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Non-ADHD life hack... or is it?

Aug 14, 2018

This has no bearing on ADHD but... I finally figured out a solution to a problem that has annoyed me for years and I feel the need to share. Whenever I take my propane tank to exchange at Curry Hardware it becomes a unpleasantly rolly-polly missile in my my car. I've tried packing stuff around it, putting it on the floor in the front seat, floor in the back seat, sitting it up, putting it on it's side and wedging stuff under it. It always got loose. But I finally figured it out. See the picture.

The ADHD life hack part is that I own two tanks. So I never run out in the middle of a BBQ. When on tank runs dry, I switch it out and IMMEDIATELY put refilling the first tank on my list of things to do. Then I don't forget and have at least a few weeks to get it exchanged. 
Non-ADHD life hack... or is it?

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Sticking with it!

Aug 10, 2018

So, I've always wanted to play an instrument. I tried the guitar around culinary school and the beginning of my career as a chef. It wasn't the right time for me and it wasn't the right instrument. But that was 15 years ago. For a while now I've been thinking that the drums are the right answer for me. But, I don't want to be the guy who gets them, takes a few lessons and doesn't practice. So, I've waited a long time to make sure that I'm ready to commit. I started three weeks ago and and practicing a few times a week and getting better... and having fun. One of the ways that I'm doing that is by keeping a super basic practice chart/calendar. It give me positive momentum. I've talked about using this sort of thing for working out in the past. But it works really well for anything that you want to be consistent about. Check out the pic. Doesn't have to be fancy.
Sticking with it!

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2 Great "Fitness" Apps & Why They Are Great For ADHDers

Aug 3, 2018

I think I need to establish some givens in order to make this post as relevant to ADHD as I know it to be. 

1st given: Exercise positively effect ATTENTION as well as mood and lessens anxiety. It helps manage hyperactivity and internal restlessness. 

2nd given: Most ADHDers have a hard time setting up any routine, especially one that, by definition, requires consistency and intensity. 

3rd given: I get demonstrable benefits from working out everyday. And, I'd say about 80% of my clients struggle to get the exercise I would argue that they need. 

4th (not quite) given: There is plenty of emerging research that there is such a thing as an ADHD friendly diet. Lots of veggies, higher in lean protein, lower carbs, very low sugar, plenty of good fats, etc. Pretty much what's good for humans, but it's extra good for us. 

So, that's why I'm reviewing fitness apps. I've always said that keeping track of success is a great way to establish routine and make lasting life change. I alway suggest my clients use a blank calendar to keep track of days exercised. I do is as a seperate calendar in my digital calendar world. But I mark all my work outs and it feels sooooo good at the end of the month to see all those gold bars representing my work out "events." But I also like to keep track of what I do. Specifically when running, I want to know how far and how fast. Which leads me to:

App no. 1: Map My Run (Might be Map My Fitness now...)  Apps Website  I'm sure many of you have already heard of it. I'm also sure that there are many equally good competing apps. This is just the one I use. It is overall great. You can also log all your other workouts if this is the place you want to keep track of what you do.

App. no. 2: My Fitness Pal.  App's Website  My wife got hipped to this app when doing a month long health/weight challenge about a year and a half ago. It is great. You put in your weight and your goals and it calculates what you need to do in terms of calories to make that goal. I get the impression that the paid version is even cooler with many more features. But even the basic is great. You can create your own recipes and everything saves for you so you don't have to reenter ever time. It scans bar codes and has a tremendous number of items in its database. Relatively intuitive and seems to be very accurate. 

And, it's great for us as ADHDers because it challenges us to be present in the moment and make good choices, it teaches us the reality of what we are eating, and it give us a record so we can't forget. I have a nutrition background as a former chef. But, I can easily get complacent and say that a certain food isn't that bad. But when it's there in black and white that that piece of pizza is 300 calories, that will make me think twice about have 3 more.

And they are both Under Armour owned so you can link them and make them work together. Hooray technology!  

Last suggestion with the eating app. Challenge yourself to do if for a week. See how it goes. If you're moderately successful. Challenge yourself to finish out the month. See how you feel. How's your ADHD? How's your anxiety? 


Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.






2 Great "Fitness" Apps & Why They Are Great For ADHDers
2 Great "Fitness" Apps & Why They Are Great For ADHDers

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Throwing out my sausage...

