Alzheimer’s

My biggest fear in life is Alzheimer’s disease. It runs in my family. It took my Grandma away from us. My Dad is involved in an ongoing study and he worries about it (and I think he shows he has a gene that makes him getting it more likely). I obsess about it. Every time I forget someone’s name, or when I can’t remember what the halls of my high school looked like, I start to think I’m suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s.

Hey. It’s my obsession. Give me this one thing (because I rarely obsess over anything …yes, that sentence was meant to be read sarcastically).

Enter the book The Brain Fog Fix by Dr. Mike Dow. I’ve read many self-help books in my day. I rarely read fiction or biographies, but instead I read self-help and self-improvement books, and never has a book spoke to me more directly than this book. Only 2-hours into it, and it’s like I’m sitting with a counselor/dietician/friend who “gets me.”

My early takeaways . . .

  1. Fix what I eat
  2. Fix how I sleep and exercise
  3. Make it my lifestyle

Why do I like this book? Isn’t it stuff I already know? Well, yes and no. I tend to eat in ways that are geared towards athletes or people who need to lose a massive amount of weight and the diets tend to be gimmicky and unsustainable. And I’m not obese or overweight, so eating like someone trying to lose 3o, 40, or 50 pounds is a little silly. I’m not saying to obese people they shouldn’t try silly or gimmicky diets – do everything you need to do to lose weight. My quick thought on being overweight – once I read about being 20, 30, or 40 pounds overweight and the author said, “imagine when you woke up in the morning I handed you a 25 pound bag of sand and told you to carry it around all day.”  The point was, you’d hate it. By the end of the day, your back would hurt, your knees would hurt. You would feel tired. You would want to sit down and rest. You might find yourself out of breath when walking up a flight of stairs or playing in the yard with your kids.

You see where the lesson is, right? If a person is 20+ pounds overweight, this is how they’re living every day. Most weight gain is gradual and we don’t feel much different because the weight gain came a pound or two at  a time, over many months and years, but if you’ve looked at the height-weight chart, lately, you and I both know how many bags of sand you’re carrying and what that’s doing to you.

OK. So “weight” is another thing I obsess about. Two things, OK. That’s not a problem. I could quit obsessing at any time.

I’m not here to scold anyone about their weight, but I wish anyone overweight would help themselves lose a little – obesity is as bad for you as smoking or drug use. Just my strong opinion.

Back to the “brain fog.” I’ll admit. I’ve been in a bit of a “fog” and it’s partly because of some crazy diet and eating pattern I’ve been doing.

Dumb. Well, no more!

And the point of this blog isn’t about “whoa is me”, but the main point it this – if you feel like you’re struggling a little with brain fog, depression, anxiety, and sleep problems, well, I’m not a doctor, but it could be partially (and I do want to make sure you notice I used the word “partially” because I know it’s not a quick fix and one-size-fits-all solution), but it’s a part.

Eating right and exercising isn’t a revolutionary concept, but this book puts it all together and maybe, just maybe, if I was (or am) going to get Alzheimer’s, maybe I can take some steps to delay it (or avoid it all together).

Thanks for reading.

 

The Pomodoro Technique and My Personal Q2

In the business world, you’re measured by months and quarters. Quarterly sales numbers. Quarterly reviews. Quarterly celebrations and bonuses. Oh how we love quarters. You only need 2-cents for this bit of coolness.

Q1, for me, wasn’t my best. I sucked at my New Year’s Resolutions. I sucked at doing my #Project44. My sales sucked. My hobbies weren’t given any attention. I didn’t exercise.  I didn’t lose weight.

Disaster.I’m glad Q1 is behind me and I’m moving onto Q2 which I predict will be a good one.

I’m glad Q1 is behind me and I’m moving onto Q2 which I predict will be a good one.

I have many excuses. I wasn’t living at home (moved into temporary housing with my family while we underwent a major home renovation). I think my diet was off (I was trying long stretches of fasting and intermittent fasting). I wasn’t exercising which certainly affected my mood. My sales were off.

