Working out my brain – NeuroGym review

So if you’ve been reading here for the last few months you know that my weight loss has been derailed by some serious depression and anxiety coming back.  I’m working to train my brain and my thinking now even more than I am working to train my body.  A few weeks ago I was contacted through the blog to see if I wanted to try NeuroGym.  Honestly I had not heard of them before but it is in line with my current thinking – which is to concentrate on improving my mental and emotional health so that I am able to stop sabotaging myself.

After talking with the people at NeuroGym we agreed that I would try the whole 12 week program and blog periodically about it with my honest opinion of what I think.  I am a week into it so far and wanted to introduce it to you.  It is a simple program from a user standpoint.  There are 12 levels of meditations/guided thinking and each week you listen to one for 7 days in a row.  Each level is designed to create the mindset necessary to lose weight and keep it off long term.  There are spaces for journaling and visioning your goals.  The weekly themes are things that really resonate with me – Self love and Acceptance, Releasing your excuses, mastering your emotions.

The program was developed in conjunction with neuroscientists, psychologists, medical doctors and researchers so I feel confident going into this with an open mind. (ha)  While I believe that the brain can and does change I also wonder about my mind’s own stubborn connections to its habits and thoughts.  Still changing my brain is exactly what I am trying to do with my pit crew so I am going to try NeuroGym out as another tool in my toolbox.

NeuroGym is kicking off a new webinar on “Winning the Game of Weight Loss” on Thursday.  This is the program I am following and if anyone would like to join me I would love to walk with you in this. (Full disclosure: this is an affiliate link).  I’ll be posting about my experience once a month as I go through the program and there will be additional times to sign up if you aren’t ready today of course.

weight 300 x 250

 

This is unlike anything I’ve tried before, but I believe in the science behind it so I am going to give it a shot.  I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted!

Liz

Disclaimer: I was given access to this program free of charge in exchange for my honest review of the program.  In addition I receive some compensation through the affiliate link.  All thoughts, opinions, and experiences are my own.

Mental Health Monday – On Panic Attacks and Asking for Help

Welcome to Mental Health Monday!  This was born out of Steph and my session on Depression, Anxiety and Healthy Living from Fitbloggin’ 15.  Every 1st and 3rd Monday one of us will host a link up for others to share their experiences with Mental illness – either from their own experience or from the experience of helping and walking with others.  Our goal is to reach out to the world and let people know that they are not alone in their struggles.  You are never alone.  Join us – link up, visit new blogs, support others.  Speak out:  “I am crazy…CRAZY AWESOME!”  (You are welcome to use the badge below!)

mental-health-monday-linkup-logo

My own contribution for the week:

If you have been here before you know that I have been dealing with a resurgence of depression, anxiety and binge eating.  I am knee deep in the hard work of getting help and figuring out what it going on.  My pit crew is helping (psych, therapist, dietician) but the reality is that the hard work to get out and past these times often falls on our own shoulders.  It is isolating to know that no matter how much people help you ultimately you are in a fight with yourself.  We can be given tools but we have to use them.

Things have been improving (slowly) and there has been an increase of light lately.  Fitbloggin and seeing my tribe was a huge part of that.  They ground me in ways I cannot fully describe.  However, there is also the Fitbloggin letdown – when the people are hugged goodbye for another year, when the swag is packed and you fly home.  Home is wonderful and an amazing place to be, but is still home to all the stresses and anxieties that eat me, especially when I am in the “danger zone” of my mental health.

Thursday I found myself on the verge of a panic attack the entire day.  I was clammy.  My pulse raced.  My thoughts were fulled by “what ifs” and I couldn’t find a place of calm.  Thankfully I don’t often get full-fledged “OMG I’m dying” panic attacks but this was a very lonely, panicky, and worry-filled day.

