Monday, April 02, 2012
Good Morning! And a beautiful one it is here in central Newfoundland. Sunny and cold (I had to scrape the frost off of my car) but this is the kind of weather that I do best in, especially from a mental health point of view.
Several of you made some great suggestions and we all know this is something one has to make a personal commitment to. I can have ideas coming out of my ying yang and unless I put them into action they are just going to be ideas and not practices.
So, yesterday I went back to tracking my food. Therefore I didn't eat a whole bag of Reese's Peanut butter cups as I wouldn't want to track it. Ah, I just shed some light on my own problem!
I tend to track only when I eat healthy and give up when I lapse.
So, what can I do? I have to learn to track everything regardless how awful it looks on my nutrition tracker. That being the case I tracked the muffin I bought this morning and was appalled to see on my tracker that one muffin was 400 calories. Wow.
Easter is coming up and with it brings chocolate....come on, now, you know that is what most of us think of Easter as.....a Chocolate frenzy! Well, this year I have decided to tell the Easter Bunny to stay away from our house. Maddy and Louisa can't eat it and John and I really shouldn't be eating it.
I have to come up with a nice way of telling the Easter Bunny that I would much prefer a bag of mini carrots instead. We could all eat those. Is it only my dogs that love to eat carrots? They aren't too big on broccoli but I do chop up some and "hide" it with their dry nasty crap!
Anyway, I must go for a stroll around campus in a few minutes to see if I can work out the pain in my back. Oh, for those wondering, I injured my back several years ago and during treatment it was discovered that I am missing part of a vertebrae that holds everything together in the lower back area. Usuallly I get it clicked back in place by the chiropractor. then I feel while cleaning the bathroom just before Christmas (further argument that housecleaning is bad for us!) and it just won't go back into place and stay there. AAARRGGH. Walking does seem to help so I am doing that...albeit a bit slowly!
Have a good one folks!
Sunday, April 01, 2012
I'm losing motivation faster than I have been eating chocolate and that is saying something. I just looked at my weight loss and every fall I do well and lose about 18 pounds but as soon as I get near the magical 200 pound mark I lose hope and let my efforts wane. Now I am up to 219 again and I need HELP!
My lower back is really hurting - I haven't gone to my doctor because I don't want pain medications I just want it to go away. The pain, that is, and not my back! This is the worse it has been in several years and I don't want to use is an excuse to eat myself into a hole.
I got discouraged this morning when I thought..wow, this is April and you are still going to be in plus sizes this summer but I can change that, can't I? Back to the very basics for me....food tracking and meal planning along with as much walking as my back will endure.
On a plus side I did get my husband really good this mornng for April Fool's Day. I was up early and let Maddy and Louisa out to pee. Our garden is 98% fenced in but they can leave through a small opening if they really wanted to. Anwyay, I yelled out on top of my lungs "John, get up quick as Lou has run up the road". I heard him stumble out of bed, pulling on his jeans on the way and he ran out into the hallway where he banged into the hall table before I smiled and said "April Fools".
Okay, plan for today -
Reset my weight treacker, adjust my activity level, start tracking my food! It works -I just have to do my part!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I've noticed that I am not blogging as much anymore (which is probably a blessing for those of you who have to plow through my drivel ) but I miss its role in my Spark journey so much that I've decided to resume my ramblings. Consider yourselves forewarned
Dare I think it, much less write about it? Yes, my depression seems to be lifting and I am slowly but surely regaining my sunny optimism. Seems to so contradictory to be sunny most of the times yet prone to those moments of deep darkness, doesn't it? I know many of you can understand what I mean and for those that can't just be thankful you don't!
One key thing in my shorter "life under the dark cloud" episode was talking about it. Yes, admitting to others about how I felt and how disappointed I felt in myself for somehow "allowing" myself to be depressed. See, even after a lifetime I still play the blame game. I think it is natural to do so and in a way it makes me self-analyze to determine what in my life needs to be changed or looked at in a magnifying glass.
I will be on my anti-depressants for life or at least I imagine I will so. So I am dealing with it in a chemical way. As for the other areas in my life - I didn't really see a connection between depression and food craving overload until this most recent blip. I didn't want to see or hear tell of anything healthy (hence my weight has gone up to 218 pounds!) and I somehow thought taming the beast with chocolate and fast food was going to make it more bearable. All it did was add to my guilt!
Last week, my husband and I went through all that was going on in my life and I soon determined that I was at a low point due to many things that are beyond my control. The SAD, the fact we are short on money, etc...but then we looked at all of the things I have control over.
I have Spark! I have wonderful SparkFriends! I have an understanding husband! I have two funny and lovable dogs! I have a job I love! Co-workers I care about! I have access to a gym! I have a roof over my head and a house that is paid for and is comfortable! I have fulfillment doing animal rescue work! I have two great doctors! I have my mom! I have a close relationship with my brother! We have caring neighbours! I have a SAD light!
