Category Archives: attitude

How can I get better without hurting?

No Pain, No Gain.  Am I pushing my muscles and tendons and ligaments to their limits?  No.  I am walking to my car, up the stairs in my house, out in my yard to move my hose for the new planties.  So why am I so sore?  Am I doing extra work at the gym?  Am I getting a thorough work out at the Physical Therapist?  Well…  10 min of my workout in PT is spent with a warm pack on my leg.  It is followed by about 5 min of deep tissue massage (which really hurts especially around the screws in my appliance).  I then have about 3-5 min of ultrasound therapy.  20 min of non active therapy.  40 min of marching, standing on 1 leg, battement tendus (French ballet term), doing step ups, a hip sled, and stretching exercises.  But it didn’t hurt the day of or the day after.  So why is it hurting now?  Why do I still limp?  Why am I so hungry?  oh wait, next blog…stay on topic kid!

I’m finding it difficult to locate my center of gravity.  It seems when I stand on my recovering leg that my center is to the left of my leg and I’m leaning over to compensate.  I try to move my hips so my center of gravity is center.  That is most uncomfortable. 50833843-image-of-young-overweight-person-doing-exercise-at-home-while-standing-with-one-feetPasse

So that isn’t me, but do you see how the upper part of the body is tilted over the right side of the standing leg?  It should be centered over the foot and the right hip extended further so the upper body is straight up and down like the dancer on the right.  Yes, she’s holding onto a barre, but she could hold that position without the barre as well.  I cannot seem to get myself into that position.

Heck, I can’t walk on a tread mill without holding on because of the limp.  Driving me crazy.  9 months now, beginning the 10th month of recovery.  What a pain.

Congratulations! You’re cured!

I don’t get that assessment very often.  I got it from my orthopedic doctor yesterday.  But Doctor, I still hurt.  “Yup.  You’re going to hurt.”  But Doctor, I still limp.  “Yup, you still limp.”  How am I cured?  “Your leg is no longer broken.”  Ah.

Then, from the Physical Therapist…”You know, eventually you’ll have to be doing exercises on your own to keep making progress.  You have to get to the point where you don’t need us any more.”

Maybe I should have washed the clothes I wear to the appointments…though I didn’t notice anyone’s eyes tearing up and heard no retching noises.

I did get new shoes yesterday.  They are supposed to compensate for my outward roll on my right foot and support my weak left leg.  Both have a very high arch support in them.  I feel like my foot is sliding off the center of the shoe.  They felt ok in the store though.  Is there a thing where when you cross the threshold, the shoes have a trigger that turns off the comfort level?  I guess I’ll find out if it works in a few days.

So for all intents and purposes, my leg is healed.  It still hurts to stand on it for any length of time, and I cannot go up and down stairs like I used to.  But…

IT’S PROGRESS!

 

Oh Yesssss!

So yesterday, I talked about the way people in the US use any occasion to get out of work and imbibe to stupidity.

What are the things most prized here?  They were the good old American Work Ethic and our Puritan beliefs which, by the way, no one currently knows or understands.  The Puritans were not against alcohol, but drinking to excess.  The Puritans were not against leisure of any sort, but they assigned it to Sundays.  The Puritans were not against sex, it was just relegated to marriage.  The American Work Ethic was basically this:  Work so you can eat and have the necessities of life.

What is the thing that everyone seeks?  It’s a way of life that does not require a work ethic and is based on hedonist beliefs.  We desire what would be considered sinful.  Ah!  People prefer to put themselves first in every situation.  Look at Eve.  “Ooo! If I eat this, I’ll have the knowledge of Good AND Evil?  Then I’ll be just like GOD?  Gimme gimme!”  She was thinking of herself.  Cain was thinking of himself.  This is ongoing.  Now it is passe to think of “sin” and just call it a life choice.  The perspective has changed.  Anything I want to do should be legal.  It feels so good it can’t be bad.  It feels so right it can’t be wrong.  It’s hypocritical to think that we can legislate morality if no one in the country wants a moral compass because that would lead to lowering our self image.  We NEED to define sin for our society to function and we CANNOT define sin because there’s a separation of church and state (which is no where in the constitution by the way.)

