Living in Excellent Health #23 — I’m Doing Great!

Mindset is critical to improving my experience and helping me achieve my goal of living in excellent health. I have experienced this firsthand. In those moments and during those days when I am in the mindset of, ‘I’m doing great!’, my symptoms improve and my mood is elevated. I walk better, I am steadier on my feet and I am happier.

According to Eckhart Tolle, author of, The Power of Now, all we ever have is the present moment. What puts us in a state of stress, is when we fret about the past, worry about the future or refuse to accept the circumstances of the present moment. When I place my attention on making the most of the present moment, I am more at ease and content.

There are times when I genuinely feel like I’m doing great. I don’t have to say it or think it. I literally feel it. I experienced this recently when I decided to tackle a project in our yard during a time of the day when I was off-meds. Normally, I wouldn’t do this because such efforts can be stressing. But on this occasion, I did it, I felt great, and afterwards when I went for my daily walk, my gait was much more fluid.

There are other occasions when I have to encourage myself to feel great. Fake it until I make it, as the saying goes. I smile and say to myself, ‘I’m doing great!,’ and I raise my arms up in the air like Rocky Balboa at the top of the steps. I keep repeating this. It definitely helps.

My goal is to activate my parasympathetic nervous system in order to stimulate the creation of neural pathways that will lead to the release of dopamine [movement and excitement], serotonin [happiness], acetylcholine [focus], GABA [calm] and other feel-good neurotransmitters and hormones.

We are presently living in very challenging times and we may feel like we have no control over our circumstances, but this is simply not true. We are always in charge of our attitude, and because of this, I know, I’m doing great!

If you’re feeling stressed, I recently came across this video which you might find helpful.

Living in Excellent Health #22 — My Recent Trip!

confusion

In June, I decided to take a trip in late-July to southern Ontario to visit my children and grandchildren. I hadn’t seen them since before Christmas and I was really missing everyone. What is more, my middle daughter and her husband had just bought their ‘forever’ home and I wanted to help with the move.

I decided that I was going to drive myself. I enthusiastically figured this would be the ultimate dopamine release. Since moving to Manitoulin, I have mostly been driving to town and back … a 15 minute drive each way. I have done some of the driving on longer trips, but only when my meds were on. So this was definitely going to be a meaningful and significant challenge.

My thinking was that I would drive to Bala on the first day. Bala is where I grew up and I still have friends there. It’s a four and a half hour drive. Then the next day, I would complete the hour and a half trip from Bala to my daughter’s.

I figured I could do most of the drive to Bala on my morning meds … so long as they kicked in and lasted the typical three hours. When the meds ran out, I would take my afternoon meds early in order to complete the trip. The next day I would drive to my daughter’s while on my morning meds.

I reasoned that as long as the meds were on, I would have no problem.

Despite all this logic, and even though I kept reminding myself that I didn’t have to make the trip, every time I thought about it, I felt anxiety, especially when I was off-meds, . I had several concerns. Would the meds kick in and what if they didn’t? [I would abort the trip.] What if I got half way to Bala and decided I couldn’t do it? [I would call for help.] What if I had to stop for gas or a washroom break and had difficulty walking? [I would use my walking pole.]

There are three sections of the trip between home and Bala that were also causing me angst. They are two-lane stretches that can be quite busy. But I felt that if I broke the entire trip, including these three stretches, into 15 minute sections I could do it. I would drive for 15 minutes, and if I felt okay, I would keep going. If I didn’t, I would stop and take a break … go for a short walk or practice qigong. Again, though, I reasoned that as long as the meds kicked I would be fine.

So I had solutions for any and all possible complications.

The day after deciding to make the trip, I did a test drive. I drove to Mindemoya … a thirty-five minute drive … while on meds, and the return trip, off-meds. No problem.

Despite having solutions to all forseen obstacles, despite the test drive and despite my contention that this was going to be the ultimate dopamine release challenge, every time I thought about the trip I would go into a state of anxiety, and the closer I got to the departure date the worse it got … especially during those periods of the day when I was off-meds.

Anxiety is a perplexing condition that is challenging to explain. It is really unpleasant and can leave you feeling completely powerless … like you are losing your mind. To truly understand it, you have to experience it.

In the end, I didn’t do the drive. I did the trip, but not the driving. Instead, my friend decided to accompany me and he did all the driving. Which was great, because it rained heavily for the entire trip south and half the trip back home. I would not have been able to do the drive under those conditions.

