I haven't been shy about the fact that I've devoted the first 1/2 of Whole30 to attempting to heal my heel (okay, my PF...same diff). After several days of lowered, but still there irritation and pain I've come to realize that it's as good as it's going to get for now without help from me. So I'm going to help it out.
Step 1: Stretching
The doctor (physical therapist) has assigned me 4 different things to do two to three times a day.
1) The golf ball roll.
I always heard a tennis ball was best, but she's telling me I need the hard and small golf ball to really get the work done. I have one in my bag with me always now. The idea is to roll my foot on it three times a day for however long I can stand so that I can break down the nasty collagen and build back up the good stuff.
2) The calf stretch.
I have to put my injured foot behind me, straight, and my other knee bent and then lean into the wall. This should stretch the muscles that run up my foot/ankle/leg, especially my calf. The stiffness in my leg is a bit crazy considering I haven't worked on in so long.
3) The calf stretch, part deux.
Same as above, except with my bad knee bent as well. This stretches different leg muscles and is just as important.
4) The arch massage.
Three times a day I'm supposed to massage my arch for about 30 seconds at least. This does the same as number one. The bonus? I use lotion when I massage and so my feet are getting softer already! *lol*
If I could express to all of you how much these actually HURT me you might understand more why I sometimes avoid them. But I have to stop doing that because I really think this might actually be one of those "no pain, no gain" situations. I have to get over the hurt to get to the stretch part.
Step 2: Flexibility Through Exercise
I need to start out my workout routine with exercise that help improve my flexibility and do not require me to bounce or jump on my foot/ankle. Now if I could get to the pool or a bike, I would totally do that, but I simply can't work that out right now. Instead I'll be trying the following:
I have at least 2 yoga DVDs and I'm not afraid of getting more. I will try to take the bounce out of Yoga Meltdown (by Jillian Michaels) as well and use that for an extra HR bump if possible. (But if she stresses the foot too much, she'll be kicked out of rotation.)
I have one pilates DVD. I hate Pilates because it seems to be more painful than Yoga to me. But I will give it another try because it MIGHT just work out the kinks...if I can get past the initial OUCH stage.
- UFC Ultimate Trainer
I got this for myself as a gift for Christmas (a Black Friday deal!), but I have yet to try it out. I believe you can build your own workouts, so I think if I put in a lot of strength training stuff I should be good. My PT actually encourages lunges (even though they hurt me) because it might help increase flexibility in my foot/ankle.
- Strength Training
I have been at this long enough that I should be able to set up a routine. And my FIL has a weight set in his garage that I've been told I'm welcome to use. I may take him up on that offer because for right now my PT doesn't even suggest walking. I need something to build my strength back up.
Here's the thing - Whole30 has done wonders to debloat me and shrink me, but I can tell I'm all mushy inside right now. Two months off of my heavy duty workouts makes for a squishy Esther. I may not be able to do much of a calorie burn right now in my workouts, but I can build more muscle, which will help increase my all-over calorie burn throughout the day. So that's the plan. I gave the foot it's time...and it healed up quite a bit on its own. But Whole30 is not a complete miracle for me. I have to take steps to help reap the benefits. So for the next 16 days, that will include some strength and flexibility and stretching.
For now, there is no set plan other than to do at least 15-20 minutes every weeknight and to get my stretches done 3 times a day, every single day, even if they aren't evenly spaced out (my OCD sometimes keeps me from my task, I'm realizing).
1/2 of January is almost up. How are you spending your time?
First of all, Day 7 was fine. I ate a bunch of leftovers (and eggs, of course, for breakfast), so there are no pictures (I don't take pictures of leftovers *lol*). I cannot tell you how worried I was about the next day and I started early on the stressing over whether or not I'd manage and how sad I thought it would be to be so restricted on that day.
Day 8 - My Birthday
But do you know what happened? I didn't cheat. I did get frustrated, but I did not cheat or go off plan or anything of the sort. I questioned the waitress at lunch. I told her not to cook any of my food in butter or sauce - only oils. I asked about putting sauteed mushrooms and onions on my steak and she told me that they come precut in a sauce, so I told her to forget it. I had grilled veggies along with steamed broccoli. Do you want to know the best way to eat a steak with grilled veggies? Together. All the flavors mesh and things like grilled tomatoes make a perfect compliment to a not so great quality steak.
