Exercise or Something More?

I’ve had people telling me I need to exercise for quite some time.  Family, friends, and doctors have been saying that it will probably improve my mood and help with my depression.  No matter how many times I was told, I just could not find the motivation to exercise.  I feel like a lot of people have trouble with finding motivation to exercise.  Throw depression into the mix, which basically makes everything more difficult, and it’s not likely that exercise is going to happen.

It got to the point where my PCP (Primary Care Physician) told me I need to start exercising for my health.  Do you think that motivated me?  No it did not.  I now have red stretch marks on my hips and stomach and I hate it.  I hate the way I look currently.  But I don’t think I really got motivated to work out until a week ago.  Excluding this week, the last couple weeks have been terrible.  I’ve written about it on this blog.  I’ve been experiencing almost unbearable emotional pain, boredom, and depression.  I don’t even know if it was a realization I previously made, until just this moment when I said to myself: “I need to make a change in my life.” Exercise was the change I focused on.  So, on Saturday, I went to my local Planet Fitness gym and signed a year-long contract.  Now, I’m still suffering grief from the last year-long gym contract I signed (I moved away and yet they are still charging me…) but this time will be different.  I’ve already proved that.  I’ve gone to the gym and worked out three out of the last four days.

Do you know what?  I feel better.  Not 100 percent.  Not even 75%.  Yet I feel better than I have over the last few weeks.  Is it the exercise that’s making me feel better?  Releasing endorphins in my brain and all that? I doubt it’s the new medication I started less than a week ago, because psychiatric meds tend to take a few weeks to a few months to really kick in.  Maybe it’s just my attitude that has improved, being more determined to keep getting better instead of slipping backwards in recovery…  It could be a lot of things.  But I choose to believe that exercising is helping at least somewhat.

Take yesterday for example.  I was doing pretty well right after I woke up, but then I started feeling this tension in my gut.  I started getting really frustrated, a feeling I used to associate with my anxiety.  I used to get this exact way all the time right before I would get depressed, sometimes severely depressed.  I knew where that frustration was headed, but this time (yesterday) I did not feel powerless against it.  My immediate reaction was, “I’m going to the gym!”  So I went to the gym and by the time I got there my frustration was less, and after working out for 25 minutes my frustration was gone.  In fact, I felt happy.  By the time I got home I was smiling ear to ear.

I don’t know how much exercising is going to affect my life, but I do know that I like it a lot more than I thought I did.  It’s just the thought of exercising that I don’t like very much, but once I’m there, I’m golden!  I exercised again (for 30 mins) today and I feel great.  (Especially after that nap I took later in the day…)

I’m going to continue exercising and just enjoy the good mood that I’m in.  I’m not going to analyze it too much, because I don’t want to scare my happiness away!


One thought on “Exercise or Something More?

  1. This was like reading my own life story! I now love exercise and it has helped my mental health in amazing ways, but it took a lot of trial and error and a lot of I can’t be bothered days. Good luck to you, j hope you keep it up ☺


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