Thursday, 31 December 2015

Better living through chemistry

I slept almost right through last night and woke up not feeling shattered - or groggy from the sleeping pill. What a difference!
Happy New Year! 
Woo hoo!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Yesterday...

Was a lovely day, but it ended with me too pissed to post.
My PiL arrived just before 10 and we chatted for a couple of hours before the taxi I'd booked arrived to take us out for lunch. My MiL, J, had booked our table based on TripAdvisor reviews and not much choice in the town where we live, and on arrival she wasn't that sure she'd picked well, but as you may be able to see, the food was very good. And not at all diety. Melon with parma ham, followed by a 10oz ribeye with chips, then honeycomb parfait for dessert. Apologies for the iPhone picture quality.



We left the pub at 2:30 and were driven home; as soon as we got home my FiL, S, and I changed and went for a walk. We covered about 5.5 miles and just in case we'd burned off any of our lunch calories we chose to stop at a Costa Coffee for a seasonal latte - and S added a couple of muffins we hadn't discussed while placing the order.
 After that completely unjustified snack we headed home to drink some more; much later I cooked a selection of Tesco & waitrose Christmas party foods for tea but no one could eat much of them sadly. We talked a lot, watched some TV, drank - some of us more than others - and generally had a really nice evening. 
They left quite early this morning to drive home to Wales and then I headed out for a walk despite the 40+ mph winds that nearly cost me a souvenir baseball cap I bought in Newport, Rhode Island on a US and Canada cruise many years ago. I also had a doctors appointment to renew my Citalopram prescription and while I was at it, got a sleeping pill prescription as well. Because I slept approx 15 minutes last night I'm afraid I'm having a ridiculously early night tonight and have already taken a sleeping pill to hopefully give me a better night tonight. I can hear the rain hammering against my bedroom window and it actually sounds cosy in that 'I have nowhere to be' kind of way. I won't be happy if it's still raining tomorrow but I'm hoping it will wear itself out over night. 
Tired now....

Monday, 28 December 2015

So Christmas is done

But not-Christmas, for me, lasts until next Sunday evening.
I was going to post on Friday but I did nothing at all post worthy. I went for a walk (less than 3 miles because my back starts aching at 3 miles just now), read a lot, watched TV a lot, and cooked a meal from my favourite Chinese cookbook that I've had since I was 18. I cooked Chinese just to be clear about it not being a Christmas dinner.
On Boxing Day I did all the above things again apart from cooking Chicken with Peanut Butter.
Yesterday... I did them again. 
If you read this far without falling asleep, congratulations. But before you feel sorry for me or reject me for extreme (even by my standards) tediousness you should know how much I need this right now. I'm still sleeping badly despite not being as depressed. (I have to get to the doctor this week for a renewal of my antidepressants prescription and will ask him for advice / help / more drugs) So I've basically been exhausted for months and now I'm merely tired. By the time I go back to work on the 4th I hope to be human again. However tomorrow my mother in law and father in law are visiting us which never fails to be a chaotic exercise in getting drunk and eating crap and not sleeping AT ALL so that could be a set back. Worth it though as I haven't seen her in over a year. They are coming back again in a couple of weeks to help us move house.
Anyway. As I mentioned above if I walk too far at the moment I ache. I've been meaning all week to double up on the shorter walks so I could still gets some decent miles in but the weather - and the fact that the more interesting walks along rivers and through woods are so slippery underfoot that I've had to stick to boring Street walking (so to speak) has put me off. I basically went out once a day maximum. But this morning was beautiful - sunny, much less windy, dry and mild. So today I did actually double up and managed almost 6 miles with no pain even though I was carrying shopping in my rucksack. This made me happy :-)
Foodwise I have not been so happy. I have mostly avoided bingeing and mostly avoided gluten - but haven't totally avoided either, and with feeling a little out of control on that front I've been getting anxious and also drinking a bit. Not massively, not enough to get drunk even with my lightweight tolerance, but pretty much daily, which is a habit I don't want to be in. I'm not going to kid myself that either year eating or the food will be right tomorrow with M's family visiting, but I'm going to try to do better for the rest of the week so I'm hopefully not suffering with dodgy digestion by the time I go back to work. At the moment I'm looking forward to that, which hopefully will make it easier to get back into it.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Singing in the rain

