Last week I had one of my best weeks and one of my worst weeks.
Starting with the good news first, since last Monday, I have finally been consistent with getting to the gym. I started up with squats, press, pushups, rows, deadlifts, bench again. In only a week, I can see and feel the difference. My weight has been consistently hovering around 200lbs for the last six to nine months. I am not sure how much that will change, but weight is not my focus. My focus number one is to effectively manage the depression that comes rides along with disturbing events.
Number two focus is on reducing body fat, not reducing weight. I really do not care if I weigh 250lbs at 10% body fat. Who cares? One thing I know, when I will get under 20%, I should be around a 32″ waist which is good for many reasons, mainly that it demonstrates that your layers of fat have been minimized making it easier on your body.
Today started the second week. One amazing fact I can tell you is that three weeks ago, I could barely do fifteen pushups. If you are familiar with my story, you will know that back in June of 2012, I could not do one pushup, but I built up over a month to over 50 pushups, my high for my adult life was 56 pushups. And I stopped being as consistent and I lost the strength. I am happy to say though that in only a couple of weeks, I have gotten stronger much faster than I imagined. Last Monday, I did 5 sets of 15 pushups. On Tuesday I did 5 sets of 20 pushups. On Wednesday I did 4 sets of 25 pushups. Then I remembered that I should take a break in between pushup days and let my muscles recover. I did that on Thursday and on Friday I did pushups in descending order, 30 pushups, then 25, 20, 15, and 10 for a total of 100 pushups.
I had not done a hundred pushups for way too long, but it felt great. So yesterday I wanted to see if I could do more than 30 and I did, 35, but decided to not push it and just rested the rest of the day with an 8-mile walk at the foot of the palisades cliffs in New Jersey. I have to say that the hike was great, but the ride back to the city over the cross Bronx expressway is a big downer, standing still in traffic for miles. Next time have to find a spot on the east side of the Hudson.
Today I started my workout with 40 pushups. I was shocked but wondered if I could hit forty and did. This is a tremendous lesson in the resiliency of the human body. After the first 40, I did 35, and then in between my 5 sets of 5 squats with 75lbs, I did 30, 25, 20, 15, and 10 pushups, for a grand total today of 175 pushups. Yes, I am quite surprised, but motivated to keep going.
Besides the 175 pushups for the day, I did 5 sets of 5 reps squats with 75lbs, which is up from 70lbs last week. I know it is not a high number, but hey, cut me some slack, I am going to keep adding a little weight, and let’s see how that goes on Wednesday. Bench press was 5 sets of 5 reps using 125lbs, I feel I can go up to 130lbs next time I do bench on Friday. For barbell rows I used 75lbs. I think I can go up to 80lbs for the next time I do rows, which should be this Friday.
What am I learning? Never give up. And if you do not give up, you might be just as surprised as to how well your body will react when pushed. So push yourself, you might like the results.
How did this help me get through the week beyond the physical realm? The weight workout kept me more grounded and allowed me to push beyond my limits, even push through my pain, physical pain, and emotional pain.
If you just happen to be passing by and are already into a healthy lifestyle, I hope you can find valuable ideas here. If you happened upon this site and are struggling in the fight against depression, I hope you will find some very positive steps that you can take to help you manage your depression effectively, with or without drugs, though based on my experience with side effects, I think without is preferable.
Are you on drugs for depression? Did you ever try to manage your depression without drugs, instead using nutrition and exercise as your drug of choice? Let me know, I am very interested in your experience. Thanks.