Fitness

Another Knee Update

I didn’t mean to leave you hanging last week with just one post, I swear. Right now I’m running out of image space on my site, which sucks, so I’m figuring out what I want to do about that. Posts without pictures are devastatingly boring. But, I couldn’t stay away for too long because here I am, obvi. With real news, too!

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Back in June I started the process of figuring out what exactly was wrong with my knee. If you remember, I was put on one month of anti-inflammatory medication for supposed runner’s knee. Well, that didn’t work. I haven’t run more than two miles for about 9 months now, and I tested my knee out on the medication on one of the last days I was taking it. I still had pain. It wasn’t as prevalent; however, my knee still wasn’t well enough to run on.

I went back to the doctor in mid-July, and he suggested I get an MRI. He wanted to make sure no ligaments or tendons were tearing before he decided on the next course of action. I figured that if anything was tearing, I’d feel it when I was just normally walking, too, but nonetheless I got the MRI. This is where I discovered I am slightly claustrophobic.

Seriously. It was even a mostly open MRI! Most of my body was covered by the machine, except for my head, but in my mind I was freaking out. I was trying to control my breath and heart rate (which was sky-high) by breathing like I do in yoga. It helped minimally. And then a Kelly Clarkson song came on the radio in the room, and I immediately fell into tears.

Kidding about that Kelly Clarkson thing. I was upset for a little while when I got home, and it took a bit for the shakes to go away. Definitely not what I was expecting to happen!

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Anyway, the doctor called me a few days later and told me I had mild arthritis under my knee cap. Didn’t see that one coming. He told me that it got enflamed when I ran. I was simply happy to finally, finally have a real diagnosis. Next step: steroid shot in the knee.

Tell a girl who doesn’t like shots that she’s getting a shot IN HER KNEE, and she will inevitably have a little anxiety. Last Monday, I went to the offices to get the shot. My wonderful brother came with me, which I was so grateful for, because afterward my knee felt incredibly strange and I wouldn’t have been comfortable driving.

That night, I had a little bit of a major freakout. About two hours after the shot, I couldn’t fully straighten or fully bend my knee without major pain. I was so worried – the doctor hadn’t said anything about this happening, only that he wanted a follow-up in a month. The pain continued all day. When it was finally time for bed, my knee still hurt, and I finally broke down.

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What if I had made the wrong choice getting this shot? What if something went haywire by accident and now my knee would be messed up forever? I have a mom’s mind, meaning I worry very easily, and I wasn’t exactly super happy about the steroid shot to begin with. I don’t love putting medicine in my body – I don’t. I don’t try to eat well and exercise and do things as naturally as I can for nothing. Steroids aren’t a joke; I know this because the doctor said this shot was a one-time thing. He wouldn’t give another because they’re so strong. I made the decision to get the shot because I knew it was the only logical next step. My knee wasn’t healing the natural way (rest, strength exercise, and stretching). So the fact that it felt worse than it ever did that night after the shot really scared me. I did the big girl thing, though: put on some compression socks, dried my eyes, and went to bed, hoping for the best.

Ah yes, of course I had no reason to worry. I woke up the next day and my knee felt ten times better. I still had some pain trying to straighten and bend it, but that dissipated over the next few days. Now, it feels completely normal. I have yet to test it on a run – I wanted to give it about a week to let the steroids do their thang.

Actually, I’m testing it today. Like maybe as you’re reading this. Wish me luck!

Questions of the Day:
>> Have you ever had a steroid shot?
>> Ever had an MRI? Did you have a good experience?
>> What have you been doing for exercise lately?

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com

You Already Have A Beach Body [Guest Post]

While I’m off galavanting in the woods this week, I have several guest-posters lined up. I’m very excited about today’s post, which comes from my good blend (blogger friend) Sam. I was lucky enough to meet Sam a few months ago, and she’s as sweet and honest in person as she is on her blog. Enjoy! 

Hi Nutty for Life readers!

