about postpartum (and other forms of) depression and anxiety, the more we can help each other.

After I had my first baby, I didn’t experience the typical symptoms you see in literature about postpartum depression.  I wasn’t sad so much as angry and irritable and frustrated all the time.  I was angry at everyone, and then I felt a lot of self-loathing for being such a (seemingly) terrible person.  Thank God, I never came close to harming my child, but my marriage suffered, as did various items around that house that I kicked during angry outbursts.

It took me eight months to talk to my doctor about it.  He actually recognized warning signs of postpartum depression right after I gave birth: I was sobbing–apparently that’s not normal!  “No, no,” I insisted, “I’m just tired.”

And so it went for months of denial.  Two things in particular kept me from seeking treatment:

1. My symptoms weren’t typical of postpartum depression.  In fact, they were symptoms I had dealt with all my life, on and off, to some degree: anger, frustration, and irritability interspersed with self-loathing.  Before having children, I was always able to push through somehow. The hormonal havoc and sleep deprivation that came having a baby just made the symptoms worse.  I wasn’t able to push through and function normally anymore.

2. The second and biggest roadblock to wellness for me was that I felt I didn’t deserve help.  I was never psychotic.  I never lost my reason.  I always had some degree of control of my actions.  Therefore, I thought, I just needed to try harder. Taking medication was the easy route that I didn’t deserve because I hadn’t tried hard enough on my own.

I attribute this to the Act of Contrition I learned growing up.  There really is such a thing as too much Catholic guilt! The line goes, “I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more . . . .”  My understanding was, as long as there was some possibility that I could improve in the future, my failing was my fault, and I needed to just try harder.  “With the help of Thy grace,” is in there too of course, but I didn’t think much about how God’s grace could help me.  It just served as a reminder that I needed to pray harder.

The game changer was that now I had a family who suffered every time that (surprise!) my white-knuckling failed.  Thank God it became clear to me that I had to take the “easy route,” even if I didn’t deserve it, because they deserved it.

One form of the “help of God’s grace,” for me, is a little white pill.

Eight months after having my first baby, I started taking an anti-depressant, and it helped almost immediately.  At first I worried it would alter my personality, but now I truly feel that the medication helps me be my true self, the person God made me to be but that I couldn’t be under the weight of anxiety.

Throughout the years, I’ve tried going off antidepressants, but it’s never worked.  Unfortunately, whatever condition I have is not solely a postpartum one.  It just took the strain of having a baby to reveal a problem that hovered below the surface.

I don’t like the idea of taking a pill every day.  It has made me gain weight.  It’s made me sluggish.  I’m not the type-A super achiever I used to be.  I’m sure there’s some underlying hormonal imbalance or other health problem that is affecting my mental state, and I’d like eventually to figure that out.  But for now, medication is the only way I can be the loving, patient, happy wife and mother I need to be.

And that’s been the grace of the little white pill for me: it has forced me to focus on what God really wants me to do and the humility to realize that I can’t do it on my own power.

He isn’t calling me to be a super achiever.  He isn’t asking me to keep a squeaky clean house or volunteer on a dozen committees or work full time or even cook delicious meals.  All he asks me to do is love–love my husband, love my children.

To paraphrase a popular slogan, “I have one job.”

Before taking an antidepressant, I had enough nervous energy to do more things, but I was angry, bitter, and irritable most of the time with my husband and children.

Now, I don’t have as much energy and drive, but I have the underlying peace and calm I need to love my family better. It’s humbling to accept that I need medicine to fulfill the most basic requirements of my life.  That humility, too, is a grace.

Antidepressants are not right for everyone, but if you’re really suffering I’d beg you to consider it.

For all of us though, there’s truth in the saying, “Let go and let God.”  I  want to challenge everyone reading this to be open-minded about the ways you can “let God.”

God probably will not supernaturally transfuse you with peace and patience.

He might offer it to you in a pill.  (I think of Lexapro as my “patience in a pill!”)

He might offer you grace in the form of therapy with a psychologist of other professional counselor.

He might offer you grace through your helpful husband, if you would only overlook the way he loads the dishwasher incorrectly and doesn’t separate darks and whites.

He might offer you grace in the form of a friend’s offer to watch your kids, an offer you normally brush aside.

He might offer you grace when you let go of self-imposed standards for how you keep house or how many hours you work or how busy you keep your schedule.

