JITZUROE   107,155
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The Hamster Wheel Abuser

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I had a moment of clarity recently, and am now seeking to change my ways.
I am a runner, or, I was until this foot injury months ago (Good Lord has it really been since April?).
You see, my foot started to hurt out of the blue, so I went to the podiatrist. I had 2 separate bone fractures and was ordered to wear the big black boot you can see on my Spark Page for 12 weeks. Count 'em, 12...
I also had to use some bone regenerator machine to nudge my bones into healing faster, since my system is already compromised by a rare disease that I have.

Oh the thoughts that came at me from all angles were incessant.
How would I get my long runs in? What on earth can I do now to work out?
That doc is just being conservative. Surely I can at least do the elliptical right? Umm...no.
Have you ever tried to ride a stationary bike with a massive foot brace? Well I did. Not pretty.

I even had to sleep with the Bertha Boot for the first 4 weeks. Let me just say, you know that line about when the woman of the house is not happy, no one is happy? It's true.
I even went through the 8 stages of grief, I swear.

I didn't know how I had hurt my foot either. I used to joke that I needed a good story to tell people who inquired about my Bertha Boot. "How did it happen?" someone would ask. "I was running with the bulls in Pamplona" I would reply. The best story yet was that I hurt it while drop kicking toasters (ha!).
Although I had no injury to claim, and yes my body is considered a bit more fragile than others due to my disease, I am now certain that I did this to myself.

I would only run 3 days a week on the treadmill and do Insanity dvd workouts on the other days, so it seemed balanced. But it was the duration of those runs and the mindset behind the hours pounding on that hamster wheel that made me realize I had turned something beautiful into and ugly thing.

With the TV on a news channel as I spun that treadmill wheel, I would later tell my friend, "ask me the weather forecast anywhere in the country. Go on, I dare you!" It seemed funny at the time.
But I would usually run between 13-16 miles on my long runs, and I wasn't training for anything.
I was trying to un-do the damage I had caused by stuffing my face the night(s) prior.
Somehow I had twisted my runs into a caloric depletion mechanism and made my bingeing on junk food OK. How could I turn something so wonderful into an unhealthy obsession?
It hit me like a brick as I looked down at Bertha. This was not good. Not at all.

You can't fix things backwards. I needed to change to behavior behind it.

Since I joined Spark, I have been working day to day to improve my eating choices; my 'relationship with food', as they say. I guess that food and I were really tight for a while, but in an abusive way. If you've ever been in a controlling relationship you might understand that feeling. I had not only been damaging my body and spirit by allowing myself to behave this way, but also injuring my marriage at times by being too hard on myself, directing my blame on him.

So as much as I hated the foot brace and wanted to wear those 2 running shoes, I am now actually thankful for this time, since I can see the true cause of those fractures. Fractures in my spirit if you will, and how I needed emotional (and physical) healing.

I can't wait to get my body moving more and leap into cardio workouts once I get the green light from the doc. But I don't think I will jump back onto that hamster wheel for a bit. I need to re-learn some things; do some mental re-wiring.
And be grateful for this journey, without the spinning tread beneath my feet.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINACHST 7/11/2011 8:31AM

    Great Blog! I can relate to feeling the need to exercise more to negate calories that I have eaten. This week I was given orders by the doctor that I needed to take it easy this week, meaning no running for me. MY first thought was I really need to watch what I eat because it is the running that keeps my weight down.

I am glad that you are able to see the positive in your injury and are going to be stronger (mentally and physically) when you are able to start the cardio routines again.

Best wishes to you.

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RYDERB 7/8/2011 2:48AM

    Wow! I'm so touched by this blog! I'm glad that your fractured spirit is healing. "We are stronger in the places we were broken." is one of Jillian Michaels motivational lines. I believe and hope for that everyday.

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JENNSWIMS 7/7/2011 9:30PM

    What a great blog! There are days when I find myself wanting to exercise more and more and more... not to get healthier or so I can run a 5k, but so I can eat more. Twisted thinking indeed, and I appreciate you talking about it so openly.

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CANNIE50 7/7/2011 9:00PM

    I am very moved by this blog. Several of the lines really hit me. I love that you are now rethinking your relationship with exercise (as well as to food). I have said for years that I exercise to get stronger, to battle off depression, to spend time with friends. I don't think of it in a cash register way - calories consumed, calories burned. I have never gotten thinner through exercise, though it does seem to keep a bit of weight at bay but when I was binging I would have had to work out like Michael Phelps to burn off a binge. I think of exercise as an expression of gratitude, rather than penance for gluttony. I wish this for you - it brings more joy and less pain. You are really finding your wisdom and grace - they are the two biggest benefits of aging (though I still say you are a mere child, relatively speaking) . You are making amazing strides and I could not be happier for you - you deserve only the best.

