How Running Helped Me Overcome Postpartum Depression And Quit Smoking

My name is Gunjan S Anand and I’m from Delhi. I’m 35 years old and I’m a homemaker and an entrepreneur. After a lot of contemplation, I want to share my story about my journey to
a fitter and healthier lifestyle. While on my road to a fit lifestyle I came across Pinkathon and so I took a chance and registered myself for #PinkathonDelhi2017 to see if I could ever run.

I wanted to raise the bar for myself when it came to fitness. Therefore, to challenge myself, I made running the Pinkathon as my goal to test my stamina, health and endurance levels. I even planned to work on my shortcomings.

The motivation of seeing Milind Soman in person was also quite the motivator to participate in the event. That came to fruition when he flagged off for the 5K run and I remember just standing there in front of him, for a few seconds looking at him (while everyone was running.)

The only thing that came to my mind was “Wow, this is incredible!! I’m running Pinkathon.” I wanted to scream and say ‘thank you’, then but obviously, I could not and I started running.

The best thing about Pinkathon was the cause. The whole vibe of helping women give importance to themselves and their health because they are the key to a fitter society. Since then, the support I got from my husband and family was totally positive as they saw how running had improved my state of mind and contributed to my well-being. They were more than happy to babysit while I went out to work out. My husband even came with me to Pinkathon to support me the whole time and is really encouraging me to continue running.

Pinkathon Helped Me Get Through A Bad Phase In Life

The reason why fitness and Pinkathon have made such a huge difference in my life is because it helped me get through a really bad phase. I had two children within a matter of three years. I guess a lot of women go through this but I wasn’t ready for it. And not being ready for it only added to my woes.

I suffered from severe postpartum depression after my first kid in 2014. It affected my health, both physically and mentally. To make matters worse, I barely received any emotional support from my husband and family. Somehow, I even went back to smoking.

Still struggling through all of this, I conceived my second baby a month before my boy turned a year old. The ordeal I went through to make a decision to carry forward with my second baby was the toughest, but I did it. I planned every bit of my second pregnancy and chalked out plan A’s and plan B’s.

But no matter how much you plan you are never prepared. After my second child in June 2016, I was again pushed into postpartum depression and this time it was twice as dangerous. I was a lot more aggressive and violent. So I was asked to seek help.

Training For The Marathon Was A Gratifying Experience

What had happened was an eye-opener for me. The next step was to determine how I could fix it.

I decided to take matters into my own hands and decided I wasn’t going to surrender to this devil called depression and have medication to sleep over it and wait for it to go. I promised myself that I would fight it and the only thing that could help me was a healthy, physically active lifestyle so I started to exercise.

I never went back to cigarettes and that was my biggest achievement. I started working out, starting with yoga, then Zumba and then a high-intensity workout along with walking. Because I have two children, I do not get time on a regular basis to workout but I tried to squeeze out time and do what is required at whatever time.

I might not be slim and trim and I’m still dealing with weight issues but I’m working on myself as a whole. I’m happy to report that I do not suffer from postpartum depression anymore. I wanted to share this victory because, in our country, women’s health both mentally and physically is neglected. Postpartum depression is a serious grave issue and a lot of women don’t come forward because they are either confused or afraid of being judged, which is really sad.

So this message is for Milind Soman and Pinkathon just to say thank you!

Thank you for that extra push you gave me to go out and do something I wouldn’t have dared to, otherwise.

You inspired me!

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