How fitness saved my queer life

Guest writer Peter Minkoff describes how health and fitness has contributed to improving his life.

Several crucial things can affect and thus change everyone’s life. For those of you who do not know, I suffered from depression and, even though it was a long and bumpy ride, I managed to accept myself and not give in to the demons of the past that were pulling me down. And when we’re talking about depression, which is one of the most dangerous villains that we often don’t take seriously enough, there are several things that each individual can do to make them feel better about themselves. One such thing that helped me out tremendously is fitness and healthy habits. As I’m trying to educate as many people as I can about the dangers of depression and how to cope with it, I want to tell you how fitness and healthy food can enhance your performance, make you start liking yourself, and boost your confidence.

I am my own competition

Constantly comparing ourselves to the people around us is one of the most toxic things that we do. It’s precisely this comparison and the inability to look as good as some other people that people start feeling depressed and bottling their feelings in. In order to be entirely satisfied with your current version of yourself, you need to realise that you are your own competition. This is also when I first entered my gym and had a hell of a workout. Why? Because I wanted to beat the guy I saw in the mirror – if I want to be better, I have to be better than myself, right?

Look better, feel better

I also thought this to be an urban legend, but it’s completely true – once you start working out, you stop craving junk food and start wishing for healthy food instead. Your body always wants to better itself, and this is why it will always give you the option of feeding it with healthy nutrients. The things that I disliked before soon became diet staples. Another thing that genuinely helped me out, both physically and mentally, is my switch to veganism. This was one of those choices that I could not easily make, mostly because I was not familiar with this lifestyle. But thanks to the people around me and the fact that I discovered this complete vegan protein guide, this idea became a reality, and I’m more than satisfied right now. This is not something that all of us have to go through, but if you want to familiarise yourself with veganism, you should do it in the best possible way.

More motivated, more capable, more confident

It’s so peculiar how much a simple activity such as fitness can help you out mentally. Yes, we all know the physical benefits of working out – it does wonders for your muscles and metabolism, which can also affect the skin, heart, inner organs, and brain. But it’s the latter that counts a lot, as fitness is an activity that can make you more motivated, more focused and thus more capable of finishing everything you set your mind on. Confidence also comes from all of the mentioned – once you see yourself in the mirror and realise that you’re satisfied with not only how you look, but how happy you are, it’s impossible not to be confident. This is the feeling that can help you take over the world.

Bye to bad habits

Finally, I cannot fail to mention that fitness and a healthy lifestyle made me say goodbye to some bad habits that I was carrying from before. Alcohol, binge-watching any show that comes on Netflix, spending a lot of time in front of a screen were all things that were undoubtedly unhealthy for my brain and my body. So, over time, I realised that I’m a happier person without these bad habits. Now I binge watch only when I want to, I drink alcohol very rarely, and I don’t spend as much time on my smartphone as before.

What’s the lesson here? Turning to fitness and giving your body a certain physical challenge can do you more good than bad. Yes, it might seem like a daunting activity, and sometimes it really is, but the benefits are numerous.

Follow Peter on Twitter (@MinkoffPeter)

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