Better broke than broken

I’m one of those people who know that you need to take care of yourself, but I always do it at the very end of things to do. Or don’t do it at all if I don’t have the motivation, time or money. So only after something happens, I try to un-do it by taking care of myself.

My severe back pain

Since February I’ve been experiencing extreme back pain that was returning to me every few weeks and was holding on for a few weeks. After the first one I thought I won’t be able to endure living like that if it doesn’t ease up, but fortunately it did. Every next pain that came was not as strong as the first one – or at least I was not feeling it so much anymore. It was painful and limited some of my movements like walking, sitting, lying, as well as kicking, but I still managed to work out a little bit.

Well, after 4 months of half-heartedly training with this pain I realised it’s high time to deal with it. My training situation was not looking up, I wasn’t really missing out on anything, so I decided that if I miss some training because of my treatment, I won’t be missing much.

A guy from work who works as a medic said that I have discopathy, which was terrifying to me!! I was so stressed out about it, I wanted to go see a physio NOW.

I visited a physiotherapist that my trainer recommended to me and I’m forever grateful to him for this!!

When I first came in, I had severe pain. I didn’t have an X-ray image because I wanted help now and then, and getting an X-ray would push it away for a week or two and I didn’t want to wait anymore.

I was really impressed by how the physiotherapist handled the whole procedure, I never visited a “real” physio-place, so I was a bit shy and nervous, but I started to loosen up during the examination.

After listening to my pain symptoms and triggers he did some mobility tests and started working on the most painful areas. That lasted for like, and hour. After that he applied a few minutes of show waves to loosen up my muscles and also did current therapy and laser therapy. All of this lasted for around 20-30 minutes. At the end he applied some kinesio taping on my back.

I got out really sore, like I’ve been doing two workouts in a row, but I was happy.

The next step was to add excercises to strengthen my core muscles. I started coming once a week for about 5 weeks and I really noticed that I was loosening up in all the tight spots.

When I first came in, the physio said about my neck and upper back muscles that it’s tightened up like concrete! 😀 haha yeah I know.

The pain was subsiding a little bit with every treatment, but some moves still triggered the pain and made it worse. So it’s not that the treatment was not helping, my body still couldn’t catch up with the new posture I should keep.

During the treatment I went to my doctor and we did a X-ray that showed some not so great things – I don’t know them in English, but basically my backbone is aligned horizontally and I have scoliosis. Which is what most of the people usually have. And discopathy T_T which is also pretty common.

The exercises I did with the physio lady have helped me to learn about a good posture for my condition, I have learned how to engage the deep muscles in my belly to kinda counter the excessive bend of my backbone that is causing me pain.

I still worked out during this time, but not 100%, I was still cautious about my back.

This treatment cost me a bit of money, but I better be broke than sick in bed. I decided it’s better to use some of my savings for my health, so that I can have a healthy body for a long time.

Changing my workout

Because of my back pain and the fact that one of my gyms closed down I didn’t work out much in the beginning of my treatment, but the physio said to just train as usual and watch for the trigger movements.

First I started doing some light excercises like going to a stretching class and “healthy back” class, but then I started to go to an “Interval” class two times a week. And I loved it! Well, no, I don’t love the workout, but I love seeing the progress I make and the fact that it’s also helping me with giving me a better ground for my Muay Thai training.

It’s called Interval or HIIT or Tabata – it comes under different names 🙂 It’s basically a training that is a set amount of time of maximum work and a short break. We usually do 30 sec work, 15 sec break. Usually there are 3 or 4 sets of, each set is usually 8 different excercises. The numbers change a bit depending on the instructor and the workout, but this is to give you a general picture. So it’s basically around 25-30 minutes of hard work. I hate how slow and sweaty and weak I am, but I love the feeling of accomplishmend and exhaustion at the end, when I do everything. What I love about intervals is that it’s great for every level of fitness. I’m not great with fitness excercises that we do there, so I was forcing myself to do it – even do slowyly, but work for the whole time. The 15 second break is so short that I can’t really catch my breath.

