Update Post…Financial Vision Board, Depression, An Exercise Tip

Today is a bit of a mishmash in an attempt to update everyone with the results of the last weeks goals, activities, and new information.

Update…My Family’s Completed Financial Vision Board:

Your vision board, like ours, is absolutely tailored to you, your “plan to’s”, dreams, and goals. Ours includes paying down debt/loans, savings, budgeting, retirement managment, home improvements, trips we’d like to take, and a few “goodies” like a new Xbox and a Sound Bar system to get rid of speaker wires. I printed out a ton of small “check mark” graphics to pin on completed goals – there’s one on the Xbox. We simply pinned the printed out items to the board so it can be re-used every year – but glueing down is fine or double sided tape. It took us about 3 hours and that included creating the list, finding the pics and printing them, cutting them out, and organizing the Board. We put ours on the left wall in our breakfast nook so it’s right in our faces all the time, consistently reinforcing what we want to accomplish. Looks Great!

Bipolar Depression, A Challenge for Rapid Cyclers When Life Gets in the Way:

BP 2 rapid cycling basically means shorter episodes that for some are more deeply emotional. For example: Instead of 6 months of depression, a period of relief, then 6 months of mania, then a year or two fairly stable mood – rc means a week cycle, dipping down into depression quickly, feeling horrible, then a day or two moving back up – feeling better, into either a mixed episode of mania combined with irritability, anxiety, or even a bit of depression. Some people have “I feel terrific and can do anything!” manias – I have irritable, anxious, and impulse control, sleep messed up ones.

It is personally challenging for me due to impulse control issues and depression management. There are times when I “Impulse Buy” things under a type of compulsion when I just “have” to have whatever it is. It feels like OCD with the “need” to buy running through my mind until I have purchased whatever “it” is. Typically something I don’t need or could wait to buy. Why this is detrimental is how difficult it is to stop buying and not caring how much I’m spending versus what’s in our checking account. One way of handling it is simply handing credit/debit cards to spouse, using cash only for purchases, and having bills paid automatically online with direct deposit. There is also the “30 Day Rule” but in the middle of an episode, that doesn’t work for me.

Depression Management” is similar in some ways but has it’s own particular challenges. At the lowest when I feel the worst is “the danger zone”. That is when I eat foods that are zero nutritionally but taste good to try to stuff the pain. Pizza, hamburgers, fries, cupcakes, cookies, you name it, I’ll stuff with it. Then, on the scale the next day, not only do I feel worse, it’s “guilt trip” time and “regret city” for the extra weight gain. Even now, after years of this, I’m still struggling with using food as an antidepressant. Mainly because it doesn’t work! You’ll get a quick sugar rush, but then crash down even deeper than you started. So we eat even more, take something to try to sleep through it, or medicate in other ways like drugs and alcohol. Or just try to push through it – exercise heavily, do some yoga, even meditating are on the opposite, more positive side. The only redeeming piece of this is that while the storm does rage, it only lasts a short time compared to other forms of BP. But from a weight loss perspective, this is the biggest challenge for me personally as I still turn to food when I feel bad. A work in progress!

Ending on a Positive Note – An Exercise Tip:

After the tough stuff and couple of downer posts, thought you would appreciate an exercise tip. I get Prevention daily emails with great exercises, tips, and articles. Below is a great modified push-up you can easily do at home or a quick set at the gym. Enjoy!

 Triangle Wall Pushup 

Starting Position Start facing wall, arms-length away, feet slightly apart, legs straight with weight on toes. Place hands on wall with pointer fingers and thumbs forming a triangle. Keep arms in line with shoulders/chest (not above or below this region).

Action INHALE: Bend elbows about 90 degrees and lower body toward the wall without touching it.

EXHALE: Straighten arms and return to starting position to complete one rep.

Special Instructions The further your feet are away from the wall, the more difficult this exercise will be. Also be sure not to lock knees or elbows.

Muscles Worked: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders

Time Involved:  3-5 minutes

Body Benefit:  Strong chest, toned arms


4 thoughts on “Update Post…Financial Vision Board, Depression, An Exercise Tip

  1. Sandy Sue, right on! I was always super thin and active so ice cream, cheeseburgers with bacon, and barbecue weren’t a problem until activity level slowed down about 7 months before being diagnosed. So never worried about what I was eating until it was literally too late. You’re so right about the intermittent gratification issue – it’s an automatic pilot – feel bad, eat cupcake! And of course, an amazing cupcake place opened up about 2 months ago, 3 stores down from my gym. Takes nerves of steel to go into gym, work out, and go to car without looking left at their pretty pink sign! Thankfully have some self control, at least enough to pass by it 99% of the time. The rest, we have to let be.

  2. Lara, I’m also a rapid cycler with mixed states, and I also have the spending/eating compulsions. So I’m right there, sister, with everything you said.

    I take some comfort in the fact that those high fat/high carb foods mimic serotonin and dopamine in the brain, and that I learned to self-medicate with them when I was very young. We are smart and savvy people! Too bad they don’t work for long and slather on the fat!

    But, my therapist said once that it’s *extremely* difficult to change a habit that works part of the time. That intermittent gratification keeps us coming back. We do the best we can on the days when we can do it. The rest, we have to let be.

  3. I’m afraid I have BP2 with rapid cycling. It’s a bitch, especially the mixed states. I tend to try medicating with food. Sugar is the first thing I’m inclined to reach for–especially cake. Great tips!

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