I wasn't singing in the rain.
I was swearing at the rain, which is different and probably more musical than any effort at singing I might be capable of.
And I am so tired of the wind. Although since reading about deadly tornadoes in the US I admit it could be so much worse.
Something else I'm tired of is being constipated because I ate toast on Sunday. It's Thursday today, right? Aaarrgghhhh 
I didn't risk weighing myself today. Once I'm unblocked is good enough time for that.
Today I finally heard that I will have a job in January, so that's one less thing to ridiculously stress over.
As the weather was appalling I stayed in this morning. After lunch it got better but M was nagging me to watch a movie so we watched the latest Mission Impossible film. To be fair I enjoyed it's ridiculousness and nonstop action.
After the movie I went for a walk and the weather had turned quite pleasant although of course it was getting close to sunset. Unfortunately my back protested again so between that and impending dusk I didn't go far or last long. I'm still glad I got out though.
As today I didn't do much I'll call it quits there and just say Merry Christmas to those who do it, Happy long weekend for those who don't - and leave it at that 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

What a beautiful morning

I know that the forecast for tomorrow is pretty horrible but it was sunny for most of the morning here - almost too bright, with the sun being so low in the sky at this time of year.
I went for a walk this morning and popped out to be shorn this afternoon for another easy six + mile day. My walk was mainly on the roads as everything is so muddy at the moment, but it felt good most of the way. I did have some back ache again though, and I really hate it when walking hurts - it used to provide some relief.
This afternoon I did one of my least favourite activities - got my hair cut. It was long overdue (I used the excuse of not going in there with a heavy cold when it was actually due and then just kept putting it off) and my hair was in a reasonably awful state. I actually caught myself considering growing it out just to avoid going to the hairdresser - despite the fact that I know perfectly well long hair does not suit me at all. If I knew I would be unemployed (with no interviews) for a few months I'd actually be tempted to shave my head rather than let someone loose on it with scissors. Still, I'm always happier with it when it's been done and this time was no exception. Plus she took off at least a pound of hair :-)
Speaking of pounds I haven't dared weigh myself since Wednesday or Thursday of last week. I must get back into that, but I'm a little afraid I might be so upset by the number on the scales that I decide to binge for comfort 'because I've already screwed everything up so badly'. Maybe tomorrow.... Or the next day 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

I love holidays

Yesterday after posting in the morning I ate 100% perfectly (drinking is another matter as I had a Coors Lite - only one though) and today everything I've eaten has been from the animal kingdom apart from some artificial sweeteners in the form of sugar free soda and sugar free jelly. Why is this significant? Because from Thursday to Sunday I was face down in a bathtub of carbs, most of them unhealthy. I didn't binge at the weekend but very little of wine ate fitted on my plan. I even had chips on Saturday and rice on Friday and Sunday! I know I told you that I would get back to things on Monday and I did - but I expected it to be really hard after multiple days of evil and I was very surprised to find it really easy. Today wasn't hard either, and today I  was also booze free.
Yesterday I walked almost 6.5 miles and mostly enjoyed it - but I did notice my back started aching a bit on the last hill, as it had on Sunday as well after a good few miles. Today I wanted to walk but it wasn't comfortable and given the weather was so windy I decided to give it a miss. Right now it's pouring with rain outside and I have a horrible feeling that is not going to be the last time I say that this holiday. I will try to walk if it's not both windy AND raining, but make no promises if it is.
Still no news about whether I'm going to be employed in January...

Monday, 21 December 2015

Lovely weekend

This weekend was my not-Christmas-because-I'm-not-doing-Christmas visit to my Mum and I also spent Sunday with my brother.
I caught the train quite early - before it was light - and arrived only 15 minutes late due to signal problems in Wiltshire. The forecast said it would be wet in the morning and drier in the afternoon, so we decided to wait till after lunch to go out. Sadly the actual weather was the other way around so we stayed in through the dry morning and then called off our afternoon plans when it started raining literally the minute I got out of their car. We'd been planning to walk around Lacock, so rain would not have done much for that.
So instead we stayed in and chatted and watched old episodes of Midsomer Murders - it was really relaxing and enjoyable.
Sunday my brother picked me up around 10 and we drove to Batheaston, parked up near the Kennet and Avon canal, and walked along the tow path to Bath. 



