Adina Mayo

Fighting back against chronic pain with a simple, creative, & healthy lifestyle. Inspiring others to become warriors.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Today I would like to discuss some of the things I touched on last Monday with 5 Side Effects of Chronic Illness that No One Talks About...

Weight Gain
30 pounds lighter than 2017 and 2016 but it took sacrifice
and hard work to achieve despite the pain.

There are lots of depressing things about being diagnosed with a chronic illness and disease but weight gain, for me, was one of the most depressing and expensive side effects I experienced

Expensive because I had to buy clothes I could fit in.

Depressing because I did not find myself attractive as well as, the quality of food I was eating was not healthy or beneficial for my brain.

Then why didn't you just avoid gaining weight in the first place?

Picture this, you are already upset that you are in pain or sick. Maybe you have been in this state for a while. All you really know is you used to be X and now you are Y.

You've been to doctor after doctor trying to get a diagnosis, in and out of surgeries, treatments, and a vast array of different medications to either treat you or in my situation, make you comfortable.

Each medication, surgical procedure, or treatment comes with its own version of side effects which ultimately set you up for a battle with weight gain.

My Weight Gain

At my largest, I feel I'm barely recognizable.
My 5th Wedding Anniversary March 2017
One month before my Adhesive Arachnoiditis diagnosis.
I went into my first back surgery doing a Whole30. That's right. I started a Whole30 one week before my microdiscectomy. I even brought almonds, my own organic apple juice, and Larabars to eat in post-op.

I stayed on the Whole30 throughout my first surgery recovery which was easy since I went off the Tylenol 3 a few days afterward. However, I still had to stay on the steroid pack until it was done.

Then a month later I had chronic disc prolapse.

Another steroid pack to see if it would calm things down, which didn't work and then I was back in surgery. A third round of steroids post-op and more Tylenol 3.

This time my stomach was torn to shreds with 3 steroid packs in a row and Tylenol 3 becoming a constant daily necessity so I had to add in a slice of toast when I would take my painkiller. I was also taking it more often so that meant meals every 4 hours just so I could take my medicine, even in the middle of the night.

The pain never stopped after this. Another month later, still complaining of non-stop pain I was given a 4th steroid pack. I was fed up and knew it was time to get further help.

I finally landed in physical therapy and pain management 3 months after my second surgery. During my initial assessment in physical therapy, I found out I gained 30 pounds in just three months and I wasn't even eating "bad" food!!! I had the occasional treat but nothing outrageous.

Even after starting physical therapy I didn't lose a pound. The start of 2017 forced me into a desperate wakeup call. I had a wedding to attend at the end of February and I desperately needed to lose weight in order to avoid buying an expensive dress.

I did my 3rd Whole30, started yoga private lessons and doing yoga every day at home, on top of physical therapy, and lost nothing.

That's when I knew. It was the medicine. I was on Gabapentin, Flexeril, and Tylenol 3.

It didn't help that my pain was still vastly uncontrolled.

My pain doctor switched me to Lyrica, I will save that discussion for another blog post, which worked imperceptibly better than Gabapentin but the side effects made it unable to take.

Finally, a week before the wedding I ended up dropping $250 on a dress, the biggest size I've ever purchased I might add and had zero ways to treat my pain since my pain doctor washed his hands of me. Unfortunately, it would be several more months into 2017 and 5 more doctors until I found out what was wrong and get my pain under control.

Now it's February of 2018 and I have finally lost the 30 pounds I gained and then some.

How did I lose 30 pounds with intractable pain?

Short version, doing anything and everything possible to get my pain under control to be able to workout and eating healthy, small proportioned meals.

Long Version

1. Acupuncture or Dry Needling for Pain Management

You have to move to lose weight.  You just have to. It sucks since pain and energy loss is dominating your life but there it is.

Dry needling, an alternative medicine treatment, helped me ease the greatest of my pain flares enabling me to build more muscle during my physical therapy and yoga sessions without massive pain flares.

Working out still hurt and did cause me to have pain flares but instead of going to a 9, I went to a 7. If that doesn't seem like much then let me break it down for you.

Level 7: I can move enough to get my IFC TENS unit on my body, grab an ice pack, and shove some food in my mouth to take my breakthrough pain medication.

Level 9: I am crying and begging my husband to grab my IFC TENS unit and put it on me.  I am moaning out loud uncontrollably and I can't move it hurts so damn bad.  I am nauseous, on the verge of throwing up from the sheer amount of pain ripping through my body. I am unable to get food or even get my medication to take it.