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. (Thank you Wiki)

So we go merrily along our way doing whatever the heck we want until someone gets hurt and then we get arrested for doing something stupid.  Did you know they actually had a “sin tax?” A sin tax is an excise tax specifically levied on certain goods deemed harmful to society, for example alcohol and tobacco, candies, drugs, soft drinks, fast foods, coffee, sugar, and gambling.  (Thank you Wiki)  If it’s too expensive, we won’t buy these goods and thereby save our society from sugar-high drunken smokers who crash into fast food drive thru windows.  And if it doesn’t work, the tax should pay for the damage.  Doh!

So we reward ourselves for doing something good by doing something bad.  How typically American.  “I worked for a year for this vacation!  So now I’m going to Las Vegas and lose all my bonus, get stupid drunk, cheat on my spouse and make me regret having worked all year.”  “I worked for a month to lose these 2 pounds!  I’m going to have 2 pounds of cake to celebrate…”  oops.  “I’ve been sober 2 years, 6 months, 3 days and 14 hours!  Let’s have some champagne!”  Let’s turn every holiday into an excuse to get drunk and over eat.  Let’s buy a car that goes 200 mph so we can drive 70 on the interstate.  We long to do sinful things because we are sinful people.  It has a certain adrenaline rush when you know you’re doing something illegal or immoral, and you think to yourself, it won’t hurt anyone, so it’s ok.  If it’s illegal or immoral, don’t do it.  Actions have consequences.

Morals are not something you legislate, they come from upbringing and reverence for life.  We have so many in prison because we don’t acknowledge that fact.  Nearly all of the Non-violent crime and so many of the violent crime involves no reverence for life.  It’s not a hard concept.  With moral law, we don’t need as many civil laws to protect people.  Moral law is written on the heart and is enforced by the conscience.

Does it hurt people?  Don’t do it.  Does it endanger your health or life?  Don’t do it.  Does it threaten someone’s livelihood?  Don’t do it.  Is it selfish and petty?  Don’t do it.  Would your grandma do it?  No?  Don’t do it.  You don’t do it and you teach your children not to do it, and your grandchildren not to do it, and your neighbors and their children not to do it.  You show your friends how not to do it, your enemies how you don’t do it, and YOURSELF how you don’t do it because you revere all life.

So if you do stupid things because you’re trying to escape your world, count your blessings and grow up.  If you are doing bad things because you can, and your only worry is getting caught, you have a serious social problem.

In any case, in all cases, treat people and property with respect.  It’s what you do.  Then fewer stupid things will happen and we’ll all be better off!

 

Oh NOOOO!

I am so disillusioned!  I thought Sinko de Mayo was when you ate mayonnaise by the sink!  Now I find out it’s a DATE?  5th of May…who knew

Apparently nobody.  Cinco De Mayo has nothing to do with Mexican Independence, that was September 16, 1810.  It is a celebration of an underdog victory–the Mexicans beat the French on May 5.  It is usually celebrated by military parades in Mexico.  In the US though, it is a holiday where all the gringos switch to tequila to get drunk.

St. Patrick’s day is a solemn occasion that reveres St. Patrick who was instrumental in converting Ireland to Catholicism. But in the USA, everyone wears green and they dye the water in the Chicago river green as well.  There’s parades and pub crawls, and it has nothing to do with the celebration of St. Patrick’s day.

New Year’s Day is when we make our resolutions and reflect on the past year.  Unless you’re from the US, then you start drinking Dec 30 and get so blasted that they pass out and miss the momentous occasion at midnight on the 31st.

What is it about Americans that we use every excuse to get a day off work and get drunk or high to excess?  How is that fun?  Why do people look for occasions to escape their lives–either by running away from work or spouse or kids or becoming unconscious?  Being drunk isn’t fun.  You can’t see, you can’t talk right, you can’t walk straight, you throw up, you pass out, you lose your inhibitions and do really stupid things that you regret for a long time after.  Why do they have to make low-calorie beer?  Is it to entice you to drink more since you won’t then gain weight?  What is the matter with people?!