It was a rough day. I spent over 2 hours in the doctor's office/hospital and was chaged a friggin' hospital copay simply because the doctor sent us over to have x-rays done of Ethan. (This is all for Ethan's encopresis. Which, btw, has gotten better again because I'm eating Whole30 so he's not having unlimited access to a ton of dairy products at the house. Now what he eats at school is his deal...can't control everything.)
After that rough start, I barely made it to the Ulta store where I was set to have my brows done for my birthday. (If you have an Ulta store nearby and your birthday is coming up, ask if they have a Benefit Brow Bar. You get a free brow waxing/shaping on your birthday! It was my first time getting it done and my brow area is still a tad swollen, but I absolutely love the job my girl did! And it only cost me 5 bucks...for the tip!) After brows and such, we headed to lunch...and I seriously, nearly lost my s#*t over the rolls sitting in front of me and the fact that they had precut presauced onions and mushrooms. *sigh* I choked down my resolve and ate my steak (and couldn't even finish a 6 oz steak! Which, of course, meant Ethan got a few bites so he was quite pleased) and veggies (ate all of them).
After that, it was off to Michael's to sort out a mistake that had happened on Sunday which had caused me to be overcharged for something. I was dreading this part and told Ethan I wanted to get it over with before we continued on with what I wanted to do - shop at Ulta and Target. Thankfully, the guy at the register was super nice and even though I had to wait for a rush to clear out, once he started helping me I was in and out in 5 minutes. Not bad.
Did I grumble over the Purple Mountain Yogurt sign taunting me from down the way? Yep. But I didn't get any.
Did my heart jump a little when a girl at the Ulta store offered me a butterscotch candy for my birthday? Yes. But I didn't die.
I talked to my brow girl about what I was doing and she was the first person to be alright with it. "Well it just sounds like you're eating really good stuff still anyhow." *all smiles* I can't tell you how many people start a conversation right now with, "So what is this eating thing you're doing?" They think it's a fad diet, I know. I try to explain the WHY for me as well as the what so they understand that I'm not doing it to lose weight...though it would be a nice bonus. I don't want anyone to think this is a fad diet. It's the healthiest form of a cleanse I've ever seen...and it has opened my eyes as to the mass quantities of sugar we are consuming every single day.
Finally, after all the chaos, it was time for my real work to start. I say work because we're strapped for cash right now and so instead of buying everything I wanted at Ulta, I took notes on what I wanted, what shade was right for me, and how much it costs. That way I can look for sales or when I have some money I know what I want to spend it on. I'm trying to be smart in 2013...we'll see how that turns out. ;) We spent at least an hour in the store and I came away with 3 pages of notes and $50 worth of product...which was actually a good deal. (Okay the $14 bar of soap was not a good "deal" but OMFG if you could smell this soap! I have all of the MOR soaps on my list because they smell amazing! They even have one with Kale! I'm planning on pampering myself this weekend with a bath using my bubble bath (marked down from $4 to .99) and a lather with my new yummy smelling soap. It's my present to myself for getting this far in the Whole30 game.)
We FINALLY left Ulta and I headed over to Target to use a few coupons. Got an eyeshadow for 4.99 instead of 6.99 (it's a gorgeous plum color! Cannot wait to wear it!) and 2 packets of Baby Lips for 1.99 each instead of 2.99 (or 3+ everywhere else!). Ethan got a Coke. *face/palm* I can't fault the kid for wanting something other than water. I had only had my tea up until that point...
As we were headed home, I took a quick detour by the Kroger in town. It's one of the best Kroger stores and has a great health food section, but I couldn't find much of anything snacky to eat there either. Instead I ended up with some Brazil nuts and 2 packages of pre-sliced watermelon. That was my "cake" or sweet for the day - watermelon. (Well, that an an Asian pear last night with some almond butter. It was my birthday! I splurged! ;) )
A quick stop by Rite-Aid to pick up some prescriptions and some face cleanser and makeup (more sales and coupons!) was last on our list before home.