2. Supplements for Weight Loss and Pain Management

I started researching supplements.

These basic Amino Acids help with pain management and weight loss.

(Check with your doctor before beginning any supplements)

I started with 1000 mg Taurine, 500 mg Carnitine, 1000 mg Arginine, and 500 mg Colostrum as soon as I woke up with 16 oz of water.

I gradually increased those over several months to:

4000mg of Taurine
1000mg Carnitine
2000mg Arginine
2000mg Colostrum

I also increased my Turmeric/Curcumin to 6000mg a day for pain control over the same several months.

3. Epsom Salt Baths

Depending on your specific needs you need either a hot or ice bath.

For me and anyone with MS, you should not expose yourself to more heat. I have neuroinflammation, which a hot or even a warm bath is going to cause more inflammation.

Sure I would love to drop $800 a month on a cryochamber but who the hell has that kind of money?

My pain solution and post-workout or fasciablasting treatment, Epsom salt ice baths with lemongrass and lavender.

I won't lie. It's hell.

3 minutes into it you get numb and the rest of the 17 minutes go by smoothly if you have a good book to read or a video to watch. Set a timer, get out, and put your comfiest lounge clothes on and drink some hot unsweetened chamomile tea.

Do some research to see what kind of bath temperature would help you the most. The Epsom salt will help your muscles, the essential oils will soothe you and also help with pain.

4. Eat Healthy and Do Portion Control

I did another Whole30 and this time, despite the rule to not obsess over calories and measure food out, I had to weigh and measure out my food. I had to do the Whole30 and count my calories to start losing weight.

After the Whole30 I immediately switched to Paleo and have been Paleo ever since.
Yes that means even measuring out blueberries!
I did three months of strict Paleo eating. Strict! No cheat days. By July of 2017, I finally lost about 15 pounds. Only 15 more to go!

Research food programs that emphasize vegetables and proteins to find one that works best for you. I do find that the Whole30 is a great starting place with superb resources online that are free.

5. Stop Eating Out

Seriously. Just stop. Your body and bank account will thank you. Restaurant food has chemicals, preservatives, additives, hidden sugars, and too much salt. Even salads.

6. Cut Out Alcohol and Soda (all kinds!) and Increase Water

Stop drinking these.
Even diet sodas.

This is key if you want to lose weight. I limit myself to a glass of red wine or two only for special occasions. Thanksgiving. Christmas. My Birthday. You get the picture.

Start adding fruit slices to your water if you are craving a treat. If you need to have that fizz check out LaCroix. A month into cutting out soda, you will be over that craving.

To increase your water, you need to take your body weight and divide that in two. Depending on your activity level, that is how many ounces you should drink.

Let's take my husband, he weighs 165 and is very inactive because of his desk job. His body weight divided by 2 is 83 oz rounded up. That's how much water he should drink in one day.

If he increases his activity level:
Light that's an extra 8 ounces: 8+83 = 91
Medium: 16+83 = 99
Heavy: 24+83 = 107

7. Be Sugar Free and Chemical Sweetener Free 

Sugar is the worst thing for you.
Cut it out.
Leave it behind and move on with your healthier life.

I could go on and on about how sugar is inflammatory, it makes you gain and keep weight on, and is more addictive than cocaine.

Watch the documentaries Fed Up and That Sugar Film, do some research and whatever it takes to make up your mind about this issue and where it stands in your life.

Chemical replacements for sugar are just as bad if not worse.

8. Therapy

Get a professional to talk to about what you are going through. Stress and depression can keep the pounds on your body even if you are working out and eating healthy. There also may be some underlying past experiences that cause you to overeat or seek comfort in food.

9. Dry Brushing and Fasciablasting

Dry brushing and fasciablasting target flushing your body and fascia to increase blood flow, reduce inflammation, water weight, tighten your skin, and move your lymph.

There are numerous videos on YouTube on how to best dry brush and fasciablast.  This in conjunction with your increased water will help you eliminate and detox faster.

If you are fasciablasting as a chronic pain patient I recommend following the same procedure as your baths.

Even though they recommend heating up your muscles/fascia I will have an instant pain flare. I do mine "cold" and have experienced the same benefits.

Ashley Black's Fasciablaster was a game
changer for me.
You should also go extremely light and slow. Only increase in speed after months.

Also only start in one area. I chose my IT Bands on my right and left leg. I then added in my stomach after a month. Then my quads after another month, and so on, until I got up to doing my whole upper leg, glute, and stomach area.

