Let’s Get Fit: Recovering from Injury and Setting Reachable Goals

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I love to work out.

That’s why I am really struggling right now. My back went out at the beginning of the year and I had to take a lot of time off from exercise. Each time I start again my back says, “No.”  But I’m not giving up.

So what can you do when you’re injured? In the past, I went to the chiropractor, got adjusted and didn’t go back until I was in severe pain again. And took some motrin. But this time was different. One adjustment wasn’t enough. I went back two more times. Then I had to admit that I obviously wasn’t taking care of myself and I hadn’t for a while. In fact I had been running with this nagging glute… sprain? tear? tumor? for over a year. It was time I faced facts and found someone, anyone (other than myself) who could tell me a solution. That’s the biggest challenge. Who do I ask? Who do I trust? I had no idea where to go.

I rested for 15 days.

I got a really intense massage during that time which helped. I asked my massage person what I should do because she’s really good and my husband swears by consistent visits which have rehabbed his hip problem and got him running again. She didn’t have a magic answer though. On day 16 I did an easy yoga class. The following week I did a few PopSugar workouts which was probably not smart. Don’t do this one if you have a back injury. After that I added Jazzercise back in. I had gotten so used to not working out that work and life any all that started to come first and it was hard to motivate. I could take it or leave it. After a few weeks I got back in the groove and was doing something everyday (walking, yoga, Jazzercise) and then my back sort of went out, not all the way, just some of the way, so I tried to chill.

I waited five days then I started again.

My back sort of went out again and so I went back to the chiropractor. He warned me again of the evils of sitting with legs up or crossed. I’m limited to sitting with my knees bent and feet flat on the floor (which is ridiculous) or lying completely flat. Sleeping on my side requires I have a pillow between my knees. (Or sew pads to the insides of my knees) And he told me to do the stretches that he told me to do last time which I told him I did everyday which might have been sort of a lie. He asked me if I had a lot of stairs in my house which made me think, “Just the usually amount. I mean, I don’t live in a lighthouse…” I asked him, “How will I know that I can workout again?” He said, “I don’t know. Try it and see how it feels.” He also said, “Maybe, try acupuncture.”

I’m walking and doing yoga only.

I did a yoga class this morning entitled “slow gentle flow” which was as awful as it sounds. I drove home afterwards and thought, “I just spent $16 to lie on the floor. I can do that at home. For free.” But the walking feels good. I feel very accomplished when I manage to get out of the house even when it’s freezing and walk. It’s really good for my crazy head.

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I realized I’m going to have to find another way to keep the weight off.

Up until January I kind of ate whatever I wanted. I mean, I don’t go crazy. Over the years I have found what works and I maintain good habits. For the most part I “Just Eat Real Food.” Since this injury I have gained 5 pounds, on top of the 5 I gained since it got cold and dark. This week I decided to start my get-ready-for-summer diet early. I cut out sugar and cut back on bread. I eat only when I’m hungry. I drink more water. I don’t eat the food off my kids’ plates. I’m actually glad to get back to better eating. After just one day I feel so much happier and more energetic. I made this salad, which was the best salad I ever ate:

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[romaine, chick peas, albacore, goat cheese, almonds, olives, dried cranberries, olive oil-lemon-dijon dressing]

I hope you are healthy and happy these days. And if you’re not, start again. Don’t give up!

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