Weight Loss, Mental Health Tips for Long Term Dieting

I have been working to lose 100 pounds put on over the last 10 years. I lost two stillborn babies, got depressed and sick and took an antidepressant. That didn't help depression but did make me gain a lot of weight. I've gotten about 90 pounds off but it's taken a long time. That's because I didn't cheat and use trendy diets or surgery. I changed my lifestyle. Here are some tips on how I lost weight.   Weight Loss Tips for Long Term Dieting

So You Fall Off the Diet Wagon Over the Holidays?

I have lost 93 pounds and am sharing How-I-lost-weight in a Diet-tip-of-the-day post. I listed a bunch of diet-friendly Thanksgiving dinner recipes. I was planning to make separate low calorie alternatives for myself. But the bathroom remodel took longer than expected, the house is still in disarray and I didn't have time or space to cook as planned. And I was sick of dieting. So I chose to enjoy the holiday feast. Here's why that's an emotionally and physically healthy choice. So I Fell Off the Diet Wagon Over Thanksgiving

Dealing with Workplace Drama, When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up

I read a lot of job applications and two things prospective employers claim to be looking for are "team players" and "self-starters." Both of which are logical fallacies in the real world of work.

My husband has been navigating workplace drama, specifically with one coworker we'll call "Fanny" (she's a pain in the backside). Husband works maintenance and she's a machine operator. His job is to fix the machines. She thinks he is her personal lackey.  Employers Do Not Understand Team Players and Self-Starters

Making Health Insurance, Affordable Care Act Pay

Let's hear it for Obamacare! Finally, people who have never had insurance will be able to get coverage. Opponents are nitpicking at the Affordable Care Act, saying it's expensive, can't choose doctors, forced to switch doctors. Just propaganda from those with a vested interest in keeping us uninsured and paying more for care. So let's start unpacking the ACA. Now that you have coverage, how can you make it work for you? Read onMaking Health Insurance, Affordable Care Act Pay

Nevada School Shooting Prompts Bullying Discussion

Another school shooting, this time in Nevada. A 12-year-old shot a teacher and injured several students. Some reports say the act was revenge for bullying. Where is all this violence coming from? Who bullies? Where do kids bully? From 30 years teaching--every age, grade, school structure and background--here's what I've found. The answers might surprise you. They would definitely surprise bullied kids. Nevada School Shooting Prompts Bullying Debate--Bully Profile Might Surprise Bullied Kids

Plus-Minus Inventory for Mental Health

I got notification that a site I write for wants me to pick up another beat, which is similar to one I already write. I'm grateful for the opportunity and that they appear to like my articles. But I'm also torn. So I'm going to do a PMI--a plus minus inventory. I used this with special needs students in decision-making lessons. It's like a pros and cons list. It's a helpful flow chart to coordinate data and impressions in making an important choice.   New Writing Opportunity, My Plus-Minus Inventory

Self Doubt, Second Guessing Be Gone! I Don't Want to Know You

I'm not always sure how I come across or how I appear to others. But on the inside, I am a bundle of insecurities and fears. I wrestle with these demons every day, with more or less success.

Self-doubt is a frequent flyer through the passages of my mind. I don't think it's paranoia. I don't suspect people of dark designs or think I deserve things I'm not getting. The terrorist lives inside me. She is an implacable, sometimes cruel, autocrat that never allows me to feel satisfaction for doing a good thing. That's expected. But she's all over me if I foul up. She can get me so twisted around that I can't judge a mountain from a molehill.   Do You Know What I Mean? Does That Make Sense?

How I Tame Menopause Irritability, Heart Palpitations Without Hurting Anyone (lol)

I am in menopause. No that doesn't mean I'm taking a break from men. Darn. I'm KIDDING. Really. But seriously, as nice as that might sound to you who are dealing with periods to be rid of them, menopause ain't for sissies. I have no feel-good hormones to battle irritability, depression, moodiness. I have to "fake it till I make it." Here's how I tame the heart palpitations, irritability and jitteriness of menopause without hurting anyone! Because if I don't calm my nerves, I feel liking ripping everyone's head off on a moment by moment basis. It's like having PMS 24-7. And guys, pay attention. More than likely you've got a female in your life. You're going to need to know how to cope and  help her. The days of women suffering alone in silence are done. We expect support and I know you'll rise to the occasion and give it! How I Tame Menopause Heart Palpitations, Jitteriness

