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Gemma

Gemma takes a measured approach

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Not challenge related - but 'simplify life/evaluate results' related LUYL things I have done or am doing. These are not really habits, more one-time actions to help weed out some non-value-adding things.  

 

Not a whole lot of thought went in to these, they were all just  'hey I want to try something new and see if it works' or 'hmm, read a blog, it gave me an idea, think I'll try it' or even controls that I used to have in place that for one reason or another I let slip away.

 

  1. Scheduled my work e-mail checks. One of my problems with productivity at work is that every time a notification popped up that I got a new e-mail, I would stop what I was doing, go read the e-mail, and take whatever action it demanded (whether urgent or not). I turned off all e-mail notifications, then put reminders in my phone to go and check e-mail at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  2. Added a "Delta" signifier to my BuJo (shoutout to my maths and stats nerds!)  a Delta Δ signifier denotes the tasks on my daily list that will actually make a difference WRT my long-term goals. This helps me keep the little tasks from taking up more time than they deserve and distracting me from the bigger tasks.

 

Currently in progress, building a "NOT to-do list." Stumbled over this blog and my inner 'good idea fairy' got excited, so I'm working on it. So far, I've got:

  • Do not check personal e-mail or social media until after Meditation, Duolingo, scripture reading, and morning skin care
    • subset of this - moved all my 'morning routine' apps to their own folder on my phone, and moved all the social media and games folders to a different 'page' - hopefully this will make it less tempting to 'just check g-mail real quick' or 'just one quick game of Spider Solitaire' when I should be meditating and getting on with my day.
  • Do not check work e-mail until after I have decided on my Deltas for the day and written my priority tasks in my BuJo
  • Do not interrupt a face-to-face conversation to answer a phone call or a text. (I'm already pretty good about not doing this, but I'd never put it in writing before.)
  • Do not shove lunch in my face blindly while continuing to work. Eat mindfully.
    • This is a really hard one for me, because I get bored when I'm 'only' eating and doing nothing else. What I've managed so far is to work a little, then sit down and mindfully take a few bites. Then do some more work. Attention span of a fruit fly, I've got. But baby steps are still steps, right?

 

 

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For @Harriet

LUYL - Level Up Your Life; see also Loveable Unicorns Yodel Loudly; Loosely United Yellow Lions; Living Under a Yarrow Leaf

WRT - With Regard To; see also Wide Red Triangles; Weird Robotic Tunes?

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2 hours ago, Gemma said:

Not challenge related - but 'simplify life/evaluate results' related LUYL things I have done or am doing. These are not really habits, more one-time actions to help weed out some non-value-adding things.  

 

Not a whole lot of thought went in to these, they were all just  'hey I want to try something new and see if it works' or 'hmm, read a blog, it gave me an idea, think I'll try it' or even controls that I used to have in place that for one reason or another I let slip away.

 

  1. Scheduled my work e-mail checks. One of my problems with productivity at work is that every time a notification popped up that I got a new e-mail, I would stop what I was doing, go read the e-mail, and take whatever action it demanded (whether urgent or not). I turned off all e-mail notifications, then put reminders in my phone to go and check e-mail at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

LOVE THIS!!! I've had pop up notifications turned off for email forever and it's such a game-changer! Now if only I could do the same with skype notifications (curse you, work IM's) I'd be rocking and rolling. Here's hoping it's just as successful (or even more so) for you!

 

2 hours ago, Gemma said:
  1. Added a "Delta" signifier to my BuJo (shoutout to my maths and stats nerds!)  a Delta Δ signifier denotes the tasks on my daily list that will actually make a difference WRT my long-term goals. This helps me keep the little tasks from taking up more time than they deserve and distracting me from the bigger tasks.

Love the math nerd shout out! 