What has been most disconcerting is that the symptoms I experience worsened over the six-week period leading up to the trip and they haven’t improved since I returned home. I reminded myself last night that if I am experiencing more extreme symptoms it’s because my body is full of cortisol, which means I must be worrying about something. At first, I couldn’t think of what I might be worrying about, and then like a left-jab from Muhamad Ali, it hit me. I have actually been concerned about a bunch of things. I have been thinking [worrying] about people close to me who are experiencing difficulties. They’ve been in the back of my mind but nonetheless, they’ve been troubling me, and most problematically, they’ve been keeping me out of the excited, dopamine-producing state. In fact, I realized that I’m not completely and genuinely excited about anything right now. This is definitely disconcerting.

What all this amounts to, is a reminder of what I talked about in my last post, which is this … the single most important thing for me to focus on, is to make the present moment as loving, joyful, peaceful and content as possible. There may not be anything in my life right now that genuinely excites me, but I can still be grateful and I can still be optimistic. I can still give myself goals to achieve, no matter how big or small and I can still cheer myself on with everything I’m doing. Also, I can focus on living life to the fullest with all of its potentials … good and bad … and being excited for those around living their lives to the fullest.

For the time being, it also means that I will avoid … where I can … undertaking anything that might I might not be ready for and that might cause undo stress … like taking a long driving trip.

Living in Excellent Health #21 — Present Moment Gratitude!

The universe has been sending me reminders of the only thing that really matters … making the present moment as joyful, peaceful, loving and content as possible. Well, it’s not the only thing but it is really important.

For example, in a recent conversation with my son, Chris, he asked, “Why do you care so much? Why are you trying so hard to get better? Why don’t you just relax?” I responded by saying, “That’s the way I’ve been all my life.”

I realized after I thought about it that the universe knows what I want … it knows I want to be healthy … so all I need to do is make each moment as fun as possible, because by thinking about it all the time and by trying so hard … mostly out of focusing on what I don’t want [I don’t want to experience symptoms] … I am creating resistance.

Then, while playing golf a few days ago, the question popped into my mind, “Why do I care so much about making good shots and playing well.”

I realized, I would be far better served to just be really grateful that I have the ability and opportunity to play golf, and that by wanting so much to hit the ball well, I am creating resistance, and consequently, not hitting the ball well. The moment I had this realization, I actually started to hit the ball much better.

Then, yesterday, while editing my newest book, I thought about how much time I spend lamenting not living nearer to my kids. The universe knows I want to live closer to them, but by focusing so much on this rather than placing my attention on making my present circumstances as joyful as possible and being grateful for what I do have, I am creating more resistance for what I want.

It is a subtle, but powerful, differentation.

And why do I want to make each moment as joyful, peaceful, loving and content as possible? Because it is in this state that my parasympathetic [calm] nervous system [PNS] becomes activated and when this happens, my brain begins producing dopamine, serotonin, GABA, acetylcholine and other feel-good neurotransmitters and hormones.

As Eckhart Tolle says, the only thing we have is the now, but for those of us living with the symptoms of PD, finding joy and contentment in the now can be challenging. Trembling, loss of balance, freezing or one of the many other symptoms we have to constantly contend with can make this daunting indeed.

So, how do we do it? Well, we can start by heeding another piece of wisdom from Eckhart Tolle. Accept the present circumstances and trust that no matter what happens we will be okay. I also remind myself that the more time I spend worrying, the further I distance myself from what I want … excellent health.

So I have a choice … worry or do my best to make each moment as joyful, peaceful, loving and content as possible, regardless of what I am doing. And the simplest way for me to accomplish this is to focus on gratitude. When I am grateful for what I have, I am in a good place.

We all do it. We decide we want something, but then we get in the way of manifesting it by worrying and trying too hard to make it happen … at least I do.

I am grateful for these reminders. I am grateful for my son, golf and the literary gods.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! I really appreciate it!

Living in Excellent Health #20 — A Missed Dopamine Release Opportunity!

Last night, I decided to have an organic bagel while watching a movie. I was off meds at the time and I had a great deal of difficulty slicing the bagel. My hands were shaking and I was having difficulty operating the knife. The longer it took, the more frustrated, angry and upset I got.

I was almost finished and on the verge of a complete meltdown, when it suddenly occured to me that I could have made this a challenge for myself that could have given me a dopamine release … rather than stressing myself and causing a cortisol release. I could have been cheering myself on, celebrating my progress and really celebrating my accomplishment.

It was a lesson learned.