Jul 25, 2018

When I'm organizing with folks there is often a lot of anxiety about getting rid of stuff that the client is somehow invested in, whether it's monetarily, emotionally, in terms of time, etc. I get that. It's harder to let go of things that seem like they have come at a cost. Plus, we don't want to create more waste than is necessary. But, the expression, "throwing good money after bad" comes to mind here. Here are a few examples, including one from my life.

That dress that you spent a fortune on and only wore once before having your first child... that you'll never fit into again.

The supplies that you bought to do a specific art project (that you really think that you want to do) that have been languishing in the spare bedroom for three years.

That sweet pair of shoes that are exactly what you always wanted and have never been able to find again... that are a half size too small and well never be comfortable. 

The half finished woodworking project that you decided two years ago (on some level) wasn't worth finishing.

Yes, these things have all come at a cost of some kind or another. But now they are costing you in an entirely different way. They are causing your space and your life to negatively effect you. Ultimately, they aren't worth anything to you, except pain and anxiety. I suggest moving on. Let that dress have a new life while it's still fashionable. Let someone with slightly smaller feet dig those shoes as much as you do. Move on to an art project that you are really invested in. Create a new you while you create meaningful art. Clear out that project so you have the room in your workshop to make something that you will enjoy making and having afterwords. Or move on from these hobbies if they're not really what you needed them to be. 

As for me... I was planning on making home made sausage several years ago before my two kids were so demanding and my business kept me so busy. So I bought a frozen chunk of fat back. On my last off week I was determined to make that sausage and use up the fat back. I spent a good amount of money on the amount of pork butt needed to pair with the fat to make the correct ratio for sausage and spent a good amount of time making the sausage. It came out horrible. That is rare for me as a former chef. And, sometimes I am my own worst critic. So I wrapped up portions and froze them. But it was nagging at me that I knew it wasn't right. What's the point of taking up the freezer space with something that isn't ever going to be used? But I spent a ton of time and good bit of money, and I'm super intense about not waisting food. 

Ultimately I let it languish in the basement freezer for about two week. I thawed one and tested it just to make sure. And, yes, it was still horrible. I might also add that it was unsalvageable due to the nature of sausage making. So, I cut my losses and thew it all out. Here's the best part. Far from feeling bad; it felt tremendously liberating to put that series of mistakes behind me for good. Yes, it was a waste, but not when I threw it out. The waste happened when I made crappy sausage. And, that was an honest mistake. So, I might as well move on with my life.


Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.


Throwing out my sausage...

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What two Docs say about meds

Jul 20, 2018

Reasonably good article in my in box this morning from ADDitude. Most of which I've covered in previous posts. But, if you wanted to hear it from a doctor, here's the link and some important take aways (if you don't feel like reading the whole article.)


Some take aways:
  • You don't have to wait forever to go up. When closely monitored by an experienced physician, you can begin go up on your dose as quickly as 3 - 7 days.
  • The ONLY way to know what meds will work for you is trial and error. It is highly likely you will need to try more than one.
  • Stimulant dose is not based on age, gender or body mass. It's really about how your body metabolizes it. I'm 5' 6 1/2" and take more Ritalin than anyone I know. It is what it is.
  • How long it lasts is unique to you. (I have many clients who say that Vyvanse, for instance, only lasts them 7-8 hours, not the 12 - 14 that it is touted as lasting.)

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Summer organizing tip #2: Stay or go?

Jul 13, 2018

I find that often one of the biggest sticking points in getting rid of things is what to do with them. For those of us ADHDers who struggle with clutter, getting rid of things can be very difficult. Not only are there usually psychological underpinnings to why we struggle with the part of getting organized, there are also very practical reasons too. In order to decide what to get rid of, we need to be attentive, persistent, and use multiple executive functions. And of course there is decision making... which many of us struggle with. 

So, what I often see is that a person can't decide what to do with an item(s) so their default is to keep it... which is a total bummer. After examining and assessing an item and considering what to do with it, you're stuck putting it back in the keep or maybe or I don't know pile. And, there is no reason to believe that it will be easier to decide what to do with said item later. This can definitely contribute to a sense of not making progress, partly because it might mean you aren't actually making progress. 

So, what's the solution? Give yourself only one decision to make. When evaluating every item simply ask yourself, "Is this item staying in my life of leaving it?" That minimized your executive function burden as much as possible. And, this is a great place to have your significant other, helpful friend, daughter, grandson, etc. help you. Let them take care of getting rid of the stuff that you decide that is going to leave your life. And let go of controlling that end destination. 

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