Autistic Nick’s Mental Health and Fitness Journey
Up until the age of 16 I was what would today be classed as skinny. I had a 28” waist and I for the most part could eat whatever I liked.
Then I hit 18 and that’s where things took a down turn.
I started to put on weight, whereas previously I hadn’t needed to worry I was soon piling on the kilos.
During that time my mental health began to suffer, and I became deeply depressed.
Shopping for clothing would be an issue that I hadn’t faced before, previously I could walk into a store and select some jeans or a short’s and not even try them on inside the fitting room as I knew that they would fit me.
But that all changed when what was once a five-minute trip turned into a half an hour of trying to fit the size that would eventually fit me.
All the while my mental health was spiralling out of control.
I would eat as little as possible on some days, convinced that the less I ate the more weight would fall miraculously away from my body.
It doesn’t work like that.
I didn’t want to get out of bed most days.
But I would convince myself that if I did an hour of exercise then everything would be ok.
And for the most part it was.
But the problem was that I WASN’T losing any weight.
Which is the vicious cycle of losing weight whilst battling a deep dark depression.
That’s when I started to first exercise.
Over the years I have battled with my weight. I’ve done endless, countless diets, and bought celebrity work out videos and sweated and counted calories and either lost weight only to put it back on again or I’ve maintained my weight for a few years only to have it slowly creep back up on me.
Recently I started to notice (after years of putting on weight I’ve become an expert in knowing the signs) and so this year I took some action.
I think that even though I was running, and doing aqua fit (only in the summer!) it wasn’t enough and I’d become stuck and needed some help so I reached out and I went onto Facebook and began to search for personal trainers in my area.
That’s when I found Danielle from “It’s a Lifestyle Health and Fitness” group via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/itsalifestylehealthandfitness/?eid=ARD-ECVM3TSPnj9BFjdYjKQ3907V92q5JNi1bnb9VWw5sBjVJaD0_t0M7pGlIqhsH1fs9kQ3NUUfatt-
Along with employing her I am using this app called ‘My Fitness Pal’. https://apps.apple.com/au/app/myfitnesspal/id341232718
About My Fitness Pal
MyFitnessPal is a smartphone app and website that tracks diet and exercise to determine optimal caloric intake and nutrients for the users’ goals and uses gamification elements to motivate users. Users can either scan the barcodes of various food items or manually add them in the database of over five million different foods.
I have been given a daily calorie intake of 2,205. Which is divided between breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
For every food item I must manually enter or scan the bar code of that particular food into the My Fitness Pal data base.
I then have let the app know how many servings of that particular food that I had so that it can make an accurate record of it.
For example, if I have 2 pieces of toast, I must enter the number 2 into the number of servings or if I have 100g of ham for my lunch I must enter that into the app.
At the end of the day I can see an overview of my nutrition intake which is broken down into separate categories
So far employing the services of Danielle along with my personalised workout to be done inside/outside my home I am doing really well.
I’ve so far lost one kilo this past week.
But what are the benefits of working out?
The Benefits Of Exercise On Your Mental Health:
Mental Health Benefits
It can decrease your symptoms of depression
Multiple studies have concluded that regular aerobic exercise—reduces the symptoms of clinical depression.
Improves your learning abilities
Exercise can improve your capacity to learn and retain new information.
Sharpens your memory
Exercise can give you a sharper memory.
Running and other vigorous forms of exercise can reduce anxiety symptoms and help you relax.
Helps you sleep better
Exercise can aid you in helping you get a quicker onset of sleep, as well as a deeper sleep, and the reduction of symptoms in those with insomnia.
Your self-esteem can be improved by exercising on a regular basis.
Increases your creativity
Exercise can increase your creatively output.
The road to being a healthier version of yourself isn’t an easy one, far from it.
If it was that easy to lose weight and maintain it then there wouldn’t be any gyms, exercise apps, weight loss reality shows, to exist.
I think that I’ve come to realisation that in order for me to lose weight and be healthier I had to reach out to a professional who has inspired and motivated me to not only lose weight but and this is the important part maintain that weight loss once I’ve reached my goal weight.
If you want to join Danielle’s fitness group and you live in the Burns Beach Area of Perth WA then jump onto her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pg/itsalifestylehealthandfitness/about/?ref=page_internal to begin your journey with her.
Carry on the Conversation
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Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.