Special K Upate

Special K Multigrain Oats & Honey Cereal Closeup

Special K Cereals

So it’s been a few days since I started my Special K Challenge. Things are going well so far. I am doing my best to get as much exercise as I can and sticking to my diet. I have been eating Special K Vanilla Almond cereal for breakfast, enjoying Special K Raspberry Cheesecake snack bars, and eating regular suppers. I have been doing my nightly weigh in. I am currently at 136 lbs. I am very close to my goal, but I would like to push for another 5-10 lbs if possible. Wish me luck and I will keep you updated!

The Special K Challenge and Giveaway

Yes. I am doing it! I am taking the Special K Challenge. The goal is to ‘lose a pant size in 2 weeks’. Tomorrow will mark day 1. My daily meal plan will include: one bowl of Special K Cereal with skim milk for breakfast, a Special K drink or bar for lunch, and supper as usual. I will also be eating 1-2 Special K products throughout the day for snacks and drinking my usual beverages. The Special K Challenge does not suggest any exercise, however, I will specifically spending about 300 minutes a week exercising by either swimming, treadmill, or aerobic work out.

My goal is to lose, yes a pant size; but also at least 10 lbs. over a 2 week period (this is why I am including exercise). I will give you continuous updates on my status and I will do a daily weigh in at the same time daily in the nude on the same scale. This will ensure accuracy.

My target weight is 135 at the end of 2 weeks.

Along with my own challenge, I will be having a giveaway. Of course it is a Special K Giveaway! Here are the details…

One lucky winner will receive a decoratively packed Special K set that includes: Special K Cereal, Special K Snack Bars, Special K Crisps, and Special K drink package.

Who can enter? Anyone in the United States wanting to take part in the Special K Challenge.

How to enter? You must be a subscriber to this blog. If you are not, please use the subscription box on the right sidebar. Subscription is free! You must also include a comment on this post telling me why you want to win! Why would you like to take the challenge?

Deadline: The giveaway begins today 1/25/2011 and ends in 2 weeks from today on 2/8/2011.Winner will be announced by 2/10/2011 on this blog and twitter.

Rules: You may only enter under one name. United States Residents Only. You must claim your prize within 72 hours or a new winner will be drawn. You must provide a valid shipping address to receive your prize. You may tweet about this giveaway, however it does not count as an entry. This is one of two Special K Challenge Giveaways that I am hosting, you may only enter 1.

Good luck to everyone! I can’t wait to see where this challenge takes me and the winner of the giveaway!

Questions? Please leave a comment.

Bloggerviews: Introducing Katie Lynn

As many of my readers know, I am pursuing a degree in Psychiatry. I was lucky enough that a person with direct experience with this matter contacted me. Originally Katie contacted me, after reading my blog, offering me information on a research project. Unfortunately, the project was completed. However, I jumped at the opportunity to interview her. Katie has a story that should be told, and I am grateful to her for allowing this very personal interview. Thank you so much for your time and your words.

Katie is a  “23-year-old, divorced mother to one son, and companion to one cat. ” Her diagnosis is Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder with associated severe- Depression. Katie was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at the early age of 16 and then diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder with associated severe- Depression at the age of 21. Katie has undergone many treatments including Cognitive Therapies, Light Therapy, 5 Electro-Convulsive Treatments(ECT) to date, Medication, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

Katie contacted me regarding research I was doing on ECT and offered her help. I became more interested with her personal experience. She received her first ECT in early March of 2010 and underwent five treatments between March and April. Although, I am unsure of Katie’s location, she did inform me that her treatments  “began while inpatient in a local hospital of psychiatry,” and was treated by “attending doctors, within the inpatient program.”

Now, Katie’s story can be told. She is a very strong woman and is a living survivor of her diseases. She is proof that there is still hope and that will the right medical care, life can move forward. Katie my hat is off to you. There are a 1000 words to a story, and it is never completely told. We can feel a small pinch of Katie’s life through my personal interview with her.

Was ECT a last resort treatment?

Yes. After at least 10 medications, it became gruel some and tedious, to wait for results that were unlikely to come.

Do you feel that ECT helped you?