It has a lot to do with how people see themselves.  It is not with a small amount of discomfort that I refer to myself as fat and give my fat “sentience” and a name (Obie) and a personality.  If people see themselves as trapped in a job, or in a relationship, or by circumstance with a family, they will engage in escape behavior.  I’ve been good all week!  I deserve to have that cake, since nothing I do will ever make me thin…  Counter intuitive don’t you think?  I will engage in a drinking binge where I end up in a motel with someone I don’t know and have no recollection of the whole night.  That should fix my broken marriage.  What kind of idiot thinks like that?  Quit crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.  Wouldn’t the end result be continued crying at a louder volume and a longer period of time?  Nobody is addressing the root cause of the issue.    We shouldn’t have to feel a need to escape.  We’re not in a hopeless situation.  We’re not fleeing to Canada or Mexico.  (BTW, Are the anti trump celebrities still here?)  We have 46 million people in the US that are foreign born.  People want to come here.  All those other societies with free health care, and better schools and better understanding of immigrants etc, only have a fraction of the number of people going to the US.  How long will the myth of the American dream last?  Longer than you might think.

They all think we’re rich.  We consider ourselves living paycheck to paycheck and just barely scraping by…with a new car, a 52″ screen TV, food of every imaginable type available EVERYWHERE and for EVERYONE.  No lines for staples like bread and milk that run out.

Our WORST problem is that we’re all fat.  Poor Americans, they have too much food.  But we’re the ones trying to escape our lives?  Good morning America…count your blessings.

It’s raining

It’s Pouring, the Old Man is Snoring…

Ok I’m snoring.  I’m lying on my side in the Physical Therapist’s office on a padded table with a heating pad on my leg.  It’s really heavy and it’s moist heat.  *beep*  Time for the ultra sound.  zzzzzzz.  *beep*  “Were you sleeping?”  Me?  No.  Why do you ask?  “Because normally people who are awake don’t snore.”  oh

She really really worked my IT band–the tendon that connects the hip and the knee.  Iliotibial band it’s called.  I’m cross-eyed in pain…and also I don’t have my glasses on so I may not be cross-eyed, just blurry.  ANYWAY, after the torture comes the exercises.  Leg lift with 2 lb. weights, side lift with same weight (OWIE!  that one’s hard.)  Hamstring stretch 3 x at 30 seconds.  Leg extensions with 3 lb weight.  Leg curl with blue band resistance.  Calf stretch 3 x at 30 seconds.  Hip glider machine, 3 springs, 15 times.  Sideways stepping, marching then on to the box.  It’s 4″ box I step up on my bad leg, touch my right toe and then step back down.  15 of those.  After that, I step up on my bad leg and then continue forward and step down on my good leg.  15 of those.  5 min on the tread mill, lvl 1.

Then I walk out of the office.  I don’t limp for a good 45 min after that.  Then I sit down and of course it tightens up again, but I’m not limping as bad.  But it’s raining.  I have to limp fast to get to the car!  So I am making measurable progress.

I do have a question though.  You all know how hard it is for me to loose weight.  Very strict diet, and I do as much exercise as I can given my current physical state.  Do the probiotics work?  Could I have a digestive problem instead of a calorie problem?

Weirdness

I went to the gym on Tuesday, then Thursday.  *grins*  and now weirdness has set in.  My good hip is cramping, and my injured hip “pops.”  It feels like the muscle catches on something and then releases like a rubber band.  The funny thing is that after 5 min on the treadmill, my ARMS hurt.

Tuesday, I did the interval training on the stationary bike, lvl 3 and lvl 8 like earlier.  Then the 5 min on the tread mill at lvl 1 speed and lvl 1 elevation.  Thursday, I did the sit up, stand and twist exercise.  I use the inclined bench. I hold a 10 pound weight on my chest while I lie on the bench, then I rise to a sitting position and stand up in one motion.  Then I twist left and right without moving my hips then return to the lying down position again.  I did 3 sets of 15.  This was followed the 5 min on the treadmill on lvl 1 and 1.  Argh!

