Archive for the ‘Focus’ Category

ADHD; Coffee, Tea or Me.

July 3, 2012

Coffee, Tea or Me was a book about Stewardesses who offered themselves up to serve customers in the airline business in the sixties. Seems the author thought no one was appreciating their efforts to serve patrons and all their customers thought about was their sexual fantasies.  It  is not like I believe anyone should have sexual fantasies about a sixty-seven year old man, I just feel under appreciated for describing  the future of the 11 million children diagnosed with ADHD or ADD.

I never predict a bleak future for those with ADD/ADHD. As a matter of fact I consider my 67 years on earth as fun with an adoring wife who died too young, two lovely successful children and three grandchildren that I adore. The only thing which prompts me to explore the issue at this time is that at least two of the three grandchildren have full blown ADD/ADHD as does my son-in-law. I am not trying to solve the world’s problems nor sell supplements, I am just trying to leave a legacy of information that would allow my family to live drug free and cope in a world dominated by office jobs.

So far, I have my family and a half dozen other followers who want to know the future of a lifetime of unmedicated ADD/ADHD and 10,999,990 who are ignoring their future and twice that number of parents who remain uninformed about the future of their children. Oh well, I still feel compelled to seek the solutions and document the path of ADD/ADHD just for my granddaughters alone as it has been a heck of a roller coaster ride for me dominated by love, romance and a sense of adventure. Some of it has been troublesome, some has been good, some unique but all has been one heck of an adventure.

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Sex and ADHD: Part 1, Ranking my Obsessions!

June 23, 2012

Pretty much I accept that the cause of obesity from ADHD is direct. MRI studies show a decrease in dopamine in the brain for people with ADHD. Prescribed stimulants increase dopamine, but for those who never were treated or diagnosed with the disease, there are other ways to self medicate and increase dopamine levels. Sex, eating, taking risks, exercising or achieving goals all increase dopamine. Alcohol, cocaine, nicotine and other addictive substances have a remarkable ability to elevate levels of dopamine. Falling in love, buying lottery tickets, eating chocolate also increase dopamine. We get a much bigger blast of dopamine eating high-calorie foods than we do low-calorie foods.

If I had to rank my obsessions in order, my choices would be difficult because some obsessions seem to always be able to top other obsessions in my body and depending on  factors, some rise and fall on the list.  I have self medicated over a lifetime and have serious long term and short term obsessions. The only addiction that I really believe I encountered is cigarettes as there was no such concept as controlled usage which I believe I have mastered with food and alcohol. Since I quit smoking in 1984, I will rank my current obsessions in the order that they have guided my life and indulging in them gave me the ability to focus, preform well in society and control my ADHD without medication.

Family Love: I learned about the love of family from my mother. She had four children and was devoted to them. My father had his problems which he self medicated with Valium and Alcohol and did the best he could with family love but was simply not as active. 

Romantic love: My wife suffered a lifetime of depression but there was far more good than bad. When she occasionally made poor decisions, I deleted them from my official vision and lived with my perfect romantic image of her which was still true the majority of the time.

Sex: During some periods in our marriage, my wife would lose all interest in sex with me and rather than wander and cause disruptive problems, I suppressed my sexual desires while there were children in the house and focused on the love of my family and my image of our Romantic Love. The power of sex over everything below it on this list, was covered in my First Fat Savage blog which was obsessed in a crude way with losing weight because I was too obese to engage in sex and wanted that part of my life back.

Eating: This is the first of my obsessions which had a negative impact on my body, if I am allowed to ignore a few STD’s among close friends. Actually, it is this obsessive crutch which allowed me to get focused and organized and make a pretty decent living and be a pillar of my community for 40 years.  In my second Fat Savage Blog, which I have not yet organized for publication, I learned to control the timing of my meals and what I ate, in order to balance mid-range obesity  with my sexual performance, ability to do physical labor and mandatory office time. The next two obsessions can temporarily suppress my eating but I am lucky to find many goals or risks that obsessively possess me for any length of time.

