Sunday, 30 September 2012

Overthinking, Women's Troubles

Over thinking is a trait of mine.  Apparently I am not alone in my thinking, with some research showing that the majority of people my age are over thinkers, yeah and the majority of the majority are women! Go figure.

This week has been plagued with women's troubles. The human body can do some strange things let me tell you!

As my anxiety levels increase my over thinking goes into hyper drive.  In a weird way I think over thinking will help reduce my anxiety but the truth is, it just adds to it!

The logic in me says if I think things through properly, looking at all eventuality I will make the right decision. However in life there are so many variables, and everything is not as simplistic as right and wrong.

I have an hour drive to work every day.  When my mind is racing, this hour is definitely enough time to build a mountain out of a mole hole.  I find myself replaying scenarios, or questioning people's motives or doubting my own judgements.  Which can only lead to feeling physically ill as I put my key in the door to the office.

I can't avoid this start to the day as I have to drive to work. So every work day I start the day emotionally drained and nauseous and that's all before 9am.  I kept asking myself, What can I do to stop this cycle and make work mornings that bit more bearable?

Then I remembered how to stop the thinking.

Well not literally, because I need some thought processes to drive the car, my new car has a lot of features but it's not quite get in and go yet, yet.  It's coming, I mean I don't even need to turn my lights or wipers any more, my car just 'knows'.  I digressed.


To get out of my head and not think about the day ahead, or what people would think or say, or what might or might not happen, not to linger on the massive to do list which was in no way realistic for the day ahead.

Driving, was no longer a distraction.  Scary to say but this journey no longer required enough thinking to drown out the tones of that faithful overthinking voice.

So I started on an audioboook. I had a quick search through the internet for a book every girl should read.  In fact I think I looked for a book every plus size girl should read but we won't split hairs.  I came across Good in Bed.  This was not available on iTunes so I downloaded Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner the follow up to Good in Bed.

It worked a treat! I am engrossed in the book.  I am enjoying the journey.  Looking forward to getting in the car instead of dreading the commute.  The book is just what I needed and I think I may even do a review when I'm finished. Check me, gathering up my posts, I am getting the hang of this blogging malarkey.

In fact I am now using it as a distraction any time I feel my mind start racing or when I hear stuff.  So I can thoroughly recommend distraction from your women's troubles by listening to someone else's troubles, without any need to help out or get involved.  Instead I can just truly listen to something else apart from my own worries!

Away I go to listen to my book! What are you reading/listening to?

How do you deal with over thinking?

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Friday, 28 September 2012

How to beat depression with greasy hair and a black labrador

Knitted by my own fair hands.  The hats that is not the dog.
Depression sucks.  I write this because my mood has lifted enough to let me.

I write this to acknowledge my feelings and to help keep moving forward.

I have been physically unwell with an infected socket following a tooth extraction.  Physical pain I can deal with, I manage to pick myself up and do what needs to be done.  Mental pain, I seem to struggle with.

I was always the 'coper' in our family.  The strong, dependable one.  I grew up fast because I needed to.

So when I'm not coping, it drags my mental health down.  I think what scared me, the most about the last few weeks was how easy it was to slide back down that slippery slope.

Within days of feeling ill, I was back to not sleeping, but not getting dressed, avoiding going out, and neglecting myself.  The fridge was bare and the shower bone dry.  How did I end up here again, AGAIN?

I've been to the classes, I've read the books, I've got the strategies to see me through right?  But I wasn't doing any of them.  They definitely won't work if I don't do them.

So I acknowledged my mood and I read over my sheets from mental health team and thought about planning the next few weeks to see me through the rough times.

It start with the strategy "just turn up" in the hope I would just turn up for my own life.

I couldn't muster up the energy to get showered, I just pulled on my hat (to cover my greasy hair), I zipped up my big winter jacket (to cover my messy clothes), laced up my walking boots and got in the car with my dog.  In fairness my dog is the only person who would have risked being seen with me in public!  I started with a walk in the park.  I avoided any human contact, I wasn't up to that but trees I could handle.

It was a start, and it was just what I needed.  I did it the next day until I managed to get myself in the shower and looking and feeling like a human again.  I was slowly scrambling up the slippery slope of life again, thanks to a beanie hat and the pester power of a puppy.

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Graze, My First Ever Review!

