Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

What is happiness?

I thought I knew what it was when I was growing up. I was always extremely energetic and happy. I was always positive. Always looked at the bright side of things. ALWAYS.

I believed that not being happy was a decision. That you could turn it on and off. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why anyone would “choose” to remain unhappy all the time. To be depressed.

Even as I got older and got married to a manic-depressive, even as I learned that depression is NOT a choice, but a chemical imbalance in the head…I STILL felt that you could just DECIDE to be happy one day. And to just be happy. Why couldn’t depressed people just BE happy? Don’t they want to be happy? Don’t they want to just kick their sadness to the curb? So why don’t they just do it?

Then I went on a diet.

I was not eating the right foods. I wasn’t eating enough calories for my body to function. I wasn’t getting the right nutrients for my brain to work properly. And so my brain stopped working normally. I became very depressed. Moody. I would lash out at my husband and everyone else for no reason. My friends stopped inviting me out. But I didn’t care. I didn’t want to see them anyway. Everything annoyed me. They annoyed me. My husband annoyed me. All he would have to do was wake up in the morning and walk into the room and I would roll my eyes and go “Oh great…he’s up…” in my head. He didn’t even have to DO ANYTHING but exist.

And I couldn’t turn it off. I wanted SO BADLY to be happy. SO badly. But I just hated everything and everyone all the time so much. I hated myself more than any of them. I *HATED* myself. I thought maybe if I just lost a couple more pounds I would like myself again. And I would, for a little while. But then I would have to lose more. And more. Until I literally couldn’t lose anything else without being considerably underweight. Well now what? Now that I can’t lose any more weight, what will make me happy? I was absolutely miserable.

And so was my husband.

He told me how unhappy he was being with me. “Can’t you see that you’re the exact person that I was before going on medication? That person who turned on a dime from one mood to another? That person you couldn’t stand to be around? Well now that’s you. Maybe YOU need to be on medication.”

Those words kicked me in the face.

And I knew I didn’t need medication. I needed to kick this ED. I needed to eat the right nutrients to fix my brain. I knew WHY it wasn’t working right. I just needed to make that decision to fix it.

And I did.

That day I told my ED to shove off. And from there on out have become my incredibly happy-go-lucky self again!

So IS happiness a decision? Is it nothing but how the chemicals in your brain work? Do YOU make you happy? Or do the chemicals make you happy? Is it a combination of both? What do you think?

Now that I AM happy again, I still can’t figure out what happiness actually is. But I certainly have learned an awful lot about what depression is. I won’t ever go back. And that IS a decision.

Breakfast:

Apple Raisin Quinoa

From: http://www.epicorganic.net/tag/quinoa/

    • 1 cup quinoa
    • 1 cup orange juice (I used Unsweetened Almond Milk)
    • 2 cups apple juice (I used Apple Cider)
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp allspice
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 2 apples, diced
    • 1/4 cup raisins
    • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (I used Pecans)

Toast the quinoa dry, in a saucepan, for 3 minutes while dicing the apples. Add OJ and apple juice to the quinoa, along with all the spices. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Add the apples, raisins, and maple syrup, and simmer 10 more minutes. Stir in almonds and serve.

*My stomach was just SCREAMING for something healthy. Not that I’m awful at eating or anything, but after that buffet yesterday it absolutely insisted that it didn’t want any cakes or muffins or crumbles or anything like that hehe. This was yummy, healthy, and very filling! I made a 1/3 recipe of this and topped it with a dollop of low-fat Vanilla Yogurt! PERFECT!

Lunch:

Creamy Sweet Potato and Candied Ginger Soup

Taken from: http://coffeepot.wordpress.com/2007/02/16/creamy-sweet-potato-and-candied-ginger-soup/

2 pounds sweet potatoes (2-3 pounds maybe)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 shallot — minced
1 clove garlic — minced
3 cups skim milk
1 cinnamon stick — 2″
4 pieces candied ginger root — chopped
4 tablespoons pine nuts (pignolia) — toasted
salt to taste

Bake your sweet potatoes in the microwave and allow to cool a bit before you peel them.

In a saute pan fry your shallot and garlic for a couple of minutes then add your milk.

Add the ginger and cinnamon stick and allow the mixture to steep about 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.

Put your peeled sweet potatoes in a food processor and pour the milk mixture slowly through the tube while running. Process until smooth and creamy. Salt to taste.

Toast your pine nuts in a dry pan on the stove top and then garnish the soup in serving bowls while still warm.

You can add a bit more milk if too thick before serving. Like I said I didn’t really weigh the ugly sweet potato.

*Perfect on a cold winter’s day! Knowing that I’m going to be having a rather unhealthy dinner (Steak & Shake…I promised a friend I’d have a Frisco Melt with him!) I went for something warm, filling and good for you for lunch! VERY good and I used my homemade candied ginger! I also used a yam instead of a sweet potato (there IS a difference!) and it was wonderful!

Dinner:

So I had one of these puppies and some fries. This was always my favorite sandwich at Steak N Shake. I hadn’t had one of these in YEARS. A close friend of mine sympathetic toward my recovery decided I needed to have one and we made a date about a week ago. We had a wonderful time and of course the food was amazing ^_^.  I also had a small bowl of ice cream when I came home.

Tomorrow is another wonderful day! I can’t wait!

Exercise: 1.5 hours at gym, 1/2 hour of yoga

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Comments on: "What is happiness?" (2)

  1. For me, happiness is an emotion, but not an aspiration.
    I think it’s too easy to fall into the trap of seeking happiness when sometimes we already have it.
    I’m always changing my thoughts on this topic though.

    I do believe that it’s impossible to be eating in a disordered way and feel happy. It’s lovely to read about you feeling good.

    • GREAT response! Thank you for your ideas! I love listening to how others think.

      What about people who have no reason to be unhappy but they still are? They are surrounded by people who love them including a faithful loving significant other, have a great job that they are good at, have a roof over their heads, food in the fridge and are basically living the dream. And they are STILL depressed? Should people like that still seek “happiness” even though they should already have it? What is real happiness based off of? What you have in your life? Who you have in your life? Or is it a self-image that you keep REGARDLESS of who or what you have in your life?

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