Our calling is not to try hard and do hard things; our calling is to love.  And often we can’t love the way we ought until we stop trying so hard to do it ourselves.

Hope for the Future 2

For more on this topic, hop over to

Katherine at Half Kindled,

Bonnie at A Knotted Life

Jenna at Call Her Happy

Jenny at Mama Needs Coffee, and

Rosie at Check Out That Sunset.

Grace in a Little White Pill ~ thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

What’s Saving My Life in this season of cold & the plague

And how a 1990s sitcom prepared me for Lent . . . .

Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy has a great link up idea–“what’s saving my life.”  

Even though most of us can easily articulate what’s killing us, few of us pay attention to what’s giving us life.

We’ve had a sickness that just won’t end and has taken a variety of forms: cold for Girl 1, croup –> pneumonia for Girl 2, sinusitis for Pat and me + bronchitis for me.  So we’ve been cooped up and miserable, but these things have made it a bit less miserable:

1. Essential oils diffused in this diffuser.  I don’t know whether they actually do anything, although inhaled lavender oil has been shown to reduce asthma symptoms in mice.  They sure smell nice, though, which makes me feel better.  And they don’t give me a headache like cheap, chemically scented candles.

2. Neti Pot–for when I wake up with a headache and don’t know why.  Whaddya know?  It’s impacted snot.  Nothing like infusing your nostrils with salt water.  Hurts so good.

3. Down comforter–I got the warmest one I could find and “gave it to Pat” for Christmas.  It’s warmer even than the 4 or so mismatched regular comforters we had piled up on the bed.  Pricey, but oh so worth it.  Pat runs cold at night and he sleeps a lot better now.

4. Plush mattress pad–now I sleep better at night with this.  We have an extra firm mattress, which we bought relying on the common wisdom that firm mattresses are good for your back.  Eight years later, I found myself sleeping more comfortably on the couch.  When I slept on the bed, I felt more sore in the morning than in the evening.  Guess what?  Firm mattresses aren’t so good for bad backs.  There’s even a study to prove it.

5. Friends Season One--I get nostalgic watching this show even though I’ve never watched it much before.  And I think it’s more than a lingering fondness for crushed velour, turtlenecks, and the Rachel. Last night it hit me–that first season was filmed in 1994.  That’s over 20 years ago.  Twenty years ago. Last night I watched it and thought about how quickly life passes by and how close we are to death.

And that, my friends, was my segue into Ash Wednesday and Lent.  Never saw that coming.

Remember man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.

What’s saving your life this cold cold winter?

I’m linking up with Call Her Happy for Five Favorites, and I’ll link up with Modern Mrs. Darcy when she does the link up again.

Should I Stay [in this house] or Should I Go?

and other thoughts at the beginning of the week . . . .

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An’ if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know.

Should I stay or should I go?

Pat and I frequently find ourselves discussing whether we will ever move.  Our mortgage payment is small; so is our house; so is our kitchen.  Fed up with tripping over my family and our belongings, I recently searched for acceptable nearby homes that wouldn’t require a higher mortgage.

Nothing.

So now we daydream about how to make our little starter home more of a forever home.  I watched episode after episode of Property Brothers recently.  Our biggest dilemma is what to do with our poorly-placed staircase.  Could we move it to the back bedroom? Is that wall to the side of it load-bearing?  Or maybe we could extend the kitchen back–merely a matter of, oh, digging new basement stairs.  Child’s play.

We talk as if money is no object.  Of course it is.  But I figure we should dream big and then figure out how to work toward it.  I don’t want to make cheap, little fixes we’ll regret later.

In the mean time, my little one shows signs of pneumonia.  I’m taking her to the doctor first thing in the morning.  I’ve been reading up on natural remedies for asthma and croup and pneumonia and wishing I had tried them earlier.  I did give the girls several grams of Vitamin C a day over the past week.  Maybe it helped Girl 1, but it hasn’t been the miracle for Girl 2 I hoped.

I’ve had soggy-lunged little girls for six years now and I still feel like I’m groping blindly for ways to avoid the thrice-yearly regimen of amoxicillin and oral steroids.  On the bright side, Girl 1 is outgrowing it, so I’m hopeful Girl 2 will also.

But my newly-decorated living room wall makes me happy.

