Start as you mean to go on

Though I’ve been overweight for much of my adult life, I was never debilitated by it. Up until about 1999 or so, I could and did walk long distances, did Tai Chi and yoga, could walk up and down stairs without trouble, despite weighing at times the equivalent of two regular-sized women. I had some back problems, but that was intermittent and more related to my tendency to be accident prone (and to having an ample bosom) than to my weight or state of health, since it started long before I ever became significantly overweight.

Sometime during the year or so leading up to my pulmonary embolism at the beginning of 2000, and worsening significantly in the years following, my body started to break down. There isn’t a moment that I am awake or asleep that at least one part of my body doesn’t ache, a constant miasma of unwellness. From the top of my head, where the remnants of past fractures make my hair follicles hurt, to the constant ache in lymph nodes under my arm and jaw, to the aches and pains in every joint — arthritic fingers and toes; elbows and knees that bore the brunt of too many clumsy falls and broken bones; the almost permanently torn rotator cuffs from bra straps that struggle and fail to win against gravity.

That’s not even considering the other physical complaints and breathing that feels as though someone is sitting on your chest all the time. I feel permanently oxygen-starved. I can’t concentrate. I have the attention span of a squirrel. I feel like I’m constantly recovering from the achy, feverish, tired, slightly-drugged effects of the flu. I’ve put up with it all for so long, barely able to muster the interest to note the issues, let alone actually do something about them. A few half-hearted past efforts failed, unsurprisingly, because I just couldn’t sustain the attention long enough to break old habits and build up new ones, resulting a Catch-22 situation as neglect results in more and more damage to a body already under extreme duress, which in turn exacerbates the mental and emotional issues leading to more self-abuse and neglect, and the cycle continues. 

It really needs to stop.

I turn 45 in a couple of months, and I have the body of a 90-year-old. A sick, frail 90-year-old. If I want to see 46, I need to smarten the hell up.


Not tomorrow. Not in a month. Now.

Little steps can lead to big results, but only if you actually take those first steps. I know what I need to do, I just need to figure out how best to sustain my wandering attention span until better habits are in place and can sustain themselves. Weird as it may sound, I may end up having to temporarily rely on 5-Hour Energy as a daily supplement instead of an occasional pick-me-up, since it is one of the few things that actually helps me to concentrate when my mind is all over the place. (It’s certainly the only reason that I was even capable of writing and publishing this post, which would otherwise have remained a half-formed thought in my Drafts folder for months.)


Hardcore Energize Bullet

hardcore energizer bullet_3Yesterday, during the tail-end of my massive cleaning session, my energy really started flagging. I didn’t have any 5-Hour Energy left 😦 and the local convenience store didn’t have any left so I picked up an iSatori Hardcore Energize Bullet instead.  It’s bright blue, like Blueberry Kool-Aid, and comes in a fat, test tube-shaped (or cheap dildo-shaped, depending on how you look at it) container. It tastes better than 5-Hour Energy (less tart) .

Energy Fiend describes the taste as:

This tastes very similar to blue Kool-Aid, but leaves a strong aftertaste due to the acesulfame-potassium and sucralose used to sweeten it. This bullet is meant to be slammed back fast! It has a syrupy texture which isn’t surprising since there is a lot of stuff that gets packed into this 2.9oz shot.

I got no artificial sweetener aftertaste, unlike with 5-Hour Energy, and it isn’t at all syrupy. It has the same consistency as 5-Hour Energy — or Kool-Aid for that matter. I swear, it’s like we tried different products. Maybe the formulation changed since the review.

It seemed to do a pretty good job of keeping me awake and alert. The effects of it, unfortunately, seem to last a very long time. I took it at 02:00 yesterday and could not get to sleep properly until over 24 hours later. 5-Hour Energy’s effects definitely don’t last nearly as long and degrade well — even when I was still feeling lingering alertness, it didn’t prevent me from being able to fall asleep; Hardcore Energize Bullet did. I expect that’s from the massive amounts of caffeine — each shot contains the equivalent caffeine (300 mg) of 2.6 liters of Pepsi or 3 regular NoDoz tablets or almost 4 Red Bulls. (5-Hour Energy doesn’t disclose how much caffeine it contains but rather just states that it is the equivalent to a cup of premium brewed coffee. Energy Fiend estimates it at 60 to 100 mg, which is 1/5 to 1/3 of what is in Hardcore Energize Bullet.)  Still, despite the massive caffeine and the extremely extended wakefulness, there wasn’t a jittery sugar/caffeine crash later on that you’d get from 2.6 liters of Pepsi. That’s definitely something that both 5-Hour Energy and Hardcore Energize Bullet (and probably many other similar energy shots) share. Definitely a better choice than mainlining Pepsi to stay awake.

