Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why I'm Doing This

I had my hubby take a look at my blog last night as he hasn't really known what I've been up to with it. He asked me if it was something I really wanted to do because in writing about Preston and his ADHD, I am giving him a little bit of a stigma or label. I thought about it all last night as he did have a point. This is what I realized:

When I had my first miscarriage, I felt relieved when people talked to me about it and told me their personal experiences with having a miscarriage. When I went through my divorce at the age of 27 after having been married for seven years (and no, it wasn't the 'seven year itch') I craved to talk to people that had been through a divorce. I was so young that I really didn't know anybody that had been through it. I had a friend who was struggling in her marriage call me to talk to me about it.

When we experience something in our life that is challenging or traumatic, we want to know that we aren't alone. That somebody else has been through it and survived! When I knew that Preston had some major stumbling blocks I sought out people that could offer me advice or point me in a direction - any direction that would help me. I am still seeking out people that know what I am going through and can talk to me about ideas they have tried and had success or failure with in working with this disability.

Yes. I do want to do this blog for everyone out there like me who is facing this challenge and needs support. Yes I want to do this for everybody that is struggling with their health, their weight and leaidng their family in the right direction with their health. There are so many misperceptions about food and I feel so relieved by what I have found and I have taken control of my health through what I have learned. I want to share it with anybody and everybody who is looking for solutions like I have.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Trainer Makes Himself Obese Purposely

I just went to the Yahoo main page, where I am always compelled to look at the intriguing stories they do, and found a story this morning about a personal trainer that was intentionally gaining weight. I haven't heard of this other than Hollywood stars that gain weight for certain roles so this definitely peaked my interest. You can read the full article at the following address:

The part that I found most interesting was when he talked about not liking soda in the beginning of this 'journey' to where he now HAS to have one everyday. He admitted to being addicted to all the sugar, white breads and flour, starchy pasta - he loves the taste but found he was hungry again shortly thereafter and craving the same foods. He also had to have his soda to keep the headaches at bay. This made me think of my cute mother who probably has a can of Coke a day but insists that it is 'medicinal' for her migraines. I've been telling her for years that if she dropped the soda, the migraines would probably go away. Our bodies are all different and while one person can handle 48 oz. of soda a day, others can only handle one can a day. I would put her in the latter category.

Processed foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates are absolutely addictive. Sugar actually stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain and when those levels drop, like any other drug, the body craves more. It is a vicious cycle that we are all too happy to indulge. I recently put my twelve-year-old step-son to the 'spit test' to determine if he had a yeast overgrowth which is very probable in most people that 'crave' sugar and starchy foods. First thing in the morning (prior to brushing your teeth or eating any food) you spit into a glass of water; if the spit floats you are clear, but if the spit sinks (even if there is a string that sinks to the bottom) you have a yeast overgrowth. His floated for a moment before a long string of it sank. I treated the yeast with seven drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract in his water morning and night on any empty stomach for about ten days. He also gave up white bread, refined sugar and most dairy and the overly sugary fruits. For him, this was an incredible feat.

We followed up with the spit test again in ten days and he was clear. I now give him a pro-biotic morning and night to build his intestinal tract with good bacteria. He has told me that he doesn't wake up with phlegm in the morning anymore (sugar is a definite proponent of this), he is sleeping better and overall feels better. He has also turned into an avid food-label reader and won't eat anything with colors, high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils. I'm not sure if he'll whip out the Ramen noodles again (MSG). We shall see. He did have a Twix bar the other day and it was interesting to see how crazy it made him. He noticed it too and I'm sure he'll indulge time and again, but overall I think he will be making healthier choices from this point forward. Moderation.

I myself have never been excessively overweight but I did crave sugar and starches and struggled to lose those infamous 5-10 pounds because I just didn't understand how the whole food thing worked. Since I began my Isagenix journey and have continued to learn about food, I lost 'those 10 pounds plus another eight! I've been eating have my Isagenix shake for breakfast and eating full fats (lots of butter, coconut oil, full-fat yogurt, nuts and seeds) and I haven't gained a pound. I feel so amazing right now being in control of my appetitte and it not controlling me. The personal trainer above was in the spot I feel I'm in now and he hates being a slave to his addiction and not doing anything good for his body. I'm sure he can't wait for his four weeks to be over!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Electronic Entertainment

In all of my reading and research I have made the rule in our home that there is one hour of television watching per day and one hour of video game time on Friday's and Saturday's. I have read nothing positive about video games (only the seeming old wives tale that it improves hand-eye coordination, bah!) and only about the harmful effect they have on kids. One author even noted in his patients the improvement in homework, attitude and decreasing ADHD tendencies when video games were removed from the home. With that said, my therapist passed along the results of a study that was done on whether or not fast-paced television shows has an immediate influence on pre-school children. The results were not surprising but very interesting:  They are saying these days that kids under two should not be watching television. I have to admit that I have not yet slipped any shows in for my little guy (nine months now!) and planning on keeping it that way for awhile. Happy reading!

