A brief overview before I start: I have been living with depression my whole life. At 19 I was diagnosed and at 21 I decided to really do something about it. Here are things I do and have done for years that help.
Ever since I have started this blog (4 years ago now) I have been practising gratitude. Even before that my journals are riddled with things I love and things I’m looking forward to.
Its hella simple. Each night before you go to bed, write down THREE things you enjoyed about your day from coffee to seeing a friend ETC.
After that, another THREE things you’re looking forward to from getting a goodnight sleep to listening to your favourite album.
This Friday, JP and I went all out and got very drunk. Oops! I needed to let my hair down and boy did I do that. Yesterday we pretty much chilled in bed and hung out which was one of those nice moments where you know you love someone. Today we woke up and carpe’d the fuck out of the diem with Brax in tow. The vege markets had the best spread ever and afterwards Brax went bananas at the dog beach then later at the dog park. I am going to miss my weekends with him coz he’s so great and I’m cool with being unbiased about it.
We even had sun today, guys. It was so bloody nice. I wish I was feeling the body love for myself to get in my togs and go for a swim. A storm is heading our way overnight so I’m stoked we got some vitamin D. I haven’t taken my meds in 2 days so it must’ve done something?
This week I swear I’m getting back into fitness. By the looks of it I’ll need to be my own motivation but that I can do! I’m thinking of doing 3-5 times a week to start. I say 3-5 coz it can sometimes depend on what JP is doing etc but 3 minimum and 5 maximum.
Little things: coffee; JP being the real MVP; having some alone time; My Favourite Murder; pretty sunsets; clean sheets; seeing Loki after periods of being away from him; Tony Moly lipsticks; whoever created suncream, caps and sunglasses; gorgeous days getting the washing dry; banter with old school friends; really well cooked fries; having my iPhone screen fixed and my living arrangement always.
One of my favourite things in the world is when Aimee and I go for a drive and Loki puts his head out of the window. He makes everyone smile with his hair blowing in the wind while he is almost half way out the window. He would be flying if he had his own way.
Anyway, I took a hiatus. I was sick for pretty much a month straight and I’m finally better. I also started fearing what I was writing and didn’t think anything I wrote was good enough. I’ve now got over the fear it’s okay.
This weekend was one of the nicest weekends I’ve had in a while. My dad has gone away and asked JP and I to break Brax out of the kennel in the weekend. Naturally, I was all for it coz I love Brax more than most things. We took him to two different beaches and I hand fed him chicken for being such a good boy. Despite him being massive, he still jumps on my knee and occasionally manages to balance on there long enough for me to cuddle him like I did when he was a puppy. We had to drop him back at the end of the day which was hard (he’s too big for my place and Lord Loki isn’t a fan) We made pizzas on Saturday night then we went to the Carter Observatory which we both haven’t done in 20 years (!!!) and it was so, so cool. Afterwards we got Scopa hot chocolate and chilled.
My phone screen has been cracked for a while so I also had a social media break which by the way was harder than I thought. I couldn’t sleep last night because I didn’t have a podcast to fall asleep to so today I have been a total zombie. I got my screen fixed today so I’m looking forward to falling asleep to This American Life tonight.
Little things: fitness tights (swore I would never and now im CONVERTED!); JP and his spontaneous nature; Brax ❤️, big cuddles with Loki; The People vs O.J Simpson; JP making up songs about Loki while Loki stands in the door frames being very confused; sleep; having my health back; finally being able to take selfies again; having meals prepped in the freezer; fluffy buttermilk pancakes; having that one day of sun; having some Anna time; having a great boss; coffee and morning scones; being able to renew our lease during this housing crisis; and having Aimee live right next door to me!
My first proper week back at work has been nuts. I think it’s going to be a quiet day and that I’ll get work that I’ve been going nuts about for ages done. On the contrary! Friday I managed to get some work done and sort myself out a bit. Such a good feeling. I literally ran out of the place when it hit ten to five! Aimee picked me up after work and we went and saw Lala Land. I was so impressed and left the movie feeling a kind of happy I haven’t felt in a while. Despite living together we don’t spend a lot of quality BFF time so it was nice to a) not drink b) do something I literally never do and c) hang out. I mean, our bedrooms are right next door to each other and we chat but we also respect each other’s personal space.