Child's artwork displayed in 8.5 x 11' frames from Target

Child’s artwork displayed in 8.5 x 11′ frames from Target

Put a bird on it

I put a bird on it

So does my mantle, despite the roll of duct tape and miscellaneous loitering on it.

Have a lovely week y’all.

Goal-Type Things for the New Year

I try to keep my ambitions realistic . . .

20140102-204235.jpg

but I’ve been thinking about goals for 2015 and they’re starting to add up.  In no particular order they are

1. Keep wearing the Fitbit I got (by request) for Christmas.  No specific exercise goal, but hopefully wearing it and checking my stats will motivate me to boost my activity.  Over the past seven days I’ve averaged just barely above 5,000 steps per day.  Under 5,000 is considered sedentary.  Yikes.

2. Redecorate my living room (whole house?) with mid-century modern-inspired look, moving my French-cottage-meets-your-grandma’s-house decor to the basement t.v. room (more on this shortly).

3. Learn how to use a power drill, which will aid in #2.  Tensions run high when I ask Pat to hang stuff (“no not there, up a bit, now down . . . no, not like that”) .

4. Go back on the Perfect Health Diet!  This is big.  We ditched the PHD about a year ago, but Pat and I haven’t felt nearly as good since then.  So I’m kicking the mental health diet to the curb.  We’re modifying the PHD slightly (beans and peanut butter are in).

5. No Sugar January: The PHD itself cuts out almost all added sugars, but I’m serious about that part for at least a month.  I’m buddying up with Ellen for support.  I might cheat on other aspects of the PHD when we go out to eat or whatnot.  But no sugar.

6. More spiritual reading, starting with Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium, which I’m about 2/3 of the way through.  Next I want to read Benedict XVI’s Deus Caritas Est.  I also want to read through the Gospels.

7.  Stop saying “sorry.”  More on this later.

8. Move this blog to a self-hosted platform.  I already have a placeholder over at http://thisfelicitouslife.com.  Two years have gone by, and I still haven’t moved my data over.  I got an error message and gave up.

9. Learn the capitalization rules for blog titles. Seriously, I never remember which of the little words like “A, At, The, If, And, But, Or” need capitalization.

10. Stay away from celebrity gossip websites and magazines.  (I made this one in October and have kept it pretty well so far.)

11. Social-media-free Sundays!!  (I wouldn’t mind getting back into What I Wore Sunday but I’ll do it on Mondays.)

12.  Cut down on the use of parentheses (for obvious reasons).

All this talk of goals made me remember–I set goals for 2014.  I wonder what they were?  😉  Oh, here they are

1. The GoalThe No-S Diet: No Ssssugar, no Sssssnacks, and no Ssssseconds, except sometimes on weekends and special days.

Outcome

Laughing hysterically

2. The Goal:  T Tapp. I’ve heard good things about this exercise routine (here and here among other places). 15 minutes a day! Easy on your joints (unlike my short-lived gambol with Jillian)! Helps balance mood, blood sugar, and hormones! 

Outcome

Not good.  I did the T-Tapp Basic Workout Plus several times a week for several weeks.  I lost close to an inch from my waist (more from tightening muscle than from burning fat).  But she has a move called the “T-Tapp twist” that did a number on my lower back.  Tried to come back to it after recovering, and it messed up my back again.  No can do.

Plus, I was hoping for some science behind all her promises and quasi-scientific terms.  Her book didn’t have any of that, just explanations for how to do the moves and a bunch of success stories.  I’d recommend the workout if you want something that will tone you up in a short time, but not if you have low-back problems.

 

3. The GoalHome command center restructuring. 

Outcome:

Nailed it!

Before:

IMG_3814 IMG_3817

After (full post on this to come):

Home command center

4. The GoalDedicate time for blogging and–sheesh!–answering email. I don’t have a game plan here yet, but it’s something I really want to do. Right now, I usually write in the evenings when the girls are asleep. 

Outcome:

Nope!

I intended to make this one of 2015’s goals, completely forgetting that it had been one of 2014’s.  Never did come up with that game plan.  Oh well.

5. The goalSwitch from plastic leftover containers to glass.

Outcome:

Nailed it!  I bought a few more pieces of Pyrex and also bought covers for three Pyrex bowls I already had.  I still have some plastic leftover containers, but I don’t use them as much and I never heat food in the microwave in them.