Artificial Reinforcers

"Unfortunately for us parents, natural reinforcers are frequently insufficient motivationfor a child to complete an artificial task. Your son, for example, may be a natural slob - a clean room means nothing to him. Or your little girl may be attention deficit and learning disabled, and homework provides no satisfaction - but much frustration - for her. In these cases you must use artificial reinforcers. For smaller children the best ideas are often relatively small things that can be dished out frequently and in little pieces. With older kids, larger rewards that take longer to earn become more feasible." (1-2-3 Magic, 122) - I'll add that kids with ADHD need small things things that can be dished out frequently. I've noticed with Preston that rewards need to be fairly immediate otherwise it isn't worth it to him. It is also good to do things for kids just 'because you are you and I love you.' That is some wonderful advice our therapist gave me.

I've established chores that Preston is able to earn tickets for:
~Make his bed in the morning
~"Feed" the laundry basket or drawers - I've tried to make putting his clothes away a game in that the laundry basket and drawers are mouths that need to be fed. Amazingly enough, this has helped him put clothes away.
~Brush teeth in the morning and at night
~Bringing his lunch box home
~Completing homework
~Cleaning room
~A good deed
~Anything above and beyond
~And sometimes just because I love you

In 1-2-3 Magic, Phelan came up with a much larger and better list than I did of artificial reinforcers along with my thoughts on how many tickets it takes to earn the reinforcer (given he can usually earn about eight tickets a day with what he is expected to do):

A trip for ice cream - 40 tickets
A trip to Kneaders for a cookie - 32 tickets
A small toy - 40 tickets
Renting a special game - 24 tickets
Renting a special movie - 16 tickets
Watching a movie on a school night - 8 tickets
Cash - $.15/ticket
Staying up past bedtime - He struggles getting to sleep so this one may not be an option for him
A grab-bag surprise - 16 tickets
Outing with a parent - 24 tickets
Shopping trip - 80 tickets
Sleepover with Mimi and Baba - 64 tickets
Extra game time with parent - 8 tickets
A "No Chore" Voucher - 24 tickets
Campout in backyard - or even a campout in the house - 64 tickets
Snack of choice - 8 tickets
Breakfast in bed - 32 tickets
Comic book or magazine - 16 tickets
Friend over for dinner - 40 tickets
Choice of three reinforcers - 104 tickets
Sleeping with dog or cat - 16 tickets
Items for a collection - 16 tickets
Helping make and eat cookies - 8 tickets
Using power tool with supervision - 24 tickets
Walk dog with parent - 8 tickets
15 Minutes extra TV time - 8 tickets
15 Minutes extra video game on weekends - 24 tickets
$5 Extra Allowance money - 56 tickets

I'm going to post this in his room and keep a copy on hand for myself and I know it will only work if I follow through on giving him his tickets at the end of each day and follow through quickly when he 'cashes' them in. Boo-yah!

Monday, October 17, 2011

About You

I had another runaway attempt last week by my little Preston and he has been really pushing me to see how patient and in-control I can be. Isn't that sweet of him? I guess when I seem un-breakable somebody is bound to want to see if they can crack me. What a joke! Jillian Michaels has come close to breaking me in her Ripped In 30 workouts and she even quoted Ernest Hemingway, "We are stronger in the places we are broken." "With that being said, I'm going to break you!" And with that being said, Jillian is my pick-me-up for this week. She is wellspring of wisdom and she gives out some pretty fantastic nuggets at the end of her fourth workout which I have quoted below. We all need something extra to help us get through tough moments and I've been repeating after her to keep it in my mind to pull out when I need it most. And I have been needing it more than once a day for the last week or two. Forgive me, I didn't get her quote exactly, but most of it. Regardless, it is some good stuff. 
"Take a moment and think about who you are. What you brought (bring) to the table. How present you are. You can be that way in every facet of your life. You can be anything you want to be at anytime that you choose to be it. Doing my workouts takes a strong, focused and determined individual. That's who you are. You don't need to take on anybody else's crap. When does it come time to say enough is enough? When does it come time to say "this is for me." I do this for me. I have one obligation to the world and this is it - to to be  the best you can be. You've been brought here to this place at this time to be uniquely yourself. You know the quote, "everybody else it taken. " You have one choice - to be yourself. Be the best you always. It simply means prioritizing your life, love your self the way you do your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers.  When you are strong you can lead by example and then you will be able to properly support everyone else in your life. Inhale the possibilities and exhale all the negativity and self-doubt you've been carrying around all your life."

The only person I have control over is myself. I can be strong but I have to take care of myself first and actually build my strength. Why else do they tell you on airplanes to put your mask on first? How can you help your kiddo if you are already passed out? I can't handle Preston if I have no reservoirs to draw from. I am strong and I just have to remember that when I need it most.