Blue Monday

More often than not, the third Monday in January has become commonly known as ‘Blue Monday’. The one day of the year where it is ‘okay’ to be depressed because everyone else is depressed. Blue Monday was originally PR invented but it has since become an annual holiday and has even got it’s own scientific formula, which is as follows: 

*Clears throat, points at whiteboard with stick, pushes glasses up bridge of the nose* Open square bracket Weather + bracket Debt Level – our ability to pay the debt bracket close square bracket x Time Since Christmas and Time Since Failing our New Year’s Resolutions over Low Motivational Levels x feeling of a need to take charge of the situation.

So, in simple human terms: as the festivities of eating and drinking, lights shining bright, Christmas trees everywhere and the general happiness of Christmas has now come to an abrupt end, instead, we now find our days are filled with work, dark mornings, freezing rain without even the hope of a sprinkling of the white stuff(Snow, not the other white stuff!) After an early payout before Christmas holidays, the wait is even longer till the next paycheck arrives which doesn’t help the debt built up during the celebrations. 

As well as growing debt and physiques, with the end of the year comes the start of a new, and we as humans, love a new start to bring about reason to change. We want to change things about ourselves that we have lived with for all the previous years and keep meaning to do something about but never quite got round to it. Alas, worry no more non amie as the New Year is the time to do this! Or is it?

So now we have in addition to the building up of debt, the physical after mouth on our appearance after the festivities indulgences and the grey days, we also need to change ourselves. All at a time when our motivation is at an all time low thanks to everything mentioned above. It’s a cicious circle really. A rather exhausting one!

Blue Monday. The one day of the year where everyone concensually agrees that they are feeling ‘depressed’. That feeling of sluglishness. Exhaustion. Sadness. Hurt. Pain. It’s universally felt and acknowledged this one day a year. Tomorrow and every other day after aren’t as bad: nearing the end of January, pay day a bit closer and edging that bit more to Spring. And more importantly it won’t be Monday – because everyone knows that any other day after Monday is bearable.

Blue Monday is a continuous day for a lots of people. Some aren’t as lucky as others where depression only appears one day of the year. For those of us with depression or any mental health can’t just decide on a day where we can feel worthless. Feel like not getting out of bed. Having no interest in anything. The struggles and difficulties that come with the reality of depression aren’t just limited to a day. It’s days and weeks in a row. It’s spontaneous. It doesn’t have a reason or rhyme. It’s just depression. And it’s what it does and how it works. 

I don’t have a personal problem with the term ‘Blue Monday’ or the concept of it but I do know it troubles a lot of people because as mentioned, depression isn’t specifically linked to just one day.  It also gives the impression that it’s easy to deal with, it’s not as life impacting as it actually is. It promotes the idea that depression is just feeling a bit bleurgh because of external factors. That isnt what depression is or how it should be perceived.

But instead of belittling this annual event I think we should take it in our stride and use it to get people to talk more about depression. Help people understand it. Talk about it. Communicate more openly about the symptoms of depression. The feeling. The suffering. The things we can do to help each other. 

But most importantly I think we should use Blue Monday as a reminder to just check up on those we care about. Start a conversation with them. Show them you’re thinking of them. You’re there for them for whenever. It doesn’t matter if they suffer with mental health or not – in life we could all do with a bit of tender loving care and a pick up every once in a while and what better way than what has become known as the most depressing day of the year. 

Not Quite Made Girl 

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Photo by Olu Eletu https://unsplash.com/photos/G4qzugfuBp8

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For they could not love you; But still your love was true

James Blake. My first discovery of new music for 2018. He’s very different to my normal stuff but there’s just something about his music. It is mesmerising. Soothing. Easy listening. His voice is just beautiful.

I gave him a wee bit of a google and he has actually been round for quite a while. From around 2009 or 2010. So I am a bit disappointed that I have only just come across him. He has three studio albums; James Blake, Overgrown and The Colour In Anything.

As I have only just found him, I have only really listened to his most recent album, The Colour in Anything. It is a varied album, which even features Frank Ocean.

I have chosen his latest single Vincent as Song of the Week because it was the first song that I listened to of his on Spotify. Now I am aware that this is a cover of Don McLean’s song, but I do think it is a great song that really compliments his vocals.