At home, Hubs cooked dinner for me just as he promised he would. He took me shopping the day before so I could pick out and describe to him what he could and could not use. He whipped up some steak strips with onions and mushrooms in the wok with some Olive Oil and steak seasoning. It was absolutely wonderful! And he tossed a bag of those Steamfresh veggies in the micro for a side. I told him his steak was better than the restaurants (it was a really good cut of meat!).
So, see...I survived my birthday without cake. I didn't even blow out a candle (okay, I regret that a bit...should have put a candle in my watermelon), but I did make a wish that the stress would be worth it. And I woke up today with less pain than I have had in a very long time. I win!
Ready for some photo fun?
Julep in Michelle (navy) and Sally Hansen Smooth & Perfect in Sea (whitish)
Headed out for the day. The eye makeup I got complimented on at Ulta. *big grin* It's a Wizard of Oz themed palette and I now love it! :)
Waiting at the doctor's office...for an HOUR before seeing the doctor. Then off to the hospital for an x-ray, for which he had to be admitted first as a technicality. It was a strange situation and I feel like I got duped out of 50 bucks. *sigh* Ah-well...if it makes my boy better...
Before and after brows. I really like them!
On to day 9. Going to get some work done and see how tired I get throughout the day. Still experiencing some lulls and I'm hoping they go away...but it might be more the nature of the work I do and how I feel about it than it is anything else.
Oh, and I have an interview tomorrow. Wish me luck!
There it be.
This is part of what I've been working on for days. Going to shoot a vlog later for the vlog channel and hope to vlog every day throughout my Whole30 so you can see how I look, what I feel like and get the real impression of how I'm doing. (Bonus? I think it will help keep me on task knowing I need to report about my experience every day.)
So you can subscribe to my vlog channel for updates from the FitFat Girl on healthy eating/fitness, etc.
And you can subscribe to my other channel for fun beauty stuff.
That's what's up.
Working on my 2013 goals and this is a big part of that. Time to get REAL!
I started a 2012 in pictures type post a la The Chicken Scoop, but I didn't make it past fall before I realized I had more to say than pictures can tell.
I fell apart a bit in 2012.
Don't think this is one of those sad woe-is-me type posts.
Not at all.
I think falling apart was exactly what I needed.
In 2010 I started losing weight and working out and getting healthy.
And it was easy and fun and I took it for granted.
And in 2011 thing slowed down and I got mad at the scale because it wasn't moving fast enough.
And I took for granted the fact that it was still moving.
And in 2012, I fell apart. I went backward. I lost mobility and discovered the true battle I will be fighting for the rest of my life.
This is not going to be easy.
Not that I think it's easy for anyone, but, let us be honest, there are people that started after me and are already done and didn't hit any super major roadblocks to trip them up. Yes, to me they had it easy.
As I progressed I merely uncovered the truly horrible bone and joint structure my body is made up of. It's funny I've spent all this time wondering what my outside body will look like when I'm skinny, but I never considered how torn up the inside already was.
And I can't tell you if my years of being overweight attributed to that or caused it or what (though I'm pretty much 100% sure it did not help).
I actually came into this world broken.
I probably never told any of you that.
On the way out my shoulders were so broad that I broke my collarbone on the way out.
When I was 6, I broke it again in a high-stakes game of superman with my sister.
A whole 10 years passed before I got another broken bone, when I broke my foot due to my knee popping out on me while jumping up and down.
By then I already knew my knee joints were shot.
So what does a girl who has felt broken all her life, both mentally and physically, do with herself when she feels like she's fallen apart completely?
Because that has been the end of 2012 for me.
And the only possible thing I can think to do is rebuild.
Trust me, I thought about the alternatives.
I considered giving up on myself, on life, on anything ever working out.
I can't say that I don't still believe that the world wasn't meant for people like me from time to time, but I can tell you that I am not for a second taking for granted that I have these bonds with important people in my life, people who deserve every bit of the happiness the world can dish out. If I can stick around and just watch how things unfold for them, and maybe even be there for them when they need it - if my suffering in some way evens out the world so they can have whatever they desire out of life - I'm here for the long haul.
I know that sounds defeatest, but it's really not.
I would 100% give up my life, my happiness and every bit of myself for my children.
I think every mother would.
Now I'm hoping the world doesn't ask that of me.
