Friday, 11 May 2018

Overcoming postnatal depression naturally


Since having my baby almost a year ago I haven't lost a single pound since that first week. This is fairly typical for me, the same thing happened after giving birth to each of my other seven babies. I just seem to be unable to lose any weight whilst breastfeeding. But I got fed up, so fed up with feeling like a blimp. I actually found postnatal depression creeping up on me. It was strange feeling depressed when
I really hadn't got a single thing to be miserable about, well other than my body.

Anyway, I'm not one to feel sorry for myself and once I realised I was depressed I knew I had to do something about it. Of course there was that part of me that just wanted to wallow in self pity but I had to crush that part as hard and as quickly as I could. I knew for a fact that I absolutely would not go to see my doctor about it. I just didn't see the point in having a five minute appointment with someone that couldn't care less about me and would just hand me a prescription for anti-depressants. Honestly, how would that help? I needed to get to the root cause of the problem. If it was postnatal depression then I knew my hormones were the cause and the best way to regulate them naturally is through a healthy diet and exercise.

My diet is actually pretty healthy so I just needed to focus on the exercise. I hadn't done any since quite early on in my last pregnancy which is about eighteen months ago. When the body stagnates it causes so many issues and I'd spent a year sitting down breastfeeding and homeschooling and little time moving. If my diet hadn't been as healthy as it was then I dread to think how bad things would have actually got.

On the 26th April I reached breaking point, I was literally crying all the time and I am not the sort of person that cries so it was pretty bad. I felt like I was turning into my mother, I would rather not live than be like her (long story) so this was a very serious situation indeed. I didn't have the motivation to do anything, I couldn't even go out of the house, I was finding it a struggle to keep my daily routine of feeding the children, bathing them, putting them to bed and homeschooling them. I managed to keep up with the routine but I felt miserable about it all, there wasn't any joy and I felt sorry for my children having to see my sad face all the time. I think I was probably overthinking it, they probably were too busy with their own thoughts but depression makes one focus on themselves far too much.

My solution: I was going to get on the treadmill and make myself sweat out all the misery. It was the last thing I wanted to do, I was dreading it, I was so unfit I knew it would be uncomfortable but I forced myself. It was almost like I had to punish myself.

I was so desperate I got on the treadmill before even getting into any sportswear, I had jeans and a wool jumper on, I slipped on my trainers, I knew if I didn't do it there and then I would never find the strength again.  I started to run, immediately I knew I was doing the right thing. It felt exhilarating. I ran for just over half a mile and was then finding it hard to breathe, part of me wanted to quit right there but I felt like I must make it to at least a mile. I walked for thirty seconds and then picked up the pace again and continued until the mile was up.

I did it! I actually did it. I was so amazed with myself, I honestly thought there was no way I could run a mile after having not done any exercise for over eighteen months and having given birth for the eighth time. I immediately had to lay down on the floor, my face beetroot red, pouring with sweat and my chest heaving up and down but at last I started to feel alive once again!

In the two weeks since then I dusted off my old trusty Fitbit and have managed to run four more times, admittedly that's not as many runs as I'd have liked to have done in that time but I'm a busy mum of eight, I have to fit in what I can when I can. The second time I ran I didn't have to slow down at all and I even went out for a five mile run too. In those two weeks I have also done a five mile hike and two ten minute ab workouts.

I can can honestly say that I haven't cried once in the past two weeks, I feel back to my old happy self and once again have the joy back!  This is just the beginning of my fitness journey and I'm looking forward so much to having a better body as well as mind.  In two weeks I've already managed to lose an inch from my waist which I am ecstatic about!

I'm going to be sharing my fitness journey on here regularly so come back soon, maybe I'll even pluck up the courage to post my 'before' pictures 😂If you want to make sure you don't miss out on my updates then follow me on Instagram @life.of.mummy or add your email in the subscription box to the right.

So, how about you, have you ever had/have postnatal depression?  How has it affected you?  What have you done to get better?  Does exercise make you feel happier?
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