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How Exercise Tamed Her Anxiety

There was a time when Christine Anderson wouldn’t go near a gym. She lost control of her eating, struggled to climb a flight of stairs and hated the way she looked. That’s what anxiety can do to a person. Christine, 24, has battled it for almost a decade, and the fight continues. But after willing herself to change and developing a special bond with a Gold’s Gym trainer, she sees hope.

That’s remarkable progress when you consider that for the longest time, all she felt was shame.

Christine first started experiencing anxiety in high school, when she felt constant pressure to be great. “If I came home with anything less than an A, my parents weren’t proud of me,” she says. “I never felt like I was doing enough.”

Her anxiety led to depression. Christine had played softball until high school, but the pressure she felt caused her to stop all physical activity. Other parts of her life suffered, too.

Christine’s anxiety crept into her romantic life, and she began to put on weight. Once, she says, her boyfriend didn’t want to take her to a party because she was heavy. To deal with the hurt, “I would eat and keep eating,” she says. In high school, Christine weighed about 160 pounds. Two years after, she was pushing 200.

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