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New to site.Need some advice

Community Member

Hi all im new here and seeking advice i have been diagnosed with anxiety for about 8 years and been on meds ever since.I have been having problems sticking to a goal like consistent exercise and have been putting on weight for years.I was a good trainer and was very athletic prior to 1. glandular fever 2. chronic fatigue 3. Depression then 4. anxiety,i still seem to be a good trainer but i cant seem to stick to it.If i look back over a few years i have started many types of exercise programs and clubs and always start strong but just seem to slowly back out.This alone makes me anxious.Is this just me or is this common with people with anxiety.

I also have a job that is quite stressful and find when the pressure is on i become withdrawn very tired and loose interest in most things, hopefully someone on here can help.

3 Replies 3

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey there

Sorry to hear about your struggles. I hope you can find the strength and motivation to carry on, in spite of everything.

As a fellow anxiety sufferer, I use the gym as a means of keeping my mental health in check. Ironically enough, late last year the gym itself became a cause of my anxiety. My trainer gave me a new fitness program which I slowly began to realise was beyond me, but I couldn't find the courage to tell him so. Most of the time I ended up lying on the floor of the toilet cubicles at the gym gasping for breath, fighting nausea and the urge to throw up. I convinced myself that my only options were to keep doing the program or quit the gym altogether.

Eventually I got my program changed, and alternated my gym routine with other types of exercise, like shooting basketball hoops and going for long walks. At the moment I'm on a very simple cardio program which I've put together myself. It's far less stressful and I only do as much as I can, while still trying to push myself so I get the exercise I need. It's about finding balance I guess.

I'm sure you can relate to the fact that sometimes it's incredibly hard to get motivated to do exercise. I catch the bus to and from work, and the gym is about 4 stops away from the stop closest to my house. So many times I have almost talked myself out of getting off at the "gym stop", running through excuses in my head. Often it's a case of just dragging myself off the bus and up to the gym. Most of the time, no matter how exhausted I am, a workout gives me the strength an alertness to get through the evening, do what I have to do before bed and then wind down before sleeping.

So ... maybe the normal types of exercise programs and clubs aren't really for you? Have you tried/considered a team sport (basketball, soccer, touch footy, etc), or maybe tennis or squash? Or perhaps jogging with a friend or mountain biking?

Hope this has been at least somewhat helpful. All the best.

Community Member

Hello Adman,

Yes this process of gradual withdrawal is very common, and it's correlated with anxiety and depression, but they may not be the cause. 

Thereis a reward process in the brain that runs on dopamine. When we achieve something that shows obvious and immediate benefits, we feel good about it and are motivated to repeat it in the future. Exercise does have many benefits, but they are neither obvious nor immediate, so there's no dopamine and no motivation. 

Ask someone to use "classical conditioning" on you, pairing exercise with something you love which offers obvious and immediate rewards. As long as that conditioning is maintained you'll be fitter than ever in no time.

For research purposes, Wikipedia or web search for "Pavlov's Dogs".

Community Member

Stay strong friend, believe in Yourself as hard as that might feel! I found exposing my vulnerability to loved ones made a huge difference.