How I Quit SSRI Antidepresssants, Why I Went Off Drugs

I took the SSRI (selective seratonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant Paxil for seven years, then weaned myself from antidepressant medication in 2010. I did this against doctor advice. He warned me of all kinds of problems coming off AD pills. He prescribed another antidepressant to help me quit the Paxil. I quit my own way. Here's how and why. How I Quit SSRI Antidepresssants 

The Power of Positive and Negative Thinking

 I read a lot about the importance of positivity (I do not like that smarmy word). There seems to be a resurgence of Norman Vincent Peale's Power of Positive Thinking mentality. With all due respect, I'm going to put in a word for the power, even importance of negativity. I like to sprinkle a little sand of doubt in the oyster of mainstream thinking, especially when it seems to good to be true. And too much positive happy-normal is not good or healthy. .The Power of Positive and Negative Thinking

Catmeister Scooter--Lord of all he surveys and Doesn't

I am not one of those crazy cat ladies (I am NOT), but I fear my husband is becoming one. You've heard the expression "dogs have owners but cats have staff?" My husband calls himself our cat Scooter's bit--, um servant. He buys the litter, changes the box, buys the cat food (only a certain kind will do for His Nibs). Hubs (Albert) informs me there's a certain ritual (bonding, not mating) for feeding. Scooter must have a "full body, nose to tail tip" massage (yes, Alb describes it like that). That's the dry cat food part. For the moist, I must feed it (minced on a small glass plate, please). Then dad must give the cat milk (I know, not good for kitties, yada yada--try telling that to Catmeister and his love slave). So we compromise. Dad gives him a small splash of lowfat.   Catmeister Scooter--Lord of all he surveys

Work at Home Does Not Mean Available 24-7, Set Boundaries

I always say "the best part of working at home is being home. It's also the worst part." That's only partially facetious. Because some people just don't get (or accept) that work at home means WORK. They think "She's home. Aka, she's not busy. Aka, I can stop over or call." Some even have the gall to do so at their convenience.

One always says, "I was in the neighborhood." Bad enough you're pestering me. But to drop by unannounced because it works for you? You accord more courtesy to social engagements--schedule, plan, call ahead. The one I have the most trouble with doesn't work. She has endless time and little to do. But I would never have dreamed of going to her place of employment to pester her.  Work at Home Does Not Mean Available 24-7, Set Boundaries

Menopause-Depression-Anxiety Hormone Connection

I started writing a series on panic attacks after I found how many people had experienced and wanted to discuss them. As part of that series, I'm looking at health conditions that affect or cause anxiety. And a biggie is menopause. Here's how.

In menopause, hormones get gradually stripped from a woman's system. Gone are the neutralizing estrogen and prolactin (the breast-feeding hormone, which by golly I miss). Those hormones affect feelings of well-being, balance, peace. During the menstrual cycle, they temporarily deplete and then build back up after menstruation occurs. Ahem, guys, that's why we gals get so cuddly and happy when the dam finally breaks. Our hormone well is filling back up.   Menopause-Depression-Anxiety Hormone Connection

Drug-Free Self-Help for Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Fear

 I sought treatment for what I thought was depression in 1999. Therapy and self-help reading showed I was experiencing panic attacks. I realize I've struggled with anxiety and fear all my life. I've experienced it as mood disorder, anger, OCD, PMS, even bi-polar. I've dealt with it in different ways. Some things, like anti-anxiety drugs didn't help. Here are drug free tips that do.

* Identify the source. Anxiety is generalized, disproportionate fear, says Medicine Net. It's not irrational, but the origin may be unclear and triggers unrelated. Mine stemmed from early chronic stress and dysfunction. Seemingly trivial incidents sent me over the edge. Dig beneath triggers to roots--addiction (yours or someone else's), trauma, unresolved issues, illness (emotional or physical), relationship problems, unmet needs. Drug-Free Anti-Anxiety Tips, Self-Help for Panic Attacks, Fear

Confession is Good for the Soul, Heart, Mind

Alanon teaches us that confession, restitution, even penance, can be good for the soul. That's what the 12 steps are all about. So here's my confession (or one of them).
Most of the time, I'm a together gal. I smile at people who irritate me. I resist the temptation to scream at drivers who cut me off. I return change if I get too much. Nothing special. Just common decency. But I'm known as a fairly nice person.

But sometimes, I just lose it and say something crazy. Nothing really horrible (well, maybe rarely). Usually, it's just foolish or pointy-headed. I have this habit of putting my foot in my mouth. Or I get carried away with my own intelligence and make an idiot of myself. Confession: Sometimes I Really Put My Foot in My Mouth

Healing Relationship Communication Barriers with Constructive Arguing

Arguing in relationships? That can't be right! That's not communicating, just fighting! That depends on how you argue--what you say, how you say it, what your purpose is. WebMD quotes psychologist Susan Silverman who advocates" constructive arguing." Here's what to do and what to avoid to improve communication and relationships.