 

2 hours ago, Gemma said:

Currently in progress, building a "NOT to-do list." Stumbled over this blog and my inner 'good idea fairy' got excited, so I'm working on it. So far, I've got:

  • Do not check personal e-mail or social media until after Meditation, Duolingo, scripture reading, and morning skin care
    • subset of this - moved all my 'morning routine' apps to their own folder on my phone, and moved all the social media and games folders to a different 'page' - hopefully this will make it less tempting to 'just check g-mail real quick' or 'just one quick game of Spider Solitaire' when I should be meditating and getting on with my day.
  • Do not check work e-mail until after I have decided on my Deltas for the day and written my priority tasks in my BuJo
  • Do not interrupt a face-to-face conversation to answer a phone call or a text. (I'm already pretty good about not doing this, but I'd never put it in writing before.)

Love the setup here! I'm still working on tweaking my morning routine (and getting to a point where I realize "ok, I'm ready to get out the door" - today I legit stood in my kitchen for 5 minutes making sure I hadn't forgotten anything or something like that).

 

2 hours ago, Gemma said:
  • Do not shove lunch in my face blindly while continuing to work. Eat mindfully.
    • This is a really hard one for me, because I get bored when I'm 'only' eating and doing nothing else. What I've managed so far is to work a little, then sit down and mindfully take a few bites. Then do some more work. Attention span of a fruit fly, I've got. But baby steps are still steps, right?

Ooh, I'm very similar - yesterday I would read a couple pages in a book, have a couple bites, repeat til lunch was gone. I guess it works?

 

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2 hours ago, Gemma said:

Do not shove lunch in my face blindly while continuing to work. Eat mindfully.

  • This is a really hard one for me, because I get bored when I'm 'only' eating and doing nothing else. What I've managed so far is to work a little, then sit down and mindfully take a few bites. Then do some more work. Attention span of a fruit fly, I've got. But baby steps are still steps, right?

 

This is me. So much me.

 

I ate at my desk, while working, just half an hour ago...

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3 hours ago, Gemma said:

For @Harriet

LUYL - Level Up Your Life; see also Loveable Unicorns Yodel Loudly; Loosely United Yellow Lions; Living Under a Yarrow Leaf

WRT - With Regard To; see also Wide Red Triangles; Weird Robotic Tunes?

 

<3 SDA, HIM*
 

3 hours ago, Gemma said:

Currently in progress, building a "NOT to-do list." Stumbled over this blog and my inner 'good idea fairy' got excited, so I'm working on it. 


These are all pretty good ideas. I'm very aware of how much I use screens for soothing my anxiety and having mindless downtime, even though the mindlessness probably undermines my happiness in the long term by crowding out good but hard things I could be doing. Working on it in tiny bits, though.

 

 

 

 

*Such delightful acronyms. Happiness is mine.

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1 hour ago, scalyfreak said:

 

This is me. So much me.

 

I ate at my desk, while working, just half an hour ago...


Nerdfitness forums and oats. Always. 

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On 1/8/2019 at 10:05 AM, Gemma said:

And now, starting yesterday, we are doing it all over again with a different faculty team. One of my other more stable curricula is running concurrently. And - fun bonus extra fun - this iteration we are piloting a new-to-us learning management system (Moodle) at the same time. Also, next week is our semi-annual major inspection by our parent command.

OK, maybe not subject matter civilian analog, but the confusion and bass-ackwardness, oh yeah, that's a thing in education. 

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On 1/9/2019 at 5:03 PM, Katerina said:

 

Write Random Thoughts :)

 

Yes! My husband frequently diagnoses me with RTD - Random Thought Disorder. 

 

 I didn't post my workout from Wednesday, but it was good - I brought Barbell back to the last lift it was 'missing' from in my life, the bench. 

 

Today, on the other hand, it was so cold I was afraid to deadlift for fear my hand might freeze to the bar. Also, I got less than six hours sleep last night and had a bad case of the 'I don't wannas' this morning, so I made a deal with myself: just showing up at the gym and doing anything - literally any thing at all - would suffice for not feeling the guilt of skipping a workout all day. So I walked briskly on the treadmill for 30 minutes while reading my Kindle library book. It's a thing. I'm still cool with me. 

 

I have vegetable related issues! I tried again with the kale in my protein smoothie thing this morning. Nerds, help! The taste is fine. The texture is ... ew. My Ninja blender has the "smoothie" button, but it does NOT break down kale. I even set it twice this morning. (It's a sixty second program of starting and stopping.) The smoothie was still so thick and chunky I could barely choke it down. Like ... watery undercooked oatmeal? Sort of? 

