Wow. I cannot believe how long it’s been since I last wrote. After four years of regularly blogging in here, I suppose I needed a break. That, and I haven’t really had anything interesting to blog about.
The plain truth is this: I have not run for 5 months.
Because of that I have spiraled into a very deep, dark hole. I’ve hit rock bottom. Isn’t it always true that before we can instill change in our lives, we need to hit rock bottom? Well, I’m there and it isn’t a very pleasant place to be. While my weight has been very steady and only about 4-5 lbs more than my summer, running body weighed, my body fat has shot up and hit the bell. Yikes! I worked so hard to get rid of all of that and was successful, for a while, holding steady. Well, my 40-plus-year-old body loves that body fat, especially when I stop exercising.
The thing is, for the first three months I couldn’t exercise even though I wanted to. When standing up, a slight movement in any direction – I’m talking to the nth degree – would send shooting pains down my back and into my left leg. My leg and foot would tingle and go numb. It was painful, scary, and infuriating all at the same time. I lost a lot of strength in my leg and foot.
My second epidural and a more robust drug stopped all of that but my doctor insisted I wait a month until my next visit before I started running again. So I waited and wallowed. I started eating junk and all of the bad stuff in that food, the saturated fats, found a new home in my body. Suddenly, I shot up two whole sizes in my pants and I still have a muffin top which protrudes through my shirts. The only thing I’m comfortable wearing is sweats.
I got the “okay” from my doctor but suddenly it was the holidays (I even skipped a holiday party because I literally had nothing in my closet that fit me,) and then I got sick for two weeks with bronchitis, sinusitis and pink-eye, all at the same time. The first round of antibiotics didn’t work so I began my second course of antibiotics and suddenly it was the first week of January and I am feeling fat and unhealthy and disgusting. The gym membership I purchased the day before the New Year with all of those good intentions remains unused.
And so must it be when one hits rock bottom. You must really FEEL it. You’ve got to feel low and desperate and angry.
This is how pathetically unfit I am: We recently bought a Wii and along with it, Wii Fit Plus. I’ve been logging on with my Mii character every couple of days and working through some yoga and strength training exercises, and playing the little games packaged in there. Basically, the entire point behind Wii Fit is to work on your core muscles which are the entire reason I am in this mess to begin with. One of the training games, basically a caricatured step class, had my calves yelling at me a day later. My back muscles were talking to me a day after working out with the boxing class. Here’s the kicker: I used to make fun of people who would use Wii Fit and act like they had a workout. That was back when I was hitting the trails for five hours at a time as I base trained with the intention of running a 50 mile trail race. Now, I am so out of shape that the very game I once mocked actually does give me a workout.
The problem is that when my body is weak and lacking in correct nutrition I tend to get sick, a lot. Right now I am existing in that desperate place where I want to work out but life isn’t exactly throwing me a bone to do so. I know it sounds like an excuse. It probably is. Yesterday I had to be home all day because we had contractors in the house, this morning I have a mammogram. I only have three hours at best without kids, and my gym does not have childcare. It’s tough to fit everything in during those three hours of calmness and tranquility.
Besides, the lack of exercise in my life and feeling like a big blob, I have been diverting my energy that was once reserved for working out to other things in my life such as my husband, my kids, the house, baking, I’ve even been picking the guitar back up lately. It feels good to be doing all of those things. So, in some ways my break from a regular fitness routine has definitely had some hidden gems.
But it’s time to get back into the swing of things. I’m hoping that this desperation I am feeling right now will be what I need to kickstart my fitness habit because I really need it back.