I also should have paid more attention to the ingredients of the Hardcore Energize Bullet — the last time I tried ginseng, I had an allergic reaction to it and I think that’s the cause of the tongue swelling I experienced yesterday. Once the Hardcore Energize Bullet started to leave my system, the swelling started to subside and by the time I woke up this morning, the swelling was gone. (Mind you, I woke up with a terrible head cold and cough instead, but that’s a whole ‘nother story of misery.)

In short, I’m still very much a 5-Hour Energy girl.

(Haha just noticed that someone has written a review remarking on the slightly obscene shape of the container.  LOL)

The down side of energy drinks

You trick your brain into thinking your body has had enough restorative sleep when it hasn’t. Eventually, your body starts to break down. I’ve used 5-Hour Energy a few times over the last week and I’m kind of sorry I did. I don’t have side effects from the drink itself but haven’t actually gotten the sensible amount of sleep that would rid me of the need for it either. So, I haven’t fallen asleep at the office but I haven’t gotten the rest that my eyes and other body parts need either. My eyes are going a little crossed, I have a fatigue headache that won’t go away, and my brain just isn’t firing on all cylinders. I need some lengthy uninterrupted sleep this weekend, I think. And a regular sleep schedule. But, then, don’t I always?

5-Hour Energy

As you know if you read this blog, I have frequent problems with insomnia. I’m just not a day person. Even though I do like the daytime, I’m just more awake at night. Unfortunately, not sleeping properly at night means you’re groggy or even downright sleepy the next day. Not good if you’re working. I used to try to use Pepsi (my previous caffeine vehicle of choice) but that comes with all kinds of less-than-desireable side effects, including caffeine headaches (or, worse, withdrawal headaches), having to pee constantly, and sugar rushes/crashes. It does the trick but, boy, it makes a mess of you while it does it.

5-hour energyKnowing this about myself, and knowing that it was going to become an issue at least once during this new contract, I picked up some berry-flavoured 5-Hour Energy at a local convenience store a couple of weeks ago. Had seen commercials for it but didn’t know anyone who had actually used it before. Looked worth a try. Haven’t needed it…until today.

Couldn’t stay awake this morning, especially since I was doing a monotonous task that I was going to be doing ALL day. Tried to move around, take little stretch breaks, graze continuously but by about 1:30, I was done. A time if ever there was one to try the 5-Hour Energy.


Have you ever chewed a blueberry flavoured vitamin C tablet? Pretty tart tasting, yes? Picture chewing a handful of those with a packet of artificial sweetener. That’s what this tastes like. Not a bad taste, exactly. But really sour and really sweet at the same time. If you’re going to drink this, for the love of god, have a chaser waiting. Water will do. That’s tip #1.

I can still smell it…and taste it a little. Mind you, it seems to have caused a little acid reflux so that’s probably why.

It didn’t have the “wow!” factor of mainlining a little Pepsi or Red Bull but it seems to done what it promised, which is keep me awake without the jitters and sugar crash associated with many other energy drinks. It didn’t suddenly make me hyper perky but it stopped me from falling asleep at my desk. Tired, I can handle. Sleepy, not so much. My afternoon task was even more monotonous than the morning but I didn’t have to get up to move around to stay awake. I even stayed an extra 1.5 hours at work to finish what I was working on.

I developed a little bit of what I recognize as a caffeine headache at about 7 or 8 and, as I mentioned, had some acid reflux problems (trust me, it doesn’t taste any better coming back up). Probably best not to take it right after lunch so consider that tip #2 from me to you. Tip #3 would probably be don’t take it after mid-afternoon. It’s 11pm and I’m just now starting to feel really sleepy again. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t have been able to go to sleep if I’d gone to bed as soon as I came home from work — I don’t know because I didn’t try — but if you have insomnia, why do something that might make it worse?

I see from their site that they now have a decaf version. Not quite sure how that’s supposed to work. The ingredients in their regular versions are vitamin B6, B12, B3, and B9 plus Citicoline, Tyrosine, Phenylamine, Taurine (ooh, like cats need for eyesight health), Malic Acid, Glucuronolactone, and caffeine. Do those really work as well without the little kick of caffeine?