I have plans to better myself in 2013 and I would love some cooperation on that front.
But when it comes down to the down and dirty nitty gritty my life for theirs question - there is no doubt where I would go with that.
2012 may have broken me, but it taught me what was important.
The people I love.
My husband, who has somehow become the one person in my entire world who can pull me out of the depths with just a touch.
My sons, who remind me every single day just how lucky I really am to have them in my life and watch them grow.
My mother, who drives me crazy sometimes but is the absolute best thing I bring with me from my childhood.
My two should-be sisters, Andrea and Hillary, who have taught me that I am actually better today than I was before and I'm still someone worth knowing.
My new sister, my step-brother, and the family they are building. Because I finally learned this year just how important it is to ADD, not subtract to the love.
My step-brother, who is having his own bit of falling apart happening right now. If I can just help him through somehow, maybe all I've gone through will have meant something.
My nieces, who I never get to see but I would fly to in an instant if they ever needed me and would protect them as my own in full-on Momma Bear mode.
Even my sister. Because even though we do not get along hardly ever and we rarely connect on anything - I realize just how special it is to have someone in the world who experienced life a lot like you did, if even just a bit differently.
I've made some new friends along the way.
I've challenged myself to put myself out there and people have responded with kindness and love.
I will cherish this part of 2012 and will use that to build myself a better me in the upcoming year.
I have dreams and goals still.
As much as I think at times I might be happier to just let life flow without a plan, I am not that type of person.
I have some ideas in my head, some plans in the works.
I'm trying to start a YouTube channel as a bit of a test for myself to put myself out there even more.
I want to find some real meaning in my life and a purpose that is more than go to work and make money to pay the bills.
I want to be more than a fat girl trying to get fit.
I want to indulge the parts of myself that already exist.
The girl in love with makeup and fashion but never seems to understand how to make them work with what she's got. I'm going to figure it out this year!
The girl who loves taking pictures, even if she should by all rights be able to edit and sell her prints but can't seem to be okay with misperfection. I'm going to find a way to push past my fear of the imperfect and let myself contribute to the world.
I think my youngest son said it best last night when he turned to me and said, "You're so scared of being wrong. It's not going to be perfect." Oh, his little mind is more brilliant than he realizes.
2013 is the year of messing up.
I'm going to actually set out to fail.
I'm going to let myself trip.
I'm going to make mistakes.
I hope I learn that mistakes don't kill me and that people are okay with me even when I'm not perfect.
I hope I learn to love my flawed self.
Too long I've waited in the wings here to be perfect.
I didn't want to show you who I really was or what I really wanted because I was afraid that you would tear me down. I was afraid you would point out the flaws. I didn't want to be called fat or lazy or stupid or wrong or just not talented enough. So I hid parts of myself.
I don't write because I can't get it perfect on the first go-round.
It's been haunting me my entire life.
But no more.
Here we go!
* Start up a photography side business
* Do NaNoWriMo for real this time
* Start a YouTube channel (2 actually) - one on beauty and one vlogging my experiences
* Tighten the purse strings and stick to a strict budget
* Really participate in couponing on a regular basis
* Do the Whole30 for the Whole30
* Figure out how to manage my broken body and get back to feeling strong
It feels like every time I try to pull myself back out again and I think I'm doing alright, I have a night like last night.
The past few weeks have been stressful. Hubs started his new job, which pays considerably more than his old one but is only part-time so, in actuality, it's an overall pay cut. This new job is in Charleston approximately 5-10 minutes from my work...which means he drives to work with me every morning, waits around for about an hour and half before he heads off to work, and then drives back after work and waits around for another 2-3 hours. It means we've spent a lot of time together lately. Like a whole lot. Like more than either of us is used to. Like more than we probably should.
Between the stress of money being ever so tight as I try to get through yet another Christmas on the most laughable salary in the world, and the stress of having someone with me all the time and never really getting time to focus on just me...it's been a bit of a train wreck. I'll admit that I haven't handled it as well as I would have liked. I like my solitude. I like having my routine and leaving on my time frame and the fact that if I'm late it's because *I* was running behind. Now I have this whole other person to wake up, remind to get in the shower more than 5 minutes before we should be walking out the door. Let's just say I went from being an average of 10-15 minutes early for work nearly every day, to barely clocking in before the "late" cut-off nearly every single day he's been with me. What's more, he's lost my work badge, which means I have to ring the doorbell and be let in every time I need to use the restroom. Yea, this is not working out for me.
