Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Best laid plans

I had had 2 good weeks and was full of good intentions at the beginning of this week. I couldn't see any reason not to have a good week (and a naughty Saturday at the football) but hopefully see a small loss tonight. Hmmm.....not so much....

It just hasn't come together. It is not as if I've gone mad or anything but I have definitely eaten for comfort and convenience last week and then enjoyed an unrestrained Saturday on top. My "Plan of Attack" just didn't cut it. The root of the problem was that I succumbed to a black mood for most of last week. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday all passed in a gloomy haze. I just felt numb, sad and teary for no particular reason. I recognised what was happening and tried to help myself and to ask for help which worked to some extent but not enough to progress a diet.

When the gloom struck, I started to feel overwhelmed by tasks and a low level sense of being a failure. It's not a nice feeling. I texted Rich and he did his best to cheer me up and I went out for lunch with colleagues rather than mope around on my own and I kept busy in the evenings too. The problem with this self-help is that it does tend to involve more eating or drinking and less exercise.

On Wednesday night, I had been intending to go for a run with the dogs but felt sad (Day 1 of the gloom) so when Rich suggested a couple early doors in the local, I went. Generally I would be happy with diet coke but that night I had 2 pints, and no run. Part of my gloom on Thursday was that I had planned to go for a run at lunchtime from work and then forgot my kit (I discovered that I had brought my swimmers but not my running gear!). Cue more gloom and self-flagellation and a trip out to lunch with a colleague for coffee and sandwich!! By Thursday night I was so miserable that I knew I couldn't stay in so that was another 3 pints down the hatch. By Friday I was working from home so more in control. I had training at lunchtime so I managed to stop the rot a little. We had a quiet night in and no booze so not bad.

But then Saturday morning hit. We were due to go out for a full day in Nottingham for the football. I couldn't face it while feeling grotty and, lying awake fretting about it, realised (belatedly) what it was that had been eating at me and making me feel gloomy. I raised it with Rich (at a totally inopportune time for him, poor chap) but got what I needed to say off my chest and was then able to forget it and move on. The tension of the last few days did make itself felt though and I did not really hold back on the drinking front which I had been intending to do as part of my grand plan. More pints, sigh.....

Sunday, being Mothering Sunday, entailed a visit from my parents and Rich's dad and stepmum for Sunday lunch. We had a lovely Sunday morning cleaning, tidying and cooking and I was, by then, totally happy and cheered. The lunch went well, food was nice, parents got on well with each other etc Unfortunately, my mother's Alzheimers has progressed to a new stage which took me and my dad unawares. She is not willing to cooperate in her personal care and is incredibly stubborn so, to put it bluntly, she was stinky. I could see it was mortifying for Dad and I was also embarrassed on her behalf in front of Rich's parents. I didn't seem to have the resources to know what to do to help so we just had to soldier through which took the shine off what would have been a lovely day.

So, when I read back through this catalogue of woes, it appears that I'm depressed, have turned to drink to deal with it, my diet and exercise regime are on the skids and my Mum is heading for a home. Of course that doesn't tell the whole story. Actually a lot of last week wasn't too bad. I was down but I was still trying to be cheery and I didn't binge eat or drink. It was just a combinaiton of events which meant that I didn't make progress.

In the longrun, I think I have learned a lot too, both about myself and how to deal with my occasional glooms and about my mother and how best to help her and Dad.

With me, I am much more responsive to my moods than I used to be. Previously I hid a lot more. When I was feeling bad about something I just blanked it out, ate and hid from life on the sofa, not acknowledging that there was anything wrong. Now at least I recognise that I'm feling grim and try to take early action to work out what is wrong and sort it out. If the cause is anything to do with me and Rich I'm gradually gaining confidence that I can raise things (and earlier is better) and it will get better. I'm not saying that Rich is some sort of saint, he's not but he listens and just expressing myself is half the battle.

The other thing I've learned is how much I MISS exercise. I was activey annoyed on Thursday when I realised I couldn't go for that run as I knew it would have cheered me up. So it is important to prioritise exercise for both my mood and my diet.
About Mum, after the visit, Dad and I spoke on the phone and I rang my sister and told her what had happened too. With the benefit of hindsight I realised that I could have been more proactive but I know that I was sandbagged on the day and paralysed by being in the middle of a social situation. But my sister and I have been able to talk to Dad about it and we've been able to encourage him to finally get some help with her personal care. We've been trying to persuade him to get this sorted for a while now and now he realises that it has to happen or she will have to go into care. It's brutal but necessary, for both of their sakes. So out of an awkward day something good has come.

It was not a week I'd care to repeat, thank you very much, but I'm feeling hopeful about the week to come. If I haven't lost weight, so be it but I have coped and learned and lived to fight another day!


Peridot said...

Poor you, sorry to hear you were struck by the glums. Sometimes when it's like that it's all you can do to keep your head above water, let alone worry about your diet. Sounds like you coped really well and I hope things are looking brighter now.


Sarah said...

Poor you. Sounds like a hum-dinger of a week. Well done for being strong - and also for asking for help when you needed it. The demensia thing is horrid, my grandparents on both sides went through it and I occasionally wake up in a cold sweat thinking that it'll be me next - or my parents.

Fingers crossed that this week works out better. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right.

Sarah x

beth said...

So sorry for your tough week, and P is right -- some days are like a mountain you have to trudge up, never mind the diet part. Anyway, you did brilliantly on that front -- as you suggest, at one point the things that happened last week would have led to quite a lot of overeating/hiding. You not only coped, you made things better. That's amazing. xx

Claire said...

It's great that you've tackled the stress rather than letting it grow. Yes you had a few days in a funk but that's how you tell yourself that something needs sorting out. Am really sorry about your mum - must be very upsetting. X

beth said...

So sorry for the week you've had -- and P is right (though I'll change metaphor slightly!), some days are like a mountain you're trudging up, never mind the diet. Anyway, sounds like you did brilliantly. At one point, as you say, a lot of those things would have caused you to overeat significantly... as I'm trying to learn, it's progress, not perfection. And you not only coped, you made things better. Big hugs from across the Atlantic xx

Linz M said...

Sorry to hear you've had a tough time. Diet is the last thing I think about during times of stress so I think you've coped really well.

Hope things are looking up this week xx