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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Where have all the flowers gone?

I haven't been on this blog in a long while and so much has happened in my life....and I am in the mood and certainly have the time to unload all of my downfalls, losses and struggles to this point.  I've also not written in my other blog called Whimseys-Writings-Thoughts in an equally long time, so I'm going to copy and paste this post over to that blog too (so that I can speak to the followers I have with this blog and the followers I have with the other blog.  A dear brief acquaintance whose blog I follow (Hi Bonnie) has started writing about her weight loss journey and asked if anyone wanted to join her.  Of course my hand went flying up because as you may have notice in my prior posts on this blog I have been on a spiral off the wagon and am just overwhelmed as to how to get back on track.  For those of you new to this blog and don't know my weight loss progress let me give you a brief recap.

So let's start back in June 2011....John and I decided to retire and move from Maine to Texas to be closer to my folks and on our drive down, we stopped and met an old buddy of John's and at that time this is what I looked like (picture with blue crop pants)
...I was tipping the scale close to 200 pounds!!! (Well I'm only 5'2"....so we're talking a bit of a weeble).  We moved to a 55+ senior citizen community that sported 2 professional gyms, 5 pools, 3 golf courses and miles and miles of walking/jogging/running trails.  I had no excuse to not get serious about my weight. The gym doors were opened and the fitness classes were chanting my name....Peggy....oh Peggy....it's time.  My dad had been having problems with arthritic knees and I was all of a sudden driven to get fit and healthy so that I would not have those aches and pains when I got to be his age (then 87). I jumped in with both feet, joined a group called Lighten Up For Life and started eating healthy, measuring food and counting calories.  I started taking fitness classes and back to my true exercise love of power walking.  I went as the expression goes...."Whole Hog"!  On Mondays and Wednesdays you could find me at the gym taking a back to back Core/Cycle and then Cycle/Aerobic Dance classes.  I did 1/2 hour of core work, 45 mins. spinning (stationary bike), another 1/2 hour spinning and a 1/2 hour of aerobic dance.  On Tuesday and Thursday I went to an hour strength class and an hour on Tuesdays with a trainer on the weight machines.  Friday usually found me at the gym lifting weights and Saturday I would power walk and was up to 8 miles in my own personal training for a 1/2 marathon. Things were going unbelievably well.  The weight was literally falling off of me.  I was thrilled when they tagged me as the "Poster Child" of the weight loss group....having lost some weight on my own before I joined the group in September 2011 and then having lost an additional 40 pounds with the program, by the time I went back to Maine for a visit, I was down 52 pounds...and


This is what I looked like

I was on top of the world....started this blog....determined and dedicated to get fit and be fit at 99.....that is still my goal....but somehow along the journey....life happened and I lost my way. And as my friend Bonnie said one day without exercising or watching what went into my mouth became two and two became three....three became a week and so on....and so on!! If you go back and read some of my other posts on this blog you see some of the things that made the wheels to my wagon start falling off.  I began having trouble with and nursing a chronic injury to the Achilles Tendon in my left leg; first trying to just keep working through the pain, then seeing a podiatrist, doing physical therapy, wearing a pneumatic boot, getting cortisone shots etc. offering only temporary relief.  Around that same time my dad who lived in San Antonio started having major medical issues and was in and out of the hospital.  So you begin to see the picture that is forming....I've slowed down on the exercise due to the Achilles Tendon and missed classes when I was down staying with my mom and taking her back and forth while dad was in the hospital and to my dismay picking up my old habit of eating to sooth my stress and concern for my dad's health. I eat when I'm stressed. Then I went on a cruise in December that was just absolutely the best vacation I had ever been on, eating and enjoying the non-stop food supply of delicious culinary presentations.  Telling myself this was just 7 days....a few extra frozen yogurts at the machine you pass by on your way to the pool would be OK....I was on vacation....I'd easily work it off when I returned to the gym the next week.  In the meantime, the heel was not getting any better and neither was dad's health....so more of 'less time at the gym' and comforting my breaking heart at dad's deterioration with more food.  I eat when I'm nervous. And the pounds just kept creeping back on. Sadly I lost my sweet daddy on March 1st....and consoled my broken heart with food.  I eat when I'm sad.

