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Getting Fit After Long Term Depression? Tips?

Discussion in 'Depression & Suicidality' started by Bearlinda, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Bearlinda

    Bearlinda On the way to find out :-) Premium Member Donated

    Thanks @Zoogal bookmarked for future ref

    You should go @heyheyhey It sounds good! I remember having a go at it on the wii thingamjig a few years ago and being surprised how much I got into it lol

    I wanna do self defence classes at some point, gotta wait till I'm stronger yet tho
    Zoogal likes this.
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  3. Allie D.

    Allie D. Just Plain Allie Premium Member

    Friday, I'm struggling with this right now. The past couple of months, I've had a hard time eating. I don't get hungry. I basically get badgered into some kind of meal with protein veggies etc and am in the habit of having a good-sized plateful of fruit...but often I don't eat until 9pm. It can be very very difficult to eat when you're not hungry - let alone when you feel sick to your stomach, or gagging, which are things I struggle with too.

    Even though I'm taking in significantly fewer calories, I know my metabolism is stalling - at least partly *because* I'm taking in fewer calories, and on a screwed-up schedule to boot. It is not healthy but it's a struggle. I'm lucky to have people who make sure I eat.

    Physical activity and diet can be as circular as pain and depression. It's hard to know where to start. But I'm glad you mentioned the importance of eating on a regular basis.
    Friday likes this.
  4. Tornadic Thoughts

    Tornadic Thoughts I'm a VIP

    Yes to the punching bag/speed bag! It was my favorite form of therapy several years ago when I was at the brink of my break down/break through. I had a speed bag at home and a punching/speed bag combo in my office at work. And still had two good shoulders to use them with. Incredibly helpful on so many levels.

    I more recently, in the last year and a half, discovered the mini-trampoline/rebounder and it's been amazing with results. You can make it as low impact as you need it and work your way up to letting your feet leave the surface for higher impact. they make them with safety bars, too, which is important for me and my non-graceful self. lol It can be used indoors or out. I have mine as part of the living room decor next to the stereo speakers. On sunshiny days, I roll it outside.

    Along with hand made hula hoops. (learned how to make them at You Tube University....lol) It took a couple weeks of practicing each day after I lost my first 50 lbs. to keep the hoop up, but I finally made it. :) Then I practiced hooping to a whole song, which was a whole lot harder than I thought it would be. Ended up taking a basic hoop dance class after losing 110 lbs. and learned a few moves, then took a teach kids to hoop class online and have been spreading the joy ever since. It's too much fun to feel like work, and that helps me, big time. I used to never exercise on purpose. lol I still don't call it exercise, I call it purposeful daily movement.

    I switched to a plant-based diet after an emergency room visit for gall bladder issues (didn't have to have surgery), and I weighed over 300 lbs at the time, and started those two exercises, along with random dancing, gardening, and walking in nature daily and lost 110 lbs and got much of my life back. Still deal with pains from poor choices, lots of miles, and wear and tear, but I never imagined I'd be this size/weight again or have fewer (or at least different....lol) health issues than I'd been dealing with for so long.

    The stretching is where I fail to follow through, although I know full well how much relief it would bring. Can't find a local restorative yoga instructor without having to drive almost an hour each way. No thanks. Not after reaching a blissful state of relaxation, especially. Gentle yoga wasn't gentle enough for my rickety self as it made things hurt more than it helped. Homey can't hang with anymore pain. I'm allergic to it. lol

    Best wishes in your wellness pursuits. Make it as fun as possible and don't forget to breathe on purpose, too! :)
    +littlebird and Bearlinda like this.
  5. Judi

    Judi Guest

    Hi there, I'm struggling with getting back into exercise too. I'm wondering if there is anyone who has the same problem as me. One of my symptoms is my fight/flight switch - when I do anything, even just a little bit of exercise, my heart rate immediate jumps extremely high.

    It's really frustrating trying to explain to others, including my family, as they believe I can repair this by doing little bits of exercise, and gradually increase the intensity.

    The problem is that I been like this for 26 years and have seen multiple specialists - apparently I have a 'phantom' condition!!

    Does any one have the same, and how have you coped with it?
    Bearlinda likes this.
  6. Bearlinda

    Bearlinda On the way to find out :-) Premium Member Donated

    Great to hear you've gotten fitter and healthier despite problems. And it sounds like you've done it very much in your own way and with fun in mind, I like that muchly! Lovely to hear from someone who's managed what I want to do so cheers for that and thanks for the well wishes :)
    Tornadic Thoughts likes this.
  7. Bearlinda

    Bearlinda On the way to find out :-) Premium Member Donated

    Hi Judi
    I havent haf this problwm myself but I remember reading a book called 8 keys to safe trauma recovery by Babette Rothschild and she describes having had this particular problem. I can't remember what she says about it but thought you might like to know that someone else has this same problem.

