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.exercise and depression.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Does anyone else find a connection between those 2?

All last winter, up until about May I was going to the gym at least 4 days a week. Going hiking or walking on off days and overall keeping busy. The scale wasn't dropping fast, but it was dropping. But most importantly, I felt great.

Then summer came. I decided we were going to be out and about so much a gym membership was a waste. We had plans for the entire summer so why not use that money for that? And we had a busy summer! If you follow me on FB, you know we were on the go ALL THE TIME! It was one of the best summers of my life. And I wasn't eating a bunch of junk. The occasional hotdog at a ball game or maybe some cotton candy. But those were few and far between. What changed was my exercise routine.

I had myself convinced that because we were always on the move, I didn't have to keep to an actual fitness program. All our running around and doing would take care of that! I couldn't have been more wrong!

Now I can blame a portion of it on my thyroid. If any of you battle (and I do mean battle) hypothyroidism, you know it's a beast. It completely drains you of ALL energy no matter what you do; it makes it next to impossible to lose weight and it increases depression.

So, the end of summer rolls around and once again my thyroid blows up. I see the sun fading, the nights getting shorter and the pounds that I've put on during the summer. I'm tired; exhausted and so very sad. I don't want to get up in the morning and exercise; I don't want to eat better; I don't want to lift weights or do yoga. I just want to curl up in the bed and stay there. Weekends found their way to Netflix marathons instead of hikes and eating Lucky Charms right out of the box. YES, I did it!! It was a vicious cycle. My dr worked hard and made several changes to get my thyroid back in check but by then the damage had been done. I had given up.

Then out of the blue I got an email from an old Spark friend. Well, he's young enough to be my son but you get it. "Just checking in on you......" and I knew, I knew then I had to pick myself up. I was better than this. I KNEW better than this.

I know all the science stuff (doesn't that sound official) about nutrition and exercise and endorphins. I knew I had created my own hell by giving up on exercise and I also knew that only I could dig my way out. It wasn't going to be easy and I did have the choice. Or did I?

See, once you've felt FIT, I don't think you can really settle for anything less. At least not for the long term. And that's where I was. I couldn't just forget about it; I couldn't stay curled up in the bed or on the couch another minute. I knew I had to dig deep and find what it took to move.

Oh man was it slow going at first. It hurt....all over again. It made me winded....all over again. I felt fat and slow and clumsy.....all over again. It sucked. Big time!!! BUT, the one thing I noticed, was I didn't feel sad; I wasn't depressed and I no longer wanted to spend the day in bed or curled up on the couch. The endorphins were starting to kick back in; the metabolism was moving again and I could see the light.

The scale has finally started to move back down again and that's great. I really like that feeling! But I'm starting to feel strong again; to feel fit again and to feel healthy again. I can feel those muscles coming back and seeing a little change in my face. I look at junk food as exactly that....junk. I see my workout clothes in the laundry instead of gathering dust and it makes me smile. Fit feels good!!!

So even though I had a fun, incredible summer doing things I never would have done in the past, I learned a very valuable lesson. Exercise is exactly what it says it is. I can do all the running around and playing I want; and yes, that's good for the body. But at least for me, unless I stick to an actual exercise routine on a regular basis, depression will find it's way in and slowly but surely I'll let fitness and good health slip to the bottom of my priorities and I really won't even care too much.

If you're struggling, if you find it too hard each day to get up 30 minutes early or you're too tired at the end of the day, I challenge you.....no, I beg you. Give it 2 weeks. That's all. Just 2 weeks. Start with 10 minutes a day if that's all you can do. Then add 5 minutes; then 5 more. With everything I have I promise you that at the end of the 2 weeks, like me, you'll wonder why you ever thought you couldn't do it!!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • GAYLEP67
    Well said 1/3, well said. emoticon

    2600 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8532529
    I'm so happy for you that you made your way back. I have arthritis in my back so if I don't do it I feel miserable. But I know exactly what you mean about how crummy you feel psychologically too. You are awesome lady...keep up the great work!
    2600 days ago
    Yes! Fit does feel good, doesn't it? So glad to see you've picked yourself back up and are moving again! emoticon

    Terrie emoticon
    2600 days ago
    Amen sister! THe days I exercise and eat right(or even have a cheat with exercise) I feel alive and energized. Darn thyroid. It should easily be regulated by a tiny pill but isn't healthy living and exercise add to weight loss and feelings of well being!

    I attest to that fact!

    Keep at it, then when summer rolls around again you'll feel great!

    2600 days ago
    Glad to see you back and active again! FIT DOES FEEL GOOD! Keep at it lady!

    2600 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14085684
    emoticon blog!

    Thanks for sharing and the motivation. emoticon

    2600 days ago
    I agree wholeheartedly thanks for sharing..
    2600 days ago
    "... once you've felt FIT, I don't think you can really settle for anything less."


    This is a wonderful blog that I'm going to share with a couple of very important people in my life who also gave up their exercise routines for the summer and suffered serious negative emotional backlash for having done so. What you've done is given me a way to help them reignite their personal sparks, and I am very grateful.

    Thank you!
    2600 days ago
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