I realized something on Thursday night as my panic attack slowly receded….though I often know that I am not alone, I am often too embarrassed or scared to tell people that I am struggling.  I know I have people to walk with me in these things but the stigma I feel when actually in them is so pervasive that I hesitate to reach out.  I did ultimately reach out on Thursday – to my husband and a dear friend who knows what panic attacks are like.  They both helped and encouraged me, but I was still embarrassed to have to ask for help.

Since when does asking for help have to be a source of embarrassment?  I don’t hesitate to help a child who needs assistance, or a senior citizen who needs a hand.  I frequently agree to do things for my friends without batting an eye.  I am happy to help, so what is it about asking for help that seems so wrong?

The world reinforces my own warped idea that asking for help means I am weak or helpless.  I disagree.  Asking for help is a sign of strength.  It is a willingness to put aside your own pride and let others in.  It is letting others into the mess and being truthful about where we are at the moment.

I am not good at asking for help, but I am going to try to remember that it is a sign of my strength and determination and not my weakness.  I think that is why this link up carries so much hope for me.  We are getting together in this little corner of the internet and being bold with our truth.  We are spreading light and insisting to others and to ourselves that we are NOT alone.

So I am going to ask YOU for your help.  Will you link up?  Will you spread the word?  Will you tell your stories?  Will you shine a light for others to see?  Will you insist that truth-telling and help-asking are the voice of strong, amazing, awesome people?  Will you join the tribe of #crazyawesome?  You are not alone.  I am not alone.  We are in this together.

Liz

 Loading InLinkz ...

Mind Games: Session Recap and Link up Introduction

Way back after Fitbloggin 2014 I had an idea for a session – a session that is rarely talked about but integral to my own journey toward health.  A session on mental health and mental illness.  I knew I wanted to submit for a discussion session based on my experiences with anxiety and depression (long before this lasted episode) and that I wanted a friend beside me.  Steph from Athlete at Heart came to mind immediately. I knew her story and I knew that she spoke openly about it on her blog.

So on Saturday we led a small group discussion session on Mind Games: Depression, Anxiety and Healthy Living.  I was worried before hand – what if no one came, what if no one had stories to share, what if I’m the only one who ever struggles with this…. (Yes, all those questions proved to be absurd – it is what anxiety does to me!).  (I was also worried I had a slight concussion as I took a medicine ball to the face 5 minutes before our session was to begin – don’t worry I am fine, but I have a nice bruise on my cheek).

I need not have worried because I fully believe that everyone attended who needed to hear our stories, share their story and know that they are not alone.  The amazing thing about Fitbloggin and this session is the openness and vulnerability that people are comfortable expressing.  After Steph and I shared a bit of our own stories and reminded folks that this was a safe space the stories and encouragement began flowing easily.  People shared hard things about them or people they know.  We talked about ways to help and support, ways to ask for help, ways to remember that we are not alone.

We all cried.  Or at least I did.  It is a telling thing about a Fitbloggin session when their can be a plate full of bacon in the center of the room and no one eats it.  Instead it became loaded with the emotion of the room – our literal grief bacon!

grief bacon(Random Fact: There is a German word Kummerspeck (n.): excess weight gained from emotional overeating which literally translates into “Grief Bacon.”)

As we talked and shared one thing became clear.  We all suffer and think we are alone and the stigma and silence of mental illness does little to support those who are suffering.  You all know I try to blog honestly about my journey with depression and anxiety here, because I think it is important to shine light on mental health.  But more is needed.  So Steph and I decided that we are going to a Mental Health Monday Link up.  It will launch next Monday, July 7, with a link up here and will continue on the first and third Mondays of each month (we are going to share hosting duties).

It will be an encouragement for you to be open about what we struggle with in depression and anxiety.  And it if isn’t something you struggle with yourself you can blog about how to support people who do struggle.  The goal is to bring mental illness out of the shadows.  80% of people with mental illness never seek treatment because of the stigma. That needs to change.  We can make it change by using our voices to normalize what people go through.  And if you are not at a place where you feel comfortable sharing yet then simply read what others have to say and know that you are in amazing company.

