My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou


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PCOS, Inositol, & My Thinning Hair

chemical structure of D-chiro-inositol

For women with PCOS & other hormonal issues, hair is a big deal.  You get too much hair in some places, well everywhere but your head.  On your head, you lose it.  PCOS causes an excess of testosterone, leading to male pattern baldness, as well as male pattern body hair (excess hair on the chest, back, hands & feet, butt, all the manly places, also thicker & darker) & the the dreaded facial hair.

My biggest problem was thinning hair.  When I was younger my hair was so thick I had it thinned out when I had my hair cut.  Last year I realized I was losing a bird’s nest of hair every day.  No matter how many times I brushed it, more hair was always coming out.  I would brush it before I washed it, still lose lots of hair in the shower, & later I could pull at my hair & come away with several more strands.  The shower was full, the garbage can was full (after I brushed it really did look like a bird’s nest in the can), & there was hair everywhere in the apartment.  Granted, I do have long hair which adds to the volume of my hair piles.

I could see my scalp without parting my hair for the first time in my life.  I’m vain when it comes to my hair, so thiat was a big deal for me.

What is a modern gal to do when she has a problem?  To the interwebz!

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What you see in the mirror | The Oatmeal

What you see in the mirror – The Oatmeal

This is a panel from the middle of a The Oatmeal cartoon.  “What you see in the mirror” is about perspective.  How we see ourselves isn’t always reality or how others see us.  As always, I encourage you to go check out the whole of it.

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Fish Oil & Freebies!

Research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, or essential fatty acids (EFAs), can help lower triglycerides, slow the hardening of arteries, regulate heartbeat, and lessen the risk of death in people with known heart disease. It’s also possible that the omega-3 group may aid in treating depression… A few promising studies suggest that natural sources of omega-3s — especially fish oil — may help bring mood back into balance.
~Chris Woolston, M.S., Health Day

Body Vega Fish Oil

source: Amazon.com

I have been researching & trying a lot of different vitamins & supplements, & have been intending to write about them here.  Ta-da!  I’m finally doing it.  I figure fish oil was a good place to start.

A lot of research has been done into fish oil in the last couple of decades.  It has been shown to be helpful for several physical issues, but the research into its use for mental health has been less certain.  Some studies say it does, some say it doesn’t.  There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence out there to support whichever stance you prefer.  The Mayo Clinic’s site rates it an A on the physical health issues, but only a C when it comes to Bipolar Disorder.

I dug up a plethora of links on the issues, so there are lots there if you want to do some digging of your own.  I’ve included three research oriented links from the last year at the bottom.  They are the ones I used writing this.

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ZEN PENCILS » 160. EDGAR ALBERT GUEST: It couldn’t be done

Capture zen pencil 160

ZEN PENCILS » 160. EDGAR ALBERT GUEST: It couldn’t be done

Got today’s Zen Pencils, & it was too perfect not to share.  If you aren’t familiar with Zen Pencils, which you should be, it’s “a cartoon blog which adapts inspirational quotes into comic stories“.  I like that he shows a fat dude getting out there & doing it, even though everyone says he can’t.  This is his second use of the running man.  Mr. Man starts running here.

This is just a little snippet, not even half of the entire comic, so if you like what you see, go check it out in its entirety.  It’s also much bigger over there.

For those sensitive to food & weight issues, he doesn’t get skinny, but he does lose some weight.  He also throws out the junk food* & starts juicing.  However, that is not the case in the first one.  He begins running to get out of a funk & make himself feel better.

*Never throw out perfectly good food, even if it’s junk food.  Give it to someone, donate it to a food pantry, something.  There are too many people hungry out there for you to be tossing stuff in the garbage because you don’t want to eat it.  You might think eating transfats & corn syrup whatevers is evil, but they are still healthier than starving. archer deal with it


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Bipolar Treatment Fatigue | Bipolar Burble

Bipolar Treatment Fatigue

If you haven’t spent the last decade-and-a-half fighting bipolar disorder, let me clue you in: for many of us, fighting bipolar disorder is an every second of every minute of every hour of every day of your life kind-of-a-thing. Dealing with bipolar disorder is not something that stops when you leave your doctor’s office or when you take your pills. Truly treating bipolar disorder means using coping skills and being on guard for the problems of bipolar disorder every moment of forever.