Again, I have a long list of excuses. I’m not going to dwell on them. I’m going to treat Me Inc. (clever, yes?) like a small business (and technically I am) and analyze my Q1 and plan for Q2.

What a ridiculously long pre-amble.

Mainly, I’m going to play around with three things.

  1. The Pomodoro Technique for increased productivity
  2. Eating better (and like a normal person) with a diet centered around serotonin boosting foods (and eating them the right way)
  3. Exercise a little (a brisk walk or two, keep up with my son and his Lent40 commitment, maybe lift some weights or swing my kettle bell)

Today will start with analyzing #1.

The Pomodoro Technique

I’m most excited about the Pomodoro Technique.  A co-worker and I were discussing our endless to-do list, the inability to accomplish things, and how distracted our jobs make us. Then another co-worker said the same thing. It’s not enough to complain about it. It must be fixed. I’m not the only guy with my job, and not the only “sales guy” with a crazy to-do list. The Pomodoro Technique might be the perfect fix. Today was day-1. It’s a bit odd. It will take some time to adjust of not answering a phone the moment it rings and not using my e-mail as my to-do list.

Tired of reading? Watch this.

 

The Don Daily: I’m Growing a Beard for No-Shave November

no-shaveIt’s the tenth day of November and the tenth day of beard growth. A group of us at iHeartMEDIA Detroit are growing beards for No-Shave November.

More to follow. But if you want to support us (me), you can donate at the link below. We’ll give the money we raise to one of the many great causes that iHeartDETROIT takes part in during the holidays.

This is our page: https://no-shave.org/member/MightMenofIHeartDETROIT

Sometimes current events make us think we need to draw a line in the sand, pick a side, and then fight like hell against the other side. Ya know. Current events. Like an election. Ahem. Well, there is good in the world.

What is No-Shave November? As they say at their site, it’s “a Unique Way to Grow Cancer Awareness.”

Everyone asks for money from this time of year, and I wouldn’t complain if you donated cash to the cause, nsn_full_widebut mostly I just want to be part of raising awareness and ask that you comment on this blog, share this blog, share our No-Shave-November page, and in a few weeks when I sell squares for the Lions Thanksgiving game and the Michigan-Ohio State game, that you buy some squares.

Thanks for your support.

 

 

#22Kill 22-Day Push-Up Challenge, Day 6

I missed a couple of days, but my daughter asked, “aren’t you still doing the push-up thing,” and I was like, yes, and so what if I missed a day or two. Right? I’m doing it to inspire others and maybe spread the word that many Veterans are struggling with depression and anxiety and we should be sensitive to that and help wherever we can. For goodness sake. They sacrificed alot to defend our wonderful way of life full of Wifi and cable and freedom and opportunity.

I’ll say it again, the fact that it’s #22Kill and we’re doing #22 push-ups, and this isn’t #12kill or #ZeroKill . . . well . . . it makes me said. My daughter joined the push-up fun. She did better than I thought she would. Go, Ada!

 

#22Kill 22-Day Push-Up Challenge, Day 3

snoozebutton

You gotta watch today’s video. You’ll see my dog goes nuts right around my 20th push-up. More crazy than she ever acts. Guess why? There was a skunk waddling across the street. Apparently my dog and I spooked the skunk outta my bushes (I could smell it before I walked outside) when we came outside. OK. So if that sounds crazy, watch it. You’ll see I couldn’t get her to sit-stay.

Now, for my blog post and my philosophical ramblings. I’m working on my morning routine. I wanna be one of those, “I get more done before 7am than most people do all day,” types. I hit the snooze, today. Doh! The snooze is such a silly thing. I know that in my heart. If I’m not in R.E.M. sleep, what’s the point? Nobody ever said, “oh, well, at 5:15 a.m. I was sooooooo tired, but 9 minutes later at 5:24 a.m., I felt incredible!!!” Sleep specialists don’t say, “if you’re struggling with sleep, set your alarm for 3:00 a.m. and then hit the snooze for two hours and you’ll feel rested.”

