Random post. maybe.
After my post about our weekly/daily schedule, I got to thinking I never really explained WHY I worked out. I know most people work out for the health benefit and I do to, but working out is more than just 45 minutes of cardio.
I have struggled my whole adolescent and adult life with depression. It has perseverated itself in different ways but mostly with bulimia and anorexia and self-deprecating thoughts. It has been 10 years since I last binge ate or force puked. I have always felt there was a strong stigma associated with mental disorders, if that is what you wish to call them. People who don't struggle in this area might say, "you should be able to just overcome it". In my experience, doctors really don't know how to "cure" or "fix" it besides asking you to take some sort of medication or talk you through your feelings. Now I am NO medical doctor, but I have learned I know my body best. I have to be my own advocate.
The first way I started to overcome my "disorder" was to discover God's gracious love for me and develop a personal relationship with Him. For so much of my life, I didn't love who God had made. I hated what I saw in the mirror. This effected every part of my life including relationships with friends and family. In my journey with God, He has revealed to me His great love for me and that He made me in His image. Who was I to destroy what He so delicately and lovingly strung together. I was beautiful in His image. Thank you Jesus for revealing that to me.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
And with God's help, I have had a more clear ability to know what I need to be healthy....So back to the title of the post...why do I work out? I have found that with my "stuff" that if I regularly workout, those good "endorphins" really help me to even out. I always think of that quote from "Legally Blonde" - "endorphins make you happy"! Medicine didn't work for me (I am not opposed to it, it just didn't work). SO I have found that if I work out 3-4 times a week that I am a better mom, wife and friend.
I was reminded just this spring when working out took a backseat, I was a mess. I need that time. I think as women we are inclined to think a little time to take care of YOU is not okay. We judge each other too often (but that is another post). I am so blessed that my husband knows I struggle in this way and knows a gym membership is more of a necessity than a luxury. Working out is not about a number on the scale or necessarily a physical health goal. Working out is an emotional boost and calms my soul. I don't always want to do it but I know I need it.
Mental illness in this country is strongly overlooked and so little research is done when you have it. Unlike other illnesses, I never had tests done to dig in and find the root cause. Whether it be a hormone imbalance, chemical imbalance or something else. I am not totally crunchy granola but if there is something I can do balance my mood naturally, I am all for it. I am still learning how to overcome this condition but like Paul, God doesn't always take away our afflictions. He calls us to use them for His glory so I hope by sharing a little piece of my story, I encourage someone else in their battle.
So there you have it, now when you see me in my gym shorts...you will know why.
**Note I have nothing against medicine and I take vitamins in addition to working out and use the essential oil peace & calming as well as accupuncture. I understand working out alone will not cure depression and I understand there are many different forms and they reveal themselves in many ways....remember this was just a self-confession - take it with a grain of salt ;)