 

I see the recommendation to add kale to smoothies all over the interwebz, but ... how is this accomplished??? I'm using frozen chopped, if that matters. I've tried thawing it. No impact no effect. It's just chunky and gross. I'm all about trying to eat healthier, but kale is about to get permanently put on my NOPE-not-worth-it list. 

 

tumblr_na479wsJvG1s5i7eio7_250.gif

 

I have forgotten to write in my five year journal the past two days, so today I set a reminder on my phone. 

 

Project 333 is going great, I'm now just trying to get past the mental hurdle of taking selfies every day. I really struggle with selfies, but I am trying to photo every outfit for at least the first month so I have real data on what pieces I actually wear most frequently, what silhouettes I tend to gravitate towards, and even little silly things like 'hey, I could've put a belt around that and it would've been better..."  Fun fact - some of my favorite outfits are becoming obvious - like, I wore the exact same pants, top, and shoes last Friday and again this Wednesday, with a different necklace, and did not even realize it until I was putting the photos into an album. I guess I really really like that combination. 

 

 

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Add kale plus liquid, blend, then add other ingredients. It works for me, will send pics next time I make a smoothie and you can tell me if the texture still looks gross to you.

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5 hours ago, Gemma said:

I have vegetable related issues! I tried again with the kale in my protein smoothie thing this morning. Nerds, help! The taste is fine. The texture is ... ew. My Ninja blender has the "smoothie" button, but it does NOT break down kale. I even set it twice this morning. (It's a sixty second program of starting and stopping.) The smoothie was still so thick and chunky I could barely choke it down. Like ... watery undercooked oatmeal? Sort of? 

 

I see the recommendation to add kale to smoothies all over the interwebz, but ... how is this accomplished??? I'm using frozen chopped, if that matters. I've tried thawing it. No impact no effect. It's just chunky and gross. I'm all about trying to eat healthier, but kale is about to get permanently put on my NOPE-not-worth-it list. 


Silly question, but are you just using too much? Also, kale is a lot tougher than, say, spinach. Or even rocket. Could you try one of those instead? The only thing I do with kale is sautée it in butter to eat with poached eggs. At least, I used to before eggs betrayed me. *Gazes into distance with stoic expression of having survived heartbreaking treachery by trusted friend*

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I'm using frozen chopped, if that matters. I've tried thawing it. No impact no effect. It's 

 

Fwiw, I used chopped fresh and blend the hell out of it. @Mike Wazowski makes a good point, though, about maybe too much? Occasionally I will have a small piece that didn't quite get blended, but usually I am fine. (Now that said, I also love kale.) @Harriet also makes a good point, but I would take the point in the taste direction: kale is a brassica. Do you have difficulty with bitter foods? If so, spinach might be easier (and also less of a blending issue). 

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On 1/11/2019 at 6:17 PM, Gemma said:

I'm now just trying to get past the mental hurdle of taking selfies every day. I really struggle with selfies, but I am trying to photo every outfit for at least the first month so I have real data on what pieces I actually wear most frequently, what silhouettes I tend to gravitate towards, and even little silly things like 'hey, I could've put a belt around that and it would've been better..."  Fun fact - some of my favorite outfits are becoming obvious - like, I wore the exact same pants, top, and shoes last Friday and again this Wednesday, with a different necklace, and did not even realize it until I was putting the photos into an album. I guess I really really like that combination

Ok, now that's cool :) I may have to steal that idea. In fact, that could be a useful reverse Project 333. A month of evidence of what one wears could speak volumes about what to keep.

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On 1/11/2019 at 6:17 PM, Gemma said:

 

Yes! My husband frequently diagnoses me with RTD - Random Thought Disorder.

Hahahaha! My husband describes my mental processing methods (and we use that last word very loosely) as "spaghetti brain." He is not wrong. (He tends to think in a very linear way. I don't.)

 

On 1/11/2019 at 6:17 PM, Gemma said:

So I walked briskly on the treadmill for 30 minutes while reading my Kindle library book. It's a thing. I'm still cool with me. 