Signed up to the latest craze in food box and I am not promoting the boxes just wanted to do an honest review as I absolutely LOVE them.

I didn't expect to, but I do!!

So I had read about the Graze box a few places, thought about it but let it go, until I saw a cheeky deal on Groupon and thought what have I got to lose.

I have had three boxes now and I have tried some things I never thought I would.

So how does it work?

Well you sign up to Graze box
  • Choose how many times a week you would like your little box of treats to drop through your letter box
  • Choose where you would like them delivered - work, home, one off gift?
Then what kind of box do you want?

Then start rating! Have a look at the goodies they have on offer and give them a better idea of what to put in your box.

So I felt totally in control.  I clicked 'bin it' for all the stuff I knew I just wouldn't even try and 'love it' for the things that sounded amazing.

My first box arrived.  On the day I nominated.  I thought I'd take some pics as I was quite excited!
PicFrame Graze Box - I'm getting high tech
The box says 'Please turnover, unless you want to make a mess'.  I was worried, how will this work?

I needn't have.  The nibbles are in cute little tubs. They were kinda smaller than I expected.  My eyes were bigger than my belly though!

Each snack is just the right size!  Perfect for a snicky snack that keeps you full, is damn tasty, and you know everything that's in them so great if your watching your weight!!

Professional picture - screen shot of Graze box
I have been taking them to work as I get bored with sandwiches and these little treats are great to snack on throughout the day.  I say treat, because the flavours are amazing.  I can be a bit picky and tend to go for safe options.  I have been mighty impressed with every little pack so far.

The rice cracker thingys packed a punch, the breadsticks were crunchy and flavoursome, the salsa dip was like no other.  The simple combo of black pepper and pistachios was stunning.  That's the savoury stuff now onto the sweet.

Marvellous macaroon.  That names start the taste buds tingling.  Amaretti biscuit pieces, white chocolate, coconut flakes and almond slices.  I think this is my favourite so far but it is a hard run race.

They just cover all bases.  The names, the portions, the flavours I think they have things just right.

So I am in no way promoting them, just gushing as I am in love with @grazedotcom

If you wish to try a box for free head on over to

If you've been thinking about it, why not give them a go.  As far as snacks go, they are so convenient (delivered to your address!) there is so many options, and for £3.89 a box I think they are soo worth it.

Any questions feel free to ask

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Another year older

I like to spoil people on their birthday, it's like the one day in the year that is truly yours.

I like buying presents, I like getting the right present for the person, something they want.

I think because of this I get a bit disappointed when someone doesn't pay the same amount of attention to my day.

Hubby was away with work so it meant this year I would be waking up on my birthday on my own.  As I thought about last year and waking up in Vegas and wanting to be my day to be special, I felt a little low.

How wrong could I be?! This year was special, I felt special.  The people around me reminded me of this.

It started with my colleagues making me cup cakes.  Not just any cupcakes.  I am a bit of a coke addict, diet coke that is.  So they made me coke cupcakes! I didn't even know such a thing existed.  This was soo me, how thoughtful?
Cola Cupcakes, yummy!

I got loads of cards, money and birthday wishes on Facebook.  It felt lovely to feel the love.

My mum got me 2 gorgeous scarfs - again soo me, I have a scarf for every occasion and outfit!

Mr Brown got me my favourite perfume, a beautiful quote plate for my meditation corner and when he got home, he spoilt me with flowers, more cupcakes and a tasty meal.

I am blessed.  The more you appreciate the things around you the better you feel.
Sweet smelling flowers, for days after my birthday.
Are birthdays a big deal?

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Reoccurring dental nightmare

NHS finest patient information leaflet
You may have read that I have been facing my dental fears and getting my teeth sorted.

The first extraction went great, the staff were amazing, understanding, patient and reassuring.  My mouth was painful, I have avoided the dentist for years so this was an emergency.  The injections were easy and they took away the pain! It took the dentist literally two minutes to remove the tooth, no pain, no pressure. I felt relief but also embarrassment why had I built up soo much fear? Why had I let my mouth get into this state?

I took to twitter and declared my trip a major success! I encouraged others to do the same, hash tag dentists aren't monsters was where I went on about how happy I was with my treatment.

Now one extraction wasn't going to sort out my mouth, so I signed up for more treatment.  My next appointment would be in 2 weeks.

These weeks came round fast and on the day of the second extraction, the stress came flooding back.

