Health

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

Balancing Alcohol Consumption With Healthy Living

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The other night, I drank half an alcoholic milkshake with my friend Kaitlyn. At 9:30 pm. It wasn’t my proudest moment, I’ll be honest, but I was a little bit buzzed. The shake was calling our names, and you know what? It was delicious.

Surprise! Sometimes I like to have a drink or two (or more). Maybe even in milkshake form. If you’ve been reading for even just a month, you probably get that by now. So, yeah, I do indulge in a little drinking now and again. Does that make me any less healthy than a non-drinker? In my opinion, no.

We all know that alcohol is not at the top of the 100 healthiest foods list (actually, it’s probably pretty close to the bottom of that list). Still, alcohol is something that the people I hang out with, including family, drink. It’s not going away anytime soon. I used to freak out about the calories in alcohol and the potential health risks that can incur in the future from consumption, but recently I’ve learned a big lesson in moderation.

It’s okay if you want to have a fun night out, or even a glass of wine at home. Like I said, though, moderation is key. I’ve learned that if I have only one or two drinks in a night, I’m infinitely happier than if I have four (or more). I feel clearer the next day, both in body and mind. But that’s not necessarily what I’m meaning to get at here.

For me, indulging in nights that include alcohol usually lead to some pretty fun and happy memories. Going out with friends or catching up with someone over dinner and drinks is a kind of release. It’s a way to unwind and tighten friendships. I know that not everyone treats alcohol in this way, but it’s how I personally treat it. It’s all about balance, like most things in life, really.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- healthy living is about more than just quinoa, kale, and running. Someone I met the other night while I was having a drink got to questioning me about this. If I was so “healthy,” why was I drinking? My answer was basically that if I restricted myself from alcohol merely because it’s not traditionally good for you, I wasn’t doing myself any mental favors. It’s one thing to actually not be able to consume something but it’s another to tell yourself you can’t.

So I’m going to keep eating oatmeal, making salads, and guzzling water. I’m also going to have a drink now and again. And that’s perfectly okay with me.

Questions of the Day:
>> How do you feel about incorporating alcohol into a healthy lifestyle?

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.

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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?