Giving up is not in my nature!
In October 2001 I was 7 months pregnant with our first child. I needed to take our 125lb dog outside for his daily potty break and since our yard wasn’t fenced, I put him on a leash to go outside. While walking him I was pulled forward on the cement when the dog saw a squirrel. I landed on both knees and this caused my kneecaps to be pushed out from their natural center position. About 4 years later, I had arthroscopy to re-align my right knee cap. The problem never got better, but worse and after about 10 years, the cartilage in my knee was completely gone. The doctors recommended a partial knee replacement but I didn’t want another surgery on my knee.
Ten years passed and I still hadn’t done anything about my knee. My friend Cindy and I had talked about working out but never did. One day she asked if I wanted to try a workout class with her. I finally decided enough was enough and the pain was getting too unbearable to ignore. I needed to get in better shape, I was 42 years old, weighed 207 lbs. and my health was horrible. In 2009 I suffered a stroke in my left cerebellum from a blood clot. Due to the vomiting that happened while having the stroke, I actually ruptured two discs in my neck that would require surgery. In 2013, I had neck surgery to repair the ruptured discs. This took away 18% mobility of my head and neck. I wasn’t getting any younger and my quality of life was wasting away. I needed to change my lifestyle before it was too late.
Cindy and I started working out at a local gym three times a week. The very first day I was more scared than I had ever been in my whole life. Because of my knee, I couldn’t squat as far as everyone else or do any exercises that required me to go down to the floor. My neck wouldn’t move enough so that I could perform something as simple as tossing a ball against a wall and my balance was gone from the stroke. How could I do these exercises? The trainer told me to modify my exercise and fix it so it fits your body. Don’t squat so far down or instead of tossing a ball, use hand weights. Listen to what your body is telling you. Doing anything at her class was better than doing NOTHING at home. Doing nothing changes nothing.
That first class was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. I doubted myself the whole way through but I finished. I finished a whole hour of the hardest work my body had ever done. It didn’t matter if I was slower than everyone else or didn’t get as many repetitions in, I finished. I was so proud of myself and I knew the next step was my nutrition.
Growing up my mother fed us healthy but it tasted like health food. It wasn’t flavorful so I grew up hating the words “healthy eating”. I associated those words with something bad and ate how I wanted. That was until I was introduced to the amazing recipes at Dashing Dish! Once I incorporated healthy eating and working out, I began to notice my body changing drastically. I was able to modify less when I worked out and had more energy. After two months of working out three days a week and eating daily from Dashing Dish, I was able to lose 27lbs to date!
I did end up needing the knee surgery, but it’s been 5 weeks post-surgery, and I’m still eating healthy and can’t wait to get back to my workouts! I’ve gotten so far in such a short time and had so many obstacles in my path, but I live in the moment. I relish in everything I can do and have done and always try my hardest. Giving up is not in my nature!