I should never have joked about the lady who ended up in the hospital because her pants were too tight. I almost did the same thing! But even worse, I was afraid that my efforts to lose weight would no longer work. It was another roller-coaster of a week, starting with fear and hopelessness, which forced me to come to a reckoning. Then ending with a renewed confidence in my abilities to continue losing weight/follow my dreams, no matter the obstacle.
When I say that I exercise 2 hours a day, I mean hard-core weight-lifting, dancing, stepping, adrenaline-rushing hard work. I never leave the gym without sweat dripping off of me somewhere, if not completely soaking through my clothes. So when I gingerly decide to pick up a box for a co-worker in the middle of the day, my body should be more than apt to accomplish the task.
I had just bought new skinny jeans and was excited to wear them to work but because they were so tight, I did not bend my legs when reaching to pick up the box. Apparently, it was hard for me to move at all because I even twisted when I reached for the box. The pain did not come immediately, but within about 5 minutes, I could hardly sit down because my lower back hurt so badly. I walked around and kept trying to stretch but nothing worked.
My concentration was broken, too! I finally took some ibuprofen but it barely took the edge off. I knew I had to cancel my exercise class scheduled for later in the day and ice my back instead. I was terrified that not only would I stop losing weight, but I would start gaining it back if I could no longer exercise. What had I done?
As I was milling it over that afternoon, I decided I could at least go to the gym and walk around the track a few times. That should not hurt my back. I need to be able to walk, right? So I walked slowly for about 60 minutes just so I would gain enough calories to allow me to eat a fairly normal-sized supper. I still went over on my calories by about 400 that day, but only because my girls wanted sushi for supper and I wanted to eat my entire plate, rather than saving some for later. My back still hurt really badly but I was already formulating a plan.
If I ate my normal one-egg breakfast, kept lunch to a minimum with a shake or a salad and walked for about an hour after work, I would have just enough calories for a fairly regular supper. My back pain did not make things any easier, though. I had to sleep in a chair, apply ice, back patches and take ibuprofen every day, which only eased the pain at the beginning.
The next day would be telling. I followed the plan and just had a ham and provolone sandwich with Veggie Straws for supper, ending with a McDonalds Vanilla Ice Cream Cone. I still went over my calories by about 50 but it gave me hope that I could make this new plan work.
As you saw in my earlier blog post, I went and had pizza and beer with friends on that Friday night but for the next seven days, including today, I was able to walk each night, keep my calories low and even left some unused calories “on the table,” as I like to say. While I was not starving when I went to bed, I usually woke up hungry.
Each morning, the scale dropped a few more numbers, too. On Sunday morning, the scale said 207 pounds but as of this morning, I was back at 202 pounds. I was extra careful today and ended with 304 calories remaining, in the hopes that tomorrow might bring that awe-inspiring number that I long to see – something starting with a 1!
But you know what? It’s just another day. If I get to see my first glimpse of One-derland or not, it won’t change the trajectory of my path. I have come too far and I still have a way to go. A little back pain is NOT going to get in my way.
This morning, I put on a medium-sized shirt! MEDIUM! Can you believe it? It’s been almost 20 years since I wore anything that size. Plus, I received some kudos today from someone I had not seen for a few weeks because they were so impressed with the changes and wanted to know how I was doing it. What a great feeling!
I am not quite ready to wear those same tight pants yet, but no worries. In a few weeks, they will be loose because I will start going back to exercise classes, continue adjusting my calories as needed and keep rockin’ this new healthy lifestyle.
The most important lesson I learned after this week is that I don’t need to rely on exercise to reach my goals. The habits and menu items I have incorporated into my life are the bedrock of my plan and will keep me stable as I hit some bumps in the road. That almost feels more amazing than the 40 pound weight loss.