Oh? Whatcha readin'? :)

 

Sorry my responses are scattershot. The end of the week was all over the place, so I sometimes responded to an email via my phone. I think I will just wait and respond all at once going forward when I am actually at my home computer. 

 

And now onto clearing some more stuff out. . .

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ooo good luck with the kale! i never put it in my smoothies but always did spinach. i enjoy kale in well cooked soups/stews or even raw but massaged with salad dressing. massage your kale! it's a thing i swear.

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I don't have much experience with it in smoothies, but I would suspect that if you're using frozen, you may be using a bit too much. Kale cooks down a lot (like spinach does) so there's a BIG difference between a cup of raw kale and a cup of cooked kale for instance. Try halfing the amount your using and see if that helps?

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2 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

ooo good luck with the kale! i never put it in my smoothies but always did spinach. i enjoy kale in well cooked soups/stews or even raw but massaged with salad dressing. massage your kale! it's a thing i swear.

Image result for kale coconut oil gif

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Thank you!!!!

 

eb94bbd3c54cf879948feb87b75e349a.gif

 

1) overall, I agree with @Grumble's assessment, and I will be switching back to spinach if I feel the need to 'green' smoothies in the future, however, until I use up the supply currently on-hand:

 

b) @Mike Wazowski's advice to blend just the greens and liquid first helped a great deal. 

 

3) As far as using too much, I just portioned it out into what the bag said was a 'serving size' and then re-froze those 'servings'  with servings of froze mixed fruits in individual tupperwares, so I don't have to try to chisel through a solid frozen chunk of whatever with a butter knife every morning. Perhaps that was too much for a smoothie ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

4) So today I put about half the greens into the water and then used the Ninja's PUREE button (instead of the auto-pilot SMOOTHIE button) and it worked out okay. Definitely more drinkable. 

 

4 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

 massage your kale! it's a thing i swear.

I'll try to get brave enough for that someday ... 

tenor.gif?itemid=12138670

Thank you! I've never crowdsourced a protein shake before, but y'all really are a great source of information. 

 

Speaking of which - do any of y'all happen to manga?

 

 

 

Week one is over already and we are into this week, huh? How did that happen? 

 

6iP0E9U.gif

 

 

Gym has been ... well, I'm showing up. Today I just spent about 15 minutes on the elliptical (again, reading ... it's the only possible way I can manage, since the several TVs in the cardio-machines-room are virtually all turned in to some monstrous version of the 24-hour-news-cycle) - and then did four sets of leg press. 

 

On 1/13/2019 at 6:07 PM, Katerina said:

Oh? Whatcha readin'? :)

 

If I'm reading in the gym, it has to be light-n-easy. Last Friday it was A Caribbean Mystery, a Miss Marple cozy. Today I'm on Soulful Simplicity, by the blogger who started the Project 333 thingadoodle, Courtney Carver. 

 

On 1/13/2019 at 8:48 AM, Katerina said:

Ok, now that's cool :) I may have to steal that idea. In fact, that could be a useful reverse Project 333. A month of evidence of what one wears could speak volumes about what to keep.

 

Great idea! That's how I finally got my head around menu planning - I just wrote down everything hubs and I ate for dinner for a month on the calendar. Once it became obvious that we were basically repeating the same six or seven meals over and over again and fine with it, planning ahead got much easier. 

 

I'm doing much better with the journaling now that I've got the reminder in my phone. 

 

I am really liking the 333 thing. I have identified a few things that I wish I hadn't chosen (I'll get thriftshop them out in April) and a few pieces I wish I had instead (I'll buy them in April, and that gives me time to save up and invest in decent quality pieces instead of fast-fashion stuff that won't last three seasons). 

 

My dresser and nightstand are still completely clear and easy to dust. This makes me so much happier than it seems reasonable to expect it should ... 

 

And tomorrow marks the beginning of chaos week at work ... semi-annual inspection, plus scheduled video-teleconferences (late nights, because we have team members in Japan), plus certifications. I'll be out from under most of it by Friday, though :) 

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36 minutes ago, Gemma said:

only possible way I can manage, since the several TVs in the cardio-machines-room are virtually all turned in to some monstrous version of the 24-hour-news-cycle

Ugh. Sounds like 1984 :( I drown it put when needed with old headbangers music--lol.

