Friday, January 07, 2011

working out for mental health.

taken with my bberry, and yes I know I cut half my head off.
I have only ever exercised for one reason, and that was to lose weight.  The end.  I would huff and puff on the treadmill or stairmaster or rowing machine with the vision of me wearing a certain dress at xyz event looking skinny.  And I wonder why those exercise regimens always failed.

This past August, I started working out for a new reason, and that was to manage my anxiety.  I would get on the treadmill and run.  I felt like I could run for days.  I was terribly anxious about everything in my life, to the point that I felt like my chest would explode.  I ran until I was so exhausted, I didn't have the energy to feel anxious anymore.  For the first time in my life, I was not picturing myself as skinnier version of myself, I was picturing myself as a happier and calmer version of myself. 

Like all things I love, I went completely over the top and ran to the point of injuring myself.  Not good.  I had to stop altogether to let my leg heal.  I started feeling anxious again, but figured I'd get back on the horse once my leg felt better.  It's better now and this time I decided to go at the exercise thing with a more balanced approach.  If you can call P90X balanced.  It involves working out every day for 91 days (they must have called it "90X" because that is catchier than "91X"!).  The beauty of this program for me, is it kind of requires you to go over the top from a commitment standpoint.  Every day? For three months?  That's a lot! 

Granted, I'm only two weeks into the program, so I'm still hopped up and ready to go every time I press play on my dvd player.  I feel myself getting stronger, and better yet, I feel my mindset getting healthier too.  After being hugely disappointed yesterday about not getting a job I wanted, I went home and worked out for 75 minutes.  The old me would have come home, poured myself a big glass of wine, ordered a pizza, and gotten on the couch for a pity party.  I didn't need those crutches to find perspective or numb my sadness.  That in itself made yesterday a great day.  Not getting completely derailed or knocked down was a way bigger accomplishment than getting any job. 

Today I get to do some kenpo, tomorrow stretching, and then on Sunday I start week 3!  I can't wait to get home to work my body and my brain out. 


  1. record your progress...i'd like to see how things are coming along for you...and it might just inspire me to get back on the insanity series bandwagon. i'm so afraid of that workout, you have no idea...

    btw, you are awesomeness and strength personified. you get more jobs/offers than anyone i know. the right job will come to YOU. i know the feeling of not getting a job that you like, but in the end, perhaps it's just the universe telling you that it wasn't right for you.

    good luck and hang in there!

  2. Anonymous3:28 p.m.

    That is great that you are doing the P90X. That is one tough workout. I was on it for a month and felt (and looked!) the best that I ever did, but then I fell off the wagon..

    Hang in there!