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I’m wondering how many people are asking themselves why I have asked to blog again? As most know, I am not the most compliant BTD’er out there as I tend to be focused one moment and out of control the next.
I guess that I have more to say and more of a journey yet to follow with the BTD. I’m forever inspired by Suzanne’s blogs and her real commitment to following the BTD to it’s fullest. I think that I ended my last blogging round because my life had gotten out of control, as had my eating and I felt like a failure compared to people like her.
While I’m not sure how much of my life is now under control, I know that it is much better in at least one way: I have been diagnosed and have started treatment for Adult ADD/ ADHD and the treatment has been nothing short of miraculous for me.
I took amphetamines for years in college as a way to help myself study. Little did I realize that this is the exact treatment that I needed for the ADD/ADHD that I always probably had. While I was always and exemplary student (and a straight-A one at that) from elementary school through high school, when I hit Cornell University, I found that I was struggling terribly with the amount of memorization required and the volume of the reading required. I hadn’t realized how hard it was for me to memorize things – my education so far had been so “easy” for me. I rarely had to memorize anything but spelling and spelling, to this day, is problem for me. Anyway, at the urging of a friend of mine (probably also ADD), I found that taking amphetamines helped me to slog through the difficult reading and to retain what I read much better. Of course, what I was taking were street drugs, and who knows what was in them.
After college, in 1984, I quit street drugs all together at the request of my then boyfriend/ now husband. He was very anti-drug and had never taken or experimented with any sort of illegal substance. Since this was the only thing that he ever asked of me, I felt that I could do this, no problem.
The problem was that I started to get mentally disjointed again, although I wasn’t really aware of this at the time. I then found diet pills, which I took, on and off, for over a decade after that. While they never gave me the calm, focused feeling that I was craving, they did help. Ephedra-based diet pills were part of my daily routine, and while I always felt that I was taking them to lose weight, I now know that I was also taking them to self-medicate my mental frenzy and disjointedness. While Ephedra helped, it wasn’t the answer. My body would eventually burn out on this product, and I would have to quit it for a while.
To make a long story short, I am now taking Adderall, which is, basically, pure amphetamine. I am taking the tiniest of doses throughout the day, but the difference that it has made in my life is nothing short of miraculous. I know, I know, ADD/ADHD has become something of a pariah these days, with every child who is rambunctious being hauled off to the psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. I don’t know how to feel about this. As an adult, this past year has been one of the absolute worst for my brain. Over the past 6 months, specifically, I have felt that I was losing my mind. I found myself neck-deep in paperwork that I simply could not handle on my desk, I found my business lacking, due to my inability to ever get anything done, and I found my household reflecting my mental state in it’s general feeling and appearance of non-stop chaos.
Thank goodness I found myself at a therapist whose first real question to me was whether I had ever been diagnosed as ADD/ADHD. Truthfully, the thought had never crossed my mind. I participated in the diagnosis process and ended up on this medication. The change has been, as I stated, nothing short of miraculous. Within 15 minutes of taking the medication, my mind slows down, calms down and I feel that I can actually focus enough to take on AND complete the tasks that I need to do. If this is how well it helps me, then perhaps I (we) need to rethink our judgment of the children labeled as ADD/ADHD, and the parents who agree to follow the treatment program for them. Personally, I would never want my daughter to struggle with the disjointed, frustrating misery that has been my brain for the past year or two. I guess that, as I child, I must have developed pretty good coping strategies. Or perhaps I wasn’t that bad until I hit college. Whatever it was, I would have loved to have had this medication to help me. It’s hard to go to a phenomenal university as I did, but to be known as the “mental space cadet”, which is what my friends called me, made matters even more difficult. I often wondered if THEY wondered what the hell I was doing at a school like that. While I excelled at my sport and ended up captaining the woman’s polo team that won the national title in 1984 – I could REALLY focus on polo – my grades were not what I felt they should be. They were OK, but I could never understand why they weren’t what they were in high school. Adderall probably would have helped that tremendously. Of course, back in 1980, this was not something that people knew much about, so there you go!
One of the reasons that had decided to step down from blogging was feeling that I was losing my ability to keep up with the task of blogging. Now it seems to be no problem.
While I was offered a cousin of the current anti-depressants to take along with the Adderall, I decided to pass, and so far, I don’t need them. My mood and outlook has moved back to being more of my typical “optimistic” self, now that I am able to deal with my life.
I had given up on many things over this past year. I had given up on getting my business under control. I had given up on ever keeping up with the housework. I had given up on ever being thin again. I’ve changed my tune. Now things seem do-able again.
So, to get to the point: I would like to make the main focus of this blog about losing weight using the BTD. While I can’t say that I won’t stray thoughts from here to there (the Adderall helps, but isn’t a “cure” and I wouldn’t want it to be one), I would like to keep the main track as weight loss.
So, this is where I am:
I am taking stock of what strategies have worked for me in the past and which ones haven’t worked for me at all. I am thinking a lot about what I am able to do, and what I cannot do where losing weight is concerned. I am making some small changes right now, but I am looking to set a date when I will start putting the strategies that I develop into place. Most of all, I am spending this time being brutally realistic about who I am in relationship to food and diet.
Those realizations will be the focus of my next blog. I know that there are those of you who also want to lose weight on the BTD. Would you like to join me? If so, this is what I will be doing for the next week or so…
1) I will be deciding when my start-point will be. My daughter goes back to school in mid-August. While I will be working my way towards my diet/exercise/health commitments during the next few weeks, it is unrealistic for me to think that I can commit to my guidelines until she is back at school and our home settles down into a predictable routine. Also we have a difficult problem that is coming to a head in the next 10 days. Making any plans until we are through that issue is ridiculous.
2) I will be thinking about what has worked for me in the past, and what has not worked for me. For example: The Hiller Method (small bites, chewing each bit 20 times, etc.) does not work for me. It simply conflicts with my lifestyle and personality. I have given it a really good try, and I can tell you that it doesn’t work for me. BUT, can I take something FROM that experience that can help me? I think so, but I have to sort it out. There are many, many things that I need to sort out similar to that, not the least of which is BTD compliance. I don’t want to set myself up for failure, and in order to keep myself from doing just that, I need to be clear about what keeps me going and what helps me to fail.
3) I will be slowly working towards the things that I need to do in the meantime. For instance, I know that starches are an issue for me. I just ran out of rice in the house. I will not be buying it on a regular basis again. I have done this with rice crackers – I simply don’t buy them, for the most part – and this has helped me tremendously. While I’m not getting myself into the full swing at this point, I AM going to put myself into a clean-up mode.
4) Finally, I am thinking about the long term. I have lost the same 60 pounds over and over again, but I have never found a way to keep it off. While there is no doubt in my mind that I can lose the weight, I don’t want to do it, only to gain it back again. I’m tired of that life-script. So, this time, I am focusing, not only on losing the weight, but also on how I can make this a permanent change. Once this is done, I don’t want to have to do it again. Ever. I MUST understand what it takes in order to do this. This, truthfully, is my main goal
So, here the journey starts anew. I hope that I can use what I have learned to help me reach my goal. Please join me on my journey. Saddle up with me, if you like. I’ve got good horses. I know how to do this. Let’s RIDE!