Enjoying exercise--or NOT enjoying exercise

  • KOSMOS4

    Posts: 22

    Mar 11, 2012 7:32 PM GMT
    I have a problem and I'm wondering if anything similar has happened to anyone else here.

    For the past 2 years I have stopped finding exercise--or any type of activity--rewarding. In addition to the ellipticals and toning my body with weights at the gym, I had a particular passion for running. If I had to miss more than 2 consecutive days of exercise I would feel really irritated. Although all exercise has rewarded me mentally in the past, I used to get a particular rush from endurance running.

    I would categorize the positive moods I got from runs based on 3 levels.

    1. Aerobic High: A standard elevation of mood when the HR is substantially increased for varying lengths of time.

    2. Afterglow: The exhausting yet rewarding relaxed type of contentment that occurs after a run. A variant of this is delayed afterglow where one might feel like shit immediately after the workout yet have the afterglow feeling kick in several hours later.

    3. Runner's High: An uncommon yet not extremely rare sensation of absolute euphoria and bliss, where one feels all is well with the world. It is both relaxing and stimulating at the same time and sometimes can last all day. Not all runners get this.

    It's been 2 years since I've obtained any type of a lift from running, even the standard Aerobic High. I could be running a 21K@5:00/K--a quick pace for me and feel...absolutely nothing. I eat very healthy, consuming 10 servings of fresh vegetables and fruits per day, steamed fish 3 times a week, 100% whole grains, no junk, etc. But what's the point? Eating healthy doesn't make me feel good, nor does exercise. In fact nothing makes me feel good anymore--from a funny TV show to a riveting VG to an intriguing book to eating healthy, nutritious food.

    I feel my mind has betrayed my body's efforts, and I'm willing to do anything to feel pleasure again, even if it's just for a short while longer. I would live without feeling pleasure for the rest of my life if only I had one chance to say "goodbye" to it.

    Has this happened to anyone else? If so, how did you fix it?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 11, 2012 8:17 PM GMT
    Maybe you should see a psychologist or something, it's definitely something in your head. It sounds that you might be depressed (I'm not a doctor) because I've heard that when you're depressed you just lose a drive/interest in anything.
  • KOSMOS4

    Posts: 22

    Mar 12, 2012 5:58 PM GMT
    Yeah I know it's a type of depression--and I'm thankful that it's not the melancholia, I-can-barely move type of depression. I've been seeing someone once a month for the past 3 years. It's not something that conventional RX drugs can solve, although I have very good reason to believe in my case that the cause is bio-chemical. I can't be 100% sure but after a lot of analysis I think it's a case of my Serotonin and/or Dopamine receptors not firing sufficiently. This is why large doses of Tyrosine and Tryptophan supplements rarely help; it's not how much of these neurotransmitters my neurons can hold, it's how much are being released by said neurons. Or maybe it has something to do with my opioid receptors or I'm not producing enough endorphins anymore for some reason. I really can't be sure.

    I may have to deal with this psychologically, and just accept my situation and move on. Things could be a lot worse. That's what I should do. But in certain specialised situations I can be very stubborn and refuse to settle. If my brain will not give me the ability to feel pleasure just one more time within a few years.....then I know what has to be done. We all make our own choices.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 12, 2012 6:02 PM GMT
    Kosmos - have you tried taking a break for a bit, or switching your exercise routines around a little and skipping cardio for a while?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 12, 2012 6:05 PM GMT
    I love exercising! It keeps me going and going all week long. I'll exercise after having walked 6 miles!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 12, 2012 6:08 PM GMT
    It sounds like you need to vary your routine in some major way to get reinvigorated or set a new goal that interests you like a big race or competition. When is the last time you really shook things up and tried to push yourself in a really different way? I'm not talking running faster or farther but rather a new sport or workout routine that's totally different from what you've been doing or working out with a new group of people? Try water polo or flag football and see if you get that excitement back.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 12, 2012 8:49 PM GMT
    I'd say mix up your routine and try different things,for me excursive is mental as well as physical....
  • KOSMOS4

    Posts: 22

    Mar 13, 2012 4:53 AM GMT
    JinRDUhave you tried taking a break for a bit, or switching your exercise routines around a little and skipping cardio for a while?


    Yeah I have actually. Truth be told, I've taken several extended breaks from running. I joined the LA FITNESS at Don Mills but I quit after several weeks when the service got really, really awful, at least for the initiation fee and overall prices they were charging. I don't like getting ripped off. And they really try and push the personal trainers on you, not just at LA but also at Extreme Fitness and Pure Life. I can't afford a quality personal trainer. At Extreme Fitness I learnt the hard way to never sign up for a yearly contract. When I refused personal training services, the staff gave me the cold shoulder and I was chided by PTs who wanted to use the machines for their own clients on two occasions...suffice it to say I've had negative experiences with gyms. I also have some hand-eye coordination issues that make free weights at home surprisingly difficult. I was getting good with a variety of activities involving resistance bands and lunging with the game EA ACTIVE: PT but even with a mat and no shoes my elderly downstairs neighbours kept complaining so I had to stop. It seems that if I want to switch it up I'll have to try another gym. Maybe I should give it another go--thanks for the suggestion.

    @yourname2000: I'm well aware of 5-HTP supplementation; I've tried it many times. It altered my sleep and appetite patterns but little else. I've been big on supplements in the past--some have worked better for me than others. The odd ones that have worked for me stop working after a month or so at most. However, I'm feeling optimistic about the latest I'm trying, Phosphatidylserine.