Taking Back My Power

Hello Wonderful Blog Readers!

I’m one week into focusing on my health again and I feel great! I have no technical success to speak of yet (i.e. pounds down, inches lost, etc.) but I’ve been able to meet my initial goals which are all habit-based:

  • Logging my food daily
  • Hitting 10,000 steps daily (this is big since I’m recovering from a major injury)
  • Getting back to actively thinking about what I eat

Obviously this is just a start but rebuilding my healthy habits is the only way I’m going to truly get healthy again.

I know enough about health and fitness goals to know the food I eat is more important than the exercise I get in, but I have to say it feels AMAZING to get back to a 10,000 step goal. Before my injury happened I had finally reached a point in my life where I considered myself to be athletic. Because of that, the last 5 months of recovery has been brutal. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of things I love that I still can’t do:

  • Running
  • Insanity
  • Kickboxing (although I’m close to getting back to the fundamentals for this)
  • Rollerblading

All that being said, getting back to 10,000 steps feels a lot like taking my power back. If I can do 10,000 steps, I can eventually get back to everything, including my healthy goals, my healthiest weight, and even my final ideal weight and size.

I will get there. It’s just a matter of time!

Advertisements

A New Journey

Around June of last year I rebranded my blog “Healthy Rewrite” because I wanted to explore the concept of how the average person’s struggle to become healthy was similar to that of the epic hero’s journey in a story. That was after about a year of success in getting healthy myself.

As often happens in situations like that, shortly after I rebranded I started to fall off on posting. Now, this year, I’ve fallen off the healthy habits I worked so hard to build. As I sit back and think through what happened I know that part of my recent drop off is due to very real obstacles that have risen up against me this year. But a very large part of it is that I also stopped holding myself accountable through this blog.

So, I’m back. And I’m back for good. Because I need the accountability and because blogging about it helps me maintain that while also supporting others through the same struggles.

So how does all this relate to my own Healthy Hero’s Journey? Well, for the sake of really re-engaging in this blog, let’s refresh. The Healthy Hero’s Journey is made up of very distinct parts:

  • The Call to Adventure. That moment where you realize your journey is no longer an option but has become an action necessary for your own life and happiness.
  • Discovery of Resources. Taking inventory of the resources that will help you on the road to success. This step may also involve the search for new tools and resources.
  • Trial & Error. Putting those resources to work for you until you find the magic formula that meets your individual needs.
  • Reaching the Reward. The final, beautiful step, where you actually reach your goals. This is your moment of triumph!

Many of us, including myself, start the cycle of this journey over and over in our lives without ever Reaching the Reward. Or, in just as many cases, we actually to reach the final level and then fall off entirely and have to start over.

I can be honest and say that I never reached my reward. I got very close to it and had a lot of success but I never reached my primary weight loss objectives. I would have been happy to linger in the Trial & Error part of my story for a while longer but, alas, I have fallen all the way back to the Call to Adventure step.

Why is that? Because I came across an obstacle this last year, while in the Trial & Error part of my journey, which proved to be too big. It beat me down and I’m still struggling to overcome it. What was it?

A pelvic stress fracture.

Of all the injuries I thought I’d face as a runner that was the least of my worries. And let me tell you, you don’t realize how much all of your bones and muscles work together until the biggest bone right in the middle of your body suddenly has a giant (“rather nasty” as my doctor’s called it) crack in it.

I spent 11 weeks on crutches and in a wheelchair. Now I’ve gone through 8 weeks of physical therapy and the orthopedist is telling me I still need to wait 3 more months before I start running. Prior to this injury I was running 2-3 half marathons per year and had just signed up for my first full marathon so another 3 months of no running feels like pure torture. But I guess I can see their point since I haven’t been able to work up to more than 15 minutes of interval speed walking on a treadmill.

More important than all that is the impact this stress fracture has had on my healthy habits. In the last 5 months, I’ve:

  • Gone back to stress eating
  • Gotten in way less activity (obviously)
  • Fallen off of eating my fruits and veggies
  • Stopped tracking my caloric intake
  • Stopped watching my portions
  • Gone back to eating whatever “sounds good”

As a result, I’ve noticed many of my clothes fitting tighter and I’ve gained back 12 of the total 34 pounds I’d previously lost. Not a place I thought I’d be again.

Looking back now, I think a lot of this has happened because I kept seeing each piece of my injury as being a small portion of time. It was okay to eat differently because I just needed to get through the non-bearing piece of my recovery. After that, I’d be back to running in no time. After I got released to start walking again than it was just that I needed to get through my physical therapy (because it was only supposed to last 8 weeks and then I’d be “back to normal”). Now that the 8 weeks has ended and it looks like normal still isn’t going to happen any time soon, I’m waking up to reality.