Honestly, these are the only things that make me push through this kind of workout:

  • It’s good for my general fitness, so it’s good for my Muay Thai training
  • It resembles the timeline of a Muay Thai round (2 minutes work, 1 minute break)
  • Sometimes we do boxing elements like punching and kicking
  • The exhaustion I feel is similar to a Muay Thai sparring session

Apart from it, I also read that it helps with speeding up your metabolism.

The change in eating habits

5 weeks ago I decided to put an end to my unhealthy eating habits. First of all, I was getting heavier and fatter every week and I hated it! Second, I hated the way I feel. Third, I hated how I felt when I was at the shop buying unhealthy things, and I was imagining people laughing behind my back about me being fat and eating sweets. I’m extremely self-consious, so this stuff messes me up real bad. And lastly, I really felt I need to change my life. I was not happy. I mean, sweets give me a moment of happiness and I feel good when I eat them, but they’re also the cause of my bad mood that I need to make better – with sweets. It’s a vicious circle that I wanted to break out of for a while.

I am not a fan of cooking, I just can’t make myself healthy and tasty meals, so I decided to buy a catering diet again. Previously I used this firm called Aveppi, so I went back to them and ordered the meal plan I had before – a kind o low IG diet which was good for me when I was loosing weigh before. I don’t know what happend, but my body changed and I wasn’t tolerating this kind of food so well!! I had constant stomach-aches, I felt bloated and had zero energy.

I asked if I could try out the other meal plan they were offering – a paleo diet. No sugar, gluten-free, lactose-free. I’m allergic to a lot of foods, but I was never diagnosed with an allergy against diary produts or wheat, so I  was a bit against the paleo diet as being too overly-dramatic and being just a trend. Well, but it was the only option I had besides the IG diet and because I really like this catering firm (unfortunately they still don’t give me any discout :p) I wanted to try it. They agreed to switch out my last 3 days of my IG diet to the paleo one, so I can see if it’s good for me (well, I can count that as a discout…). And guess what, I really liked it!

This was also the beginning of me sticking to my “food boxes” – I decided I will not eat anything else besides what I get from the catering firm. The meal plan I ordered is 2000 kcal, which is good for me for now. In the 5 weeks – 30 days of my paleo experience I lost around 6kg! It’s actually somewhere between 5-6kg 🙂 I’m really happy with this result! I want to do it for at least 2 more months and see what results I can achieve in that time!!

Right now I have a 6 days break from my boxed diet, so I guess I’ll gain a kilo or two, but that’s ok. I still don’t allow myself to eat sweets, but I don’t sweat it if I’m out with friends and I’ll buy myself an icecream (natural one!) or eat popcorn and cola zero. I know it’s not perfect, but I don’t want to put myself under enourmous pressure. The only pressure I put on myself is not buying/eating sweets or icecream in gross amounts!

Feelings

I was so relieved when I saw that my weight begun to drop after the first week of eating clean. I really, honestly, didn’t belive that it will happend. That it will be just like all the other times I tried and didn’t loose weight… This was a huge motivation booster.

I can’t say it’s not hard – it is. But I will endure this hardship for 3 months – that’s the time I set for myself for this ‘experiment’. I suppose, I will be nowhere near my healthy weight after those 3 months, but it’s the best I can do for myself right now.

So once again – even though the catering diet is ridiculously expensive, I will invest this money into my health and into my plan. I know it’s bad to put your life on-hold while you diet, but there’s not so much going on in my life that I would miss out on anything. I can live without a pair of armchairs or new cabinets. I decided that everything has it’s time in life. I could desperately be trying to do things that would make my life more interesting and I would live through different experiences, but what’s it worth if I’m not happy with myself? The paradox is that I already had “the time of my life” while being utterly unhappy with myself, I don’t want this to spoil the fun anymore. I want to be fully confident and proud of everything I do in my life. Regardless if people find it boring or exciting. There will always be people judging and questioning your choices, the most important thing for me is to stick to my beliefs and just move on with MY plan. It’s my life and I want to be happy in in – MY kind of happy.

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