I distinctly remember what I felt like prior to getting help for some food issues and previous to working out regularly. For a while, as I mentioned in this post, I avoided being with people, even people I liked. It was a dark, dreary, terrible way to feel every single day.
Now post-workout I also try to avoid people but for a whole other reason.
My name is Sarah and I am an endorphin-aholic.
Let me preface this by letting you know I work out at my office. I am fortunate enough to have a gorgeous, fully equipped gym, complete with enthusiastic trainers and classes, in the lower level of my building. This has its perks. My fortune continues in having a boss that lets me workout during actual “on the clock” hours so I can avoid the gym’s busy periods. Did I mention I love my job and my boss?
I knew exercise was supposed to make you feel better, “they” said. But we all know how “they” can be. “They” have a lot of fickle opinions that change with the wind and the wind seems to whip in a new direction every two weeks.
They were right about endorphins though and I am here to be a witness!
If you’ve never been on an endorphin high let me tell you what you’re missing out on. Imagine taking the tingle of a first kiss and gently mixing it with the excitement of that big drop on a roller coaster and then add a twist – a generous twist – of that adrenaline rush that comes along with your ultimate song being played in a club and you know you’re about to cut a rug. Mix all of that up, add a shot of espresso and voila, that’s how good my post workout endorphins make me feel.
Oh, and they make me chatty (okay, chattier). How unfortunate for the poor souls who innocently step into the elevator with me post exercise- all ‘dorphined up.
Sarah and Carolyn enjoying their well deserved endorphins
In the elevator heading back to our desks, my workout buddy, Carolyn, and I have been known to high five one another for pushing so hard stating, “man you killed it today, you ran!”… and then we just continuing to high five every other passenger in the elevator, celebrating our victories. They had no choice. They must high five.
This is endorphins.
Wide eyed and unsure of what just happened, the innocents would step out on their floors and continue with their day. We smiled widely and waved farewell to them (only to later resolve to stop doing that to people, lest we lose our jobs).
Even on days when I didn’t feel like working out but made myself go, I would be awarded with my endorphins. When I can’t be my own cheerleader, it’s like they’re telling me “way to go Sarah, you did it and we’re proud of you.” They rush over me and they simply just make me feel good. They make me feel proud. They make me feel happy. They make me feel alive and strong.
If you’re on the verge of starting an exercise routine or are just entertaining the thought for somewhere down the road please, please just do it. If you can’t because you just aren’t there, mentally, trust in the endorphins to take care of some of your mental health. Take that one little step and get your endorphins running. You will be so glad you did.
My friend Sarah shared a Facebook post from her soon-to-be 17-year-old daughter Autumn today that surprised and impressed me.
It seems that this articulate, intelligent young woman has accomplished something that many adults attempt and repeatedly fail–and something many teenagers don’t even realize they need to do until they’re adults. When I read it, I immediately asked Sarah and Autumn if they were OK with my blogging about it.
Autumn has lost more than 40 pounds and is still on the move–and she says she feels better about herself than she ever has. I’m going to share her post below in full. I am so impressed with the level of maturity this girl has going on–what do you think? (You can click the photo at the right to enlarge it, if you’d like!)
“As many of you may know, I’ve lost over twenty pounds. I am happy to announce that I have lost over 40 pounds in total, and losing more every day. I am so grateful to have such supportive friends and family.
Starting at 194 pounds (very left) I could not even comprehend that I would be where I am now, a pleasant 152. I have lost four pant sizes, and I now fit in a medium. I am so blessed to have a family like mine, and truly happy to have the friends that I do.
Ten more pounds and I will be considered not overweight, although. I have never felt as good about myself as I do right now. I am truly happy with myself and life, I have good friends (Maybe because I got rid of the ones that were fake) An adorable boyfriend, and a loving family.
For the first time in my life, I can wake up and say to myself, ‘Today is going to be a good day.’ And look in the mirror and accept that I AM beautiful. I should of never thought of changing myself to please the masses.
I was depressed, I didn’t feel good enough. I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere, not just because of my weight, but because of how I felt society was. I’m tearing up as I write this status because of how proud I am of myself that I actually surpassed my own goals.
Words cannot describe the feeling of success, and I thank everyone who reads this status. Thank you for supporting me and my goals.”.
Now here’s where it gets really impressive. Autumn doesn’t have an eating disorder, and she isn’t taking pills or powders or eating questionable things. And she’s not starving herself or using any strange voodoo to make the weight loss happen. In fact, she’s doing it the old fashioned way. The only way that really works long-term.
“It’s what everyone else says,” Autumn says. “Fewer calories, lots of water and exercise.”
She adds that it’s important to make sure that when you cut calories you eat things that are nutrient-rich, because it can make you sick if you don’t.
“She got sick,” Sarah tells me. “Had too-low potassium, and she had numbness and tingling in her face and hands.”
They went to the emergency room and they drew blood to make the diagnosis, and the prescription was to eat some bananas. So these days, Autumn’s more careful to get those nutrients into her diet.
When I asked how she stuck to the plan, she said that she constantly had to give herself pep talks.
Color me impressed. Kudos to Autumn! Keep up the good work, sista! 🙂
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy.