I have beaten SAD depression this January with Exercise and Healthy Eating

SAD depression – My Journey

I have written about my battle with Seasonal affective disorder many times on my blog. It is a debilitating illness that affects me and I know so many of you readers during the winter months. It has got to me this winter. November and December were bad.

The days were closing in and I felt the grip of winter on my mind. I started to eat badly, exercise was the last thing on my mind and I was spiralling down into depression. Christmas came and went, I didn’t enjoy it and was glad when New Year’s Eve was out of the way and it was over.

January has brought a new lease of life and I have made some major changes to my physical being that have had a big positive impact on my mental state of mind. I have been ever so good with my food and have been tracking everything I eat on My Fitness Pal.

January has felt extremely positive. My physical and mental well being has flowed through into my business as well with it being the best month ever, lots of new projects being agreed. 

My fitness journey

I set at creating a manageable fitness plan where I could see improvements to my fitness and changes to my body. I struggle with routine, so I have created a plan with three different types of exercise each day. Exercise days are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Personal Training

On a Friday I go to No-bull fitness and have a personal training session with Kane Allardyce. We have been filming some videos each week so if you hop over to my Instagram account you can see some of the circuits and training I have been doing. The training is very different each week including some cardio and weight training. Last week for example my workout included rowing (as many meters as possible in 5 minutes), a skipping and prowler pushing (with 50kg on top) combo, then a circuit of running, chin ups, chest flies and chest pulls.

I love that its different every week. At some point of the session I have to lie down in exhaustion and its hard, but you’re not going to get anywhere without hard work!

Road Running and You Tube Yoga

On a Monday I will go for a run of 4 miles or 4.5 miles depending on the route. I have been working hard to get my average mile pace down. My target is always to get below a 10-minute mile pace. On 8th Jan I did a run and recorded a time of 11 min 11 seconds as my mile pace. Today I have done my latest run and recorded a 10 min 6 second pace. I am loving that improvement in average mile pace a huge 65 seconds in just 30 days. I am a very competitive person, even against myself!

Then on a Wednesday I will do a YouTube power yoga session onto the end of this work out. These can be done easily at home using the internet on our television. The  power yoga promotes all over body and mind well-being.

online exercise classes

Healthy Eating

I have been following a great healthy eating plan. I have cut out alcohol, caffeine, red meat, sugar and dairy. To give myself something tasty to look forward to I have started getting Mindful chef recipe boxes. I have stuck to the veg and fish dished only and I am really enjoying the food. 

To Weigh or Not to Weigh

My weight should be below 11 stone to be healthy for my height according the NICE NHS guidelines. But I haven’t weighed myself. I know that my fitness will improve hugely and I can see my running times improving and I know that my clothes are now fitting or loose when in December they were tight and uncomfortable.

So, if my body is reducing in size why weigh myself. I really want to weigh myself but keep having this discussion with my personal trainer about the effect it could have on my mental well being if I haven’t lost as much weight as I had expected. For the moment I am steering clear.

Let’s keep this going into February and March and by the time the clocks change I’ll be raring to go in a brilliant place body and mind, maybe I’ll even share another picture of how my body is looking in crop top and leggings.

If you are feeling down and struggling I can’t recommend it enough, exercise will make you feel so much better. Get out for a walk, go for a swim, go for a run, do to clubbercise whatever takes your fancy, but getting active will make a huge difference to your state of mind.

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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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10 Responses

  1. As a fellow SAD victim I’m glad you have found a healthy way to deal with your illness. Over the darker months I use a light alarm clock to help wake me up in a more gentle and natural way. I also started yoga last year which is an exercise I greatly enjoy and this year I started doing morning meditation with helps calms my mind before my working day begins

    1. I love yoga, it has such a positive effect on my mind. I dont do it often enough, but on the days I do it has such an effect.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story! This is so important, exercise has never been so vital to our mental and physical wellbeing! Great post! You should be proud of your achievements!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this experience. In fact, it always seemed to me that during the winter I just go into hibernation, like some kind of bear. But now I understand that I just didn’t have enough motivation due to depression. I am very glad that you were able to overcome this feeling and were able to move on. I am very inspired by your article and hope that I will have similar successes in this field. I hope that I will not surrender to this disease again. Just wish me strength and luck in this difficult endeavor.
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