Thursday, May 9, 2013

Just Keep Swimming

I GET IT!!! I FINALLY, AND TOTALLY GET IT!!!  And now I have joined the ranks of the league of OLWLTS (obese ladies who love to swim) moreover, it should be appropriately renamed Obese Folks Who Love To Swim (OFWLTS) as their are men in there too, and none of them are emaciated by any means.
I had surgery on my knee about two weeks ago ( 4-24 to be exact) and it has really gone much better than I imagined it would.  I realized, like most things in life, I was so worried about the anticipation and imagination of how things MIGHT be, when in reality I wasn't as helpless as I thought I would be after.  I have had a lot of limitations on what I can do, especially when I still had the stitches and bandages, but for the most part, I can find a way to do almost anything, given enough time to be creative.
I have been going through a really tough time emotionally.  I have been in such a funk over everything.  Not being able to work out, not understanding how to take weight off or what to eat or make with my switch to plant-based, not sure how to weigh out carbs/vs protein vs just eating whole, organic, plant-based foods from the earth and rolling with it.  Part of my struggle is in the changes themselves.  I have never been the biggest fan of change, especially when it involves a lot of thinking/planning/conflicting ideas.  I don't like to be tortured by thought too often.  So trying to figure out what to eat has been tough, trying to balance the carbs/fat/protein ratios even tougher.  I have started using a wonderful app called Fooducate to help me decipher what I am putting in my body and track all these things for me.  But today's the first day that I have actually done anything to support myself and improve my health.  I have been fighting depressive feelings since my knee started giving me problems, and it was still lingering after the surgery, maybe even worse.  I am fat again, not just a little more weight on me, but full-on, ewwww fat, most of my clothes from last summer don't fit me, and the ones that do accent my hideous parts that I don't want to show off anymore.  For most of the past two weeks since the surgery, I haven't gotten out of the house much, despite the weather being BEAUTIFUL, I hide myself inside my house in shame instead, energy level dead, and blame it on needing to rest my knee.  So not true.  I have not been in a good mental state with my weight regain, and I can see now, how re-losing the weight might be exponentially tougher for folks than the original loss, because after a re-gain, you have to try and fix your emotions/mind before you can start to conquer this beast again.  That is where I was at until I met with my physical therapist on Tuesday.
I love my physical therapist.  LOVE her.  She and I talk like we've been girlfriends forever, and even though she puts me through some tough love work, I am always a little disappointed when my time is up, because I enjoy her personality so much.   On Tuesday she asked what kind of physical activity I enjoy doing  and I told her I used to walk a lot and enjoyed running when I was able to, we talked about my 5Ks and how running caused me a lot of discomfort in the knees and hips.  She tested my hip strength and found my right side to be considerably weak, and showed me some exercises I can do to strengthen my glutes and my hips to help me run more evenly and balanced.  Then she told me that I can use the pool to strengthen my entire lower body and I can work up to walking and even running again if I want to.  Still not sure if I want to risk that, as I am now 30-40% shorter on meniscus tissue since the surgery, which makes re-tear a substantial risk.  But just hearing from her that running is not off limits was like someone opened up a door and let in some fresh air and sunlight.  My mood was immediately brighter.  So today, after I got the kids on the bus, I went to the gym and spent 45 minutes doing all kinds of stretches, bends, lifts, walking, running and swimming laps in the pool.  I haven't felt so good in months.  I could bend my knee way easier in water, and could easily "run" in the water.  It really felt good to feel that light, physically and emotionally.  When I swam laps, I realized how long it has been since my heart rate had been elevated to that level.  I was sucking wind after six laps!  But I kept doing intervals and by the time I got out of the pool, and my weight returned to my body, everything about me felt like it was glowing.  My knee was irritated, but no more than it is after physical therapy, and the feeling that I accomplished something for my health and my mind was priceless.  I am going to use the pool every chance I get.  I can't imagine it being anything but good for me.  I have also discovered that an exercise bike doesn't hurt my knee either, so I will be implementing that as well.
The most rewarding part of today was that, after putting in that time in the pool and feeling so so good, I couldn't put garbage in my body.  I know exercise is key to a healthy mind for me, and I am so, SO happy that I am finally able to do something!
I am going back to work part time next week, so my life will be a little more hectic than it has been in the past two weeks, and at first I was a little sad to see my beautiful, quiet, I-can-do-anything-I-want days get shorter, but today's positive mindset has made me realize that getting out of the house more will be good for me.
So that's it, I am slowly making a comeback, joining the pool crew, and starting to pull myself up by the bootstraps.  I am looking forward to getting some of this death back off of me.
Hope you've all been well.  Happy Thursday!

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like you've been in the wars. I have heard how a lot of people who are physically active become injured but carry on eating as though they are still active. This puts on weight. Or where you comfort eating because of being laid up? Either way it is a trap.

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  2. my eating has been so ecclectic, swinging wildly between strict plant-based, to bingeing on garbage and 1,000 calorie Starbucks drinks, to some days, hardly eating at all. Emotional/comfort eating was definitely involved. I have learned that, the more confused I am about what to eat, the more tempting it is to just throw my hands up and eat anything. But I'm figuring some things out and getting stronger again.

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