Monday, November 3, 2008
For the past twelve years, I have struggled with various treatments for my insomnia in a desperate attempt to find those illusive zzzzz's. What I didn't know, was that while I was so hyper-focused on falling asleep that I didn't realize that the sleep I was getting was very poor.
After a string of ineffective, short-term medications whose side effects were worse than their cure, a new doctor I was seeing decided to try me on Remeron. Within days, I was sleeping like I had never slept before. I slept heavily those first few weeks, finding it difficult to wake up and get going in the morning. But, after I adjusted I started sleeping normally for the first time in years.
But, I (like many others) made a big mistake when I first started taking Remeron.....I ate. The doctor's will warn you that there is a risk of weight gain (mine said about 6-7 lbs), but what they should tell people is that the risk is actually reality and that most people end up putting on large amounts of weight.
I personally gained about 16 lbs, which, given my frame, is a pretty large weight gain. And, like many others, despite how much I exercised the weight kept piling on.
For weeks and weeks I was tormeted by the weight gain, as I exercised more and more. I tried to change my eating habits by not eating out, watching calories and being more aware of what I was putting in my mouth. But, the fact was that I wasn't a person who ate poorly, but was now a person who could not lose weight.
So, I started taking a hard, scientific look at Remeron and why it causes so many people to gain weight. I read up on the methods of action, the studies that link Remeron to a reduction in stress hormones (specifically cortisol) and how all of that could be connected to what was happening to people's bodies.
Here's what I noticed: I couldn't seem to build and maintain muscle mass. If I took a single day off of exercise, the fat would pile back on. After months of exercise, I had barely made a dent. But, then I also noticed that certain exercises seemed to create a bigger effect than others (more on that later) and that some days I could barely walk down the street because I felt so heavy and others I seemed to move faster and easier.
Not surprisingly, the research on Remeron talks alot about the weight gain, but, specfically, about the change in body composition. On Remeron, people tend to gain this layer of fat, or that's how I describe it. I call it the immovable layer of lard. It comes out of nowhere and is very stubborn about leaving. Walk all you want, hit that eliptical all you want....it won't move. It makes you want to give up on the drug. To hate it. To return to insomnia, if that's what will make the weight go away.
But then I happened upon some like that lead me another link. And, that's when I put together the cortisol + insulin connection.
This is how it goes: Remeron supresses the stress hormone cortisol. This is one of the reasons it helps people sleep. It basically 'powers down' your brain and slows your metabolism a bit. But, more interestingly is the relationship between cortisol and insulin. Apparently, cortisol counteracts insulin. Insulin basically grabs sugar from your bloodstream and stores it as fat. Your body needs cortisol to counteract and balance this effect of insulin, in addition to helping processing lipids (fats) and proteins.
So, as Remeron is supressing your cortisol it is also contributing to some of the effects of high insulin, specifically hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. When people say that can't stop eating carbs on Remercon, this may be why. Unabated, the insulin is grabbing sugar out of your blood, which leads you to think that you are carb depleted. So, you eat more carbs.
That's problem number one.
Problem number two comes from simply supressing cortisol. Because optimal levels of cortisol are neccessary for processing all macronutrients, having too little of it a night could drastically effect your body's conversion of these nutrients into energy. This could cause weight gain and would explain why people gain weight on Remeron so quickly.
That's problem number two.
So, when I rethought all of this, I actually decided to try a little experiment: To eat a 'Zone' diet that focuses on balancing fats, proteins and carbs, to increase my B-Complex vitamins, add Omegas and incorporate more muscle building activities, such as weight training.
The diet gets rid of the carbs that the Remeron are making your body store as fat. The B vitamins help metabolize macronutrients and convert them to energy, omegas can help balance fat levels and muscle building exercise burns glucose and taps your fat reserves.
Three days and I lost 4 lbs.
So, there is hope. I am going to try and keep this up over the next week and see what happens. But, so far there has been a significant difference. And, given that losing ANY weight on Remeron is almost impossible, I am hoping that this actually works.
Keep ya posted....
