The question I get asked more than any other is this:
How did you start? How did you pull yourself out of depression to even care enough to go outside?
And here’s my answer:
I got tired of “feeling sorry for myself.”
Now, I am by no means insinuating that all depressed people are simply feeling sorry for themselves. I do not think that at all.
In the state I was in, I just felt like self pity was the one, most significant emotion that was holding me back from DOING. I was done playing the victim. I was done having my life dictated to me through the haze of unfeeling, and just taking people at their word that I was living.
I wasn’t living. I was dwelling. I was stuck in a sinkhole and every second I didn’t move I lost more of me to the nothingness that was slowly swallowing me.
I started by committing to a gym membership. It was a pretty pricey one, but I knew I’d go if I spoiled myself. It was cleaner than the cheaper ones, had better classes, and it didn’t have carpet. I was set.
I couldn’t wait to use my expensive gym!
…Or I guess I could because I started using it, and then stopped. I just stopped going.
I couldn’t get motivated, so I ate boxes of Cap’n Crunch at a time instead (because that makes sense).
Instead of just gathering the willpower to go back, I looked for magic pills to “cure my motivation problem.”
I started taking outlawed diet pills. Stacks of things that were never meant to be taken together that caused weight loss, sure, but I also lost some short-term memory. Things are still muddled when I try to think back to that time.
When I finally got off those because my eye was twitching non-stop and I ran out of the pills and couldn’t get them from a supplier anymore, my body backfired and so did my self-confidence. I went from a size 2 back up to a size 6.
OH GAWD! A SIZE 6!!!
…you’re all saying.
Please understand that I was not in a healthy mindset. This shift in my body was an unhealthy one and was hard for me to handle in my state of fragility. I had become accustomed to being a size 2 without really trying.
And that’s the bottom line of it: I wasn’t trying.
We’ve all heard it before: the suck-it-up philosophy. The just-do-it mentality.
Well, for the depressed, it’s just not that easy.
…and it is.
If you’re depressed, you logically know that getting up and doing something will make you feel better… for a few minutes. Maybe an hour.
But you also feel in your core that it is bound to come circling back to this point. Your baseline is this emptiness.
So what’s the point of trying at all?
I caught myself saying this quite a few times in my life. It was kind of my philosophy.
Until I said it out loud to a teacher, at which he remarked, “Aren’t you a defeatist?”
I’d never been called that. It had never dawned on me that this defeatist had taken over my perspective and was killing any ounce of effort I threatened to exert.
I became determined to change my mindset. I was hellbent on kicking that woe-is-me perspective to the curb and fighting for something.
So I went to the gym and started to fight.
When I started working out with determination and concentration on what I wanted my life to be, I found that what I envisioned in the gym began to unfold outside of the gym.
My body changed, yes, but that was the least of it.
I started feeling more confident. I found that day-to-day life wasn’t so hard anymore. My focus and drive increased so that I could hold on to positive thinking patterns.
I didn’t know that fitness would become the outlet that would eventually turn my life around. I didn’t go into it planning to start Strong Inside Out and become a bootcamp instructor touring North America.
I started because I was sick of being a puppet to depression and anxiety. I was sick of having my life lived for me.
So today, I ask you to take back control in your life, too.
It’s simple, and you and your defeatist can make all the excuses you want, but just do yourself a favor and TRY.
There are multiple action steps today, depending on where you are in life:
If you’re struggling, and are inactive:
Commit to going outside for a 10 minute walk this week. It’s pretty much beautiful everywhere in the world right now and I’m not asking you to go for a 3-mile run; I’m just asking you to take one step toward shifting your baseline. It doesn’t always have to be this way. It’s worth the effort, and that effort starts right now.
If you’re struggling, and are slightly active:
Commit to devoting one workout this week to FIGHTING. Don’t judge yourself while you do it. Do this one alone during a run or an in-home workout, and just let go of all the crap you’re holding in all day long. Let the physical exertion drain the anxiety and emptiness out of your body by focusing on channeling all energy through your movements. Drive your body with your will to change and live this life that was given to you. Try it this week and if it doesn’t work for you, drop it next week.
If you’re not struggling, but believe that using exercise as a physical outlet can help someone you love:
Share this post with the world by clicking here to tweet it or like it on Facebook here:
Sending it to them directly may have a backfire effect, making that person feel more isolated or even “caught.” For that reason, let’s keep it to social sharing. :)
Feel like you need extra motivation?
JOIN THE INTENSIVE
I am overjoyed to introduce my brand new 8-week program for those who want to lose weight and adopt a healthy mindset that allows for change and maintenance.
If you want to discover and unleash your inner strength through fitness with a holistically health-focused, mantra-based, 8-week program, you can read more about joining the virtual intensive by clicking here.
As you may have gathered from the way I’ve been heading with The 30×30 Project and the movement that inspired it, I’m moving past simple fitness training and incorporating a lot more holistic aspects to it.
This is not just a weight-loss program; this is a journey to uncover and harness your power and drive.
We’ll focus on:
- Mindfulness so that eating right doesn’t feel wrong
- Confidence so that you can love YOU wherever you are in your journey
- Self-Worth so that you believe you are capable of change and can commit fully to achieving it
- Motivation so that you can hold on to your drive well past the course’s completion
- Mantras so that you have the tools to fall back on when your strength wanes
- Progressive strength programs to boost metabolism and drive fat-burning hormones up
- Cardio Programs to make you a fat-burning furnace
- A guided 30-day challenge to detox your body and mind
- A guess-and-check-free system to make a healthy diet your new lifestyle
Most of all, you’ll learn how to harness your inner strength by using your outer strength, and stay strong even when you’re outside of the gym.
This intensive is your chance to start strengthening from the inside out through fitness and healthy choices. This is your chance to start living the healthy life you dream of.
If you’re sick of playing the victim, and are ready to do some dirty work to start LIVING your healthy life on YOUR terms, this intensive is for you.
This is not a course to sign up for to do whenever you get a chance. This is an intensive, 8-week course with journal prompts, workouts, and dirty work. This course can revolutionize your life and your body, but you have to be ready to work.
The Intensive is only open for enrollment for 2 weeks (ending July 19th), so ensure you snag a spot and sign up now!
An ending and a beginning…
Today is officially my 30th 30×30 Project Bootcamp! My big dream has been achieved, and we raised thousands of dollars for To Write Love On Her Arms. I met hundreds of amazing people. I’ve shown thousands of people who are struggling that hope is real.
There is so much to be said, so many plans, and honestly not enough space to write it in here, so I promise I’ll tell you more next week. Until then, stay strong and I hope to see you in the intensive.
With hope and fire,