Friday, March 14, 2014

(edited) On where I really want to focus my energy and also, a report on my knee

Today is Will's birthday.  We have lots of fun planned for today so I'll post about his birthday later, after all the fun and after I get some pictures.  Right now he is at school participating in a jump-a-thon.  Piper is playing while I write this and licking the glass on the fire place.  Good thing it's not on!  She is silly.

I thought I'd post an update on my knee.  It's been awhile since I've talked about it.  I went to my last checkup with my surgeon last month.  My knee seems to be right where it should be in the recovery process.  It still hurts.  I was offered a cortisone shot but I decided against it.  I was also given some topical medicine to put on my knee but it is super sticky and makes my leg and clothes feel disgusting.  I use the medicine after a difficult day when I go to sleep to help it recover.

I am no longer going to PT, just doing an at-home workout, which requires a lot of squats, leg lifts, lunges, calve raises, etc.  I need to be doing some stability exercises as well but I don't have the equipment so when I go to the gym I do those.  I think right now I'm just supposed to work on strengthening the muscles around the knee.

I am just six months into this recovery and therefore, pain is still expected.  Mostly, I forget about my knee when I am just standing or doing my every day activities but if I do more than that I am in pain.  I can swim, ride a bike, get on the elliptical, or walk but each of those activities produce some kind of pain.  I went on the bike a few weeks ago because the bike had produced the least amount of pain during and after for me.  I was able to do 35 minutes on the bike the previous workout so I decided to go for 40 minutes and up the resistance just slightly.  It was not that painful during the workout, just bugging me but not enough to make me stop.  The second I stood up I knew it was too much.  I limped around for the next week.

It's hard because I generally do not know what is going to be too much until after I've done it.  I try to be really aware about how my knee is feeling and not be foolish or over zealous but sometimes I make the wrong choice and then I pay for it later.

If I sit too long then I find myself limping and in pain when I start moving until I get my knee working again.  Also, I can't kneel yet.  It has been a long time since I've knelt--since the accident, so almost a year.  The idea of putting my weight on that knee makes me cringe.

So basically, I'm doing well.   My knee hurts when I do activity but it is manageable and I think, normal after a microfracture surgery.  I feel nervous and curious about the future.  I don't really know when I will be able to get back to jumping exercises or doing some serious aerobics.  I don't know if the pain will ever go away.  But it at least is working and I am able to walk and stand and do all my normal every day activities and a little exercise.

 I've had weight loss on my mind recently.  I've been overweight after every baby and every time I get really focused and obsessed with weight loss and it is hard and frustrating and I go through months and months of self-loathing and obsession.  I really feel dissatisfied with that cycle.  I am not the body type to lose weight without a lot of effort.  I cannot just put in a half hearted effort.  The past has shown that I really need to focus all my effort on losing weight.  And I've recently decided that I don't want that for my life right now.  I want to be thin and not look pregnant anymore.  But, what I have found in the past is that when I put my full effort into losing weight, my mind is so focused on when I'll exercise and what I put in my mouth that I don't have the time or the attention to give to other things in my life.  I don't hear promptings from the spirit in regards to serving others.  I choose to go workout instead of cleaning my house or spending time with my kids.  I exercise instead of reading my scriptures.

And so I've decided that it's not worth it to me.  I absolutely believe in being healthy and in filling our bodies with healthy foods and exercising them.  And when I find a moment to exercise I take it.  I am trying throughout the day to be careful and mindful about what I eat as well.  But I'm just choosing not to focus on it.  I'm choosing not to let myself be discouraged or disappointed in the way I look.  I'm choosing not to put exercise before my other responsibilities and not beat myself up when I eat a cookie when I know I shouldn't have.  I'm trying to accept my physical limitations.  Last night I had a chance once the kids were in bed to go to the gym.  I took it and then I had planned on walking on the treadmill for an hour and then I thought, "I haven't read my scriptures yet today and I need to finish getting Will's birthday treat ready for his class tomorrow."  So I choose to only walk a mile.  It was a lame workout.  But I found myself feeling happy and satisfied with what I COULD do.

My hope is that I can accept my body (fat rolls and all) and find that as I balance the demands in my life better by not allowing myself to be obsessed with exercise and healthy eating, that I will find myself more complete and more healthy overall.  And maybe, hopefully, along the way, I'll find that not being so stressed about it all will produce weight loss anyway.  Probably not with my history.  But one can always hope.

I guess all I'm saying is that I am just evaluating where I want my focus and attention to be and I want to be more available for other things--creating, playing, practicing the guitar, writing here on the blog, serving others, etc., and I know from past experience that those things don't happen as well or as much when I am seriously trying to lose weight.

So, here's a cheer to recognizing my weaknesses but embracing them (trying to at least) and evaluating what I really want in my life right now.  Saying that I'm going to embrace my weaknesses does not mean that I will give in to those weaknesses and throw my hands in the air and say, "well, my knee limits my ability to exercise so I just won't do it" but rather, "I'll do the best I can with what I have."  I am trying hard to identify the weaknesses and change them but not let them get me down and not let them take over my other activities.  It just means that instead of waking up and trying to figure out in my mind how I can make my activities fit around working out, I'll find ways to work out around my activities and if it doesn't happen then so be it.  I'm sure Isaac will still find me in the pantry "dancing" while I sharpen the pencils for his class at school (our sharpener is mounted on the wall in the pantry...I don't just go in the pantry and dance and sharpen pencils for fun) or Eli will find me doing squats while I brush my teeth.  And also, I'm so thankful that even though my knee seriously limits me, I'm so thankful that I can walk and stand and take care of my family.  I'm so thankful that the pain is not unbearable and that I can work on being stronger.  I hope for continued improvement and I have no reason so far to believe that won't happen.

Those are my thoughts for this morning.  I've got lots to get done today (Piper wants me to read to her and then I've got to shower and get to Will's school to deliver birthday treats and then the day just keeps being busy after that) so I better get off this computer and get to work!

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