6. The Goal: Keep making progress in time management, especially going to bed early and not staying up late browsing the web.

Life goals vs. the internet

Outcome:

Hmm.  Not great.  I love the iPod mini my dad gave me earlier this year (thank you, veterinary pharmaceutical reps!), but that thing is dangerous when I keep it by my bed.

Basically.

from laptop to phone in bed stick figure cartoon

On that note, here’s to a successful 2015 for us all!

Adventures in Bad Housekeeping

Battling bugs, swilling juice, and my Ashlee Simpson moment

1.

I graduated first in my law school class.

I’ve spent the past week trying to outwit a bunch of fruit flies.

And failing.

I’m not sorry about the path I’ve chosen in life.

But some days are better than others.

Fruit Fly Death Trap

Photo credit

2.

I made fruit fly traps using the old cone-of-paper-in-a-jar-of-vinegar method.

I’d see them fly down into the cone but somehow the little buggers kept coming out.

Finally  it occurred to me that I didn’t tape all the way along the edge of the paper, leaving a gap they could fly out of.  Seriously, this took me about 5 days to figure out.

In the meantime, I tried out the saran-wrap-stretched-across-the-jar-with-holes-poked-through method.

One evening, I stood transfixed watching a fruit fly sniff its way across the Saran wrap and–blip!–nosedive through one of the toothpick holes, never to fly out again.

It was the best part of my week.

3.

We also found moths in our pantry and (yet again) in the coat closet.

I’m supposed to take all the canisters of grains and flour and dry goods and stick them in the freezer to kill off the eggs.

And I had shelled out a lot of money to buy a bunch of nifty, matching canisters.  I know plastic causes cancer and whatnot, but I chose cancer over bugs.

Turns out, I get cancer and bugs.

4. 

(Mild to moderate TMI ahead)

Speaking of bugs, I’m trying to beat a UTI with unsweetened, 100% cranberry juice.  I’ve downed about 80 ounces of the stuff in the last 48 hours.

I think it’s getting better.

My one big victory over bugs so far, and even then it’s really too close to call.

5. 

The fruit flies haven’t made it to my room yet, but if they do they’ll keep me up all night.

With their sneezing.

My bedroom is coated in dust.

Our whole house is dusty, but especially my bedroom.

I religiously change the air filters; I’ve vacuumed all the intake and outtake vents; we’ve had the ducts cleaned.  We had the furnace replaced recently.

Still, the dust keeps coming.  I can dust the top of my armoire and a thick coat will reappear in two weeks.

6.

It’s affecting my self-esteem because the two most dusty areas in the house are the kitchen/dining area

and my bedroom.

I spend the majority of my time in those areas, by far.

And you know what dust is right?

Mostly skin cells.

What’s wrong with me?  I am some sort of super-skin-shedding freak?

So I have an Ashlee Simpson moment whenever I enter my bedroom.

Ashlee simpson pieces of me gif

7. So that’s my life; how’s yours?

Linking up with Jen for 7 Quick Takes.

IMG_1234.JPG

The Mental Health Diet

and how it made me fat:

I treat my body like a temple/ 

You treat yours like a tent.

Jimmy Buffet

I’ve definitely been in the “tent” camp lately.  (Get it?  Tent?  Camp?  Yuk yuk.)

via Wikipedia

We left the Perfect Health Diet (“PHD”), after over a year of inconsistent-but-persistent resolve.  Pat lost some weight, and we felt pretty good overall.  But I didn’t lose weight, and it seemed like a lot of work for negligible results.  So we quickly slipped from PHD to mostly whole foods to . . . what I call the Mental Health Diet (“MHD”).

The MHD consists mostly of convenience foods, take-out pizza, dinners out, and fast food (I discovered the Taco Bell cantina bowl–yum!).  I started a tasting tour of sorts, trying out all of the kids-eat-free nights at our local restaurants.

My mental health diet

 

Not surprisingly, my weight has skyrocketed.  At least I think it has.*  I haven’t weighed myself in several months.  But all my clothes are tight.  I’m kind of dreading fall because even the jeans I was so excited about recently are feeling uncomfortably snug now.

Harumph.

This got me thinking that maybe the PHD helped me more than I realized.  I didn’t lose any weight but I also didn’t gain any.  On the other hand, my weight has climbed steadily ever since coming off it.  Also–now that I think of it–my weight was starting to climb before we got on the PHD.