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The Change (no, not puberty)

Monday, July 04, 2011

An elderly couple walked past my husband and I as we were waiting for one of my many doctor appointments this past week. They looked to be about in their 80's. I swear they were the same height, about 5' tall. She had a scarf over her hair, and he had a hat on. The woman in a skirt and blouse, the man had a suit on. Both were wearing huge Reebok sneakers, shuffling by, linked arm in arm. They took 2 laps around the block in front of us. It was beautiful.

I look in adoration at couples who have been together for decades and are still happy. Key words: still happy. I often wonder if each feel that their partner has changed, and as a result, their relationship was even better. Was she slim and perhaps a a knock out beauty years ago? Did she ever struggle with her image? With her weight? Was he supportive of her efforts; loving her regardless?

In the past I know I have been told in a heated argument, "you've changed" when I might not feel the same way about something anymore. My husband and I used to stay up late and then sleep until lunchtime the next day in our courting period. Somehow I morphed into a morning person. I was never into running, but decided to start 8 years ago. Not sure how that happened, but there it is.

Aren't we supposed to change? Was I supposed to retain the naiveté about the all of the things I did when I was married at 24? Should I whip out the canned veggies, ranch dressing and shake n' bake tub to make tonights dinner since this was what I considered a gourmet meal as a new bride?

People mature. Taste buds evolve. What once required American cheese to constantly reside in my dairy shelf now has real cheddar (light of course), and the cupboards are no longer stocked with sleeves of chips a'hoy cookies and fruity pebbles for that afternoon snack.

Educating myself with tid bits about health has encouraged me to keep healthier options for well, everything in my home. From sunflower seeds to SPF 30, I want to lengthen our years as healthier people, and not retain the same summertime behavior as I did years ago (too many cocktails by the pool and baby oil - eeks!)

I think that the evolution of my marriage was first met with strong resistance. Some people don't like change, but how else does one grow?
Growth in relationships with spouses, friends, strangers, even how we relate to food shows growth within ourselves.

After all, I speak for myself personally when I say that my relationship with food needs desperately to grow and mature, far from the adolescent behavior I have had with it for too many years. How else did I gain so much weight? How else will I attain my goal in the long term if I don't change?

How many times have you ruined an otherwise nice evening since you felt bad about yourself, and then dragged your significant other over the coals for it? I've got my hand held high here. That's definitely something that needs to change.
When (and I do mean when) I do change my behavior around food, I know I will be better (and lighter) for it. That healthier relationship is something I have struggled with (and lost to) for years, but I know it will transform other areas of my life, my weight, and my marriage for the better.

As I drink my tea and type away, I can see that little note on my Yogi tea which says, "Realize that the other person is you".
Got it.

Now where do I order 2 pair of oversized Reeboks???


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RYDERB 7/6/2011 12:47AM

    Your blog reminded me of this quote…
"We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons; inspiration or desperation. If you don't like where you are, change it! You're not a tree. "
- Jim Rohn

The old couple you described could have been my parents. They've changed a lot over my lifetime, but they did it holding hands. The first "fight" I ever had with my husband, was over Bologna emoticon I bought "low fat" and flipped out! Today, we were grocery shopping and he just started laughing. I looked to see what was so funny and realized we were passing the Bologna. It's been over 14 years since he's touched the stuff. We've definitely changed! Thanks for giving me a little more inspiration to keep changing for the better!

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NUMD97 7/4/2011 4:22PM

    This was very sweet. Nicely written. Thanks.

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JENNSWIMS 7/4/2011 3:35PM

    Awesome. I tell my husband that I want to grow old together, not go to a nursing home together. :)

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GENELDABELDA 7/4/2011 12:37PM

    thanks so much for your blog. At first, I thought you were going to be talking about hot flashes but I was pleasantly surprised. I can totallly relate. A year and a half ago my husband got serious about improving his health. He lost over 100 pounds by exercising and changing his diet big time. I could hardly get excited for him because I felt so insecure about being left behind, and it really hurt him.

Now its my turn, and this change feels good. And yet it is something you have to do yourself. My spouse changing did change our relationship but it didn't change me. Only I can do that...and it feels good to be able to say, "I am!"