If you don’t know me, my name is Sam, and I blog over at Better With Sprinkles, where I talk about food, having a positive body image, my adorable pug Atticus, and how I live a healthy and full life after recovering from an eating disorder.

That’s right – I spent most of my undergraduate years in university suffering from anorexia. Although it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, I came out the other side years later happy and (what I had thought was) healthy. Unfortunately, the physical side effects from my trials with anorexia and my tendency to engage in lots of high-intensity exercise came back to haunt me in the form of HA – hypothalamic amenorrhea. A few months ago, I came to realization that my body wasn’t capable of producing my monthly cycle.

I had to get my body to trust me again and give it what it needed in order to get my hormones functioning properly. I had to stop all forms of intense exercise (I went on walks and did yoga or Physique a few times a week) and I ate a lot more than I had been previously, even though I thought I had been eating ‘enough’.

And I had to gain weight – about fifteen pounds in the matter of two or three months. So I entered ‘beach season’ at the highest weight I’ve ever been as an adult.

A few weeks ago, I made plans to go to the beach with friends – my first beach trip of the season. And the first time I’d be in public in a bathing suit at my current weight. I’m not going to lie, my knee-jerk reaction was panic. Would anybody notice my weight? Could I feel confident in a bathing suit? Should I get a one-piece so I wouldn’t offend anyone’s eyes with my less-than-flat stomach?

The way I saw it, I had two choices:

  1. I could panic. I could run out and buy a bathing suit that would cover my body, spend all my time huddled on my towel in a cover-up. I could be ashamed of myself and convinced that other beach-goers were judging me. Basically, I could spend my time at the beach wishing I were anywhere but, lamenting my lack of traditional ‘beach body’.
  2. I could be my usual happy, confident self. I could buy a suit that made me feel sexy, and focus on enjoying my time on the beach with friends, sitting in the sun and running around in the waves. I could accept my body the way it was, and not let negative self-talk ruin my day.

It didn’t take a lot of thought to realize that number 2 was the better option.

Beach Bodyimage source

Every summer, tons of women (and men) freak out about their lack of ‘beach body.’ We worry that other people will judge us by the fact that our stomachs aren’t perfectly flat, or that our thighs jiggle.

But quite frankly… who cares?

In all honestly, we’re all so freaked out over our ‘bikini body’ to notice the person next to us… so it’s highly likely that the same thing will happen to them. Do you really want to miss out on some of the best things in life because you’re uncomfortable with your body? Don’t wait until you have your ‘ideal body’ to feel confident in what you want to wear or what you want to do.

So, with my dedication to my positive body image in mind, I went down to Target (yay summer bathing suit sale!) and picked up a few bikinis to try on.

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I picked out a cute two-piece that I felt flattered me and that I felt confident in. When I went to the beach later that afternoon, I was happy to strip down to my new bathing suit and didn’t give a second thought to what anyone else could have been thinking.

On the beach

Over the last few months, I’ve learned that my body will always be deserving of love. In the coming months and years, I might stay at this size. I might not – I might lose weight, or I may gain more. In the end, it doesn’t matter. No matter what my body looks like at any given point in time, I can be confident and continue to love my body.

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[editor’s note: Sam, I love the suit & you look beautiful!]

So just a reminder – be confident this summer. The idea of the ‘beach body’ is ridiculous – if you have a body and you walk onto a beach, there’s your beach body. And really, that’s all you need.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to stop by my blog to say hi, or shoot me an email at betterwithsprinklesblog@gmail.com.

Have a good one!

More places to find Sam:
Twitter: @Sprinkled_Sam
Facebook: Better With Sprinkles
Instagram: @betterwithsprinklesblog
Pinterest: Samantha Koplin
Email: betterwithsprinklesblog@gmail.com

Questions of the Day:
>> Do you agree with Sam? Do we already have a ‘beach body?’ I do! It just takes confidence (something I’m still working on all the time).
>> Where’s your favorite place to shop for swimsuits? I like Target, too!
>> How do you find confidence in your swimsuit?