I still do not do my whole body as that would just too too much for me.

10. Find Some Form of Exercise and Be Consistent

Whether it is yoga, pilates, walking, or lifting soup cans, do something active.

For tips on getting started see my 3 initial steps for starting a workout program post.

11. Change Up Your Medication

It's been three months.

If you have faithfully completed a Whole30 or another corresponding program while doing portion control.

Worked out at least 5 times a week.

Added appropriate supplements to help you lose weight and completed all of the above tips and are still not losing weight or inches...It's your medication.

Talking to your doctor about switching your medication is a difficult process, plus just trying to find something new that works is another terrifying procedure for anyone in pain or sick.

However, if losing weight is going to help you in the long run, it's a topic that needs to be broached with your doctor.

You need data though.

Taking data to show your doctor about your program, trackers, and goals is necessary so they can see what you have been doing on your own to make an assessment that it is really your medication.  It's what truly helped my pain management doctor determine that dry needling was beneficial for me. So I was able to get another prescription.

Having trackers and data can establish a timeline, show your routines, and highlight areas of progress or regression for your doctor.

Check back with me to see how to start a Chronic Pain or Illness Bullet Journal to document your progress. Sign up under the "follow by email" to get the content delivered to your inbox.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Most of the time I'm about Paleo and Whole30 cooking...I do have my occasional special occasions.  I would say I'm around 80-85% Paleo / Whole30  depending on the meal plan that week.

However, when I am eating Paleo I've noticed that with most of this style of cooking -- you have to keep switching it up to keep it fresh or your palette gets bored. Sometimes you just crave some of your old favorites from college.

Remember those undergraduate days when you could eat an entire bag of Oreos and have not a single ill effect. Hell, I didn't even gain weight. *sigh*

Although that might explain the leaky gut that I've had for decades.

Moving on.

One of my favorite remix recipes (remix because it's a college or junk food favorite but compliant) and #leohusband loves it too, is Paleo Buffalo Chicken Thighs.  I broil them so they are much healthier than fried, and I use ghee so you get that nice 'almost' butter feeling.

Thighs have more meat than chicken wings, so you get more protein.  If you get the bone in kind, then you have bones for bone broth later #winning

Buffalo Chicken Thighs
Paleo  •  Whole30* •  Gluten Free  •  Refined Sugar-Free

A package of bone-in, chicken thighs, about 10 -- 12
2t of smoked paprika
2t of regular paprika
1/2t of cayenne pepper
4T of Louisiana Hot Sauce or another Paleo or Whole30 Compliant Hot Sauce
4T of Melted Ghee
1/2t salt

Measuring Spoons or Digital Scale
Small Bowl
Basting Brush
Broiler Pan
Cutting Board
Paper Towels

Do it!
Make sure your oven rack is in place so the meat is about 4 inches from the flame.  Pre-Heat your broiler. (Most ovens just have a "broil" setting).

While the oven is preheating, rinse and pat the chicken dry with paper towels.  Lay chicken skin side down on cutting board.

Mix the spices in a bowl.  Reserve 1/2 the mixture.

Brush ingredients over the bottom side of chicken. Place on greased broiler pan skin side down.  Broil for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, flip the chicken skin side up and brush chicken with the remainder of sauce.  Broil the top 8 -- 10 minutes.
Serve with Primal Kitchen's Ranch Dressing or if you are doing the it plain, because it's delicious!

I threw in some quickly cut sweet potatoes tossed in olive oil and sea salt on the bottom rack as a side but carrot fries and Brussels sprouts chips would work well too.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Workout game got you saying "owwwww" everytime you move you sit? squat down? breathe?

Muscle soreness is actually inflammation.  Massages seem to be great when you are sore, but at $75+ a pop, they're expensive.

Most people don't have that money to blow.

However, I suggest investing $30 in a Treat Yo Self Muscle Inflammation Epsom Salt Bath.

It's a soothing, comforting, and relaxing bath that at .99 cents a bath, sure beats the price of a massage.

Treat Yo Self Sore Muscle Epsom Salt Bath with Lavender and Lemongrass

Lavender is known for helping with sleep and reducing stress and anxiety.  Did you also know that it's great for relieving joint and muscle pain and improving blood flow?  Two things you need with muscle soreness and inflammation.

Lemongrass essential oil has so many good benefits for you that I will have to cover them another post.  However, for the purposes of this bath, we are focusing on its analgesic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory properties.

