paranoia

paranoia, the baseless fear that there is an evil plot against you; that people you see pass by your house are spies who are part of the conspiracy.

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this was the kind of paranoia that afflicted me.  it was not a constant fear, but manifested itself from time to time, in episodes, like spells. it also manifested itself in a couple other ways:

when i am in a public place like a cafeteria or restaurant, and see a group of people in a huddle — i was certain they were talking about me.  they weren’t saying good things about me, but nasty, unkind things.  sometimes, alone in my bedroom, i could even hear them talking, i could hear their voices through the walls.

but my nastiest and most horrifying experience of paranoia was seeing (in my peripheral vision, when i look slightly down) the faces of people sitting across from me melt and disfigure into hideous demons frowning at me.

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all this was a result of drug abuse.  i had already quit.  i was already into rehab.  but the damage that drugs have caused in my brain’s perceptions of reality remained.  my problem wasn’t merely psychological, it was physiological — drugs have messed up my brain’s bio-chemical equilibrium.

i was regularly injected with an anti-psychotic drug to correct the chemical imbalance in my brain that caused the hallucinations — the paranoia.  i was also given depressants to slow down my thoughts and make me droopy and drowsy, unable (now) to further conceive conspiracy theories.

after six months or so of drug treatment, the chemical imbalance was corrected and my brain had altogether ceased from inventing malevolent plots plotted against me… and involuntarily conjuring up frowning demon faces.

keto: LCHF diet (part 2)

one hard fact of life: to admit you are OBESE.  i am obese, by BMI standards.

i began keto (ketogenic), the low-carb, high-fat, minimal protein (LCHF) diet weighing 235 lbs. with a BMI of 34.7, (it was quite liberating to admit squarely that i am obese).  i had a very good excuse and a license to keep my pot belly — my year-old grandson loved to sit on it when i carry him.  having a pot belly (i duped myself into believing) was a grand dad’s special privilege!

after six weeks into keto, i lost 7 lbs. and now weigh only 228 lbs. with a BMI of 33.7.  it might not be a huge weight loss, but “7 lbs. is 7 lbs.” (according to a doctor-friend that i consult).  and it’s 7 lbs. lost.

i recently suffered a big setback — my allergic cough kicked in.  i wasn’t able to run and do my core strengthening exercises for ten days, these past 10 days.  i have a feeling this had a slight effect on the outcome of my blood chemistry, and (probably) my blood pressure (BP).

i promised myself in keto: LCHF diet (part 1) that i would have my BP checked and get a blood test.  i have done that.  i also promised to undergo a (treadmill) stress test and see my cardiologist.  i haven’t done that, but will do so later.

“i made myself a promise to have my blood pressure checked, to get a blood test for cholesterol, triglycerides, etc… and (if necessary) another one for ketones.  i also need to undergo a (treadmill) stress test, and see my cardiologist.”

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apparently, my BP is still high (in the ‘red zone’).  i hope this lowers down in the next six weeks, when i resume my running program.

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thankfully, all numbers in my blood chemistry are within range, except for HDL which is slightly below the minimum.  if i had continued with my running and strengthening program, and had not stopped because of my allergic cough, i suppose my HDL and LDL numbers would have reflected better results.  this is according to webMD:

“Increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by getting regular aerobic exerciseExercise also helps relax blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.”

the only problem was i did not get baseline numbers before i went into keto for comparison — to know if my lipid profile improved or what.  i went into keto blind, without any baseline stats.  bloops!  anyway, now i have the numbers to compare with the results of my blood test after six more weeks.