* Make the relationship priority. Don't come to the bargaining table with a self-serving agenda. Do what's in both your best interests. Act like the teammates you are. My husband and I act defensive by habit, though neither feels antagonistic. We tried arguing each other's point and discovered a whole new way of connecting.  Healing Relationship Communication Barriers with Constructive Arguing

Quit Letting People Take Advantage of You, Manipulate You

 I've always let people take advantage of me. I've been embarrassingly easy to manipulate. I have what IFS Growth Patterns calls "people pleaser pattern" personality. It stems from low self-esteem and an over-active conscience. I'm an empath. I can't divorce others' pain from mine. This weird melange has destroyed my mental health and ruined relationships. But I'm not letting it anymore. To heal, I'm getting out of the passenger seat and taking over the wheel of my life. This heals relationships, too. Here's how. Quit Letting People Take Advantage of You, Manipulate You

Quit People-Pleasing, Take Care of Yourself, Heal Relationships

Our priest asked last Sunday at mass, "What is your biggest sin?" Thinking about it, mine surprised me: fear. My worst life choices have been motivated by panic or anxiety, mostly fear of displeasing others. I routinely do what I think others want, to avoid hurting them. It's part of the codependent behavior 12-step recovery gurus like Melodie Beattie speak of. IFS Systems refers to it as a "people pleasing pattern." By whatever name, this over-care of others manifests as lack of self-care. It's making me miserable and hurting my relationships. Sound familiar? Read on. We'll explore together how to quit people-pleasing and start pleasing ourselves.Quit People-Pleasing, Take Care of Yourself, Heal Relationships 

You Lost Weight, Now Lose Fat Blues: Diet Depression

 At 100 pounds overweight, I thought dropping pounds would make me happier. At 70 pounds gone, I feel better. But being thinner isn't a magic mood elixir. I need to lose fat blues along with weight. Here are "happy pills" to salve diet burnout and depression.

* See pants half empty, not half full. Whatever your weight, focus on positives. Recognize progress. Quit agonizing over fat that's there and celebrate what's gone. Yes, I just said the same thing three ways. We overweight folks berate ourselves constantly and need it repeated. Get an attitude makeover; start being nicer to yourself. Read more You Lost Weight, Now Lose Fat Blues: Diet Depression

Free (or Cheap) Mood Lifters, Stress Busters, Pick-Me-Ups

Depression. It's everywhere I look. Medicated or not, more people seem to getting less satisfaction from life. Here are free (or cheap) mood lifters and stress busters.

* Avoid drugs. I don't say this pedantically, but from painful experience. I took Paxil for several years. It caused health problems, didn't help depression and left me dull and listless. I believe it caused me to give birth to a stillborn baby. It was mentally addictive. I put on 100 pounds taking it. If you take antidepressants, get brand facts and don't expect a panacea.
Read more

Banish Winter Blahs or (at Least) Balance Blues and Bliss

The calendar says "spring." Days are longer. Birds are twittering joyously, emerald shoots peek up from melting snow and spring-new sun shines gloriously. Why then, when the world is coming alive, do I feel blue? Here are reasons, plus spirit-lifters to beat depression or at least balance winter blahs with springtime bliss!read more

Winter Blues Busters and Spirit Lifters

The calendar says "spring." Everything is sunshine and flowers. Why then, when the world is coming alive, do I feel blue? Here are reasons, plus spirit-lifters to beat depression or at least balance winter blahs with springtime bliss!   Banish Winter Blahs or (at Least) Balance Blues and Bliss

Facebook, Social Media Impairs Real-Life Communication

Facebook and social networking are bubbles. They occupy a lot of time and airspace for a significant number of people. A spectrum of users interact instantly and globally. We don't yet know what all the impacts will be. From my own experiences, I see that digital interaction impairs face-to-face communication. Here's how and why I think excessive social networking should be avoided. As a dear friend on Yahoo! said, "it can't replace a smile, a conversation or a hug." Words to live by. Facebook, Social Media Impairs Real-Life Communication

Mental Health: How Being an Empath Can Ruin Relationships

14 years ago, I discovered I'm an empath. I always knew, even as a child, that I felt others pain, but it was good to discover that intense sensitivity had a name. Empath Guide defines it well: Criticism, suffering, hurt, humiliation, shame are hard enough for me to bear. Watching others feel them is agonizing. Knowing I'm an empath explains a lot about my interpersonal struggles. It can ruin or heal relationships.  Mental Health: How Being an Empath Can Ruin Relationships

