Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Mental Aspect

The past year and a half has been tough for me. I hit my peak non-pregnant weight and was probably in my worst shape ever, even though I was half-heartedly running a few days a week. There was a period of a few months that were the most difficult time in our marriage yet. And though we worked through it, I got very depressed. I have struggled with depression on and off for most of my life, but this was probably my worst.

We joined the local YMCA last January and I was working out and running about 5 days a week, 2-3 hours a day. It was a small outlet for me and I lost weight. I still felt like I was drowning though. It just felt like it was one thing after another. Over the summer, I slacked off but was able to maintain the weight loss.

At the end of June, I bit the bullet and joined the adult karate class at the Y. It was something I had been thinking about doing for quite a while, since the kids started karate back in March. I instantly fell in love with it! Two months later, I joined kettlebell class. Through those classes, I found my happy place!

It's rather difficult to describe what this has done for me mentally, but I will do my best. First, my self-esteem and self-confidence has vastly improved! I can honestly say I feel good about myself now. Both have become my outlet, lifting and swinging heavy objects is FUN! And it's challenging, there is always something new to try, even if it's just the same exercise with a heavier bell.

In karate, each movement is strong and precise and has purpose. Whenever I get stressed or can't sleep with all those worrisome, depressing thoughts running through my head, I take a deep breath and go through each of my katas in my head. I perfect each movement and stance. I make them strong. And guess what? It clears my mind and I can relax (even fall asleep!).

Physically, I know I am stronger. I am getting muscle tone in my arms and legs. I walk with my head up, my posture is better. And I want to get stronger!

I can't talk about all this stuff without mentioning people. Through my classes, I met some pretty awesome friends and my life is better with them in it. Each week, I look forward to my classes to get stronger, learn more karate, and spend time with some pretty awesome friends!

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