How a Lifestyle Change Helped My Anxiety

I was one of those people who would eat whatever they wanted, spend hours watching Netflix, and never gave a sh*t about anything. I was depressed, filled with anxiety, lacked confidence, and gained weight I had never had before. I didn’t know what to do, and I was hopeless. I knew changing the way I ate and following a workout schedule was the key to losing the weight, but I didn’t know it was also the key to solving my biggest issues and insecurities.

The one thing that was stopping me from stepping foot in a gym was my anxiety.

I was afraid of working out at a gym – especially the Campus Rec – as it was a popular hub spot for people who intimidated me: women who had the bodies I wanted and the type of men I wanted to be with. There was no way I was stepping foot in the gym and bullsh*ting an exercise so I could claim I was fit. I worried that people would approach me: tell me, “You’re doing something wrong,” judge me for it, or just judge me because I don’t look like I should be in the gym.

What I learned is this: It is important to ask for help. My fitness journey started when I asked a friend who I knew worked out whether he would mind if I went along with him. I was nervous, scared, and felt so weak when we first went to the gym together. I could barely lift 5 pounds! But he kept encouraging me, and said that it is possible for me to be the person I wanted to be.

One thing that really stuck with me on this journey was the idea that we all start somewhere. It is important for us to pursue the things we want in life in order to obtain those goals. So I continued going to the gym around four times a week. It was hard and I was tired, especially after working a full day and having classes in between. But let me tell you… all the pain, sweat, and tears were so worth it. I kept going to the gym with my friend for about 4 months until I personally felt comfortable with trying to go by myself. I won’t lie: it was not easy. I still felt uncomfortable, and only did exercises that I felt like I couldn’t f*ck up. My first try lasted 15 minutes, and then I left.

Currently, I go to the gym about five times a week alone. I try new workouts and am no longer intimidated by the people surrounding me. That allotted hour of time from my day is dedicated to me: It is me time. I don’t worry about anyone else. Instead of wanting to be a certain person, or with a certain person, I am the exact person that I used to be scared of. I am in the best shape of my life; I radiate confidence, and my anxieties are becoming less and less.

 

On this crazy journey, I have learned a few life lessons….

  • It is important to never let your fears stop you from doing something that you want.
  • If it were easy, then everybody would be doing it.
  • Ask for help. Reach out to a friend when you are in need.
  • Your body is amazing and capable of doing many things. Don’t be afraid to explore your physical and mental strengths.
  • Take control of your own life, do not let others dictate how to live your life.