Monday, February 22, 2010

Losing weight the hard way

When I was in fifth grade, I had to memorize a poem to present to my teacher. I chose “Sick” by the great Shel Silverstein. I can still recite most of it.

“I cannot go to school today,”
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.”

Little Peggy Ann goes on to list the myriad reasons she must stay home, including a hole in her ear, a hangnail and a temperature of “one-o-eight.” But then, miraculously, her ailments heal in an instant.

“What’s that? What's that you say?
You say today is…Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!”

When I was 10 or so, I thought that was the funniest thing in the world. But you know what’s not funny? Actually being sick.

Last Wednesday, not long after I posted my Diet Coke entry, I started feeling like I was coming down with something. I had chills, my throat hurt and I had a headache. My first thought was “I can’t be sick! I have to go to the gym!”

Who AM I?

Anyway, despite my attempts to hold my illness at bay, I got sicker and sicker. By Thursday I was at the doctor with a five-minute rapid strep test that took only about 30 seconds to render positive.

I had strep throat a lot as a kid, but I don’t remember it ever being this bad. I was knocked out for four days, more miserably sick than I have been in years. So sick that I lost my appetite.

Now, me losing my appetite is kind of the same as me losing my need for oxygen. It just doesn’t happen. But when every swallow felt like 1,672 razor blades scraping my throat, food lost its appeal. A few days with only a banana milkshake from Zesto (yes, I had a milkshake. It was cold on my hurty throat. No judging!) and I had lost 8 lbs.

Normally, I’d be thrilled. But instead, I’m worried. I’m behind on my 5,000 steps a week and fitness class requirements. My energy is still pretty low and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go back to the gym. I’m also afraid this will throw off the steady weight loss I’ve been experiencing and I’ll have to gain a few to lose a few next time.I’d love to hear your tips for getting back to exercise and eating right after a sickness.

Thank you for indulging my whininess. Trust me, without the banana milkshake it would have been even worse.


Maryanna said...

Erika, don't worry so much. Remember you didn't have any liquids for 4 days! Go back to the gym when you're completely well. You're doing great and I'm proud of you. M.A.

Anonymous said...

Think of it this way, your stomach has probably shrunk a bit over the past few days. Play off of that to convince yourself that you are full after a small portion because your stomach can't possibly hold as much now.

Anonymous said...

I HATE when a cold slows down my forward motion. It's hard to get back to the gym after, but I try the "10 minute rule." (This even works on the days I'm "just not that into" working out.)

If I feel slow or sick, I tell myself to try working out for 10 minutes, and if I can't snap out of it, then I know it's not the day for running or whatever I'm hoping to do. More often than not, after 10 minutes, I'm ready for more. Sometimes, after 10 minutes, I'm toast, and that's how I know my body needs more rest.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous above. When you have a bit of your energy back, head to the gym for a shorter, less strenuous workout. Fill your body with lots of water, fruits and vegetables. Try to catch a short walk a time or two throughout the day. You have come so far and I know you can keep up the momentum. You are truly an inspiration!!!!

Oh - and a fruit smoothy is a good alternative to a milkshake and it feels just as good on your throat!

Feel better, Eerika!

Sindy said...

Hello my friend, thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. I don't think you realize just how encouraging it really thank you from many of us!!!
OK, I am non-clinical so this piece of advise might only be in MY head, but here goes: I think that when I'm going from not doing so well in the eating/working out avenue of my life, then I change it up and start eating right and working out, I believe my body starts trying to release some antioxidants and toxic stuff it's been hanging onto. My thought is that yes, I will probably get sick a time or two in the beginning, but that if I continue on my path that it will basically work its way out of my body and i will, in essence, detox! I don't know if all that makes sense to anyone else but for me, it keeps me going. I've been on my doing well path now since just after Christmas and am doing fab!!! Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing. You will get better soon!

Anonymous said...

This is a little trick I do when I'm sick, and even when I'm not sick -- I take the "light" Gatorade (I think it's called G2) and I mix 1/4 part G2 and 3/4 water. I drink a ton of it and it really helps me feel hydrated and gets me back on track. I like water, but it also helps give the water a little flavor boost.

I also agree with above posters who said that just go to the gym when you are feeling better, and do, say 10 minutes walking slowly on the treadmill and just take it from there-- ease back into it.

Hope you are feeling better! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hang in there! Don't stress over the "los ttime at the gym" Your body needs time to recover, then you can go full force. Keep up the great work and I hope you feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

Yes, you don't need to wait to feel peppy. if I went by that rule I'd go to the gym about 75% less than I do! Don't put any pressure on yourself. Committ to short and light and if it feels good, go a little longer. If not, try again the next day. Chances are you will defintiely start feeling more into and the motization will return. You are awesome! Keep up the great work and the wonderful posts. And thnak you for being so brave to share your journey!