DietBet Diary #3: My Body Planned a Rebellion. I Shut It Down.

Heather was making progress toward her DietBet goal...but then her body decided to turn against her.

DietBet Status Update: I’ve lost six pounds! I’m over halfway to my goal and have decided that I don’t want to meet it, I want to crush it. I worked out six of seven days last week and spent a lot of time reading over comments in my DietBet game as well as the corresponding Facebook page set up by the host, Sarah Gilbert. The people there are so generous with praise…I love it!

I hurt my back. Usually, when this happens, I spend my first two or three days hunched over and slightly crooked. I hobble around the house searching for a comfortable spot for me and my ice pack. My recovery is boring. Sometimes, it’s difficult to walk because of the discomfort. Over the past few years, I’ve developed my own method of self-care when injured, but honestly, I keep getting injured. So…. yeah, not working.

Time to try something different.

Today, I opted for a new method of self-treatment: I went to work out anyway.

On my way to the studio, I started thinking about how much my body has betrayed me. How it’s kept me from living the life I enjoy most. My back has forced me to become more sedentary, which helped me pack on the pounds. Which, in turn, put more pressure on my back and… well, you can see where this is going, right?

I love horses. I started riding at the age of seven. I’ve taught others to ride, lived on working ranches, spent countless hours in the saddle, and even helped deliver a few colts. Now I write about horses and the equine industry because my back won’t let me ride anymore. I guess I became too aware of how easy it was for me to hurt my back or maybe I was recovering from an injury—either way, I haven’t set foot in a barn in nearly three years.

My weight has kept me shackled to a pigeon hole I’ve created for myself. It’s contributed to my aching and weak back and the two together have dictated the circumstances of my life.

In the meantime, I became content with those circumstances. I’m wildly pleased with the direction of my career and love life. But I’ve also let myself become content with my physical constraints. I haven’t pushed myself to heal my body because, well, why should I? My level of contentment with some aspects of my life has spilled over into other aspects, so somehow the bad stuff has been less noticeable.

Until now. I’ve reached a point where it’s impossible to ignore.

So when I felt that familiar twinge in my back this morning, the one that means a week or two of slow recovery, I said No.

It was power yoga today. Seventy-five minutes of sweat dripping on my mat, heavy breathing, and pulling my muscles around like Silly Putty. Of course, I knew I would be limited, but I was going anyway, dammit! So I went to yoga and took every modification on every single pose, but I refused to lay around the house with an ice pack today, because I’m sick of my body not cooperating.

Today, I made her cooperate. Begrudgingly, she bent and stretched. And during those quiet times in class, when the instructor was encouraging us to think rewarding thoughts, I inhaled this mantra: I am strong.

I’ve watched other people in my DietBet talk about bad days and complicated situations, injuries and frustration, yet they keep going. And maybe it’s this community of people who gave me the courage to exercise despite my physical pain. They’ve made all the difference.

Whenever we start a new diet or fitness regime, how many times do we tell ourselves we’ll succeed at this while secretly harboring the intimate knowledge of failure?

Today, I didn’t contemplate the fact that I may fail. Because I don’t believe I will.

My return to the equine world, the smell of the barn and the quiet intensity in a horse’s stare is just around the corner.

This is the third post in a DietBet Diary series that follows Heather through her whole game. If you missed Heather's earlier posts, catch up now!

DietBet Diary #2

DietBet Diary #1

Make it WayBetter

For Heather, it's her passion for horses that lights a fire under her to reach her goals. What lights that fire for you? Whatever it is, identify it and use it to re-ignite your motivation whenever it flags.