Achieving Goals:  Every now and again, an almost impossible intellectual challenge comes into my life and I become obsessed with the solution. On the few occasions this occurred, the goal becomes more important than everything except family love, but once accomplished the goal was forgotten and there was no afterglow of success as there is with food, sex and my vision of romantic love.

Taking Risks:  Taking risks is low on the list because my family loves adventures and risk taking so these turn out to be great adventures where everybody has fun, socializes and gets their adrenalin flowing. The same is true of starting a business ,investing in the stock market and other financial risks which always get the family involved. There is no such thing as a solitary risk in our family.

Purpose driven manual labor (Goal Driven): This is on parity with Alcohol but occurs earlier in the day when I am programmed not to drink. The harder I work to finish a project in my house or yard, the more tired I am and the more likely to go to sleep and feel less of a need for alcohol.

Alcohol: My bottle of wine every night has elements of both social crutch and sedative. In terms of a sedative, I have never been able to beat the narcotic effect on my body after the first two glasses, and I don’t enjoy socializing and banal conversation without those two glasses. I have always recognized that when I drink a bottle of wine I will pass out within the hour and sleep soundly for the next eight to ten hours.  If I don’t drink a glass or two of wine at a party, i will go find something beautiful to stare at and ignore every living person at the party. If I drink the whole bottle and my wife was having a good time, I would find some place and go to sleep until she was ready to go. I don’t fight, argue, drive fast, chase women, have sex, say rude things or swear when drinking, I do that when sober.

Exercising: I really don’t like exercise where I have to go at fixed times to a gym or act like a hamster on a treadmill in a cage.  I would rather find something productive to do and go do it but since that is so low on my list of obsessions, it doesn’t make the cut very often. Still, when enraged in a situation with no answer, I find it easier to walk home six miles than to either drink or drive both of which I enjoy and which I do  not consider mutually exclusive. Finally, I developed “Walking with Wonder” and exercise is part of my new lifestyle.  Still, hardly an obsession.

Driving Fast Cars:  I have had a Toyota MR-2 which takes some skill to drive especially with big winds coming at you and potholes. I know for a fact it will start to go airborne where you lose all control at a combined speed and headwind speed of about 100 MPH especially if you hit  a bump or pot hole the wrong way. My fastest driving is during the day and after my two glasses of wine while socializing, I go home have a couple more and go to sleep. There is a thrill in being able to control a dangerous beast.

Eating Candy especially chocolate: I haven’t quit nor do I believe that I have been on my last binge. I still gain from one candy bar in some circumstances, but there is no benefit at all from binging, but what the hell, it’s an obsession.

Buying Lottery Tickets:  Playing the lottery is a fools game for the math challenged and at one level I know this. On occasion when I am poor, I get obsessed with spending my last $500 on tickets.  When challenged by friends and family, I point out that from Dante’s Inferno, the sign over the portal to hell is “Ye who enter here,give up all hope.” and in my mind, False hope is better than no hope. If you don’t play, you can’t win so you have no hope at all and you are living in hell. If I have quit, it will have been last week, probably because I have no more money.

Marijuana: Quit in 1971 the day my son was born without concern and have been around people who smoked ever since with no temptation. Contrary to most medical reports, I smoked because it kept me awake and allowed me to drink for a longer period of time in social gatherings without falling asleep.

Dangerous Obsessions that caused actual withdraw:

Nicotine: Quit in 1984, worthless addiction that when continued prevents the pain of withdrawal. Very serious withdrawal symptoms which lasted three to six months with several close calls to relapse and flashbacks for years.  I could only do it for love of my daughter.

Caffeine: Coffee in very small amounts had been my friend, however, too easy to increase the quantity in social gatherings and large amounts ruin my day.  Serious short term withdrawal symptoms for one week, with no flash backs. I quit for love of my mind.