And it was then that it struck me! I have a SAD light but I wasn't using it. Duh! I started in very reluctantly sitting in front of it for the required 20 minutes a day and it was a start in my feeling better process. I have used it every day since and I have even managed to push myself outside for fun with the dogs. I am sleeping better once I stopped worrying about it.
And you know another thing that really got me through this time? It is quite simple - I looked at all of the exercise minutes I have under my belt. Although I document my physical activity on Spark the best motivator for me is to look at my scribbles on a log sheet that I made up when I completed my virtual walk across Newfoundland. I have got five pages full.....yes, me!!!
So, you know where this is going - I started another virtual challenge walk with myself.....I am going to leave the safety of my island and walk the equivalent of the ferry route between Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland and North Sydney, Nova Scotia which is approximately 550 miles. Yes, I am going to walk across the water and who knows where I will end up.
Great chatting with you all as always!
Friday, March 23, 2012
Many of you have realized long before now that not only am I a complete dork and I have to say I am proud of it!
I say, do and think some of the stupidest things without even questioning it but I also have been blessed with the great ability to laugh at myself. I think without that ability I would have to crawl away somewhere during my bouts of depression.
My latest dorkism happened today. My good friend, worried about my state of mind, invited me to go to a small gift shop with her as she had something to buy. I was half-heartedly browsing when I saw................. and honest to goodness blurted out
"Oh, how nice they are making canes now with wide supportive bases" before I quickly realized it was a toilet paper holder! Thank goodness only my friend heard me but then we had to explain why we were in tears over in the corner and holding unto our stomachs.
Maybe I am more of a ditz than a dork but regardless I am some glad I can laugh at myself!!!
Thursday, March 22, 2012
If you don't know what depression is I suggest you google it and research it thoroughly before you make the assumption that it merely is feeling down. Yes, we feel down at many times but when you are depressed it is much more than that.
During an episode of depression you lose your self-confidence, you read criticism into everything, you are probably very irritable and you probably loathe yourself for allowing this into your life once again. Well, that is how I feel at least and everybody's depression is there own.
Up until yesterday, I was full of denial. I even went to two doctors and denied being depressed. Instead I said I was completely exhausted but was quick to point out I wasn't suicidal (which I have been in the past) so "this" couldn't be depression but something more like exhaustion.
I had it all categorized into compartments and this is what I believed. I knew I was okay when Nan got sick but I certainly neglected my own mental and physical needs during her illness. I wanted to be super woman and despite the warnings I kept up such a hectic pace that I didn't stop to think.
Then she died and again, I was the strong one who didn't grieve or cry but chose to remember the good times. Then there was the family squabble and I took the high road and wouldn't get into it with any of them and instead just ignored them and pretended that I was okay.
I doesn't take Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys to see a problem here, now does it? Sheessh, sometimes I am my own worse enemy! It all bubbled over yesterday when I was doing a Sudoku puzzle and started crying because I couldn't concentrate long enough to see a number much less solve the darn thing. Lucky for me, I have a very understanding husband who listened to me talk without interrupting. Then I listened to him.
First of all, he said, If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and swims like a duck...it is most likely not a rabbit but a real duck. For all you non-mystery solvers out there....I think he used duck for depression!
Well, it hit me like I was a complete failure. Honestly, I was floored because deep down I knew it but thought nobody else could "see" it. So, what are my choices in dealing with it?
The obvious first choice among health professionals would to up my medication but I am scared of that. And this is where I should have knocked myself over the head with a hammer!
Last fall, I managed to lower the dose of one of my anti-depressants by 20 mg. It was the best non-scale victory I had under my belt. I was flying high! I did it by putting myself first, living a pretty active lifestyle and eating healthy. I was in a good place both mentally and physically.
Now depression doesn't come on suddenly and whack you over the head to announce its arrival...it sneaks in on little paws and you don't know it is there until it is all around you. I cannot believe that this is my 30th year of living with depression that it arrival still surprises me.
So I have my check list of symptoms and pretty much all can be attributed to depression. I also have my arsenal of things that make it easier for me but do you think I do them? NO! Don't even ask why as it is another great mystery of depression. We know what will help and yet we are powerless to do anything about it.
Right now Spark is taking on a familiar role for me. It will not be about weight loss, it will not be about using the nutrition and fitness tracker and nor will it be about getting a new trophy or answering trivia questions.
Instead Spark for me will be about establishing a routine. I have to use my light therapy every morning for 20-30 minutes, I am going to exercise in some shape or form for 10 minutes each day, I am going to take care of me by listening to my body and my mind and I am going to be honest with myself. IF I think I need to resume the medication I haven't needed in six months I am not going to think less of myself. I am going to think more of myself for having the courage to realize that I have come this far with the help of medication but I wouldn't need this medication if I didn't have a chemical imbalance. The latter is something I can't change, plain and simple. It is who I am and is something I have to accept and live with.
So as I am busy crawling out from under my rock I hope you all will have patience with me. I will be my "normal" self soon enough and I cannot wait to get there. In the meantime I have this ugly black hole to contend with and I am doing my best to crawl out.
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