Health Accountability Update: Dealing With Injury

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Good evening, and welcome to another episode of the Health Accountability Update series here at Sincerely, Diana.  In our last episode at the beginning of February, Danger Will Robinson, I fessed up to falling off the wagon on my trip to Florida in January and struggling to get back on track.  I’d love to say that I am back on the straight and narrow, am killing every WOD at the box, and lost 10 pounds in February but unfortunately I can’t. This month has been a mixed bag.

There IS good news. I lost a couplefew pounds in February, and am also showing that my body fat has reduced by a couple of percent.  I am down 3.8 pounds thru February 27, and while I certainly wish it was more it’s hard to crab too much about losing about a pound a week.

One thing that has been a huge help is joining up with the 8 Week Physique challenge at CrossFit On Track at the beginning of this month.  Normally I do not get into these types of weight-loss competitions, but at the time I was feeling the need for a bit of a kick in the pants to help with accountability and staying on track so I figured what the heck.  The rules for the competition are as follows:

*Coach will give you eating guidelines, including a daily calorie budget, and you gotta log all your food for her to review. No log? DQ’d.

*You gotta go to the box at least 3 times a week. You miss your workouts, you get DQ’d.

*You gotta meet with coach for 10-15 minutes once per week for measurements and food log review.  You miss your appointment, you are DQ’d.

*You gotta make progress – either in terms of weight, inches, or measurements.  If you don’t make progress one week, that’s fine but if you go 2 weeks in a row with no progress, you are DQ’d.

Coach Amanda’s goal for me is to lose anywhere from 1-3 pounds per week throughout the competition, and to be consistenly good about my food intake and working out.  Not PERFECT – because 8 weeks of perfect is damn near impossible – but consistently good.  I just had my Week 3 measurements done today, and I am hitting the weight loss goal (barely) at this point.  My food intake has been pretty good, but there is a room for improvement – especially considering I got derailed by snow days at the end of last week and didn’t log a bite for 3 days.

Where I haven’t done well? Dealing with a nasty injury I somehow managed to acquire.  I actually have hesitated to use the term injury in regards to my current issue because I can’t remember when or how I hurt myself – but my chiropractor used the word, and so did my coach, so I guess it’s the right thing.  Basically, for the past 3 weeks or so, I’ve had a crapload of tension and inflammation in my neck and upper back/shoulder area.  This is accompanied by some very enjoyable (NOT) intermittent tingling in my left pinkie and ring finger – which means the issue is causing some sort of nerve entrapment.

I shouldn’t need to say this sucks, but I will anyway.  THIS. FREAKING. SUCKS.

I have had days when I was in so much pain I had to knock off work early, burning 1/2 a sick day.  This happened twice.

Instead of spending time at the box lifting heavy things, I am spending time and money on massage and chiropractor appointments.  I thought I was being clever by doing stuff like rowing workouts at the box, or doing the WOD but cutting way back on weight and using PVC pipe for anything overhead.  But somewhere in there, after making great progress with the injury for a couple of weeks, I woke up last Friday feeling almost as bad when it first reared it’s ugly head. In the words of my chiropractor, I have been recruiting muscles that don’t want to be recruited right now. At this point, I am busted back to treadmill/track walking/elliptical so that I don’t aggravate this further, and as I sit here in my recliner watching American Idol wearing what feels like a half of a tube of BioFreeze and smelling like an old man.  If it wasn’t cold and snowy out, I would feel obligated to sit outside on my porch yelling “GET OFF MY LAWN!” to all the neighborhood kids, for God’s sake.

But this isn’t just taking a tool on my workout schedule.  It’s taking a toll on me emotionally.  I’m coming up on a time of year that is very, very difficult for me emotionally – even when things are going very well in life – and right now I feel lost and dissatisfied with almost everything.  Work – is OK, but I’m not sure if I am in a professional place that is good for my soul or my career.  Family – most of them live away, and my favorite in-town people are running around like crazy, as am I, so I’m not seeing much of them.  Volunteer work is a struggle right now, and as for my love life – well, dating sucks. Period.

I know that life ebbs and flows. And I don’t know whether I’m in an “ebb” or I’m in a “flow”, but whichever one is the rougher one, that’s where I’m at.  And the worst part is that my main outlet, the place I can go where I can forget all the bullshit for an hour or so, is cut off from me right now.  During a hard WOD, I can forget what ails me – the stress of work, the feelings of uncertainty in almost any area.  The best thing for me is a workout that is so dadgum difficult that I can’t even count all how many reps I’m doing becasue I’m challenging myself with weight and intensity.  You can’t do that on the elliptical.

So I’m out of sorts. Terribly, terribly out of sorts, for a variety of reasons.

I know enough to know that at some I will feel better physically, and I will feel better emotionally.  Maybe the physical healing will come first, maybe not.  But I know that I will feel better at some point based on my past experience.

In the meantime, I keep plugging away.  And hoping that “better” comes sooner rather than later.

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