420, a medical number or an illegal drug…

It’s a scary thought to think an illegal substance, fraught with stigmatism, could be the answer to a select number of illnesses for people around the world.
But why the illegal status? Why the stigma? Just look at alcohol, a mind altering substance. Deaths and addiction at a higher rate than most illegals if not all.
A frightening precedent set….
It’s your 18th birthday, go to the supermarket and fill your trolley with a cacophony of alcoholic beverages….no questions asked…yet you can only buy two packs of paracetamol at a time….
Fancy a cigarette? Go for it. There’s only 70+ substances in this stick that can cause cancer. Not to mention clogged arteries, strokes, blindness and the rest…
Being a recovering alcoholic, a current smoker and a drug abuser in the past. I cannot see the logic in any of this. Kill yourself with alcohol legally. Kill yourself with tar and carcinogens legally. Ignore science regarding an illegal substance???
Now I’m not for the legalising of this drug, this herb, this plant. No. But the correlation between this and legal substances makes absolutely and categorically no sense. Either allow them all and see the world crash and burn or ban the lot. Those which have proven medical benefits, legalise for this purpose only. Or just ignore the obvious solutions, whether that be in fear of consequence or loss of power.
At the end of the day, money is King, exploitation is Queen and the world is completely baffling!
‘It’ll all come out in the wash’ let’s hope so. In the meantime, keep smiling 😆😆
Much love, Smiley xx

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Smiles, a gauge to live by….part 2

Cutting it out!….
I’ve mentioned before how I intend to figure out how food cravings, whether fulfilled or ignored, can effect a person’s mood and their treatment of others. And which foods, good or bad envoke a true smile. So I intend to try a few experiments….
The way I eat is largely based on what I feel I need in the moment. That probably explains the love handles I adorn and the avoidance of the scales. I see this as my opportunity to put some of my daily queries to bed. Will I regret eating this whole bag of caramel nibbles? Will I regret not eating them? Would an extra helping of deliciously slow roasted pork belly with insanely buttery mash make me feel great for five minutes, then truly awful for the rest of the day? Should I eat nothing but chicken, boiled rice and asparagus?
Before my ramblings destroy the little faith you may still have in me, I’ll explain my experiment….
To start I intend to cut everything considered ‘bad’ out. So my diet will consist of lean protein sources, low carb sources and moderate good fats. I’ve gone with a high fat and low carb ratio as I know my body….ish…
As my activity levels vary, carbs & sugars sit and fester…not good. I intend to use coconut oil, avocado etc as my energy source. I’m interested to see if my body will utilise these as energy more productively. Fingers crossed…
Macros I’ll have in a day – 200g protein, 90-100g carb, 70g fat approximately
I’m thinking….
– Mexican eggs in the morning, avocado, spring onion & tomato. Set yoghurt, banana. A large coffee a necessity!
– For lunch I’ll have chicken breast, tenderstem broccoli, sweet potato, protein cheese and roasted onion. Gotsta love a charred onion!
– Sea trout, avocado & coconut, soba noodle and asparagus salad for dindins.
This is just an example, around 1800 calories, so with my size I’ll be in a deficit. This is what I’m after though, enough to fill me but not too much.
Then come the narrrrrsty food cravings. For the first 2 weeks I’ll resist all temptation! Holy Moses I’m sweating already!
Wish me luck!….

Creative solutions….

Dilemma’s and misfortunes come in many forms. A loss of confidence whilst attempting a task, one found easy previously, can knock you.
Letting these unfortunate occurrences set you back may seem unsolvable, an inevitable evil. But I believe this to be poop. Get creative….you’ve all heard of the ‘picture everybody naked’ saying, right? A simple, albeit childish, creative solution that works for some.
Well I put it to you, come up with other creative solutions. Rationalise a trip to the shop, or an appointment at the dentist. Even exams and interviews. Focus on the task at hand but also break it down, create an alternate reality, one where the interviewers head is aflame. The people in Tesco are all holding in their flatulence. The gym goers are hiding an unfortunate rip, their faces red from embarrassment rather than heat. Now you may think, this is mean, what have they done to you? The question should be ‘can they see inside my head?’ The answer being no, you’re not hurting anybody.
I tried a few ideas out for myself. I imagined a lil bug between the eyes of the cashier at a Gregg’s. it wasn’t easy but I made eye contact with someone for the first time in a long time and I managed to get in the building, an extra bonus! I focussed so intently on this ridiculous fly that I missed the chance to panic, over evaluate and think myself out of there.
I may be chatting utter nonsense, maybe this only makes sense to me. I guess I’m trying to re-focus my mind, forget about the anxiety, racing thoughts & fear, to focus on an image, that of which will make me smile. Easier said than done but a challenge I am determined to take on. I hope you are too…

H2O’yes we’re still sipping…

With my H2O’really water experiment in full flow…excuse the pun…I’m finally seeing some long term, lasting results!
Not only have I lost weight, yippee! I’m noticing a vast improvement in the look and feel of my skin. Previously slightly on the greasy side, I’m showing more of a glow and my chubby cheeks are soft and squidgable! It seems a simple, easy improvement to make without spending a ton on face cremes and moisturiser.
To pee or not to p…. definitely to pee! It was inevitable – drink more, pee more! However, I feel revitalised, fresher. Now I know there are debates on ‘detoxing’ and whether or not it is actually possible to do, but I’m feeling something of a detox at play here. Generally happier moods. Better skin to look at and to touch. And most importantly, a drive to continue and see what else will come of this experiment and others.
Now I know the positivity is high here, but I’m still hitting very difficult days. I thought a higher water intake would change this, boosting my moods and hopefully less down days would show their ugly face. I guess brain function may be on the rise but it isn’t hitting me where I was hoping it would. Perhaps I’m just not noticing, or I should give it more time. We shall see…
One thing for certain, however, is I’m determined now to implement more changes, challenges and experiments into my lifestyle. Excited to see and share the results!
Eat, drink and smile 😊