 

it was quite unfortunate that the season for avocado in the philippines (normally from may to september) had already passed before i went into the keto diet.  avocados would have been my best source of good fats, and i love avocados.

my high-fat diet now mainly consists of pork fats, morning and evening doses of VCO (virgin coconut oil), morning and evening bulletproof coffee, and coconut cream based sardines or mackerel.  once-a-week we have salmon (head or belly).  i snack on roasted almonds and (sometimes) peanuts.  i eat lots of vegetables — dark green leafies, especially.  i also practice an eight- to twelve-hour intermittent fasting (IF) regularly; and a high-carb ‘cheat day’ to correct any possible incipient hormonal imbalance.

i have lost at least 7 lbs. doing keto.  i hope to lose more weight in the next six weeks, ending my 12-week keto LCHF program on december 5.  by that time, i expect my BMI to lower, my BP to lower, my total cholesterol to lower, my HDL to go higher and my LDL to lower; and my belly to become flatter for my “after” picture — for ‘keto: LCHF diet (part 3).

i am not hard core… just a street rat.  😋😋

 

 

seven sundays: the movie

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nanood kami ni jane ng ‘seven sundays’ kagabi.  pinagbigyan ko ang pagyaya nya sa ‘kin.  may pag-aalangan syang yayain ako dahil drama (nakaka-iyak daw) ang pelikula at alam nyang, generally, tinatawanan ko lang at tinutuya ang mga dramang pilipino.

nadadalas ang panonood ko ng pelikulang pilipino.  minamabuti ko na lang na gawan ng sarili kong review ang mga napapanood, para masulit ang effort.

noong araw, nasusukat ang kadramahan ng isang pelikula sa dami ng panyong kaya nitong basain — isa, dalawa, o tatlong panyo; apat na panyo kung lubhang nakakaiyak.  siguro, sa pagkakataong ito, hihiramin ko ang sukatang ito, subalit hindi sa dami ng panyong kayang basain ng pelikula, kundi sa kung ilang beses naantig ang puso ko, naluha, at humugot ng panyo (di-literal), sa takbo ng pelikula.  eh itong  ‘seven sundays’ — apat na panyo, may apat na eksenang na-antig ang damdamin ko at napaluha.  kailangang pairalin ang babaw ng luha, kung hindi ay… sayang ang binayad sa panonood!

ang seven sundays ay tungkol sa pamilya, sa pagmamahalan at pagbibigayan sa pamilya — ng mag-asawa, ng magulang sa anak, ng mga anak sa magulang, at ng magkakapatid sa isa’t isa.  ang seven sundays ay tungkol sa kahalagahan ng pagsasabi ng totoo — pagiging totoo sa sarili, at pagiging totoo sa pamilya.  ang seven sundays ay tungkol sa tamang panahon ng pagsasabi ng totoo — hindi sa galit o poot, kundi sa pagmamahal — as sa tamang diwa (maturity) sa pagtanggap ng katotohanan.  higit sa lahat, ang seven sundays ay tungkol sa pagso-sorry, pagpapatawad, at pagbabalikang-loob.

datapwat hindi maaaring palagpasin na sa kalagitnaan ng mga basal na kaisipang ito, napakahalaga ng katayuan ng tinuturing nating “ilaw ng tahanan”, at sa mga bagay na ukol sa pagmamahal, pag-aaruga, at pagkalinga, siya ring “haligi ng tahanan” — ang ina o nanay.  at sa maraming pagkakataon (tulad sa seven sundays) ang pagkawala ni nanay ay nauuwi sa kalaunang pagguho ng haligi ng pagmamahalan, pag-aaruga, at pagkalinga na siyang nagbubuklod sa puso’t kalooban ng mga miyembro ng pamilya — nauuwi sa pagkawatak-watak at pagkakaniya-kaniya.

walang bagay na maaaring pumalit sa tunay na pagmamahalan upang pagbuklurin o gawing isa ang kalooban ng mga miyembro ng pamilya.

ang pagkakasakit na malubha (cancer) ng biyudong ama ng apat na magkakapatid na ngayon ay nasa wastong gulang na at may kani-kaniyang trabaho at pamilya na, ay maaring magbigay ng pansamantalang dahilan upang sila’y magkasama-samang muli, tuwing sunday.  subalit hindi ito pangmatagalan.

ang pagkukunwari’t pagpapanggap ng magkakapatid na sila’y magkakasundo at nagbibigayan, upang hindi na bigyan ng karagdagang pasanin ang ama nilang may malubhang sakit, ay gayun din, pansamantala at hindi pangmatagalan.  datapwat, maaari itong maging tulay upang maibalik ang inosenteng pagmamahalan nila nung mga bata pa — at tila ito ang mithiin, na manumbalik ang nakaraan, nang ang lahat ay simple at inosente, at dama ang tunay at dalisay na pagmamahalan sa katotohanan.

