Whenever you make a decision to change your life, whether it is to eat better or lose weight or become more organized, things begin to go really well for you…at least at first. Then you get your first major setback. Maybe you worked really hard and exercised all week but instead of losing weight, you gained. Or you have been waking up early everyday, but the power went out last night and your alarm turned off and now you are rushing around playing catch up all day. None of us are immune from the dreaded but inevitable setback, we just have to figure out a way to work around it, or give up and decide to try again later.
In my quest of healthy eating and regular exercise, I have had my first real setback… no…setbacks. It all began about a month ago. I started a new part time job that I was really excited about. I began cooking at an assisted living facility, serving breakfast and lunch to the residents four days a week. My first week was fun but exhausting. My job requires that I am on my feet, moving around all day long. Not a big deal for the average person, but when you are a big girl, you feel every extra pound weighing down on you. I came home from the first couple of days sweaty, stinky, and sore all over, but I was feeling proud of the fact that I had finally landed a job I semi-enjoyed. After my third day of work, Rob and I were due for starting week three of C25K…2 minutes running, 90 seconds brisk walking, 6 times each. As I was finishing the second set, I noticed that my shins were once again on fire. I have had problems with shin splints in the past, but have always found a way to push through the pain and continue running. After the third set, I was limping along in complete agony. For those of you who have never experienced the “joy” of shin splints, it literally feels like someone is in front of you, cracking a hammer on your shins with every stride you take. Usually, the pain goes away when you stop running, but for me, it got worse and worse. After the fourth set of running I started to cry. I didn’t want to cry…(if only you could have heard the self bashing remarks inside my head at that moment) but my body had had enough and was signaling for help. Rob immediately made me stop and sit down, and he finished his other two sets while I tried to compose myself. When the time came for me to stand up my legs had cramped up so much that I could barely walk back to the car. At home I was immediately ordered to sit down while Rob propped up both of my legs on the coffee table, fixed some “ice packs” (a bag of frozen fruit and frozen beef) on my legs and gave me some Advil. I remained there for the rest of the night, getting up only to gimp my way to the bathroom and to bed. We both decided that it was time to take a break and let my shins heal for good. I thought that was the worst, but it was only the beginning.
The next morning I woke up sore, but limber enough to move around. Rob on the other hand was having some stomach pain. A year ago Rob started to have severe gallbladder attacks. His mother has had issues with her gallbladder in the past, but it scared us both when it started to happen to Rob. It surprized us then but looking back on it now, it shouldn’t have! We were both eating whatever we wanted whenever we wanted it without thinking about what we were actually shoving into our mouths. It was not a big deal to eat pancakes and bacon for breakfast, munch on snacks for lunch and split 3 dozen chicken wings and tortilla chips for supper. We both were tremendously overweight and tired all the time, plus we never exercised on a regular basis. When Rob began having gallbladder attacks it finally got our attention that something needed to change. After doing a lot of research, Rob found a cleanse he could do to help remove the gallstones and it worked. We also both dramatically changed our diets by cutting out all fried and greasy food, beef and pork, and started to exercise every day. Once we made those changes, the attacks stopped and we both lost a lot of weight (Rob lost 65 pounds and I lost 25.) So when Rob told me that he was having the same pain as a gallbladder attack I thought that it couldn’t be possible! After he vomited the pain got even worse, so we decided to take him to the emergency room to make sure that nothing else was wrong. After doing some tests, an ultrasound and a MRI, the doctors diagnosed him with gallstones (not a surprise) pancreatitus and decreased liver function (oh my goodness, this is serious!). Their remedy was a large round of antibiotics, surgery, and observation. The surgery was supposed to be an easy, uncomplicated surgery with the recovery time of a week. Instead, my poor husband woke up from surgery with 47 staples and 16 inches of cuts on his stomach. Needless to say, my running program was completely put on the back burner. I had a new job, a husband who looks like he survived a shark attack, and a 2 1/2 year old who was stuck in the middle, just wanting both his parents back. On the days I worked I would get up at 6am and work until 2pm, then go home and get a shower. I would then go over to the hospital to be with Rob until 6pm, then go to my in-laws house to pick up Logan, take him to the playground and have some fun, then go back to my in-laws to put him to sleep around 9:30pm, go home by myself and pass out, only to wake up the next day at 6am to start it all again. Throw a flat tire and messed up internet service in there and I was tiptoeing on the edge of a complete meltdown.
Last night, Rob came home from the hospital for good and Logan has both of his parents together again. Things are slowly getting back to normal, and my sanity is gradually restoring itself. Thinking back on the past month and I am amazed that we all got through it partially unscathed and mostly in all one piece. I am looking foward to getting back to my schedule of running…I miss it! The proof that I have been insanely busy? I stepped on the scale last week and it said 248…13 pounds down! I started to cry again, but this time I let myself…why not? What is pretty cool is that this time I know I am going to accomplish what I set out to do…get to a healthy weight. After all that happened this past month, what can set me back now?