The challenge for those of us experiencing the symptoms of PD is to reestablish our brain’s ability to release dopamine. According to Dr. Andrew Huberman, the best way to do this is to give ourselves a goal to achieve, then move towards that goal and celebrate its achievement. Every task we perform, off-meds, is an opportunity to put this into practice.

I used to put off certain tasks when I was off-meds … like writing this post. Now, I view them as an opportunity to train my brain to release dopamine … when I remember!

May you be healthy and content!

Living in Excellent Health #19 — Newly Diagnosed with PD, What Do I Do!

overwhelmed

People newly diagnosed with the symptoms of Parkinson’s invariably ask, what do I do? Do I take meds or not? If I do take meds, which one[s] do I take? If I don’t take meds, what can I do to slow the progression of the disease?

If you know anything about PD, the diagnosis can frankly be quite frightening. But it’s not a death sentence and there is much you can do.

Even though I take meds, I am not an advocate. I found myself in a situation in late 2018, where I felt I had no choice but to start on meds, but if I had been better informed, and if I had known then what I know now, I would have taken a different approach.

This post applies to those who have chosen not to take medication, as well as, those who have, because even if you are on meds, in order to recover, you will eventually need to get off them.

The question, what do I do, was recently posted on one of the PD Facebook groups, and it received a lot of helpful responses. Clearly there is a lot of experience and learnings people are happy to share.

For me, the single most important thing to do, is minimize stress/worry/anxiety/fear, because this is what causes the symptoms of Parkinson’s and it’s what causes the symptoms to progress. As such, my focus is on minimizing dietary stress, physical stress and mental stress.

In the twenty years I have been living with the symptoms of PD … the first 16 years, medication-free … I’ve learned a lot about how to live effectively with this condition, and I think it boils down to three things:

  1. Eat healthy
  2. Be active
  3. Have fun [be cheerful]

Eat Healthy

In order to slow the progression of the symptoms of PD and recover my health, I learned that I need to restore my body to homeostasis. This means, restoring gut health, srengthening my immune system, unclogging my lymphatic system, eliminating inflammation and alkalining my body. [For more information on this, check this blog post.]

Restoring homeostasis requires a healthy diet. This means, eliminating junk food, fast food, refined sugars and artificial sweeteners, while minimizing dairy, processed foods and alcohol. Depending on your preference, you may choose a ketogenic diet, caveman diet, paleo diet, Mediterranean diet, vegetarian or vegan diet. My preference is the high-fat, ketogenic diet mainly because I can’t tolerate sugar of any kind, including natural fruit sugar.

There is a direct connection between the gut and the brain via the vagus nerve and medical science has demonstrated … although, it is still learning … that gut health directly affects the production and health of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Be Active

I have learned, through direct experience, that exercise is absolutely critical for both my physical and mental well-being. I have developed an extensive exercise program that keeps me active throughout the day, but doesn’t overdo it. I walk, cycle, do jumping-jacks, skipping, foot work, push-ups, stomach crunches, stretching and weight-lifting. I power-walk every day, quite often, twice a day, for a total of 4 to 6 kilometers. I also play golf, kayak, shovel snow and split and stack firewood.

To be living with the symptoms of PD is to be in a continual state of stress, where the body is in a constant state of fight-flight. It is to have a body coursing with cortisol, the fight-flight hormone. One of the purposes of cortisol, is to stimulate us to get moving, so exercise is essential to help us transition from the fight-flight, sympathetic nervous system, cortisol-producing state, to the parasympathetic/calm nervous system state where our bodies are producing dopamine, serotonin and other feel-good neurotransmitters and hormones.

For me, exercise has to be joyful. It has to be fun. I have to be diligent in making sure that while I am exercising, I am doing so joyfully, and that I am not lost in worry or negative thought.

Have Fun

Now you might think I’ve lost my marbles. This would be a legitimate thought. How can we have fun living with the symptoms of Parkinson’s? After all, they’re are in-our-face every moment of the day, including while we sleep … and they’re not pleasant.

And yet, having fun is absolutely critical. As I mentioned above, we need to get the brain/body of the sympathetic nervous system state, into the parasympathetic nervous system state, and there is no better way to do that, than to have fun.

I believe I developed the symptoms of PD after a lifetime of living in fear, stress and worry. Yes, there were other factors … excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, emotional trauma and head injuries … but living in a constant state of fear was the primary factor. I wasn’t living joyfully.