Since middle of High School, I struggled with severe bouts of depression, emotional instability, and impulsive behavior
that became self destructive. As I got older, and left the pressure of High School, I thought I was going to get better
But I was wrong. Several medications and hospitalizations for self harm and suicide attempts would cloud my next 5 years.
During a spin of mania triggered by the death of my mother, I got married to a stranger, and tried to create a life that would
mask the pain I was feeling inside. Emotionally speaking, I was falling into a black hole, and no matter how many times I tried to
get help, nothing seemed to work. I left my husband after becoming pregnant, knowing I could no longer live a lie. During my
pregnancy, I was off medications and completely content and at peace. I credit the hormones from the pregnancy to balancing me out, for those 9 months were a glimpse of what it felt like to be “normal”. After the birth of my son, I was determined to make the best out of being a single mother. After a few months of struggling to find my identity as a new mother, the depression returned. I continued to be in and out of the hospital for self -harm thoughts and suicidal attempts. One day, sitting with a fellow patient, discussing our journeys with medication and treatments they told me about ECT’s and how its made it a little better for them. I then asked for information about them, and had my family look into it and bring me research and articles so that I may see if it is right for me. I approached my Dr about it, and explained how I wasn’t responding to any medications and they agreed after about two days of interviews and consultations.

Will you continue more ECT in the future and/or medications?
Yes. During the ECT’s I continued with my regular medication therapy. When I lost my insurance and couldn’t continue ECT maintenance or medications. In July 2010, I went off all my pills, to discover, a completely new feeling.
A productive, outgoing, new me. I was awake. I was a better mom. A better sister. A better friend. A better me. I was finally who I was supposed to me.  I believe that the ECT treatment did help my mind make a adjustment in the way it functions, and when I stopped pumping my body full of chemicals, the ECT’s results finally shined through. I will begin monthly ongoing treatment next month.

What were the side effects of your ECT treatment (if any)?
During the course of the treatments from earlier this year, I had some short term memory blips. I call them blips because its bits and pieces that I don’t remember, or small moments of time that slip my mind. They continue today, but are definitely worth the relief I have felt. Physically the only side effect I suffered was a headache.

Were there any complications?
Were you under anesthesia during the procedure?
Was the treatment voluntary or involuntary?
Anything you would like to add?
I don’t believe the ECT’s are a cure to depression or any mental illness, For me, however, accompanied with “talk therapy” and continued regular ECT’s, I have found hope.
If you could give one piece of advice to others suffering or undergoing ECT, what would it be?
For other that may be considering going through ECT, please realize it is not a cure, It is a therapy just like any other.
You must be committed. You must be patient. And you must understand the risks. Do your research before you decide what is best for you, and those who support you. The memory issue is real, and can be frustrating for those around you. But for me, it was a risk that needed to be made, to save my life.

Do you believe ECT is a sound way of treatment and do you agree with the process?
I believe it is definitely a more effective treatment for some, it is not a cure- all. And for a select few, it could mean life or death.

I believe Katie found me for a reason and contacted me. I knew her story needed to be told and I hope that after reading this, if you can connect with Katie; you should. Katie left a note for her readers:

To learn more about my experience or share yours with me, I may be contacted at kitty_lynn_05@yahoo.com.

Bloggerviews: Introducing Misfit Momma aka Missy

There are thousands of blogs out there today. What do you enjoy reading? Are you looking for a Misfit Momma that can give you honest reviews and advice? Then you have to stop by and check out Misfit Momma aka Missy!

Misfit Momma aka Missy is a blogger that runs two blogs at this time and is also working on a third Home Parties blog. She plans to be able to work from home once that launches. Misfit Momma is a, “Mother, Blogger, Procrastinator! Yes, I can classify procrastinating to be part of my job since I do it all day every day.” She lives in “Winnipeg, Canada – the coldest city in the world! It’s also the Slurpee Capital of the World. The cold doesn’t stop us, we gotta have our Slurpees!” Missy states that she is, ” Legally married, technically separated. Scratch that, lets just say it’s complicated; Mother of 4 with a Husband that acts like my 5th and five annoying pets all living in a house that is probably smaller than the average apartment. No lie.” Missy is 28 years old.

Something unique about Missy…

I was born missing several of my adult teeth and very last baby tooth that is left is loose! Will The Rock sneak into my room at night when it falls out?  Either way I hope it happens soon because the tooth has been causing pain and I don’t have any more dental insurance for a few months. I also have a sense of humor that requires a very similar personality in order for others to appreciate although I am extremely shy/cautious of new people. A lot of people take my initial shyness the wrong way if they don’t take the time to give me the second chance but once they get to know me…I’m the nicest person they know!

My exclusive interview with Missy:

How often do you blog?

“I would have to say every 2-3 days right now. I would like to have something to post on each blog every day, but I often do not have as much time, motivation, or inspiration needed to get 2+ good posts finished every day. Some day…”

What inspired you to become a blogger? Was it something you stumbled upon or have you always had a love for it?
“I email subscribed to a few blogs for over a year before I realized that they were in fact blogs – and that there were thousands more out there! I started my first blog thinking I would write about making crafts with the kids and my doll collection. It hasn’t worked out quite like that yet, but it’s still in my plan for when I figure out a good schedule to balance life, writing reviews, and journal blogging.”
Do you accept advertising and sponsorship at your blogs?If so, do you blog for income or a mix or pleasure and income?
“Yes, my Family blog has some paid advertisements. None yet on my After Hours blog though I wouldn’t be opposed to them and would gladly accept a few. I suppose you could say my blogs are a mix if you were to classify review products or the minimal affiliate earnings I make as income. The third blog I am working on is actually an upcoming Home Party business, so once it gets off it’s feet I hope to be able to say I am blogging for income.”
What is your favorite quote?  