I’m banning the snooze-button in my life. Oh, snap. The “snooze button” as a business and life philosophy. That could be my book. Would you read it?

Then again, I think there’s a way you can use the snooze. Been reading alot about meditation and prayer. I think the snooze button should only be a safety net. When that first alarm sounds, it’s OK to lay there and think, reflect, and get your mind ready for the day. Tomorrow, I’m going to try this . . . my alarm will go off at 5:15 a.m.

I’ll hit the snooze.

Then I’ll practice my breathing, practice being aware of my thoughts, think about my day, think about my workout, say a prayer or chant over some Chakras, and then when my next alarm goes off, attack the morning.

Here’s my push-ups.

#22Kill 22-Day Push-Up Challenge, Day 2

22kill

I did it! I’m an achiever. I said I was going to do the #22Kill 22-day push-up challenge to help bring awareness to the horrible fact that an average of 22 Veterans commit suicide daily. I’m gonna have to look that up and Snopes it, because I want that not to be true. That’s awful and heartbreaking. But, having had some pretty deep, philosophical conversations with my friend P.F., a Marine Veteran with lengthy deployments in Iraq and the Middle East, I know Veterans see and do things that my fragile mind could not handle, so I can only imagine their thoughts, dreams, and mindset.

It breaks my heart. I pray for them. I should pray for, and do more, for them.

Now for something that filled my heart and I hope you have an hour to fill your heart, too. Every time I think, “that Tony Robbins is a big ol’ sham artist,” he goes and does something (like appearing on Tim Ferriss’s Podcast) and blows me away, inspires me, and puts everything in perspective. Honestly, I beg you (or ask you politely), if you have an hour (maybe a bit more), take a , on iTunes, right from the site, or Tim Ferriss even lets you just download the audio as a file and move it to your digital audio player.

Are you stressed? Do you have anxiety? Are you in a slump (as I currently am on a number of fronts)? Heck, even if everything’s clickin’ for you, I think you could get something out of the podcast.

I promise, when I blog about something, it’s not because I get a click-thru fee from Tony Robbins or Tim Ferriss. It’s because I’m a reqgular guy who sometimes comes across GREAT STUFF, and the podcast I linked above is GREAT STUFF. OK. I’m not gonna bully you. I just though it was amazing and maybe you will, too. Here’s two great quotes followed by my Day-2 Push-Ups.

“Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better.” and

“Life is always happening for us, it’s happening to us.” on

p.s. I’m not kidding when I say this, I’m going to listen to the entire podcast again, later this week, but this time with pen and paper in hand and take notes.

The Whole30 Success and Myth

This Whole30 thing is a huge success. I think it’s the first diet I’ve ever tried where I was able to resist cravings. I’m able to resist a piece of pizza for lunch while listening to the radio in my car. I’m able to resist the donuts in the break room. I’m able to resist snacking in the evening. Is it pure will-power? I think, as I’ve proven throughout my life, that I don’t have much will-power …but …maybe by going “whole” and working and fighting like hell to eliminate all grains, sugar, and any foods with chemicals on the label, the random cravings that often spell my doom, those cravings that hit me at about 9:30 at night …they haven’t been as strong.

Don’t get me wrong …if you told me, oh, hey, you missed this chapter where The Whole30 says after twelve days you should have a high-fat, high-carb day to jumpstart your metabolism, I’d probably head to Hungry Howie’s right now and get myself a small cheese, mushroom, and pepperoni pizza and a whole order of Howie Bread, and I’d eat …it …all. Then, I’d buy some chocolate chip cookies and eat all of those, too.

I make no apologies. I like food that tastes good.

But here’s the thing …when I broke the rule and stepped on the scale today on Day 28, I was under 160 pounds and …wow!

The Whole30 works!