The empowered feeling that followed my first visit was completely gone and I was right back in fear central.  Again the staff were great but this visit didn't go so smoothly.

The tooth was down to gum level (my fault for avoiding dentists for so long) and posed difficult to remove.  Lots of pushing and pulling followed. Finally it was out, no real pain but my mouth felt like she had tried to climb inside.  Again there was some relief I managed to go through with it and although not as easy, I did it!

The same advice, pain killers, don't eat for few hours, no rinsing, no exercise etc etc.  Hubby was away so no resting on sofa had to go walk dog.  Anyway long story short I managed to not follow any of the aftercare advice and ended up with dry socket and then an infection.

So every few days I've HAD to go to dentist, in agony, getting the socket cleaned out and packed with a dressing that tastes and smells so vile even my dog was avoiding me!

The moral of the story, I did it! I proved to myself I can face my fears.  For me I need to concentrate on this achievement and would still sing the praises of the dentists.

I stand by my #dentistsarenotmonsters, and I'd like to think if I can get through this nightmare, I can get any treatment  I need done!

Oh yeah and do what your told!! The aftercare is given for a reason, make it easy on yourself and take your medicine.  Again a good lesson for me to learn.

I have now been in that dentist chair 4 times in 9 days!!  Is it getting easier? Not really?

This week has taken it's toll not just on my mouth but my mental health too.  I have been drained, not sleeping and not able to do the things that keep me on in balance.

It was scary how easy it was to slip back into the dark hole.  The sofa was the only thing that gave me comfort, I was avoiding the shower, avoiding going out, not eating properly, not sleeping, staying up late and just generally losing my grip.  In fact I had a mini melt down, but I think that may be worthy of a post on it's own.

My mouth is just healing now after dressings and antibiotics, and guess what? It's coming round to my next appointment for my final extraction!

I am going? Hell yeah! Because I need to learn to follow through.  This is a great challenge, but with great test comes great victory.  The achievement, the smile, the confidence I need this.

Did you know it's oral health month? Glad to see I'm doing my bit to raise awareness! Lol

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Monday, 17 September 2012

Taking responsibility

You are NOT responsible for other peoples emotions - is a lesson that keeps coming up for me.

So maybe I should listen, right?

This lesson came up in Assertiveness group.  It's actually a really scary thing to take onboard.

If I am not responsible for other people's emotions, then they are not responsible for mine.  So the freedom of giving up the burden and blame of affecting others is given with one hand, then taken away with another.

The reason I felt the need to write about it, is that taking responsibility for your own emotions only, is very empowering.  As I said the freedom, the room to move it gives you is great.  It can take the heat out of arguments, it reduces guilt.  Guilt is something I weighs down on my heavily, so anything that reduces the load is worth a go.

It's a big shift though,  I find myself relearning this lesson over and over.

In our house now, our arguments now start with

Mr Brown:           "You make me angry when you ........"
Me:                      "No - I don't make you feel anything!"

In fairness that winds him up even more.  I have learned to apply this to Mr Brown quite easily but not to anyone else or myself.

When I do take responsibility for my emotions I end up saying it in a sarcastic voice.

"I feel angry because ...." (how do you write in a sarcastic, whiny, stupid voice?)

So although I am saying the words.  I'm not quite believing it, if that makes sense?  The light, sarcastic tone takes away from owning the feeling.

You may be thinking as Mr Brown does, hang on a minute it is what the other person did that made me feel like that.  Well people can definitely push your buttons, they may know how you feel about certain things and use this in situations, but you always have control in how you act.  It doesn't always seem like it, but we all have a choice in our actions.

It may not feel like a conscious decision to start shouting, or stomping or huffing ( ps I'm making our house sound like a nightmare, it honestly isn't!)  You do though, it may have become an automatic reaction but you do choose that behaviour.

The CBT approach teaches us to become aware of the thinking behind our behaviours and how we can change that.  So the more I practice, taking the time to choose how I want to react.  To take responsibility for my emotions, my actions and my behaviour.

I can look back and my brother and me have been shirking responsibility for a long time.  If anything went wrong, I'm thinking about accidents and breaking stuff, we would race to my mum and shout the fastest and the loudest
It wasn't me!
Funnily enough round about the time this song was out!

This would happen a lot.  Honestly it was a race to plead your innocence as quickly and as clearly as possible!  Even when we hurt or upset the other person, this logic still applied.  Deny your involvement.

So as I approach 29 years of age, I start to learn a new strategy.  It was me.  I feel, I own this emotion.

Do you blame others for how you feel?

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Saturday, 15 September 2012

Why do I cry at X factor?

Just wish I looked anything like Cheryl Cole!! 

As X factor dominates my weekend, I find myself shedding a few tears every Saturday night.

Is it the sob story that gets my tear ducts lubricated?

Is it the sad music?

I don't think so.  When I see the nervous person get on stage I feel for them.  I feel for them even more when they get a rousing reception from the crowd.

My heart breaks and the tears start to flow when they are accepted and praised for being so good, and not believing in themselves.

Until now, I had not realised what this meant to me.  I think I do now.

After catching up on my feeds in reader, I found myself relating to Extraordinary Passion: Making a Dream Come True in an unexpected way.  I feel a little embarrassed at this deep and meaningful post being linked with the trivial Saturday night tv that is X factor.  Simple things for simple people, eh?

As I said I find myself welling up as I watch these people put themselves on the line, opening themselves up to the scrutiny of not only the judges, but the crowd and the general public sitting at home judging from their arm chairs.

It's not that I want to be famous, or that I want to be a singer, although I did enjoy the stage when I was younger, it's that sense of bravery.  The courage to believe in themselves even just a tiny bit and put themselves out there.

When they are accepted by the crowd, my heart swells.  I dream of that acceptance.  Not fame, not glory just accepted for being you and believing in yourself enough to make what you really want happen.

I have a loving husband, who accepts me, encourages me and believes in me.  I have a fur baby who loves me unconditionally.  He does not judge me, he accepts me as I am.

But inside, there is still doubt.  I don't accept myself.  I don't believe.

However they say the first step in moving forward is awareness.  So today I can proudly announce on the stage that is my little blog
I am aware of my limiting beliefs
Does anything on tv make you cry?

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Friday, 14 September 2012

What is the ideal weight for a dietitian?

found at

Fat Weight Loss Experts Get No Respect - ABC News was so frank, it inspired me that I have to include something about this on my blog.

There are many articles about health professionals having unhealthy behaviours.  Does that make you less effective at your job?

I understand everyone makes judgements based on lots of different things, not least appearances.  As a registered health professional we must present a professional appearance, hence why we have uniform policies and professional standards we must adhere to in order to maintain the integrity of the profession.

There is the saying "Never trust a fat dietitian" which if you google comes up with lots of jokes and digs.  How can you preach to patients the healthy eating message when you outwardly don't follow your own advice?

Well I have to say, I don't preach.  My role is always to empower patients to make their own choices and to help them towards their goals.

At present I don't specialise in obesity/weight management.  Not because I don't think I am capable, although my self esteem takes a big battering with the weight struggles.  I help people increase their weight.  I counsel people to improve their nutritional status.  Many of my patients struggle just as much to keep the weight on as others try to lose it.

Do I get judgements from these people about my weight? Yes, I do.  I get the friendly comments "If you could just share a wee bit of your weight" or "well you don't understand how hard it is for me"

So there is no ideal weight, for anyone, let alone a dietitian.

I am human.  Think some people need reminding some times.

I can empathise.  As a profession as I have the understanding of nutrition, health and behaviour change.

I am qualified.  I study hard, and I keep up to date.  But I know my patients don't see this part of me.

Everyone has their own story.  I've never walked in your shoes, I will never know what it is exactly like to be 'you'.  But you will also never know what it's like to be 'me'.

Judge me on my knowledge, judge me on my skills, judge me on how we interact but don't judge me on the numerical number I weigh on the scales, or the number that is stitched into the label on my clothes.

Do you see your health professionals as 'people'? Or do you make judgements based on appearance or job title?

Love Mrs Brown xx

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Thursday, 13 September 2012

More therapy?

via clarejbrown
via clarejbrown

Why People Refuse Therapy – Therapy Feels like an Insult spoke volumes to me.  It took me back to every consultation I've had to discuss my care plan!

Not the anger - mainly because I suppress this feeling too much, but definitely an annoyance.  The irritation that rises and the feeling that I know all this but I'm still not better!  So many times have I heard those thoughts swirling round my mind.