There are a lot of essential oils brands out there.  If I know I'm not going to ingest them, that they're just going to be used topically in the bath, I skip my pricey DoTerra oils and use Thrive Market's Lemongrass and Lavender.

They are still organic and non-GMO so I feel at ease with exposing them to my skin.  They're also half the price of DoTerra and if you add them to your other shipping.

The Aromatherapy standard for drops is approximately 20 drops per mL of essential oil, of course, this all depends on the thickness of an oil.

For the Lavender Essential Oil 50mL bottle, you are looking at 1,000 drops a bottle. 5 drops a bath equals 200 baths...not bad for $17.85.  That's .10 cents a bath!

So let's break everything down.

Garden Tub   $ .99 cents a bath!
5 drops of Lavender $ .10
3 drops of Lemongrass $ .06
2 cups of Epsom Salt $ .83

Standard Tub $. 49 cents a bath!
3 drops of Lavender $ .06
1 drop of Lemongrass $ .02
1 cup of Epson Salt $ .41

If you have joined Thrive Market yet, what are you waiting for and enjoy your bath!  Stay tuned for more and sign up under the 'follow by email' to get more Treat Yo Self content delivered to your inbox.

Thrive Market sells your favorite organic and non-gmo brands for up to 50% off retail.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

1. Give Yourself Two Weeks to Prepare

I'm serious, don't start tomorrow, plan ahead. Just like with the Whole30 eating program, you want to start something and make it stick!

Strip Your Schedule
I'm serious. What are you going to give up to get your workout in?

One less hour of TV? 20 minutes of social media binging? One less round of Overwatch?

Think about it. To start something new "when you don't have time"to exercise...then prepare yourself in two weeks in advance of starting a workout program by slowly cutting off some of your "entertainment" over the next week or two.

But Mayo...I use that time to relax and unwind?!?!

You know what else is relaxing and unwinding....exercise.  'Nuff said.

If you know all of this, then find out what your true resistance is to working out?  Do some self-reflection in the two weeks you are preparing to start your workout program.

Headspace has a great meditation pack that is 10 days long on Acceptance that helps you to clarify what you are resisting.

If you really, truly feel that finding room in your schedule is impossible, read The Miracle Morning.  This book gives you all the tools to start your workout program.  Read this in your two-week prep.

Start saying the following affirmations out loud for 5 - 10 minutes with feeling for the following two weeks.

The benefits of exercise help me in so many ways.  It gives me strength and health.  It gives me energy and eases the burden of stress.  Exercise opens the door to a better, stronger, and healthier future. When I exercise I feel happy and excited to be moving my body.  I look forward to the future when this is a habit.  Changing up my routine may be challenging at first but when exercise is a habit, it will become second nature to me like brushing my teeth in the morning.  I am excited to see what I can achieve each new day I workout.

2. Start Slow

I love the couch to 5K programs, what a way to feel defeated in the first week.

If you are serious about making this a lifelong habit, don't start with something that you are dreading.

Sure a 5K is a great goal but not if you hate running, have been inactive for years or even decades, you are over 30, or have health issues.

Why over 30? Your body rapidly declines in Human Growth Hormone after 27. Around 30 is when most lifelong adult injuries occur. You blow out your knee, hurt your back, or start getting tendonitis problems like crazy.

You won't ever see me making a goal of running a 5K or hell even a 3K.  Even though my adhesive arachnoiditis is not as severe as others, that is not a good or even an ideal goal for me.

Set an ideal goal for you and your lifestyle.

Maybe your goal is just being consistently committed for once?
Maybe your goal is to work up to X mile(s) of walking by December?
Maybe it is to get active enough to actually attend a yoga or pilates class in a few months?
Maybe you are not a chronic pain or illness warrior and you can do a 5K?

Then go for it but put a realistic time limit. Do you how many of my friends, sorority sisters, and coworkers I've known through the years set a goal of a 5K in six weeks and achieve it? One. Just one.

How much does discouragement set you back in your goals? Think about it.

Just to do updog (which is usually done on the ground)
my yoga master uses props, belts, and stools to help
me get in the correct position. She also only had me hold
this pose for only 10 seconds. Crawling before Walking!
Crawl Before You Walk Exercise Program

If you are a chronic pain and illness warrior like me, start with a walk to your mailbox. Your goal is to get around the block in 3 - 6 or even 12 months depending on the severity of your limitations.