I spent time with mom for most of March helping plan the services and helping her sort through things....no exercise and bad eating....and the pain in the tendon still not letting up.  I saw a new podiatrist who took lots of X-rays and with an MRI told me that I had 25% of my Achilles Tendon torn, I had a fluid-filled bursa behind the torn tendon and a spur hitting the tendon.  More physical therapy was offered as an option with no guarantee that would bring me any better results than the last round of PT brought.......or....the offer of surgery with a good enough guarantee to repair the tendon and get me back to my full workout program..........with one small caveat.....that being the recovery time......(are you sitting down?--it's a doozy)....recovery time of one year!!! What to do, what to do?  I could go on with this constant nagging pain in my heel and never be able to train for the 1/2 and full marathon I so had hoped to do for my 65th birthday or.....I could bite the bullet, have the surgery and begin the long long recovery.  That's what I chose to do and on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, around noon, the nurse told me to have a nice nap and when I woke up in recovery......my year back to being able to do a full workout program to get fit and healthy began.  I'm only on day 7 of that surgery and am literally going bonkers.  I am 3 weeks in a cast (no weight bearing on the left foot), 2-3 weeks in a boot (no weight bearing), 2-4 weeks in a boot (some weight bearing) and physical therapy, then into tennis shoes and walking. 3 months till I can return to daily activities (which takes us to the end of June), 6 months till I can even begin to do any lower body exercises (which takes us to September) and a full year till I can go back to my full workout program that includes balance work, cardio dancing, spin (indoor stationary bike), squats, planks, and my beloved power walking and running to train for the marathon. Only day 7 and I am bored out of my mind.........and do I even need to say it.......  I eat when I'm bored!  I think we can say without a doubt that I use food as a crutch; that food and I do not have a good relationship; that food is like a narcotic to me; as they say on TV it's my 'fix'. It is my drug of choice. It is like an enemy to me....an enemy that I befriend. All joking aside, I am just as much an addict (to food) as an alcoholic is to alcohol or a drug addict is to his drug of choice.

When I was talking to my sweet little 88 year old mother last night, about how the sedentary lifestyle this recovery is causing me to have is definitely not a plus in the weight loss department........mom suggested, "this would be a great time to lose some weight"--"since you know you can't do much exercise, you could really watch what you eat and eat smaller portions". And so that is what I am going to do. I am going to turn this somewhat negative long recovery situation into a positive weight loss program. With the permission of the doctor (I have a 3:00 appointment today) I am going to start doing some upper body exercise, start recording everything I eat on "LoseIt.com" and set my allowable calories/day to an appropriate number to allow for weight loss even with my limited movement. Because it still holds true that you lose weight by expending more calories than you take in and you can lose weight even if your activity is limited....not an easy process, but a challenge I am going to take on.

I am going to take this time to sort through my feelings, to write down my thoughts, to really dig deep into my mind and heart; make a new habit when it comes to where I turn to when I'm stressed, sad, or bored. And it needs to be somewhere other than to food. 
So yes Bonnie I'm with you on this journey....and yes to all the people from Lighten Up For Life who might be following my blog....and yes to the trainers and friends who are cheering me on and continue to tell me my down slide is only a small bend in the road that I can overcome....as I've said before in other notes....I must truly believe that Walls you build yourself...   and that the body achieves what the mind believes

I am going to be limited in my mobility for a while ..... for a long while....so I'm looking to you for support and cheering.  Let's make this happen!  Lets make good use of the time we've been handed and make our stressfull times, our nervous times, our sad times, and our bored times productive. Let's fight off the urge to take care of all these emotions with food.


So I've got a year til I'm back to full workout....I must remember Achilles Tendon surgery scheduled for April....so a year from then...look out fitness world...look out my dear friends Belinda....and Shepherd...I will be back fiercer than ever.....and that is a promise!

I may be laid up right now....I may have to make some major adjustments to reach my goals.....but one thing I do know....just do it 

I am counting the lost pounds as flowers....and so now I am wondering......where have all the flowers gone? 

Right now I am frustrated to tears with the restrictions this recovery is handing up but with your help I'll get through this.  I'll get the wheels back on my wagon, I'll pull myself backup on that  bench seat, grab the reins and start this long journey again.  As Bonnie asked....who's with me?



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