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!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sorry to hear of your injuries and setbacks, but you are on the right path! You're taking care of yourself, and I'm sure you can see major changes in your outlook and your feelings about yourself compared to your 249 self. You're doing fantastic -- keep trying to be kind to yourself!!
    2573 days ago
    OH I so remember ACL injury. I tore mine when my 9 year old was just a baby and I had just put her in her carseat and slipped on black ice.

    Please take it easy and hang in there emoticon
    2573 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.