being fat hurts

Over the past 4 years, I have gained around 50-60 lbs. All of which I had worked hard to lose after I had Drew at the end of 2007. Several factors led to this obnoxious weigh gain, but that's not what I'm here to talk about today. I'm struggling. Big time.

My major issue over the past 18 months has been severe chronic low-back pain - debilitating back pain. It makes me so irritable because it limits what I'm able to accomplish as a mom and plus, just being in pain is a HUGE PAIN! My doctor is convinced that it is a muscle problem, and that once I lose weight and strengthen my core, my back problems will subside.

 I am hopeful that it will, but you see, it's really hard to exercise when you're in pain and constantly afraid that your back will go out. It can happen by just the slightest movement. Reaching into the washing machine. Twisting to put dishes away in the cupboard. Carrying my (30 lb!) baby. And yes, obvious stupid things like moving/carrying heavy objects.

  So, I have made a deal with my doctor to start using My Fitness Pal to help me be accountable for what I'm eating. (Haven't started yet, shhhh!) And he suggested finding friends/family who also use it so we can help encourage each other. Anyone out there use it? I've found a few friends on there, but if you use it also, and would like to add me, my username is "sharibeth78" - please add me!

I made a goal to walk for 30 mins/day. Shouldn't be hard, right? 30 mins is nothing.  This has been hit or miss over the past month - but now that school has started, I've tried to at least walk the boys to or from school every day.  I haven't quite gotten into the to AND from routine yet -- mainly because it's been really hot and I don't want to walk in the afternoon!  I was walking with my friend Tracy for about 2 weeks before school started, but with our busy schedules/kids at different schools/etc that kinda fell to the wayside.  Walking with someone makes the time go by so much faster, and its also a bit therapeutic to have a girlfriend to talk to!  But for now, walking the boys to school is good enough.  It's a little over a mile, which isn't much, but is plenty for the state of my back right now. 

I am currently doing much better, but today marks 6 weeks that I've been in pain - constant pain.  If any of you out there have ever suffered from sciatic pain, you understand how terrible it can be!  Shooting pains down both legs, starting from my butt, all the way through my thighs, down my calves into my feet - sporadically.  It's so annoying!  My tailbone/low back is still very tender and sore, and my butt muscles/hamstrings are EXTREMELY tight and I can hardly stretch at all.  However, when I keep moving, I feel better. 

Which leads me to one of the main problems with this dumb back issue...sitting for long periods of time makes me super stiff and makes the sciatic pain worse...so I've been avoiding a lot of editing, which is just ridiculous because IT HAS TO GET DONE! and I'm the ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO IT!  So...I'm finally grinning and bearing it the best I can, because my dear, sweet friends and clients have been so extraordinarily patient.  I feel awful making them wait for their pictures. 

This trial has given me time to reflect on my personal strength and my stubborn desire to be independent.  It has made me humble myself and receive service.  It has taught me to be grateful for this "imperfect" body - and not to take it for granted and not to abuse it by over-eating and not exercising. The obvious motivation for me to lose weight and strengthen my core is to be healthy and to feel good and be pain free.  But there's another reason I have to do this.  I want another baby.  And I just cannot imagine being pregnant on top of dealing with this back pain - not only that, but I'm unhealthily heavy, and will 100% have gestational diabetes again, which is risky for me and the baby. 

So my friends and family, if any of you are still following this sad blog of mine, will you please say a little prayer for me?  Check in with me occasionally and see how I'm doing... keep me accountable!  I feel like I'm stuck in a fat suit.  It's time to set my body free!



john + becky said...

I still follow! :) I love when you post.

I've never heard of My Fitness Pal..it's an app right? I want to look at it and follow you.

I'm so sorry for all the pain you have been in! It sounds so miserable! Anything chronic...ugh...pure torture! And to try and do the daily things that need to be done and be a mom on top of it all!! I hope you can find some relief soon. You're in our prayers.

Ashley Rogers said...

I'm on My Fitness Pal, but I never use it because it just got to be too big of a pain. BUT, I'll start using it again if it will help you. Also, I totally understand the whole back pain issue. I have spondylolisthesis and when it flares up, I get the same thing: pain in my butt, shooting down my legs, nothing I do makes it better and it's the worst, especially when I'm pregnant. Even now, it's hard for me to do core workouts because it kills my back, but I do my best to push through it. What I've found that works my core without hurting my back are planks. I just started doing the 30 day plank challenge (it's on my Health Pinterest board, if you're interested) and it's great. The walking will get easier and the pain will diminish. James had trouble with back pain just like yours before he lost weight and now he doesn't have any problems. And I'll definitely keep you in my prayers. Love ya!

Jennifer B. said...

Love you Shari!

Steve and Kirsten said...

So sorry to hear about your back...I've been there. Stretching really is the key and walking is the best thing you can do for a back. Have you ever tried the "pretzel" stretch? You could also stretch while sitting in a chair, cross you leg and hinge forward at the hips...both great stretches for your back. Everything we do as moms is hard on Our backs. Good luck!

allypally said...

I left a long comment this morning which didn't get posted... essentially yes yes yes and yes, and I will walk with you. I was doing three miles a day over the summer (getting up at 6am to do it mind you), lost 8lbs, and gave it all up in disgust after gaining 4lbs in one weekend. But I am getting back on the wagon next week (sorry no smartphone so can't use your app), my route is my house to the lake on Edinger and back. You are welcome to join me if you want! and i'm bringing healthy snacks to book club :)

Evaly said...

You can do it!! I was amazed by your hard work after you had Drew- so I know you can do it again! Good luck!! I am so sorry that you are feeling miserable- that makes everything in life harder. I don't blame you for avoiding exercise in the heat either- it makes me sit around and do NOTHING :( I love My Fitness Pal, but haven't been doing it recently. I probably should so I don't gain 60 lbs. with this baby (like I did last time!) Also, you can tell your friend allypally that you can do My Fitness Pal on a computer too- I don't have a fancy phone either.