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CANNIE50 7/4/2011 12:07PM

    I love the images, and I can relate to so much of what you say in this blog. As you well know, I have been having "food fights" with my husband for our entire 20 years together. It has gotten so much better, based on him seeing that I was actually serious about "cleaning up my act" rather than just me waiting for him to change to make things easier on me. Yes, my hand is held high as well, for spoiling an evening based on my own failings. I am happy to say it happens much less often, now.

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"8-10 pair of jeans, really?" He asked.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yep, and I need EVERY SINGLE PAIR baby!

Tell me I am not alone. I have at least 8 pair of jeans currently. Actually, even though some might rotate in and out of that stack (acid wash, zippers, etc.), I think I have always had about 8-10 pair of jeans.

Have I become some chipmunk of denim, and my closet is the knot hole in the tree, waiting for winter?

I really do think I have a pair for every occasion.
Need help painting your room? I've got a beat up pair that are so stretched out that I can actually breathe AND paint, which is useful.
Going to a cute-but-casual event? Darker washed longer jeans so I can wear heels. By the way, what is cute-but-casual anyway?
If there is a work related event that is considered casual, I have a rarely worn pair of jeans with a waistline that would not dare threaten to show my bum cleavage (embarrassing!)
Then there are two pair of the exact same size/length of jeans, that seem to be an oddity. One pair is comfortable, and the other is too big and too short in length (???), but I can't remember which one's which, so I have them both...
Waaaay at the bottom is the pair of jeans that I hope I never fit into again, since they were bought when I was at my highest weight. These are a reminder to me.
I think we all hold onto a pair of jeans that there is just no way possible in the physical universe that they will ever fit again. You know, that pair from college or even high school, but for some reason you cannot get rid of?

Lastly, I'll bet you have that pair you really really want to wear soon. The goal weight jeans. They were not cheap, the color is spot on gorgeous, and you use them as a good gauge to see how you are doing with your new lifestyle. Those would be the 'holy grail' pair.
I hang those puppies right on my closet door as a reminder to keep up the hard work.

Maybe I won't need all those jeans in my closet, but for now, let's just call them my blue cotton dyed security blanket, OK?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RYDERB 6/30/2011 6:31PM

    Definitely not 8-10, I only have 2, that I currently wear, let's face it, I've always been a dress girl. But I do have that perfect pair, in each size my body has EVER been, hanging in the back of my closet, and 1 pair that I bought too small, and have NEVER worn. When I can zip those, I'll be dancing all night! emoticon

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WINACHST 6/30/2011 8:13AM

    I don't even know how many pairs I own and yes, that old beat up pair is great for working out in the yard when I know I am going to get all dirty and muddy. For me, my old "fat jeans" are my workin' jeans - boy do I feel skinny as I am working. emoticon

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TUBLADY 6/29/2011 12:18AM

    Back in the day of my Calvin's I had a lot of jeans. Then I got to fat. I don't like the way jeans fit on larger people.
I think you should have a good shape to ware jeans. That's just me.
But when I went from a size 4 X,( no jeans ) to a normal size 16 I got a pair. Since then I have got a pair of 14, 12 and now I am a 10. Going to get a 8 in a few months.
My daughter gave me a designer pair size 6. I have those as the ultimate jeans that I would like to ware. I try them on ever so often, can't get them over my hips yet. But maybe one day the miracle will happen. And I will put on my red high heels and style like I am the hot, hot, so hot..
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANIMATED71 6/28/2011 11:40PM

    I own too many pairs to name. Of course I have 2 favorites that make me feel smaller than I am, and ones that look great with boots and heels..so yeah, he is nuts and you are 100% correct.
And I can't wait to get into my Holy Grail pair as well, it will happen soon.

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CANNIE50 6/28/2011 10:27PM

    No, I am sorely lacking in the jeans dept but I am planning on remedying that, soon. My husband has quite a collection of Levi's and I don't mind one bit because that is one of the reasons I fell in love with him - I saw him in Levi's emoticon

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AGRLNKY 6/28/2011 9:30PM

    LOL! I only have one pair at a time but I think I'm the weird one. Great blog!

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A Healthy Lifestyle Is Like Breaking In A New Bra...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hear me out here...
Both look fantastic at first, but of course there is work involved.

Girls, we all know that when we bring home that perfect bra on that teeny plastic hangar, it STILL needs to be properly broken in to be given that "perfect bra" title, right?
Moreover, sticking to a new regime of eating good, healthy food and breaking a sweat with tough workouts can be work at first too.

My new healthy lifestyle plan and new bra share some other characteristics:

Both can be uncomfortable at times (i.e. birthday parties with my brain screaming, BIRTHDAY CAKE!, and that undergarment beneath your outfit that you wore to that party).
Both can poke at times and be unruly (no need to explain).
Both can seem pricy, but well worth the $ spent in the long run.