I am amazed that Religion did not make the list of items that raise dopamine level because 50 years ago before being kicked out of church for heretical beliefs, I would have included it well above the middle, well maybe not higher than alcohol because I had started drinking a few years before and was discovering my limits at that time.

The Short Term Effects of Alcohol, Protein and Spices on my Body and ADHD Mind.

June 21, 2012

I can tell when my focus is improving because I don’t get distracted from my mission, when my computer or in this case Open Office wipes out everything I have created in the past two days. Even though I am beginning to feel like Job, I also appreciate that I have regained enough of my focus to identify the cause of the problems and solve them.  While it certainly is a challenge when focus and diet have only returned for a few days, at least I am focused enough not to get frustrated and quit.

The biggest thing I learned in my first 9 days of detox is an affirmation of how evil caffeine has become to my body and the change is so dramatic and important, it deserves it’s own post because I ditched the caffeine before I started this detox and eliminated all refined sugar, and alcohol. The former has been discussed in three posts; junk science, my relationship with sugar and what I consider a valid experiment on the effect of sugar on children. Since I don’t eat sugar very often, except for a few times a year when I binge, it really has no major impact on either my weight or my mind. 

Alcohol is a separate issue and few will believe I am telling the truth. After the first three days there is no effect from quitting alcohol at all except for the calories. Now part of the reason is that I know I have a diet that hampers my ability to focus and I am working on that. I also know that if I start compulsively eating I can regain focus.  Perhaps I don’t feel any additional effect because the symptoms of food withdrawal are the same as alcohol withdrawal so I really don’t feel any difference. 

I compensate for missing happy hour by being more social during the day, being more physical during the day and watching a movie during happy hour. Since I am used to drinking my bottle of wine everyday before bedtime, it acts as a sedative and I go right to sleep.  When I quit, I have a problem with sleeping for three days and then I am back to sleeping soundly. When on detox, I intentionally don’t eat more so that when I start back drinking, I wont have problems with the extra calories. Perhaps living on 1500 calories or 600 below normal is why I worry more about food than wine.

I only hope to God when I stabilize on a diet that helps me focus and reintroduce wine that it doesn’t have a negative effect. Oh well, it wont be an issue. My mind is more important to me than socializing and drinking wine so if I find the wine to be detrimental, the wine will go.

The most important fact I am rediscovering is the critical impact of protein and the time of day that I consume it. It is beginning to appear that I need more than 100 grams a day just to hold the wild and woolly things in my mind at bay.  I am also finding that I need half right before I start mind tasks and the other half during the course of the day. Vegan and vegetarian are OK at night as long as I load up on ham and eggs before sitting down at my desk. 

It’s ironic that after a year of suffering the ill effects of lack of organization and focus I am  rediscovering something that I routinely discussed in my second Diet blog.  That is, if I wanted to do manual labor, go to work hungry and it was easy to focus on work. If I needed to spend time at the desk, go to work walk around and check everything that needed to be checked, do the little chores that needed to be done and then go have a big egg and bacon breakfast before sitting at my desk for the rest of the day.  Of course back then, 2006 to 2007, I was more concerned about work than I was about my weight and hovered in an obese range between 215 and 235 pounds.

The other thing I have learned in my first 9 days is highly speculative and has nothing to do with ADHD. I have also been loading on healthy spices which fight inflammation and have referred to this as my “Spice Right Diet.” I have been documenting my Inflammatory Factor using the data from NutritionData.Self.com and comparing it to the happy face pain scale for my next day pain level. In the past 9 days that I have been on my “Spice Rite Diet”, my pain has been dramatically lower than before I started but my pain is always lower in  summer than it is in winter. Before jumping from conjecture to conclusion I will wait until next winter to see how I do.  Besides, I never think about pain when I am totally focused on research and writing so that could be another reason for lower apparent pain.  

