Last week I shared the following post on my Facebook and Instagram accounts and got a lot of loving feedback from so many people who could relate to my experience. I would like to say THANK YOU to all of you in my community who are so incredibly supportive and allow for me to post personal things like this and feel safe while doing so.
If this struggle is a part of your journey, feel free to reach out to me. I do believe we are all stronger for sharing our vulnerable moments and supporting each other to find our ways out of them. While I am not a psychologist or a doctor, I have personally experienced first hand the huge connection between nutrition and fitness and my own mental health.
Today I want to share with you all a small snapshot of what that experience can look and feel like here on my blog because I think that this conversation often gets ignored or underestimated when it comes to making lifestyle changes. It is real and relevant.
I also want to give you a nibble of hope. Nutrition and fitness have transformed my relationship with feeling better in my body AND my mind. While it might not always be easy to incorporate these changes, incorporating a healthier lifestyle can help tremendously ease some symptoms.
A Vulnerable Post about Depression, Nutrition, + Fitness
Jennifer Lesyna – February 19th, 2016
Today I got out the door to go on a run and it felt like the hardest thing in the world to do. Like Everest.
Not because my body couldn’t handle a 5k run around the neighborhood, but because my mental state has been not feeling so strong over the past 2 weeks.
I have struggled with depression on and off all of my life. It has never been debilitating to the point where I have needed medications, but there have certainly been weeks of my life that it has stopped me in my tracks and of course, has been a huge player in my weight struggle over the years.
In fact, I would say my #1 motivator for taking control over my diet and lifestyle was to also take over control of my mental health.
Luckily, with diet and exercise, I have been able to find more or less a balance that helps me manage many of these symptoms.
But these past two weeks really caught me off guard – the depression and mental fog came and it wasn’t because I was sad about something.
Since I moved to Philly I have been REALLY happy. Like, pinch yourself because you are so grateful, happy. So what the heck?
Luckily I have been studying my body and myself for a long time and I knew it was spurred by a double whammy of a hormonal-shitstorm (my period and my thyroid levels/medications being off for a week). I knew this but it didn’t make it easier. All I wanted to do was binge watch old episodes of Friends.
One thing I now know 100% in my core now is that sugar and binge eating only make these situations last so much longer, so I did my best to hang on through it. It took a while but I slowly returned to normal as I also got my hormones back under control and slowly started feeling better. But this week I still had a hard time getting back to feeling 100%. The hard part is that what I knew I needed more than anything – good, endorphin-pumping exercise and being outdoors – was the hardest thing to do. The Everest.
I feel a LOT better now but I just wanted to share because if you also struggle with this, you are not alone. Sending you all love and light. <3