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Fighting Depression With P90X

Katrina writes for the award winning website Fickle Feline which she founded in 2004. Her candid writing and bare bones honesty have won her accolades from both the Mental Health and Autism communities. She is an Autism advocate and is currently documenting her Autistic son Max’s journey for a book she is writing on how to achieve a best outcome for Autism through early intervention and intensive therapy.

Depression and I go way back, but it wasn’t until college that I started taking medication to treat it. Thus began my ride on the prescription drug roller coaster. People who don’t understand depression would say things like “you should exercise, you’ll feel better”. I resented those people and thought “yeah right, a run around the block will cure everything”. I could barely get out of bed, let alone go to the gym.

After a particularly rough 2010 resulting in a new medication regimen and considerable weight gain, I decided that I would give the “exercise will make you feel better” advice a shot. Nothing else was working so what the heck, right? Being the extreme person I am, I decided to do the P90X program. I started on December 26th and committed to working out every day for 90 days. I hate to admit it, but I have never felt better.

Committing to P90X is a big undertaking, but not nearly as hard to fit into my schedule as I thought. Because I am looking at it as a method of managing depression, I don’t see skipping it as an option (just like I wouldn’t skip taking my medication every day). Throughout my life I have exercised only to lose weight, so it always felt like punishment for overeating. Now that I am exercising exclusively to support my mental health, I am motivated to make time for it every day. In fact, when I was recently ill with the flu I actually missed working out! My workout time is now a gift I give myself every day.

P90X is extremely empowering. While I have been more focused on getting into the best mental shape of my life, I will admit to enjoying the positive changes to my physique as well. Who doesn’t love seeing muscles where they have never been before? As a result of this program I am standing up straighter, eating better, and feeling more positive than ever before. Turns out exercise does make you feel better! I plan on starting my next round of P90X in April.

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March 4th, 2011

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