Archive for the ‘Fat and Depressed to Lean and Happy’ Category

Ok, I’m sat at my Laptop ready to start typing, but how should I start?

I’ll just jump right in….

I suffer from Anxiety and Depression.

Who cares? You may ask.

I also asked this question, and I’m with you.
Why should you, or anyone else care about any aspect of my life?

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Well, you shouldn’t, and probably don’t, but after speaking to an acquaintance and fellow fitness professional, Paul Mort, I was convinced to write about my experiences.

Why?

I had and still have reservations…am I a sell out?
Selling my soul for more likes, publicity, shares etc etc

But that’s not why I am writing this.

Out there in Internet land someone may be feeling the same, I don’t have the answers, but if reading my insignificant blabbering’s help that person then I suppose it was a worthwhile humiliation.

I am also a very private person, not many people know me well and if i could survive a whole day without speaking….trust me, I would.

So, where should I start as I sit here listening to David Gray, which in itself speaks volumes…. although I’m not listening to Coldplay so it cant be too bad.

For as long as I can remember I have suffered from different levels of depression, from mild to severe.

This was something I learned to live with, and as stupid as it sounds, I was happily going along in my depressed state.

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Then, in what seems like one single moment, Anxiety signed up for the ride…. this was a whole different ball game.

The year is 2008 and I’m a 22 year old student, just coming to the end of my degree.
I’m a Boxer, coach, and fitness fanatic and destined for big things…I was determined to achieve so much.

Within a year I was Unemployed, leaving home with a family to support, I no longer boxed or coached and I was gaining weight.

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Now in the grand scheme of things this is nothing….I do understand that, I’m annoyed with myself that I’m making a big deal of this, as I know millions of people have been through worse.

I would say that this situation isn’t even a bad one, it was simply a lot of change in a short space of time, and I have never dealt well with change.

It messed me up and I couldn’t deal with so much change.
I could not get work after almost a decade of dedication to the cause.

I found myself in a short-term job cleaning toilets thinking,
“What the Hell just happened!”

Now I in no way think that I’m too good to clean toilets, I’m prepared to get my hands dirty so to speak, but I couldn’t see a way out.

I felt like all of that potential had gone and I was stuck in a life of depression and unhappiness, I had zero self-respect or self worth.

I walked around like a zombie, I didn’t want to do anything, go anywhere and the slightest thing irritated me beyond belief.

I still suffer from IBS…..Irritable B@stard Syndrome

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Whilst working this job I began suffering from Anxiety.

You know that feeling when you were a kid, and your school holidays were coming to an end? you were back at school the next day?

That dread and worry of impending doom.

Had you done your homework?
Have you got everything you need for the new term?
How was this term going to go? etc etc

You would feel so fed up that school was the next day that you couldn’t enjoy your final day of the holidays.

Well that’s how I felt every hour of every day.

It was a feeling of constant worry even though there was nothing to worry about.
If anyone has suffered from this you will understand what I mean, it’s not a nice feeling.

Once I left that job I actually had a very vivid nightmare that I was working there again, I can remember waking up feeling ill.

Nothing to do with the people, they were great, it was purely my innate ambition, difficulty to deal with change and annoying fear of averageness….and I don’t mean to sound condescending.

During this time I was on a downward spiral, prescribed anti depressants and back in the Job Centre being patronised by a person behind a desk.

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I had hit rock bottom.

I think the biggest problem was that I was no longer boxing.
A hobby to which I had dedicated so much time and effort, coaching myself, coaching others, studying, training….

I never actually thought I would have the guts to step into the ring.
Part of me said “You’ll never do that you coward” and another part said “Watch me!”

I did do it…and I have literally felt nothing like the satisfaction of both defeating my own fears and accomplishing something that I knew not many people would have the bottle to do.

I was proud of myself and boxing was no longer something I “just did”, it pretty much defined who I was.

My final bout was in the early stages of this downward spiral into depression, I had no self-respect and was not bothered about fighting back.

“So what if I got battered?!” I didn’t care…

I did get battered.

I was stopped for the first time. A technical knockout as you may know it.
I was terrible, Id let myself down and it was the end of my Boxing journey.

I still think about boxing everyday as it was such a great time, I can fully understand how people like Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Frank Bruno go off the rails once their career is over.

Boxing gives you so much and once it’s gone nothing can replace it.

Anyway back to the reason I’m writing this.

I now have my own business with my partner.
I love what I do and I have diverted all of my energy from boxing, into learning how to run a successful business.
It comes close to the thrill of boxing as all of the responsibility for success lies in my own hands.

I am in charge of my own destiny…however this does bring more scope for worry and anxiety.

My life has improved no end and I’m “back on track” in terms of my career, my depression has eased, the anxiety however remains…and I don’t think it will ever leave.
I will just have to learn to deal with it.

One consequence of all of this was that my dedication to exercise and nutrition, my drive and any motivation had gone,

Exercise!….What’s the point?!

10% body fat?…. a six pack?……Who cares?!

I couldn’t see any point in trying to improve myself, I had lost all of my motivation, and I had previously had a lot!

I would comfort eat.
Basically self-destruct via food.

Which brings me to my reasoning behind this blog post.

My efforts to regain my health and happiness

It’s a very slow process, if I push myself too much I crumble and don’t want to continue, not enough and I think “why bother”

You may have guessed I’m an “all or nothing” kind of guy.

Still to this day I physically can’t drag myself to do any cardio or High Intensity work.

I get to the part where you ask yourself the questions
“How much do you want it?” and
“What’s your motivation?”
and I still cant come up with satisfactory answers that allow me to push through it.

I still feel like “What’s the point!”

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Some of you may not understand this, and I can see why, although there may be perfectly logical reasons to continue, I just haven’t got it in me at the minute and I’ve learned from numerous failures that its best not to push myself to this point.

So, my plan….

As I can’t face cardio work at the minute I am instead following a strength based programme.

3 workouts per week based around compound lifts with a few accessory exercises thrown in.

Although I’m a fan of carb cycling and the results it brings, at the minute if I try to jump in too strict too early I will fail.

Instead I am calorie cycling.

On my 3 workout days I eat maintenance calories to help refuel and help muscle growth and repair.
On rest days I am aiming for around a 500 calorie deficit.

Within these calories I am eating “clean” and choosing nutritious food at all possible times, but if I want a chocolate bar I will simply work it into my calories that day without feeling guilty.

My supplements are
– Protein shake- Helps me with cravings
– 5 HTP- To help with Anxiety
– GABA- Again to help reduce anxiety
– On the recommendation of Mr Mort I’ll be trying out SAM-E
– Multi-vitamin- Just to cover the bases

I am currently 1 week into this and am very pleased with how things are going.

Last week I did not even have the confidence to attend the gym alone, now I’m back enjoying the workouts.

My diet has been great, no cravings as I’ve worked treats into my daily calories and I am currently 6lbs down on my start weight.

All is good so far.

I am convinced that the key to regaining my happiness and lowering anxiety lies in feeling good about myself physically.

Healthy body healthy mind and all that..

That’s enough for today; if you got to this sentence without losing interest then I am both grateful and surprised.

I will continue to post weekly updates on my progress via my blog.

Until next time

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