Friday, November 4, 2011


I'm reading Spent by Frank Lipman, M.D.  It's a non-fiction book written for people who feel, well.... spent
sorry, you can't click to look inside unless you go to!
I had been feeling pretty exhausted during the summer.  I even went in to my endocrinologist to make sure my thyroid wasn't whacked out-- I was just so drained every morning when I'd return from my run and puppy walks.  I'd come home to shower, but take a bath instead because I just felt so tired.  My brain seemed fuzzy most of the time.  I had the memory of a 70 year old, and I was getting headaches often.  And if I had to use a word to describe how I felt both physically and emotionally, I would say, "Spent". 

One day, I was reading a magazine article about how to regain some energy, and it mentioned this book.  I loved the title, and tend to make quick judgements based on that alone.  So I checked it out at the library.

Spent is set up as a 6 week program.  Each day, it offers one suggestion of something to either add or remove from your diet, exersize or sleeping regimen.  It's not some crazy strict diet or anything like that at all.  It's very sensible stuff- some of it that you already know and just need to be reminded about, and some of it, at least for me, is things you've never even thought about!

I think the very first day, Dr. Lipman suggests cutting out sugars and artificial sweeteners from your diet.  This is nothing ground breaking.  But he threw in some factoids about artificial sweeteners that I needed to hear again. Facts like:
*"Although it is marketed as "Made from sugar so it tastes like sugar," it is more chemically similar to DDT."
*"Aspartame has more than 92 possible side effects."
*"If you are using Splenda, you are essentially dumping chlorine into your coffee."
He said that cutting that junk out might feel really challenging the first few days, but after that you'll notice your head will start to clear.  As in, not fuzzy. Yay!

Another thing suggested very early on in this 6 week program has to do with your sleep habits. 

Let me tell you, I wake up most mornings feeling like I need to go right back to sleep.  So although I've never even thought much about my sleep habits, I'm realizing I probably need to.

So the big advice here was-- don't watch tv in bed.  And not only that, don't watch tv or use a computer screen after 10pm.  Those bright lights emitted from the screen mess up our body clocks.  This was a tough one for me.  I love watching tv in bed.  And I love using my iPad in the tub during my evening bath.  But no more!  I quit doing it for about 10 days in a row.  But then, one night, I just had to watch a little tv!  And I slept like crap that night.  But I still made the same mistake again the next night watching tv in bed until about midnight.  And you know what?  I woke up around 3am and didn't get back to real sleep until about 5:30.  Not refreshing!

I'm on about week 5 of the program.  Some of the things suggested in the book I have stuck with, and some, I just try for a couple of days.  (Which Dr. Lipman seems to long as we're listening to our body and figuring out what makes a positive difference to us.) 

I'm feeling a lot better.  This could be at least partly due to the fact that the brutal summer is over and I'm no longer running in nearly 90 degree heat for and hour each morning.  But I think for sure, taking a lot of these suggestions to heart has done me some good.

Anyway, this book is so worth checking out if you, too, are feeling spent.


Jadyn @ Dutch.British.Love said...

This book sounds so interesting Kerri! I am sorry to hear you've been so tired over the Summer, that definitely makes life a lot less enjoyable. I've been tired a lot lately too and I think I'll start by not bringing my laptop to bed this weekend and the next week - a bad habit I've fallen into lately. Thanks for the tip!

Rob said...

Wow, Kerri. That first paragraph after the picture of the book is EXACTLY how I feel — all the time!

Tired, aching, fuzzy in my head, headaches and just, in general, crabby.

I'm kinda like you in that I have a screen on at night right up until I go to sleep. And Splenda — a packet in my two cups every morning.

I'm gonna give it a shot and see if cutting those things out will help.

Hope all is well. ~ me

Kerri said...

well, let me know if it helps ya'll. i hope so!!