PD in my view is a fascinating condition. It is caused primarily by fear/worry and it feeds off itself by causing fear/worry. The best way to break this cycle is to have fun. It is to be joyful, optimistic, calm, excited and euphoric as much as possible. For me, this has sometimes meant, faking it until I make it. It is not always easy, as I’m sure you know, to be joyful. This condition can be very trying. It has helped me immensely, that I believe wholeheartedly, that I can and will recover my health. It has also helped me to immerse myself in spiritual practice: to live in the present moment and to know that everything has a purpose. And it has helped me to be a student of this condition … to let PD be my teacher … and one of the things it has taught me, is to have fun!

May you live in harmony with the flow of life!

Living in Excellent Health #18 — Amplify Excitement and Gratitude!

homer

When we are experiencing the symptoms of PD, our bodies are in a continuous state of fight-flight-freeze. This occurs because our minds have been in a state of stress/fear for so long that our brains are no longer producing dopamine at normal levels. Instead, our kidneys are continually producing cortisol … the stress hormone.

In order to overcome this, we need to convince our bodies that we are not in any danger by replacing worriful thoughts with thoughts and actions of excitement, joy and gratitude.

Dr Andrew Huberman, neuroscientist and professor at Stanford University, advocates stimulating the release of dopamine through setting and achieving goals. He says that dopamine is released when we move towards, achieve and celebrate the achievement of goals.

Our challenge is, that because our bodies are continually flooded with cortisol, our minds believe we’re in danger, so we continue to have fearful thoughts which, in turn, keeps us in a state of fear, perpetuating the symptoms we experience.

I noticed that even though I was doing a lot of goal-setting exercises, I was still spending a lot of time worrying, which has been keeping me mired in PD symptoms. I’ve even caught myself worrying while practicing qigong.

To break this cycle, I realized recently that I need to do more than just give myself challenges/goals to achieve. I need to be a 24-hour-a-day cheerleader. I need to convince my body every single moment of the day that it is not in danger. I need to continuously cheer myself on, clap my hands, hoot-and-holler, smile, express gratitude and have fun. So I constantly yell woo-hoo and alright and fantastic and yipee and so on.

I’m sure I’m driving Mari nuts, but I look at it this way, I would rather look like I’ve lost my marbles than live in a continuous state of fear and PD symptoms.

And I’ve begun to notice a difference. I’m walking more fluidly with less freezing.

Neuoscience has shown that the brain is neuroplastic, which means it can heal itself. It can create new neurons, synapses and neural pathways, including those that are involved in the production of dopamine. I am determined to make this happen … joyfully, of course!

WOO HOO!

Living in Excellent Health #17 — More Dopamine Stimulation Challenges!

elation

Since discovering the work of Dr Andrew Huberman, neuroscientist and professor at Stanford University in California, I have been focused on stimulating the release of dopamine through various challenges. Huberman is an advocate of stimulating the release of neurotransmitters and hormones through specific behaviors. [See my previous posts on this topic.]

According to Huberman, dopamine, which is produced in the substantia nigra portion of the mid-brain, is the excitement neurotransmitter. It is associated with movement, motivation, reward, excitement and celebration. It is dopamine that motivates us to achieve goals and it is dopamine that is released when we move towards and achieve a goal. The bigger and more meaningful the goal, the more we are motivated, the more excited we get and the more dopamine is released.

Neuroscience has shown that the brain is neuroplastic, which means it can repair itself. It is my contention that we can restore our brain’s ability to produce dopamine naturally by continually challenging ourselves and celebrating our successes.

I give myself goals throughout the day. Goals such as, walking across the room with a full stride, performing certain tasks while off meds or completing every activity on my daily regimen. Recently, I gave myself a series of weekly push-ups goals, which I successully completed.

This week, I decided to start challenging myself with a new series of exercise related targets, including:

  1. 40 push-ups [at present, I can do 30 push-ups]
  2. 25 stomach crunches
  3. 50 jumping jacks
  4. 20 dumbbell presses with 15 pound weights
  5. 50 knee raises [with each leg]
  6. 15 stair runs
  7. Standing on one foot for one minute
  8. Standing unaided with eyes closed for two minutes
  9. Doing the splits with my feet 13 floor slats apart

I already do these exercises on a regular basis and they all have different starting points.

I plan to do certain exercises on alternating days. For instance, I will do push-ups, jumping jacks, knee raises and standing on one foot, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I will do the remaining exercises on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

To make these exercises more challenging, I am doing them while off-meds. I am not giving myself a timeframe in which to complete each of them. If it takes a few weeks or a few months, so be it.