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maraming lumalabas na katotohanan kung tayo’y galit — mga hugot.  ngunit ito’y mapanira ng samahan ng pamilya.  ang katotohanan ay gumagamot at naghihilom lamang ng sugat kung ito’y tinimplahan ng pagmamahal at pag-unawa.  kung hindi ay ito’y wumawasak at nagpapalala ng alitan.

mahirap magsabi ng totoo.  may takot.  ito ang naramdaman ni tatay, halimbawa, nang malaman nyang wala pala syang malubhang sakit — kung sasabihin pa ba nya ito sa mga anak nya, na masayang muling nagkasama-sama bunsod ng sakit nyang ito.  kailangan nito ng tunay na tapang.  subalit dito nalululan ang pagtatagumpay ng samahan ng pamilya — na ang bawat miyembro, magulang at anak, ay totoo sa isa’t isa at nagmamahalan, nagbibigyayan, nagso-sorry at nagpapatawaran.

ang mahalagang aral na maiuuwi mo mula sa seven sundays ay ito: mahalin mo ang pamilya mo — sa lahat ng oras.

mga anak, mahalin nyo ang tatay at nanay nyo, hindi lang habang mga bata pa kayo, ngunit lalo’t higit na huwag kumalimot pag may sariling buhay na kayo at pamilya.  mga tatay at nanay, mahalin, arugain, at kalingain nyo ang mga anak nyo; samantalang mga bata pa sila, at hanggang sa makarating sila sa tamang edad.  mga magkakapatid, magmahalan kayo, mag-sorry at magpatawaran — always be there for each other.  at sa huli, walang makabubuwag sa tibay nyo bilang pamilya.  sinuman ang magtangkang maniil kahit sa isa sa inyo, ang pamilya ay matatag na pader na maaari mong sandalan.

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pancake house: ang liit ng mundo (part 2)

may kasabihan, “ang liit ng mundo!” o “small world!” na karaniwang bulalas ng mga magkakilalang nagkikita sa isang bahagi ng siyudad, bansa, o mundo nang hindi inaasahan o sinasadya.

naka-schedule kaming magkita at magkape ng isa sa mga best friends ko nung high school (sa Ateneo) na si randy cepeda.  suggestion nya sa pancake house sa vira mall (Vmall), 2 pm.  magwa-1 pm pa lang, nasa Vmall na ako at hinahanap ko kung nasaan ang pancake house, sa likod daw kasi ng Vmall ayon sa text ni randy.  eh nasa gitna ako ng napakalawak na tiangge ng Vmall, di ko na matunton saan ang likod.  e di magtanong sa guard.

“guard, saan banda ang pancake house?” tanong ko.
“ahh, dun, sir, sa may tapat ng mcdo sa dulo,” sabi ni guard.

gilid pala ng Vmall yun, at (natanto ko kay randy afterwards) ibang pancake house ang itinuro ni guard sa kin.  datapwat, lumabas ako at naglakad sa malapad na sidewalk sa gilid ng Vmall patungo sa tinuro ni guard.

nakaka-ilang hakbang pa lang ako, nakita ko isang napaka-pamilyar na mukha ng isang lalaking makakasalubong ko.  huminto ako sa paglakad at tinitigan ko sya.  nakatitig din sya sa kin habang lumalakad papalapit.  nagtititigan kami hanggang sa magkita kami.  si noel “nono” pascual, isa din sa mga best friends ko nung high school (sa National Teachers College na nilipatan ko, 3rd year), na huling nagkita kami mga more than 30 years ago.

small world!  😋

niyaya nya kong mag-lunch sa bahay nila (kasama nya misis at unico hijo nung magkita kami), eh dahil may oras pa naman akong susunugin, magwa-1 pm pa lang naman, pinaunlakan ko alok nya at sumama ako.  napakalapit sa Vmall ng bahay nya, 5 minutes away lang.

masayang reunion at mahabang kwento… 2 pm ipinahatid ako ni nono sa Vmall.

nagkita kami ni randy mga 2.30 pm sa pancake house, nag-order ng kape, at ikinuwento ko sa kanya na habang naghihintay ako, nagkita kami nang di sinasadya ng isang kaibigan na matagal ko nang di nakikita.