So where am I now? In a mess of a place just trying to get through.
But I'm trying to focus on what I can change/improve. I've been fighting with my foot doctor's office about getting a copy of my x-rays to take to the specialist I'm supposed to be seeing next week, but I think I've finally sorted that out. Hopefully they get the copies done ASAP and I can pick them up BEFORE I have to go to my appointment in Huntington or else I may have to reschedule. For those not keeping track, I found the top rated podiatrist/orthopedics are in Huntington, WV so I made an appointment for December 19th and I'm hoping against all hope they can give me some more information/input/idea as to whether or not my foot will EVER be better. It has improved, yes, but I still wake up with horrible pain every morning and can't walk on it at first, my ankle still feels weak, and any time I walk on it too much or even jog for 2 steps I know I'm going to pay for it later and may not be able to walk the next day without the use of crutches. I don't like the up/down nature and not knowing what to expect or what to even do. I know that my stretches help ease the morning pain so I try to do that every morning before I get out of bed, but I really, really need to get back to my workouts, even if that means long slow walks or something (though that won't suffice for long, my body needs to sweat in order to do what needs to be done for me to lose weight).
Because I need to get back to losing weight. I'm up 30 pounds from when I lost my mobility months ago. It's amazing how awesome my body is at putting on weight super fast but it CANNOT lose it any other way but at a friggin' snail-on-drugs' pace. Pathetic.
I've been talking with my girl, Angela, and we've decided we're going to try to hit January hard with a bunch of different challenges. I had already been talking about challenging myself beyond end in 2013...it's nice to know there is someone out there as crazy as me. ;)
Possible 2013 Challenges:
- 50 Books in a Year/Book Club
- 365 Self-Portraits
- That Nikon Guy's monthly photo challenge
- 30-Day Photo Challenge (we're going to make up our own)
- Mileage Challenge (can be walked, run, elliptical, bike, swim, etc.)
- Fitness Challenges
- Food Challenges - starting with a round of Whole30 in January
- Home Improvement challenges
- Craft/decorating challenges
The possibilities are endless. Basically, I have to stop standing still because I absolutely hate it. In the past 6 years this has meant either a change in job title (promotions) or a change in job duties or going back to school to advance my career or something like that. But considering I've become an absolute boss at being rejected for every single job that would "promote" me that I've applied for, it does not look like my station in life as far as my career and my finances are concerned, are going to be changing any time soon. That means other things have to change or I am literally going to lose my mind.
I am a shark. I cannot stand still. I hate stagnation.
I can't say this is going to work to ease my mind. I'm still in the bitter and sad stage of grief because I feel absolutely hopeless that any dream I have ever had in my life will EVER come true. But at least I'm not letting myself fully slip into the sadness that is surrounding me, right? Trying. Ever so slowly trying.
So I'm focusing on January's goals.
Yes, I'm doing Whole30 again. Probably stupid. I will hate every minute of it, but I don't care. My birthday is on the 8th, so I won't even be allowed to enjoy that at all. Whatever. There is never a "good" time for any of this.
Now let's hope I get good news next week (or even that I actually get to go!) and we figure out some stupid way to make my foot cooperate. Otherwise I'll walk/run/dance on it until it breaks in order to lose this weight. I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of being weak and immobile.
Nope, I'm not in a good mind-space today.
Good thing I leave tomorrow for a weekend alone with a friend from high school (actually from before that...we've known each other since we were wee things).
When I get back, I'll get to work on the three grad school applications I need to complete and start studying for my GMAT.
For anyone interested, you can check out the final shots from this past weekend's photo shot with my friend and her daughter on Flickr under my Hillary and Bryna set. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out and cannot wait to get a 50mm lens so I can do more/better portrait work.
I have been taking pictures for a long time. What's more, I always seem to have a ton of ideas in my head when it comes to what I want pictures to look like and funny shots I think would look great. Yes, I'm speaking mostly portraits. And while my Nikon has what I'm sure is a great portrait mode, I've been trying to force myself to stay away from most of the automatic settings so that I have to learn how aperture, shutter speed and ISO really affect the look of my shots. (I honestly think immersion is the best and only way with these types of things.) So after a quick shopping trip for props Saturday, it was off to the park.
