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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2020/08/10

How do i change my mindset

I know that mine is not an isolation, like the rest of the world I have struggled with this pandemic and the effects thereof. I "used" to be an avid gym goer, when I say avid, I used to go for an hour 7 days a week. I never went to the gym for body gains but for mental stability. I have suffered from depression in the past and found my happy place in the gym. It was never a chore to go. I would go in the heart of winter where temperatures in Gauteng would drop to below zero. Come rain or shine I was in the gym. I have been called Obsessed as I would schedule by day around the gym. Then the lockdown happened. Initially i used to do home training but realised that it was never about the weights etc. It was the ambience, the atmosphere, the smell of the chlorine, the hi's and hello's to the people you dont know personally but the people you see daily because you are there for a common reason. I have enough weights at home, I have gym equipment that I could use from work, and yet they are collecting dust. I always asked people why buy a treadmill when its going to be a hangar for clothing, yet my workout bench is on the stoep collecting dust. I have not gained weight but i have lost all the muscle. I am now feeling depressed because Im fat because im not gymming and im not gyming because Im fat - vicious circle I know. I have listened to motivation videos, signed up for a 6 weeks challenge and basically wasted my money. I formalise and formulate the workouts in my head but just cannot follow through. I normally train in the morning and waking up its not a problem, getting out of bed and actually doing the workout it. I cannot train at night as my work schedule is sporadic and I may not be able to commit to the evening. I start work when i want so the mornings are best. I need a kick up my butt. I need to kick myself up my butt because I know that I am better than this, i just dont know how and what to do. Your advice will be appreciated.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2020/08/11

Hello Anon,  Moving past the specific details and looking at the basic pattern behind it, you seem to be describing  either a basically obsessive-compulsive personality amplified by a degree of depression, or even an OCD ( Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, similarly amplified.   Fortunately both respond to both anti-depressive medications and/or CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ) a specific method of counselling / therapy backed by good research.
OCD and its personality disordered equivalent is a condition in which one lacks the essential sense of Enoughness !  One's sense of proportion is distorted so that one becomes excessively pre-occupied with some little relevant aspects of the situation which seem profoundly important, overlooking some really important aspects which seem less so. 
It sounds as though you have found yourself far more disturbed than you expected by a  change in your routine, caused by the Virus and lockdown.  You had set up a system which suited and comforted you, including the whole business of going to the Gym. As you have discovered, while the degree of focused exercise was indeed useful and healthy, that was not the part of the enterprise that really made you feel good.
It included the Chlorine smell, the pleasingly limited friendships, enough to be welcome, but limited by the situation from becoming too close or demanding ;  and it included a set of almost ritual exercises that occupied you enough to distract you from whatever else might be upsetting you, dissolved in the neutral routines.  Somewhere where you belonged, without itself being emotionally demanding. Working out on your own, at home, just  isn't doing it for you.
Of course you are indeed "better than this", and can sort this out.  I'd think seeing a CBT-competent psychologist could help a lot ; and some antidepressants might also help to reduce the steam behind the obsessive engine driving your distress.


The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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