Natural Weight Loss Supplements, Fat Burners

I put on 100 pounds after losing two babies and taking an antidepressent. That's me at a heavier point in 2012. I started dieting 18 months ago, but got serious about it six months ago. I began counting calories in earnest and weeding out junk food out. Then I tried some herbal supplements that have really boosted the weight loss. I'd shaved off 55 pounds when I wrote this. Now I've lost 98 total. Right is me in March 2014. I've waited to recommend them to see if they really work and they do. If you're trying to lose weight here, are diet supplements to help.  Natural Weight Loss Supplements, Fat Burners 


Natural Depression Therapies for Parents

"Octomom" Nadya Suleman, the single mother of 14 (including octuplets) routinely provides us with glaring examples of what not to do as a parent. Suleman checked herself into mental health rehab for stress and anxiety stemming from a Xanax addiction, says ABC Good Morning, America. Depression affects most parents at some point, but powerful mood-altering drugs like Xanax aren't a solution. From experience, I can say that they only make things worse. For seven years I took antidepressants, but weaned myself two and a half years ago. To treat depression symptoms, I use these methods.  Natural Depression Therapies for Parents

Look Thinner: Break Fat Posture Habits

 I'm about halfway through my goal to lose 100 pounds. Looking at pictures of myself, I can see why I still look like I did with 50 extra pounds. I sometimes have fat posture. Just as certain things make me look younger or older, some habits make me look thinner or fatter. Here's why and how.

* Find "fat attitude" roots: Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy teaches us that actions and emotions stem from thinking patterns. "Fat posture" for me stems from shame. As a kid I was chubby. Read more Look Thinner: Stop Fat Posture Habits

Cybersafe: Why Teachers, Students, and Social Networking Don't Mix om

 As technology advances, kids are being exposed to increasing amounts of digital interaction. Cyber communication is even supplanting face to face. While there are advantages to social networking, there are times when it's not appropriate. Speaking as a teacher and parent, I'm concerned about adults and specifically teachers communicating with students via text and social sites. Here's why, plus suggestions for parents.  Cybersafe: Why Teachers, Students, and Social Networking Don't Mix

Coping with teen anger, teenage mood swings

Clinical teen depression is relatively uncommon, but tell that to parents of teens and they may not agree. Bouts of moodiness are hallmarks of teen behavior and one of the most worrisome for parents. Here's a parent survival kit for dealing with teen mood swings.  Parent coping tips for teen anger and mood swings

Natural Depression Therapies for Parents

"Octomom" Nadya Suleman, the single mother of 14 (including octuplets) routinely provides us with glaring examples of what not to do as a parent. Suleman checked herself into mental health rehab for stress and anxiety stemming from a Xanax addiction, says ABC Good Morning, America. Depression affects most parents at some point, but powerful mood-altering drugs like Xanax aren't a solution. From experience, I can say that they only make things worse. For seven years I took antidepressants, but weaned myself two and a half years ago. To treat depression symptoms, I use these methods.  Holistic Mood Therapies

Parent Competition Makes for Unhealthy Relationships

I've long heard it said that parents can (and should) be able to do it all--keep a nice home, raise great kids, work full time, stay financially solvent, be healthy, etc. In 24 years of parenting four kids, I've realized that not only is that thinking flawed, it's dangerous. You can't have it all--something gives somewhere, often where you least expect it. We shouldn't expect perfection of ourselves or other parents. And most intolerable of all, is when one parent capitalize on another parent's failures to highlight her own apparently successful parenting. It's easy to pass judgement on someone else, more difficult to see our own flaws. What that boils down to is competition. And competition among parents is particularly toxic. Here's why.  Competition Among Parents is Unhealthy

Tribute to My Big-Hearted Little Hero

This was written by my friend and fellow freelancer Sherry Delauder Wright in memory of her son Logan who passed away. Please read it and be blessed by it. Spread the love. Like the old campfire song says "it only takes a spark to get a fire going. And soon all those around can warm up to its glowing. That's how it is with God's love. Once you've experienced it, you want to pass it on."

"I lost my hero on Saturday. My sweet Logan was five-and-a-half years old when, in my arms, he drew his final ragged breaths and went home to Jesus.

His passing followed a brutal 18-month battle with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer known as Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor, or AT/RT. The journey began back in August of 2010, when his right eye suddenly turned inward during dinner."  Read more

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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