I took my oldest son along with me. Logan is my little artist and he is very interested in how photography works. It's my goal for him to learn now while he's still young and moldable and super creative, rather than having to wait until he's 30 something to have the tools to pursue this kind of thing. I also took him because he's super photogenic and is very patient. I also somehow managed to drag Shane along, which helped a great deal because it allowed me to figure out how to deal with having two main focal points instead of one.
I put my camera on full manual, but let my lens stay in auto mode and we were off. Well, sorta. Honestly, I was struggling and my frustration was showing through a bit. And I kept thinking to myself, "THIS is why I wanted to do this with family first! Have to work out the kinks here!" Shane and Logan were great sports. I wrapped Logan up in Christmas garland. I made both of them wear Santa hats. I had them posing in some shots for 50 camera clicks. They played right along and Shane even tried to offer some helpful suggestions. At one point I even took the lens out of auto and was full manual for a little bit. I wasn't overall pleased with all of the shots we got (I took about 200 pictures in about an hour), but I got a couple great ones and really worked out those kinks. (I then went home and stressed and agonized over the whole editing process before finally saying, "SCREW THIS!" and posting the pics non-edited. I have always been of the mindset of, "If you get a great shot to begin with, you really shouldn't need to edit.")
I really love the line along the side and how everything just seems a little off. I think Logan's face is also great in this picture. The sign says "joy" and he's got that teenager "whatever" face going on.
Of course, then there was another battle when I got home.
Suffice it to say there are two computers in my house and neither are mine. I do have a laptop, but the power cord has shorted out (we're on our second one now) and I need a new one. Plus, the damn thing needs reformatted or something as it's bogged down (hey, I bought the thin when I started college again back in 2007!). So while my laptop is out of commission, I'm fighting for computer time with a 13-year-old and a 30+ year old MCP who spends the majority of his freetime facing a computer monitor for whatever reason (I never realized you could find that many things to do on a computer but he honestly could occupy himself there from 8am to 2am the next morning if given half a chance and enough coffee).
I started out on Logan's computer and downloaded my 600+ shots, which translate into 1200 files because I've been shooting in JPG and RAW. Since the thing is new and I don't know my editing options yet, I don't want to remove an option just because I didn't have the right file type. (In addition to the shots I took of my friend and her daughter, and some test shots I took of Ethan before they arrived, I had a good 50 shots from a local riverfront park that had their Christmas display on right when we got back to town...during the "magic hour" around 5pm. I couldn't resist the opportunity. I think I got a couple good ones and it was fun playing with aperture settings late at night and with shutter speed when I was able to prop my camera on the door frame like a tripod so I could hold the shot and get all of the moving parts of a display.)
Anyhow, I nearly filled up Logan's computer between my 1200 files, Lightroom and another editing program. (We're pretty sure he's been saving a bunch of somethings, but we haven't taken the time to investigate. There is no way he should be almost full already!) Still, those two programs only got me so far in the editing process and I later had to transfer to Hubs' computer to use Photoshop (I had some spot corrections to do, including removing a stray cigarette and some electrical tape on a wall that I somehow didn't notice when we were taking the shots). By 11:30pm I was frustrated and tired and had to just call it a night with a clear idea of what I still wanted to do but needed more time and patience to figure out.
All in all, a great, albeit crazy weekend. I took Ethan along with me yesterday as Logan was up helping his grandfather with some manual labor. Ethan did amazingly well! He lugged around my props in a suitcase and carried everyone's purses, the camera bags, coats when we decided to ditch them. He even came up with some great ideas for shots. I'm so proud of both my boys! I swear if I make this photography thing a working side business they will be invaluable to the effort!