    Also it might be worth starting a new thread to ask if others have this happen to them too you might be more likely to get helpful replies
    Hope you find others who relate, it must be frustrating!
  8. Bearlinda

    Bearlinda On the way to find out :-) Premium Member Donated

    The getting fitter thing is going well :)
    From having sometimes resisted walking each day - well I still sometimes resist lol but I do it anyway.

    I've gone from feeling very tired and in pain and with an odd feeling of my body not feeling like it's working right to feeling strong with energy and an easy flow when I walk. No more ankle pain when I walk either!

    Ever so pleased for myself :) I've been very gentle through this process and still am only walking a fairly short distance. I plan to increase the length of tge walk gradually but by bur in the coming weeks.

    I've been thinking about and checking out other kinds of exercise online including yoga, pilates, stretching, swimming etc and will also start trying out some of those too.

    I remember not that long ago I had a seriously hard time sleeping - and now I sleep regularly and wake early each day. This isn't just due to exercise - have been working on improving my sleep for some time - but I'm sure it helps too.

    Happy :)
    Tornadic Thoughts likes this.
  9. Bearlinda

    Bearlinda On the way to find out :-) Premium Member Donated

    Also, and don't know if it's at all linked, but I feel a little mentally stronger as well as physically stronger - I guess it would make sense - achieving something even if only by very little steps helps me I feel a lot less helpless.
    Tornadic Thoughts likes this.
  10. Snowglobe

    Snowglobe New Member

    Yes when I got back to the gym after a long break after an assault I also experienced fight flight response with exercise and I would panic even walking down the road or even just in warm weather basically anything that affected my breathing. I then got thinking about it when I realised what was happening and decided to think what was the least out of breath exercise to start with and then aim to build up. So I started with weights machines and small weights at home because you don't sweat too much and you can do it in comfy clothes and it doesn't raise heart rate too much.

    It felt good to have the feedback on my muscles and using the weights machines at the gym felt nice and made me feel strong even though the weights were light to begin with. It didn't feel like exercise as such more like pushing stuff and lifting stuff which felt safe and more like everyday movements. It was empowering because I was pushing my energy into it which helped with my nervous energy and tension and all sorts.

    As it was making me feel stronger and more aware of my muscle tension I then started stretching. I regularly at home before bed did a workout by millionaire hoy on YouTube and it was very gentle and slow paced and made me feel relaxed so I enjoyed that feeling and it helped me feel sleepy not panicky. My body awareness slowly increased and my enjoyment of moving again increased and I became more aware of how I was responding to slight increased heart rate.

    Gradually I started walking on treadmill listening to podcasts to time and distract me but I had to talk myself through my breathing constantly saying this is exercise breathing this is not panic. Eventually I built up to jogging and running were using talking myself through what was happening with my breathing was vital but I did it and it felt like I was breaking through a block or a wall. I was regularly running 8k and absolutely loving it.

    It was hard work but eventually I learned the difference between exercise breathing and panic and it helped in so many ways. I had a really good 18 months / 2 years of feeling strong, fit and powerful with the exercise I built into my life but and then I had a very long bad relapse where I've stayed in bed more often then out of it for 2 years. Ive lost all that fitness which I built up and was loving doing and was finally coming to life and living.

    I am trying to come out of my relapse now. I did my first walk back at the gym today and it was only 20 mins but it's a vast improvement on the nothing of the last 2 years. My depression is intense so I feel like I'm walking through mud but I'm going to try my method again and build back up that way. So I guess it worked once for me so it should work again. Perhaps that kind of approach would work for you - do least out of breath movements and actions and exercises first then build up to more as your breathing control and body awareness improves. The results are life changing if you can be gentle with yourself and allow yourself time to get used to each step in your own way. Even after a short time. Although I'm at the beginning of restarting this back to fitness journey I know that because I put that time in the first time to do what I needed to do for my own sense of comfort and safety I am not going to be going right back to the beginning again. So whatever you can achieve is going to be form foundations to build on each time. That was a long reply!

    Hope it helps to know what you are experiencing is shared and understood - even if it seems almost impossible for some people who don't experience it to really understand. It even makes basic biological sense so their reasons for not understanding are likely they are focusing on the psychological side of fight or flight rather then the literal comparable biology of exercise and flight responses. Good luck!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2017
    brat17 and Bearlinda like this.
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