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
-brought to you by kate pendley: 8-6 er, juxt interactive-
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Me to Devo "My name is Devin. I dress well and don't lose things." (said in snarky voice).
Steve as he was playing with my PointRoll Fat Boy: "Inverted Downward Dog w/Turkey Bone". Try that one on you yoga freaks...... Advanced Pose: "Inverted Downward Dog w/Turkey Bone on Balanced Cacti."
that's all......how boring are we....
-brought to you by kate pendley: 8-6 er, juxt interactive-
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
iPhones & 'fat suits'
If you are there, check out the thing about Fidel Castro.....it's also rather wrong in that twisted, yes I am laughing sort of way...
Saturday, July 12, 2008
So, here I am. Kate Pendley. A non-smoker. I can safely and comfortably say that now, as I feel I am very much on my way to having smoking be apart of my past. I am eagerly looking forward to my 6 month anniversary, which will be at the beginning of next month. I am hoping to do something special with friends that really marks the occassion.
Looking back to 'hell week', I guess I am little surprised I actually made it. 2 weeks seemed like such a mountain to climb back then, as I counted every single hour of not having a smoke. Now, there are days I have completely forgotten that I was ever a smoker and only occasionally does the urge to grasp my crutch strike.
When people asked how I did it and did it successfully, I give them these tips (maybe a couple will work for you, but, remember, everyone is a little different):
(1) Right after you stop smoking: find a sponsor. Mine, oddly enough, was a smoker. But he was also a recovering alcoholic and friend who I could be very candid with. During the first month, his support was critical to my success, so I recommend that if you are quitting smoking, find someone you can trust outside your normal circle of friends and family to work with and be there for you. Make sure they are honest and have been down the road of addiction, as a non-addict will not really understand what you are going through.
(2) After you make it through Hell Week (days 1-7), adopt the N.O.P.E. principle: Not One Puff Ever. Think about this. It's important.
(3) Use various methods, if you have to, in any way that you need to as to get through the first 30 days. I ignored instructions on certain boxes and used a different approach to 'stepping down' off nicotine in the long run. Do what you have to. Don't feel confined or pressured to go one way or another. Your way will be the best way in the end. Mine was: Get a bad head cold, Cinnamon Nicorette Gum (lots of), Cinnamon Nicorette Gum (a little less), Chantix and then 100% just me.
(4) Write. Write it all down. This will be your screaming and bitching and yelling and freaking out -- without dragging others into your emotional turmoil. This is a safe way to verbally express the feelings you are feeling without hurting or insulting others. I found it kept my bitch quotient to a minimum on most days.
(5) At week one, figure out why you think you smoke. At week 2, add to that list. At day 60, make you final list and open up a healthy dialogue with yourself about why you smoked and what factors, as a non smoker, you will continue to have to deal with.
(6) Expect to feel lonely. Figure out ways to deal with this. Expect to feel depressed. Figure out if you have always been depressed or if this is just part of letting go.
(7) Feel very, very proud of yourself and remind yourself constantly of how well you have done. Even if others stop noticing, self-congratulate every now and then as this is really a hard thing to do and you deserve a huge hug for even trying.
(8) Know that this is a process. Lots will be learned and lots will be gained, as well as lost. Welcome the process and remove any ideas of instant success.
(9) You are your ultimate source of strength. Every minute you resist counts. Every day you don't smoke compounds with every other. If you need a boost of encouragement, go to a doctor. 9 times out of 10, they will say "good for you, keep it up" when you tell them you quit.
(10) Become a person who HATES starting over. Of all things, this is the one that kept me on track the most. One puff: start counting from "0".....sorry, but there is no cheating when it comes to quitting. This has kept me 100% smoke free.Kate Pendley has NOT smoked: 3,910 cigarettes.
What is up with the herd mentality when it comes to the iPhone? Some have called it gadget fever, but I really think it is more similar to panic and hysteria or herd behavior. I am trying to figure oout WHY people would rush to buy something that they know will be restocked and continually sold. Seriously. Why would you wait in an 8 hour line. This isn't a limited release product. This is not one-time-only. This IS the phone.
