How Alcohol & A Party Lifestyle Lead To Anxiety & Depression for Lucy
In this post we meet one of our newest athletes here at be defiant. Lucy is a large supporter of using fitness to positively improve mental health, and is looking to encourage body positivity in all genders, through her use of social media. After some time living the 'party lifestyle', Lucy knew it was time for a change. She turned herself around and is now campaigning for people to truly love who they are, and we couldn't be more proud to have her on the team.
How Fitness Changed My Life For The Better
My name’s Lucy and I’m a fitness fanatic. I came across cross training in 2015 when a friend introduced me the sport. I was looking for a way to keep fit a few times a week which is how it all began but if you know anything about cross training, you’ll know twice a week turns into three times, then five, then all of a sudden you’re offended at the thought of a rest day! (Totally kidding, rest is important)
How The Party Lifestyle Lead To My Anxiety
I think my story is a little different to others. I was a really active child being a gymnast from the age of five into my early teens. Then I went on to competing in sports at high school like Netball and Athletics and I was always naturally very slim. Unfortunately for me the ‘party girl’ lifestyle was just too appealing and as I hit my later teens I was more interested in binge drinking and staying out until 6am than living a healthy lifestyle. It was around this time I developed anxiety which lead to depression due to being constantly on edge. I’m a really outgoing person but I found myself becoming more and more awkward in social situations, unless of course I’d had a few drinks then it was back to my natural loud and proud self. The binge drinking and takeaway eating meant that my naturally slim body was never going to be the same again.
Fitness Helped My Mental Health
Starting cross training really helped me come back out of my shell. The community in any cross training box is amazing. The support and friendships people develop there are one of a kind. I was still trying to live my party lifestyle alongside my healthy lifestyle which was never going to work. Even when I began more competitive cross training I was still reluctant to give up the heavy binge drinking and fast food eating on a weekend, which lead to me developing body image issues. I was disgusted at myself for gaining body fat. I tried so many different diets which all worked but were all unsustainable and made me miserable. I hated restricting certain foods because I LOVE FOOD but it felt good to lose the weight. As soon as I dropped the body fat I went back to thinking I could out-train a bad diet. If anyone ever manages to do it please let me know… but I can more or less tell you with absolutely certainty, it’s impossible! Balance is key.
2020 Was Life Changing For Us All
Let’s fast forward to 2020. Last year something in me clicked. I didn’t want to mention the ‘C’ word but the pandemic really helped me, and many others, put life into perspective. Everyone had their whole world turned upside down and at first it was a real struggle adapting to this new way of life. I’m a creature of habit. It comes hand in hand with my anxiety. I like to plan, make lists and be prepared. All my plans were on hold, my whole life needed adjusting especially being on furlough and not even having a work routine, but once I’d taken a step back and saw the opportunity that had been presented, I thrived. Furlough for me was like a break from real life. I trained, I walked for miles and I spent time working on myself and especially learned not take everything we have for granted. I learned to love my body, accepted it had changed and appreciated it for what it can do, rather than what it looks like.
Social Media is such a vast world now and the pressure it has put on people, especially women, to look at certain way is insane! Photoshop, airbrushing and perfection. I wanted to use my own social medial platform to empower women to feel comfortable no matter what their size or shape. I stopped using filters and posing to purposely make the angles more flattering and let my wobbly bits run free. If we can post honest pictures and videos and show the next generation of young ladies that they are beautiful as they are then we have used social media for the better.
Developing Healthier Relationships With Alcohol
2021 has brought some really exciting things for me so far. I’ve joined the Be Defiant Team as an athlete to help crush the metal health and body image stigma, one wobbly tummy video at a time. I’ve taken a huge personal step into becoming healthier and gone completely sober – 40 days and counting. I’m not saying I’ll never drink again but the goal is to develop a healthy relationship with alcohol and not use it to mask negative feelings and I’m already feeling the benefits of an alcohol free life. I’ve just become a qualified Mental Health First Aider and I’ve also just started my Personal Training qualification with an end goal of helping people get more active to live a healthier lifestyle. That was a secret – you heard it here first!
My anxiety still gets the better of me some days. I use medication, fitness, mindfulness and cuddles with my three cats to get through each day. My ultimate goal in 2021 is to Clean & Jerk 100kg because let’s be honest, how badass would that be!!