I would start listing everything I have done to be fixed.  The self help books, the online courses, the counselling, the group therapy, the one to one CBT, mindfulness, meditation, alternative healers, medication after medication, combined, dosed, you name it I will do it.  In fairness I haven't been in the system that long.  I know I can't have tried everything.  But it sure feels like it.

This feeling of insult by offering something else to try, comes and goes.  I would be all in, sign me up for anything to feel better.  Then retreat from services as I thought they weren't for me.  They may have worked for other people but not me.

The more I learn, the more coping strategies I have.  The more things I experience, the more choices I have in what is right for me.

So I take the feelings of insult and learn from it.  That's all I can ask of myself.

Just show up everyday for life.

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

This time last year

 This time last year .......

This was what I kept thinking today. This time last year I was waking up in Seattle.  I remember because it was September 11th and we were in America.  Everyone will remember what happen on that day, it's a day stamped in our memory.

9/11 seemed so far away from Scotland yet it shook the world.  In Seattle 10 years on, it felt so much closer.  But it was a lovely day, everyone remembering, taking the time to show they hadn't forgotten the impact of that day.

I looked back with fondness, my first trip abroad on my adult passport and boy what a trip it was! My hubby pulled together an amazing honeymoon.  Booked with points and loyalty rewards, all those days away helped us have a trip of a lifetime together.

I felt my mood dip, the present day didn't seem as cheery.

In a change from the norm, I tried to focus on the progress since last year.  Last year I was struggling, my main focus at work was just 'keep my head above water', my strategy was if you can just keep all the plates spinning long enough the break away will fix everything.  The holiday would solve all my problems.  I think you can guess, it didn't.

The trip was fabulous, I loved America, I loved the people, the places, I felt comfortable, I felt free, just me & Mr Brown.  The sun on my skin, warmth in my bones.  I was in control again, I planned our days, I even did well with the navigating!  I had energy, I felt motivated and had enthusiasm.

In fact when our trip ended in Vegas (Vegas, baby!), Mr B was starting to get home sick, I didn't want to come back.  Not the usual "we had a great holiday, let's stay" but more please don't take me back there! Who would want to go back to feeling overwhelmed, swamped, out of control, fat, self conscious and failing.

So a year on, I have come along way.  I  can say though I am not at my final destination yet.

I know I am not at my destination yet, as I still struggle.  This time last week I was not in a good place again. I have even travelled so far from a few days ago.

Sometimes it's good to look back, but don't linger in the past.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift.  That's why they call it the present.

A few pics from my scrap book of honeymoon, I felt like some how sharing.

Love Mrs Brown xx
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Monday, 10 September 2012

A little more conversation - World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is the start of Suicide Prevention Week 2012.  As I am opening up about my depression in the hope that my journey may help me and some one else, I felt a post to raise awareness would be appropriate.

The main aim for me writing this post is to try be open and in my own way attempt to help people talk about it, to try drop the stigma.

I have been there; I had the thoughts, done some stuff and felt the shame and guilt.

There are many sites available and hotlines to call if you are having suicidal thoughts.  These organisations are geared up to help and there to listen, should you feel you can't speak to anyone in your life.

I never felt I could talk to someone, it fed into the not wanting to be a burden.  Life of Cyn wrote a moving piece on suicide awareness and urges you to be selfish, look after yourself.

For me it didn't matter if it was confidential or that they were trained, I didn't feel I could tell someone.  I mean what do you say?  How do you start that conversation?

I had the fear that they wouldn't understand and admittedly many people don't.  I had the guilt that I was wasting NHS resources.  I felt the shame of dragging my family into the mess I created for myself.

But my message to anyone who stumbles upon this and may be in that place living it right now, is just talk.

Suicide is something we don't talk about, so when people really need to be talking about it, it becomes so much more difficult.  If you reach out and talk, and find someone that will listen, one of the many organisations that are there to help, it could save a life.

Scotland's initiative is Choose Life, a national strategy to help prevent suicide.  There latest campaign is Read between the lines.  Could you help someone with suicidal thoughts?

We all can help to prevent suicide by talking about.

They also have a great resources, my favourite

The art of conversation: 
A guide to talking, listening and reducing stigma surrounding suicide. 

I urge everyone to brush up on their listening skills. Yes it's a difficult subject.  But it does need to be discussed. lives 

Love Mrs Brown xx

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