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Has anyone managed to break the depression/bad lifestyle cycle? I'm looking for advice.

(73 Posts)
clutteredup Thu 10-Jul-08 16:52:10

DD2 is 18mo and I feel like I've just started to crawl out from under a mushy haze mainly due to DH now working near home again. As a result of the last 18 months, having 3 DC at home on my own most of the time and DH being stressed with work, DD2 not sleeping, I have put on 1 1/2 stones in weight and do no exercise and manage on a very base level to keep the DC fed, clothed and to school and back. DS, 7 yo, has not improved at school at all this year and I know this is my fault for not being there to support his school work and DD1 is constantly whining for attention as I can't give them all the attention they need.
Anyway I know that if I exercised more and ate better that I would feel less down and get more done - the thing is it sounds easy but I'm so tired all the time I can't get motivated to exercise and when I feel down I eat badly and eat the wrong things.
I was wondering if anyone else had been here and managed to break the cycle successfully so they can tell me how they started. I just can't seem to make the first move, I try and then give up half way through the day.
TIA

filthymindedvixen Thu 10-Jul-08 17:08:31

well, I'd say, start small. You can't change everything overnight. Otherwise you'll be overwhelmed and more likely to 'fail'.

What area would you like to focus on first?
To start, you could buy food which is healthier - and use that to snack on. Make sure you eat regularly - little and often will help balance your blood sugar levels so you don't get spikes of suagr followed by huge a slump.
So breakfast could be porridge, muesli with fruit, or egg on brown toast and OJ.
Exercise can start with just walking.
If DH is working near home again, start with just one evening a week where you can give ds 10 mins 1-1.

Anyway, pick one area to focus on and write a list of 'goals' related to that.
eg 1) drink more water
2) eat breakfast

and so on, little by little.

The important thing is you have made that decision to change something

itati Thu 10-Jul-08 17:09:50

<Joins thread> as similar goals.

clutteredup Thu 10-Jul-08 17:11:19

Thankd FMV - i think you're right about doing it bit by bit. I want to do it all now and its so overwhelming it just gets me down and then I go back again. I'll try and start this evening, though it looks like I might be spending this evening in casualty as DD2 has hurt her arm.sad

clutteredup Thu 10-Jul-08 17:13:25

<waves> itati - I think we've just met.
Please see more questions on my other thread.
Do you want to do this together - it might help to have support?

itati Thu 10-Jul-08 17:14:06

Hello! Just answered on your arm thread.

Would love to try together

filthymindedvixen Thu 10-Jul-08 17:17:29

doing it together is a great idea
Sorry to hear about dd.

So, when you get back this evening, write one goal for tomorrow.
And stick to it. Build up slowly. There's a really yawny phrase they use a lot in various business-speak motivation stuff called SMART working, but it does make sense....
Each step should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.

clutteredup Thu 10-Jul-08 17:21:27

Thanks filthy - can you be our mentor - it sounds like you know what you're talking about.

itati Thu 10-Jul-08 17:22:32

My prob is this - I have real food issues from not being fed much as a child. I feel happy if fridge is full and stressed if nothing in it. Nothing makes me happier than cooking and baking for the kids and watching them eat a good meal (even if it is bankcrupting me atm.)

I want and need to loose weight but never get chance for a proper breakfast, nor can manage much that early, better at 9 ish. I have salad/pasta salad for lunch which isn't really enough then a proper dinner with hubby at 7 once he is home and kids are in bed. Eating back to front.

filthymindedvixen Thu 10-Jul-08 17:22:57

oh and can I insist on you both findng one thing (at least) each day which you are proud of (doesn't have to be something you did that day, could be passing your cycling proficinecy age 12 grin) and focussing on that.
And one thing (at least) which you are grateful for....
Write them down. Remind yourself of them often. See how many you can build up to.

clutteredup Thu 10-Jul-08 17:37:54

Sounds good, FMV, I'll get onto it after I get back from the hospital.

filthymindedvixen Fri 11-Jul-08 10:15:03

morning, have you set a goal for today? Am I being too bossy grin?

itati Fri 11-Jul-08 10:46:52

Feel sick today but have planned soup and toast for lunch. Does that count?

filthymindedvixen Fri 11-Jul-08 10:59:51

it certainly does
Babysteps, babysteps...!

clutteredup Fri 11-Jul-08 17:33:24

Oops should have posted this morning but too busy a day.
How are you itati - not got this lurgi that's going round have you? How did you get on today?
I planned to drink 8 glasses of water at filthy's suggestion and also have a proper breakfast.
Doing well on the water front 5 glasses at last count- and I had a boiled egg for brak ( on the run!!) this morning. I have been too busy today to sit and eat biscuits, so that's good too.
I'm not going to mention that being busy involved meeting DH for lunch with the DDs, or that I'm going out tonight for a curry blush blush , but as you say babysteps hmm
Thank you filthy this has helped, i'm starting to feel better already.
DS had his school report today and apart from his writing - terrible- everything else is much better than I expected, so it was a good opportunity to get him a handwriting book and start doing some stuff together. DD1 who is 5 wanted to sit down and do the same book so hopefully we can get into a bit of a habit with this too.