Detox and My Anti-Inflamatory Diet

June 11, 2012

I am really not proud of Saturday’s food consumption. Particularly the wine. I could use the excuse that it was an unusual day with dinner with friends. But Sunday was another unusual day with a pool party at cocktail hour.  On Saturday, there is an obvious show of self medication with constant snacking, a huge diner and the wine consumption. 

Now on Sunday, I did not achieve intelligence, but there was a simple element of control. I loaded up on hot sauce for my fish and egg breakfast and added even more with dinner. The big effects was a feeling of fullness so less snacking and I dropped the inflammatory popcorn. I added spices too my food and most spices seemed to have anti inflammatory properties.  It is far easier for me to add spice than drop foods that I am comfortable with . (Maybe I’ll try popcorn with hot sauce.) By the way, my older granddaughter (12 years old) is a natural hot sauce fan as is my son in law and I am beginning to understand the connection. We all need to control our minds and bodies and anti inflammatory spices seem to be part of our personal programs of self medication. I ate less on Sunday, drank slightly less on Sunday and hope I weigh the same tomorrow. (I did.)

Well the last three days are constant at 175 pounds which is ten pounds over “normal” and not a bad place to be starting my detox of all alcohol for sixteen days starting Wednesday. The last time I did this was the first three weeks in April and I started at 180 pounds.  Obviously the weight I lose during the year is pretty permanent until the Holidays when the family gets together from December to March and in those three months I pick up 15 pounds.

During this detox period, I plan to focus on anti-inflammatory combinations of foods and see if I notice a difference over the next three weeks. I naturally like spices but get tired of eating the same meal over and over and am sometimes too lazy to enjoy any type of cooking other than grilling while having a glass of wine and listening to and watching the sea. For three weeks I can pretty much endure anything so I will be fairly diligent about sticking to my diet especially as I am now starting to redevelop my focus without picking up any negative side effects other than perhaps a little too much wine.

This is what I ate and drank over the weekend.

Saturday’s Food Consumption

Consumption                 calories    protein    inflammation

tea 2 cups green                 0                   0               12

peanuts 1.6 oz                  260                13               11

Moon Fruit     6                  90                 3

small cucumber                   8                    0                  0

eggs 2                               154                  12            -102

Mango (cup)                      107                   1              -15

Popcorn                             193                   6              -158

carrots                                  67                   2                270

garbanzos                           286                 12               -127

Steak 8 oz rib eye               484                 68                 17

Potato(smaller portion)        278                  7                -179

fruit salad cup plus               75                    1                -21

1 3/4 bottle wine                 1110                   0

Total                                    3112                125             -292

Target                             2000- 2200         60-175           50

Sunday’s Food Consumption

tea 2 cups                                0                       0                8

peanuts 1.6 oz                        260                   13               11

Moon Fruit 6                             90                     3

Mango (cup)                            107                     1               -15

garbanzos                                286                   12              -127

tilapia fish   (3 oz)                     144                   28                84

eggs 1                                        77                     6                -51

Hot Sauce 2 tsp                                                                     700

carrots                                        67                     2                 270

Potato(smaller portion)              278                    7                -179

Sour cream  2T                            54                    1                 -31

Chicken drumstick 2 pc              325                   36               -100

Hot sauce 2 tsp                                                                        700

1 1/2 btl. wine Merlot                   975                    0

Total                                            2740                 109             1555

Target                                     2000- 2200          60-175            50

BTW, the Inflammation Factor is a registered Trademark of Nutritiondata.self.com and seems to provide some benefit so if I were them, I would defend my knowledge base against encroachment by suing anyone who doesn’t reference them.