As I achieve each goal, I will decide if I want to give myself a new target. For example, I would love to do 50 push-ups. [I haven’t done 50 consecutive push-ups since my Black Belt test and that was 26 years ago.] That for me would be a very meaningful goal.

I hope you will join me with your own exercise challenges.

May all of your beliefs be beneficial.

Living in Excellent Health #16 — Personality Change!

Joe Dispenza, neuroscientist, chiropractor and author of You are the Placebo, says that in order to recover from a chronic illness and live in excellent health we must change our personality. He says that we can’t be the same person who developed the illness. He also says this is the single most important thing we need to do.

This makes perfect sense!

Our personality is developed from a combination of genes [DNA], the culture we were raised in and the beliefs we developed from our early childhood experiences. For example, if we were raised with a lot of criticism, we might develop the belief that we are inadequate, and thus, we may become a people-pleaser, or we may become obsessed with accomplishments or we may ourselves become a criticizer.

When I consider myself, it is evident that a number of personality traits … many of which I can directly attribute to my upbringing … contributed to me developing the symptoms I am presently experiencing. I was a worrier, impatient, impulsive, immature, a people-pleaser, prone to anger, self-pity, self-doubt, self-consciousness and self-loathing, fearful, easily-flustered, with an extremely busy mind, among others.

These are traits I am more than happy to let go!

In order to change our nature, Dispenza suggests we emulate the personality traits of someone we admire. For me, this is an easy choice! Nelson Mandela!

Nelson Mandela, or as he was known by his clan name, Madiba, rose from humble beginnings to become the President of South Africa, after spending 27 years in prison as a political prisoner of the then white minority apartheid government. He was in so many ways, the person I most admire. He was self-assured, unintimidated, fearless, visionary, poised, defiant, mature, decisive, outspoken, courageous, honorable, forgiving, elegant, focused, peaceful, cheerful, optimistic and strong-spirited. He had a magnetic personality! And despite the hardship of prison and being separated from his family, he lived to be 95 years old! It’s astonishing!

I think it’s safe to say that Nelson Mandela’s body would never have developed the symptoms of PD because he didn’t have the temperament to do so.

So, how does one go about changing their personality?

For me, it begins with mindfulness. That is to say, being aware of when my thoughts and behaviors are not in alignment with the personality traits I aspire to emulate. This takes practice and diligence because it’s quite easy to slip into a detrimental thought pattern. It also means being aware of when the universe is working on my behalf. For example, if poise, patience and trust are qualities I would like to emulate, then the universe will create opportunities for me to develop this … which it did recently when the starter on my truck broke down at the waste transfer station on my way to town. I had to ask for help … which unfortunately, didn’t work out … before calling for a tow truck to tow me to the repair shop. It also gave me an opportunity to express gratitude for the tax return I just received which I used to pay for the tow and repair.

I made a list of the personality traits I would like to manifest. I keep it with me and refer to it often. I imagine myself in situations where having these traits would be to my benefit.

I also like to do energy work. We live in a universe of pure energy and at the core of our being, we are nothing more than formless bundles of energy. As such, I have found energy work … mostly in the form of expressing intention … to be very effective!

To help transform my personality, I am using two techniques:

  1. Healing stone: I hold a healing stone in my hands [it can be any stone] and repeat the following: I call on my inner-self as well as, Raphael, Michael, Gabrael and Urael [the four archangels] to assist me in giving over to this healing stone, all of the low frequency vibrational energy that is trapped within my energy body, so that it can be transmuted into love, particularly that connected to the thoughts, beliefs and emotions that are not in vibrational harmony and alignment with my intention to transform my personality to be self-assured, unintimidated, trusting, fearless, visionary, poised, mature, patient, decisive, outspoken, honorable, forgiving, elegant, focused, peaceful, cheerful, and strong-spirited in addition to the aspects of my personality which I already hold dearly, including being kind, generous, compassionate, grateful, creative, energetic, optimistic, courageous, conscientious, curious and friendly … and I give thanks for this healing.
  2. Manifesting script: I repeat the following: Wouldn’t it be so nice to have a personality which combines the best qualities of my and Nelson Mandela’s personalities! Wouldn’t it be so nice to be self-assured, unintimidated, poised, etc., in addition to being kind, creative, courageous, friendly, etc! This would be so awesome! I borrowed this technique from the book, Ask and it is Given, by Ester and Jerry Hicks. According to the Hicks, phrasing your intention to manifest in this “Wouldn’t it be nice if,” manner creates, less resistance and a stronger point of attraction, than using the phrase, “I want.”

