The Gym Saved My Life

During the time I started this path of weight loss and wellness, I was also coming out of a 7 year relationship with my former partner. I was devastated with the breakup. It was unexpected. For the first time in my life I had actually contemplated suicide. I knew that type of thinking was irrational so I went to my doctor. Thankfully, I got on an antidepressant that helped me through those first few months after the breakup. I also continued to see my therapist and go to the gym.

Posted on | Bonnie Matthews | Comments ()

During the time I started this path of weight loss and wellness, I was also coming out of a 7 year relationship with my former partner. I was devastated with the breakup. It was unexpected. For the first time in my life I had actually contemplated suicide. I knew that type of thinking was irrational so I went to my doctor. Thankfully, I got on an antidepressant that helped me through those first few months after the breakup. I also continued to see my therapist and go to the gym. 

The gym was my home away from home – a place that I could forget about my financial situation. I could forget about my break up. It was a place that enabled me to do something healthy for myself. A time to unleash fear and worry. A sense of empowerment was born!

The gym has been my refuge from other tragedies in my life as well. 

After my breakup, I decided to get a housemate to help with the mortgage. I found a great young woman named Jen who worked with me part time at Trader Joe's. She was 27 and an aspiring actress. One morning I woke up and she said she wasn't feeling well. I headed to the gym and when I came back, she still was not feeling well. Later that day, I came home and Jen was barely breathing. Her eyes were open, but were lifeless. I called 911 and the EMT's arrived but she had died. Jen had a massive brain aneurysm. I felt completely guilty.

Why Jen? Why did she die? Why didn't I insist on getting her to the doctor? They were able to keep Jens' body alive since she was an organ donor. Jen was able to help so many others in the Baltimore area. I know now, that there was nothing I could have done to help her. It was a terrible tragedy that just happened.

After that week at the hospital with her, I found solace at the gym even more. I felt guilty that here was young, healthy, vibrant woman who had died before her time; and there was me, I was spared... Why me? I had not taken care of my body for so many years. Then even more than before, I promised myself that I was going to be healthier. I vowed to myself that I was going to eat better, live better and from that day forward that I was going to keep going to the gym and doing everything in my power to enjoy each day on this planet. I promised myself that I was going to choose positivity each and every day and embrace life! Working out not only changed my cholesterol numbers and my blood pressure to normal levels, it has also kept my mental health in check as well.

Blog written by Bonnie Matthews
At age 44, Bonnie decided to take control of her body and health. Despite having never exercised before, she lost 130 pounds the...