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Written by Katie Bopp

Lifestyle Changes

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

Moving 100 miles away from home to a small studio apartment on High Street in Carlisle was a big deal when I was 23 and single.  I didn’t have friends or family who lived in this town, so it was a huge step out of my comfort zone. Unknowingly, this phase of my life would lead to a love for fitness.

Initially, I was excited for my first, “real” job but the beginning of this new chapter was rough.  I struggled to learn my new position while keeping up with the nightly deadlines. If I made any mistakes my boss would reprimand me after the shift.  When I wasn’t working, the loneliness started to sink in and I felt aimless whether I was alone in my apartment or wandering around town. My loneliness combined with my stress manifested into anxiety and depression.  I tried to keep this in check but it surfaced in the form of painful, cystic acne all over my face. This was so embarrassing and frustrating – which just added to my anxiety, as you can imagine!

Time to Make Some Changes

I decided to make some changes.  I started making an effort to eliminate certain foods from my diet and eat more fresh, whole foods.  I signed up at a gym and decided to get back into running. I used to run socially with friends at college but had lost my endurance since graduation.  After asking a trainer at the gym for advice, I started setting specific goals for the first time. My first goal was to run 30 minutes without walking.  Soon, I also started incorporating strength training into my workout. I kept improving from there.

Within the first month of this new lifestyle, I already felt so much better!

A few months went by, and my skin started to clear up.  Then the scars faded. I felt more confident about how I looked.  I had an outlet to relieve my frustrations. I felt mentally clearer and more focused at work.  I had fitness goals to focus on outside of work. And I started forming friendships with my coworkers.  The most important friendship was with my best friend, Kurt, who I’ve been married to for 4 years.

I’m so amazed by the connection between my physical health and mental health.  It truly is all tied together!

Reach Out

If you experience anxiety or depression and haven’t already starting incorporating exercise into your routine, I strongly recommend it!  

If you’d like ideas for how to get started exercising or how to stick with it, I’d love to chat!  Send me an email at katie@athenawarriorfitness.com.