My Letter to Fearless Motivation

Dear Fearless Motivation –

I suffer from depression. It literally sucks the life out of me when it gets bad. I feel hopeless and worthless, I feel like a waste of space and that nothing I do will ever be good enough for anyone. I also suffer from everything that comes with depression: the suicidal thoughts, the dangerous desires, all of it. It’s a Hell that I live in, and one that is not of my own making nor is it one that I can control.

Sometime in mid-2014, I started my spiral downward. It wasn’t for another year that I really started realizing that I needed help, and it was during one afternoon surfing through Spotify that I stumbled across my first Fearless Motivation track. My brother had a motivational playlist on his Spotify account, and I figured if anything he’s a smart kid maybe he had something to help. I was looking for something, anything, to lift my spirits just a little bit.

See, I used to be an avid runner. A half marathon was nothing I couldn’t easily do and I was working my way up to a marathon before I started to spiral. I would work out at the gym before work, and then run during my dinner break. I felt strong and powerful. I did, however, have to stop for a while after I had surgery to help my migraines and that’s when things started to slowly unravel. To date, it had been one year since I really worked out when I had found that track on your station.

The Fearless Motivation track I found was called “Believe – Motivational Speech” and it was a game changer for me. “Why is it we don’t believe in ourselves? Why is it as soon as things get tough in our lives we start doubting ourselves?”

Those first two lines, while insignificant on the grand scheme of things, were powerful. Why was it that I didn’t believe in myself? Why was I doubting my ability to overcome this depression like I had in the past? Why was it that I couldn’t pull myself out of it like I had before? I had it on repeat for a week. It helped give me the motivation to talk to my doctor and explain how the treatment we had been doing just wasn’t working anymore and something had to change.

Little did I know that it was the doctor that had to change, but that’s a story for another time.

Despite not running in over a year, I still kept my “Shut Up and Run” playlist on Spotify up to date. I went to your Spotify profile and I added almost all of the tracks that were motivational, uplifting, and made to help people like me find the strength to fight back. Even if it was a lifting track, or a life motivation track, it’s on my Spotify playlist. And when those tracks come on, whether I’m running or listening to that playlist at my desk at work, I feel better. I feel BETTER.

I started to tell my close friends who knew about my plight with depression about the tracks, and forced them to listen to them. I told them about how these tracks were helping me fight the negative thoughts, the self-doubt, the self-hate and the desperate need to wither away. I told them about how now, when I hear those tracks come on my playlist, I push harder, I run faster, I focus more.

I know it sounds like I’m overselling it, but I really believe that these tracks were key in helping me save my own life.

It took me almost six months to find a doctor who would listen to me and work with me on finding a new treatment plan for my depression, and it would still be another 4 months after that before I joined a gym once again and started to work out again. I’m now back at my heaviest weight, and am running 3 miles in 50 minutes. I’m lifting the lightest weights I have ever lifted and I have to do the low intensity options when I go to cardio classes. But that’s okay, because I believe in myself and I know that my character will shine through and my story is being born. I believe that I am taking control back.

I want to be at my fittest once again, but moreso I want to be HAPPY again. I know that my depression will never go away. I was diagnosed in college, but we have been able to track it back all the way to middle school for me. I know that I will always need assistance and medication to help continue this battle and I’m okay with that. I know that there will be good days and bad days, and I know that sometimes there will be bad weeks, bad months, hell – there may even be a time when I’ll have another bad year.

But I believe that I can fight this, and I believe that I can find my passions again. I believe that I can rediscover the hope and love for myself that my closest friends and family have for me. I believe that I can overcome this just like I have before, and I can rediscover that fit girl I was 4 years ago.

And it all started on Spotify, surfing for a track that would make me feel better, even if for a moment.

Thank you for that track. Thank you for putting it on Spotify, and for posting them on your website. Thank you for making these motivational pieces that are doing good things for people, including people like me. I don’t know if these tracks were meant for this kind of motivation, but it helped me. And that’s worth thanking you for.

I’ll be sure to send you a snapshot of me crossing the finish line of my first Marathon in February 2017. After all, it was Fearless Motivation that got me to try again.

