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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Feeling good!

I really am. This is a good time for me and I am grabbing it and relishing every moment.
I spoke with my doctor last week about depression and how likely it is that I can kick mine and leave it behind for good. Nobody can say for sure whether I will ever be depression free or not, statistics say that having suffered in such a crippling way more than once ( in my case 3 separate, long term, life stopping bouts) the chances are that it will happen again. I can see why that would be the way to think and I know it is a possibility, the good thing is, each time I have managed to climb out of it, it has got better and I know that whatever happens, I will get better anytime I slide into that miserable stinking pit.
I know that there are things I can do to help and right now I am doing everything I can, the trouble with real depression is that it strips you of your ability to think positively and help yourself, the last deep depression I had I wasn't aware I was even sad, I honestly thought it was everybody else that was my problem! It wouldn't have occurred to me to help myself because there wasn't anything wrong with was THEM...damned thoughtless idiots! Only when I began to feel better was I able to see that everyone else was staying the same and what do you know? They are quite lovely...ooops!
I am trying to make sure that I discover what makes me feel good and keep doing the hope that I won't slide back into the depths of misery again. Every now and again H will be 'down in the dumps' I cannot tell you how hard I find him to live with when he is like that, it makes me feel so helpless and edgy, I feel I am in a constant state of panic trying to make him happy....I don't think H has ever been like that longer than a week or so, he has lived with me for years ( 9 next month) not functioning well for months at a time...he is a good man!
I have learned that bread triggers bad feelings, I haven't worked out whether it is wheat in general or just bread but eating bread has a horrible effect on me. I feel bloated and heavy and that triggers irritability and negative feelings, slowly ( and it is really slowly) I am more and more able to not even want to eat it anymore. I love bread, it is ( I see now) my downfall, the more I eat,the more I want, I can eat bread and never feel full, I love it in every form. I missed it so much it hurt for a few weeks, I ate it for the first few weeks of this new plan I am on, I rationed it, ate only wholemeal bread or pitta bread, never more than 2 slices a day, very few calories from bread but the weight loss was so slow, I felt hungry even right after eating.
After 6 weeks of feeling as though I was getting nowhere but really being rigid in what I ate I decided to just try and do without bread completely, actually I have pretty much cut out all wheat, I don't eat cereal with wheat anymore, I eat oat based cereal, oatmeal usually.
I am now losing pretty much 2lbs a week, that is perfect for me, slow enough that it will stay off if I stay on track, fast enough that I can feel a difference.
17lbs so far, enough that my clothes feel noticeably looser. My rings are looser, even my shoes are looser!
I have such a long way to go still but I feel as though I can do it. I feel better, the food I am eating is food that brings good things. My hair is growing back.
I try to read up on foods that really boost feelings of well being. I have read up on the types of foods that will help my particular needs, avocados are great for me, they replace all the things I was lacking.
I need green leafy vegetables and the more I eat the better I feel, the one food I have never been able to eat without gagging ( and I ask you why would anyone go there?!?) is spinach, H loves it but the very smell of it makes my whole body heave, its like stinking wet grass to me! I found some frozen spinach that comes in small cubes, I can add 3 cubes to my vegetable soup and not even taste it, it gives the soup a great look and I know I am getting the benefits without smelling or tasting it!
H and I are trying a new approach for a while to see how that helps ( he is not on a diet by any means but he seems to have a bee in his bonnet about this, it seems like it's worth a try as I have heard it's beneficial) we are going to try and keep protein and carbs separate. Vegetables every day and with most meals served with either rice, pasta or potatoes OR with chicken, lean pork, fish and occasionally lean red meat. It can't hurt, maybe it will even help some.
I walked into town today, on tuesdays there are wonderful stalls selling home made bread, home made pies ( oh they are so good!) I walked past and tried to make myself feel pitiful and sorry for myself ...but I didn't! Hooray!
I really do have days where I want to eat the way I used to, when that happens I just fob myself into believing that I will have some later, Isaac ate a pasty yesterday, mmmmmm, it smelled so good, all that delicious crumbly pastry, steak, potatoes....he ate pretty much all of it save 3 or 4 bites and then handed it to me, I so wanted to cram that treasure in my fat old mouth! I took one good bite and quickly threw the rest away. I do that when something is just toooooooo tempting, like the Pilsbury home back biscuits/rolls.....Sophie loves those and I bought some last week, did them with whatever everyone else was eating ( buffalo wings and corn I think) oh they looked so good and were all warm and buttery...I took one bite and threw the rest in the bin right away!
I can eat 4 pieces of chocolate and feel 'done' before I didn't give myself a chance to ever feel 'done' if there was chocolate left, I wasn't finished!
I roast potatoes, I use 1 cal spray and instead of cutting big potatoes in half ( and feeling hard done by if I had any less than 4) I use organic baby potatoes, cut those in half and yet still, 4 ( magical number it seems) seems just right. 2 baby potatoes? In the bad old days that would go in my mouth while I was serving the dinners out ( at least!)
I have saved a fortune because eating food I haven't made myself isn't worth it anymore. I can't eat fast food, don't want to eat in restaurants anymore and subway ( which was my favourite) is out now, unless I go for a salad and it's so COLD, who wants a sandwich when it's this cold? Dinnertime is exciting now because I am determined to make new meals so I don't get bored to death with the same old stuff all the time.
It helps that H is happy to eat all this new food, always such a meat and 2 veg man, it's amazing that he is willing and even eager ( maybe that is pushing it a tad too far!) to eat more vegetables than meat now. I am excited because he needs to eat better, he ( in the days of old) would happily eat red meat at least twice a day, e would have steak / beef for dinner and again as leftovers for breakfast. Hmmm wonder why he had that heart attack!
He is very disciplined with portion control though, he sticks with the 'fist' size portion of rice or pasta, it's enough to make me scream sometimes because is there anything more irritating than someone who just doesn't CRAM IT ALL IN? Restraint can be so frustrating when seen in other people, I of course, am nothing short of marvellous and saintly when exercising such restraint.
Whoa did I get off track then or what? I am fast becoming a born again healthy eater, the likes of which are loathed the world over, I can see myself peering into other peoples' trolleys at Asda and tut tutting at all the ignorant and toxic foods other, lesser mortals purchase.
Anyway, my doctor seems to think that being aware that relapses can happen will help me avoid any further massive slides into darkness.
I wrote a letter of complaint to the dept of work and pensions, I just was so incensed at that doctor who interviewed me about my incapacity benefit, what kind of Dr thinks it is OK to repeatedly tell someone he is speaking to, who has long term issues with depression, that it is 'all in your head'? He was so scathing and impolite and bearing in mind he is paid to be unbiased and fair when he interviews people in receipt of benefits, he is not doing his job. I sent the letter last week, I hope I hear something soon. He hadn't as yet submitted his 'findings' so I hope that my letter being sent before he failed me ( and I am sure he will fail me) will do some good. On discussing the whole interview with the managers at the DWP, I was relieved that they were as horrified as I was at the way he spoke to me, in fact they were the ones to suggest I put it all in writing and gave me the address to mail it to.
So, I can now divulge where Sophie and I are going on our trip! We were keeping quiet because it was ( is ) important to us to keep the trip small enough that Sophie can feel like the main attraction ( always her favourite feeling!) We are going back to Boston!
My friends have been incredible during Sophie's battle to get happy. They have cheered her on, sent her gifts, chatted with her, encouraged her ( and me) along the way.
I knew that taking her to Boston to meet a few of my friends would mean the world to her. We didn't want the meet up to become so huge that she was just tagging along. I would love to be in a great big group of all my favourite online friends but that way she would just be in the background feeling surrounded by all my friends, the few people we will meet are all the kind of women that Sophie will feel at home with and I know we are going to have so much fun!
5 weeks and we are on our way! She has her interview tomorrow for her passport, hopefully she will have her passport within a week. Then we are all set, tickets bought and paid for, hotel booked, plans made...we're on our way!
Yes, right now I am feeling pretty good!