The popping sensation doesn’t hurt, so I don’t think I’m tearing muscle, but it is annoying.

In case you’re wondering, and even if you’re not, I am monitoring my carb intake and protein.  I cannot get enough protein without getting lots of fat.  It seemed that I was awfully busy this week!!!  But I continued to eat right.  I went to bed before midnight every night I was so tired.  I guess that’s a good thing as more sleep helps you realize you’re not desperate for food and on the hunt for a week.  At least that’s how I understand the psychology.

What I don’t understand is that it’s not calories in versus calories out, or energy expended in working out, or strength in both voluntary and involuntary muscle that causes weight gain or loss…it’s psychology.  I HATE psychology.  I prefer math, statistics, biochemistry and physiology.   There’s no “theory” there at least at the level I’m working at.  It’s facts and numbers and chemical reactions and such.  You can put the numbers to paper and do this and this and this and you get that result.  But no….If your body thinks (that’s like saying if your pillow thinks, or your chair thinks…) that there may be a problem getting food, it will store up food for a rainy day.  In other words, if you skip a meal, you get fatter.  If your body thinks that it has to stay up longer in order to protect itself or look for food, it stores more food.  In other words, if you stay up all night playing video games, you get fatter.  Even if you don’t stay up all hours of the night and eat regularly, if you don’t eat enough calories, your body thinks to itself, “Self, this person is crazy, store up more food!  We have no idea what’s coming up next!!!”  and you get fatter.  C’MON body!  Get with the program!  Do the MATH!  You already have too much stored, and the rats are going to get it or it will spoil!  (Body laughs knowingly…fat doesn’t spoil!)  Yes it does, did you smell that old Crisco we threw out last week?  (Body is shocked.  Body isn’t very smart.  Body is a pillow.)  I want to smack Body.  Body is not supposed to think.  NOOOO, could it be?  It ISN’T body that’s thinking!!!  It’s OBE.  (remember Obe?  The name I gave to my sentient fat?)  Obe laughs uproariously.   (check my previous blog)   “Obe!  Look!  A Donut!!!”  Obe runs for the donut, I close the door and lock him in.  Obe is not happy.

Fail

All that work.  I’m a failure.  How useless am I?  Why even try?

Wow, I read this from a friend of mine and thought that sounded familiar.  Oh yeah.  I said that.  I jumped into my teaching/coaching mode and asked some questions to change the direction of his thinking and then formulated a plan of instruction to lead him to a better conclusion.  Silly me.  I should have done that on myself!!!

Why didn’t I?  It’s harder to get perspective when you’re in the middle of the mess.  When you’re stuck in a hole, all you can see is hole.  You don’t see the birds and the clouds and the trees and the snow and the… see?  All you see is the hole.  Someone yells down the hole, “YOU SHOULD SEE THIS LOVELY SUNSET!”  And of course you’re thinking, “What’s a sunset?  I’m in a hole.”  Someone else yells down, “I JUST HEARD THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BIRDSONG!”  I’m hearing dripping noises.  “YOU SHOULD TRY THIS MARVELOUS DINNER!”  I’m in a hole–there’s no food down here.  The people outside of the hole think that motivating you will get you out of the hole.  Send someone down with a rope!

Failing at something is a normal process.  If you were good at something from the beginning, you wouldn’t grow, you wouldn’t add to your knowledge or wisdom, you wouldn’t get stronger or more flexible.  A failure is not someone that tries and goofs up. A failure is someone that doesn’t try anything new.   Too much psychology spends time in labeling people and situations.  All those silly tests and quizzes on Facebook tend to help you explore your giftedness and then slap a label on you.  Which villain are you?  Which Celtic myth are you?  Which Harry Potter professor are you?  Why do we do these quizzes?  How do you feel when you discover that you’re too wimpy and kind-hearted to be a villain?  Are you disappointed?  What if you find out your not Celtic?  What if you turn out to be the janitor in Harry Potter?  Does that make you feel bad?  I took a Hymn quiz and got 100%.  This meant I was the elite of Catholics.  I took the same test that said I was in the top 1% of Lutherans.  Wait…  It was the exact same questions!  So what does that mean?

