Tuesday, April 02, 2013
I know what you are thinking...pain is your body's way of telling you that you shouldn't push through it. There is something wrong so the pain is telling you to stop or slow down.
But this pain has been with me for more than 10 years. It is chronic back pain that is literally making it difficult for me to stand up straight, walk or sit. It started yesterday, so I went home and iced my back hoping it would help. Today the pain is worse. If you haven't experienced lower back pain on a regular basis, I'm so jealous. This pain burns across my back and then shoots down my legs. There isn't a cure, and I was hoping that getting healthy would be helpful, but today I'm wondering if that will help at all.
I have struggled with depression and pain for a decade, but that doesn't make it any easier. It means that my pain tolerance is probably higher than most people, and I don't remember a day without pain, but that doesn't mean that I don't dream about it at night. It doesn't mean that I'm not jealous of people who work out, run and just clean their homes without pain.
My eating has improved by a lot since December and I'm trying to stay strict with it, although I know that last night when I was in so much pain, I binged a little on cheerios. I know that is better than a bag of hershey kisses, but it is still too close to my old habits for me to be comfortable. I'm trying to avoid the "old" way of doing things, but I also am fighting a mindset. For years, I have dealt with my physical pain by eating away those feelings. So now that I'm starting to make progress, I have to learn a new way of dealing with the pain and the fact that I can't exercise.
I feel like this is an excuse for me to not exercise, although I also know that deep down it's real and not an excuse. These conflicting opinions of myself are not helping my self-image when I'm still dealing with pain and wondering if all the work I've done is ever really going to make a difference. My goal is that I strengthen my core and lose weight so my body isn't carrying so much weight, but I never really considered that I might do all of this work, make progress and still have to deal with chronic pain. That would be devastating. So I can't think like that at all.
In the end, I am to blame for my lack of progress with my back. I don't do my stretches some days and I know that I could do more when I do feel good. I'm going to try not to dwell on what I've done in the past or not done, but to focus on what I can do in the future. Sounds good, right?
And make sure that you are taking care of your back! That's the biggest lesson for people. My back problems steamed from a weak disc in my back, there wasn't anything I could have done to avoid this injury, but you can avoid back problems by working your core, staying in shape and just taking care of yourself. You might still have the occassional back ache, but that's not bad in comparison to being stuck in bed, or unable to stand up straight. Learn this from me!