The Original Fat savage

June 11, 2012

The Fat Savage Fishing and Drinking Beer

The Fat Savage Logo

Actually, the original blog under the “Fat Savage” title was started in 2006, and is now off-line. It was a very angry diet blog. My wife had created a fantastic business with 22 employes who were robbing her blind. of cash, time, hours and even parallel production for their friends and family.  In the midst of this she changed physiologists and the new one blamed me for her lifetime of depression. She also stopped mediating so she could continue smoking even though she  already had emphysema. After 40 years of marriage, our life together was on the edge.  She was no longer interested in sex and all I dreamed of was food, sex, alcohol and driving my sports car too fast.  I was 61 and still pretending that ADHD was a kids problem and a joke in adults.

Of course we were both wrong, and fortunately, we were both bright enough to understand that everything had to stop especially her screaming at me when she blacked out from oxygen deprivation and didn’t know what she was doing. When the kids got involved on both sides with a debate over who had failed the most, it became ugly and I told her it had to stop before the grandchildren got involved or I would divorce her and drag us both into financial ruin as her business really needed the both of us.

Through love, she regained control and our marriage survived. She became a little more discreet  with her smoking and I became a little more discrete with my girlfriend. We settled into a life of love for the next three years and the whole family healed from our very bad year and then she died and the business failed without her. I am not really ashamed about the rudeness of  that rather truthful blog describing the disgusting effects that obesity has on bodily functions including the ability to breath, control your bowls and even successfully make love;  I am just no longer angry enough to be that rude.

The most amazing thing is that I have recovered in all three areas and it is just the ability to control my mouth and focus on work that needs a little recovery. The top picture is the second one I used on my blog as I began to mellow a little after that angry year.  The first ones were  a bunch of naked pictures of me on my home page in my full glory between 250 pounds and 265. Naturally a diet motivated by anger and my lust for sex was not likely to succeed in the long run and it didn’t.

Beat the Fat Savage

My new picture is the “stamp out” symbol over my Fat Savage logo.  I am now ready to transform into a mellow Poppa John, if I can just resolve a few of the lingering ADHD symptoms.

Oh well, “It’s a goal!” 

Focus is a Funny Word!

June 9, 2012

I need to focus right now on a new business that I hope will earn me a decent living. As of today, I am broke and “Land Poor.” I sort of intentionally invested in land on the Island of St. Croix which is where I live.  I have made a decent amount of money buying low and selling high and was unconcerned about my retirement funds as I would sell land as needed. I have no carrying costs as local land taxes are very low and all of the properties are paid for.  Then one of the largest refineries in the world shut down and destroyed the local economy. It is not that land prices have dropped, nothing is selling at any price so now I am temporarily broke. To solve my financial problems I have to focus which is a very funny word.

I mean focus describes a problem but to solve a problem you have to know the cause and in my case I have three cause that are impacting my ability to focus.

First, I have chronic pain but when I am really stoked, I can pretty much ignore it.

Next, today is the day I must pay bills but because I am broke, I am procrastinating instead of just doing it and moving on to planning my business. Since I will still be poor unless I win the lottery, I may as well take the time to go buy my lottery tickets.

Finely, my very active ADHD has kicked in since I lost 100 pounds and no longer use food to feed my brain. I use wine at night and it relaxes me but it puts me to sleep.  The other things which can increase dopamine other  than pescribed stimulnts make a petty dangerous list and I have done most of it except drink a lot of water or use cocaine.  Sex, eating, taking risks, exercising, achieving goals, or drinking water, all increase dopamine. Alcohol, cocaine, nicotine and other addictive substances have a remarkable ability to elevate levels of dopamine. Falling in love, buying lottery tickets, eating chocolate also increase dopamine. We get a much bigger blast of dopamine eating high-calorie foods than we do low-calorie foods. Ok so the only thing which might really help without a lot of dangerous side effects seems to be falling in love and regular sex.

When you are flat broke and can’t afford to take a woman on a date, finding someone who is half your age or less is a very improbable event.  I either lower my expectations or continue with fuzzy thinking.  Guess I’ll take a break and go buy some lottery tickets.

False Hope to solve my problems is better than no hope at all.