Sunday, May 19, 2013

Enduring: Even When It is Hard

I am very proud of my man!
Hoss has lost over 60 pounds
Sometimes it is hard to change habits, and for a long time, I would do well for a while, then I would stop exercising and eating right.  This time, is the real deal.  I have been working very hard to instill better habits.  I have been exercising regularly for the past 3 months.  I have even lost 40 pounds!  In the past, I have never lost more than 20, so this is exciting and contagious.  My endurance has increased, and I am feeling better.  I have had many troubles with my knee, but since receiving some treatment from my orthopedic specialist, the swelling in my knee goes down on its own now.

What really irritates my knee the most you might ask?  Running more than 1 time a week (closer than 4 days apart), playing volleyball, jumping rope, and other exercises that are high impact.

I am learning, that when something gets so difficult I am unsure I can continue, I adjust and do something different in order to stay active.

In the past month, I have been organizing a gathering of volleyball players to play each Monday.  They have loved it so much that they requested that we play on Wednesday too!  We meet at my church, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hobbs, NM), I set up, and we play!  It has been great fun.  However, I learned that I can only handle playing 1 day a week, so I am choosing Mondays.  My new volleyball friends were even requesting yet another day to play!  I told them that I could not commit to another day right now.  I feel bad, but sometimes we just have to say no.

Here is my week of workouts (they vary some weeks--of course due to my knee):
*Monday: Volleyball 2-2 1/2 hours
*Tuesday: Yoga
*Wednesday: Bike ride about 3-5 miles
*Thursday:, which is now called the Daily Hiit
*Friday: walking/light jogging and housework
*Saturday: Is open.  We go to the park sometimes, swim sometimes, Its family fun day.
*Sunday: It is good to rest your body at least one day. What better day than the day God commands us to rest?

Some weeks, I do more yoga than anything.  The stretching really helps my sore muscles and my sore knee.

One very important thing that I have learned is that
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 it is not a good idea for me to jump in and work out in a way that I would have back 10/11 years ago, when I was in great shape (This is the style of workout that I started out with about 2 years ago, when I started this blog.  That is what got me discouraged.  This time around in January, I started out just increasing my activity levels just a bit.  I started walking every day or doing yoga.  Then I added in biking, and light jogging.  After that, I started doing again, and then I started up volleyball.  Like I mentioned, I really had to dial back how much volleyball I played, otherwise I would be down and out for a few days, while the swelling went down in my knee, getting no extra activity in.  Good times.  I know.  But it is what I have to deal with.  Ultimately, I am learning through trial and error how to listen to my body.

There is a saying I heard on a movie Little Cowboy (Baby K) likes loves.  It is called, The Little Engine that Could.  One of the bigger engines tells Little Engine the following:

"If you think you can, you can.  If you think you can't, you can't.  Either way, you are right."

So simple, yet profound truth.  This is something I have to remind myself of.  Last week, after volleyball, I started talking about how I want to be a runner... like, long distance 1/2 marathon type of runner.  This was at the height of my knee swelling and pain, and I was feeling very down, depressed and frustrated.  I caught myself saying.  "I really want to be a runner, but I can't.  I probably never will be."

If I keep that attitude up, I'll prove myself right.  So, I had to give myself an attitude adjustment.  I had to really think about what I want (which is many things), and I had to prioritize them into goals.  Short term, longer term, longer term, and longerer er term if needed.

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1. I want to make better food choices.  Well, this really isn't a want...although, I do want it.  It is a need.
2. I want to lose weight.
3. I want to be able to enter a bike race.  I want to be able to bike to a nearby town (20-30 miles).
4. I want to be able to run 1 mile.

I think that is enough for me to start with.  You know the great thing?  I am already in the process of accomplishing numbers 1 and 2.... and I feel so great!

There is an older woman that we buy our farm fresh eggs from (for $2 a dozen I might add).  She was telling me that she hurt her knee and needed to go and see a doctor that same day about it.  She was worried that she would need a knee replacement.  A viable option, especially since she has severe arthritis and has already had a shoulder replacement.  She has to be somewhere in her 60's or 70's.  I asked her a few questions about what her knee does.  She says it feels like it will give out on her (most likely due to the swelling--funny thing, swelling...making things feel unstable).  I asked her if it popped when she bent it.  She said yes.  I asked her if she did anything that she knows was the cause of her knee pain.  She couldn't remember.  A meniscus tear can be very subtle.  You could tear it and a few weeks later, you begin feeling the pain.  Or you could have a more severe tear and feel it immediately.  I mentioned it to her with the idea to look into it.  I told her if that was the case, orthoscopic surgery would be an easy fix... age not taken into account.  I was thinking about it, but I didn't want to say, "Someone your age might.... blah blah blah."

Anyway, what she said to me really pulled at my heart.  She said, "You know, I have been feeling so good.  I've been losing weight, working out in the garden and with the chickens.... and to have this happen to me now!"  She explained to me that she has had health problems off an on, and I just about cried for her, because I get it!  I might be a lot younger than her, but I get it!  And I told her that.  I told her that I couldn't count how many times I started feeling good and losing weight, when I was kicked back remarkably.  I could tell she was close to tears, and I told her the only thing that I know to be true:

God would see her through it.  It isn't easy, and our trials only make us more humble and better people, but He will see us through them.  If the only thread of faith that we have to hold onto is that God loves us, then so be it.  That thread will withstand anything, and it will be enough to pull us through our trial.

I so needed to see her last Friday.  I was feeling very miserable with my swollen knee.  My motivation was beginning to flicker.  I was contemplating just giving up.  Just giving in to the few food cravings that I still have.  But I went home and juiced some fresh vegetables and fruits, and I am so glad.

My goal this week?  Persevere!  I'm going to stick to my eating plan, even if it is so much harder than fixing with a lot less nutrition in it.

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What is your goal this week?  No excuses!  You can do something!


Evelyn Campbell Curtis

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