I'm up to a 20-minute walk with my dog, and some days that's definitely a challenge. I'd personally rather do yoga.

If you don't have chronic conditions and are under 50 years old, start with a medium to brisk 15-minute walk. If you are over 50 you may want to start with a slow 10 to 15-minute walk.

Your goal is to work up to 30 minutes by the end of 30 days.  60 minutes or 3 miles (that's usually the time the average person can walk 3 miles) by the end of 3 - 6 months.  This does depend on age and how long you have been inactive.

Reached it? Pick up your speed and shorten the time it takes you to do three miles.

If walking isn't your thing, or you feel you need to up your slow game, put on a yoga DVD and only do 10-second holds. Make a goal of reaching 30-second holds in X months? It took me between 5 - 6 months to reach 30-second holds.

No yoga?

There are pilates and strength training programs on Apps, YouTube, and DVDs.

Take it slow and limit yourself to less time or pulses in a pilates hold.

Lifting weights? Start with 10, yes, just 10 once and with low weight.

Think of this as physical therapy, not weightlifting. A physical therapist isn't going to start you out with 10 reps 3 times!

After one month of just 10, make next month 8 reps twice, then in another month 10 reps twice. Eventually, work up to 15 reps 3 times or at that point join a gym and get a trainer.

Keep saying your affirmations!

You may notice I don't say start with running.  Find out why running is terrible for you here, here, and here.

Now to combat soreness treat yo self with an Epsom salt bath with or without essential oils.

3. Consistency not Intensity

I am at the point where I am in great shape for someone who has debilitating chronic pain and a progressive disease that can't be cured. Dare I say it. I'm in better shape than my husband who has zero health problems and is 6 years my junior.

I've lost 31 pounds since my second back surgery - the one that was life-changing. I've lost 8 inches off my thighs and 10 from my waist all while being in some of the worst uncontrolled pain of my life.

Where I really improved was this past January. I got consistent. 5 - 20 minutes of working out every day depending on my pain level.

From January to this morning when I did my measurements, I lost 11 3/8 inches total overall. That's what consistency did, every morning as a part of The Miracle Morning's Life S.A.V.E.R.S. I get my E every damn day!

It took my workout game to the next level. It's not an intense workout, it does challenge me, the key is...I'm not dreading it. I look forward to it. I have a specific time in my daily schedule for it and if I do it in the morning, I'm at my lowest pain level of the day.

3 Initial Steps to Starting a Workout Program comes from my own rehabilitation journey over 2017.

These 3 things I incorporated over my year of finding out what works and what doesn't to try to get control over my back surgeries.

Unfortunately, halfway through my journey, I was diagnosed with adhesive arachnoiditis, so what was my rehabilitation program turned into my lifelong treatment program.

My fitness goals for 2018.  
Work up to a two-minute plank series by December.
(I'm at 45 seconds)
Attend yoga class once a week without fail.

Stay tuned for more exercise advice and tips for sticking with your goals and sign up under the "follow by email" to get the content delivered to your inbox. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

My one word for 2018 is: simplify

I've been practicing adopting a minimalist lifestyle since January and I've incorporated several different ways of leading the simple life.

2018 is far from over but so far the following nine steps to simplify your life have really worked for me in these first two months.

1. Clean out your Clothes

We've all heard this one.  Say it with me now.

"If you haven't worn it in 6 months get rid of it."

"If it doesn't fit get rid of it."

"Make three boxes, labeled Keep, Donate, and Throw Away."

We all know what we should actually get rid of but why are we so hesitant?

I know in the past I have stood in my closet holding clothes and thinking of the impulse buy that landed it in my closet.

The money spent, the regret. The commitment to wear it this year.

How it used to fit me and made me feel gorgeous at the time.

Last month, after reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo or the Kon Mari Method as some like to call it, I really cleaned out my clothes and went to a capsule wardrobe.

I will talk in depth about capsule wardrobes in a later post, but I will say getting dressed now that I reduced my wardrobe by 75% takes so little time, because I am avoiding decision fatigue with my simplified closet.

2. Find a Daily Schedule that Works

I have binged on Pinterest and Insta looking at bullet journal daily schedules, morning routines, evening routines, and daily workflows.

I have tried several myself.  Last years bujo had a "good day" daily schedule and a "bad day/high pain day" schedule.

This year's schedule is not working for me, yet.  I need to spend more time on reflection to see what is truly important and how I work best. I think in the next month or so I will have a good idea of how to simplify and maximize my daily and weekly routine.