Now let's look at the similarities just for kicks:

Slips occasionally until you get the right fit
It lifts! It shapes! It makes you look flattering in anything!
It's breathable fabric will hug you.

Slips occasionally with consistency in both food and workouts.
WILL lift that toosh. My body WILL gain new shape, and look flattering in anything.
My clothes will hug me less...

Now let's be honest, the whirly gigs that we sometimes buy into like shiny pedometers and florescent music headphones might not physically make us stronger in the gym or on the trail, but those satin bows and perfect powder pink color of a bra doesn't make supporting your breasts any more efficient.
It's the mental aspect of these things that make us feel just that bit more 'put together' in life, don't they?
And it's worth the work!

Thank goodness my lifestyle changes can't be ruined as quickly as accidentally throwing that new bra in the dryer - AUGH!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RYDERB 6/23/2011 2:35PM

    I LOVED this blog! It's so true it's perfect! It's would have never occurred to me to even compare the two! Nothing makes me feel better, and look better than the perfect bra, and living this healthy lifestyle! emoticon emoticon

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CANNIE50 6/22/2011 11:31PM

    My perfect bra is actually pink, but it is a sports bra. How's that for tying your analogy together? You are welcome. It is the perfect bra because it has a lining which creates the perfect spot for stashing things but I have to be careful because I tend to "overpack" and get a little carried away and before long it is like Mary Poppin's bag - tissues, money, lip gloss, etc etc etc - the last 5k race I did I told my running partner I felt like I was running a "3 boob-ed race" because I had so much stuff crammed into my favorite pink sports bra. I am still breaking in my healthier lifestyle and since I have another party to attend (which will no doubt feature cupcakes, my cryptonite) I will be faced with some very uncomfortable moments. Uncomfortable short-term tends to lead to comfort in the long run - sort of like making myself go to the mall and shop for new bras (uncomfortable) so that I can wear comfortable bras where underwires don't unexpectedly break loose of fabric and poke me - ouch. emoticon

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Red Lipstick and the Emergency Room

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A few days before Memorial Day weekend, the foot that I fractured almost 8 weeks prior had swelled painfully. I called the doctor and was told that swelling from fractures was normal. Normal after 8 weeks? I asked. "Yes, don't worry about it as long as you don't have a fever or calf cramps", the nurse replied.

Coincidentally, my husband had to go out of town unexpectedly, and I was stuck at home with my swollen painful foot in the big black boot all weekend. I tried to ice it, elevate it, shoot, I practically sang lullaby's to it, but it would just not ease up.
By Sunday I realized that it had been 3 days since I had been able to move my toes. They hurt like they were filled with shrapnel. The color wheel shades of my toes were starting to scare me too. Ranging from deep purple, crimson, orange, all the way up to my toenails; like pieces of purple candy corn.

And then the strangest thought popped into my head:
"You know what you need to feel better? A new tube of red lipstick!"
Where on earth did this come from? Had I absorbed so much I Love Lucy over the years that this actually made sense??? "Lucy, you got some 'splaining to do!" What a ridiculous thought.
But wouldn't you know it, I went to the drug store, bought myself a beautiful shade of red lipstick (L'Oreal Rambling Rose), and went back home to lie down.
Well, the lipstick didn't work.

By late Sunday night I was in tremendous pain and feeling very much alone. What is it about the wee hours of the night that make everything scarier? I spoke to the on-call doctor (holiday, remember?), and was told to get to the Emergency Room right away. I couldn't drive at this point so I called my neighbors but they were out of town. And my husband was 600 miles away, but scheduled to land a few hours later, so I waited. Ouch...

He picked me up and rushed me to the ER. The doctors had no idea what was wrong. I was wheeled around for tests and X-Rays by someone who proceeded to tell me how he had better not get scheduled to work over the Christmas holiday, since he was working this particular holiday, and then parked me within earshot of another patient on a gurney who was snoring loudly. "Oh, he's still snoring", he said. "How long have you left him in the hallway?", I asked. "Oh, a while. See, we're short staffed with the holiday", and he walked off (insert blank stare here).
The test results came back normal (???) and they sent me home with lots of pain killers. No thanks. Another sleepless night went by, and I finally saw a specialist the next morning.

At this point I was wiggling uncontrollably from constant sharp pain; sweaty and scared. "Please, make it stop",was one of the first sentences I blurted out.
I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Disorder. Something I had never heard of until that moment. It's a rare condition that is particularly mean and disabling, wasting away bone and causing nerve damage within the affected area (my foot!). It can be deforming if not treated within a critical window of onset, and even then would need treatment most likely for years.

