Epic Blog of Confusion

Here I am just before participating in my 3rd Oakland Running Festival 5K.
Here I am just before participating in my 3rd Oakland Running Festival 5K.

It’s been more than a month since my last writing and I am no less angry or frustrated. Let me catch you up. I hurt my back bending over to pick up a pair of ear bud headphones. I don’t even have a good story about some massive weight I was trying to lift. Within 48 hours I suffered the indignity of an insulting, pointless emergency room visit and a less than inspiring visit with my primary care physician. My doctor prescribed six physical therapy sessions, two a week for three weeks. No MRI, no X-rays, no diagnostic of any kind.

I regained some range of motion after a week of debilitating pain and stiffness on the couch. I learned some exercises and stretches that are supposed to help me. I regained most of my range of motion in a decent amount of time. However, I still feel like I have a knife in my back on the right side just above the lilac crest of my pelvic bone (I spend too much time on WebMD). I have pain into my hip and if I stand longer than 10 minutes, my right leg and foot start to go numb. I roll over in the middle of the night and it feels like my spine is actually a ratchet.

PAIN, n. An uncomfortable frame of mind that may have a physical basis in something that is being done to the body, or may be purely mental, caused by the good fortune of another.  — The Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce

You tell me if you see a difference between December and now.
You tell me if you see a difference between December and now.

I’ve wondered why none of these medical professionals recommend an MRI. At first, I had no tingling or numbness, just the horrific lock up spasm that froze every muscle in my lower back. I was told no one would send me for an MRI because I didn’t have the numbness or tingling. After the spasm released, guess what?! The tingling and numbness arrived like that creepy relative you don’t want to attend the family get-together.

I did two rounds of the rack, er, traction.
I did two rounds of the rack, er, traction.

The physical therapists decided to try traction during my last two visits. The first time seemed to alleviate the tingling and numbness for a few days but it came back. The last attempt at traction felt good during but had no affect on my symptoms or my disposition.

I continue to exercise and lift weights. I started running again after the final physical therapy appointment. I refuse to let this get me off track. I was thankful that I didn’t gain any weight during the week I achieved singularity with the couch. I started the Shortcut to Shred program from www.bodybuilding .com this past Monday. Trying to find time to commute to work, do my job, commute back to the house, do my back rehab, lift weights and run, and spend time doing things I actually enjoy, is becoming a bigger challenge as I go along.

I’ve recently upped my protein intake. Isopure’s low-carb whey protein powder has 50g of protein per serving. Most articles I’ve read on protein tell me that I should get about 1g per pound of body weight per day if I’m trying to burn fat and build muscle. My weight is floating between 176-180 pounds right now and I’ve averaged about 170g of protein a day the past two weeks or so. As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s time to carve up the Jello.

Here I am about to finish the ORF 5K in 28:55.
Here I am about to finish the ORF 5K in 28:55. Asics Gel Kayano 20s are like running on kittens.

When I started this blog and this process just over two years ago, I entered the Oakland Running Festival 5K. I intended to run it and ended up walking all but about 1/8th of a mile because of shin splints and chronic fat ass. A year later I ran it in 33:00 flat and this year I completed it in 28:55. I wasn’t able to run much in the weeks prior to this year’s race because of my back injury and rehab, but I’ll take a 4:05 slice off my time in two years.

I’m hoping the massive increase in protein and the Shortcut to Shred program results in some major changes to my physique. I’m not holding my breath. I don’t see much change in the mirror but photographs seem to tell a different story.

Maybe I am too hard on myself, maybe I expect too much of myself, maybe I am trying to achieve an impossible ideal. But eating well and exercise are part of my life. I work better when I have something for which to strive or achieve. I have lost the weight I want to lose. However, maintenance is boring. I still feel like I am covered in fat and I have way too much belly fat for my liking. I always feel like I can be better or do more. As evidenced in my previous writings I always feel like I’m not good enough, what I do isn’t good enough, I don’t do enough and that I am simply just not enough.

I would venture a guess that you’d think me mad in this instance. But if you know me and what drives me then you’ll understand why I think these things. I am sure my perception is not reality but I have yet to be convinced. I’m not sure if there is anything that will ever convince me.

Every time I feel like I am the poster on the wall or better than the poster on the wall, something comes along to knock me right back down again. Whether that be work issues or an injury, there’s always an ego-deflating event. Most would say that’s just life. It sucks being an adult.

There will be no ego massages today!

I did all of this to feel better. I have written about all the little things you take for granted that you can’t do when you’re overweight, how miserable of an experience it is, the constant pain, the ill-fitting clothes and much more. Well, exercise or muscle soreness is one thing. Injury pain is another. Trying to undo 16 years of apathy and laziness is, in a word, difficult.

Yo-yo is not an option to me. I have friends who have done similar things with weight loss, quit exercise for awhile, tossed good nutrition out the window, gained 20 pounds only to hop right back on the wagon and lose that 20 like it’s nothing. I don’t think I could ever be one of those people. I get a lot of credit for keeping off the weight I’ve lost. I’ve been as low as 176.6 in recent weeks, which would mark 60 pounds down. I’m just under 179 today.

I’m done losing weight. Even though I am technically a little overweight for my height. My BMI and body fat are on the edge of acceptable. My body image, however, is another story. I know someone a couple of years older than me that spent three years turning himself into an amateur body builder. My ideal is a year older than me. I don’t know what a 45-year-old, pushing 46, is supposed to be able to do. I don’t know what it’s capable of.

I’m sure as hell going to find out.