Little things: eating really good; getting my fringe trimmed; Lala Land; My Favourite Murder; buying exercise leggings for the first time (revolutionary); Waitoa roast chickens; my job; good workouts; ‘cassh me outside howbow dah’; chicken and rice balls; buying fresh peaches and nectarines everyday; peppermint and apple blackcurrant teas; getting to the gym all by myself; coffee, lazy days in bed and long weekends
Guys I got to the gym! I used to work at a fast fashion store with a lovely girl called Iria. We worked at different stores and even now that we’ve parted we still always say hey and do the awkward ‘we should catch up!’ Back and forth but never do. After bitching and moaning about my weight she kindly put me on to her boyfriend who was a PT at the time. I had endeavoured to start PT sessions in the New Year but he found a different career pathway to explore. Iria so kindly took me through the best work out I have done in so long. It wasn’t easy looking at us work out in the mirror especially since getting big and once being so small. I arrived at the gym at 5:20 and we left at 8 so I was bloody excited to get home and eat.I am feeling sore today but it is the day to smash out another work out.
Iria is super inspiring to me because she started at the same weight I am and has literally has one of the best bodies ever. She has a no nonsense approach to the gym and girl goes there to WORK! We mixed up a lot of different exercises and focused on doing small sets with 3-4 reps and doing the exercise right rather than struggle through a set of 15 x 3-4, which I usually do, and do the reps with gusto rather than half assing it.
I’ve been getting back into my salads again and making us more vegetarian meals which is a nice change. Dr Libby’s book has really drummed the importance of overall well being into my brain. I’m drinking less coffee and more tea, I’ve started buying more natural skin care, and I’ve become a lot more aware of my breathing! I have even cut down on smoking (I am quitting but doing so slowly) going from 3/4 of a packet a day to one in the morning and maybe 4-6 in the evening.
I am truly lucky. This weekend, JP and I roadtripped up to Raglan. We’ve talked about going there for so long so JP asked if I wanted to go and the sweet angel paid for everything. Spending good quality time together when we’ve been together for 3 years is so nice. I never thought that night we met at the pub that we’d be here now! We stopped at Rotorua on the way up for the night and a vicious tummy bug meant I couldn’t really do too much. The next morning we woke up early and explored Raglan. What an amazing place! We are both at that stage that while we love Wellington, we are ready to move somewhere. Not yet but in the next couple of years for sure!
Little things: frozen raspberries; toasted seeds in salads; Dr Libby; having decent amounts of alone time; concerts at the Botanical Gardens; clean sheets; Loki loo and Aimee too!
Me in all my chubby glory
Finally back from holiday, fatter and more fabulous than ever. Just kidding, I got really sick on Boxing Day and lived on a fairly solid diet of bread and meat. And beer. Tis the season, amirite? I have been working on my self control like you would not believe. Aside from beers, pizza and curly fries last night I have been eating healthy for a full 3 days. I had scheduled a gym sesh with one of my old work mates who literally went from my size to having the best figure last year but, I’m feeling a bit poorly. This will be the last time I eat at maki mono!
My clothes were already feeling quite tight but over a period of nine days I managed to really push the boundaries. When I got home on Monday, Aimee said to me ‘Oh my GOD Anna your dress has split at the bum!’ I was MORTIFIED. Then I back tracked to what I had consumed and it all made perfect sense. Getting back into a routine has not been easy. We didn’t do our grocery shop until the Friday so for three days dinner consisted of KFC, Indian curry and Chinese curry. Then, on Friday some exercise tights arrived and JP sheepishly said ‘Uh, I think you need to go up a size…’ Yikes.
Self control has definitely not come easy. It requires you to really stop. For example, my co-worker who likes eating as much as I do, bought in a pecan pie for us all. I put aside a piece because I had already eaten a pastry for breakfast but the next day at lunch I had to give the man I call chocolate bear (Scrubs, anyone?) the piece of pecan pie I was looking forward to! Is it somewhat ironic that chocolate bear’s wife is a psychiatrist who looks after people battling eating disorders? Anyway, from that day on to today I have been eating good. Peanut butter toast, salad, fruit and lots of veges for dinner with lean meat. JP told me I looked skinny yesterday but unfortunately it takes time.
What has worked for me: having a plan! I know it’s not realistic to make myself big fancy breakfasts on a week day. I use a good quality peanut butter and grainy toast which gets me till about 11. I tried porridge the other day and despite being a decent sized portion, it did nothing for me. I also stopped gorging. I made vege burritos the other night and they were so, so good. I could’ve eaten another one but I relaxed and didn’t.
What I’ll do next week: start getting back into exercising again. I’ve walked to work all week aside from today. I would love to get up early and go but there’s no buses and I don’t want to get murdered.