Week Six, Day Two

Today, I need to break from the usual surface level talk about working out and talk about something deeper. Because to understand my mental state around working out is to understand my mental state in general. It all connects. 

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication (which is an entirely different story, as I'm no longer on either... trying to find healthy natural alternatives to coping with my depression/anxiety through diet, exercise and other method). 

The kind of anxiety that I have is not the "Oh man, I'm really worried about this thing or that thing." And it's not even been overly stressed about something. The anxiety that requires medication, cognitive therapy and work is the kind that destroys you. The best way to describe my anxiety is like this: my brain leeches on to a topic (or several) that I'm worried about and it suddenly becomes EVERYTHING. I become obsessed with that worry so much that it impedes on my ability to concentrate, to sleep, to think about anything other than that thing i'm worried about. The worry goes so bone-deep, that it spirals and turns my brain into a dark place where things are illogical - but I can't see that. All I can see is the worry. Then I panic. And the panic is so intense, it makes my chest hurt. It makes my muscles go rigid. It's hard to breath. It's hard to think. 

That is what anxiety is like for me. And yes, it affects my life very severely. So as you can imagine, when my anxiety is bad - especially at night and I can't sleep and I know that the morning is going to be tough and that affects my workout - it sends me into a tailspin of worry ABOUT working out. And thus begins an ugly ugly cycle. 

Why am I talking about this now? Today? Because the anxiety has been pretty bad these last few weeks, and I can tell that it's affecting the workout regimen. More skipped days. Less confidence. Less enthusiasm for what I've done and more self-hating because of what I haven't. 

I knew this wasn't going to be easy. The working out routine and trying to lose weight itself is difficult. But when you add in the type of anxiety that I have, and mix in general depression... it's harder than I thought it would be. 

One of the coping mechanisms I've been taught for my depression/anxiety works in the world of working out and exercise, too. Perspective. I may be skipping work outs. I may not be losing weight yet. It may be really hard. But there is a quote I love to think about when I'm in that place. I don't remember who said it and I'm paraphrasing here but it's: "three workouts or attempts is better than the five you never did."

Basically, I'm trying to look at things in a different perspective when I get this way because while the above things I mentioned may be true - I'm now in the gym 3-4 days a week that I wasn't before. I'm sweating and huffing and puffing more than I ever did before. I am progressing whether I see it or not. Because I'm trying. And that counts for a lot. 

So to wrap up this post - I did go to the gym today even though last night was shit. I fought it but I went. And yes, I DID feel better once I was done. I felt proud.

 

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