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“painter sya,” sabi ko, “kilala daw sya dito, may sarili nga syang ‘reserved’ parking dyan sa multi-level car park.  noel pascual…”
“noel pascual?”
“oo, noel pascual, bakit, kilala mo?”
“small guy?”
“oo.”
“eh, pare, co-parent ko sa la salle yan, when our kids were in grade school, classmate ni fonz ang anak nya.”

small world… indeed!  😋😋

 

keto: LCHF diet (part 1)

i am now two weeks into the ketogenic diet (keto), the high-fat, medium-protein, low-carbohydrate (LCHF) diet. 

doing keto primarily for weight loss, but underneath that, to regain my physical fitness.  my BMI (body mass index) places me in the category of ‘obese’ — not simply ‘overweight’ but ‘OBESE’.  my height – 175 cms: my weight – 235 lbs.  an online BMI calculator does the math, if you are interested to know your BMI.

i’ve heard it before — i couldn’t believe it nor think it possible — to limit daily carbohydrate consumption to (an average of) 20 grams.  that would be equivalent to 1/2 cup of rice (or less) in a day — impossible!  but 2 weeks now into keto, i haven’t touched rice, except for a tablespoon or two one night. 

no bread, no potatoes, no noodles, no ice cream, no sweets, and no potato chips or corn chips.  none: total abstinence.  rice, for a filipino like me, is gospel truth — i am now one heretic!

on a macro perspective, your daily food intake must consist of 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbohydrates.  it isn’t easy to wrap your head around those numbers, especially when number crunching time comes and you try to compute the nutritional information (if available, otherwise consult your online keto references) pertaining to fats, proteins, net carbs… and total calories of all the food you eat in one meal or for the whole day.  not for the faint-hearted!

however, if you are a street rat like me, you’d settle for a wholesale approach to your macros.  consume mostly fats (good fats are best), a little protein, and very minimal carbs.  there’s no stopping me from eating my veggies, but i opt for green leafies and high-fibers with low net carbs (consult your online keto references).

two weeks into the keto diet, here are some general observations i’ve made: 

first few days, the bloating (i always felt bloated) in my belly subsided.  but it wasn’t just my own feeling, my daughter made the observation that my belly no longer appears distended.

i don’t feel hungry and crave for something to eat as i did before — any time of the day.  whenever i got hungry (before) i would pop two to three slices of bread in the oven toaster and smother them with butter, to satisfy the craving; or dig in a bag of corn chips late at night doing work on my computer terminal.  now, i just drink water, bulletproof coffee (black coffee w/1 tbsp butter), or bulletproof turmeric milk (in my case, it’s 1 cup diluted coconut cream w/1 tsp turmeric powder).

not eating carbs (observing the carb limit strictly) did not make me feel weak.  i have a good level of energy.  on my 2nd week, i resumed my afternoon jog.  going into my third week (presently) i started doing planks and core strengthening exercises.  i follow the 12-16 hour cleansing (nighttime fasting) and 8-12 hour building (daytime eating) cycle.  this means that if my last meal was 8 pm, the next meal will be from 8 am to 12 pm.

last observation, for now — my belt has adjusted one hole tighter and a shirt i couldn’t fit in before, i could fit in now (but my belly still bulges a bit).  but, on a similar practical note, for after the next two weeks, i need to fit into my size 36 pants comfortably (i now wear size 38 pants).

i made myself a promise to have my blood pressure checked, to get a blood test for cholesterol, triglycerides, etc… and (if necessary) another one for ketones.  i also need to undergo a (treadmill) stress test, and see my cardiologist.  didn’t have the guts to do it before i went into keto, but i owe it to myself and my family to have the tests done and see my doctor after 4 weeks or so.

i took a “before” picture when i started on keto and recorded my weight.  i will be taking an “after” picture on the 45th and 90th day.  this will be for proper documentation (part 2).