I have recently come back around to being sick of taking pills.  I get this way from time to time, although this time I didn’t stop taking them, which is new.  I take pills 3x a day.  I have alarms set for each time.  That’s a lot of thinking about taking pills.  I can’t leave the house for any significant length of time without worrying about pills.  On top of the three pills I take for BD, I also have a couple of other rx drugs, along with several vitamins & supplements.  When I go away overnight I have to pack an extra bag just for all my pills. >_<

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Critical Dietetics Remains HAES Positive | Critical Dietetics Blog

calming manatee 12

Critical Dietetics Remains HAES Positive

Critical Dietetics, being active in its questioning of the “obesity problem” and the moral panic this positioning of bodies causes, rejects the notion that individual attempts to control body weight lead to improved health. A critical perspective on health promotion considers the range of social, political, and economic influences on people’s lives.

I found this article of interest.  It seemed like a good excuse to post something & check-in with you guys.  Not just this post, the field of Critical Dietetics sounds fascinating.  They didn’t have their own pic accompanying the post, so I brought back calming manatee.

I’m doing well.  I ended my relationship & moved back in with my dad last month.  Sucks, but it’s good.  I’m feeling better, more energetic.  Of course I’m also taking some new vitamins I’m really liking.  I’ll have to tell you about all the vitamins & supplements I’ve been trying for various things.  (I got some free stuff I need to tell you about!)  I’ve been posting about it on my personal fb page, but haven’t gotten around to it here. :-/  I’ve been especially focused on vitamins to improve mood & energy, & help with hormonal issues/ my thinning hair. >_<  (Fixed my hair!)  I’ve spent so much time researching vitamins & supplements I feel like a vitaminologist! Which I think I just made up.  (Nope, according to Merriam-Webster, it’s a thing. Spellcheck begs to differ.)

I’m in the midst of moving to a larger city nearby, so that’s very exciting.  I’ve been going out some & meeting new people.  That’s very exciting for me.  Being single again, I really do feel more like my old self.  I hadn’t fully realized how much the relationship was stressing me until I left.

Hope you guys are doing well!


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Anxiety & the Gym

They’re all gonna have droopy boobs like me one day, anyway.
~The Oatmeal

Capture elderly oatmeal

Oh you must read this in its entirely. Go NOW!

What do that old dude & I have in common, besides droopy boobs & a generally cranky attitude?  We both want to be alone at the gym.  Not an issue exclusive to us.

When I searched “gym anxiety” a lot  came up.  Most of it was the usual “I’m fat/weak/clumsy/a heavy sweater & I’m afraid people will judge me at the gym”.  To which the usual answer was “Get over yourself. You’re not so special everyone is paying attention to you.”  While that is true, it’s not very helpful, especially for someone dealing with an anxiety disorder.  It’s also kinda mean.

Everyone’s anxiety manifests differently, so there are no blanket answers.  Personally, along with the “I’m fat & feel judged by all the fit people at the gym; everyone is laughing at me” form of typical gym anxiety, there’s also the anxiety that has caused me to cry in the grocery aisle – where only one other person was – suddenly overwhelmed by the idea of how many people were in the store.  There’s also the perfectionism causing a paralyzing fear of making mistakes & the paranoia that feeds the idea everyone is watching & judging me.  I’ve been trying to convince myself no one is paying that much attention to me in public for 20+ years, but it doesn’t work.  The being alone thing is part of what I like about running.  You may remember the only race I ever did.

Just not going to the gym is certainly one solution to this problem, but maybe not the best one depending on your goals.  I have chosen that route a lot of the time, & history says this will come around again.  If your goals lead you to pursuing the gym life in spite of your fear & loathing of other people, then here are a few suggestions from my experience.

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