Growing up I loved Bath and went there a lot but after I moved away it got less and less frequent, and yesterday was the first time I'd been for at least a decade. It's still a beautiful city! 







I recognised the buildings but most of the shops had changed. We expected it to be really crowded but it was surprisingly civilised. For lunch Street bought me a Caribbean goat curry from a Hut set up not too far from the train and bus stations and it was lovely.
After walking all around the city we made our way back to the canal, returned to the car, and then went to his house for an hour so I could make a big fuss of his cat before my train.


The only downside of the weekend was extreme tiredness caused by insomnia Friday and Saturday nights - if we hadn't been out and about I might well have slept through half of Sunday. Instead I walked 12.5 miles by the time I got home and it was great!

Friday, 18 December 2015

BAH humbug

Today was the company Christmas Lunch and before that the Secret Santa and awards and recap of the last year. I didn't go to the lunch or partake on the rest because I'm antisocial, tight, and a Grinch.
Even when I am less miserable I hate, loathe and despise Nerf Guns - and every year here at least 10 people get either a Nerf gun or ammo for the one they got last year, so every year on this day Nerf War breaks out in the office. THIS IS WHY I WANTED TO WFH TODAY.
Sadly because I still have no extension I had to go in to hand over my laptop and security pass. And, more importantly but less sadly get my time sheet signed so I can invoice them ASAP.
I spent quite a bit of today in the ladies room hiding from the slightly forced gaiety and hilarity and planning a gruesome death for any colleague(s) who might hit me with a Nerf dart. 
Scrooge was a sappy soft hearted tree hugger next to me - and I'm talking about the first half of the book! 
I should have taken a day off.
Anyway. It was impossible to handle all the impotent rage and stick to my diet as well. No one could have done it.
Starting tomorrow with my new plan. Actually maybe Monday as I'm visiting my mum tomorrow for the weekend. So I calmed myself from homicidal rage to mere simmering hatred with chocolate and we had a takeaway tonight. A disappointing Chinese - there are no good Chinese takeaways in this area apparently. 
M & I are both now on holiday till the 4th of January - assuming in my case that I have my extension sorted out by then. I really need this break...

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Thursday thoughts

I worked from home today because I couldn't face the office. I really hope the refurb job going on at the moment is the reason for my current dislike of the place since I really don't like it there right now. Of course that comment could be totally academic as tomorrow is currently my last day there.
I didn't eat completely to plan- I ate cashew nuts, which do not belong on a low carb diet let alone a zero carb / carnivorous one, and I drank hot chocolate (made with pure unsweetened chocolate, double cream and Splenda, but still...)
I have completely lost my diet mojo it seems- but I think I've figured out why.
When I started eating zero carb I skewed my meals towards the first half of the day and when I started fasting I skewed it further, eating at least 800 calories for breakfast, which was sometimes uncomfortable. Then I eased back on breakfast, it became much smaller, and as a result was actually hungry during the day. As a binge eater I don't deal well with hunger. Add in even a little stress - like illness / injury/ job worries and insomnia and it's hardly surprising I turned to old habits to feel happier/ relieve stress or even just to boost my energy levels.
I feel a bit dumb for not realising sooner, but now that I do I intend to go back to the massive breakfast, reasonable lunch and very small or nonexistent dinner pattern and see if it enables me to get back on track. I will include small amounts of mushrooms, garlic, onions and green vegetables such as broccoli and courgette. And see how it goes :-)

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Made it to the office Wednesday

Wrote this yesterday and forgot to click publish apparently - that never happened before :-)

