Dealing with Injuries

The past several months of my health and fitness journey have been…really frustrating.  I’ve started a round of 21 Day Fix 4 or 5 times, only to be thwarted by an illness ever. single. time.  Since July, I have had food poisoning, a cold, bronchitis, double pink eye, Hand Foot and Mouth, the stomach bug, another cold, some weird virus thing that gave me a fever for a day.  It was really really discouraging and frustrating to constantly be interrupted during my programs like that. I was sidelined every single round, and it felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with my progress.

After I got The Master’s Hammer and Chisel program for Christmas, I was so excited to start it.  I had never done a 60-day program before, and I was ready to switch up my routine after a year of running and 21DF.  I was ready to start the new year with a new program and get it done.  I wanted to do the program full out for 60 days and show people what kind of awesome results you could get in 8 weeks!

After the first week, I was really happy with what I saw.  I saw more definition in my abs and had lost almost an inch in my waist.  I knew that the next 7 weeks were going to blow people away with my results!

And then I got injured.  My knee was feeling kind of weird during certain moves, but I pressed on because I’m stubborn.  By the end of week 3, I was in legit pain.  My left knee was hurting when it was bent at all–squats, lunges, leaning over to pick up my son–and there was some kind of weird movement in my joint or my muscle; I’m not exactly sure what it is, but something is moving side to side instead of up and down, if that makes sense.  You can put your hand on the side of my knee and feel that something is moving not quite right when I bend down.

I cannot begin to tell you how frustrated I am by this.  I want to believe that I can just ignore it and have it disappear, but some loving people in my life have reminded me that that’s stupid and could lead to a really serious injury that could sideline me for a much longer time period and in a much more serious way.

So for now, I will be wearing a super sexy brace and resting my knee completely.  Since I wasn’t athletic AT ALL growing up (like, not even a little bit), I have no real experience with injuries.  My plan right now is to rest my leg for a week, but I want to still get some workouts in, so I will probably do some Pilates, yoga, and upper body.  If there aren’t any improvements, then I will call to see the doctor to see what’s going on.

There are a few reasons why this is so frustrating to me: one, it’s just another event out of my control that is preventing me from reaching my goals.  Getting sick so many times this year is a result of a high amount of stress in my life, which I’m working on, but injury is really kicking me when I’m down.  I can work out the frustration of a sickness, but to feel like I can’t work out at all with an injury really sucks.

Second, I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, and winter is really hard for me with my depression.  Eating clean and Shakeology help with that, but exercise is a huge part part of my coping mechanism. I’m really nervous to not have that as much and I’m worried about my depression symptoms flaring up as the weather decides it is truly winter and I can’t be outside as much.

Third, I like food.  That’s no secret.  Scaling back on workouts means that not only can I not eat as much, but that I can’t really have cheat meals.  I mean, I know I CAN have cheat meals, but I suddenly feel a lot of pressure to have a perfect diet to make up for the lack of exercise.  I want to still see results, and I know clean eating can make that happen, but I’m also a little bit of a perfectionist; I want to show people the amazing things that clean eating can do for you, but I’m also a real person that likes chocolate chips in my oatmeal.  I’m having a little mental crisis thinking about balancing getting the results I want and not being too hard on myself.

In an effort to stay true to the title of this post, I want to leave you with three tips for dealing with an injury:

  1. Don’t be stubborn.  If something feels off or painful, don’t just push through it.  Give yourself rest, or schedule a visit to the doctor.  Or ask your coworker to feel your leg while you do lunges in the hallway between classes (thanks again, Lauren!).  Figure out what is going on sooner rather than later.
  2. Tighten up your eating.  Your goals don’t really care if you’re hurt.  #toughlove.  Your nutrition is a HUGE part of seeing results, whether you’re working out or not.  You can’t make up for a bad diet with working out, but you can make up for not working out with a super clean diet!
  3. Rest.  Don’t work out.  If you are in pain and have an injury, do not work out until you have been cleared by a medical professional.  And if you yourself are a medical professional, get cleared by someone else.  When you have goals you want to reach, it is so easy to downplay what’s really going on for the sake of continuing on toward your goals.  Don’t make it sound better than it is, and don’t start back too soon.

So that’s my reality right now.  Hopefully I will start to feel more normal in a few more days, or at least be able to get to the doctor soon to get some definitive answers.

I’ll keep you posted!

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