An Anniversary Dinner [Recent Eats + Fitness]

Lately I’ve been trying to get my family to eat a little healthier. Sure, I always encouraged them to, but now that I’m home with some extra time on my hands, I’ve been making dinner for them most nights. Mom and Dad have been on board, which I’m truly thankful for… Adam, not so much. I’m still holding out that I’ll eventually get him to eat more than seven baby carrots with his chicken patties.

I’ve been testing out one or two new-to-them and/or -me recipes per week, filling in the rest of the days will other staples. Breakfasts and lunches are still an individual thing, but hopefully I can start to help my mom meal plan her lunches, too. My parents have pretty much loved everything I’ve made for them so far, and, not surprisingly, I source most of my recipes from blogs I read. Yay blogs!

Recent Eats

I’ve tried this one out prior to this week, but The Hummusapien’s Chickpea, Brown Rice and Broccoli Crockpot Casserole has been and continued to be a big hit. I actually added too much water to this batch, so I soaked up the extra liquid by adding some quinoa, too. It’s not pretty, but it’s SO good.

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My mom and I munched on these Southwest Quinoa Burgers from Eat Yourself Skinny last night. They were really tasty! I made the whole recipe, but I found that six patties was more reasonable than the recommended eight. My mom agreed – but she also agreed they were delicious and “tasted like chili on a bun.” We used TJ’s whole wheat buns, for the record. Also very good. I topped mine with tomato and ketchup. #ketchupfreak

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On Sunday night, my entire family plus extended family on my dad’s side went out to dinner at Bravo! to celebrate my grandparents’ 55th wedding anniversary (!!!!! congrats! I love you both!). The food was pretty good – I ordered the Light Chicken and Vegetable Pasta – but the company was better.

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And check out these cookies my grandma got for dessert! Aren’t they the coolest? And talk about a good looking couple. They were actually married on the 4th of July, so that’s why the cookies are outlined in patriotic colors.

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As for breakfast, I rocked some pancakes on both Saturday and Sunday morning. The ones pictured here are made with spinach; the pancakes from Saturday were made with zucchini. They essentially looked the same, except the zuke ones completely broke up. Pancake fail. They still tasted amazing. I’ll credit the blueberries and maple syrup for that.

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I don’t remember what day I had this breakfast, but those strawberries were seriously on point. I put two over easy eggs atop some spinach and had a banana with Nuttzo on the side.

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And then of course I had to have my good old standby of avocado toast with Vegenaise, eggs, and carrots. And those cherries? PHENOMENAL. I could have eaten the entire bag (I know it looks like the entire bag there, but it was maybe 1/4 of it 😉 ).

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I also had this yummy concoction for lunch one day: my Red, White & Blueberry Granola Parfait. Super tasty and healthy!

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Recent Fitness

Last week’s workouts included yoga (of course), ellipticalling, a run, and this deck of cards workout.

I actually only made it to yoga once, but it was a 90 minute class I definitely needed before the weekend. I went the morning of the 4th, and it was incredibly crowded. Like an inch between mats crowded. It was a little more stressful of a class than I wanted, but it turned out to be a great sweaty workout despite the strange woman next to me who was staring right into my eyes during one of our final twists on the floor.

And, yes, that does say I went for a run. On Wednesday, I headed down to a trail with my friend to test out the ‘ol knee. Unfortunately, there was still pain even after basically taking the anti-inflammatories for a month. I went to the specialist yesterday, and I’m scheduled to get an MRI to make sure I don’t have any torn ligaments. The doctor wants to be sure before he gives me a cortisone shot, which is the next step if the MRI shows no out-of-the-ordinary ailments. It’s my first MRI, and I’m kind of nervous! I’ve never had to have anything more than an x-ray, knock on wood.

Questions of the Day:
>> Have you ever had an MRI or anything of the like? I’ve had x-rays for my scoliosis and wisdom teeth, but that’s about it.
>> What is your strangest yoga experience?
>> Three things you ate this week! & go. 

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com