depression, Weight Watchers, Wellness Wheel, William

There is a fine line between enabling and sabotaging – Wm.

Today I will be going to the gym for the third time this week. I don’t want to. I want, so badly, to find some way to entice Wm to just come home after work so we can eat potato chips and baked goods and watch Thursday night comedies. But I won’t. I’ll meet him at the gym and do my first week walking workout.

This winter was not our best for responsible behavior, I have to admit. Wm was dealing with the low feelings that come with unemployment and I was dealing with a resurgence of depression and, unbeknownst to me, anemia. Neither of us were too interested in keeping the house clean. I didn’t have the energy to make healthy changes for myself, let alone encourage him to make them. I could barely stay awake the entire day. It wasn’t pretty and the house was a pig stye. And the idea of doing anything about was entirely too overwhelming. Story of my life.

Then Wm said, “We are killing each other.”

That was upsetting because it was true. We were feeding into each others worse most unhealthy and irresponsible behaviors. And it was a real wake up call for me. I wanted to be something good in his life, not something that drug him down into my depression.

Ever since that day, I’ve been making baby steps towards making a healthy life for both us. Three weeks on iron pills has made a world of difference in my energy level. I’ve switched to a different antidepressant. A 15 mins of cleaning/ 15 mins not cleaning system has helped me start getting the house in order. We’ve both been working on better habits to keep a tidy house.

Wm’s been making friends at work, and hanging out with them, which makes him happy. Last night, I even went out with them. I don’t mind being the only girl. It’s cool. I need to get out of the house more.

I’ve begun to bring home fewer chips and more fruits and vegetables. We’ve discussed going on Weight Watchers, and the dietary changes I’ve been making are leading up to that. Again, starting immediately just seemed so overwhelming. So we babystep. This week we’ve started meeting at the gym after Wm gets off work.

And that is why I will not try to entice Wm to just come home after work and play Portal 2. Because we’d rather love each other than kill each other.

Cooking and food, depression, Weight Watchers, Wellness Wheel, Wellness Wheel: Physical

Ok, let’s just get this over with and then move on.

Wellness-Wheel-Physical.png I have a confession to make. I’ve avoided talking about it because, oh I don’t know, SHAME. And the hope that it would all just magically go away. I’ve gained a lot of weight in the past year. Summer of 2008 I was the skinniest I had been since Jr. High. But by summer of 2009 I had gained a great deal of the weight I had lost on the diet I started 3.5 years ago.

I never believed I would gain it back. I thought, not me, if I start to gain even a little weight, I will nip that right in the bud. Well, I not only nipped it, but I ate the entire bud. So to speak. I can break my weight gain down into three phases.

Phase One: Wil’s schedule changed in summer of ’08, to a 2pm to 10 pm schedule. On the one hand, I was THRILLED I did not have to figure out what to make for dinner each night. Sometimes I would make something that would leave us with leftovers that Wil could take to work the next day. However, this meant we were both eating a lot more crap. A lot of snacky and fast food. His schedule went back normal in the fall, but the damage had already begun. I had lost interest in preparing healthy dinners.

Phase Two: I discovered French Toast flavored bagels at the Safeway. I ate them ALL THE TIME. They smelled just like french toast or pancakes. But the taste was much more subtle cinnamon/ maple. They are delicious. Before Wil’s schedule changed back, I would sometimes eat nothing else but these bagels all day. During phase two, I attempted to go on Weight Watchers. That was in November. But I decided I would like to start making Christmas cookies instead. Of course, then I would eat them and have to make more.

Phase Three: In reality, all phases are affected by the return of my depression. I do believe that was the biggest culprit into my weight gain. Some need to fill the emptiness I felt with bagels, cookies and tiny cherry pies. It never works. So I started a new antidepressant and INSTANTLY gained 20 lbs. I kid you not. BAMF! Weight gain. I went on Weight Watchers again and lost 1.4 over five weeks. I gave up. I went off the pills to try without their side effects, but the physical symptoms were too bothersome. I could psych myself out of the mental, but the physical ones were taking their toll. Additionally, Wil and I were eating these delicious Angus Beef Hot Dogs all summer. We ate them regularly for lunch, sometimes for dinner when it was hot. We’d stick them in the toaster over and cook them until they were crispy. Man, they are so good. And big, you had to use a hoagie roll because they were too big for hot dog buns. It wasn’t until recently I looked at the fat content. TWENTY FREAKIN’ GRAMS OF FAT! And we ate them like candy. 

And there you have it. I put off saying anything about it. I am back on Weight Watchers. I wanted to have a bit of success before I blogged about it. The first week I lost 1.2lbs, which was disappointing as the first week is usually your biggest weight loss. The 2nd week I lost another 1.2lbs. But this last weigh-in was a loss of 2.4lbs. Weight Watchers yelled at me for losing more than 2 lbs a week. That felt nice since I know I ate over my points that week. (early birthday dinner.)

