For any of us who have ever struggled with depression or anxiety, fellow writer and blogger Alecia Simersky candidly shares her experience with perhaps one of the more powerful “drugs” we have at our disposal. After hearing from her here, visit Alecia at her home site (http://www.aleciasimersky.com) or at God-sized Dreams, where she is a regular blogger (http://godsizeddreams.com/).
For me fitness had always been about looking good in my shorts or jeans. My momma-got-back booty had to stay in shape or it would enter a room 5 seconds after I did :).
I lived for the compliments of, “You’re so skinny!” or “Oh my gosh, what do you do?”
I treasured the number on the scale when it told me a number I was pleased with along with the number size on my jeans.
Fitness was all about looking good, period.
And then I starting experiencing depression and panic attacks and I knew exercise was more important than ever.
But when you are feeling low, the last thing you want to do is get your sweat on. More like put the sweat pants (or yoga pants) on and sleep.
After one of my visits to the doctor she said “I know you don’t feel like it, you’re tired, but you need to walk or do something. Don’t concentrate on the scale or your weight; focus on feeling better.”
I took her advice to heart.
I’ve now been doing a workout program for 6 weeks. And you wanna know my motivation? How it makes me feel when I’m done…amazing! It’s the only reason I keep doing it. I have to literally force myself every day to work out and make no excuses. It’s on the calendar like any other appointment.
It feels good to pay attention to how I feel rather than the scale. I’m no longer distracted and discouraged by the numbers.
When you concentrate on losing weight for vanity sake, you will hit a wall. I’ve heard it a thousand times from workout specialists, but didn’t believe it. Why on earth would anyone want to work out other than looking good and getting attention?!
Now looking good and wearing cute clothes is an added bonus. My real motivation is to have a healthy body, mind, and spirit.
God wants us to live life fully and abundantly and that means, spiritually, physically, mentally, and sexually. (John 10:10)
I want my kids to see a mom that even though she has been struggling she still shows up each day to do everything in her power to do what she needs to do to feel better.
I’m still struggling with the anxiety and depression but it is getting better, and exercise has been one of the main reasons.
I’m learning more and more what being “healthy” really means. What kinds of foods are best for my body and which ones to stay away from. I’m also teaching my family as I go.
While I don’t wish panic attacks and depression on anyone, the silver lining that I’m finding in it, is that I never would have taken these steps to focus on my health from this perspective if I hadn’t had them.
The feeling I have after I exercise is what keeps me coming back for more. Now when someone mentions working out being more powerful than an antidepressant I know what they mean! Because I know first-hand they are right.
What healthy steps can you take today? Do you find it hard to exercise when you aren’t feeling your best?
Today, if you are feeling depressed or lousy about your weight, self-image, marriage, kids, etc. Try taking a walk for just 15 minutes. Don’t focus on how many calories you are burning or how you look in your tight exercise pants and how uncomfortable that sports bra is. Go outside and focus on the sun, the green grass, the trees and birds and pretty flowers. Thank God for all the little ways in which you are blessed.
I know the very last thing you want to do when your depressed is get up, get dressed, and work out. Even the thought of doing all that moving around exhausted me and called for a nap.
But I think when you get to a certain low; you know that you know, something has to change. And if exercise will help, you do it!
When you come back your mind will feel refreshed and you will be excited to do it again tomorrow. And if not, do it anyways!
It’s worth it, I promise!
Alecia Simersky is a Southerner by birth (and grace) and a gypsy by marriage (she’s moved 7 times in the last 13 years). She writes to encourage Christians to live differently because of the grace we’ve been shown through Jesus. She has a heart to encourage others to get off the rocky shore of self-doubt and sail into the life Christ has waiting for them. She is quiet by nature, introverted, quirky and fiercely loyal (she becomes Mama Bear when someone messes with her people). She will share her heart, story, struggles and her pain; just don’t ask her to share her chocolate!