I received this email in response to one I sent out to my mailing list (sign up here) regarding the link between exercise/healthy lifestyle and mental health. It really touched me, and after checking with the sender I wanted to share it with you all:
Thank you for the awesome email. I really look forward to these.
I haven't had a chance to try last week's workout but I shall try and squeeze them both in this week. Will let you know how I get on.
This week's subject to fitness and mental health is very close to home. I have anxiety and over the recent months I've found that exercise helps with it so much. I've learnt through various different ways that I should love my body and I should do fitness because I want to not because the world is telling me I should be thin.
Last year I went out with two men. One after the other, they both had major problems with my weight. The first one would txt me over 100 times a day asking me what I'd eaten, he wouldn't let me eat hardly any food, he would never kiss me because I was too disgusting to him. Always comparing me to the thin girls that look perfect 24 hours a day. The second one didn't like my weight either but then bought us takeaways and sweets etc and also compared me to the thin girls.
After finally waking up and getting out of there I realised that they made me hate myself. I was disgusting by my own body and felt I would need to loose so much weight before anyone could ever love me. I was at such a low point I didn't even want to get out of bed in the morning.
Then one day I saw a girl who was much bigger than me but her confidence was glowing and she was truly stunning. And I thought what am I doing. Why have I let people do that to me. So I decided to take a path of self discovery and learn to love myself again. Once I love myself than I shall be confident enough to let someone else love me.
Exercise had played a big part of this - with the help of your pages and encouragement. Aiming for the small improvements each time makes you feel like you've conquered the world. Yes there are people out there who are fitness kings and queens but there's no need for me to compare myself to them. I am me and I'm beating my own goals at my own pace and I'm making myself happy instead of trying to make others happy.
Yes your body may hurt and it's hard as hell to beat your target each week but each time I walk home with a smile on my face feeling so proud that I did it and I did it for me.