Gaining, Losing, and Winning

No easy way to say this....

On November 6, 2010, I was on top of the world -- my best friend was getting married and I weighed in at my lowest adult weight of 188lbs.

But all of the work I did to get there (100+ miles a month on the elliptical) took a toll on my body and I knew I had to give my back a rest.  I regained a few pounds through the first few months of 2011, but I let it go knowing that I was listening to my body and not risking re-injuring my lower back.

So in 2011, I switched gears and started boxing.  Not only was I kicking butt, but I was feeling great.  Not even someone trying to make me feel bad could affect my stride.  My running complemented my boxing, and I could feel my body changing and getting stronger.  But  that success was short lived when I started feeling weak in my left arm in July.  My doctor and I approached the injury conservatively.  I stopped boxing for a while, did physical therapy, and for a while the pain went away.  I resumed my boxing and running and the pain came back.  By December, we knew what we were dealing with:  a herniated disc at C5-6 and a bulging disc at C6-7.

2012 began with treating the new injury -- more drugs, more rest, more rehabilitation. I experienced some moderate improvement, but my recovery has been nothing like my lower back's recovery.  My lower back's injury wasn't as severe, and I think has been a bit of a non-issue as of late.  I'm aware of what hurts it (walking on hard surfaces, sitting for too long, using recumbent bikes, etc.) and take care to avoid those things.  I've tried to give my neck rest, but just about anything can aggravate it -- such as lying down, walking for 10 minutes, going down stairs, etc.).

With my friend Evan's guidance, I'm starting to investigate surgeons who will make my neck a bit more stable so I can get back to the gym.... because I've gained 17.5lbs since November 6, 2010.  And I do not like this.  I do not like this at all.  I'm disappointed in me, because I know there's so much I can be doing (i.e., being more focused about my diet, not drinking) and I'm just not.  I've been avoiding getting on the scale, but to tell you the truth, this number is lower than what I was expecting.  Part of the fat mentality is believing/fearing that any time you stray from the path, that you immediately go back to your worst.  I know how to get back on track.

I think reading Janet Oberholtzer's book is helping me realize one big part of the picture:  I need to mourn the loss of my spinal health.  It really does suck to be stuck in a body that is aging faster than my heart and mind. It sucks that I have to face making these decisions without any guarantees as to the result.  It sucks that I fear other people touching me because I feel so fragile.   The sooner I feel and deal with these feelings of loss, the sooner I can focus on what I can do, what I can do about my situation.

But you've come here because you want to know the winner of the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, right?
I want to thank each and every person that entered the contest.  I received a whopping 780 entries!! Can you believe that?

Without further ado -- I present the winner of the KitchenAid Stand Mixer:

Jess, congrats!! Send me an email with your address and I'll get that beautiful stand mixer to your new home!


As for your injuries and setbacks, I just have one thing to say: WHAT DO YOU MEAN I DIDN'T WIN THE MIXER? THIS CONTEST WAS RIGGED! I DEMAND A RE-DRAW!


Congrats to Jess!

Great post, I feel for you Robby and I really understand. I always say "I can do anything" but I mean mentally more than physically because I too have limitations. They aren't as many as yours but going down the scale I tried running and found it just wasn't in the cards for me because of my years of obesity on my knees. I also found after having my gall bladder out (open surgery) I could no longer lift very heavy weights anymore. So as time as went by I've been just learning to love the body I'm in the best I can and as Janet would say "doing what I can, with what I have, where I am... because I can" because really that is all we can do. I also get the part about working on other aspects of ourselves such as adjusting the food or limiting alcohol. I think all that goes hand in hand with wanting to comfort ourselves and having to try to find other ways to do that. You are a strong woman though and I know you will find your way. I've come to realize that it's time that will heal us in all ways and we just have to keep doing what we can. *hugs*


Robby, pain sucks and I'm sorry about the pain and limitations that you are dealing with. And yes, grieving does have to happen. As I say in my book, I thought it was reserved for the loss of a person, but thankfully with the help of my counselor/mentor I learned that grieving helps us process and accept many other losses in life. And grieving our losses (large or small) helps us heal (body, mind and soul) because it's being kind to ourselves.


@JackSht -- I tried rigging it to go in your favor, but other people paid me off better to make it so you didn't win. Sorry.

Ms. Bubbly -- I'm with you on the time healing things, but I'm so effing impatient. I want to be the person I was back in 2010 -- strong and healthy.

Janet -- I've dealt with so much loss and grief in my life. I'm familiar with it. But it isn't about magnitude of loss. Loss is loss is loss. Putting the loss to rest and forgiving the injury is the essential step in order to be able to heal.


I came to support you, and that's the only reason. You will bounce back my dear. I believe in YOU.



Alan -- I'm coming to you when I'm all scared about having neck surgery. That way you can believe in the surgeon.


I'm reading (slowly) a book called How to Be Sick, which is very Buddhist in its approach to chronic illness, and it talks about that mourning period, accepting the baseline that you have. I haven't figured out how to get to the acceptance stage yet, but I think that this is a great step for you. <3


Pain sucks.I can so relate to this. I do agree with "grieving the loss". It's therapeutic and does help.

As someone also battling pain and an injury for 3+ years, I'm here if you need to vent.


Cat: I'm trying to have a very zen approach to this -- to try and not fear what the next moment will bring while still trying to appreciate this moment and what this body can do for me. I think it's funny that in buddhism they tell you to "sit with" a feeling -- and sometimes sitting is the most painful thing i can do. At least my sangha allowed me to meditate while lying down with pillows under my knees.

Missy: Thanks for your continued love and support :)


I know the feeling about regaining weight (~50lbs) and injury (plate in wrist +7 others). Getting back on track for some reason just seems harder than it was the first time. IDK, I have been having issues with it over the last month even though I have been focusing hard. Good Luck!


It's kinda like climbing a mountain. It's so much easier to climb up it when you've had a good night sleep and set off in the morning full of vigor.

It's much harder to climb a mountain after you've been knocked off a cliff, are hungry, it's cold, and a coyote is licking its lip at you, no?


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<3 Robby