Starting Again is Part of the Plan

(song: Coming Out of the Dark/artist: Gloria Estefan)

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Remember me?! I know, I know, all 19 of my readers are probably worried sick...

I'll get right to it, I've been kind-of a mess for the past few months. Since my September post, I haven't lost one single ounce of my "summer weight", in fact, I gained a few more pounds. Yup. I skipped my end-of-year post because I felt like doo doo for "letting myself go". My butt doesn't fit into my jeans, my arms are flabby and stomach looks like a glob of white Play-Doh. To make matters worse, I injured my ankle last July and I chose to ignore it until I finally went to a doctor - six months later - and discovered that I have tendonitis in my left inner-ankle. Then I made the painfully difficult decision to drop out of the NYC half-marathon because there was no way I could train on my injury. That choice, and the miserable winter that followed was the perfect excuse to comfort myself with food -- lots and lots of food.

I don't stock crappy food as a rule, I've just been eating huge portions, snacking all the time and enjoying one-too-many weekend cocktails. And though I feel terrible about myself, I haven't been able to make myself stop. This is an obvious place to set some positive goals for 2014 right?

Last month I started working with a great physical therapist named Tony Ellis, owner of Physio Wellness NYC, who also happens to be a runner and is one of the most positive people I've ever met. At my initial consultation, we not only discussed my injury and ways to recover, we talked about the emotional side-effects the injury had caused. I told him that I want to run the Brooklyn half-marathon in May but that I feel so hopeless about my ability at this point. He is determined to get me back on the course for a great race and has designed a realistic training program for me - a patient with an injury - and I'm happy to report that I'm running again! VERY slowly, and short distances for now but with Tony's help, I'll finish that half-marathon. It won't be my goal race - I've had to let go of the idea that I can match or beat last year's time, but rather use this as a base race for future performance. The goal is simply to finish without pain. During my sessions with Tony I do interval runs on the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill®which makes me feel like the Bionic Woman. My legs are getting stronger and my spirits are lifting.

"We can fix her. We have the technology." (My first run on the Alter G. If only I could do everything at 60% of my body weight...)
So while I'm feeling good about the exercise part of my come-back, the eating part still needs work. My long-time readers are familiar with my struggles with food, especially sweets. I love sweets. A few weeks ago a Facebook friend of mine posted a testimonial about the results she had after completing the Whole30 program. What struck me was her declaration of finally being pain-free: "I have a fractured vertebra that causes me immense pain in my lower back. Last week, I suddenly realized I could get out of bed without any pain in the morning--something I hadn't experienced in probably 4 years or more. My nagging knee pain is gone. Hellelujah! I feel like my much younger self physically and psychologically." And that her relationship with food has completely changed. She says, "I indeed found food freedom. It's a tremendous feeling of liberation. I have no cravings for junk or sweets - and I never need a snack between meals." I immediately bought the book "It Starts With Food", signed up for support on the Whole30 site and I am starting the program on April 1. With so much evidence about the healing powers of clean eating, I figure the only thing I have to lose is my addiction to sugar, uncontrollable overeating, chronic pain, inflammation, tired skin, extreme fatigue, excess weight and depression. So yeah, I think that's worth a 30-day commitment. 

I will keep you posted on my progress along the way. If any of you want to join me, that would be super! The Whole30 website is a great place to start. 

Sorry I disappeared for so long. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm human and I felt so defeated and ashamed so I just checked out. It was easier to continue to self-destruct if I hid...