Workout, Body Image & Mental Health

As we start approaching nicer, and nicer weather, the pressure to “look good” in a bikini begins crawling out of the shadows. I put “look good” in quotations, because it is all a matter of opinion and 99.99% of those opinions don’t flipping matter.

Growing up I was always active. I began dancing and conditioning at a very young age, which has continued, taking on various forms throughout the years. I always knew that physical activity was necessary for a healthy lifestyle, but it wasn’t until around 2 years ago that I realized for myself, it was just as mentally necessary.

Like many people, I suffer from depression. This depression has played a major roll in my life over the last 6 years. I searched high and low for a “cure.” I have tried therapists, prescriptions, natural remedies, books…Once in a while something would stick, but only for a month or so. 2 years ago I was beginning to give up hope so I decided to switch my focus to getting fit for our wedding. I said to myself if the mental isn’t cooperating, let’s try the physical. Here was my plan:

  • Get to the gym 3x per week. (Crunch is a great place that is completely pennywise! For $9.95/month you get access to not just the gym, but all fitness classes as well. I highly recommend.)
  • Each night, only 1 hour of TV unless you are working out during it. (for example crunches, weights, squats…)
  • No junk on the weekdays. Have fun on the weekends.

For me, this routine totally worked! If I had enough time to be a slug on the couch, I had enough time to do some bicep curls while I watched. I also learned during this Sweating for the Wedding adventure, that weighing myself was bullshit. I stopped weighing after 1 month when I realized I was more obsessed with a number than how much more in shape I had become.

To any one starting a workout plan. I highly suggest weighing yourself as little as possible, hopefully not at all. You are putting in the work. Don’t let a scale make you think you aren’t good enough.

The big day came and I was so happy! It was absolutely perfect. I married my high school sweetheart surrounded by the most wonderful friends and family. It was happily ever after…

View More: http://apluslphoto.pass.us/shintinwedding

Or was it?

As each week past, I found my depression had taken the front seat again. I contemplated going back through my list of tried and failed “cures” to hopefully find some sort of relief. I examined my life and realized that busy work schedules and the calm after the wedding storm had completely thrown my workout routine to the wind. I needed those endorphins again. It was amazing that something so physical could effect my mental state so intensely. Now while exercise isn’t a cure for depression, it surely has helped me with mine.

If you or someone you know has depression and hasn’t tried physical activity, give it a shot. It definitely can’t hurt. Here are a few of my favorite tools and techniques for a solid home/TV binging workout. *Please consult with your doctor before engaging in any physical activity.

Supplies: 1 yoga mat & 2 5lb weights. (Target has a solid starter yoga mat for $15 & weights for $8.49 each).

supplies

For me, motivation to exercise increases if I have a particular goal in mind. Currently I have decided on Viva las Vegas in April. No scales, no crazy diets, just exercise. Lets start with some arms…

biceps2

biceps1

triceps1

Core:

obliques

core

lowerabs

obliquesandlegs

Lower body:

glutes

Total Body:

total-body

obliquesandtotalbody

Until next time,

-Penny la Pêche

fullsizerender-9

 

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