it’s 8pm and i so should be prepping for my first-ever board meeting tomorrow. i’ve still got financials and forecasts to fine-tune, and yet, i decide that now would be a fine time to blog. there are just things you learn about yourself, and like them or not, you accept them because they work for you. i’ve learned that writing inspires me – unleashing my creative side is therapeutic and when i’m working on something as tedious as financial statements, my little creative brain craves stimulation. i also know that i work better under pressure – i always have. maybe it’s the challenge or quite possibly it’s the adrenaline from the stress that fuels me, but whatever it is, it works. and lastly, i procrastinate, which works fabulously with point #2. i absolutely drive myself nuts sometimes, but i always pull through at the last minute.
and so i blog.
it was just over 6 weeks ago where i proudly posted about my brilliant butt-busting injury [falling flat on your a**: it happens.]. and just like i’ve learned how my brain ticks when it comes to work, i had the opportunity to learn about myself over the past 6 weeks. while it was funny at first, it soon became not-so-funny when i realized that not only was i in major pain, but i had to deal with the possibility of the pain not ever going away. this is coming from someone who’s sprained an ankle a few times – but that’s about it. and it shouldn’t surprise you that working out and living an active life is a huge part of who i am. so then it wouldn’t be a stretch to understand how heart-wrenching it was for the doctor to tell me to take FOUR weeks off from working out. 4. quattro…like a whole month. right after the tailbone tumble i went right back to the gym and pushed through the pain, my doctor of course saying that i made it worse. lovely. so i was told no working out, not even long walks – just rest. even upper body workouts were out because they still put a strain on your spine which causes inflammation. so i thought to myself: “4 weeks…i can do that…i can do anything for 4 weeks.”
the first week i was golden…i decided to cut my whole grains back just a bit but not really change much else. i was juicing in the morning, feeling fabulous all day, and on cloud 9 that i could go a whole week without working out and (mentally) still feel fab. **UUURRRCHH* that came to a hard stop at week 2. and for the next 5 weeks after that it was day-after-day of absolutely no energy, a loss of focus on my goals, lower productivity at work, and i quietly slipped into a slight depression. this wreaked havoc of course on my nutrition which made it even harder! here’s how it should work: “i’m not working out so i shall consume less.” my brain doesn’t work that way. i get hard on myself and (like i preach all the time) – once i get down on myself, it’s all downhill. did i chow down on cheetos? no. not quite. but i slowly started eating a few processed foods here and there…taking an extra spoon (read: heap) full of peanut butter even when i wasn’t hungry…and just not being mindful of my body at all. i didn’t feel good…i felt all blubbery and yuck…just 4 weeks of not working out and i started getting soft. ew. am i hard on myself? yes. but not because i gained any weight (you know my thoughts on using scales to determine your mood). but i was angry with myself for doing something so stupid that lead me to losing the one thing in my life that makes me feel so great. so if you can at all relate to anything i’m rambling on about, here’s what i learned over the past 6 weeks.
sometimes it’s ok to lose control
i realized that working out wasn’t just part of my lifestyle, but it became who i was. it’s the one thing i can control. but then when an injury comes along that takes it away, my little world went into a tailspin. never facing this before, i didn’t deal so well at first. but in my life i’ve seen that you can find good in all things if you look hard enough. so by losing control in this area of my life i was able to learn more about who i really am. i also spent the time that i would usually be at the gym developing stronger personal relationships which i don’t tend to do. my day is packed from the moment i wake up to the moment i hit the pillow and i never miss a workout. but suddenly having 90m in my day free opened up time for new things. and lastly…i took advantage of the time to let my bodyrest. i didn’t really have a choice, but while i preach the importance of resting your body, i never really do it. i’m totally a type a, thinks-she’s-in-control-of-everything kinda girl. do i think god maybe used this time to teach me otherwise? quite possibly.
