Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One step forward, three leaps back...

I took a huge step forward in my life long weight loss journey the other day by opening up to my readers about my struggle with weight in my last post.  I had begun to make some healthy changes in the way I was living my life, prompted in part by my husband's medical scare a month or so ago.

The coach and I decided to take charge of our health.  We spontaneously went out and dropped a pretty penny on an elliptical machine from Dick's Sporting Goods.  (I literally felt nauseous as I swiped my debit card and hit accept.)  But my husband kept reminding me all along that spending money for something to help us reach our goal of becoming healthier was money well spent.  He worked on it for a few hours that afternoon and had that impressive piece of machinery all put together.  We disputed a bit on where to put it but once again, the coach had a great idea and said stick it in the sun room.  (That way I can exercise in the middle of the day if I so choose when my daycare kids are napping.  I'm on the same floor as them and I don't wear headphones.  I play my ipod quietly right out of the speakers on the elliptical.  Not quite as motivating as blasting, energetic music, but definitely better than getting up at the ass crack of dawn every day to exercise!)  He's so thoughtful!

So I got myself into the routine of working out, doing 30 minutes every other day.  I felt good!  I was proud of myself for sticking with it for a couple of weeks.  I would even go as far as to say it was becoming a habit and something I looked forward to doing.  Shocking for those of you who know mean in real life!!  I'm usually the first one to opt out of doing something that induces sweating, heavy breathing, and muscle soreness!  (Get your head out of the gutter people!!)

I took it a step further.  I hired a personal trainer.  I met with her for a consultation.  I suffered through getting weighed, having my measurements taken, and my total body fat percentage calculated.  I committed to seeing her twice a week at 6:00am for one VERY LONG, TORTUROUS HOUR!   But when the next morning came for my next training session, I got up, sucked it up,  and I did it again.  I was starting to feel so much better about myself mentally.  The scale was moving rapidly in the right direction.  I was happy.

Physically though, I wasn't doing so well.  I was having major aches and pains in my hips, neck and middle back.  I figured if I ignored the pain it would go away.

I have back issues and have since my almost 11 year old was a tiny baby.  (He was 20lbs at 4 months old guys, and not easy to carry around!  It's hard to believe it if you saw him today, I can't get that kid to hit 70 pounds to save my soul!   But I digress...

So anywhoo,  every once in a while my back decides to act up.  Usually a couple quick adjustments from the chiropractor and I'm on my merry way, good as new.  This time though my back has been acting up for months.  I attributed it to having a bad mattress.  So we went out and bought a nice new memory foam mattress.  I was sure this would fix everything.

Almost two months later and my back was getting worse.  I wasn't sleeping, I would sneeze and get a stiff neck, I would bend down and feel a tingling pain dead center at the base of my spine.  I would have to gently roll myself up off the mattress in the mornings and some times it would take me two or three tries to stand up straight after lying down all night.  I knew that the more I was exercising the worse it was getting, but I denied it.  Day after day I ignored my pain and popped ibuprofen like it was candy.  I did this until I couldn't delude myself any longer.

After waking one morning and being physically unable to stand up and crying from the fear and the pain.  I called the chiropractor.  He saw me that night, took a bunch of x-rays and examined me.  He scared me to death because he kept saying things like,  "Oh my Gosh, Holy Cow, This is a mess, Oooooh jeez."  He broke protocol that night and adjusted me on my first visit.  He said I was an absolute mess and that he couldn't send me home in that condition.  His last piece of instruction for me after he said ice the area 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off all night was what I feared the most....

Absolutely no form of exercise until further notice.  

I piped up immediately,  With a little bit of hope left, "Not even walking?"

NO, NOTHING!!!  He exclaimed.

My last hope was dashed.  I knew all along he was going to tell me that.  I knew it was bad.  I had been hurting so terribly for so long.  He showed me the x-rays and those confirmed everything he had said.  My right hip and shoulder are about an inch and a half higher than the left.  My spine is in the shape of a compressed "C"  and my neck has been pushed an inch too far forward.  All these things can be corrected, but it will take some time.  Time that my impatient self does NOT want to wait for!

(I am an all or nothing type of person.  I'm starting to think this has something to do with why I can never keep weight off permanently.)  Some people can have a slip up and not let it effect them.  They pick themselves right back up and keep on trudging along.  My slip ups completely derail me for months at a time.  NOT GOOD!

So it's week two of NO exercise and I've been to the chiropractor 4 times so far.  Last night was the first night I wasn't in pain and could actually sleep.  I woke up and rolled right out of bed, no stiffness or intense shooting pains through my spine.  Hurray!

This is obviously a step in the right direction.  I'm trying to remind myself that this is simply just a bump in the road, and soon I will be back on track, feeling better than ever.  But I'm not going to lie.  It's hard.  I feel like I'm going to have to start all over again and I guess that's ok.  The alternative is getting so down on myself that I can't get back on track.  I'm not going to even let that be an option!

So this is where I'm at right now.  Trying to take it one day at a time.  Rest up, follow doctor's orders, and not give myself any excuses for eating poorly.  The coach put it best when he said to me that first night, "This doesn't spell disaster for you.  He didn't tell you to stop eating healthy."
And I need to remember:   that right there is half the battle.

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