Health & FitnessLife & Style

Achieving happiness through fitness

Hopelessly sad and de-energized, you have not answered phone calls for months. You no longer post silly Facebook videos or appear at birthday parties and social gatherings. On top of it all, you–formally a paradigm of good fitness–lost your firm structure and became overweight.

“I’m depressed,” you confess to our closest friend. Your friend reassures you that you feel the way you do because you have gone through “a lot” lately in your personal life.

The diagnosis may be accurate. Depression is different from normal feelings of grief, sadness or low energy. Though anyone can have depression, it often runs in families.

The relationship between weight and depression is akin to the relationship between the proverbial chicken and egg, with each constituting both an origin and a product of the other. To our society’s generally sedentary lifestyle, it is no surprise that adults and children alike suffer from high rates of obesity across the globe. Researchers know that overweight people are more likely to report feelings of isolation and to experience a harder time obtaining job promotions, regardless of their individual merit.

Scientists suspect a connection between mood and weight. Weight gain, they say, might cause an imbalance in the human body chemicals that regulate how people feel.

Hope is not lost, however, as you can tap into a variety of different resources to seek help.

The first step you can take is finding a support group. While Weight Watchers, Overeaters and other NGOs providing such services are growing in the US, such names barely register with most Egyptians.

You need to ask your friends and your family to support you through this time. Losing weight and battling depression may seem like a hopeless war, but the matter is a question of willpower. Your friends and family could help to shake feelings of isolation and despair, and through research, they can assist in helping you receive information on exercise and healthy eating.

Instead of losing weight for vanity’s sake, think of your wellness instead! Ditch the diet approach to weight loss and confront your eating and activity patterns with the goal to feel better about your life.

Change your relationship with food so you do not feel either deprived or guilty about what you eat. Your options are endless. Choose steamed vegetables like broccoli, spinach, carrots and asparagus; dried peas and beans; lean cuts of meat and fish; and low-fat dairy or soy products. Snack on a couple of fruits and pick whole grain breads and pastas–options that are more filling than their processed counterparts.

Walk with a friend or your dog, take that pilates class you’ve been thinking about, or go out on weekends to that club you always wanted to visit and dance the night away. In other words, find fun ways to incorporate physical activity into your routines.

Feelings of loneliness are more difficult to tackle. Do not take this challenge up on your own; ask your friends for help. Be the party starter you always wanted to be and become one of society’s stars.

Another challenge is trying to change everything at once. Change your routine gradually and adjust your habits to cope with your new lifestyle. You should remember that becoming a slim, fit person should not be your goal. Focus instead on your well being; you do not have to feel like you carry the world’s weight around your body.

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