The only people who I think have a duty to wait in those lines are reviewers, journalists and the like, because they need to publish their experiences as soon as possible. The rest of us....we just have issues with delay of gratification. American's are completely insane when it comes to this. But, do we not see how corporations (even the ones we like, such as Apple) play up our hysteria for their own profitability? Get a clue: they are playing you. This is marketing. Not an actual desire for the product. Go Apple. Shame on you people.
Even after the systems started crashing, people still didn't turn away and 'come back later'. This is why I call it heard behavior. Ever try and direct a panicked group of cattle? You can't. Just like you can't convince someone to reasonably look at their wants and the current impediments to that want and ask them to make sound decisions.
This panic over the iPhone 3G has actually made me not want one. I owned two of the previus iPhones and loved every minute of owning them. But, this iPhone 3G hysteria is a little out of control. Hello: it's ONLY faster and cheaper. They did not reinvent the phone. The initial wave of response for the phone a year ago was acceptable: it had a curiosity component to the madness. It was completely unique and never seen before. But, faster and cheaper as reasons for an even bigger hysteria...
Was the price point reduction such a huge drop as to create new hysterical masses? Do most of these people plan on pulling out their stop watches when Safari serves up content? Um....no.
So again, good job Apple and the iphone 3G for showing us just how insane US consumers can be.
Wow! I am now returning to this post days later. I don't even remember posting this. I think I was having a moment where I thought if I wrote and expose about my sleeplessness, that it would magically disappear.
I know I was sleep deprived. The title to the blog sucks.
Insomnia is not cured by blogging. Bummer.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Now at 30 years old and faced with the realization that we have, possibly, moved backwards in our efforts to equalize the workplace, I can see why many people have such a hard time with my personality. It's not that of a typical woman's. Well, it is and it isn't. See, I have met and worked for some pretty shrewd women who would successfully destroy your career if you even dared to tell them to 'soften up' or 'smile more'. But these women were in positions of critical power. They worked for industries that actually required one to draw strict lines between the personal and business. The ones that required you make a direct point. The ones that require you to remove 99% of the bullshit (aka 'being nice') and get the damn job done.
I am tough. I am intense. I am candid and dislike transparency. I don't think 'flare' defines a person, but I think their integrity does. I think this world is in desperate need of more people with more integrity. I think that people are, inherently, intolerant of things they are not used to and that it is especially apparent when applied to unique individuals.
There are many people who are repeatedly misunderstood in this world. They are usually the bright, the driven, the strong and the wise. The are labeled 'arrogant', 'passionate' (yes, this is quickly becoming a bad word in HR), 'closed off' and 'holier-than-thou'.
I heard a line from a TV show that stirred both laughter and a sense of sadness in me. After an artistic hissy fit, the Pope commented on Leonardo Devinci as "We forgive him because he is brilliant. Whatever that means..."
Exactly. Brilliance takes many forms, but no one person is the same. The work place is becoming less and less tolerant of the traits of the brilliant except in a few certain professions and a few certain positions. For example, my experience in media and advertising is that if you are (1) male *and* (2) a 'creative' or 'technical genius' than all personality flaws are welcome, excused and forgiven. If, however, you are in management and are a woman then you had better expect that you must always be brilliant, always be nice and always be what people expect.
Here's my belief: the innovators, the reformers, the leaders of change.....they pissed people off. They had to in order to shake things up. In order to get people to see a new perspective and challenge what we understand to be true. Because we know that very few truths today will be the truths of tomorrow.
So, here's the deal with me. No, I am not a water cooler conversationalist and my desk does not have flare. I keep my personal life at home as much as possible and I think that my job at work is to do my job. I know when to be thankful and and I know when to be truthful. I will always pick kindness-when-needed over niceness-when-expected. My intelligence and need to express it is as much a part of me as is breathing. I may be direct and, sometimes, strict, but I also am known to be incredibly generous when it is appropriate to do so.
