This was me. 283 lbs of me. I was depressed. Not because of the weight, but because of a chemical imbalance in my brain. I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety when I was 21. Looking back though, I was depressed for most of my high school years and afterwords. It hasn’t been a fleeting thing for me. It is something persistant. Something that I have learned how to manage instead of deal with.
At a pivitol time in my life I was working in downtown Salt Lake City. I was growing in my career. I had just recieved a promotion to a Principle Ux Designer. I was working on an enjoyable project… I was miserable. My family was miserable. My wife was miserable. I felt like I was either worthless, or was afraid of something happening. I was working long hours at the office. I had a long commute. A few work stresses were all enclosing around me. I felt like I was drowning. I talked to my manager and he sat me down and asked what was stressing me out. What were the duties that I had. I listed them out. He was patient and kind, but not very understanding. I needed to reduce some of the stress on my life. So, with the help and support of my wife, I changed my job. I moved to a position in web development that was a 7 min commute, less drama, and a healthier life with my family.
Life was great, right? Not yet.
What I didn’t realize is that I was deep in anxiety and depression. At this point in my life I only knew how to deal with it, I didn’t understand how to manage it. I just figured my life was going to be forcing myself out of bed when I didn’t feel like it. Pushing through the feeling of thinking in mud. Pushing aside thoughts of worthlessness and feeling like my world would be far better without me. That was dealing with it. I remember looking at my dad and thinking, how am I ever going to make it to his age?
Life seemed like I was scaling up a cliff, completely unaware that I had a harness and a rope. I was completely safe but didn’t realize it. All I could think about was my fear of falling and how hopeless it felt that I would ever make it to the top. I couldn’t look out and soak in the warm sun, drink in the incredibile view, and embrace the exhilaration of the challenge of climbing. All I could think about was falling.
I needed to manage it. I needed to be in control over it. I started a journey to learn how to do that. I learned about three major pillars in managing my depression and anxiety: sleep and rest, healty diet, and exercise. However, before I could change my life, I had to realize that my life needed to change. I had to be aware. Thinking about how stupid I am over and over again, feeling like the world would be better off without me, wondering if I could make it another year, those thoughts are not part of a healthy brain. I needed to realize that.
This is me now. I have lost over 100 lbs and am now managing my depression and anxiety successfully! What was my secret? I started running and biking and then training for a triathlon. My wife and I changed our diet, and I put a high priority on rest and meditation. It took me several years to change my life, one step at a time. I started with a goal of riding my bike for 2 miles, running for 1 mile and losing 20 lbs. And now I’m training for an ironman 70.3! It was these little goals and little achievements gathered together over time that changed my life. This journey changed my life. Really, it saved my life. And I want to help you on your journey which is why we created triing. So let’s go!