Fitness and Healthy Eating While Dealing with Depression

Posted: June 20, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been working on this post for almost a week I think since commenting on another blog about this topic, but it’s been hard for me because I don’t really know what to say but I want to say something about this.

For those who don’t know I struggle with depression. For me, it’s primarily caused by my other health issues and with that it’s something that sort of comes and goes, and typically it’s bad when my other health issues are also bad.

When I get depressed though, it makes it really hard to stick with eating healthy or working out, or really anything else related to my health.

And probably one reason I wanted to write about this is because I see it minimized so often. People treat making poor food choices when depressed as an issue with emotional eating and discount the difficulty it poses with fitness because working out is supposed to help depression, and these comments don’t really represent my experiences with depression and healthy activities.

The biggest hindrance with depression for me is that when I feel very depressed, I just don’t care about myself, I don’t care about my health, I don’t feel like it’s worth it or it matters to put in effort to do something for myself, and I don’t feel like I’m worth that effort. This part never seems to get brought up. I approach fitness and other healthy behaviors from a place of self-love. I believe that working out should come from loving your body not hating it. Hating my body or hating myself has never been an effective motivation for me to work out or do anything else to take care of my body. And part of depression, at least for me, is feeling worthless. When I feel terrible about myself, it becomes really hard to put in effort to do thing that I’m doing for my benefit.

I don’t struggle with eating healthy when I’m depressed because I’m eating for comfort/emotional eating. I struggle with it because I just don’t care about anything and I don’t feel like I’m worth the effort and usually the less healthy food choices are the ones that take the least effort.

For awhile for me it seemed like the biggest impact for me was on my diet, but that I was still able to push myself through a workout despite it. But actually last night I did an OHP workout and was feeling really depressed and it did not go well at all. I mean, I made it through the main lifts and lifted the set weights for the workout, but didn’t really do any assistance work and just the whole time did not want to be doing it at all. For all the reasons I’ve already mentioned.

And I hear a lot that it’s stupid to not workout due to depression because working out helps with depression- and I’ve certainly experienced that a lot before. But it also doesn’t always. It certainly doesn’t always have any immediate noticeable effect. I did not feel any less depressed after my workout last night than before. And even if it helps, it’s typically not a cure. Maybe the depression isn’t as severe if you keep working out regularly, but for most people it will still be there, and if the depression makes you not want to workout, that is a hell of a thing to fight through all the fucking time.

And I wish I had some advice to finish this post off with, something I could tell other people struggling with this that helps, but I got nothing. I clearly have no simple solution to this because it’s something that I still struggle with.

  1. ainsobriety says:

    In my last severe bout of depression I found yoga. There was no way I was going to spin or bootcamp. I wanted to be alone, but I was also lonely.
    So, in an attempt to do something, I went yoga. And found a nice, low energy place to let out some of my deep sadness.
    I find I dont eat when depressed. I don’t feel it’s worth the effort. I sort of wanted to just fade away. But without even trying. If that makes sense.

    I agree. Holding on to a regular fitness and nutrition program might help, but it is almost impossible to do.

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