Diet versus Depression

I’m going to be off work for a few weeks with a depression flare up. It’s probably the worst one I’ve had since my last breakdown 4 and a half years ago and the first time I’ve had to be off work since that time. Part of it is my own doing and part can be blamed on others. The last time I was off work for this reason I gained 2 stone and as an emotional eater on a diet I’m very conscious of this as I won’t have the business of work to keep me out of trouble.

I’ve already had 2 lots of binge eating this week alone. However I have noticed one difference that I will take as a positive that hopefully will not result in such a drastic weight gain this time. As one of my stress issues is financial I’ve not been able to join a gym so have, while I diet, tried to get my exercise through walking. Apart from Saturdays (a day off) I do 10,000 steps every day. Sometimes on a quiet day this means walking my estate twice to get the figure where it needs to be.

Even while I’ve been emotionally eating this week there seems to be a good angel on my shoulder fighting with the bad one that wants to disappear in a food mountain of self pity. This good angel makes me keep walking. Today for example, so many things have gone wrong so I decide I was going to the local shopping centre for a cup of tea and some cake. The good angel said I could go wallow in that cake as long as I walked there and back… And I did! Then I found myself looking for the cake with the lowest calories to stuff my face with (see photo). Somehow I managed to pity eat in a positive way. I even asked for skimmed milk!

Then while I was in the mall I decided to buy some family Easter eggs. That was the bad angel talking as with three weeks to go to Easter there would be no way the eggs would stay uneaten in my current frame of mind. I ended up with a box of fruit tea and 3 books. Not good for the finances but at least they won’t make me gain weight.

I think this change is down to not wanting to go back to how I used to be. I’ve lost half of the 2 stone I gained and with all the walking I can run for a bus, walk up the stairs to my office at work and run up and down the stairs to my house without being out of breath. Not to mention being almost a dress size smaller. Up until the negative mood swing I was feeling very confident of my slightly smaller size and if I give in to these feelings I also think I will be undoing so much of the good work I have achieved this year.

What I am struggling with is ways in which to feel sorry for myself that don’t involve self harm. I refuse to give into the constant urge in my brain to  spend a week eating nothing but pizza and cake in my PJs but its hard going and the mental battle leaves me exhausted. I rarely drink now and have never been one for drugs (being constantly inside my own head is a freaky place without adding mind altering substances plus I witnessed an overdose at 17 that scared me away from drugs of any kind for life).

So I need to find a way to wallow but also at the same time not give in to too much wallowing that I spoil the good work already done. I need to be outside if I can- let the sun and Mother Nature start the healing process. Hopefully it will be a shorter road to recovery this time.

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Get into reading again – part 1 How to stop being a lapsed reader

Leeds Reads

The novel cure: an A-Z of literary remediesAre you one of the UK’s 16 million lapsed readers? Do you ever sit down to read a book?  If the answer is never, and you can barely remember the last time you picked one up, what does it take to get back into reading.

Galaxy Quick Reads’ recent research found that those who read for as little as 30 minutes per week, are less likely to suffer from low mood and are 20% more likely to be satisfied with their lives. A wealth of health and wellbeing benefits are available to those who make time to read, from getting a better night’s sleep (43%), to boosting self-esteem (10%) and helping them feel less lonely (19%).

So what’s stopping 16 million lapsed readers from reading? 42% said lack of time was the biggest reason, yet we make time for social media and TV, so why not books?

Your guide to starting a new chapter:

  1. Try Audio Books

“Lots…

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Talking to the Universe

I’ve just started reading the surprisingly short book on Cosmic Ordering and it made me think of something that started happening at the beginning of the year.

I’ve a big list of ‘wants’ for this year. I don’t like to call them resolutions, more like things I’d like to happen. For example: I wanted to be fitter and healthier and so far I’ve lost 11.5lbs and walk 10,000 steps every day.

One of the other things I decided to do was start letting people in and also getting out more in able to do this. I have friends and they are very good friends but sometimes you can’t move forward without stepping out of your comfort zone and maybe making a few more. The original plan was to try and do this as cheaply as possible but essentially I was going back to my old plan of saying yes.

Reading this book it could be classed as unintentionally cosmic ordering, it could be asking spirits for help and receiving or it could simply be wishing things into existence. Whatever your belief system – positive thinking breeds positive results.

Simple friendships have blossomed at work – some on a 1to1 basis and again through a night out where we all got to bond. I started going to book clubs and met some wonderful new people there. I joined Weightwatchers and have not only a very supportive group of people wishing me luck but have made a few friendships from it. I was even asked by a woman at work if I wanted to go to dance classes with her.

Not only has it brought new people into my life but opening myself up has brought people back into my life I haven’t seen in years. I went to a school reunion and rediscovered old friendships. I looked into moving my Monday workplace to somewhere new which brought me into contact with my natural fathers cousin, enabling me to reconnect with half brothers and sisters I haven’t seen in 12 years and also bringing me a new cousin I’ve not met yet.

It’s fascinating what one little word can bring. It needs to be done carefully though. In the past I said to too many things then had to learn how to say no all over again but if concentrated in small events such as friendships it should be easy enough to control. I’m looking forward to seeing how these things develop over the rest of the year but also can’t wait to see what else life has in store for me.