Sunday, 2 September 2012

Fitness isn't just training harder

About 6 weeks ago I set myself a fitness goal. When I started paleo my fitness really wasn't great and to be honest it still isn't. I've had some gained but to be honest I think that's as much down to the testosterone injections I get as much as anything. So anyway, I set myself a goal because I wanted to see some improvement over time. It was simple and considering the gains I was making in that area would have been just a bit of a stretch over what I was expecting to have achieved. A year ago I couldn't do a push up, and by the 1st September I wanted to be about to do 20.

Well something hit the fan. I made gains over a couple of weeks and got to 12 push ups in one set and I could follow that with a second set where I could get to 10. At about this point my housemate started being away more (because he's a craftsman and summer = shows and running courses). The affect this has on me is that I have to step up and spend more time exercising the dog and also get up earlier. So I was doing more activity and getting less rest. And it started to tell on my exercise. I struggled to make gains and then struggled to reach that figure of 12.

The second stage of hitting the fan was mental. I have an inkling, although I'm not certain, that exhaustion took its toll mentally. I'm battling depression and anxiety at the moment. I mean borderline going back onto anti-depressants depression. I've had a bit of a rollercoaster for the last couple of months when it comes to my mental health to be honest. So I have been throwing my energy into fighting that well of pain. With that always comes a degree of comfort eating. I think I was comfort eating more a couple of months ago, and after a scary moment where my weight topped 9 stone (I was nearly down to 8 back in March), and that aspect of my eating has been much more back on track but still not completely gone.

So I didn't meet my training goal because I got side tracked by stress and depression. The moral of this story is that health isn't down to just diet or just exercise but a complex of elements. I personally, and I'm sure others are the same, need to monitor and control stress levels, rest, and generally our mental health. I would like to work on my fitness again after a few weeks with no "training" (although owning a dog I never escape exercise completely) but I need to sort my rest first. Yee gods this whole health thing is a right old battle on multiple fronts for me.

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