We have been led to believe that we must fit into a category or a description.  We belong to this group or that group.  We succeed or we fail.  But that is not the case.  In order to succeed, you have to fail.  It is not the million dollars you’ve saved, it is the person you had to become to save it.  It is not the marathon you finished in record time, it was the hours and hours of trying and failing that allowed you to run the marathon.  It is not the straight A’s, but the student you have to become to get them.  Each journey will have failures in it.  You have to fall short in order to grow enough to succeed.

I failed in my diet yesterday.  Yes, it was mostly protein–cheese, summer sausage,ham and cheese ball with Triscuits.  Then I had homemade eggnog.  Wow!  I love that stuff!  But I am not a failure.  I will eat well today.  I will do my PT exercises.

Failure is not a character trait, it is just a measure against a goal you set that tells you how far you need to go.  Have you reached it?  “Not yet.”

And if you know someone in a hole, get in there with them and work things out together.  Happy New Year.

On the Road again

I couldn’t believe it.  I was soooo happy for something like this to happen.  A couple of years ago, I would have thought someone who was looking forward to doing this activity was absolutely insane.  What was it?  I got on the stationary bike for 30 min.

??  Believe it or not it was a major step forward.  A while back, I would get on the bike and watch SVU with subtitles to take my mind off this odious task.  It was in no way pleasurable.  It was boring and it put my butt to sleep.  It tired me out and made me hurt the next day.  Who could look at that and be excited?

After I broke my hip last August, I was restricted to walking with crutches.  When they put that much metal in your hip, they have to move a lot of muscle and tendons to work on it.  This means there’s a lot of swelling and bruising, and the recovery time is long–6 months to a year.  It hurts.  It hurts to lie down, to sit, to stand, to walk, to drive…  But you soldier on.  The doctor was pleasantly surprised on how well I was moving.  The physical therapist was amazed to see how much weight I could put on it, and how well I articulated my foot.  I was confused.  I didn’t think I was making much progress at all.  I was frustrated.  It still hurt.  In fact it continues to hurt.  How was I to strengthen this leg?

xray-3-11-8-16-001

bionic hip

I was given some exercises to strengthen the leg and I did those when I went to the gym.

Of course, it occurred to me that it was silly to work just the leg angle when I could do a myriad of upper body exercises while I was there.  Granted, my forearms, shoulders and triceps were getting a workout from using the crutches, however I added biceps, back, abs, and chest exercises just to round things out.  One day, I did stand-ups from an inclined bench.  I lay down on the bench, sat up and continued into a standing position, then sat down again.  Sitting down without using my hands was new (and scary) but I didn’t have far to go to get my butt onto a surface, so I didn’t have to worry about falling.  The next week, I added a 10 lb. weight and a twist after I stood up.  I was getting stronger.

So last Tuesday, I rode the bike!  30 min!  Of course, it was level 1.  My trainer had me go 4 min on 1 and then boosted it up to lvl 5 for a minute.  I was SO excited.

I haven’t had as much water this week as I did last week.  I feel so dry now!  Need to drink some more.

I’m back to the weight I was when I started this journey 3 years ago.  208.9  Dam.  But I’m healing!  YAY!

 

And so it goes~

I love that song by Billy Joel.  …”In every heart there is a room, a sanctuary safe and strong…”  Mine’s a bathroom.  It has a scale in it.

Isn’t that weird.  The only thing in my life that shows whether I’m progressing (positively or negatively) is an inanimate object that just gives me a number?  My trainer asks me how I’m feeling.  My physical therapist asks me how I’m moving.  The doctors ask me if the pain is better.  My friends ask me how I’m holding up.  Those are answers I have to provide.  I must do a self reflection and review all my physical, mental and spiritual aspects and TELL people how I’m doing.  But I step on the scale and it tells me.  I look in the mirror and it tells me.  I walk up or down the stairs and my body tells me.  I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind tells me.  Then I reflect on what the scale, the mirror and the stairs tell me and my spirit responds.  What exactly do these things tell me?

