Injuries and Weight Loss

One of the most difficult things for me to deal with is physical injuries that limit my ability to get fit. Not only does the injury itself limit my ability to get stronger and fitter, but psychologically, it hampers my strength and resolve in resisting temptation, controlling my serving sizes, and ultimately, my ability to lose or maintain a weight I’m happy with.

Look at the little weights behind me. That was two months ago. I’ve doubled that weight already!

Case in point: my Achilles heel injury. I was running 3-4 times a week up until the first week of August when I injured my Achilles heel during an assessment and selection for the SFAB unit I am now a member of. During that assessment and selection, I lifted two Jerry cans full of water and strained my left Achilles heel enough for me to feel a pop and have pain shoot up my leg. Three months later, it still hurts, although some days the pain is almost imperceptible while today, it is pretty sore. Since that time, I’ve been unable to run.

Physically, that keeps me from burning more calories and keeping my cardio health up. My muscles are getting weaker, and I can feel myself getting softer. Mentally, the beneficial effects of running such as stress relief and the satisfaction of a good run completed are absent. I can feel myself being more easily aggravated, and I can’t think as clearly.

Then there is my diet. I have allowed myself to eat larger portions, and I’ve allowed alcohol and non-Paleo foods to creep into meals more often than I have in the past four years. While some may find it difficult to connect my lack of running to my discipline and motivation, I can see a direct correlation between my not running and my bad eating habits.

When I’m running, I feel every pound. After a run, when it’s time to eat, I am careful to eat slowly and to control my serving sizes because I don’t want to add any more weight to an already heavy body. The less I weigh, the easier it is to run.

For the past three months, I’ve been weightlifting. I truly enjoy it, and I’ve been making some great progress. Yesterday, however, while practicing for a kickball game at work, I fell onto my right shoulder, and I am now possibly limited from weightlifting for a while. I can’t believe it. I’m so mad at myself, and quite frankly, it has me a little depressed.

It’s like I can’t catch a break right now physically. No matter how much I try, or how strong my desire is to stay physically fit, I’ve been thwarted at every attempt. What’s worse is that I can’t just let this go. I am in the Guard, and on top of that, in the SFAB, and our physical requirements are more stringent than standard Army standards. In other words, being up to standard isn’t enough. I need to be beyond the standard.

I am hoping to be able to run again within the next week. Tonight, I will hit the stationary bike after trying to do some weightlifting. Oddly enough, I have zero pain most of the time unless I bend my arm backward. Since none of my weightlifting positions require my arm to be in that position, there’s a good chance I can just do my lifting as normal. I won’t know until tonight, though, when I get to my gym. If I can’t lift an empty bar (45 lbs), then I’ll default to the bike.

It is possible to lose weight without exercise. I did it. I lost 130 lbs without a single trip to the gym or a single step of exercise. However, my body reached a limit of how much weight I could lose, and for me to get past the 130 lbs mark, I had to incorporate walking, jogging, and then running. Now that I’ve been unable to run, my weight has climbed about 15 lbs and stayed there.

I’ve heard it said that weight loss is 90% diet and 10% exercise. In my experience, those numbers are eerily close. I look forward to being able to do get that 10% done while running and weightlifting again soon. My body needs it, but so does my mind. I just feel better when I’m able to run and workout.

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