Wednesday, October 17, 2007
My spark email article today was just the thing I needed. It compared losing weight to driving in traffic - it may take a while to get to your destination, there may be starts, stops and detours but if you have a map of how to get to your destination, you will eventually get there.
Wow - patience is the lesson I need to keep re-learning.
I have been so frustrated that I haven't been able to get more cardio exercise in. A year ago I was doing endurance bicycling (hours at a time). I now have a problem knee, have had surgery and I still can't seem to get biking again. I've been going to PT and last week the assistant had me do an extra 15 minutes on the cardio machines. I was really jazzed by that and worked as hard as I could. By the time I was done my knee was completely swollen - both at the spot the surgeon removed a meniscus tear from as well as the other side of my knee that stays in pain. The therapist asked why I did so much. (Frustration there, your employee told me to and I thought she knew what she was doing.) I did a very weak 1/2 hour on the road bike on Sunday. It did not elevate my heart rate but I was so very happy to be moving again. Yesterday, the therapist said I should not be doing any of that until I had proper clearance from my Dr.. She also does not want me to see the Dr. until after I have a re-evaluation this week. The dr. next door to my office (also a ortho doc told me "What you need to do is push aways" - cute)
I've been so frustrated. If I lose weight, my knee will hurt less (I'm told). Exercise (which I know makes me feel better) will help me loss weight faster. But I am having trouble exercising (I'm told) because of my weight.
The article I mentioned above is helping me get new perspective. I can lose the weight gradually by monitoring my food intake. I don't need to be the perfectionist who manages to burn exactly the planned numbers of calories on my spark people plan. I can stay as active as I can be given the painful knee. I am still getting strength training in 3 days a week. The best thing of all is I actually WANT to exercise. Never in my almost 53 years would I ever have thought that would happen.
Patience and doing "good enough" is so hard for me. I always have been one to set a goal and work hard at reaching it my perfectly following my plans. When I was growing up I got the clear message that I need to do my best at all times and my best better be perfect. That is probably been why in the past a diet slip has been diet slide or diet end.
Following the analogy of the weight loss journey to a car trip, I see being frustrated or trying to exercise despite the pain is not going to make the knee heal faster or me to lose the weight faster. I WILL get to my destination in the time it takes to get there doing the best job I can as an imperfect human who may not always perfectly follow my plan.