It isn’t easy, but I did it and I want to share with you a little about my journey, so that maybe it can help you in yours
If you are a returning reader – welcome back to the Gem Fitness blog! Thank you for trusting me to help you with all things related to weight loss and mental and physical health.
If this is your first time… HAAYYYY. I am so glad you are here! I hope you find this blog educational, helpful, and empowering. My goal is to equip you, not only with knowledge, but also with the empowerment to take action on your goals – whatever they may be
As humans, it is normal to feel depressive symptoms at various points in our lives. We all feel really sad at some point, right?
When my divorce came about in 2016, I was more than just “really sad.” I was withdrawing from my social life. I was sleeping A LOT, more than normal and no matter how much I slept, I was always tired. I was irritable. I was miserable. I was not finding joy in things that I normally loved (like riding my horses).
This is how I knew I was dealing with depression. I do not have generalized depression, I have situational depression. Situational depression is onset by a major life event. I have never been diagnosed (I studied psychology in school and worked as a counselor, so I am familiar with the symptoms). I have never been medicated for depression (simply due to the fact that that is not what I wanted for my life)… so, how did I overcome my depression?
I often say I learned to deal with the depression on my own, but in reality I had a lot of support from God and from my friends and family (some of whom never even knew they were helping me through this depression).
On top of my support system, I turned to the gym. I started working out again. I started slow with 30 minutes here and there, low intensity workouts (sometimes I just wandered around or just did cardio. This was before I was a trainer and before I knew how to write workout programs LOL.) As time went on, my workout routine got better and longer and I became more and more invested.
It has been shown in science over and over that working out fights depression by increasing the flow of endorphins and dopamine to the brain. When put very simply… endorphins and dopamine are the chemicals in your brain that make you feel good and send a “reward” to the brain. When the brain is rewarded, the behavior is positively reinforced (which is a good thing! 🙂
Now that I had a support system to lean on and I had started back on my workout routines, I relied on 2 more things: consistency and persistence.
Persistence means never giving up.
Consistency means sticking to it overtime.
I had to persist. I had to get out of bed… get dressed… go workout… even when I did not want to. Side note: I was not perfect. There were days when I did not want to or days when I would do 15 minutes at home instead of the planned hr in the gym, BUT one day not going to plan did not get me down and did not stop me from getting back on the next day.
I say this all the time because I truly believe it and it is what has worked for me all these years…. follow the 90/10 rule. If you follow your plan 90% of the time, you will see results.
Not giving up is great, but without consistency, it won’t mean much. Imagine if you only persist for a week. Do you think you are going to get very far? Probably not, right? You have to make a plan and stick to it day to day, week to week, and month to month.
This is a very abridged version of my fight with depression, but I hope this insight can help you if you are battling a similar demon.
Here is what I really want you to take away from this:
- You need a support system
- Working out and eating right are KEY to fighting depression (that’s science, not my opinion)
- Work on being persistent and consistent in your fight
- Seek professional mental health help
- Remember: 90/10 rule always applies in mental and physical health
Action steps to take
- Identify the depression (you may need an outside opinion from a mental health professional for this. If your symptoms last more than a few months.. you definitely need to seek help. There is no shame in this. This is important part)
- Identify your support systems
- Figure out why it is important to you to overcome this depression. What do you want to be able to do? How do you want to feel? On a scale 1-10, how important is this to you?
- Set small goals. Get out of bed. Get dressed. Put on some makeup. Go for a walk. Go out for an hr or two with a friend. Catch my drift?
- Get to work, start taking action. This one is pretty self explanatory right? It is super simple, but that is not to say it is easy.
Important note: this blog is not to take the place of professional medical or mental health help. Please make an appointment with your doctor or counselor for further assistance.
Did you know you can book a free 30 minute consult call with me? We can talk about your goals and what you are struggling with and I will help you make a personalized plan 🙂 Click here to schedule —> https://gemfitnessscheduling.as.me/consultcall