Home / Health / The Horrible Cycle of Depression, Inactivity and Weight Gain #FitnessFriday

The Horrible Cycle of Depression, Inactivity and Weight Gain #FitnessFriday

“Take a walk, you’ll feel better.”

“Go to the gym, work out and get some energy.”

“I know a cool dance class that will get you pumped.”

 

Those are all well-meaning, yet often useless things people say to someone who’s too depressed to work out.

I spent much of 2015 NOT working out, except for the one week review I did for Roc House Fitness Spa in Buckhead. It was pretty intense to go from inactivity to a week filled on workouts, even it if it was in an upscale fitness spa with a salon.

I'm sharing what it feels like to be 40 pounds overweight, unmotivated and tired.

 

And 2016 was about to be almost as unproductive and sluggish for my energy-wise. You may recall when I shared “What Being 40 Pounds Overweight REALLY Feels Like.

 

Child Calls You Fat

 

But this week I decided to get moving.

For myself.

For our son who’s called me fat.

For my husband who’s watched me lose, gain, and gain weight over our nine years together.

My biggest fear is that if I don’t do something now, the 40 additional pounds I’m carrying on my frame might bring 40 more friends along for the ride.

 

My 600 lb life
Credit: TLC

 

I’m reminded of how easily depression can lead to weight gain when we watch “My 600 LB Life” on TLC and it scares the crap out of me. In case you haven’t seen the show, it features morbidly obese Americans whose lives have been ruined by their eating habits and inactivity. Their goal is to undergo gastric bypass weight loss surgery to help them lose hundreds of pounds.

Some are successful. Some are not.

It scares me to listen to their fears, their obsession with food and their laziness that results in a life of despair.

So Monday (how cliché) I started with a mix of cardio, light weights and stretches that gave me the “feeling” of working out – without feeling so sore that I’d never want to work out again.

I’ve been delaying this change in my life for far too long. I didn’t feel my best when I looked at the beautiful photos Tiffany Powell Photography captured of me presenting about YouTube videos at a Fall 2015 Influencer event. All I could focus on was my double chin.

Joyce Brewer So Fab

 

If you know someone who’s depressed, be gentle and patient with them.

The horrible cycle of depression is no joke.

It can suck the life out of you – make you feel physical pain in places you never knew existed.

It can make sleeping for 12 or more hours a day like it’s just not enough.

It can make you feel like you need a nap, to relax after your nap.

It can make you crave more and more sugar, when what your body really needs IS more and more vegetables.

 

horrible cycle of depression
Credit: MMT & Pixabay

 

After just three workout sessions this week, I feel better. I know that I’m improving my health and relieving stress.

But part of me still wishes that I could eat a half a dozen donuts for breakfast without watching my waistline spread. That ain’t happening.

So I’ll be up in the morning, squeezing myself into workout clothes because I refuse to buy larger sizes.

My 25th high school reunion AND my seventh wedding anniversary are both this summer. I’m not pushing myself to drop 40 pounds by then because I don’t want to deprive myself so much that I boomerang back to gain the weight back.

I heard Entertainment TV Host Maria Menounos talk about her weight loss journey this week while promoting her cookbooks. She repeated the famous quote: “Slow and steady wins the race.”

It also reminded me of the Confucius quote: “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”

confucius quote

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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12 comments

  1. For the past 2.5 years, I’ve been so overwhelmed by getting married, becoming a mom to the best kid, going back to school, changing careers and working FT, having a husband work shift work, a changing economy, significant insomnia and moving. It’s just been so much to get through each day that exercise, cooking for what works for me and making myself a priority has absolutely fallen to the wayside. I’m where you are… one step at a time and now i’ve given up my gym dreams and working out at home with new workout dvds. I’m doing it quietly because I feel that me doing it for me is the way to do it!

    Just keep swimming!

  2. Yes! I totally understand… For the past 2.5 years, I’ve been so overwhelmed by getting married, becoming a mom to the best kid, going back to school, changing careers and working FT, having a husband work shift work, a changing economy, significant insomnia and moving. It’s just been so much to get through each day that exercise, cooking for what works for me and making myself a priority has absolutely fallen to the wayside. I’m where you are… one step at a time and now i’ve given up my gym dreams and working out at home with new workout dvds. I’m doing it quietly because I feel that me doing it for me is the way to do it!

    Just keep swimming!

  3. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    Depression and weight gain go hand in horrible hand. You you feel bad about the weight you’ve gained and then you eat more because you feel bad, and the cycle just continues.

  4. Good post (except I would disagree with referring to morbidly obese people as “lazy”. The word implies a hidden judgmental bias that can be very unfair. Trust me, when you get over a certain weight, it’s next-to-impossible to do a lot of activities, especially if you have other conditions co-existing with the weight. At that point, it’s no longer a choice to do some of the things you used to. You physically can NOT do them). I think doctors, especially, neglect to address the depression that is more often than not behind weight gain, and this cycle you describe is familiar to anyone who’s ever struggled with weight. I’ve been reading a book called Made to Crave. It’s from a Christian perspective, so it may not be for everyone, but it really addresses how to break out of that cycle and start making changes again to improve ones’ health. It’s really helped me launch back into a fitness plan the past week. Good luck to you!

  5. Seattle Travel Blogger

    This is a real cycle for sure – depression can dwindle your energy.
    I do like your advice – sort of think of the movie “Finding Nemo,” with the saying, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

  6. Very motivating. It’s so hard to get on track and I agree on slow and steady

  7. I experience depression due to a health issue I have. The doctor said until they can pinpoint what the issue is, nothing I do is going to make it go away. Thanks for these tips and insights.

  8. Great post and thank you for sharing. Depression is very real and so many struggle with weight loss and gain. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. Good Luck with your journey. I totally understand how depression and weight gain are a vicious cycle. We can overcome it!

  10. Depression and Weight Gain have always gone hand in hand. Having chronic health issues that prevent people from working out can also be a punch in the gut, I totally commend you for taking charge of 2016 and not allowing this year to be ‘the same old same’. I’m going through some *ish this year myself and it’s been hell trying to be sure I take as good a care of myself as I am of others.
    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly recently posted..Epic Menu Tasting at FIN Seafood Restaurant @TropicanaAC in #AtlanticCity #DOAC #FoodieFriday

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