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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I have not had a good week.

Last week, and indeed the last few months, have been positive. I have started blogging, I coped well with and actually enjoyed Christmas and had great time with my family and friends.

Last week I was eating well and was motivated. I charged my Fitbit Flex back up and got walking. I went back to yoga after the Christmas break. I am completing a 100km charity walk in August, so I need to start training for that. Especially as lovely friends have already sponsored me for it. As a result, I walked 70km last week, did 110,000 steps, won most of my Fitbit ‘workweek hustles’ and lost 3 lbs down the back of the sofa. I made good eating choices, porridge every morning, reduced my chocolate intake, and tried as much as possible to eat low G.I. Foods (a little experiment I am doing to see if it helps my energy levels and another medical issue). I even got a chance to take my camera out on my walk on Saturday. A real treat for me.


Out on my walk – South Downs

On Sunday, I did my back in. Was just cleaning and it went. I don’t normally have problems with my back, so I am putting this down to another sign that I need to lose weight and make lifestyle changes. We had friends over that day, and once they left gone 9pm I was exhausted and fell asleep on the bed and then woke up at 11.30pm when I would normally go to bed. Looking back, it was at that point my mood started to change.

It is never a good sign if I start falling asleep early evening. I go through phases of doing this. Being so utterly exhausted that once the girls go to bed I fall asleep on my bed or sofa and wake up usually around 11.00pm, angry that I have lost my evening. Of course I then can’t get to sleep when I normally should, then a little minx will wake up, upsetting the routine further, and the next day I am out of sorts.

On the Monday, due to the previous late night, the girls were grumpy, and we hadn’t organized packed lunches, book bags etc. Little minx also had a bad cold. The house was a tip from the hosting the day before, and my husband was going to be away that night with work. I got grumpy and I started to fall into the familiar downward spiral.

Because my husband was away that night I couldn’t go out on a walk or to my usual yoga class, and I became fixated on what I couldn’t do and felt ‘trapped’, but equally didn’t have the energy or inclination to do anything else that I enjoy doing. I could have blogged, I could have done some of my adult colouring, finished a photo-book etc. But I sat curled up on the sofa watching TV and feeling sorry for myself.

That night was a bad night with the girls, they were in and out of my bed and little minx especially was suffering with her cold. I kept her off nursery on the Tuesday, so I didn’t work and we had a duvet day at home. In my head I thought it would be lovely, we could snuggle on the sofa watching DVDs, she would rest and I would feel better. But the day didn’t go like that. Little minx was on some kind of Calpol High. She bounced off the walls ALL DAY. She whinged at everything, needed my help with everything, didn’t want snuggles, didn’t want to watch DVDs. She didn’t know what to do with herself and equally didn’t want to sit still.

Mid-Morning Desperation

By 1.00pm I had eaten two yorkie bars, two Pain au Chocolat, crisps and for lunch sausages, chips and beans. I felt yukky, tired and very down. And I felt sad that I wanted to be back at work and that once again I get so easily frustrated and knocked down when looking after my girls. I hadn’t had a shower, and felt like such a mess when doing the school run that afternoon.

I tried to redress some of the balance by making an effort for tea. I was inspired by a photo an Instagram blogger mummy2my4girls  had posted of her family tea. I made a rainbow plate of vegetables, hoummus, cheese and crackers. The girls really enjoyed that and we all shared together. There was nothing left!

Rainbow Plate for tea

I went back to work the next day, but the rest of the week I have felt de-motivated, grumpy, craved and ate bad foods. I missed my yoga class and didn’t go out walking. I have slept most evenings on the sofa, my nights in bed have been restless and interrupted.

I am determined to start fresh next week. I suspect that what has happened this week is a combination of tiredness mixed with time of the month. The fact that I have felt it so strongly reminds me that if I wasn’t on my meds, I would probably have had a meltdown or two.

This week has been a stark reminder of why I am currently medicating, and also how far I have come in my self-awareness. These points below are probably very obvious to any reader of this post, but I have been reminded of their importance this last week.

    1. Going to work is so important for me and helps me feel in control. I love my girls so much, but the best thing for them is for me to work each day.
    2. Eating the right food has more of an effect on my mood than I have ever realised.
    3. Sleep Deprivation or an interrupted routine increases my depression and anxiety very quickly.
    4. Exercise effects my mood more than I realise. I don’t necessarily notice positive effects immediately, but I do quickly notice the negative effects when I stop.
    5. The support of my husband, family and friends is priceless.
    6. My mood can deteriorate in a day, but the effects last for at least a week. I need to be patient and allow myself to recover and not be too hard on myself during this time.

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