You are viewing stephanielynn76's blog MyFitnessPal is a 100% Free Calorie Counter and Diet Plan

It's either this or prozac!

So we talk alot about the physical benefits of exercise... anybody want to comment on the emtional benefits? I have personally struggled with anxiety and depression on and off over the course of my life. I've never been officially diagnosed but I know the symptoms. I've managed those feeling for many years through exercise!

When I first moved to the city I live in now it was a difficult transition for me. I had never lived away from my parents before. I was still a newlywed and had only been married less than a year at the time. I knew no one else in this city and on top of that I also have a paralyzing fear of getting lost while driving which meant I rarely left our little apartment. I fell into a terrible depression. All I wanted to do was sleep. I had no appetite. I didn't want to be around anyone. I lost all interest in everything I once loved. I quit taking care of myself... heck I even quit taking a bath for a while (I know...eeewwwwww). I fought my way through that time with prayer and exercise.

I have learned over the years that when I don't get the physical activity and endorphin release I need on a regular basis it really affects my mental and emotional state. When I exercise regularly I am generally more calm and basically just feel better about life. I seriously would need to be on antidepressants if exercise wasn't a part of my daily routine. Please know that I'm not knocking medication... there is nothing wrong with taking it if you need it. I would just rather find other ways of coping if possible.

Anyways... the reason I bring this up is that the last few weeks have been somewhat of a challenge for me emtionally and you can bet I was in the gym every day... working out all those feelings. It helps immensely. It may not change the situation :( but it does something in me that helps to change my attitude towards it. Sitting home sad about something isn't coping... hitting the weights and burning up the cardio is my way of being proactive.

22 votes + -

22 comments:

