Coming back from pain

On Sunday, I injured my lower back doing squats.  Monday, I seemed fine by afternoon, but I woke up Tuesday morning in real pain, and worse, instability.  I couldn’t control my own movement with the easy, fine touch that we all take for granted.  Even being careful, I would hit a place where the pain would shock me and make me recoil into another place of pain.  Then I would recoil from that, and the overcorrections would cause their own pain. 

I spent much of Tuesday in bed with a heating pad.  

Yesterday, I woke with less pain, but the same instability.  I felt my back and belly were weak, that the girder of muscles that kept me upright had taken a vacation and gone off to someplace it didn’t hurt.  I used the heating pad now in a seating position and set to work finding exercises to bring them back.  

I found this.

The middle exercise looked impossible to me yesterday.  I couldn’t do even the mild yoga from Prevention that I was supposed to do for the day.  I managed Warrior II on the right (injured) side, and then was supposed to place my right elbow on my right knee and stretch my left arm over.  I almost went to the floor.  

The prospect of sitting flat on the floor with straight legs and my hands behind my head, by itself, even without the lean forward, was enough to make me want to cry.  

But late last night, I tried it.  

It was amazing.  The backs of my legs screamed, as the therapist said they would, but the pain in my back was gone, everything was open, and I felt in control of my body for the first time in a few days.  

I even felt good enough to do about 15 slow crunches.  

That’s the priority when this is over.  I’m going to get my core stabilized and strong, so this doesn’t happen again.  I don’t care if I ever wear a swimsuit again–who wants to see my tiger stripes, anyway–I just don’t want to feel out of control like this again.  Enjoy Hawaii, belly, because when you get back, we are going to WORK!

Can you imagine how much worse this would have been if I had been 15 pounds heavier, with heart palpitations and wheezing?  

I hit the road for 25 minutes today.  It hurt and I’m sitting with a heating pad on my lower back right now, but it needed done.  

Slow, but persistent progress

I’ll try to post a picture tomorrow–I don’t want another decapitated tummy shot, and there’s no one here to shoot me until Jeff gets home tonight.  And he’s coming back from a trip to North Dakota, so the picture can wait.  

The scale hasn’t changed this week, except for a one pound dip yesterday.  You can count it, if you want, but it didn’t happen today.  Today, I am nursing a sore lower back.  Yesterday, I was doing squats, and I felt something pop when my thighs got perpendicular to the floor.  When I raised up, everything felt unstable, and I decided it was time to quit doing squats for the day.  

Today, I have trouble twisting and bending.  I’m taking ibuprofen and more or less resting.  Work was awful this morning, but I sat with Bren at Yoke’s in their hard chairs near the deli area, had a nice, unsweetened coffee, and felt much better.  I’m thinking the dehydrating effects of the coffee helped take some of the swelling down, and the hard chair forced good posture, so it all clicked back into place.  I did my usual walk today, but I paid attention to how I moved, breathed deeply and just stayed within my limits.  

My body loves to derail exercise by getting hurt.  “No, I don’t want to do this anymore.  I feel sick.  Or hurt. Yes, hurt, that’s it.  Let’s stop.”  

No.  We’ll rest for a bit, but we’re not going to stop.  I like the fact that I can wear more clothes in my closet and my tummy is less bulgy, and hello!  Or should I say, goodbye! to the back boobs? I noticed this morning that they are on their way out of here.  

I’m not going to count weeks anymore.  That would imply an end.  I’m not ending.  I’m not giving up.  I’m not going back.  Any backslides now are going to be considered indulgences, and I can have them, rarely.  I’ve had two “popsicles” this week, and they were actually those 100% fruit pops made by Breyer’s or Dreyer’s.  I can never keep those two companies straight in my head. 

I can deal with this.  I can live like this, eating veggies, meat and fruit, going out on walks, and working out.  Even if I never lose another pound–but I’m hoping I will–I will have done several good things: 

1) Quit smoking.

2) Quit aspartame. 

3) Eliminated processed foods (except as a rare “treat”).  

4) Lost several pounds of fat. 

5) Created better eating habits. 

6) Started what will become an exercise habit. 

I’m good with that.  

We’ll try the picture tomorrow.  You’ll see what Garnier Olia has done to me.