Feel free to take the Link up Image below for your posts.

mental-health-monday-linkup-logo

You are not alone.  I am not alone.  Yes. I am crazy.  #crazyawesome

I hope you will join us in posting and linking up twice a month.  Let’s be the change to reduce the stigma of mental illness and enable people to have the courage to seek help when they need it.  Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc are NOT character flaws.

I had something made for the people at our session (thanks to a friend with a laser) as a talisman for those who are struggling.  I have extras that I can send out to anyone who needs a reminder – email me at liz@priorfatgirl.com and include your address.

 

Whether it is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual health – remember to love yourself enough to work to be well.  You don’t have to love everything, or all the time, but our love is enough to keep us going and help us reach out when we need the help.  Fitbloggin is always special and the people in it are amazing, but I want to send special love and hugs to the folks who came to our session.  You, my friends, are brave little toasters and have the power to make this world a safer place for those who are suffering depression, anxiety and more.  Thank you for reminding ME that I am never alone.  You know how to find me online, I am always here for you guys.

Mile High – Fitbloggin Denver

Oh Fitbloggin, I big-squishy-heart you and your attendees.  It is more than just a conference – it is summer camp for me.  It is a time to gather together with people from all walks of life and all shapes and sizes and be together.  We are more alike than we are different and each of us comes from a place of acceptance and non-judgment.  In the three years I’ve attended I’ve made more friends than I can easily count or name.  But even more than that I can be my whole self there.  Weird, wacky, geeky, introverted, but also extroverted, silly.  I get to let out the things I like best about myself – my strength, my humor, my joy, my light.  I don’t know why it is always hard to do those things in real life, but Fitbloggin is my space.

I smiled more in those 4 days than I have in months.

Just a few of the amazing Fitbloggin Tribe

I’ll have stories throughout this week, including a recap on my own session about mental health that I lead with Steph.  I imagine I will also process things for quite some time along the way, but for now I will give you a few glimpses of the fun being had this weekend.

Fitbloggin always has generous and amazing sponsors.  Some of these were Stonyfield, California AvocadosEgglands Best, General Mills, Kelloggs, Silk, JumpSport, PostureFit and more!  Each one was welcoming, engaging and generous.  Though I do some work with brands, I am not as big as many so I don’t push that blog route too much, but each one was fun to interact with and learn more about.

Trampoline Action Shot!

In addition to walking and dancing all around, I did participate in several workouts – the strength training session with Cathe thanks to Egglands Best, the annual Zumba class and the PostureFit workout too.  I meant to get to yoga but it was right before my own session and that stressed me out (lol).  I also skipped the two early morning workouts.  I wanted to go, but I also wanted sleep.  Sleep won.  I don’t feel to badly about that self care.

A bunch of Enell ambassadors at Fitbloggin – we all wore the same bra so naturally it needed documenting.

(Amazingly, I don’t hate this photo)

Kris stole my phone and took some pictures and video of me at Zumba.  Amazingly I don’t dislike this video either.  I’ve got some moves!

At lunch on Friday I also was able to be a model for one of our sponsors Soybu!  Aren’t we all cute!?  I loved these clothes – in fact I wore this for most of the rest of the day (until dressing up for Ignite).  I was also extra glad that there were people of all shapes and sizes in the fashion show.  It was a fun experience!  (Stay tuned, I’ll be doing a review and giveaway a little ways down the road with them!)

fashion show

There is so so SO much more to share about the weekend, and I will be along the way but I want to end this with a huge thank you.  Fitbloggin’ all began because of Roni Noone.  She is one of the singularly most giving and inspirational people I know.  She has created something that is amazing and life-giving and has managed to do so in a way that welcomes people of all sizes and abilities.  This is Roni’s last year heading up Fitbloggin.  We’ve gotten too big and amazing for just a handful of volunteers and staff.  Even though Fitbloggin is now partnering with a group to help run it I am glad to hear that Roni is going to be actively involved in it still.  She has given us all something so special. Thank you Roni!