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1 minute ago, Katerina said:

Ugh. Sounds like 1984 :( 

 

The Minitrue fitness plan. That's not at all terrifying, is it?

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1 hour ago, Gemma said:

Gym has been ... well, I'm showing up. Today I just spent about 15 minutes on the elliptical (again, reading ... it's the only possible way I can manage, since the several TVs in the cardio-machines-room are virtually all turned in to some monstrous version of the 24-hour-news-cycle) - and then did four sets of leg press. 

 

Great idea! That's how I finally got my head around menu planning - I just wrote down everything hubs and I ate for dinner for a month on the calendar. Once it became obvious that we were basically repeating the same six or seven meals over and over again and fine with it, planning ahead got much easier. 

 

And tomorrow marks the beginning of chaos week at work ... semi-annual inspection, plus scheduled video-teleconferences (late nights, because we have team members in Japan), plus certifications. I'll be out from under most of it by Friday, though :) 


Showing up is great. And reading on the elliptical is a pretty good idea. Certainly easier than reading while jogging outside. 

Oh, the meal planning idea is good. Do you occasionally try a new recipe to expand your repertoire? Or change things ups according to the season? 

Wishing you zen coolness for the few days of chaos! Like this extremely relaxed owl. 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c3d30036b7a573159

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16 hours ago, Gemma said:

1) overall, I agree with @Grumble's assessment, and I will be switching back to spinach if I feel the need to 'green' smoothies in the future, however, until I use up the supply currently on-hand:

Haha I know these "I don't want to waste food" feels all too well.

 

Quote

b) @Mike Wazowski's advice to blend just the greens and liquid first helped a great deal. 

Huzzah! No idea where I found that recommendation originally, but it's the only way I'll make kale smoothies now.

 

Quote

3) As far as using too much, I just portioned it out into what the bag said was a 'serving size' and then re-froze those 'servings'  with servings of froze mixed fruits in individual tupperwares, so I don't have to try to chisel through a solid frozen chunk of whatever with a butter knife every morning. Perhaps that was too much for a smoothie ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Let me know if this technique works well with frozen spinach! I may shamelessly steal inspo from you to make my meal prep even a little bit easier than it is.

 

Quote

Week one is over already and we are into this week, huh? How did that happen? 

I'm convinced it's not real and we're all in some time-travel plot of a tv show.

 

Quote

Gym has been ... well, I'm showing up. Today I just spent about 15 minutes on the elliptical (again, reading ... it's the only possible way I can manage, since the several TVs in the

cardio-machines-room are virtually all turned in to some monstrous version of the 24-hour-news-cycle) - and then did four sets of leg press. 

Yay for showing up!

 

Quote

If I'm reading in the gym, it has to be light-n-easy. Last Friday it was A Caribbean Mystery, a Miss Marple cozy. Today I'm on Soulful Simplicity, by the blogger who started the Project 333 thingadoodle, Courtney Carver. 

Ooooh, this is tempting for a nice light read - just added it to my reading list.

 

Quote

Great idea! That's how I finally got my head around menu planning - I just wrote down everything hubs and I ate for dinner for a month on the calendar. Once it became obvious that we were basically repeating the same six or seven meals over and over again and fine with it, planning ahead got much easier. 

I *really* like this idea - not that I need any confirmation I'm fine with meal monotony, cause it bears itself out anytime I'm meal prepping and eat the same stuff 4-6 days in row, but this would be helpful data to confirm.

 

Quote

I am really liking the 333 thing. I have identified a few things that I wish I hadn't chosen (I'll get thriftshop them out in April) and a few pieces I wish I had instead (I'll buy them in April, and that gives me time to save up and invest in decent quality pieces instead of fast-fashion stuff that won't last three seasons). 

 

My dresser and nightstand are still completely clear and easy to dust. This makes me so much happier than it seems reasonable to expect it should ... 

