on saturday my back went out. this will be the fourth time i've had this problem. the first time was six or so years ago when i was training with a personal trainer. one of the exercises was too much. or the weight was too much. either way, a disc in my lower vertebra slipped and i ended up flat on my back for several days before finally going to see the dr. she sent me to a physical therapist who instructed me to keep my core strong and showed me various stretches and exercises i could do to focus on this part of my back.
fast forward a few years later and i have a day old baby and my back goes out again as i twist to get out of bed one morning. that pain was probably the most memorable because it scared the shit out of me not being able to move and being home alone with three kids. luckily, my mom was on her way to help me and arrived just in time. i was near passing out.
the last time it went out, i had just lost all of the baby weight from baby #3 (i like to call it baby weight rather than just weight. it sounds more forgiving, i think.). i went to set the little guy down on the floor with some toys and pop! there i was again, crippled and in pain.
that was almost three years ago so i'm pretty proud of myself for warding off another attack-of-the-back for so long. i focus a great deal on core strength and find yoga and running to compliment this in different ways. but lately, i've felt things have "loosened up" in my lower back. i've tried to be careful, stretching an extra amount and not doing too much with the strength training but, when i went to grab my gym bag on saturday morning, i must have twisted just right and i felt that familiar pain.
fortunately (unfortunately), i know exactly what i need to do to recover as quickly as possible and that is to lay flat on my back as much as i'm able while rotating the ice pack and the heat pad. that was my weekend. just laying there, watching movie after movie feeling incredibly guilty that i wasn't up doing all that needed to be done. two things are for sure; i am not good at doing nothing unless everything else is done and, i prefer being the caretaker.
today i feel 80% better. i'm walking so that's always a plus and, my spine isn't nearly as twisted as it was on saturday. just a lot of tightness through my lower back and hips. this is all good news. it means whatever i'm doing is working but, i'm still carrying around this crappy attitude. still feeling sorry for myself because i am so conscious of this problem and so careful in taking care of myself. feeling sorry that i've now missed two runs and i'll certainly miss yoga tonight. boohoo.
during the time i was just laying here, i did a lot of web surfing and i came across this blog called running to the kitchen. she wrote a post about being sidelined by her own back injury that i could have literally written myself. what stood out to me was her saying she was so frustrated because she's in great shape, she takes care of her body but still ... this happened/happens. she recalled having received advice from her dr. that was something along the lines of "we don't take care of our bodies to avoid getting injured or sick. everyone will get hurt or sick at some point or another but those who are physically fit and 'healthy' will recover much faster."
it helped me to read this. i believe it to be true and it's what i needed to hear right then. sometimes i wonder what the hell i'm doing "all of this" for? but then, imagine if i didn't take care of myself or if my core wasn't as strong as it is. it's safe to assume that my back problems would occur more frequently and my recovering would be much longer than three days. my physical therapist told me at that first visit that this injury would never go away without surgery and if i wanted to avoid surgery, i needed to keep my weight down and my core strong.
these moments are the ones i file away in my motivational bank. when i get tired and don't want to work out or when those french fries sound better than a salad, i need to dig into this bank and pull out the reminders of why i'm doing this. remind myself why it's important to me to take care of myself and my family. vanity aside, it makes me feel good and i'm happiest when i feel good.
lately i've been too lenient. feeling like what i do day in and day out should be "enough." the truth is, it's not enough. i rarely weigh myself because i want my focus to be on how i feel and how my clothes fit. right now, my clothes are not comfortable and i don't feel how i like to feel. there's a lot to this. more than just physical weight. so i have some thinking to do. some planning and goal setting. i need to get over feeling sorry for myself when i say "no thank you" and i need to stop giving in. every once and awhile has turned into all of the time and it's not okay.
when i'm at home, i eat well enough. i plan healthy meals and prepare them frequently. it's when i'm not at home, when we're out and about, i end up making choices that are not in line with my goals and that make me feel lousy afterward. the catcher is that when i'm in the moment, i feel lousy about restricting myself. i just want to fit in, go with the flow, eat what everyone else is eating. it's a constant battle. another thing to ponder.
so that's what i'll do. now, i ponder, plan and set some new goals. i'll be back ....