This is the first update in a 15-week series about my own experience with Lucinda Bassett’s at-home program Attacking Anxiety and Depression.
Yesterday I gave you the background on why I’m sharing this with you and also how it all relates to the topic of weight loss. Living a life free of chronic stress, anxiety, and depression is another cog in the wheel of a complete, healthy lifestyle and this topic definitely applies to weight loss and fitness. If you’ve got too much anxiety and stress in your life you could easily feel like you don’t have time to take care of yourself, and if you’re into some stinkin’ thinkin’ and feeling some depression, you could be using food to soothe your feelings.
What’s Up With the Out of Focus Picture?
Before we get into my update today, you might be wondering what’s up with the picture. It’s not a stock photo, that’s my high-anxiety cat Little Paw and if she were a person she could sorely use Attacking Anxiety & Depression (LOL, no joke). She is in “fight or flight” mode 85% of the time and she will probably never change. As you can see, she’s on the run even in this photo. Maybe she’ll blog about it someday, that is if she could ever sit still at the keyboard. 😉
Chronic Stress = Fight or Flight Response
Chronic stress puts your body under tremendous strain and it’s not at all good for your health or your weight. Yesterday I shared the information with you about the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is released in your system when you’re under chronic stress and it can lead to abdominal weight gain, heart attack, or stroke.
Chronic stress puts your body in constant “fight or flight” mode when there is no imminent physical danger. We don’t want to get rid of that response because it’s necessary for survival, but it’s unhealthy for the body to be under that constant strain.
Maybe you’ve seen the commercial for the drug that is supposed to help block cortisol? Well here’s my take on that, and if you’re are regular reader of Fearless Fat Loss you’ve heard me say this many times before – I’m all for solving the problem, not putting a bandaid on it, which is what you do when you take medications for the symptom of the problem but never work on the cause of the problem. Attacking Anxiety and Depression is the #1 non-pharmaceutical program in the world that helps you heal your chronic stress, anxiety, and depression and like I shared with you yesterday, this is something that I really need to resolve for myself.
10 Symptoms of Anxiety & Depression
The first week of the Attacking Anxiety and Depression program is mainly about observing yourself and wrapping your head around the fact that the program can help you. They give you examples of common symptoms of anxiety and depression and help you understand that most people (85%) who suffer from anxiety also suffer from depression – anxious thoughts lead to avoidance behavior, which affects self-esteem and leads to depressing thoughts.
Here are some of the common symptoms of Anxiety & Depression:
- Muscle tension in back and shoulders
- Feeling of uneasiness
- Rapid heart rate
- Bewilderment, spacey feeling due to overwhelming feelings of anxiety
- Fatigue – sleep all night but still feel tired
- Difficulty focusing
- Changes in weight – weight gain or weight loss (without trying to)
- Changes in appetite – overeating or under eating
- Sadness – start crying for seemingly no reason
I’ve experienced all of the above symptoms at some time or another and while I don’t feel that I’m depressed right now, I attribute much of that to how I’m eating and exercising, which by the way are key components of this program. It just so happens that I’ve already been doing what they suggest in those areas, except when it comes to caffeine (caffeine needs to be gradually reduced because it contributes to anxiety).
What I Learned
What I learned in week one of Attacking Anxiety and Depression was that I could no longer put off doing this program. You might remember from my introductory post yesterday that I’ve had this program for over 6 months. I kept telling myself I didn’t have time to do it (common excuse for changing lifestyle habits 😉 ), and that maybe I didn’t really need it. After all, everyone has stress in their life, that’s just the way it is.
Well it’s true that everyone has stress, and you wouldn’t want to get rid of all stress because then your life would be super boring. Stress is a problem when it turns into anxiety and you stop taking the actions that you want to take because of fear.
It’s that fear and anxiety that can stand in your way of achieving your dreams, in fact “fear of failure” has been been in the top spot in my current poll here at Fearless Fat Loss, the poll where I’m asking you what your top 2 motivation sappers are (that poll is in my sidebar today but if you don’t see it anymore it’s been closed and you’ll find the results here).
I Even Fit The Personality Traits, Eek!
I also learned that I fit the personality traits of those who commonly struggle with anxiety and depression, traits like being a perfectionist, analytical, and tending towards worry (which turns into anxiety). Yes, it’s true, so I finally realized that I need to take the time to do this program since it can help me go up another level in my life – and I need to do this now. I cannot continue to live with the amount of stress that I’ve been living with lately. It’s just not healthy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been affecting my weight loss since my body is in such a stressed out mode.
I Wanted to Do More
During the first week (I started this Saturday, June 28) I wanted to do more but there are guidelines for this program and one is that you don’t jump ahead or skip around. They have a method and reason for laying it all out like it is and it’s meant to be followed.
By the way, the Attacking Anxiety and Depression program is headed up by Lucinda Bassett who made it her life mission to help other people because she used to have severe anxiety and panic attacks. There are medical doctors who are part of the program, Dr. Allen Fisher being one who talks on the tapes (the first 2 at least, I haven’t jumped ahead! 🙂 ) with Lucinda. They also have people who have already gone through the program talk about their experiences and progress.
What’s In the At-Home Program
Exactly what this is is an entire kit of tapes, CDs (the tapes and CDs have the same content), a workbook, videos, and other materials. There is a relaxation tape that you use every day, they suggest 2 times a day, but at the very least once a day. The relaxation tape is critical to your success. They also suggest you:
- Keep a daily journal – ask yourself “why did I feel this way?” when you journal your feelings
- Do only one homework session per week, do not jump ahead (you can relisten to previous tapes)
- Follow the recommended weekly schedule
- Listen to your weekly session tape at least 3 times during the week and after 2 times do the homework in workbook
Well-Known Companies Have Used It
Major corporations like Ford, AT&T, Chrysler have all been taught how to use the tools in the Attacking Anxiety and Depression program and these tools are meant to help anyone who suffers from stress. You can strictly use the kit at home or if you’re in therapy use it in conjunction. I’m super pleased with the quality of the program and I only wish that I’d started this process 6 months ago, but I can’t do anything about that now!
My Mission for This Experiment in Healing my Anxiety
Like I said yesterday, I’m thinking that if by sharing my experience if I can help motivate even one person to get help for their stress, anxiety, and/or depression by using myself as a guinea pig again, then that’s awesome. I know that with my last experiment with the Shrink Yourself program that many have gotten help for their emotional eating, and if I had not shared my experience with that then maybe one person out there would not have heard of that excellent program.
Besides that, I don’t mind doing experiments on myself because then I’m accountable to follow through and I’m improving my own life experience at the same time. So even though I’m sharing my imperfections with you it’s all worth it, and it’s really nothing new, me sharing my imperfections with you. It’s just that I was hesitant to share about this area (like I said, I wasn’t even going to, I’m already in week 2 of Attacking Anxiety and Depression) because I look at anxiety as being almost more of a disorder than food and weight disorders, but really they are all connected, and you already knew from everything else I’ve shared that I’m not perfect. 😉
Stay tuned for the whole series as I’ll be sharing my experience with the Attacking Anxiety and Depression program with you each week over the entire 15 weeks. I’ll give you my updates each Wednesday, and I’ll update my introductory post about Anxiety and Depression with the links to each week’s update.