Where is My Love for Working Out When I Need it Most?

Why is it that it seems impossible to do any physical activity when we need the endorphins and mental/emotional benefits of working out the most? (Remember, Elle Woods taught us that working out creates endorphins, which make people happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.)

I know I need to go out to my garage to lift weights and do pull ups and burpees, but honestly I just don’t want to. And I’m not saying that I “need to” because I think I’m getting fat (although my body is certainly holding more water right now), but I need to do it for my mental health. I need to because I know that it is the one thing that can pull me out of this hard time that isn’t a prescription drug labeled “antidepressant.”

The thing is, I stopped working out before I got to this place mentally & emotionally. I’m not sure why, I just did. I stopped planning my meals and making my workouts a priority. Part of it was traveling, but let’s be honest that’s not an adequate excuse when I’m only traveling on the weekends. I simply wasn’t getting a lot of enjoyment out of it anymore. Lifting weights, jumping around with Shaun T, nothing seems to excite me enough to get my butt to my home gym that’s literally five steps from my back door. 

At this point I’m having the “chicken or the egg” debate with myself. What came first? Was my depression sneaking up and that’s why I stopped working out? Or is my depression kicking my ass because I stopped working out over a month ago? And on top of that I started eating like crap, which I know makes my body feel like crap therefore making it that much more difficult to get myself out of bed in the mornings.

So here I am, stuck in a rut that I can’t seem to get out of because I have no desire to do the one thing that I know will make me feel better. It might not work instantly; it may take an entire week of working out before I feel myself again. But wouldn’t that be worth it? That week is going to pass by anyway so I might as well take an hour out of my morning each day, or even every other day, to make the following week a little better.

But I can’t. Or at least it feels like I can’t. 

Right now, I’m convinced that if I went out to my garage and picked up the 20lb dumbbells that I used to bench press with ease that I would do two reps and drop them on my face. I feel weak. I think that’s part of why I’m scared to go out there. I’m scared to see how many steps backwards I’ve taken and how much process I’ve lost. Even though I’m the only one there and no one else has any clue how much I used to lift versus what I’d be able to lift today. 

As I write this, it’s a dreary and rainy Saturday. The funny thing is I only have a desire to run when my depression is at its peak and it’s rainy. Something about it frees me and calms me. I don’t think I run very far, I just run until my shoes are soaking wet and my water-resistant headphones are pushed to their limit. Then I go home and feel a little bit better. I don’t know why I do this only when it’s rainy. Maybe because I don’t consider myself a crier and the rainy weather makes me feel like the sky is crying for me. 

So maybe I’ll go for a run today. Maybe that will be the step I need to start falling back into love with working out. Deep down I know the love is still there, I just have to remind myself. The gym was there for me when I needed to lose 20 pounds and when my addiction to alcohol was at its worst, so I know it’ll still be there for me when I decide to come back.

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