And today I got here the old fashioned linear way that didn't involve driving half way to London.
I got into the office just before 7 and literally no one else was in there until just before 8. It was quiet obviously, which I normally like, but also creepy and lonely and I wanted to go home by about 7:15. Then I discovered that today would actually have been a good day to work from home because our team (6 people including me) currently has only 5 desks (and at least one person WFH every day - or hot desking) and today the whole team is in the office because everyone except me was going out for a seasonal team lunch. I suspect it was taken for granted that I would WFH (don't know why...) so no one bothered to ask. I came in so I could silently stare at my boss telepathically reminding him for the 13455677889th time that my contract expires on Friday and I don't yet know if I'm coming back in January. Again. Anyhow I begged the guy who had to hot desk to take my desk while I went home but he refused. And the lunch was postponed to tomorrow so I have the same dilemma / opportunity again.
At lunchtime I went for my walk and read the archives of a defunct blog by one of my favourite bloggers all the way there and all the way back again. Which was enjoyable but I still miss my walking buddy.
No binge today but I didn't eat well either due to people bringing in chocolate.  I did eat my intended meals though, it was just a couple of extra naughty bits as well.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

I didn't want to go into the office today

But I went out and got in my car and started driving in anyway. You know, being a grown up and doing the necessary rather than desirable thing.
I realised exactly how deep in my subconscious the 'don't wanna' went when I drove past my turn off for the M4 and then, instead of staying on the same A road towards Reading that would still get me to work, took a turn off onto the M4 that was heading towards London instead of Wales! I had to drive to the next junction (which of course involved some time in a traffic jam), turn around and drive back. It added 20 minutes to my journey (which in the morning generally takes only 25 minutes) and I still ended up in the office. So conscious mind > subconscious mind and only I was inconvenienced.
But that doesn't happen when I work in my living room. Just sayin'.
I went for a walk at lunchtime in a light but persistent drizzle. I didn't really mind it and it kind of matched my mood since I am just a little bit... Subdued? Not really depressed like before, but not entirely on a new even keel either. Somewhere in between. 
I didn't binge today but didn't eat to plan either - I had a sausage roll for lunch and the pastry wasn't gluten free. I don't feel terrible for it but if you could hear the weird noises my stomach is making right now you'd probably agree I need to get over this apparent desire to destroy my digestive system. I don't know why I'm suddenly back to craving things that I know will do more harm than good but something strange is going on in my head. Or stomach. Maybe both. It's kind of tiring...

Monday, 14 December 2015

I binged again today

I had a fairly crappy stressful weekend and I good spontaneously anxious and agitated out of nowhere this morning. I walked to the supermarket at lunchtime, bought a load of crap and pigged out. 
Must. Find. Better. Coping. Mechanism 

Friday, 11 December 2015

Then again

I wrote this yesterday (most of it anyway) but was too tired to remember to post it. 

I'm feeling a bit low again at the moment. I'm sure it's just physical - fighting a cold while continuing to not sleep very well - but it's disappointing after such a short time of feeling so much more cheerful. Or maybe, though I very much doubt it, it's cabin fever from spending so much time working from home this week.
This morning I was struggling with the desire to ring in sick and just spend the day curled up in bed but as usual my mercenary contractor genes wouldn't let me lose the money for a day's work. Even though I woke up with such a bad headache I was taking painkillers before I even went to the loo - usually nothing comes before that. The painkillers did work but I felt groggy all morning because of my bad night last night.
I forced myself out for a walk at lunchtime  in the hope that the fresh air would clear my head. Then 3 minutes out I remembered that I was supposed to be staying in to take delivery of a new Sim card for M and had to go back. Still waiting for the sim prevented me going out after work as well. Then we found the sim under the flap of the cardboard box his phone came in on Thursday - a box I had checked twice. So I stayed in all day for no reason apart from my own daftness. 
I am aware that while I've been wallowing - and not walking much, let alone anything more energetic - the inactivity has probably been feeding the depression, the tiredness and the generally run down feeling I've had for too long, so if the weather doesn't actually stop me I need to try harder to do something some of the time. I'm fed up with myself at the moment so goodness knows how annoying everyone else must be finding me. 

Of course as soon as I reached that conclusion the weather turned to total crap. It's due to rain all weekend - thanks for that, weather goblins! I have some things to do today that I plan to use to force myself out anyway but who knows if I will...