So, here’s a bit of James Blake to brighten up any day!

Not Quite Made Girl

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Just the ‘Weigh’ I am

Oh goodness, I finally did it. I finally stood on the nemesis that comes in the form of scales. What a shock. After a few double takes at the numbers that were presenting themselves so boldly and confidently at me, I stood down from the scales. I quickly contemplated throwing them out the window, but it isn’t their fault I have eaten and drunk like a King these last few weeks. It is my own sorry doing!

Now, I am never one to be so open about my weight but ‘New Year and all that’ I have decided that in order to keep myself on a healthy path I need to be very honest and open about exactly what I am popping into that big mouth of mine.

I know the old sayings ‘The number on the scales doesn’t define you’, ‘I am worth more than a number on a scale’ and ‘the scale can only tell you what you weigh, not what your worth’, blah, blah, blah. but sorry that kind of thinking doesn’t work on me. For as long as I can remember I have had a very firm number in my head that I will never let myself weigh beyond and if I can I try to never allow myself to be within 10lbs of that heaviest weight. Currently I am wobbling on the verge of that number! I think I have had one piece of Christmas Cake and one Gluhwein too many this break.

I can’t lie – I have loved a lot of this past holiday season. I don’t really regret anything, nor am I being too harsh on myself for the weight gain. I have had such a good time, explored new place, created smashing new memories and enjoyed myself. They do say you shouldn’t regret anything that makes you happy, right?

So, I know I am a few days late to this who January – New Me thing and missed the start of diet season and Dry season too, but I was too busy drinking Edinburgh Gin and warming myself up with Gluwvein to start on the 1st. Sorry. Not sorry.

But yes, shall I divulge to you the unholy number that appeared in front of my horrified eyes yesterday on my nemesis, like President Snow to Katniss, Voldemort to Harry Potter, Captain Hook to Peter Pan (I think you get my drift). The number was… 133.2lbs. *faints* Now, I know numbers mean different things to different people, but this isn’t a criticism or anything to anyone of that number or above. It is simply a shock to me because ever since I have been about 15 I have always been adamant to stick below a certain number because I was a very podgy child and in a way, although I can’t change my looks, I can control my weight and being below a certain number makes me feel just a wee bit better about myself. Everyone is different and I believe as long as YOU are happy with how you are, then that is all that matters!
For me, I am not happy if I am over my maximum, which I won’t disclose, but my current weight is near.

Current weight stats for Mad to Made Girl are in and they are:

  • 21.1% fat
  • 58.6% water
  • 133.2lbs – Weight
  • 22 inches – Thighs
  • 27.5cm – Arms 
  • Waist and Stomach no measurements as the fabric tape measure that I got in a cracker wasn’t big enough 😭 Once I find one of suitable size or shrink my waist and tummy I shall provide the actual measurements, until then, let’s just establish that I have gained too much to actually measure.

I am disclosing this all with you because I want to be honest with myself, I want to have a reason to stick to my new regime, whatever that will be. To be honest, it is just me rambling to myself if I am honest! But I would like to share this new journey with you all. I want to do it in a healthy way and by posting about it, I am hoping it will stop me from reverting to my old ways of binging and purging. Instead, take up exercise and eat nutritiously. I am hoping I will find some support on here throughout.

Now for the exciting stuff: I have a new plan in place. Well I actually have yet to verify it and actually do it, but it will go along something like this.