3. Menu Plan

I started menu planning as soon as I realized half my paycheck was going to eating out when I was a young woman.  This is nothing new to me but you may never have tried it.  I suggest taking the time to plan your meals.

Planning meals helps cut down decision fatigue and helps out your wallet.  Two birds one stone!

As a chronic pain warrior, I do have a few emergency meals on deck in case my plans go awry.

For instance, last night was not a great night for me.  One of my bff's turned 30 Saturday (so young!) and I had a cheat day.

Come on! Who can resist queso when it's a special occasion?

However, my lapse lead to a pain flare.  I whipped up Bob's Red Mill Paleo Pancakes last night instead of the Paleo Zuppa Toscana I had planned.

Emergency meals, have them ready. If you keep a bujo, make a collection of quick go to's that are super easy and have everyday ingredients.

I have a great weekly bullet journal spread that keeps my menu where I can see it.  Saturday morning I plan the next week's meals and write the grocery list at the same

4. Decimate your Pantry and Fridge

If you are trying to make a lifestyle change to eat healthy and menu plan, get rid of anything that does not comply with what you want to eat. Yes, that may mean throwing away those highly addictive Thin Mints but in the end, it's worth it.

Restock your pantry with yummy delicious healthy snacks.

Don't know where to start? Check out Thrive Market and type in 'paleo snacks' or 'clean eating snacks'

Thrive Market sells your favorite organic and non-gmo brands for up to 50% off retail.

5. Organize your Back Door/Mud Room

I have my big bag and my small purse hanging off the coat closet on a rack I purchased from Ross for $4.99

It's also winter so my husband and I keep our coats ready to go as well.

My big bag is packed with what I need to take with me on the spur of the moment.  I have my handicap placard, my pill case, extra lidocaine patches, an everyday lipstick, and snacks.

The only thing I have to transfer is my wallet if I happened to be carrying my small purse the day before.

The only 3 things I need to add are my phone, my Chromebook, and my bullet journal.

6. Lay Out your Clothes the Night Before

This one seems easy but until it's a habit, it will completely throw you.  I have been super into The Miracle Morning since the beginning of 2018.  One of the steps Hal Elrod, the author, outlines is laying out your workout clothes.

I did an amazing job doing my first 30 days of TMM, but I totally failed at laying my clothes out.  In fact, I would say I do great in the morning doing most things, but at night I utterly suck at getting things done.

I can't tell you how many times I've gotten in bed only to realize I haven't washed my face or laid out my clothes.

February I have resolved to form a nighttime routine.  I just decided to sleep in my workout clothes.  It sounds crazy but with chronic pain, it's just easier for me. One less step to accomplish at the end of a long day.

If I stick with it, I may eliminate my sleep wear...futher contributing to my minimalism concept

7. Set Your Coffee Maker

Just like with menu planning, I have been setting my coffee maker to come on for years.

When we are cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, #leohusband loads the dishwasher while I prep the coffee maker for tomorrow.

If you have a Kureg I don't know if you can set the coffee maker, but I will tell you, I fully believe that you should throw it in the trash and get an old-fashioned drip pot.  It's far better for your budget, your time, and your health.

8. Have a Home for Everything

Again with the KonMari Method if it doesn't have a home, you have too much crap! Everyone is a victim of their belongings.

Isn't it time to take control instead of letting your stuff control you?

I'm far better at wanting to let things go than #leohusband.  If I had my druthers, we'd chunk way more than we did when we first KonMari'd our house back in July 2017.

It's a frequent work in progress for us because of my pain levels, but eventually, we will get there.

9. Empty the Dishwasher in the Morning

Just like setting your clothes out, or scheduling the coffee pot, this tip requires habit change.

For me, it's far easier to put my dirty dishes in the washer as the day goes on than to let them pile in the sink.  That pile leaves more work for me at the end of the day when my energy levels are zero and my pain is higher than it was when I woke up.

Plus, if it gets too full as I'm loading throughout the day, I simply turn it on and #leohusband empties it while I cook dinner.  I get to hear about his day and the time spent doing chores is more enjoyable because it is time spent together.

Living simply doesn't mean drastic lifestyle changes, it can start with easy steps that gradually produce change.  These 9 steps to simplify your life are not meant to happen all at once.  Try one.  Seeing what limiting your choices can accomplish in your mind.

The truth is we need a mental break.  Habit change, organization, and minimalizing some of the stuff in your life can help you physically and mentally.

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