I'll be back tomorrow (I hope!) with some of the key shots from yesterday's shoot. I honestly can't wait to show everyone because I think some of them are fabulous. I also learned a lot and know a few things I would have done differently and/or will try next time. And if you live nearby (Ohio or WV), or you are going to be in the area some weekend, and are willing to be a photographer's guinea pig, please feel free to volunteer! The best way for me to learn is for me to do it...you get some great pics, I get some great practice and build my portfolio and everybody wins! :)
Things on the "to buy or make" list:
CDs to put pics on for "clients"
More memory cards
A 50mm "portrait" lens
How was your weekend? Is it snowing where you are or have you been stuck with this nasty rain as well? I'm sick of 50 degree temps in December, y'all! I want some snow! It's so weird taking Christmas pics and nobody even needs their coats on. Hoping I get a chance to play with settings needed to photograph snow before this winter is over!
Let's face it, I started this blog without really knowing where I wanted it to go. I knew that I loved blogging. I love sharing my life, my experiences, my photos and stories with other people. That I knew. That remains. But what my life was then is very different from what it is now.
I was frustrated. I had been trying to lose weight for 2 years and had hit the biggest stand-still road block I could not have even imagined. I didn't understand why I wasn't losing any more and I was pushing myself harder than ever. And, to make matters worse, all my weight loss led to additional health problems in my joints that I never anticipated. Losing weight actually harmed me in some ways. It caused problems with a disk in my back, problems with my high arches, problems with a seriously misaligned pelvis. All these problems were either caused, exacerbated, or recognized because of my fitness/weight loss efforts. I was getting strong muscles and a healthy pulse and heart rate (seriously, like athlete level here), but my body was breaking down under the pressure.
Some people like to say I went too hard too fast, but I was following all the guidelines recommended for what I was doing and was talking with doctors the entire time. I accumulated a whole team of medical professionals and all of them encouraged me to continue. All of them asked questions about the program I had developed for myself and, when I told them the details, told me I was doing exactly what I needed to do to reach my goals. A physical therapist, my family doctor (I think she might be a nurse practitioner, actually), a chiropractor and, finally, a podiatrist. The word was the same with all of them - "Good job! Keep it up! Only stop if it hurts. Listen to your body."
So when I started this blog I was listening to my body, and it was telling me I needed to slow down. And eventually it told me to stop. It needed rest. It needed a full-time, head-on break from all the stress I had been putting it under. And my frustration was reaching the boiling point because I was being stopped in my efforts not by my willpower, but by the body that I had been created. Suddenly my active and fit heart rate and my healthy blood pressure and my massively wonderful and strong muscles meant nothing. My bones were starting to crack (metaphorically speaking) under the pressure. Had I continued, I honestly believe a real crack was in my future.
So where am I now? In two weeks I will go get a second opinion from yet another podiatrist/orthopedic surgeon. This one is centered at a facility that houses a host of orthopedic doctors and sports medicine professionals. And he's rated #1 in the state. It's a bit of a drive from where I live (we're talking almost 2 hours), but I am willing to do what needs to be done to make it happen. I am hoping he will provide me with some insight as to why things I've been trying (and have spent nearly $200 on WITH medical insurance covering most of it) have not worked. I hate to say it but I'm afraid he's going to mention/suggest surgery. And that scares the crap out of me for so many reasons, not the least of which is that the surgery on my left knee back when I was a teen did little to help the problem.
Until that time, I will continue to do everything I know works to help the issue, which includes PT exercises I found online as many times a day as I can remember. I stretch my foot every single morning before I get out of bed and every night before I got to sleep - at least! I try to remember to do stretches throughout the day as well. I also ice when needed, massage the area at least once a day, and try to make sure to wear my inserts as much as humanly possible. All of this has seen some little improvement, but very, very little. I'm still unable to workout for fear of seriously injuring myself further. I'm doing the best I can to balance my need for activity with my need to take care of my foot. This means there have been some walks during my lunch breaks, but nothing too wild and crazy and nothing else on top of that. It also means I have gained weight and feel absolutely horrible about myself right now...but I try not to focus on that.
Where else am I right now? I'm beyond all that. I want to challenge myself in so many different ways this next year. Yes, I want my mobility back. I'm ready to get back in the gym. I'm ready to start training VERY, VERY slowly for a triathlon, in whatever fashion I need to do that. It's on my list of things I MUST do before I die and I'm not about to let it go. Even if I'm in a wheelchair, I will complete a Tri before this world takes me. But I also want to challenge myself in other ways.