Little victories…

The thought of venturing for a coffee has been a constant itch of late. With my designated safe zones – that being the gym (off peak) and walking spots with the pup – I finally succeeded at gaining another! Brother in tow, we travelled to a Starbucks just off the dual carriageway. A chilled atmosphere helped me feel comfortable and aided in creativity . With my brother being his ever calming presence, we chatted, wrote some bits and talked about our recovery.
These little victories are part of the healing process, a cog in an expansive mechanism. Not only do I have these to look back on and think ‘YES I did it!’. But I can use them to aid future little victories. Those little nuggets of gold amongst rock, gems amongst glass, are something to hold on to…tight!
I spoke of safe zones. These are places I have managed to create a safe environment. The gym no longer has to be completely empty – little victory – I can walk the pup at a popular dog walker spot – little victory – and now I can be comfortable, albeit in a certain seat, at a singular Starbucks.

It is these little victories I am celebrating to help during times I’m up and down. Hold on to whatever you’ve accomplished, no matter it’s proportional value to the rest of the world, it is yours and yours alone.

Savour, smile and grow with those little victories.

Accepting failure….

Is failure truly what it implies? A feeling of defeat, frustration and nonfulfillment. The dictionary would have you believe so. With the word ‘failure’ such a prominent word in today’s society, it’s time to approach the word and it’s incurring feelings in a completely different way. Why not put a tag on it, flag it as a word that no longer means the same in your vocab!
Failure is a means in which to build upon. To train ones mind to view a single word among thousands as something new should be easy, right? The answer is yes. Don’t hold on to your failures, either let them go or use them to grow as a person. A simple train of thought, ‘you can never fail, only learn and improve’.

 

Fitting it all in….

The general consensus is that eating well, frequenting the gym and general focus on oneself is time consuming and there aren’t enough hours in the day. Whether that be from those of us who go out to work, work from home, or even those who have zero work obligation. The thought that there is no time in which to grow as a person, focus on numero uno, is frightening to me. To have a ‘selfish’ few hours, even an hour isn’t a lot to ask in my opinion. Because in turn it will be a ‘selfless’ act! Being in a better mind space, a happier you will benefit those around you and your presence around them in this better state will, in turn, boost your drive to become better.
‘Better’ is a pit of vast variation. By better I don’t mean a superhero, an aesthetic god/goddess, or the reincarnation of Buddha! It’s not about looking better, but feeling better. Interacting better. Holding yourself better. And I repeat ‘FEELING’ better, a smile plastered on face no matter the task at hand. A lifted – even transcended – mind, body and soul!
Any who, I digress….
It’s about time management, ignoring unwritten rules, timetables and regimes. This isn’t to say your inner rebel has to break free and conquer. No no no. It’s about being aware of the time you have for ‘you’. An hour for lunch isn’t just an hour……an hour is as long as it is……60 minutes……3600 seconds. No matter how you take it apart an hour is an hour. But it’s a hell of a lot longer than your ‘lunch break’ thinking will let you believe.
A study I have been reading suggests breaking it down to 10 minute increments, manage smaller numbers. The idea is to plan each increment; eat for 10, get to the nearest gym in 10, workout for 20 (you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish), shower for 10 and get back to the grind in 10. A basic example.
Challenge yourself to make the most of every minute in a day. Make meals in advance or have a written idea of what you want to do/accomplish in a day. Personally I haven’t quite achieved perfection in this experiment but I am seeing positive results.
Overnight oats with an array of fruits was a revelation to me. I knew my breakfast was waiting for me, healthy, full of micro and macronutrients for the start of my day. I set myself an average 8 hour work day. Writing for 3 in the morning, grinding out whatever I could, whether I used it or not. A 15 minute break, I made a spiced tuna, avocado and asparagus wrap ready for my lunch. In this break, the fun wasn’t over however, I whacked YouTube on and watched something to make me chuckle and lift my spirits. Back to the keyboard, a further 2 hours of word spewing and eye squinting. Tuna wrap here I come! Polished off in a matter of minutes, I had 56 left of my hour. After taking the dog for a run, shattered and soggy, 37 minutes were remaining. Now it just so happens, this is where my productivity waned. A 10 minute shower turned to 20 and the remaining 17 were pissed away doing nothing. Granted in some cases this would be fine, a bit of chill time is great in fact. So maybe this was a success, maybe it was just what I needed before getting back to the grind.
For the remaining 3 hours, plus a few extra voluntary, I wrote some of the best work I’ve done to date, including a previous post and more than a few chapters of my ongoing novel. What I’m trying to get across is that no matter how little time you have or even too much time on your hands, look for the positives in doing zilch if that’s what you do, but utilise or see the benefit from every minute in a day whether filled or chilled. Appreciate that, again, it’s all a work in progress. Whether you wing it or plan, put the mental effort in to get the most out of your day. Highs and lows are inevitable but at the end of the day, an hour isn’t just an hour, it’s an HOUR !