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Nearly recovered

From the mini binge.
Today has felt a bit anticlimatic to be honest. Yesterday evening I found a bug that should have been picked up months ago - but wasn't. It isn't a massive thing but it's not insignificant either. I was expecting some fur to fly today but in fact everything was pretty quiet even once the bug had been reproduced and confirmed as a problem. It's not that I wanted lots of drama but it is a bit disconcerting when you're braced for it and nothing happens ;-)  Waiting for the other shoe to drop had me a little on edge and anxious but I'm happy to say I didn't overeat or eat anything outside my plan. It's not at all easy for me to resist bingeing again for a day or so after a binge and I can't claim there was no temptation - but it was totally manageable (with the help of cold, wet and windy weather to put me off going out)
As far as the cold goes it didn't - go. I still have the annoying (and weirdly tiring) cough and my sinuses are still inflamed. It's an odd sensation and hard to explain but when I cough or sniff I can feel it throughout my head - tightness or discomfort shooting through my head. Not pleasant and I hope it doesn't last long.
Because of the weather and the cold I didn't do anything energetic or interesting today so I'll leave off there and hope for a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Still here

So is the cold. I didn't post yesterday because it would have been just a catalogue of sniffles and sneezes and the only thing less fun than reading that would be living it!
I'm doing a bit better today - if I laugh I cough but the sneezing seems to have stopped so that's something. Though I have a fairly persistent niggling sinusy headache which is a bit annoying. 
I worked from home again and I had after work overtime again - thankfully  it didn't  take as long as last time. I don't mind being paid a bit extra but 14 hour days do not agree with me. Not that I enjoyed my 10 hr day today.
I went for a walk at lunchtime today and thoroughly enjoyed myself. This morning was beautiful - sunny and not too cold - and I was on tenterhooks wondering if it would last long enough for me to spend some time outside in the sunshine. It did - even though I didn't get to take my lunch time walk until nearly 2 because I was rushing to get ready for the deployment this evening!
My lunchbreak isn't long enough to get off trail and go into the woods or anything but even urban walking is pleasant when the sun is shining.
Unfortunately due to the stress of rushing to finish things I didn't eat a proper lunch and had a mini binge instead. Sigh. But it's probably a good sign that I see it more as a regrettable mistake than a hanging offence like I would have a little while ago. Now I just need to work on not doing it again....

Monday, 7 December 2015

If it's not one thing...

I have a cold. I think I caught it by reading Joy's blog :-)
OK, maybe it's more likely I caught it on the train or in the hospital on Thursday or possibly in the office Wednesday - the only days I mixed with other people.
On Friday it was a couple of sneezes but it was full blown on Saturday - just in time to make doing housework a royal pain (we're moving again in January and someone wanted to view the current house). I tried to persuade M to tell the letting agent to reschedule because the house had become a plague pit but he refused so just before 10 I headed out for a walk to avoid the viewing. Then the potential tenants cancelled. And the letting agent didn't bother calling us. So M had to call them to find out that the viewing wasn't happening. Why are people so inconsiderate?
Anyway by the time all this was happening I was a couple of miles away walking in a strong wind and slightly wishing I'd stayed home despite the viewing so as soon as I learned of the cancellation I headed for home.
On Sunday I didn't have the strength or inclination to go for a walk in the continuing high winds (and cold drizzle) so I stayed close to home and we watched Despicable Me 2. I want an army of Minions, does anyone know where I can find some?
Anyway again, despite the cold I'm still feeling on a more stable footing in terms of my mood so I think the pills are finally at effective dose and the worst should be over. Today I went in to the office even though I hate people taking their germs in to spread around because my desk had been moved over the weekend and I thought I had to reassemble everything; as it turned out, someone had already done it for me. I'm now surrounded by people where before I was tucked into a corner and the people behind me talked crap most of the morning till I was bordering on inappropriate yelling. But I was also feeling fairly crappy physically so at lunchtime I drove home and worked the afternoon in bed - warmer, quieter, more peaceful and more relaxed. I need a job that allows me to work from home most of the time with occasional visits to the office once or twice a month... Just enough to stave off cabin fever!