A New Journey

The reality is that I need to follow the Healthy Hero’s Journey I started talking about more than a year ago. I need to accept this new Call to Adventure, take the time to Discover New Resources, and work through an all new type of Trial & Error before I’m going to Reach my Reward.

This post is my commitment to this new journey. I hope you’ll come along with me as I start to explore the facets of this adventure from a whole new angle. I look forward to sharing my story!

 

Striving for Patience

I’m trying really hard to not be frustrated with my weight loss right now. I’ve been solidly on my loss weight/get healthy plan for close to a year now and, while I certainly feel like it’s been a success, I also feel like I’ve spent more time in plateaus than I have actually losing weight. I will say that I have continuously lost inches, but even that is dramatically slower than it was.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know things slow down and I know I’ll have to consistently change things up to keep seeing success. Plateaus don’t even really bother me. I consider them to be practice for the maintenance I’ll have to do once I hit my goal weight/size. What does bother me, though, is that I’ve suddenly started gaining weight.

I don’t feel like I’ve resumed unhealthy habits but maybe I’m just not seeing it. I’m trying to pay attention to the food I eat and the accuracy in how I log it all in case there’s something I’m doing unintentionally to throw things off. 

The only other thing I can think of is that I’ve recently started working out more in preparation for an obstacle course race I’m doing in March. It’s possible that’s  causing me to build muscle and, as a result, gain weight. But if that were the case I feel like I should be seeing a more dramatic change with inches and how my clothes fit, which isn’t happening.

Ultimately, the important thing is I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep trying things and tweaking what I do until I find that next perfect combination. I just don’t want to go backwards while I try to figure that out.

Renewed Enthusiasm 

To say I’ve fallen off track with my healthy habits recently wouldn’t be exactly correct. However it also wouldn’t be right to say that I’ve been 100% on track with my objectives. On the downside, this means that I have not lost any weight for a few weeks. On the positive side, I also haven’t really gained weight, although I’m not real excited about how some of my clothes have been fitting.

There’s no real reason for this. Even if there were, the important thing now is that I’m ready to renew my goals and start hitting things hard again.

A couple months back, I decided to test out a few strategies for jumpstarting my weight loss. The first strategy was to increase my protein to 45-50% of my daily intake for at least 3 weeks to see if I would see weekly loss. If you read my posts from around that time you’ll know it worked! Sort of. For 3 weeks I thought I was hitting that goal and I saw weekly loss. Than I realized I was tracking something wrong and I was really getting 35-40% protein.

I fixed the problem and started hitting my real goal and, for some reason, that steady weight loss fell flat. So, as part of my goal renewal I’ve decided to try getting 35-40% instead. Obviously that was working before so I figure it’s worth a shot before moving on to other strategies. It’s also something I figured I’d need to do soon regardless. High protein may be great for losing fat but it’s poor for providing the necessary energy for intense workouts. I was really starting to feel that trade-off before and I suspect that’s why my weight loss stopped.

Beyond that I really want to get back to hitting my daily step goal (12,500). Also, I’m excited to start a new 30 day training program today for a Savage race I’m doing in March. I’m going to need all the help I can get to prep for that so I’m excited for the new challenge. 😄

As usual, the most important thing is that my healthy goals are never far from my mind. Even when I have bad days or larger bumps in the road, I keep reminding myself that it’s up to me to make  sure I don’t let those problems grow out of proportion.

Challenge of the Month

Ok I’ll admit, this was a REALLY negative post at first. I’ve been having a very difficult month at work that’s really starting to get to me. But after an entire post of pouring out everything I’ve been struggling with, I decided to start over and focus on the positive.

I apologize for not explaining what’s been happening. I’m so brain-dead and my thoughts/feelings about it have been so negative that I think any explanation would just make things worse, so I’m going to move right into the positive points I want to focus on instead:

  1. The issue I’ve been having at work is DONE. That, alone, means everything is uphill from here.
  2. My food intake has not been what I wanted but it’s been immensely better than it used to be and it was actually pretty good, considering how tough the month has been.
  3. Same as above when talking about exercise.
  4. I’ve still actually lost a little weight. In the past, this type of issue would have knocked me completely off track for months, but not this time!
  5.  I’m so happy to be moving past this issue that getting back to normal is going to be AWESOME!
  6. I already feel way better after writing this than I did after writing that sad, negative post. 

And that’s it. Weird post, I know, but the next one will be normal. 🙂