I am different. So are many, many women who, like me, get asked for an unequal exchange: all of your talent for none of our understanding. Add on top of that the long-standing, general inequities that still exist for women in the workplace and you have quiet a little predicament, that leads many of us strong women to become more bitter from the exploitations of our talents and more saddened by our inability to just be shown a little more understanding and a little less lecturing.
In the end, I only know one thing. I should have been a fucking lawyer.
-this is kate pendley signing off.
Friday, July 4, 2008
The 4th always makes me miss Boston, and right now I am very jealous of all of you standing on the shore of the Charles, listening to the Pops and watching the brilliant display. One of the best nights of my life (and one of the times I truly felt the most connected to so many strangers) was with Melissa and Troy when we ran down to the river to catch the show. This, of course, was less than a year after 911, so I think it was an incredibly emotional time for everyone. Nonetheless, if I had the money and the time, I would be there right now watching the show and breathing in that city I love to love.
I don't mean to start any wars here, but no city does the 4th like Boston. Last year I watched it on TV and...yes...cried.
If you are ever get the chance, hit that city up on the 4th. You'll be so glad you did.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
So, wow. I mean wow. If you step out of the online social networking scene for awhile , man do you feel left in the dust. First, relearning the UI's is annoying because my brain remembers previous versions and isn't in the mood to learn new tricks. Second, it take a ridiculous amount of time to get your account set up. There is actual equity built into these things. I can't even remember how long I spent setting up my original MySpace account from years ago, but the effort invested in setting it up and maintaining it is nothing to laugh at.
For my friends in the music industry, I understand that MySpace has been one of their dream vehicles for marketing. And, I am starting to think the same goes for just us 'ordinary' folks. This is an advertising investment. And one that I can't catch up with in a single evening.
I am seriously waiting for people to start selling their profiles, similar to how virtual worlds sell 'fake' money in exchange for real money.
So it begs the question: when will our virtual selves surpass our real selves? Part of me thinks this has already happened. People's online identities seem so much more fully developed and architected than their actual identities. Maybe we are more comfortable with compiling ourselves online? Maybe we are all self-promoters deep at heart.
Too bad for us few who decided to take a break. Social networking sites are actually becoming a required part of the modern day existence. Don't have a MySpace account? Can't hack your Facebook? Well...damn fool...then you're just wack.
Validation of ourselves comes through a world that, actually, doesn't exist. Doesn't this seem a bit twisted?
As an advertiser and interactive peeps, I have to love the stuff. As a person, who likes to see and talk with people face-to-face, I'm on the outs.
So what does one do? Follow the herd. Follow the herd.
The Kate Pendley Answer of the Day: Yes & No.
I realize that a next day follow up post about Cyber Bullying may be a bit premature, but the issue is really bothering me. Specifically, the issue of publicity for the stalker.
What do I mean exactly? Well, just like the tabloids I believe that cyber stalkers gain increasingly more control over their victims not directly by virtually inserting themselves into other people's lives, but by the traffic they receive by doing so.
Talk about life being unfair. It's enough to have seriously disturbed people out there tapping the internet for their own, demented self-interests, but to think that machines are cataloguing and ranking it all makes you feel a little cyber-queasy. My pity extends beyond myself when I realize that the more demented the post, the more traffic it will probably receive. Just like the tabloids. The more bizarre and outlandish the story is, the more traffic it receives, thereby increasing the celebrity of the stalker.
So what a nice little conundrum we have now. However, looking at it through a different set of lenses I can also see the irony of it all. The cyber stalker wants control. They get it through bullying and writing crazy things about the victim. The get traffic to their posts because they are....well...entertaining. Score one for the stalker. He increases the profile of the victim and controls that profile through what he posts.
But, here's the catch: The stalker takes what he is saying/writing very seriously. "It happened that way, I swear!" (you get the gist). So seriously, that he is incredibly diligent about dedicating an abnormal amount of time to the victim (which now truly qualifies him as a stalker) and establishes fairly elaborate ways to publicize his mission.