Friday, 4 December 2015

All's well

Yesterday's appointment went really well surprisingly. I came out of the consultation 15 minutes BEFORE I was due to go in!!! You can appreciate my shock if you ever read about any other appointment I've had there.
According to the consultant I spoke to there is no sign of a recurrence of the swelling or fluid build up from earlier this year. Because it's been aching a bit lately he didn't discharge me, but said unless there was a change I didn't need to go back for 6 months.
The downside of the appointment of course is the usual pain and annoyance they always inflict - the pupil diluting drops that burn going in and the brighter than the sun lights they then shine into those poor, defenceless eyes. And the blurriness of all things for several hours. I made it back to the train station afterwards and promptly got on the wrong train! Luckily I heard an announcement of the stops with enough time in hand to cross the platform and board the correct train.
When I got home M persuaded me to have a celebratory takeaway. I plumped for a kebab, and we tried a new place - sadly it was disappointing. But still I was hungry, I assume because I'd walked 5 miles for the first time in at least a month and my usual feeding window hadn't provided enough calories for that. The walking was good but when I got home I had sore feet as well as blurry eyes, which just shows how inactive I've been lately. 
The blurry eyes stopped me writing a post last night.
This morning I had a headache which is common after the above mentioned torture session so I worked from home. As I was supposed to be moving desk this afternoon so the office refurbishment can move into my usual space I was glad to avoid the disruption and racket too.
At lunchtime I made it out for a walk - wearing sunglasses because it was quite bright and a nice day. The feet didn't protest too much, I figure they probably worked out that I'm getting back to normal and just accepted their fate.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The sun shone

Yes, I'm feeling good today. I won't keep up the corny metaphors, don't worry!
That isn't entirely a metaphor anyway as it was sunny today for about 2 hours - and miraculously one of them was my lunch break. Yes, I did go for my (formerly) regular 2 mile walk - even though my (former) walk buddy was stuck in a meeting and I was walking alone. I didn't stick my head in a book or wallow in depressive introspection either, I'm happy to report - I just ambled along enjoying the sunshine, the mild temperature and the movement. 
I felt like me.
After work I popped to the shop and enjoyed even that - apart from the queueing. M had a takeaway this evening to celebrate having some good news about a contract extension for him (I'm once again waiting to hear about mine) but I'd eaten too much earlier in the day as I'm getting back into the fasting so I didn't bother joining him. I considered getting something to have for breakfast /lunch tomorrow but decided cold or reheated kebab for lunch didn't sound all that celebratory so gave it a miss.
Tomorrow I am working from home because - are you sitting down? - my ophthalmology appointment wasn't postponed and is due to happen tomorrow afternoon! I know, I'm amazed too. I'm actually really really glad because THE eye has started aching a little bit the last couple of weeks and it will be good to get it checked out. Could just be the time of year or all the crying I was doing, in which case no worries, but oddly enough I'm not inclined to take much on trust where my eye's concerned. However the appointment is right at the end of the clinical day - 4:15 - so they're bound to be running pretty late by then and I've no idea what time I'll get home afterwards. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

So tired

But still feeling better and more positive (or possibly delirious with exhaustion)
After finishing work at 10:30 last night I was too hyper with frustration and stress from the issues we'd been having to go straight to sleep - it was after 11 before I turned off the light and I was awake again before 3 am, so not a very satisfying night's sleep.
I got up at my usual time and stumbled around like a clumsier than normal drunk first thing so I didn't risk getting behind the wheel of the car, working from home instead. Which was really hard to do because the day after a deployment is usually quite quiet (unless things went really badly) and I was far too bored to focus on reading documents and planning testing, which was all I had on my plate today.
This morning, even though the day was grey and uninspiring, I actually briefly wanted to go for a walk - wanted to! Sadly I was too hungry at lunchtime to follow through, but just getting back the inclination felt good, I was almost excited at the prospect :-)
In fact I did go out after work but as it was getting dark it was a very short walk. But after a couple of weeks spending my lunch breaks at my desk and my weekends lying down it felt good to do something....however little.

Food today:
Breakfast: burgers with cheese 
Lunch: bacon, eggs and homemade sausage