A blog to share about Adrenal insufficiency, Addison's Disease, Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, Music, Inspiration, Scrapbooking and other elements viewed through the lens of my life. I'm hoping that others who are traveling this journey may find some commonality, and maybe some information and inspiration.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fun App for iPhones

Thanks to a post by Kayla Lameroux over at DigiScrap101, I have a new, fun photography app for my iPhone. It's called Notica. As you can see above, you can write notes onto the photo card. Plus it's date/time stamped. It can also be location stamped. In the upper left corner is the group this card is in. Basically, you can have stacks of cards on different topics.

You can save either the card or just the photo to the camera roll, and hence they appear on your Photo Stream. You can also upload directly to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, but not Flickr, unfortunately.

Here's one caveat - the photos aren't large, so it isn't a place to take all your photos. But it's a great place for, say, a digital Inspiration File! As you can see by what's in the photo above, I'm taking the class TWELVE over at Big Picture Classes with Stacy Julian, who is one of the best teachers for scrapbooking anywhere on the planet in my opinion. She has a gift for getting organized in a fun way so you can really enjoy scrapping and not be overwhelmed.

Anyway, back to the app. The cards, when I open them in PSE9, are about 1.5 x 3 in. at 300ppi. When you save just the photo, it is about 3x3 at 300ppi.

However, you can also import a photo from your camera roll and turn it into a card. That way you can have the card, and still keep the larger, higher quality photo. I plan on doing a lot of this on my almost-here trip. This is going to be a great way to note the name of the restaurant, for instance, or who is in the picture. I plan on taking the photos with my iPhone camera, then making notes every evening, if not sooner. Fun! I'll post some on Twitter and maybe a few on Facebook while I'm gone. That is, if there's any time available. I took a good look at the schedule yesterday, and it's crazy busy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fast-5 Follow Up

I thought I'd post a quick follow up on my previous post.

I made the switch to eating between 5-10 PM very quickly. It only took me a couple of days to transition. My big challenge is coming up next week when I go to a conference. My eating hours may be extended to about 8 hours while I'm gone - I don't want to miss out on any of the good food there is to be found near the hotel (so I've heard from those who know). So I'll be eating between 1:00 PM - 9:00 PM.

I've lost a couple of pounds so far, which is really encouraging. It's not uncommon to not lose weight at first, plus I had to up some medication that causes water retention, so I'm very happy with a couple pounds off.

I'm making preparations for my trip, and I have a feeling that we are going to be kept very busy while we're at the conference, so I'm not sure when the next post will be.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Forming a New Habit

Today I'm starting to focus on a new habit. According to Leo Babauta at Zen Habits these are the keys to developing a new habit. I think they make sense, so this is where I'm starting. Here's a clip from that blog post:

The Nutshell Principles

So what are the principles that changed my life, repeatedly?
If you read the brief stories above, you already know:
1. Start very small.
2. Do only one change at a time.
3. Be present and enjoy the activity (don’t focus on results).
4. Be grateful for every step you take.
In programming, this is called an algorithm. It’s a series of steps that you can apply to make any change, no matter what your situation.
It works. This is the Zen Habits method, the Change Your Life App, in four lines. I hope it helps.

Back to me now: So what is my new habit? It's increasing the time I spend fasting each day. We all fast daily. For many of us, it just the time we are asleep. Hello, see me raising my hand? Why do I want to do this? because I'm about 50 pounds over my healthy weight. 50 pounds! It keeps sneaking upward, even though I eat a healthy diet, in reasonable amounts. So obviously, something isn't working. In my defense, I've got dysautonomia, which currently prevents me from doing much in the way of exercise. I'm working on that, but it is likely to be a long time before I can spend much energy in the exercise department, so the idea of losing weight by getting in great shape isn't anything that's going to happen any time in the forseeable future. 

So I'm returning to a lifestyle that I once practiced with success. According to Bert Herring, MD, author of "The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle",  increasing the time spent in the fasting state is a great, scientifically sound way to lose weight. The goal is to eat only in a 5 hour window each day. It sounds difficult, but I've done it before. It worked. But then I got lazy about it and went back to eating pretty much any time I'm awake, whenever the mood strikes. 

Notice I said mood, not hunger. I realized the other day that when I get the urge to eat, it often is not actual hunger. And I remembered this program. And I remembered that it was successful in terms of taking off the weight and keeping it off. And I realized that I have no idea when/where/why I actually stopped this. 

So today is the first day of my new habit. Dr. Herring calls it the Adjustment Period. Rather than jumping in with both feet and trying to hit the maximum fasting period today, now (which is what I'd really like to be able to do), I'm pushing back breakfast an hour. Since I'm on a late schedule and I work at home (starting work at 10:00 most days), I normally eat around 9:00AM. This morning is a more flexible day, so I'm eating breakfast at 10:00. I'm hoping tomorrow to make it till noon. I really have to since I'll be working with students between 10:00AM and 12:00PM. We'll see how it goes after that in terms of how quickly I can step back breaking my fast. 

Things I remember from this lifestyle plan before: It wasn't too hard to do once you're used to the idea. I liked not having to think about food at all for a good chunk of the day! The focus during the fasting period, for me, is on staying hydrated, so my blood pressure stays OK. (I tend to have blood pressure on the low side). I remember that having a lot of carbs makes it harder the next day. Somehow that kicks in the desire to eat more frequently. One thing I'll have to change is having cream in my coffee. That will mean either going back to drinking it black or not having it until I have breakfast, at whatever hour that is. I'm glad I like my tea unsweetened and without milk. That's an easy alternative.

I'm hoping by writing about it publicly, and reporting on my progress or lack thereof will help keep me on track with this one habit. I'm starting small - pushing back breakfast according to my ability do manage it. It's the one change I'm making in my eating. The being present and enjoying the activity part is tougher, especially during the fasting time. But it's an idea worth exploring. Being present and enjoying the eating time is much easier! Be grateful for every step: Grateful is my One Little Word this year, so I'll start out by being grateful that I remembered this way of eating and grateful that there is something that I know has worked for me in the past. This is a lifestyle habit I want to form - not a temporary diet plan. Because I know that if it's temporary, those pounds will come back on uninvited. And now, it's time for breakfast!