I stopped breastfeeding Girl 2 around September 2012.  Shortly thereafter I switched from Zoloft to Lexapro.  Due to some combination of those factors (I think), my weight started climbing.  Then in November 2012 we started the PHD and the weight gain came to a halt.

All this is making me want (“want” in a limited sense of the word) to get back on the PHD bandwagon.  Or maybe even do the Whole 30 for a clean break.  Jenny’s experience, among others, makes it sound . . . hmm, not appealing, but . . . like-a-good-idea-ing.**

{Pat is never ever critical when we fall off the healthy-eating wagon and yet he is always game for healthy eating, bless his heart.

Me: “Honey, I think maybe we should try this thing called the Whole 30.  [15 second summary of Whole 30]  What do you think?”

Pat: “Yes, I’m in.  Good idea. . . . There’s always apples and peanut butter, right?”  (PB&A being Pat’s go-to meal.)

Me: “Uh, yeah, about peanut butter . . . .”

Pat: “Um, well, how about homemade hummus??”

Me: “Well . . . .” }

At the same time, I don’t regret our stint with the Mental Health Diet.  Junk food is never good for one’s mental health in itself.  Not feeling the pressure to cook, though, was a definite boon.

The MHD has been one facet of a change of course I’m taking in life wherein I focus less on doing more.  I’m here.  I love.  I’m enough.

We ate junk; ordered out; I hardly ever cooked.  Yet the world kept on spinning.  My kids are as healthy as they ever were (not saying much), and Pat and I are fine.  There’s just more of me to love.  Nutrition and physical health are important but they’re not all-important.    (As usual, I love Amelia’s thoughts on this topic.)  Eating junk probably didn’t help my low energy woes, but the slug life led me to the MHD, rather than the other way around.

All the same, I’m sick of treating my body like a tent.  I don’t want to be forced to wear a tent.  I think it’s time for a change.  Stay tuned.

 

*Update: Since drafting this, I weighed myself and, sure enough: I’m up 10 lbs over the last four months, 20 lbs over the last 14 months.

**Update 2: I decided the Whole 30 would be setting myself up for certain failure.  I signed up for Weight Watchers instead.  More on that later.

I didn’t choose the slug life; the slug life chose me.

A Hormone Story, Part 1: Cortisol Highs and Lows

This has been me lately.

slug

This is an improvement on my past self, which generally was this:

PMS gif

and sometimes this:

Steel Magnolias funeral scene

I chalked it up to postpartum depression, but by 18 months “postpartum,” that didn’t make much sense anymore.

Then I realized that a lot of my symptoms were worse around the last half of my cycle, so calling it PMS made some sense.   But didn’t explain it all.

I went to the doctor’s recently for a med check and the nurse was like, “So, are you taking this for anxiety or depression.”  And I’m like, umm, neither . . . both? . . .  Just . . .

I hate everyone gif

A light began to dawn when I read The Hormone Cure by Sara Gottfried.  What I experienced lined up almost exactly with the symptoms she listed for high cortisol.  It “fit” like nothing else.  So, I followed her “protocol” for high cortisol, which includes:

I started this at the beginning of March.  Amazing!  I’m more relaxed and patient and calm than I have ever been in my entire life.

I also feel like this:

slug

A slug doesn’t yell at her kids.  A slug isn’t prickly toward her husband.  A slug doesn’t get uptight and stressed out.

Also, a slug doesn’t clean her house.  A slug isn’t too concerned about personal hygiene.  A slug doesn’t cook.  A slug doesn’t exercise.   A slug doesn’t even type blog posts.  A slug mostly sits on the couch and reads.  And eats.  And gains weight.

I’ve always been Type A, so this is a whole new experience for me.  I’m enjoying it for now.  But I’d like to get my arse off the couch eventually.  Also I’d like not to get fat.

I’m wondering if I’ve been running on cortisol and caffeine for so long that my body doesn’t know what else to use for energy anymore?  It certainly isn’t burning all the calories I put into it.

I suspect low thyroid, but I’m also taking supplements that The Hormone Cure recommends for low thyroid, with no noticeable result.  And my TSH was normal last time I had blood work done just 6 months ago.  So what to do next?

Cue the witch doctor.

Witchdoctor gif

She’s actually not a witch doctor.  But Pat and I enjoy calling her that.