appreciate what you have
have you ever been so sick that in what feels like your last breaths before you die, you swear you’ll always appreciate being healthy if you can just feel better? i remember having a nasty bout of food poisoning in italy (yeah, not a great place for that) and feeling so awful that i 1) wanted my mom and 2) vowed never to take my health for granted again. but i’m human, and after a few weeks you forget about the past and go on about your day and soon take our health for granted again. for the past 6 weeks i don’t know how many times i thought to myself: “i don’t understand why people who can workout, don’t.” it makes me a better person: happier, healthier, stronger, more energized, less stressed, motivated…the list goes on. hopefully this feeling doesn’t go away after a few weeks…but i vowed to myself to never just go through the motions at the gym again or just get through a workout just for the sake of doing it. i begged to the tailbone gods that if only i could feel better, i would have a renewed appreciation for being healthy + fit. don’t take even one day of being healthy for granted because we only have today and don’t know how many tomorrows we may get. as my good friend + trainer jeff norcross said the other day: carpe minutam (sieze the moment).
1 is absolutely the loneliest number. and if we sulk long enough about our own horrible situation, we become horrible to be around. i found that reaching out to others who were in similar situations not only brightend their day, but helped me to connect and boost my mood too. case in point: i saw a girl at the gym working out with a full-on boot up to her knee because she tore ligaments in her ankle. she told me she’d been told not to workout since january but she was finally hitting the gym, doing what she could with her doctor’s permission. you could tell that just talking about it made us both feel better. then there was avery timely blog post by chalene johnson just the other day on the mental effects of an exercise-limiting injury. not only is she a celebrity in the fitness world (hello, creator of turbokick, turbojam, turbofire…you name it!) but the fact that she could relate to what i was feeling gave me hope. and this is like life. we’re not meant to live it alone – and especially when you’re struggling the most, it’s important to reach out.
face the truth
hopefully i’ve lost most people by now so not too many fitbookers read this. and if you are one of my loyal readers that somehow lasts through my rambling posts, bless you. i must say i’m not proud to say that the hardest part of all with being hurt was the realization that the pain may never go away. the 2nd hardest part was facing each day of not working out. so guess what i did? that’s right, i haven’t used my fitbook for 5 weeks (gasp!). i can’t even remember the last time i didn’t have it with me every where i went! it’s even MORE important to write down your food when you’re not working out (remember: you consume 500-1000 fewer caloreies!). but no. me, miss fitbook herself, couldn’t face writing in her fitbook. and i couldn’t figure out why for a few weeks. i finally realized that every day i opened it and had to check the “oops i missed it” box for the workout was just one more reminder that i wasn’t working out. facing that truth hurt. but here’s the beauty in me realizing this: i think i can now understand my fitbookers a lot better. what it feels like when you just don’t want to face writing down what you ate that day….or that life got you down and you don’t want one more reminder that you didn’t hit the gym. i can now say “i get it”. so here’s the thing: i’m making it my personal mission to help you push through those days…to face the truth even when it’s not pretty…and by doing that you’ll learn more about who you are.
so those are my 6-week epiphanies. even though i’m not 100%, i’m back to working out and couldn’t be happier. i can’t go all-out with my workouts like i did before – not yet anyway. but i think i see another lesson coming out of this which is for me to learn to live in the grey area of life. i’m usually all or nothing…and i can’t do all right now and i’ve learned that doing nothing isn’t an option either. so i’m taking it slow but…i’m back. it’s forced me to try new things, be a bit more creative, and really listen to my body. pilates is amazingly therapeutic and my girl erica from core athletica is nursing me back to fitness on the reformer. i just started boxing at l.a. boxing just doing the boxing (not kickboxing) classes which is intense without putting any pressure on the backside while getting out some aggression. and i’m hitting the weights too but just being careful to keep my spine neutral (no split squats, lunges, etc.), hold off on any plyometrics for now, and sadly no running (yet).
most importantly, my doc said: ice. i found a new use for our fitlosophy sticky notes: this is my reminder on my freezer so i don’t forget! i’m not saying i loved the last 6 weeks, but i’m grateful for the lessons i learned and look forward to healing fully…slowly but surely. i absolutely got bucked off, but what i’ve learned in life is that it’s our choice to saddle up and go at it again.