Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is This News to Anyone?

I recently read an article in Good Housekeeping that says all that advice about getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends, is a bunch of hooey.  They used to say you can't "catch up" on lost sleep by sleeping in on weekends.  This new study has found that's not true.

Seems they allowed a group of people to sleep only four hours a night for five nights, and the participants were found to be less alert.  (You don't say?)  Then they allowed them to sleep up to 10 hours the sixth night.  After a good night's sleep, the participants had large gains in alertness and reaction times.  (Shocking!)

Is this news to anyone?  Because I could have told them that I'm a completely different person when I'm allowed to sleep in.  And we hear stuff all the time about not getting enough sleep being one cause of weight gain.  I firmly believe that if I could just fall asleep and wake up according to my own bodily clock (which would mean going to bed about 1:00 a.m. or so and getting up around 11:00 the next morning), the world would be a happier place.  Well, at least my world would be.

Alas, most of the world doesn't share my night owlish ways.  And I find myself struggling to get enough sleep while getting up in time to make a living five days a week.  So, my doctor has prescribed me various forms of sleeping pills.  I'm telling you, I've tried them all.  The only thing that's worked for me is Ambien.  And it has some undesirable side effects (such as amnesia, but whatever...  Who are you again?).

On my most recent visit, the doctor prescribed me something else.  Something he said I hadn't actually tried yet.  He warned me that it might make it difficult for me to get up in the morning.  (Like I need anything making it harder for me to get up in the morning?)  But he assured me I'd sleep through the night, which is something I swear I haven't done like since I was a child.

It was Trazodone.  100-200 mg.  And I'm here to tell you, my advice for you is, do not take this.  EVER.

He told me to take one to two pills at bedtime.  So I started with one the first night.  And I laid awake for hours.  Then I finally did fall asleep, and slept like a log until 11:30 the next morning.  At which point I got out of bed, made my way to the couch, and there I stayed the rest of the day.  (This was a Saturday, thankfully.)

Since I didn't have so much luck with the falling asleep on one pill, I took two the following night.  And I still laid awake for hours.  I was making R as miserable as I was, and I finally broke down and took an Ambien on top of what I'd already taken.  (Which I am by no means endorsing.  As you will soon read.)

I slept.  I slept until after 1:00 Sunday afternoon.  When I woke up and spent the next hour sicker than I've ever been in my life.  R wanted to take me to the doctor.  I refused to leave the bathroom floor.

When I finally could stand of my own accord, I made my way to the couch, and that's where I spent the remainder of Sunday.  I didn't feel sick anymore.  I just didn't feel much like moving either.

So, I shoved those pills in the back of the medicine cabinet, and I'm back to Ambien.  Some nights I only take a 1/2 pill.  And if I have more than two days off work in a row, I can get by without any, assuming I'm free to stay up as late as I wish, then sleep as late as I wish.

Anyway, I'm telling you, if you have the same issues I have, don't take Trazodone.  Run far away.  While you can still run.

Friday, June 17, 2011

PEZ is NOT a Food Group

When it comes to food - I have a one track mind.

Which CAN be good...... you know, if I'm stuck on something like my favorite baked oatmeal, or if I happen to be on a kick where I can't get enough salad.

But if something happens and my taste buds are yelling out for something like pizza, or ice cream, or bagels, or something equally as evil - that's a recipe for disaster. See the thing is that when I HAVE these things that I crave it's not enough to have them ONCE. I like to have them again and again.

So it was dangerous times when I found PEZ as I was checking out at my favorite local store. I LOVE PEZ. I remember getting it as a child - always with one of those silly character tubes. My brother and I would keep a watchful eye on each others inventory - we didn't want to finish too soon (and have the other still enjoying their treat). But you also did not want to let it linger around too long - or it might be hijacked by some nearby family member (or dog) when you got distracted. Heaven forbid you EVER lose the PEZ dispenser in a coat pocket or purse or under the seat in the car - you would want to KNOW that at least there was no precious PEZ left in it.

So there is a stack of PEZ. Not the crappy packages that have 3 Lemon packs and Orange packs. NOPE. We are talking prime 100% quality flavor PEZ packs - strawberry, raspberry, grape, oh my!

I'm an adult. I can buy candy. I can control myself. Right?

Well, here is a clue. IF after buying large quantities of PEZ candies - you instantly begin thinking of where you can stash them (glove compartment, work bag, in my desk - never ON the desk, but hidden in the lower drawers, the top shelf of the spice cabinet) - well then, you MAY have a problem.

I would like to say that this is the end of my sugar addiction story- but it is not. Shortly after that there were holidays - the kind that involve candy sales and more importantly - AFTER holiday candy sales. Where one could pick up a whole box of Fun Dip for like $.75. So I bought them all.

I consumed them in record (crazy-obsessed) time. The logic (or lack of) still is hard to comprehend. I seldom drink a soda - a single serving soda - because of the huge amount of sugar involved. But here I was eating 3-4 Fun Dip packages in one sitting.

Clearly, I can not be trusted. Also, I may or may not be the basis for Dr. Oz's recent topics of sugar as a highly addictive drug.

I'm happy to say that I've been Fun Dip free for a few months now. I did however, just find my secret stash of PEZ in the glove box last week. I haven't opened the package. I can savor it as long as the seal isn't broken - but I'm sure that once I take it from it's safe container - their outlook will not be good. I'd give them 48 hours.

Do you have a sugar addiction? Is it one food group? Do you find that indulging once leads to a stronger craving? And have you found a way to enjoy your favorite foods without needing a rehab vacation to recover?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Elizabeth's Back!

My Turn! Well many of you... well, some of you... well, maybe one or two of you, may be wondering why I haven’t posted since January of 2010. Yeah, I know unbelievable and inexcusable. To put it in summer concert terms, life in 2010 was pretty much a Crap Fest. Yes, I said Crap Fest 2010, with a capitol C and a big ‘ol fest! This has a great deal to do with why I didn’t post or have anything weight wise to post about. My exercise and eating habits went completely out the door. I can proudly announce that I didn’t gain any weight but I certainly didn’t lose any either. I pretty much stayed where I was. (Considering the 5 deaths of friends and family, my dog getting brain cancer and dying on Christmas Eve, my job being cut and several friends losing their jobs as well.) I think no change in weight was a great accomplishment. Although when I look in the mirror I can see the stress and strain of the past year, which is why I’ve rededicated myself to a new regime of eating healthier and exercise.

One of my big food loves is bread or really any starchy food. For the past week I’ve cut out eating any starchy foods during the day (Breakfast and lunch) eating mostly veggies and fruit. For dinner I eat a normal meal with my beloved starchy foods on the menu. As far as my exercise routine… well my intentions were good but my body did not comply. I fell last Thursday and fractured my pinky and scraped up my knee really bad. So riding my bike, which is my favorite form of exercise, has been left in the garage. I know I could probably walk but motivation has left the building without me.

I’m really hoping that getting back into blogging again (with two fingers and a thumb on my left hand) will keep me honest with myself and do the things I’ve been neglecting to do for the past year and a half. My God! It’s really been a year and a half! Kick me in the ass if I haven’t blogged again in 3 weeks. Seriously!