Coming Back from an ACL injury
Monday, April 04, 2011
I have been absent from Sparkpeople for a long time now. A lot has happened since my last blog entry describing my ACL injury.
I did Physical Therapy for a good 2 1/2 months trying to get myself strong enough that I wouldn't need knee surgery. No matter how strong I was, though (pressing 210 on the leg press machine, doing squats, exercising on the elliptical & stationary bicycle), I kept re-injuring myself. If I planted my left foot and twisted (necessary to do my Jillian Michaels workout, I might add!), my knee would do this little "clunk" thing and I'd be in pain.
I finally had an MRI the last week of December. Lo and behold, I didn't just have an ACL strain, it was a full tear. And I also had meniscus damage, probably resulting from one of my re-injuries because of my instability. Some people can cope without an ACL--I was obviously one of the non-copers.
So I scheduled ACL surgery for mid-February. I kept on exercising up until my surgery and went into it really strong. I was able to put some weight on it beginning the day after surgery, and I was able to completely straighten my leg (uncommon right after surgery) and bend it 110 degrees one week after surgery (they're happy with 90 degrees).
I'm almost 6 weeks out from surgery now, and though my knee still gives me some pain, I'm glad I had the surgery done. The instability issue is completely resolved, and I'm back to being able to use the stationary bicycle and walk in my neighborhood & on the treadmill.
This week my Physical Therapist & I agreed that I've done so much PT I really only need to see him once a week, and then go to the gym 1-2 more times per week to do my exercises.
The real challenge for me is that since my accident, I have put on 15 pounds. It wasn't the injury alone (and the inability to exercise as strenuously as I had been) that caused the weight gain--it was that I stopped wanting to say no to myself. I started working part-time in September, and some days it was just easier to stay home than go to the gym, even when I was perfectly capable of doing low-impact cardio and weights.
I also stopped tracking my food on Sparkpeople. It's a lot easier to stick sugary treats in your mouth if you have to face that truth-telling nutrition tracker!
Currently, I'm on day 7 of a 40 day sugar fast. I decided that I needed to do something "drastic" to let myself know I DO have self control and that my health is important to me. I'm not able to exercise as heavily because my knee starts to ache after too much exercise. But I CAN control my weight by choosing healthy, nutritious foods and slowly increasing my activity as much as my knee allows.
As discouraging as it has been to gain weight, I can still look back at those pictures from when I weighed 249 and see the HUGE different 45 pounds has made in my face & body. I'm changing the way I talk to myself, and I'm beginning to believe that I am going to be back on track soon!