I had to take a step back and realize what had "gone wrong". I had to really think about why I wasn't happy and what I REALLY wanted to do with my health. At some point in the last 9 months I had lost momentum to keep up my weight loss streak. In those 9 months I have gained 18 lbs. I bite my nails more than ever.
Something was wrong. I had to figure it out. It wasn't easy to focus on it either since it's the end of the season with my job. I had absolutely become obsessed with a certain person and honestly my attention was elsewhere.
To top it off my right foot had continued to give me trouble and my running had stopped gradually partly because of the pain and partly because I just wasn't feeling it. When I FINALLY looked up my symptoms and then went to the doctor to get it checked I found out I have plantar fasciitis.
|A sharp heel pain like walking on broken glass.|
Now I had already looked up the symptoms and I had no doubt that's what I had. Getting the doctor to say it just confirmed it. Plantar fasciitis seems to be a common injury with runners. I had read online that it would take months if not a year for it to heal and during that time I couldn't run. I was prepared to hear that from the doctor as well when I asked him;
"So I can't run. For how long? How long will it take to heal?"
His answer almost made me burst in to tears, "It's chronic."
CHRONIC. That horrible, hated, doomed, disgusting word that has made my life hell for the last 10+ years.
Chronic. The word that means that no matter what I do to try and better my health I get screwed over for LIFE.
C.H.R.O.N.I.C. The vain of my existence. The reason I have to take pills all the time. The reason I am so self conscious of showing different parts of my body (scars). The reason why I wasn't able to have regular periods. The reason why I started this life changing journey in the first place.
And hearing that news when I'm frustrated because I lost my favorite and best form of exercise (swimming) and had been trying desperately to keep the weight gain at bay when I saw I was yo-yoing back up. The only motivation I still had, the goals I had for this year (to run/walk a marathon by the end of the year) were stripped from me. The foot pain itself wasn't what broke me. It wasn't even the rude doctor. It was what it meant.
I had been working so hard to try to change my life to the healthier but the huge weight plateau I experienced, my career change, my struggles with food and now this injury that took the only type of exercise I could do without having to rely on a gym membership or any special equipment (since I live so far from any place that has a gym); add to it that it's the end of the work season, I'm tired and it was the T.O.M, by the time I said goodbye to the doctor, bought my shoe insoles at the pharmacy, and walked across the parking lot to my car I started crying.
I couldn't deal with it. I broke down in the parking lot. I had other errands to do so each time I had to stop and get out of the car I would pull myself together. Every time I would get back in the car the tears would start again. At some point I had to slow down because I was worried my tears would block my vision enough to make it hazardous to drive.
BUT instead of taking out my frustrations with food I went to REI. I decided to say f*ck it and went on a shopping spree. I bought two new pairs of hiking shoes (with foot support), hiking socks, and pants. I was going to need them for this summer and there was a sale going on. I took my frustrations out on my wallet. Maybe not the best decision but it was healthier than scarfing down a large pizza (which I've done before).
I came back to the top of the hill and the house decided to go out. I decided to go with them to distract myself. I luckily ran in to my favorite person at the moment and just being near him helped calm me a lot.
Now a week has passed and I got a battery for my scale. I checked my weight and saw I weigh 218 lbs again. The weight I had been gaining must have subsided because I have gone down a bit. I talked about my foot pain to others and have been searching different ways of getting exercise in. The doctor suggested swimming (oh the irony!) and bicycling which I don't have access to right now but I'm working on it. I also started practicing different foot stretches and found an easy way to ice my foot. The stretches and icing are working wonderfully and my foot already feels much better.
I always said I wasn't in love with running, but being told by a doctor that I couldn't run just gave me the perspective of how much I had been using running not only as exercise but as a mental escape as well. Now that I can't run I feel a little lost. So I go for walks instead. It's not the greatest thing to do but because I don't have access to much else it's all I can do right now to at least keep myself active. I slow down when I feel my foot act up and I make sure to ice it whenever I come back from a walk or hiking with my students. I'm going to have to deal with this until my foot gets better.
In a way I'm actually a little excited now. Taking running out of the picture I now have to think of creative ways of working out and it's taking me out of my comfort zone. I have to think! I have to really see what I like and what's available for me.
I'm still very upset that my plans are ruined. But this also means I can now make new plans. I'm about to finish my job in the mountain and I'm going on a new adventure this summer. But I'm coming back to the mountain this fall, so I'm making plans of things I can do when I come back.
|Hanging out in the mountain town yesterday.|
I am still grateful for how far I've come so far. Every day I marvel at how easy it is to walk up hill compared to two years ago. I am amazed at what I've accomplished so far. I now LOVE dark chocolate, can't stand much candy, have race medals, and think something 'simple' to do is a 3 mile hike. All of this is completely NOT what I thought I could do just a few years ago.
I'm going to keep going. It's what I have to do. I can't give up. I won't. I'm here. Struggling. But I'm here.
More updates to come.