Sunday, May 15, 2011

Handling Anxiety

The Olympic Venue where I did my first Triathlon

Sometimes I get anxious.

Pretty anxious.

Ok, very anxious.

I have stress related anxiety that pops up mostly when things get difficult. It can be pretty isolating. Having feelings of anxiety is different for different people. One of the things that helps me cope with anxiety is exercise. Only, there is one problem.

I get anxious about turning up for exercise.

I had a gym membership. I went 3-5 times a week and enjoyed it. Then I had a slight injury and didn't go for a couple of weeks. Weeks turned into months as I convinced myself that people at the gym would judge me for not showing up. Or maybe they have closed the gym. Or maybe they have changed the hours. Or moved the machines...

It's easier to just not go...

I paid that membership for 12 more months before I finally got up the courage to go and cancel it - and only then because I found someone to take it over. The feelings I experience aren't logical, or have easy answers. People at the gym might say "Hey, haven't seen you for a while" or they might say "Hey, its good to have you back." Or, if I'm really unlucky, they might say "Hey slacker!" I could check the website to see if they are still open (which they are...) and if the hours have changed (which they haven't), and if the machines have moved... I'll be ok! - the reality is - I can actually cope with all of these things... but I have already convinced myself that its too risky.

So I don't go.

I joined another fitness club (while still paying for the first!). This offered set class times with an online weekly timetable (no changing times to wiggle out of), and casual rates (so I wouldn't get stuck if I didn't stick in the contract).  It was an awesome and encouraging community who got me half way to my current weight loss goal.

But then stress at work started to take over, and after 6 very successful months, I started to have the same thoughts and feelings I have experienced in the past. Suddenly I stopped going 3-4 times a week and just went once. And then not at all.

Its been a month. My weight is creeping back up. My PCOS is getting worse, and above all, I have no physical outlet for my anxiety (after a class - I feel great for days and can handle my anxiety with more perspective and realism).

I'm putting this out there because I need to start getting honest about my life and the things that I find hard.

I'm going to post a couple of posts on the things that I am trying to do to handle my anxiety. I want to explore ways of exercise to help me build my confidence back up to go to a class. At the same time I will be seeing a counsellor to address the cognitive and emotional reasons behind my anxiety.

I'm hoping at the very least that blogging my experience will help me to work through it. Maybe I might help someone else in the process.


  1. Thank you for your honesty and sweetness in sharing your struggle with anxiety. I imagine it can feel rather lonely at times. I am praying for you in this journey.


  2. Hi Glenda,
    Thanks for your blog today :) We sound very similar and while I'm stilling sorting the same things out - let me know if I can help you at all or let's just hang out for a chat!

    Love Jess xx

  3. Good on you for posting about this stuff! Much better to talk about it than just have it all swirling around in your head!

    Very encouraging :)

  4. Thanks Chickies :) I need to start getting through a few of the little obstacles I've put up for myself. Thanks for encouraging me along the way!