Project Me: April retrospective and review

My goals for April were:

  1. Make appointments with my optometrist and a periodontist – DONE. My eye appointment was on May 15 and my periodontal appointment was on May 22.
  2. Take 10,000 steps per day at least 5 days a week – DONE. (Note that this was before The Depression kicked in.)
  3. Cook one meal at home in April – if I can’t manage that, I might just give up on cooking entirely. I think I’m ready to call Uncle on this one. The problem, as far as I can tell, is that I don’t really want to cook at home. I have been successfully improving key areas of health and happiness in my life for three months now without cooking at home, so I don’t really have enough motivation to overcome my dislike for all of the hassle, planning, and MESS that comes with cooking, either. So I’m officially stating for the record that I am no longer beating myself up for not cooking at home because I am making great food and eating choices while eating out and I can afford it, too.
  4. Make an appointment with my hair stylist for highlights – DONE. My appointment was on April 19 and I just love the sunny look of my hair now. (You almost can’t see the gray at my temples. Almost.)
  5. Do something fun at least once a week – I might have accidentally had some fun every week in April but I didn’t really concentrate on it, as I’d intended to do when I set up my goals. This definitely requires more focus!

You might have noticed the date on this post – May 30 – and wondered to yourself, “Why has it taken Denise an entire month to update us on her progress?,” or even, “What happened to May???”

What happened indeed!

The short and simple answer is that I have been fighting with a major depressive episode for roughly the last six weeks. This is not the usual blip on the radar that passes through my universe every month and then goes away without doing much damage, rather this is a terrible beastly thing that devours my happiness, my self-esteem, and any desire I might have to be creative and clever.

Lots of good things happened in April/May, too, especially in regards to my health. I was able to tick off several of my overall health goals for the year before the end of the first third of 2013, and I’m so happy & proud to be able to say that. (Related Note: Look for a reassessment of my 2013 Project Me goals coming soon!) The scale was kind, too, and although I am trying very hard not to let that be the primary barometer of “how I’m doing”, it’s hard to miss the fact that I’ve donated five large trash bags of clothing and shoes to charity since February 1 because things keep falling off of me.

I truly hope that I’m turning the corner and am on my way out of the worst of the depression, so I ought to have my Goals for June up by the weekend. Bless your hearts if you’re still here and still reading!

  • You’re doing great. Been there with the depression. But you may have turned the corner, since you were able to do this. So happy for you!


      Hi Ann,

      I’ve got fingers on both hands crossed that I’m through the worst of it at this point. Sorry to hear that you’ve been through it, too, but I just heard a statistic on the radio that as many as one in four people in the world suffer from mental illness of some sort, which I suppose is comforting in a “there’s safety in numbers” sort of way.

      Here’s to happier times for both of us!


    Hey Denise! First off, glad you are doing so well in spite of the depression!

    Second, have you considered hiring a personal chef? Someone who comes to your home and preps several meals for you that you can reheat. The reason I ask is that is generally the same cost or less than eating out, but you can better control the ingredients. Chefs can customize both the meals and the meal prep to fit your needs. Like anything else, if you don’t have the time or inclination, you can always outsource!

    Take care.


      Thanks for the kind good wishes, Neca – they’re much appreciated!

      You know, I hadn’t thought about a personal chef but it’s definitely an idea that deserves further thought, so thanks for sharing.


  • I am still reading. Thank you for the great post. It sounds like you’re successfully fighting your way through it….hang in there.


      Hi Wendy,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment! Dealing with depression is a real beast but I think each time I make it through another bout, I get a little bit stronger. Although I certainly stumbled in my journey to better health with this latest go-round, I never once gave up and I kept doing at least some of the things I knew would get me where I wanted to go. That is progress in my book.



    so so so happy for you and well done on all that hard work!


      Thanks, Shauna. Honestly, the hardest part was getting things straight in my head so that the health bit was right on top instead of the number on the scale. Once I had my priorities straightened out, the rest seemed to come along fairly easily. Even in the darkest depression I’ve dealt with in several years, I still somehow knew that eating wasn’t going to fix it and that getting to the gym – even if just for 30 minutes – would at least keep the blood sugar in line.

      (Secret confession? I sometimes allow myself to believe that I might have things figured out properly for good now. Not all the time, but still sometimes is better than never, right?)