  1. Eat two or three meals a day 
    I currently don’t really have a plan when it comes to food, I simply eat when I am hungry. I have never been a breakfast person but maybe this needs to change? Everyone says how important breakfast is but I find the earlier I start eating the more I will eat throughout the day and crave more bad foods. So, whether it is breakfast or lunch I will ensure that I have at least two nutritional meals a day.
  2. No snacking unless Fruit 
    I am the world’s worst at snacking! I graze very much like a cow. I will start on one sweet thing and graze myself through the whole pack and then some. So, i will make a concerted effort to not buy sweet things filled with refined sugars but instead eat less sugary fruits such as Kiwis or Raspberries.
  3. Cut back on Sugar and Sweets
    See above.
  4. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day 
    I am terrible at drinking throughout the day. I rarely drink. And when I do it will either be cups of teas, fizzy drinks or alcohol. But no more I say! I shall fill my personalised Love Island bottle at least 3 times throughout the day to ensure I am getting my 2 litres.
  5. Eat vegan or vegetarian meals at least three times a week
    I am not doing this because people say it is healthier, I am simply choosing to do this because I want to reduce my meat consumption because I am not sure I entirely feel comfortable with the whole procedure of how we get our meat. Although I do eat mostly organic meat, it is still a life of an animal. I used to be a vegetarian when I was 15/16 and was one for a good couple of years. At that time there wasn’t a vast amount of options for vegetarians but now a days the selection is huge and it is often tastier than the meat equivalent.
    I have prepared myself with two vegan books, I just need to find where to get things such as vegan cheese, and other vegan products. If you have any recommendations then please give me a shout, it would be greatly appreciated.
  6. Cook majority of meals from scratch
    I do enjoy cooking and knowing just exactly what is being put in my food. I want to have that control and knowledge. And the only way I can guarantee this is to cook from scratch.
  7. Prep meals in advance 
    I am the laziest person once I get in from work. Although I finish work at 5.30pm I don’t normally get home until gone 7pm because of the commute. By that point, I am too knackered to even think about cooking so normally pop something in the microwave so I can then have a bit of the evening to myself to relax.
    But no more my friend, no more! I am going to prepare my meals on a Sunday so I have no excuse. I will batch cook, freeze things and just do general prep so I have zero excuse to not cook.
    As the saying goes, failure to prepare is preparing yourself to fail. 😉
  8. Exercise at least three times a week and be active (walking) every day for at least 60 minutes 
    Thanks to Samsung Health I can measure my activity level every day through their app which automatically picks up whenever you are walking. I will ensure to get to the 60 minute mark everyday. This will encourage me to get up from my desk at work more often and just take a quick walk around to encourage circulation and concentration. That’s my excuse anyway.
    I will also try to go to the gym and do cardio around three times a week. A nice bit of running on my good friend the treadmill (although being a bit of an old lady I do have trouble with my hip and knee so this might hinder me) or step master, or the cross trainer or the bike. I will also try to do at least one day of strength a week. But as I am reluctant to increase muscle mass, I will concentrate on cardio to encourage fat burning before I concentrate on strength.

So, there you have it mon ami (mon amie or mes amis) my exciting health adventure.

Ooo, I did forget one think. Now prepare yourself because this might come as bit of a shock, but… I am not drinking for one whole month! Yes, me, the gin lover, the prosecco downer, the avid cider drinker and the cocktail connoisseur is no longer. I am going dry from the 5th January to  the 4th February. I have already been staring in the fridge at a can of cider that I am desperately wanting. 😧 Then if I survive that, I am sweating at  the mere thought of it and already having withdrawal symptoms then I shall only really drink at weekends. God, take a deep breath Not Quite Made Girl you can do this. Alcohol isn’t everything. Yes, it helps confidence and eases social situations but maybe it is time I learnt to do this without my friend booze. Wish me luck.

I want this to be a bit of a light hearted thing. I want to take the pressure of myself to be a certain way. But most importantly I want to discourage my habits of binging and purging. I have already done this twice in 2018 and we are only five days in. This needs to change. I want to be healthy and see food in a positive way. I want to enjoy it. I don’t want to keep feeling the negativity and fear that I have when it comes to food. I don’t want to fear eating out with people or letting myself indulge every now and then without feeling the need to purger. I want to be ‘normal’ in my relationship with food and hopefully this will help.

I will be very honest throughout this next month and a bit with weekly updates. i will include updates on measurements. Any exciting recipes that I have found or new workouts that I would love to recommend. After that I will see where I am and whether I still need to be so present with in on here. I don’t want health an food to dominate this post, but for now, I feel like this could be a good way to maybe find support and to support others. I don’t want this to be a diet, because it isn’t, it is a change of relationship. Change of view when it comes to nutrition.

Any advice or suggestions for recipes or exercises or blogs to follow would be very much appreciated. I am a novice and am not good at sticking to things, so please, any words of wisdom or past experiences would be great to hear.

