Fitness Fridays: Mental Health and Physical Health

My journey of health and fitness begins a bit differently than most.  I did not gain a lot of weight while pregnant with Skeeter.  Since I had gestational diabetes, I monitored everything I ate.  I gained twenty-one pounds with her.  I also lost all of the baby weight very quickly – too quickly.  Nearly thirty pounds came off of my frame due to severe postpartum anxiety.  I could not sit still, and I was nursing.  I was burning more calories than I consumed.

Once I finally sought treatment for my postpartum depression and my postpartum anxiety, I began to regain my appetite.  I started feeling mentally healthier, and I turned to food at times to cope with the stress.  I still did not feel much energy to go out and exercise on a consistent basis.  Coping with the morning routine and wrangling my two girls while tending to my own mental health took precedence.  I also started to realize the need for mending my relationship with my husband.  He had borne the brunt of my anger, my frustration, my tears, my anxiety, and my depression.  He took care of the entire family tirelessly.

After a year in recovery, I was feeling so much better.  I hated the way I looked. I did not feel comfortable or confident in my skin.  I had evolved so much internally, but I felt like my exterior did not match all the changes that I had made on the interior.  I had taken control of my own mental health, but in the process I had neglected my physical health.  I had gained all of the weight back and then some.  I was at my heaviest weight.

I began to work out again, and I joined the fitness center at my work.  My endurance improved, and I felt stronger.  I was not seeing the results I wanted.  I realized that it was time to tackle my eating habits.  I found a group of like-minded friends who helped keep me motivated at work and online.  I finally found my tribe of health and fitness folks who remind me to stay on track and stay motivated. Exercise resets my day and my mood.  It is my go to for self-care.  I feel confident in how I look. I feel fantastic inside and out.  I still struggle with self-doubt and anxiety, but I know how to talk back to those feelings.  Sometimes all I need is a kick boxing workout to fight those demons that live in my head.  I remind myself to keep my chin up and keep fighting.

Always believe in yourself

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About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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7 Responses to Fitness Fridays: Mental Health and Physical Health

  1. John says:

    Diet is, at least, 3/4 of the fitness equation (he says, having just tried to singlehandedly destroy a Chinese buffet for lunch). A year & a half ago, I allowed myself to eat/drink, basically, whatever I wanted because I would work out every now & then. I can’t say that things are easier, now — I’m quite careful about what I allow myself to eat, and how much, but I’m FAR healthier than I’ve ever been in my life.

    Glad to hear that you’re finding what works for you :)

    • John, I’ve improved my eating habits tenfold. It has helped me tremendously. Now to figure out the secret behind proper fueling for runs.

      • John says:

        I’m HORRIBLE about fueling for runs. Though my lack of thought about it may actually work in my favor. I, typically, don’t bother eating before a training run — I get out of bed, do a little strength training, chug a pint of water, and go – if I’m running from my house, I don’t even carry water on me. If I start feeling faint, I just cut the run short, but that seldom happens.

        For an actual event, I’ll wake earlier, make myself a cup of coffee with cream & sugar, and eat something with carbs (if I have homemade bread, great, if not, I find something), and then drink whatever sports drink they have for the first half of the race (switching to water for the last half).

        For the most part, “not thinking about it” hasn’t hurt me . . . I’m sure it’s not maximizing my training, but lack of injury works :)

  2. dyane says:

    Awesome post! I find that if I get my elliptical workout in I feel so much better after the first two minutes! I was dead-tired yesterday and came sooooo close to blowing it off. Then by the grace of God I hauled myself on my NordicTrack and I didn’t stop until an entire hour later feeling 100% better!

    I especially loved your line “Exercise resets my day and my mood. ”

    I’m so glad that you’re doing better and that you found what worked well for you!!! :)

  3. Kara says:

    You go, girl. Nothing clears the mind like working the body.

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