“Sero Sed Serio which translates to Late But in Earnest. I’m late for nearly everything and it’s nice to have a good excuse! My family is Scottish, and Sero Sed Serio is the clan motto on my Dad’s side. I also have a few favorite words like Asshat, Dickhole, and Eh. I am Canadian too, after all.”
What is your favorite blog platform?
“For a long time I only used blogger. I had created a test blog of sorts in WordPress, and didn’t like it very much but I recently switched one of my blogs over to WordPress and now that I’ve figured it out I’m liking it much more than Blogger. My Family blog is still currently using a Blogger platform, but I plan to switch it to WordPress very soon.”

If you could give all new bloggers one piece of advice what would it be?
“Decide in the beginning what you want to do as far as the Blogger/Wordpress debate goes. Switching was very annoying and I would have saved a lot of headache by deciding for sure right in the beginning. I would also recommend buying a domain (and hosting if using WordPress) right away so that your blog isn’t treated as “new” when you eventually do switch. It doesn’t cost very much, and if you plan to write reviews/giveaways or blog for profit it will be a big benefit to have your own URL”
If you would like to know more about Missy she provided the following information to use for contact:
I can be found on twitter @MisfitMomma and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001195718831
My family friendly blog: http://www.misfitmomma.com/
My adults only blog: http://misfitmommaafterhours.com/
My newest/business blog: http://unforbiddenfantasies.ca/

Run Down

I have been feeling horrible for three weeks. It started with chest discomfort and I couldn’t really pinpoint it. The pain did get bad enough that I had to go to the doctor and I was put on a Z pack and Prednisone. Did nothing for me. Another week went by and I still felt horrible. I finally realized what was bothering me the most… breathing. It just hurts to pieces to breathe. I visited the doctor again and he did a physical and sent me to get a chest x-ray and schedule this pulmonary test. He also put me on an inhaler (yuck). I did the X-ray and went to the hospital three different times to get this other test done and the machine wasn’t working and blah blah. Point blank they kept rescheduling me. By the time the fourth appointment came around and was so sick to even get out of bed for more than five minutes so I definitely was NOT going to the doctor for another appointment. I stayed in bed. Here I am like three weeks later, I still haven’t heard back about my chest X-ray and have no idea what’s going on. I think I have just a really, really severe upper respiratory infection going on. Now it’s my neck, throat, nose, head, lungs, back, and chest. I feel awful. I think I have hit the worst end of it so far but it still sucks. So, be on the watch for the ickies floating around. Use hand sanitizer! Believe me you do not want this!

Today, sick as I am, I had to go and take a test for Statistics and then go listen to my Psych teacher go on about baseball for two hours. What a lecture that was! By the time I finally got home, I was like, eh… couch here I come! I made potato soup and sandwiches for supper and laid my butt on the couch for the rest of the evening. Now here I am laying in bed, unable to sleep. Great! Just what I need.

On the upside, Christmas break is almost here. The kids get out early from school tomorrow and my last day of class is Thursday. I will not be due back until January 10th, so I am excited to get a break! Tomorrow I will be finishing up my Christmas shopping. I can’t believe I still have shopping to do (a lot!). It has been hard to find the time to go and I live in such a small town that I have to travel to shop. No time at all for it! So tomorrow grandma will come over and watch the kids in the evening so that I can go out-of-town to shop. I hope I am feeling a little better by then. The kids are excited about Christmas and I think they are clueless as to what we have gotten them which makes for a great surprise. I cannot wait to see their faces! Once the holiday is over they will be traveling to see their other parents and I will get a break for about five days and in that time I am taking a mini vacation to Chicago. The man and I will have a little fun and then some R&R that is extremely overdue. He works nights and so now it seems impossible for me to sleep. I catch a few z’s from about four in the morning until the alarm beeps at me at six thirty. I am exhausted!

I do have some upcoming blog interviews with one that is very interesting. Make sure you catch it! Other than that, I am lying low. I am enjoying my holiday and I am just doing nothing.

30 Day Memoirs: the tale of a picture #30

This will wrap up the 30 day memoirs. As my finally picture I decided to add my China Cabinet. This was my mothers. I received it from my step dad a few years ago along with the 5th generation China set inside. It’s beautiful. I don’t have much left of my mother, but this is one thing I plan to hold on to and pass down for more generations to come.