Monday, December 31, 2012
When I updated (about a year ago - man I'm bad at this), I was talking about how working two jobs was killing me and I needed to get myself back on track. It never quite worked. I came to the conclusion that as long as I was doing retail plus my job (including the extra articles) I was never going to find the time for fitness and I would constantly be eating on the go with no real way to prepare meals, cook or fix my situation since I was never home. I was still struggling financially, but I thought that if I could just find more articles to write, I could make it work. I quit the retail job.
In theory, it was great. I was going to have an extra 20 hours a week (less any time I spent covering events), but I hadn't worked out in the previous six months and even though I finally had some free time, I had zero motivation. I had also gotten so used to eating crap that it was second nature and a habit that I knew wouldn't be easy to break. I figured the best thing to do would be to get involved in something that would kind of force me to work out. If I could get addicted to exercise, I would be motivated to start cutting out the bad foods in order to increase my results. I joined a roller derby team thinking I could lose weight and get out some aggression.
I started going to the practices and joined their intro to derby eight week class (to prepare newbies to pass the minimum requirements necessary to participate in bouts). It was a smaller team and pretty unorganized. I should have known better.
In July, July 9 to be exact (it was a Monday), I was at my newbie practice. We were practicing stops. The drill was to skate around the circle and when the whistle blew we were to practice our plow stops (similar to a plow stop in skiing). I was always a little afraid of this stop since I had strained my ankle running a few years ago and combined with the weight I had gained due to my poor food choices (and lack of exercise the six months prior), I feared the stop would cause me ankle pain. I skated and stopped slowly. I was doing OK.
Then I got around to a curve and needed a break. I started to slow down - plow stopping a bit and then rolling. There was a girl in front of me, completely stopped. I tried to slow down further and, to avoid running into her, I shifted my body weight to my left and lost my balance. Instead of falling to my left (my dominant side), I reshifted my weight to my right. I started to fall. I wasn't afraid of falling so it wasn't a problem. The problem was that my skate didn't move with me. As I was falling I "heard" a pop. I felt nothing. I rolled over onto my stomach and everyone was asking if I was ok. I told them I thought I had broken my ankle (I still couldn't feel anything). They called the ambulance, which came, took off my skate, saw the swelling, but since they couldn't diagnose me (even though we all knew) they took me to the hospital after pumping me with morphine (so I still felt nothing).
At the hospital, they took x-rays. I had, indeed, fractured my fibula. I had also dislocated my ankle pretty badly. They told me to see a surgeon the next day (to determine if I needed surgery), casted me up and sent me home.
Having never been on crutches before, I didn't know how to use them. That night, I passed out twice - I almost passed out getting from the ER to the car, and I did pass out getting from the car to the apartment (and again once inside). When I saw the doctor the next day, he verified that surgery would be necessary. They scheduled it for Friday the 13.
When the doctor opened me up, he realized that the ligament on the inside of my right ankle had been thrashed. He put my ankle back into place and sewed the ligament back together. He put in a plate with 10 screws (the plate held 10 but he only put in eight, the other two screws were drilled directly into the bone). I was totally screwed. I was finally ready to get back on track and then the injury happened.
Because it was my right ankle, I couldn't drive. So I used all my vacation time, had to give up all my freelance articles, and sat at home, on the couch, for months. I borrowed against my future vacation and drained the little savings I had in the process. I was finally able to go back to work at the end of September.
I spent all of October and most of November walking with a limp and dealing with massive amounts of swelling. I had one pair of shoes I could get over my fat little foot. It was bad.
When December came around, I was able to walk short distances with minimal pain (the ligament was still sore). But, the damage had been done. Over the course of the past five months, I had gained at least 20 pounds (most of the time I was on the couch I couldn't really make food for myself so I relied solely on frozen entrees, snack foods, and whatever anyone brought me - none of it was really that healthy). I was also pretty much couch surfing all day so I wasn't even burning calories doing day-to-day activities.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a new photo of myself. There was no denying what had happened. In the past year (from when I started the retail job in October 2011 to now), I was at least 40 pounds heavier. And, on my already pudgy frame, the 40 pounds were not sitting well. My stomach looked pregnant, my clothes didn't fit (I'm still trying to wear yoga pants as much as possible since they fit comfortably - and I really don't care if people think I'm "too big"), my thighs looked like tree stumps and my arms were huge. My face had ballooned up as well. I couldn't keep pretending that it was just me looking in the mirror and seeing fat -- everyone else was very aware of it as well (and of course you always look much worse in a photo than you think you do when you look in a mirror).
So, in the past week I've started walking -- as much as possible. I've been doing the WATP DVDs. They aren't as high of an intensity as I'd like and I'm not all that tired after, but they're about all my ankle can currently handle. There is some straining with the side steps and I know there is no possible way I could up the intensity without getting ankle pain. Since I only have one DVD right now (I have a couple more of them on the way), I'm doing it as much as I can. It's a one and two mile walk so I'm combining them to get a three mile walk in. I have minor swelling after so it seems to be about the level that can currently be tolerated. Hopefully I'll be able to do more soon.
I'm not really into resolutions since I feel like you should start when you're ready, not just because the year changes (which is actually why I started as soon as I saw the photo instead of waiting until tomorrow). But, I am a fan of setting goals. So, for January, 2013, my goal is to continue the walking DVDs (at least 4 times per week) and build up my ankle strength to 5 miles by the end of the month. I'm also going to go the entire month allowing myself fries only on Sunday. I will not get Taco Bell during the month and I will not get a bagel on any day (I had successfully gotten myself down to 1-2 times a week, but 0 is more beneficial). I'm not going to cut out soda, but I will reduce my intake and up my water during the month of January. I think that's a good place to start.