Celo24 wrote over 3 years:
You're absolutely right. We don't give exercise enough credit for helping us emotionally. I know when I'm frustrated or angry, I can go for a run or a ride and I always wind up feeling better. Great post!!
LindsayChick wrote over 3 years:
I TOTALLY agree!! I have struggled with depression as well and actually went on medication several years ago -- but stopped only a few weeks into it due to a scary side effect. Exercise is my stress release for sure! I depend on that endorphin release to keep me happy and relaxed. =) (And it's worked so far)
RTricia wrote over 3 years:
Congrats on being able to do it without meds! I think this is a common topic but very many people are afraid to discuss it. Kudos to you for your courageous heart!
sixpacking wrote over 3 years:
are you sure you're not the dauughter of my mother? cause this sounds exactly like me...wow...the gym and working out has always been my haven. Thanks for sharing.
bike4now wrote over 3 years:
That's doing it right and a good testimony.
rachel5576 wrote over 3 years:
Oh yes! If i don't exercise for even a few days depression starts to set in. I've even told my husband and family that if i start acting weird or depressed to ask me if i have been exercising. chances are if im depressed or just dont feel like myself i haven't been. This rarely happens now unless im sick or injured.
stephanielynn76 wrote over 3 years:
@rachel5576 girl my mom has even said... "You are frazzled. You need to get back to the gym ASAP!!" My family KNOWS how important it is. Trust me they would rather be around me when I've been consistently in the gym!
biellas wrote over 3 years:
So true. I've never exercised regularly but when I began to do so in January it completely changed my outlook. The endorphins from cardio are so instant for me and keep me feeling positive all day. Thanks for sharing Stephanie!
_GingerSnap_ wrote over 3 years:
After spraining me knee and being unable to run for over a week--even my nine year old was scared! The workouts are definately my "me"time, and it's like I'm a different person after a good workout! Clear headed and calm, no anxiety, no depression, and most of all no fear to tackle what lays ahead! Good for you for bringing up the topic, I thought I was the only one.
FatUncleRob wrote over 3 years:
Excellent advice. I only wish it hadn't taken me so long to figure it out (or, I should say, "believe it").
RochelleBlack wrote over 3 years:
I'm totally with you. After my little man was born, I had TERRIBLE PPD. Just thinking about it now makes my stomach queasy. I was so sick. I had never experienced anything like it before. (Just to clarify, I wasn't "I'm going to kill myself or my chidlren" sick, more like anxiety/overwhelmed/crying/felt like I couldn't care for anyone sick). The BEST thing that I did was A. take the medication my dr recommended even though it went against everything I wanted and B. gey my bum to the gym. It certainly affects my psyche and m y mood daily. It's hard for me to take rest days for this exact reason. Great topic lady ;-)
adjones5 wrote over 3 years:
I have bipolar disorder and have struggled with it my entire life. When I get in at least 60 minutes of exercise a week and take my meds as directed I am symptom free but if I miss a few work outs (even if I still take my meds as directed) I go CRAZY. Exercise saves my life everyday.
HabibtiKhalil wrote over 3 years:
OMG ITS LIKE YOUR STORY RELATES TO ME IN SO MANY WAYS...I HAVE DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY ALSO PTSD I AM SEEING A DR AND NOW TAKE MEDS...SINCE THEN HERE I AM 19 DAYS LATER 5LBS DOWN AND DEPRESSION SEEMS TO BE FADING AWAY! I NEVER NEW HOW MUCH WORKING OUT COULD HELP MY DEPRESSION UNTIL LAST WEEK I'M IN A SESSION WITH MY DOCTOR AND I ASK WHY DO I FEEL LIKE I DID A 180...SHE SAID ITS WORKING OUT..I GUESS SOME TYPE OF CHEMICAL RELEASES WHEN YOU WORK OUT AND HELPS TO GET RID OF DEPRESSION...ALL I KNOW NOW IS I WILL CONTINUE TO WORK OUT AN KEEP CONTROL OF THIS PTSD...THANKS FOR YOUR STORY...GREAT READ...VERY TRUE! GOOD LUCK ON YOUR GOALS...
Mahlissa wrote over 3 years:
I run for the same reasons. For my mind, clarity and soul. Without it, I am in a dark place. I know exactly what your talking about. I owe my being to running. You found your happy place, congrats :) and peace and well wishes.
stephanielynn76 wrote over 3 years:
@RochelleBlack -girl I had PPD something AWFUL after my first child. I was passed just anxiety and depression and headed towards psychosis. I got my bum back to the gym as soon as I was physically able. I can so relate. Thanks for sharing that. People should know how serious of a problem PPD can be. I got through that the same way I got through other depressions... exercise and prayer... actually double the prayer! Strangely enough I didn't have it with my second child but I still went back to the gym as soon as I could because I knew the potential was there.
RochelleBlack wrote over 3 years:
I think I had it after my 1st but didn't know it until after the fact. I thought I'd be fine with my 2nd. After all, I had my 1st in Decmeber (a gloomy time of year to be secluded) and he was born late April. I figured, it'll be summer, I'm in a better place now, it'll be fiiiiiiiine. Not so much. :( I never understood depression until I went through this. It is crazy to have NO control over your moods or emotions. You're a strong woman! Be proud <3
stephanielynn76 wrote over 3 years:
@RochelleBlack - You know when I went through the PPD I felt like I was going crazy... like I was just not myself. I had all these irrational fears. It was such a weird place to be because I'm a very logical down-to-earth person and here I was struggling with these feelings and fears that made no sense. Good thing those times in our lives are temporary huh. Thanks again for your comment... it's good to know that I'm not the only one who struggled...
katieclaire1975 wrote over 3 years:
I have been on prozac for a year now. I had PPD and didn't realize it because I was also pregnant with number 3 at the time. I said it was all that I was dealing with and that is why I felt like I did. I was wrong, I needed something to help me get out of the void I was in. I started talking to someone and got on prozac which helped me tremendously. I have never been a fan of taking a pill, but once I started, I was able to motivate myself to give a damn. Now one year later, I am working days 30 hours a week, take care of my kids at night, while my husband works and have a better time dealing with the lows when they happen. That's why I want to start to exercise and look better,to give myself something for me. My job ends at the end of this school year and I will be at home for the summer, I don't want to not enjoy the time with my babies! Hang in there! It's more common, now that we talk about it, then you think. And don't think of it as being weak like I did. That stopped me from getting help sooner! Good luck!
jcm214 wrote over 3 years:
The benefits of exercise have long been studied and proven to be helpful for mood regulation. I have diagnosed anxiety and depression and I'm on medication for both. I've discovered that exercising is the best way to help when I'm anxious. Yesterday I really discovered the benefits of running (ok, I walked too) but it was definitely the best release I've felt so far. Cheers to figuring out what works for you!
GoLeanWendy wrote over 3 years:
YES-endorphins are a staple for my mental health and I start to feel a rush just getting ready to work out. Commitment to active living/fitness activities at least 6 days/week has made a huge difference in my life as well!
wazkat wrote over 3 years:
Your story about when you moved to a new city sounds a lot like what I'm going through right now!! Ahhhh! It's great to hear I'm not the only one that finds it difficult to adjust to moving to a new place for the first time. I just moved to the other side of the country with my husband (of 4 yrs) and this is the first time I haven't lived near my parents and a lot of other close family. Sometimes I feel really lame, like OK I'm 30 yrs old, and I can't handle living w/o my family around, and I don't even like them THAT much!!?? I've been having a lot of ups and downs (ha, that's prob an understatement), but I'm starting to feel a LOT different as I stick to my fitness plan and use MFP. Lately, I'm also starting to realize it may actually be easier now to lose this weight because I'm not hearing my families' (particularly my parents') constant comments about how I look or especially if they can tell I've lost some weight, I always get a "oh you're getting too skinny, what are you doing, and well don't lose too much", when I've lost like 2 pounds. In other words, they're not always encouraging.

Anyway, thanks for reminding me of yet another reason why I workout and track each one of those calories day after day... :)
amygrace111 wrote over 3 years:
Steph your story is really inspiring and reading all the comments here make me feel so much better and not so alone. I have been struggling with depression and anxiety just like you and some of the others have expressed here. It started when my daughter was 2 and was unexpected and not like the me I was used to at all. But ever since it has taken over my life in the worst ways. I've lost interest in just about everything that once made me happy...I'm sad, annoyed, or angry ALL THE TIME...I hardly take care of myself, because I just can't muster up the energy or motivation to do so. I stay home all day, never go out and get social interaction, never do much of anything really... and this has gone on for almost 3 years now! :( I'm desperate to get myself out of this situation I'm in and your story really gives me that extra bit of courage I need to do that...and a little bit more insight and faith in knowing there IS a way. I'm sure my awful diet and complete lack of exercise is just digging me a deeper hole. This is just the motivation I need to make a change. Thank you. Much love to you and all the peeps here. x

Add Comment

Commenting as anonymous user

About Me
489f593ff397da0fe667190d2f66fd23edda_thumb
Tools
Archives
About MyFitnessPal
Join MyFitnessPal today and lose weight the healthy way. Get your own 100% free diet blog and calorie counter. Put away your credit card - you'll never pay a cent."

join now for free