IMG_6080

IMG_6081

She’s a chiropractor/ alternative health practitioner person.  I went to her for a consult and now I’m getting more blood work and some hormone testing.

So we’ll see . . . .

In the mean time, if you need me, I’ll be on the couch.

A Movie I Hate

that I’ve never seen, advice I won’t take, plus other midnight ramblings:

 

1.  Here’s a little something for you:

Two of my favorite things: .gif images and Pride and Prejudice

2.  There are lots more of both herebut

3. I loathe the “new” Pride and Prejudice* movie with a passion.  The one with Keira Knightly.  Hate it.  Really can’t stand her acting.  Looking at her gives me the heebie geebies.  Does she have a sinus problem?  Can she not breathe through her nose?  Why can’t she close her mouth?

I don’t know her as a person so probably she’s perfectly likable in real life.  (Trying to avoid being uncharitable here . . .)  But in movies ugh.  And what little I saw of the new movie really was not true to the book.  The characters’ restraint is what makes the emotion in the book so compelling.  And the “new” movie does away with most of the restraint.  From what I saw.

Like I said I didn’t watch it.  Just a few bits and pieces.  I’m very fair and thorough that way when I form my opinions.

4. In happier news, my sister  Lizzie had her baby!  They are both doing well.  I don’t know how much more I’m allowed to tell.  Anyway, I’m pretty excited.

Speaking of younger siblings doing things one already has done . . . .

5. Advice: I used to dole out a lot of it.  I also used to think I needed to take every bit of advice that came my way.  Now, I’m pretty much done with advice.  This article quite humorously discusses the reasons why.

The U.S. is addicted to advice. Americans honestly believe that someone out there knows how to fix all our problems. . . . Why, then, are so many of us miserable, bankrupt, overweight chain smokers with horrible, illiterate kids? The advice was out there.

Certain family members might roll their eyes at my asserting I’m through with giving advice.  I guess I should say: I’ve cut back.  I’ve come a long way.

6. And speaking of . . . uh . . . kids.  Kids!  I saw this little statistic about vaccines.

Apparenly, parents who are disinclined to get their kids vaccinated are even less likely to get their kids vaccinated after being given a pro-vaccine spiel.  Makes perfect sense to me.

My kids are vaccinated (tho on a delayed schedule), but I detest the info sheets the doctor’s office hands out from the Center for Disease Control.  My friend calls them “idiot sheets,” and I think that sums it up perfectly.  “Hmm, you obviously think I’m dumber than dirt.  So what all are you not telling me?”

7. I’m always wired after book club and tonight is no exception.  Multiple hours of socializing! With multiple people at one time!  I love it but it’s a lot for my reclusive system to handle.

Happy weekend everyone!  Click over to Jen for more quick take posts.

 

*The “new” P&P was made almost nine years ago.  #Ifeelold

Five free exercise routines for the faint of heart

and the weak of body.

Guess what y’all?  I’ve been exercising!  A little!  And that’s a lot more than I was exercising before!    Here are some workouts I like:

1.  10 Minute Fat Blasting Circuit from Fit Sugar.

hate cardio, so I went for this because I figure, I can stand anything for ten minutes.  It’s mostly low-impact, keeps your heart going, and targets the lower body.  It’s touted as the  Victoria’s Secret Model workout . . . or something like that. Blah.   I don’t even know why, though, it has nothing to do with Victoria’s Secret.

2.  10 Minute Yoga for Happiness routine.

This one is cheesy, but it really does improve my mood.

3.  Do yoga with me:  I like this whole website.

This is a good, 30 minute beginner’s yoga routine; mainly stretching with just a bit of strengthening.

This is similar, but about 45 minutes.

I recently tried going up to intermediate level with this 45 minute “foundations in flow” routine.

It was . . . humbling.  Ahem.  But good.  I’ll be going back to it.

4.  This 25 minute pilates routine is supposedly a beginner’s class.  Apparently, I am more beginner than a beginner because it kicks my tail.  But I’ll be coming back.  I can tell it’s what my muscles need.

5.  Finally, this “deep release for the lower back and hamstrings” doesn’t burn many calories, but it’s a great stretching routine.  It feels great and is relaxing.  Highly recommended for those with low back problems.

 

I’m linking up with Hallie for Five Favorites.  Thanks Hallie!