And, as traffic builds and his stories increase in popularity online, I am sure he gains a good amount of satisfaction and pride. Maybe even encouragement to continue stalking.
But here is the problem with it all: the only reason people are reading the stories is because they are so bizarre. Not because they are enlightening or full of fact, but because they are entertaining, ridiculous and downright strange. And, we all know (check the latest sales of the Enquirer) that people LOVE strange.
So, some advice from victim to victim:
Look at it this way, your stalker thinks he is gaining legitimate power when, in fact, most people look at him like he is a three headed chicken.
He is not any less dangerous or insane or worthy of prosecution. But, his posts are ridiculous, most people seem them as ridiculous and that's why all the attention.
I still believe that stalkers and cyber bullies should be stopped. I still believe that there are laws against slander, malice and liable for a reason. But, everything should also be see for what it is. There is no power to be gained by being a nuisance. There is no control that comes out of cyber stalking or bashing or bullying. It's pathetic, bottom feeding that should be illegal. Or, if not, be associated with a stiff penalty of being repeatedly smacked upside the head until the nonsense falls out.
Any content providers willing to step up and put a stop to this?
Until later, keep each other safe.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Kate Pendley Answer of the Day: Because of that pesky thing called the First Amendment.
I once contact Blogger.com about having a slanderous post about myself removed. See, ever-so-lucky, little ol' me kate pendley managed to go and get herself a mentally ill stalker who has tremendous skills with the internet. The posts were inappropriate, skewed and just a tad bit scary. Basically, I felt threatened.
So, out of curiosity, I contacted Blogger.com and attempted to appeal to their rational side by providing proof of the LIFE TIME restraining order that had been issued by this guy (these aren't easy to get, by the way, and usually signify that the stalker poses a serious threat). The restratining order demands that he never had an electronic communication with me. Blogs count, right?
Apparently not. Since I am not a minor and do not have an additional gag order by a judge, they basically said that his first amendment rights (last time I checked, the 1st amendment doesn't cover slander or liable.....right?!?!?) were more important than my safety.
We there you have it folks. Welcome to the 21st century. Where a man can virtually harass and intimidate a woman, have a criminal record, have an arrest record for battery, have a certified mental illness and STILL be allowed to harass people online.
But, then along came a poor little girl in Missouri (read more here).
And then the world woke up. Well, for all of us adults and unprotected victims of cyber bullying out there, I would like to say: Come on!
Why are they pushing for laws ONLY for minors? Every type of person deserves to be protected from this crime. It is not only children and teens who are the victims of cyber or online bullying and it DOES lead to frustration and fear in adults. Sure, maybe we are better able to blow it off. But, I will tell you this. The things that were written about me (and perhaps others) by this guy are not only false, they truly speak to the level of how disturbed he really is.
Meaning: This guy is dangerous. People in town know it. The police know it. The mostly- broken-mental-health system knows it. So why, may I ask, after being presented with a legitimate case of harassment and cyber bullying, would Blogger.com not even considering reviewing the case to have his blog removed?
While I am not a fan of blaming or passing judgment on the networks and websites that simply provide the gateway to content (MySpace, Blogger, etc.) I am slowly starting to understand and accept that there is culpability in being the provider.
People will be people. Yes, I get that. This is America and we protect free speech. Yes, I get that as well. But, there are limits. Free speech is not and cannot be limitless. But, it appears that Blogger and some of the others are more afraid of being sued over free speech than for doing the right thing.
A couple times a month, I am reminded that (1) the mental health system in America is TRULY broken, (2) the rights of attackers are often more protected than the victims and (3) we have a long way to go in the country.
We need to tighten the laws on Cyber bullying and bullying in general. They need to cover adults, men, women, children.....Everyone!
(this blog belongs to kate pendley and is the sole property of kate pendley. if you feel like it, you can contact kate pendley at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Anyway, Kate Pendley is here....surfs up! Let there be no more ice storms and tornadoes!
(this blog belongs to kate pendley and is the sole property of kate pendley. if you feel like it, you can contact kate pendley at email@example.com).