April 26, 2018

Let The Truth Be Known

Tough-Times-Quote

I thought I would do a little heart to heart blog. As I think these are just as vital as putting out information.

Since the beginning of 2013, I have been hit every which way emotionally, mentally and physically. And the one thing I didn’t want to happen…HAPPENED…I gained weight. The scale number is not what really bothers me, it’s how I feel in my own skin and in my clothes.

I have dealt with a huge emotional turmoil with my daughter, then to deciding to sell my house and it closing so quick I had only 15 days to find a new place for my daughter and I to live and pack up my entire house by myself, move and unpack.  To having my hours cut at my job that didn’t even pay the bills before the cut.

You see, let me get you in my head for a bit…hold on this could be scary!!

When I weighed 275, my self-esteem was in the negative, not even at a baseline of zero. I hated being me! I hated my own skin, my own body, everything. I hid behind oversized baggy clothes.

Then I lost HALF OF ME…I hit 138 and I hated how that looked too. I finally found a place where my mind agreed with what my body showed.

Now fast forward to this year…I have gone from a happy size 7-8…to a very unhappy size 12. (I use to be a size 24). My bras don’t fit like normal; things don’t lay across my body like they should. I am disgusted with myself.

weight gain

BUT HERE’S THE THING…this is where your mental state of mind can destroy you! The way I felt at 275 is EXACTLY how I feel now at 175! I have gained 15lbs in over 3 months, yet in my mind it feels like I regained every pound I initially lost!

So where does this leave me?

I am now dedicated this month to getting back on track mentally…if the weight follows, GREAT; if not, I know I am at least MENTALLY back in the game!

Staying Positive AFTER An Injury or Surgery

You might be thinking to yourself, is she kidding, everyone at some point becomes negative during the recovery process! My response to that is, you are ABSOLUTELY correct! We do, it is part of human nature for us, but at the same time, we also have the capabilities to counter act that choice.

Let me give you a little background to back up what I am about to say to you. I am a 37yr old single mom and I should have died not once, but 4 different times in my life. I have been told by doctors at 3 points in my life that I would NEVER walk again. I was told my life would NEVER be the same. I lived through 3 near fatal car accidents, my last being in the line of duty. The other thing that almost killed me was when I contracted bacterial meningitis. I have more titanium in my body holding me together than anyone should EVER have. I have gone through 20 surgeries to date, mostly on my lumbar spine, pelvic and left hip. So now that you know a little about me, let me tell you why I am a SURVIVOR, not a victim!Never believe words of people who have NEVER gone through what you are going through, and YES this includes the doctors treating you! You truly are your own worst enemy when it comes to your recovery! It is just like when we want to hit a PR (personal record), if we go into negatively, we might as well NEVER even try! But when we go into with a positive mindset, it is truly amazing what our minds are capable of putting our bodies through! Another thing about mindset, don’t be a stubborn or a prideful person when you reenter the box/gym. You do this; you might as well have just stayed home! Let me tell you this now and get it out of the way – YOU WILL NOT BE THE SAME PERSON AS BEFORE, throw out all your old goals and make new ones for the person you are NOW!!  Now, I am not saying that you will never get back to where you were, hell you might even exceed all your past PRs! What I am saying is your body has changed, PERIOD! There is no going back to the way it use to be. It is time to start finding out what works for the body you have NOW! This is probably one of the biggest struggles people deal with when in recovery. The second is the time from which the injury or surgery occurred to when you actually get back into the box/gym!

So let’s talk about that for a second, that down time can either be used to play the pity card or it can be used to start formulating a path in which you want to go. Only YOU can make this decision. Only YOU can decide if want to be the “oh woe is me” person or the SURVIVOR! And I don’t care how many cheerleaders you have in your corner, NONE OF THEM can do this journey for you! Matter of fact, there will come a point that if you hear one more positive word out of someone’s mouth, you literally might go insane!

In closing, let me just make one thing clear! An injury or surgery doesn’t define WHO YOU ARE…you do!  I am not going to sit here and tell you that it’s going to be easy, it actually might be the hardest fight of your life, and like me, you might have to fight it a few times. But what I will tell you is not only will it be worth it, but you will be stronger than you have ever been hitting any PRs!!!

Oh The Questions I Get Asked…Part I

I get some pretty strange questions all the time and some pretty personal ones too! I am getting use to my life being an open book, whether I am having a bad day, just hit one of my goals, or just an average run of mill day…I am letting people see that I am only human, just like everyone else. I don’t think I am better than anyone, nor do I think that I am a failure.

After all, failure only occurs when you stop trying! I am going to list some questions I have been asked and I am also going to respond to them! I never stop trying, I might tweak it to make it fit better for me, or I might change direction or it might end up turning out completely different than what I pictured, but I never stop trying.

I am going to list some questions I have been asked and I am also going to respond to them!

 

Why are you squatting that way?

You might be wondering what my squats look like now! I definitely squat different than a person who has had no back or hip surgeries or injuries. Can I squat the same way that an Olympic lifter does, yes I can. But in order for me to do repetitive sets, at a solid weight, I have to tweak it. Sometimes my feet are farther out in front of my stance and I squat basically sticking my butt out and chest up. Another way is using plates under my heels. This way takes some pressure off, which helps me dramatically! I also never just push out squats as fast as I can; I use steady consistency throughout the entire movement, sometimes even holding the squat in the down position for a 3-5 count.  If I want to do explosive squats, I never do them with weight; I do air squats, which is still a good training for my glutes, hamstrings and quads. These even work my core.

Why don’t you ever tell me to do sit-ups?

It’s not that I don’t like them; there are just so many other core strengthening techniques that don’t put as much pressure on my lower spine and yield better results (I think).

You have chronic pain? But you don’t look in pain?

This one almost always gets me to laugh. My response, please explain to me exactly what pain looks like. I have learned to mask my pain with a smile. It helps me get through it. I don’t have time to be bed ridden, after all I escaped death 3 times…I WANT TO LIVE MY LIFE…even in chronic pain!

How are you handicapped…you are so young? (Or I get the disgusted look and eye roll)

Yes, I am young, but I have had a handicap parking permit on and off since I have been 18. I have lived MANY years on a walker, trust me no 18 year old wants to have to depend on a walker! But it was letting me walk, something that I was told I would never do! I now have a permanent handicap permit and I don’t use it all the time. I use it on my bad days or when I know I will be walking for awhile because I just might not make it back to my car. You see, I can’t stand long on my left leg. Within about 30-45 minutes the throbbing starts and the stabbing pains kick in.  Then within 15-30 minutes after that all begins, my entire leg goes dead, completely numb. Yet my hip is completely ON FIRE. Then I start over compensating and my lower back then gives out. So yes, I am handicap in the eyes of my doctors (not the government), but I don’t consider myself handicapped, I just have limitations that I have work around.

Oh, you were injured in the line of duty? You must be very well taken care of!

OK…I have one word….HA!!! Not even close! That so called family, the “Brotherhood” you hear about…cut the umbilical cord the night of my accident. I had to literally fight for everything; my paycheck, my healthcare, I was even cut off early from physical therapy before I could walk because I was told it wasn’t necessary. I was forced out because I became a liability. The agency I worked for is not part of a union, so the Sheriff dictates how things are run, he changes the rules to FIT as he sees fit. I resigned after 10 years of dedicated service without even a thank you. So, no I am not taken care of, actually if it wasn’t for my family I would be homeless and many of days my daughter and I would gone without food.