How My Fitness Journey Has Helped My Mental State

I have battled mental illness for pretty much all of my life. It started very young due to trauma I faced as a child. I have struggled to fight my battles and have really bad days where I cannot speak or move. Honestly, depression is the worst thing I have ever experienced and still have episodes of depression on my off days. It helps that I have great support, but when I’m down.. I’m DOWN and I cannot be productive at all. But, there has been a few things that have helped me keep my depression at bay and have control. Some of those things are writing, coloring, baking, surrounding myself with my loved ones, and working out.

My weight loss journey has actually been the biggest impact on the improvement of my mental state. I have battled depression for as long as I can remember. Since starting my weight loss journery I have had more energy, more happiness and just relaxed more than ever. My husband has even made comments telling me “You look so much happier” and “You’re glowing” and in case that thought came into your head let me just tell you now.. No I am NOT pregnant. It’s really just the exercise and confidence I have gained from going to the gym. Since I started working out, I feel like I lifted my own weight off my shoulders and threw it 1000 yards like I’m some type of buff body building machine. I’m not.. but, a girl can dream right? Working out, I feel, has balanced out my endorphins and emotions. I am not all over the place anymore, my mood swings have got better and it shows, especially on a week where I don’t make it to the gym I feel more down and depressed and my emotions go haywire! I guess I just sweat out all the bad when I work out and instead of not having energy to feel good, I end up not having energy for any bad. I even see a difference in the negativity I tolerate now versus previously. I am all around more positive and happy after a good workout and even lasting the days following my workout.

The second best thing about the effects working out has had on my mental health is how much I have overcome my anxiety. I used to be anxious and worried about everything but since going to the gym, I rarely have anxiety or panic attacks. I thought going to the gym would make my anxiety worse because I didn’t like the way I looked and always feared people judging me and criticizing my body, my acne scars, the way I work out (beacuse I’m not a pro) and stuff like that. Since going I have actually had less anxiety/panic attacks than I used to. I believe a lot of the reason is I actually have been studying exercises, good form, and routines, which I feel has made me more confident in the workouts I do. I, also, blast music on my headset and that just takes me to a whole new space where I only see me and what I am doing. Even looking around I don’t pay mind to those around me because I can’t hear anything except my music. There have been a couple of times I have actually had a panic attack in the middle of working out, but usually the cause is me pushing myself too hard and that is my body’s way of telling me to calm down because the pain does not slow my roll. I have always lived by “no pain, no gain,” because even growing up I loved working out and pushed myself so my body adjusts well, but that does not always mean I should push myself beyond all limits. All in all, my anxiety is soooooo much better now than it has been in YEARSSS!

I truly believe that working out and exercising has been so amazing for my mental health. I have more patience with my kids, I have the energy and motivation to meal prep and be healthier, and I feel like a whole new WHOLE person!

And because we are speaking about mental health I want to advise, I am NOT a professional. If you are battling mental health, please seek professional help for true guidance and assistance to conquer your illness. This is my journey and my own experience. You ARE loved, you ARE important, and you CAN do ANYTHING you want to accomplish with the right guidance and motivation!

With love, E.Marie

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