By Liana Jacob
MEET the inspirational bipolar woman who has alleviated her mental health symptoms by adding weight lifting to her fitness routine and has gained a stone in muscle in 12-months.
Design and drafting representative, Kinsey Nicole George (21), from New York, USA, was misdiagnosed with depression in 2009, prescribed with Prozac for a year before she was sent to a mental health professional when she was accurately diagnosed with bipolar in 2010.
Since then she had been taking a mood stabiliser but since she moved to New York with her fiancé and left her family, friends and life in her hometown, Kansas, her emotions plummeted and she fell into a depressed state. During this time, Kinsey didn’t exercise and comforted herself with home cooked meals.
During this time, she yo-yo dieted, where she went down to 9st 4lbs.
Once she discovered her love of weight lifting, she built up her body into a curvy 10st 8Ibs.
“Eating was my vice, I made delicious home meals that reminded me of home and I would eat a lot of servings, to put it short,” she said.
“It didn’t help that I was completely inactive. I would sit and play video games the entire day while my fiancé was at work.
“I was going through a pretty rough period of depression after leaving everything I had known and was just doing what I thought would help.
“Eventually I found the light and started fitness and ever since then it’s just been an up slope of battling emotional demons and food fears.
“In late 2016, I had already lost about one-stone six pounds and was ready for the next move. I kept seeing more of my peers on Instagram begin to lift weights and I thought it was the logical next step. I was finally ready to start building muscle and change my look.
“Before weight lifting and fitness, I loved video games. But when I lived in Kansas, I had a lot of friends I would spend time with. In New York, I didn’t have friends to keep me busy.
“I was happy in Kansas, so it wasn’t too big on my mind. But when I moved, my time wasn’t being spent well and I was going to a really dark place mentally.
“Weight lifting has helped so much. If I’m having a bad day at work, or if school is stressing me out, or if I’m just in a whirlwind of emotions, I can go to the gym and focus on strength training and count reps.
“I can put some music in my ears and just lift. It’s almost like meditation; it takes your mind off everything else and makes you focus on what you’re doing. Once I leave, I have more clarity.
“In January 2016, I noticed I was no longer developing muscle mass and switched to weight lifting. At that point, I started eating more food in hopes of gaining more muscle and lifting weights.
“At this point, it’s more for mental stability, working on self-care and self-love, progressing as a person and being the strongest I can be.
“I’m not afraid to speak my mind like I used to be. Before I was very meek and shy, no one knew what I was thinking or how I felt. I am now proud to be me.
“I feel pretty damn powerful. I feel like at this point I can achieve anything I want. I have battled the inner demons, I have gained confidence and freedom to eat what I want.”
Bipolar disorder is a condition that affects a person’s moods, which can swing from one extreme of happiness to the other extreme.
While there are no guaranteed treatments for bipolar, one approach that aims to reduce the severity is; lifestyle advice, which includes incorporating regular exercise and improving diet.
Kinsey says that while once she couldn’t handle negative comments on her Instagram profile, she has found a new mental strength that helped her deal with them.
“I think honestly, the bullies on Instagram was the hardest part of my journey. I used to get a lot of hate messages; people telling me I’m too skinny, too strong, I look like a man or I ‘looked better before’, Kinsey said.
“It was really hard hearing some of that stuff but in the end, it gave me a thick shell. I remember shaking on my bed nearly in tears hearing some of the comments. But now I’m strong. And that’s all that matters.
“A lot of people in my real life are just proud of me for sticking with it and inspiring other people. It’s been a chill journey; just each day working on me, not really worried about anyone else.
“My fiancé says I’m the strongest he’s ever seen me, and my mom says she thinks I’m cute.
“My advice would be to get started. Just pick a date, create the Instagram profile, making a fitness Instagram was a huge push in keeping up with myself.
“It’s seriously a lifestyle change but if you can manage the first eight weeks, you can manage the next eight years. I think what kept me going was slowly altering it over time, because it is a lifestyle switch.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/kins3.0/