I hate you, wordpress

getting healthy

WordPress is being moody. It wouldn’t let me into my account for anything. Which is stupid, because I’m amazing and my account should love me. Stupid.

ANYWAY – I had a follow up appointment with my doctor last week and we went over a lot of stuff pertaining to my heart and my depression. My BP is down to 119/84 which is insanely good. My pulse is still running a little high, in the 90s, but that’s in the normal range, according to my doctor. I didn’t ask what my weight was and I deliberately turned my head away when I was on the scale so I couldn’t find out what it was. I didn’t want to know. We also discussed that my heart rate shouldn’t go over 165 right now for working out. To me, that’s low, but I don’t know anything – I’m not a doctor.

So it’s with those numbers in mind – with more to come since I had blood work done today – that I start my half marathon training plan. Let the fitness begin!

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Hello July

getting healthy

I had a 9 day migraine. I started having a headache last Monday and it continued through the week, into the weekend, and didn’t let up officially until yesterday. I haven’t had that kind of pain in years, and most certainly not since my surgery. I called my chiropractor to get an adjustment, and that helped. Yesterday’s adjustment helped too. I talked to Dr. Fort (and the new doctor they have whose name I can’t remember because I fail at that kind of thing) and they said that my neck was not “on straight” and that the misalignment could be directed to the weight lifting I had been doing.

Mental note: don’t do heavy weights on shoulders anymore.

So the last week of June and the beginning of July was off to a great start (note the sarcasm) and it just keeps getting better.

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It's a food thing

There is so much fruit out right now. Grapes, cherries, berries, oranges, watermelon… it’s a utopia of fruit! I’ve been eating as much of it that I can get my hands on, and I can’t ever seem to feel satisfied.

And the amount of fresh veggies right now is amazing too. I’ve been eating Zucchini and mushrooms and corn like it’s candy.

So I decided to share with you some of my favorite fruit recipes from my Healthy Eats: Fruit Pinterest page and from my Healthy Eats: Veggies page.

I’ve made most of them, and I can tell you that they are delicious and nutritious.

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#OrlandoUnited

OrlandoUnited_5K-small

It’s officially summer! That means sunshine, and ice cream, and bathing suits, and going to the pool or the beach. I’m actually really excited about summer this year. I’m not where I want to be physically, but I am where I want to be emotionally and that’s what’s important.

I’ve been hitting the gym hard and this week, I’m upping it. I’m adding a riser in step classes and I’m adding weight during my lifting classes. I’m pushing harder and feeling good!

And despite not really running in months, I’m signed up to do the Orlando United 5k this weekend in Lake Mary, because that’s what runners do. All proceeds are going to the One Orlando Fund set up by the City of Orlando. And I can’t be prouder about that.

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It’s a Food Thing.

getting healthy

I love the feeling of sore muscles that prove you worked out hard. Sometimes it’s frustrating to try and stand on legs that feel like jello because you lifted just a little too heavy, or pushed just a little too hard… but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. It’s proof that I’m changing my body, that my muscles are being strengthened, my joints are getting looser. It means that I’m doing something amazing and feeling great too.

The sleepiness that follows a hard work out is amazing too. On days I really push it, I sleep hard later that night. I don’t usually move a lot when I’m sleeping anyway, but my Garmin tells me that I am basically dead weight snoring to my hearts content. (Dreamboat says I snore. I say no.)

The part I struggle with, is the food part. Since I’m working out after work 4 days a week, I try to be careful with what I eat and drink during the day and I don’t eat after 4pm so I can have a clear gut for the high intensity workouts I’m doing. But sometimes it doesn’t work that way.

And lately, I’m craving all the sweets I can get my hands on.

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getting healthy

It’s been a crazy week with Tropical Storm Colin and work and the puppy and a 3 day migraine. I actually haven’t worked out in about 6 days because of it. It’s against everything that I want to do, and I can actually feel the frustration and guilt building.

Which is why I told Dreamboat that I was going back to my workout regime, including weekends. I said that I had fat to lose. He asked me not to lose all of it. He’s adorable that way.

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