I work in healthcare in a very stressful job. I've suffered from anxiety for a while now. Then, last year, I had a traumatic event that sucked any confidence right out of me. The way I got my confidence back was by going through the C25K program. Making it through each week gave me a sense of achievement that stayed with me like a halo through tough days. It was enough to make me forget about how bad my anxiety actually gets so I got relaxed with running and ran less and less.
At the same time, I became more and more anxious until I had a panic attack at Christmas, fainted and badly sprained my ankle. The minute I was unable to do it, I knew how valuable running was to me and now I'm healed and back on couch to 5K.
I'm also BMI 32 and thought running might help me lose weight. Now I realise trying to lose weight just causes me more anxiety and so my energy goes into running faster and further and not into calorie counting and putting pressure on myself.
Today, I was jogging when someone shouted something out of a car driving past. I had my headphones in so I didn't hear what was said and I'm a bit more than paranoid most of the time so I can't be sure it was directed at me. The minute I heard it though, I was so proud of myself for being outside and claiming my right to the pavement. I hope that as my anxiety improves, my running continues, as it equips me with the tools to deal with a stressful life.