This is exciting to hear! I'm noticing the same thing - even some of the pieces I thought I ABSOLUTELY had to have don't quite seem so necessary - kinda great to feel like the closet of needs just keeps shrinking. And I'm right there with you on having some pieces I want to invest in (maybe just 1-2 more dress shirts / sweaters), but being very willing to wait.

 

Quote

And tomorrow marks the beginning of chaos week at work ... semi-annual inspection, plus scheduled video-teleconferences (late nights, because we have team members in Japan), plus certifications. I'll be out from under most of it by Friday, though :) 

You will knock this all out of the park! Rooting for you!

giphy.gif

 

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17 hours ago, Gemma said:

And tomorrow marks the beginning of chaos week at work ... semi-annual inspection, plus scheduled video-teleconferences (late nights, because we have team members in Japan), plus certifications. I'll be out from under most of it by Friday, though

Best of luck!

 

Here's a voltron for backup...I don't think it's too early in the episode for the backup!

 

giphy.gif

 

You got this!

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So, that week is in the history books. 

 

kirk.gif

 

 

Gym didn't happen any day except Monday. No excuse, really, except this week was all Just Too Much and something had to give. 

 

Work stuff was exhausting but it all went great, we had an excellent review after our inspection. Video teleconference was all goodness. And I got the chance to confront the man in charge of curriculum development about some problems that my faculty were having with the curriculum - which he did NOT previously know about, because his subordinates were not updating him :o  - so now I think some things are actually going to get fixed. 

 

Project 333 is weird. But, good weird. Like, you read about a thing on the internet - capsule wardrobe, Whole 30, fancy new face cream, eating turmeric e'ryday, FlyLady/UFUH - and it always drags along this giant train of testimonial hyperbole "it changed my life" and "everybody comments on how fabulous I look and asks my secret" and "this thing will improve the quality of your life 10,000% and if it doesn't then you aren't doing it right" and so forth. So I figured this would be the same - I'd try it, it would make my life a wee bit easier, maybe help me figure out which clothes really ought to go to the thrift shop, and that would be that. I did not expect dramatic results. 

 

But true story - I have gotten more compliments on my outfits in the past two weeks than - I dunno, a pretty long time, though. Reading Courtney Carver's book got me to the "Duh!" concept that explains it. ***I am now wearing my favorite clothes every day.*** This, instead of wearing "I like 'em okay I guess" clothes most of the time and 'saving' my favorites for presentations, meetings with the Colonel, interviews, etc. 

 

I'm also taking better care of my clothes - washing in cold or steaming, stain-treating immediately ... because I can't afford to toss them in a bin for a month until I get around to taking them to the dry cleaner! And, astonishingly, it does not take that long. This time last year I would have sworn that I could not possibly make time to steam my blazers and dress pants when they need it. Truth is, they don't actually need it that often. 

 

spok.gif

 

 

 

For those who have said that you might like to try this but could not possibly do 33, but maybe 40, or 50, or some other number - I found this paragraph, again in her book:

 

"Why the number thirty-three? I wish I had a better answer for this, but the truth is I wanted to create a number that was easy to remember. I thought somewhere between twenty-five and fifty items sounded challenging but doable for three months, and settled on thirty-three. If thirty-four or fifty-four works better for you, try that. As long as it's challenging, and you are dressing with less, the number isn't that important." 

 

Another LUYL side quest randomly popped up in my game, so I accepted it - my work dental insurance suddenly decided this year to cover up to 50% of the costs of orthodontia. So at the ripe old age of 52 I am finally getting my teeth straightened*. I have an appointment on Monday for an assessment. I'm kinda hoping I'm a good candidate for Invisalign, but I'll do whatever the ortho recommends. 

 

 

*Full disclosure - I did wear braces for a year in junior high. I was supposed to wear a retainer for three years after. I didn't last three months. I don't remember if I 'lost' the retainer or 'broke' it or what, but I did some sort of 13-year-old girl thing, and by the time I was 20 my teeth were all mostly back to right where they had been before. I've just been putting up with it since. They aren't that bad, not obviously crooked when I smile or making it hard to chew or anything, but they bother me and I want to do something about it. 

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