Career-wise I need to advance myself beyond where I am now. I need the extra income for my family so that we can move into a house and have the life I always dreamed of having. As much as I've said hope is lost, I can't seem to give up on my dreams. So I'm looking into advancing my degree in order to advance my career and I'll be trying out new methods and new career paths and fields and whatever else I need to try to get the job I want where I can use my skills and they are appreciated and awarded (financially, mostly, but also with employer loyalty...I honestly believe it goes both ways).
Creatively, I need to expand my horizons as well. I want to read more and finally mark some of the to-dos off my very old "must read these" reading list. I've already downloaded Anna Karenina, which has been on my list for a million years. (And now they're making a movie and I have yet to read the book? Unacceptable!) I also just finally got a wish I've had for as long as I can remember - to have a more professional camera (which recently in the past 7 years or so morphed into a DSLR) - granted by my wonderful and amazing husband. I've been practicing creative photography on my own since I was old enough to hold one of those long kiddy cameras with the film canisters that looked like this: o__o that you inserted into the back. Seriously, I've always experimented by breaking the rules of what everyone else thought a photo should look like. I didn't center my subjects. I came in too close sometimes. I went out too far. I tilted the camera. I blurred the subject on purpose. I picked strange lighting. I would see places like an artist sees them but was unable to recreate the image in my mind by hand...but give me a camera and BOOM! There is was! My artistic outlet. When I finally went back to finish college, I even expanded this by majoring in film, which, honestly, helps a lot with understanding photography with all the Mise-en-scène talk. Film, after all, is just moving photographs. And I have to admit that even Art 101 helped me understand more about color combinations and how light and shadows work and composition, etc. It's no wonder those (and my lit and english language study) were my favorite classes.
So, What Does All This Mean?
It means this place might change just a bit. It's going to be about the FitFatGirl's life, not just about her weight.
When people ask me how I managed to lose 100, 150, 170+ pounds and how they can find a motivation to do the same, I always think back to the day I decided to change my life. It happened in 2004 and an argument I had in my own head. I just had this random thought I had heard so many times before pop into my head about how I wished I was the type of person who got up every morning and ran 5 miles. And then a still smaller voice that harkened back, "Well why CAN'T you be that person?" It was like it finally hit me. The only difference between me, the FatGirl (now the FitFatGirl) and the athletes I so admired around me, was the act of being active. We loved a lot of the same things, but I hadn't acted upon my desire to be active in the world and they had. That was the only difference (well, that and about 200 pounds...but wouldn't that kinda take care of itself along the way?). I vowed to myself that day two things:
(1) I would never accept who I thought I was if what I wanted to be was something different. Instead I would work to make who I wanted to be who I actually was through my actions, habits and daily practices.
(2) I would not wait another day to be who I wanted to be. Weight was a restriction only if I let it be. It may take me much longer to complete an active task as everyone else, but I would no longer allow my weight to be my ticket to hide and deny myself the desires of my heart. If I wanted to be the girl that ran 5 miles every morning (that girl is crazy...I realize now I don't want to be here anymore. I would love to be a girl who COULD do that, but I don't want to actually do it...I have too many varied interests and not enough time to do them if I'm devoting every morning to those same 5 miles), then I would have to start out by walking as far as I could, and as often as I could, until I could run, and then work from there.
I am proud to say that the last major achievement of my life was running 5 miles straight. A dream that started in 2004 was achieved last year, 2011. It took me SEVEN years. I lost 168 pounds between that day I decided I wanted to be a girl that could run 5 miles and becoming the girl who ran 5 miles (on November 12, 2011). Even though the events that followed have led to probably one of the worst years mentally, emotional and physically in a very, very long time...even though I've gained some of that weight back and have lost my ability to run even 1 mile...I still hold on to that achievement and the reaching of a goal that changed the very nature of the person I actually am.
So now I'm going to develop this person I am now. The person who became the FitFatGirl and reclaimed her life. I'm going to go back to living my life. I'm going to breathe fresh air into it. I have no clue what 2013 might hold (and I'll probably know more by about 1:45pm on Decmeber 19, 2012), but I'm going to go back to challenging myself and the thought of who I can be.
Look out, world. I'm changing again. And past experience shows that I don't give up on a dream until I reach it. Here we go!