I had to bring it up because it is part of addressing that physical spoke on the Wellness Wheel. And because being overweight has a ripple effect across your entire life. So it’s bound to show up again, in future blog posts.


books, Satan's Bookclub, Wellness Wheel, Wellness Wheel: Intellectual

Do you like books? Satan does. Pssst… this is my Monday Announcement

I love to read and I do it a lot. I also like to go to readings and book signings, something I used to do more often when I lived in the states.I used to read a lot of book blogs as well. And all of these activities led to creating Satan’s Bookclub with Louise. I created it, did a couple of reviews, but I let it slide. I don’t remember why. Probably met a boy online or something. wink wink.

In the last few months, I’ve been thinking about bringing it back. Suddenly, it was a week before Banned Book Week (the original inspiration for the site) and I jumped in and redesigned it.
With the exception of reading books, I feel that I have ignored the intellectual pie piece of my umm… life pie. I’m not learning anything, or using my brain overly much. That is evidenced by my lackluster blogging, for one. Satan’s Bookclub will, I hope, renew my deeper interest in books and book news, as well as force me to to think and articulate my opinions on the books I read.
In other words, I am going to exercise my brain. If you are unfamiliar with Satan’s Bookclub, you can read it’s history and manifesto here. Please stop on by.

Wellness Wheel, Wellness Wheel: Financial

Due to budget cuts we had to sell the plastic skeleton and replace it with this Halloween costume. Also, the class trip to Italy is now “Spaghetti Night” in the school cafeteria, and your $1500 deposit is non refundable. Goodnight!

Wellness-Wheel-Financial-.png By far, one of my biggest issues to address is my financial situation. I should say our financial situation. We’ve both been unemployed for months. We have no idea when I will be able to work and living on one unemployment check is not easy. So not easy that we are not doing it. We are draining our reserves.

I desperately need to acknowledge the difference between necessity and luxury. I’m bad at that. For years I pretty much bought what I wanted, within reason of course. But if I wanted a book, I bought it. If I wanted a dvd, I bought it. If I wanted a trip to the spa, I went.

I very much want a trip to the spa right now. But I am not going. I cannot say I am as careful with books. DAMN YOU KINDLE FOR THE iPHONE! (and bless you. Books on demand wherever I am? This is the future I always dreamt of)

That is not my only problem, however. In addition to watching unnecessary spending, I need to find a way to be smarter about the money we do need to spend. Primarily, I figure, on food. With that in mind…

Does anyone have a good recommendation for a book about budgeting, for someone who is terrible with money? Something simple?

Wellness Wheel

Rolling right along.

I mentioned last week that I had a lot of plans in the works. So many, you’d think I was crazy. But it’s all part of one big plan. Well, this is that plan.

The Wellness Wheel.


Ta-da! Google Wellness Wheel and you’ll find lots of different descriptions, but it all leads to the same idea: a life of balance. I’ve seen wheels with different descriptions in their pie pieces, some say “Career” instead of “Intellectual,” and some only have 6 slices. For me, I went with the one I saw on my alma mater’s website. I prefer the emphasis on my intellect, rather than just my career.

Financial – Accessing the resources and skills that allow you to accomplish your goals

  • Developing skills to manage resources.
  • Planning for future needs.
  • Learning to spend wisely.
  • Living on a budget.

Spiritual – A positive perception of the meaning and purpose of life.

  • Participating in spiritual activities, however you define them.
  • Respecting your individuality and allowing yourself to grow and change.
  • Being open to different cultures, religions and philosophies.
  • Reflecting on your life, perhaps spending time to meditate daily.

Emotional – Possession of a secure self-identity and a positive sense of self-regard; also the ability to cope with and/or improve unpleasant mood states.

  • Keeping a positive attitude.
  • Being sensitive to your feelings and the feels of others.
  • Learning to cope with stress. Being realistic about your expectation.
  • Taking responsibility for your own behavior.
  • Viewing challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles.

Intellectual – Exploring and developing your intellect.

  • Exploring what interests you; opening yourself up to new experiences.
  • Developing active listening skills.
  • Leaning because want to – not because you are told to.
  • Learning through varied experiences and media.
  • Listening; observing what’s around you.
  • Questioning.

Physical – A perception and expectation of physical health.

  • Exercising regularly; living an active life.
  • Developing an awareness of your eating and drinking habits and how they impact your health.
  • Getting regular check-ups.
  • Eating healthy.

SocialParticipating in positive social relationships, including friends, family, community and work groups.

  • Respecting and honoring diversity; developing and understanding and appreciating differences.
  • Contributing your time and energy to activities within your community.
  • Learning to constructively express ideas and opinions.
  • Developing friendships.
  • Budgeting and balancing your time to include both responsibilities and relaxation.
  • Being comfortable with and liking yourself as a person

EnvironmentalDeveloping an awareness of the environment that surrounds you, and enhancing your relationship with it.

  • Finding satisfaction and worth in your working and living environments.
  • Working to ensure the stability and longevity of our natural resources.
  • Ensuring that your work environment and relationships are comfortable.
  • Being aware of your place in the natural environment. 

If you picture your life like a wheel, it will only roll along nicely if each of the seven sections are fulfilled equally. Otherwise your get a bumpy ride, right? Clichéd, but true.

I’m hoping that this approach will help bring focus and structure to my life. And my blog. I’m going to be document my efforts to address each section of the wheel in my life. Failures and successes. I will still write the random crap I’ve always written, don’t worry.

Anyway… I have to go focus on my Environment, it’s a mess.