Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fitness, Food and New Chapters

If you've stuck around this blog long enough (thank you for those that do stick around, by the way; shit gets downright nutty up in here) you'll know that at any one time I'm usually having some sort of crisis of self in which I'm trying to figure out just what the hell I'm doing in life.  I always feel like I'm just about to latch onto The Answer, the thing that's going to help me get over my depression and anxiety hurdles and allow me to feel like a normal person.


I don't have to tell most of you you that it's not really that easy. I'm of the mind that there's really no one answer to help us "deal with our shit" as the kids say; drugs and therapy can and do help, particularly when they're paired together, but ultimately the change has to come from within. This is part of the reason I went off anti-depressants a few years ago--the constant increasing of dosages and shifting of drugs and side effects weren't forcing or even allowing me to deal with either the root causes of my anxiety nor the manifestations. Anti-depressants kept me in a sort of numbed state, no better nor worse than I was before. If I stopped the pills for any period of time the anxiety and depression were waiting just around the corner to attack again.

I personally wasn't really capable of objectively evaluating my life and my anxiety, which is where therapy came in in a big way.  Therapy back in Maine helped me wade through a lot of my own thoughts and feelings and come to some measure of peace, or the closest thing I'd felt to peace in a long time.  I'm continuing the therapy train here and though I've only been to two sessions I'm already starting to feel even more grounded.


Now that I feel like I'm getting closer to feeling normal there are some changes that I really want to make, specifically surrounding my relationship with food and fitness.

Rob finds it interesting that I have almost an emotional relationship with food since he hardly has one at all outside of "get in my fucking mouth." Because of that he's able to eat relatively healthy food with a little bit of gross stuff every now and again.  Me, I love all junk food.  If I didn't have celiac disease I'd probably be eating Burger King for lunch today instead of peanut butter and jelly or leftover gluten-free pizza. That pretty Easter basket I made Rob a few weeks ago? I ate probably 80% of that candy without even realizing I was doing it.  I really want to work on my emotions surrounding food and learn how not to give into every craving my body has for sweet food.*

The second issue I'd like to deal with is how I approach fitness.  My struggles with the gym and with body dysmorphia have been well-documented here, but suffice it to say that my insecurity at the gym led to more hatred of myself, which led to more or less of a "fuck it" mentality when it came to drudging up motivation to work out. Now that I'm reaching my mid-to-late twenties, I've come to the realization that habits like eating healthier and staying fit start now and could be harder to approach as I get older.  I want to be strong and to take care of my body so that it will take care of me into my droopy old age.

Rob and I talked at length about the fitness part of it, since going to the gym was basically not an option because of the anxiety it gave me and the subsequently increased chance of burning out quickly.  He suggested I buy a Jillian Michaels DVD (specifically "Ripped in 30") and start out here at home.  I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that it was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders--not only did I not have to worry about finding a new gym, I could do an extremely effective workout program at home to help gain confidence and maybe one day go to a gym.  I ordered it online and I should get it by Monday, at which time my friend Justine and I plan on keeping each other accountable (read: guilty, because that's my main motivator) to do the workouts every day, no matter how tired or sore we may be from the day before.

I know this may sound schmaltzy but I'm really excited to start a new phase of my own personal therapy and get my body to a place where I am proud of it (and keep it there).  It's time to get the fuck off my ass, stop staring at the Internet all day and do something physical.  Anyway let's face it, our bodies are far too awesome to not take care of them the best we can.

I'd love to hear any tips from you guys about food issues or fitness.  And if you made it through that jumble of thoughts props to you! It's been a long morning.

*Funny story: when I worked at a hospital right out of college I craved sweet food so often that my coworkers suggested I get tested for diabetes. Luckily I didn't have it but the celiac diagnosis came just a year later.

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