I also frequently ask myself, what would Madiba do in this situation? For example, if I find myself worrying about something or dwelling on an unpleasant experience from the past, I put myself in his shoes and I let it go because I am certain it is what he would do.

Since embarking on a spiritual journey, I have already changed considerably, particularly in the last five years. I am more calm, forgiving, understanding, empathetic, patient and accepting than I once was. And I am much happier with the person I am now!

May you live in peace, love, joy, abundance and bliss!

Living in Excellent Health #15 — Gut Health!

diet

I recently watched a video with Dr David Perlmutter, an American neurologist who is a prominent advocate for maintaining gut health in order to facilitate brain health. According to Perlmutter, there is a direct connection between gut biome health and the production of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Perlmutter’s assertion in regards to the direct connection between gut biome health and neurotransmitter health, re-enforces the need for those of us experiencing the symptoms of PD to eat healthy foods in order to live in excellent health.

While the medical community is still learning about the microbiome-gut-brain relationship, they do know that the gut is controlled by the Enteric Nervous System, which, like the brain, is made up of millions of neurons, and which is connected directly to the brain via the vagus nerve. Therefore, it is imperative that a healthy diet is part of our regimen to live in excellent health.

Whether your preference is a vegetarian, vegan, ketogenic, mediterranean, paleo or fruit diet, depends on your individual preference, but it is essential to eliminate junk food, fast food, refined sugar and artificial sweeteners, while minimizing processed foods, dairy, grains and alcohol, as they adversely affect gut health.

I have had to completely eliminate all forms of sugar [including fresh fruit] and alcohol. because even a small amount will result in me waking up the next morning feeling like I’ve got a bad hangover and worsened symptoms. Apparently, this happens because when you have PD, your body is coursing with cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol is an insulin suppressor. {Insulin is the enzyme that breaks down sugar. For this reason, I prefer the ketogenic diet. If you’re interested, check out my post on Diet, as part of the series on the 18 Things I’ve Learned from Living with the Symptoms of PD.

In addition to purifying our diet, it is essential that we eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi. These foods are loaded with healthy bacteria. You might also wish to consider a good quality probiotic, but be careful because many of these products actually provide no nutritional value. I have no direct experience with probiotics … I prefer fermented foods … so I’m not able to make any recommendations on the best products.

I have written extensively on the need to restore gut health … along with strengthening the immune system, unclogging lymphatic system, eliminating inflammation and alkalining the body … in order to return the body to homeostasis. But a healthy, probiotic-rich diet goes beyond simply restoring homeostasis. It contributes directly to a healthy brain.

Living in Excellent Health #14 — Push-up Challenge and Weaning off Meds Update!

845,208 Determination Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

I am thrilled to say that I completed Phase 3 of my push-ups challenge. Last week, I did 140 push-ups a day for seven days [160 on the last day], for a total of 1,000 push-ups. It was a worthwhile challenge because it really pushed me, given that I also did yardwork and firewood stacking everyday.

The primary purpose of this challenge was to stimulate the release of dopamine by moving towards and achieving a goal. I don’t know how much dopamine I released, but it felt meaningful.

I would love to hear from you if you undertook your own challenge, regardless of what it was. How did it go and how did you feel about it?

Until I decide on a new challenge … it won’t involve push-ups … I will go back to my regular daily exercise regimen which includes 20 to 50 push-ups a day.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am maintaining my current daily Sinemet dosage for the time being. I am planning a trip south in July to visit my kids and I don’t want to be experiencing any withdrawl sysmtoms when I’m there, particularly given that I am planning to drive myself. After I return from my trip, I will continue weaning off the meds. Presently, I am taking three Sinemet a day: two in the morning before breakfast and one in the afternoon.

During my push-ups challenge last week, I received three meaningful insights which I will blog about separately. Whether they were related to my push-ups challenge is unclear, but the timing was interesting.

My biggest challenge at the moment is dealing with the wear-off rebound effects from the Sinemet I’m taking. This happens twice a day. Freezing is the most challenging symptom. What seems to help the most, is power-walking. Most days, I go for two power-walks. The first one is 2 to 3k and the second one is 1 to 2k. Immersing myself in humor seems to help as well, so I watch Rick Mercer videos before I go for my power-walk.

Wishing you a cheerful day!