Blogger Cathy said...

Can I just tell you how proud I am of you? I just did! Losing 17 pounds is such a huge accomplishment and your mindset is on the right track to continue on to our journey to a healthy Helen!

Good luck tomorrow with Sophie's passport interview!

Is it December yet?!!!

Love you!

1:32 am  
Blogger Erin~Leigh said...

wow....that really had me! How wonderful for you for your weight loss, and I hope you and Sophie have the time of your lives in Boston. You both deserve it!

5:16 am  
Blogger justLacey said...

A lovely post that made me feel good. I heard yesterday I am losing my job. Another one is being posted or they may send me somewhere else. Keep your fingers crossed. How cruel is it to lay off people right before Christmas? Oh well, it lasted longer than I thought, lol.
Love hearing you and Sophie are doing so well.

9:44 am  
Blogger Julie Q said...

So happy to hear Sophie is doing so well Helen. :) I hope you have a wonderful trip with her!

I am also happy to hear you are feeling so good.

I hope you hear something back on the letter you wrote.

2:59 pm  
Blogger G said...

You continue to amaze me. I hope that as you look into that mirror that you see the work you've done but more over that you see the incredible person that stares back at you. Strength. Beauty. Will. Amazing. Truly, you have taught me so much and I hope that I am as wonderful a mother to my children as you are to yours.

I love you and so ovrewhelmingly proud of you.

9:14 pm  

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