The scale tells me that I am not eating correctly and getting enough activity in to burn calories.  It says, “Your weight is the same.” The mirror tells me that my stance is not balanced and that now my foot rolls out to compensate for walking on the crutch, and that my left leg cannot move backwards as far as my right.  So the mirror is saying, “You’re crooked and getting stiffer.”  The stairs tell me that every time I put weight on my left leg, my thigh is going to protest and my butt hurts.  They tell me, “Your muscles are still doing more than they can handle and will hurt while you keep using them.” My mind then makes the leap that I am not recovering as quickly as I ought.  Treacherous mind says, “You will be in pain forever!”  My spirit replies that it isn’t a calendar that measures the time it takes to heal.  Who cares if it is 2 months or 2 years?  The doctor says that the bone is healing well.  Then the barometer drops and I feel like I’ve re-broken the bone.  And so it goes…and the only one who knows is the scale.

“to heal the wounds of workouts past, until a new one comes along…”  I tried an experiment, and lo and behold it didn’t work.  It was the crutch work out.  It became easier and easier for me to move around on the crutches and so I didn’t get the workout I thought I was getting.  Then I moved to 1 crutch and it took even less effort.  Then I realized that part of the difference in my weight drop was the amount of water I was drinking.  So I increased the water per day and that helped some.  But still, it doesn’t matter that I’ve been in constant pain for nearly 4 months.  How do I feel?  I hurt.  I’m stiff, and if I sit or sleep or stand for any length of time, it hurts worse.  I cannot walk without support of a crutch or a cane.  But I still go to the gym to do my PT exercises.  And because I’m mostly inert now, my calorie count has to go down while my water intake has to go up.  And so it goes…  Stupid scale.  The problem I’m facing is that cheating is not an option.  1 cheat on the nutritional plan costs me months to recover.  That means only 1 slice of pizza, only 1/2 cup of soda, only a 3 oz burger.  No exceptions.  No cake…

“I spoke to you in cautious tones…”  Don’t you DARE go up you confounded scale.  “You answered me with no pretense…”  How badly do you want to feel down the road?  Put down that 2nd slice of pizza!  “And still I feel I said too much, my silence is my best defense.”  “But it’s my birthday,” I squeaked, holding back the sobs.

“And every time I’ve held a rose, it seems I only felt the thorns…”  Yes, I’m moving around better on my 1 crutch, yes I can take a shower without help into the bathtub, and yes, I can dress myself.  But, I don’t think I can put enough weight onto my left leg without collapsing, and I hurt.  That’s what I focus on.  Not the progress I’ve made, but the progress I haven’t.  “And so it goes, and so it goes, but I will suffer I suppose…”

“But if my silence made you leave, then that would be my worst mistake…”  So I don’t write on my measurable progress blog because no one reads it or looks at it anyway, but maybe someone needs to see they’re not alone in their troubles and there’s someone out here that is going through the same challenges.  What if the person that needs to see this is just getting introduced to this material and I decide not to continue my whining or journaling my progress?  That would be my worst mistake.  “So I will share this room with you, and you can have this heart to break.”  If no one responds, my heart will be hurt, but I must be brave enough to risk it.

“And this is why my eyes are closed, it’s just as well for all I’ve seen.”  I’ve been on this path for a long time and have not made measurable progress except now I am bigger.  So I don’t want to look in the mirror, look at the scale, traverse the stairs or wake up in the middle of the night.  I know I have to go through failure to get to success, but it’s been a much longer road than I anticipated.  I am on the road, but I’m not looking at the scenery.  “And so it goes, and so it goes, and you’re the only one who knows.”  Just my scale and those who accidentally read my blog.

“So I would choose to be with you, that’s if the choice is mine to make.  But you can make decisions too, and you can have this heart to break.”  So I will continue to blog on this site.  You can read it or not, take it to heart or not, respond or not.

“And so it goes, and so it goes…and you’re the only one who knows.”

With apologies to Billy Joel.

208.1 pounds