How to overcome depression with exercise

Jenny shares her story of how she lost  50 pounds and was able to overcome depression with exercise and diet!

 In January 2012, I was depressed.  I didn’t want to leave my house because I was so embarrassed by the way I looked.  I lived in track pants, avoided any and every occasion to be in front of a mirror and wanted nothing more than to fit into my clothes again…

How to overcome depression with exercise

Jenny Before

Struggling with my weight has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.   I was the smart friend, the funny friend, the one with the great personality.  In July 2011 I had my second child, a boy.  The pregnancy was great and I took full advantage of being pregnant, eating what I wanted, when I wanted, and figured I’d deal with the extra weight later.  Following my first pregnancy, I actually ended up weighing less post-baby then I did pre-baby, and I figured the same would happen with this pregnancy.  I was dead wrong.  I delivered my son, and 8 weeks post-delivery, I weighed almost what I weighed at delivery.  I have always been unhappy in my own skin, but I had hit rock bottom. I hated myself.

The Wake-Up Call
In January 2012, I was depressed.  I didn’t want to leave my house because I was so embarrassed by the way I looked.  I lived in track pants, avoided any and every occasion to be in front of a mirror and wanted nothing more than to fit into my clothes again. Standing in my friend’s kitchen, talking about my weight, she said, “I don’t think you’re ever going to be a size 4-6, it’s just not you. You wouldn’t be Jenny.  I don’t think it would suit you.” At that moment, I made a promise to myself that I would prove her and everyone else wrong.  I was so tired of hearing people tell me that I “wasn’t that big” and “it’s who you are, just accept yourself.”  I knew I was ready for the strength and body I has always dreamed of.  After almost convincing myself I was crazy, and that maybe everyone was right, my 3-year-old daughter came up to me and said, “Mommy, we already have a baby, so why are you still pregnant?”  I broke down in tears and knew I was finally ready to take a hold of the monster that held me back all these years.  I was ready to finally be happy and finally ready to commit time and energy into me – it was Jenny time!

How to overcome depression with exercise

Jenny After

The BBD Fitness & Weight-Loss Program
My sister accompanied me the day I went into Bodies by Design, and had she not escorted me, I don’t think I would have actually went in. She is fit and beautiful, so I thought to myself, “How would I possibly fit in somewhere she worked out? “ With her by my side, I walked in. From the second we were greeted at the door, I knew BBD was the place for me.  Everyone was so welcoming, and not for one second did I feel judged.  I was direct with the goals I wanted to achieve and knew I needed someone guiding me to get me where I wanted.  I had six months before I had to return to work, and I was committed. I joined on January 16, completed one session, and quite simply, was hooked. But the following day I was in a car accident. My world crashed.  I was sore, in pain and unable to do anything for a while. The accident set me back three months. I didn’t think I would ever have the drive to get back into Bodies, but I did. At the end of March I was given the go ahead, and the day I began training again I knew my life would be changed forever.  When I started I felt pathetic, apologizing for my lack of endurance and co-ordination.  I could barely do a lunge … and a pushup? Forget it!  There was never a day where my trainer backed down, or gave into my whining and sulking.  He believed I could do it, and with his support, day after day, I built the confidence I needed to go on.  We have constant discussions about how the body works, how I need to train and how important eating is in this journey!  I hear him in my head, “It’s math Jenny, not science!”  He made me believe I was worth it, and that despite what everyone said, I could have and achieve the body and strength I wanted.  My goal was 50 pounds. I reached it, and have NEVER LOOKED OR FELT BETTER IN MY LIFE!

How to overcome depression with exercise

Life is different today because I am happy in my own skin.  I wake up every morning, go into my closet and pick an outfit without a second thought.  The idea of dressing before my transformation was scary.  I analyzed the way I looked, over and over, and even before leaving the house had so much pressure on my shoulders.  I don’t even think about how I look anymore.  I walk into my office with confidence and have the time and energy to focus on work rather than stress about how tight my pants are or how fat I look in something.  I feel like I go through life now with a 50-pound weight removed from my shoulders. It feels like a new world, and I’m enjoying the new me.

I’m a role model for my children, and that in itself is a lifelong goal. I am able to be a great mom without them witnessing the anxiety of dressing for work, the beach or a party. I am an active mom who exemplifies the importance of health and fitness. I want my kids to understand that this is an essential part of their lives – that being active is a requirement and we all need to make time for it. My kids watch me do crunches and lunges and do them right beside me. It’s fun and these are more memories we’ll cherish together!



How to overcome depression with exercise

Jenny Before and After

Life has opened a new window for me.  It’s amazing how different things look now that I can focus on what’s important and not the burden of insecurity that has weighed me down (literally) for years.  I want to take my kids on bike rides, hikes and introduce them to charity runs and walks.  There are a lot of ways to stay active and doing them with my kids will be such a rewarding experience.  I will continue to work on maintaining the weight loss and shift the focus on toning and sculpting. I have no desire to be a body builder, nor do I want to spend copious amounts of time in the gym.  Everyone thinks I live in the gym – I don’t! I am lucky if I get in two times a week, but I do focus on putting the right foods into my body and being active in other ways!

Words of Wisdom

When you look in the mirror and see the impossible, read this story and believe IT IS POSSIBLE!  No one deserves to live a life full of insecurity and self-hate.  The world has so much to offer.  We have to believe that we deserve it.  No one is asking you to put aside your responsibilities of being a mother, a friend or an employee.  Those responsibilities are always ours, but we too are individuals and we need to believe we deserve to do for ourselves too!

Don’t let tomorrow be your answer for today.  Life’s too short to believe you don’t deserve it. You do…so DO IT NOW!

 Jenny I.

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