filthymindedvixen Fri 11-Jul-08 17:39:36

<<waves pom poms encouragingly>>

Now, I'm off for the weekend, so keep on with your goal-setting, praise yourselves lots for any achievements, and keep counting your blessings. And remember, Happiness is not a fixed destination, it's more about appreciating the tiny little pockets of calm between the showers of sh**! grin

That's not a metaphor which is going to win me any literary plaudits, is it...hmm

itati Fri 11-Jul-08 19:19:48

Not sure I did particulary well. Don't remember breakfast, had soup and toast for lunch, too shattered to cook so hubby gone for fish and chips. Got head ache now as well as tummy ache.

clutteredup Mon 14-Jul-08 10:40:54

How are you doing itati? sounds like you're poorly.
I haven't done terribly well at eating particularly healthily this weekend but i did keep busy enough not to snack in between. I have had breakfast this morning and am determined to steer clear of the biscuit tin all day today. I reckon if for now I keep to eating only at mealtimes that will be my target for the week. This is going to be the hard one but thanks filthy for the support, if i can get through that then i might be able to feel like i can do other things too. I've found it hard to think of other achievements but i'm working on it and actually being a bit less hard on myself - I think I probably have achieved things i'm just not very good at praising myself for them - i can praise others easily.Might ask DH to help as it might be better coming from someone else - if he can think of anything that is!!!!!!

Bluestocking Mon 14-Jul-08 10:45:09

Hi Clutteredup! Am I right in thinking that Bouncy Ben was one of your DCs' toys?
My tip would be to use a calendar and write your mini-goals on it - when I was recovering from depression (with the aid of a lot of counselling and ADs) I used to write what I planned to eat in the evening so I wouldn't just come home from work and either eat nothing or a packet of crisps.

filthymindedvixen Mon 14-Jul-08 13:52:51

good plan cluttered! And remember, every day is a new start and a new opportunity to meet your goals.

God, I sound like a piss-poor self-help book grin

Seriously though, eat little and often - find 'good' snacks to keep you going!
What sort of things do you like to eat? Maybe we can find some healthier alternatives?
Itati, how are you today?

itati Mon 14-Jul-08 17:19:15

Hi all, thanks for asking. Have booked GP appointment so have that tmw.
Have eaten with the kids as DH home early and my downfall will not be eating again later. I know that DH will probably have pate on toast later and I will have to say no. Have just told DH if he decides to eat later can he not tell me. I am also going to try and go swimming twice a week. I used to swim a lot when pregnant and got a bit jittery if I didn't go. Haven't swum lengths since our 2 nights away in Feb.

clutteredup Mon 14-Jul-08 17:30:26

Hi Bluestocking, yes we are the owners of the prodigal bunny, Bouncy Ben.
I like the idea of writing stuff down, I need to get myself organised but a calendar would do the trick - I'm drowning in pieces of paper and always lose the important ones. Planning meals would help as i always leave preparing meals till the last minute and then forget what I planned to cook.
FMV you are an excellent self help book - thank you grin I do actually like fruit and things like cherry tomatoes which I 'm trying to have . I had a bit of a friend's DSs birthday cake today but i did make sure I had less, I really have no will power to say no. But I had soup and 2 thin slices of french bread for lunch and just a bowl of cereal for breakfast and i have not had any biscuits!!!!
itati i hope you feel better soon, its hard to do things like this if you're feeling poorly so have something small when DH eats again - you need energy if you're poorly but ave a banana instead. My DH snacks on pate and toast too!

filthymindedvixen Mon 14-Jul-08 18:47:57

so, what are you going to have for breakfast then?
Something filling and with protein and some vitamins should set you up. Wholemeal toast with eggs and tomatoes? Mushrooms on toast? Porridge and some fruit?
Then you can have a snack at 10.30

And make sure you give yourselves a pat on the back for today's efforts.

LilRedWhiskGers Mon 14-Jul-08 18:58:16

Can I join in please? I'm weaning off my ADs at the moment, as they are making feel crud and would rather help myself out of this so that I can try to avoid taking any more ADs.

filthymindedvixen Mon 14-Jul-08 19:06:20

Lilred, are you getting support from your gp w/r weaning yourself off? Might another 'brand' of a/d help? You know not to come off them all at once, don't you, or you really will feel like crud.

But welcome, and do you have some small goals to start with?

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