I have been under the care of mental health services for 14 years - 4 years ago I was admitted to hospital and spent 11 months there - during that time the staff did everything to try to encourage me to exercise, saying that it would improve my mental health and that I desperately needed to for my physical health (I was very overweight due to an eating disorder).
I was escorted by staff on walks and even had my key worker take me to exercise classes but I hated every single minute and resented feeling forced, as soon
as I was discharged I went back to doing nothing active whatsoever.
Cue 2 years later, I had started volunteering and my boss from voluntary work text me saying that a friend of hers had set up a new exercise class and that I had to come along.
I said I couldn't imagine anything worse but she insisted and said it'd be fine as she hated exercise too, was completely uncoordinated but that it was in the dark with glow sticks so we'd be fine! I only went because she insisted and I didn't want to feel left out of the group going.
I FELL IN LOVE. I honestly don't know what made the difference - probably being with friends, it being music I love, the dark, the glow sticks and being in a bit of a better place (still quite unwell though).
I've been going to that Clubbercise class on a Friday for over a year now and in that time I've started going to another one that the same instructors opened on a Thursday...
I've not looked back - I go to two Clubbercise classes a week (I'd go to more if there were more locally) and average 15,000 steps a day. I hate missing a class - it genuinely is my happy place each day. Not only has my physical health dramatically improved, I've lost 3 stone this year (which adds up to 12 stone 5lbs lost since my highest weight in 2010) but I've also made friends and my mental health is the most stable it has ever been.
- I was discharged from mental health services in June!
- I haven't been to A&E for self harm/overdoses in months
- My bipolar has been the most stable it's been in years - when I do have ups or downs they're manageable and my eating disorder is improving daily
I can't believe the changes in myself and I do put walking into that Clubbercise class as one of my biggest turning points!
We would like to thank Corrie for sharing her inspirational story with us.