Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And So It Begins

One would think I already have enough blogs to keep up with.  One would be wrong. Either way, it's another damned blog I will be trying to keep up with.  I hope to post on this blog on Wednesdays.  And the purpose?

Getting my fat self healthy.

 I would like to say this is the fault of my friend Angiloo, who is on a weight-loss and get-healthy journey of her own.  But the fact is, this is all about me, and always has been.  All of my life, I've been the fat girl.  There were a few years when I was very young where fat did not play a role in my life, but round about the age of 11 or so, I started to put on weight.  I put on enough weight that I got stretch marks.  Some of my stretch marks run vertically, where I expanded around the waist and started to grow boobs.  But some of my stretch marks run horizontally, where I grew in height.  I come from tall stock, and also overweight stock.  My mother, doing what was recommended, put me on diet after diet, which only had the effect of making me larger.  I didn't eat any differently than my brothers, but my genes and the constant dieting just did me in, I guess.

I was a fat teenager, then a fat adult.  Now I'm 51 years old, and still fat.  But years ago, I made the choice to not wait to be thin to live my life.  As I've gotten older and my structural problems have gotten worse (bad knees for the most part) I have realized that my state of health isn't what it should be.  No, I don't have diabetes, or heart disease.  My cholesterol readings are on the low end of normal.  My blood pressure is slightly elevated, but I believe this is due to the fairly large doses of ibuprofen that I take on a daily basis to be able to live with my surgically-repaired, but still deteriorating knees.  I intend to live another 30 years or more.  It will not do to feel this way.  It just will not do.

I was very active as a teen, and really into my late 20's.  Then, I sat down.  I sat down for a long time.  Last summer I moved from Missouri to Colorado for work.  I now live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.  The weather here is gorgeous no matter what time of year it is; I can look at the Rockies any time I want, and there is no excuse for me not to at least make some effort at being healthy and in shape.  It isn't all about my diet, either.  Fact is, I eat pretty healthy most of the time.  I'm not a junk-food eater (you almost have to force me to eat a potato chip), and I love scratch-cooked meals.  I eat a moderate diet that includes all kinds of things.  I rarely overeat, eschew the buffets, and feel like I get a good variety in my diet.  No, my need to be "healthy" involves getting my butt up out of the chair and moving.

In May of this year I started walking.  At first it was a little 1.2 mile stroll around a local lake.  I did it once or twice, thinking I would do this three days a week.  Within two weeks I was walking daily, changed lakes, and was up to 2.5 miles a day, which I walked in about 30-32 minutes most days.  I'd get up early, put on my shorts and a tank top, pack my towels and toiletries, and off I'd go.  By 8 a.m. I was showered (we have showers at work) and in my chair at my desk, and no one knew I was getting my exercise before they were even out of bed.  The first few weeks were hard.  I was tired, my knees hurt, and I sweated because it was summertime.  I hate sweating.  I have always hated sweating.  But I kept at it.  I knew that if I took even one day off, I'd stop for good.  I know myself.  I've had more than 50 years to learn all about me.

 But then...just like was over.    

In early August, my daughters and I drove back to Missouri to visit family and friends.  I didn't walk while I was there, but the minute we were back in Colorado, I was out walking.  I walked about 60 feet before severe pain stopped me in my tracks.  It felt like someone had smacked the outside of my left foot with a baseball bat.  I limped about a mile of my usual 2.5-mile walk, and had to give up.  I'm pretty tough, I've given birth three times without pain meds, but this.  This was bad.  I saw an orthopedist a few days later, and was diagnosed with a possible Peroneal Tendon Tear. 

I wore a boot for three weeks, then saw a foot specialist, who sent me for MRI's and kept me in the immobilizing boot.  This was not easy to deal with.  Suddenly, my months of hard work and walking were as if they had never happened.  After the MRI's, my diagnosis of a Peroneal Tendon Tear was confirmed.  And it's a bad tear.  A very bad tear.  It will require surgery.  I can do it now, or I can do it later, but at some point, I am going to have to do it.  

Worse than that, the orthopedist told me I may never be able to walk for exercise again.  

 So, now what?

 My mom helped me buy a bike.  I bought a Trek Navigator 1.0 WSG.  It can take my weight, which is considerable, and biking oddly enough does not seem to hurt my knees all that much.  I feel it after I'm done, but it isn't so bad that I can't walk.  It has been at least 35 years since I have been on a bike.  But that thing about never forgetting how to ride is true.  I have settled into riding three or four days a week for at least a half-hour.  I intend to up that as I go.  

This blog will be about my adventure in not getting thin (that is not my goal) but in getting healthy and gaining stamina and feeling not so tired.  This blog will talk about things I find out when I ride, or walk (I am walking now with a splint) and interesting recipes I've tried.  It will NEVER be about dieting or food changes.  That does not work, for anyone, and I'm not heading down that well-traveled path.

Join me, will you, on my newest journey?