I already live with another rare and also painful neuromuscular/neurovascular disease called Erythromelalgia, which limits my daily life. I felt like my existence in this world was shrinking even smaller, like Alice in Wonderland.
This was a huge blow to myself and my husband, but there was no time, and I needed to start treatment getting a nerve procedure the next morning.

The procedure went well. I can feel my toes now and am walking on my left foot gingerly, but I have a way to go. A few days after the procedure, another nagging thought, but not about make up this time.
"You have to move your body however you can. You have to keep it moving too".

The nerve drugs make me ill, and turn my brain into pudding. I can't seem to get a grasp on my thoughts at times, and seem to have taken up a new sport -marathon swaying- but I am assured this will pass with time.

I have been making myself workout daily, as best I can. Lots of ballet toe pointing exercises and countless arm exercises since I can't do much else.
I am determined to slow this monster down from taking my foot.
I still cry (a lot), but have the support of friends, Spark friends and an amazing husband.

Does this mean I should give up on my weight loss goals?

It may slow me down, but I WILL get there - said with confidence rich in my voice (and red lips).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINACHST 6/19/2011 5:43PM

    I am so sorry to hear of your pain. Although I do not suffer from pain, my husband does and I can say I can imagine what you are going through. I hope you get better soon

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SMELIOT 6/19/2011 6:16AM

    I, too, admire your spirit. I can only imagine what you're going through, but applaud you for sharing - it's got to make a difference! And I think that there will be a bunch of us who give out red lipstick now when the going gets tough :D

Good luck - we're rooting for you.

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CANNIE50 6/19/2011 1:11AM

    I almost forgot..... emoticon

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MELLYBEANS0919 6/19/2011 12:57AM

    Aw I am sorry that sounds so scary! You have a very positive attitude and I really admire that.

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RYDERB 6/19/2011 12:53AM

    I'm so sorry, but I'm also in awe of your spirt and your courage! You're amazing! This may slow you down, but I know you'll figure it out, and take 2 steps forward! I LOVE that while you were in that much pain, you went out and bought yourself red lipstick! It may not have been able to cure your foot, but it makes you unforgettable! emoticon

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GENELDABELDA 6/18/2011 11:12PM

    WOw....I'm so sorry you re having to go through all this and so amazed at your attitude. I think I would just shrivel up whining in self-pity. You are an inspiration. Keep blogging...I want to know how things turn out for you. Perseverance is the key to victory. Somewhere on Spark People I read that anything worth achieving is going to be difficult. Enough said. Hope you are well soon. emoticon

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JENNSWIMS 6/18/2011 10:53PM

    I loved this blog. I love your spirit. You are clearly not one to give up on anything, definitely not your weight loss goals. Heck, there is an entire team of people here who have to do chair exercise!

You are an inspiration and I feel like I'm a better person for having read your words.

Amen on the red lipstick, Amen.

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FROSTIERACES 6/18/2011 5:27PM

    Hi :) I'm not sure how I arrived at your blog...from one Spark page to another but I have to say...wow, you are inspirational even through your pain and struggling to feel better. I have absolutely no pain tolerance so I can only imagine how difficult this is for you. Your blog has reminded me to keep trying despite the uphill battles we may have. Thanks so much!

oh and I hope it's okay to add you as a friend :) emoticon

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USMAWIFE 6/18/2011 4:10PM

    what happened to you sounds like something that would have happened to me.

good luck on healing.. and do not give up on getting healthy..

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CANNIE50 6/18/2011 3:57PM

    You brave, brave girl - I am beyond proud of you. THis is a wonderful start to your blogging. I still remember my first blog. It was another way of staking my claim on my committment to get healthier. Gaining weight tends to make us isolate, and we shy away from showing people who we are. Sharing our true selves allows us to form connections with others who can empathize and encourage. You surely know how much I admire you, and let me mention one more time how many times I think of you, and sometimes even use your name as a mantra, when I am uncomfortable while running up a hill, or flights of stairs, or holding the last 30 seconds of a plank. I continue to pray that your miracles are on the way. In the meantime, I can only continue my attempts to provide a few minutes of distraction via long, story-laden e-mails. You have effectively removed any plausible excuse I might dream up to avoid exercise on a particular day (though, as you also know, exercise does not tend to be what vexes me - that would be the demon sugar.... emoticon. Okay, here I go, clicking "I Liked This" and clicking on "Subscribe to this blog" and looking forward to reading more. xoxo - me

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