Here’s to the next month and a bit and to getting healthy and learning to love food in a healthy way again.

Not Quite Made Girl

x

P.S. this will now be sharing the Progress Updates page that I had going on my progress on changing to get F back. I will post both Progress Updates and Health updates on that section.

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Photo by patricia serna on Unsplash

2017

It’s that time of year. The time to reflect back on the past 12 months, the last 365 days, all 8760 hours of it!

What a year this has been. I think it has been the worst and best year of my life. What an oxymoron.

This year started off as a tough one for my mental health. I knew things weren’t always right with me, mentally and I suffered such lows and panic but I never really had anyone to talk to about it and despite my many cries of help over the years, no one reached out to me and offered me a hand,
So, unfortunately this year it all just came too much for me to handle anymore. I was getting worse and all it took was for a flight back from such an amazing holiday with F, for things to come to a head. The panic attack was the start of it – it led to being signed off work for months, going to CBT, trying different tablets and for those around me to try and learn a little about mental health.

Continue reading “2017”

I could’ve spent forever with your hands in my pockets

It’s that time again… Song of the Week. Although it isn’t every week, I promise I will try to do better with that in the New Year!

This week it is none other than *drum roll*… Taylor Swift. 

I am a bit behind on the music front and only just discovered that Taylor Swift was finally back on Spotify in the last couple of weeks. This honestly made my day! I have sorely missed listening to Miss Swift.
I have had her new album Reputation playing in the car, on my headphones, and even on my Google Home Mini.  I really admire Taylor – I like her attitude and how she bounces back from all that is thrown at her. I feel she is greatly misunderstood and deserves a lot more praise and admirability.

Anyway, I take it that it comes as no surprise that I have chosen her as my song of the week and the last song for 2017!
It is her song Dancing with our hands tied. I don’t know what I like about this song, but I always find myself singing it and humming it,

Enjoy!

Taylor Swift – Dancing with our hands tied

(This was the only version that I could find on youtube, so I am guessing it isn’t one of her most popular songs amongst the fans? Well it’s one of my favs, anyway!)

Not Quite Made Girl

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Why?

Why? Why do we become so stubborn and so obsessed with what everyone else wants that we forget to do what is best for ourselves?

Why are there rules when it comes to love? To break ups? To how we live? Who decided these rules? Why can’t they be broken and each individual do as they please to best deal with their situation?

Why is heartbreak only one way? Why is it so difficult for one person? Why does one person get to make the decision?

Why do things happen so out of the blue? Why don’t people fight for what they want anymore? Why do people so easily give up? Why does love not conquer all?

Why do people say things to make you feel better but don’t mean it? Why is no one helping fight your corner? Why does no one help? Why is it so easy for everyone to sweep it under the rug? Why does no one show emotions any more? Continue reading “Why?”

You know the truth by the way it feels

I think it is time that I wrote about something a bit more positive and upbeat. I know my blog seems so doom and gloom a lot of the time and me ranting and raving but I promise that I do have some good going on and stuff that I do appreciate and value.
So, I mentioned something along this earlier in another post (Dear F, (9) and Dear F, (10)), and I now feel that it is the right time to divulge into it a bit and open up about it. More so because I have found myself in a bit of a dilemma with it. I know, nothing ever seems to be smooth running, or should I say, I don’t like to make it easy for myself! 

Continue reading “You know the truth by the way it feels”

Christmas Tag  🎄

I got tagged by the amazing blogger that is @thebitsandbobsinmybrain  to partake in the Christmas Tag. I love a good Q&A especially when it revolves around Christmas. So thanks B for the tag. Let the answers commence!

1. Do you open any presents on Christmas eve? 

Well, I can honestly say I have never intentionally opened presents on Christmas Eve. I’m sure over the years I have opened a present because I happen to be seeing a friend and we open the presents together but apart from that I keep everything for Christmas Day. 

I do get new pyjamas every Christmas eve but they’re laid out on my bed waiting for me after I have had my bath. 

I do open family cards on Christmas eve, but that doesn’t count as a present, does it?

Continue reading “Christmas Tag  🎄”

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