I wrote yesterday about dealing with episodes of depression and the correlation between depression and eating. Over the last couple of days I demolished a 2 litre tub of ice-cream, chocolate bar and a few biscuits. While it may not seem like much in the scheme of things, it signifies to me a welcome change. Previously I would have eaten a truck load more but because of my running (really it’s run/walk) I don’t seem to be prepared to go hell for leather on food. Or maybe it is just the fact that I have formed the new habits so that my version of a binge is smaller than it used to be. I sure hope so!
Yesterday however was something different for me because even though I had binged a bit, I still went for an afternoon run with my daughter. We ran in the forest which has become our favourite place not only for the nature and fresh air but because it’s private and suits our anxious souls. We did a 5km walk/run and it improved my mood and reduced my appetite.
The joy of finishing a run has given me many benefits such as improved mood, a welcome respite from my carer role and snails pace weight loss. The most welcome benefit has been the building of my resilience. Because life has felt so bloody hard for the last seven years and the fact that I have had some of my worst psychotic episodes – my resilience has been at an all time low. Running has been very slowly building me back up again. You would never quite believe it in person when you see me run because all I seem to do is breathe like a steam train while muttering “oh fucking hell” – “fuck, is that a hill?” – “oh my god” – “thank fuck we are nearly there!” Of course once the run is over I am a sweating, beetroot faced lump but I am happy enough to high five my daughter and declare “that was great – we did it.” So while I bitch and moan, I still keep going and of course that is helping build my resilience.
That increase in resilience and the other benefits I get from running helps me to not over think any binges. Anyone with disordered eating will tell you that when the brain takes over you are pretty much fucked. So when my brain has me sitting down eating ice-cream at lunch and then going for a 5km run only hours later – that’s a huge improvement for me – and I’ll run with that!