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Depression, exercise, and eating choices

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Depression, exercise, and eating choices

Old 06-18-19, 05:19 AM
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Depression, exercise, and eating choices

Hello everyone.

I've struggled with depression most of my life. I had a situation in childhood with abusive/neglectful parents. I am 35 years old, and I've never really dated or been married because of it. That is to say, whatever I do with my life, I pretty much have to figure it out on my own.

Talking at length about depression is probably outside the scope of this forum (but not necessarily), and not really what I came here to do right now...that is, to start a conversation about my own struggle with ups and downs. But as it relates to my motivation, I think I swing around a whole lot because of it. I can go through times where riding is easy and a delight, and eating the right foods is relatively simple and achievable. But other times, I'm just not motivated to do anything, even brush my teeth, bathe, or clean my home.

I feel like I can't be the only one who lacks motivation and/or tries to comfort myself with food because I am sad. It's not that I lack information about what foods are healthy, or even what exercise I enjoy and excel at. Furthermore, I have lots of good experience with counseling, and I'm just beginning to work with a personal trainer, which I've done in the past for exercise and helps with the motivation part. But, I lost my church of almost 10 years recently, so most of my social support vanished along with that (I am attending a different church now, but naturally it takes time to make new close friends). And, I got a promotion at my job just about 2 years ago..... which is great! But my new job is a lot more stressful. This is also the first time I've been a manager. My boss seems happy with my work, but historically I've tended to be a perfectionist and I don't feel like I'm doing well in this job at all. I guess it's a lot of change all at once, and I feel pretty alone in it all.

Some days are better than others, some days are particularly full of sorrow. On the down days, the idea of getting on a bicycle seems meaningless. I know that exercise helps manage depression just as much, if not more, than meds do. (I took meds for a while but found them unhelpful). But quite frequently I just feel like I don't care enough about my life to be bothered to make good choices. Finding the answer to one's life is a big adventure, and I've been on this adventure long enough now to know there are going to be ups and downs, and that's okay. I just wonder if it feels like the elephant in the room for anyone else as much as I feel it is the elephant in mine.

As a reward for reading this far, here's a picture of a friend's daughter's bike that I'm in the process of cleaning up for her..... I had to special order 14" tires for it, which are coming in to the LBS on Thursday. It only really needed one tube and 2 new tires, but I thought I'd take it apart and put it back together as a learning experience. I am learning a lot and enjoying myself. Also, part of my goal in doing this is to get the kids and their mom excited about going for bike rides, which seems to be working.


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Old 06-18-19, 02:30 PM
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Good for you! BF even has a Bloggers section https://www.bikeforums.net/blogger-s-forum/ if you'd like to post about this as a continuing thing. Best wishes, happy cycling!
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Old 06-18-19, 04:05 PM
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I've been through a lot of what you've described, and I can understand how you're feeling. I'm happy to say I feel much much much better today, so don't give up! If there's only one thing I can recommend, it's "keep busy", like what you're doing with the bike. Start with simple, achievable goals, and work your way up from there.

I read a good book a while ago that I highly recommend, give it a try if you can find it. It's called "Hardcore self-help: F**K Depression" by Robert Duff.

Some people find blogging helps them, as @shelbyfv already mentioned. And feel free to reach out if you need to talk!

Happy cycling and be safe!
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Old 06-20-19, 07:54 AM
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Look into the C25K running programs. Yes, I said the "R" word.

Couch to 5K is just that. How to go from getting off the couch to running a 5K Run.

Three times a week, you get out there and run. The first week is just getting out the door and walking & running. This gives your body to adjust and adapt.
Good running shoes and post-run stretching are good things. Go to a sports shoe store to get proper fit and advice for the shoes.

There is something about running. First half mile I always think, this sucks but gets easier after that. I make it a point to run T Th Sat (routine is good).

The night before I set out my running shirts, shorts, socks, shoes; everything is ready to go and gets me into the groove.

I've finished the 5K, still make my neighborhood loop on that day of that distance. Then jump on the bike and do 12 miles (T Th) to 20 miles or more on Saturday/Sunday.

Exercise and nature help with depression. Setting and sticking to a routine help. If I didn't have four dogs telling me, "I got to pee" some mornings I would never have gotten out of bed. Years of SSRI helped when I was at my lowest point, but today just having my exercise and running partner (Golden Retriever) then go biking is my best medicine.
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Old 06-22-19, 05:01 PM
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One book that has helped me is Eight Weeks to Optimal Health by Andrew Weil. He promotes the Mediterranean diet and has you do something small each week. It is also more than just diet.
Welcome and good luck.
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Old 06-30-19, 06:15 PM
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Hi Jessica, your post rings a lot of bells with me. I struggle to get out on the bike even though I know the benefits. The most important thing is that you get out cycling especially in them down days when it's hardest. These are the days you need it most.

I found that a cycling buddy is the by far the best motivator for me to get me out on the bike. While I might not want to go out I will force myself to so as not to let my friend down. Saying that I moved from my hometown and I don't have many friends that like to cycle these days. I'd join a club locally but I want to get fit first! Catch 22

I do have a dog now who is motivation enough to get out playing and walking. I might take her out cycling before long. She is still a bit young though and a bit 'daft'.

The thing is though to get out everyday if you can. Some days you might not feel like it but even 5 minutes on the bike will do wonders for the head.

Well done on fixing up your friends kids bike! It looks fantastic. I hope it gives them many years of memories
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