While I’m hardly my usual self at the gym, I am able to do more and more each week now that I finally slowed up, doing a little rehab and learned to listen to my body. I don’t keep pushing through the hip pain when my hamstring tells me enough is enough – seriously can’t believe what a terrible patient I am! So while my lower body is far from its strongest, I’ve recently been able to focus more on upper body strength. I am overhead pressing with 25 pounds and yesterday did all 3 sets of biceps curls with 20 pound dumbbells! That was pretty exciting…but I still can’t get back to training the way I want to in order to reach my final goal. So here I am. But for the first time in a long time, it feels ok. I will get there – but I know if I push I’ll be injured and set back even further. So for right now I need to be ok right where I’m at. I want more but I don’t need to not feel badly for being here…just for now. It’s so hard for me to accept that my body is somehow flawed or injured in a way that I can’t just muscle through – I always muscle through! I feel I can survive almost any discomfort, especially with working out – I tell myself it’s just for a short period of time, then it’s over. The discomfort I have a hard time tolerating is accepting that like it or not, this is where I’m at right now. If I push, something will break. I can either be pissed and cranky (and I have been for months) about this or I can look at the upside: *For the first time in my life, I’m properly rehabbing and healing an injury *For the first time in a very long time, I am not overtraining *I’ve been able to make big strength gains in my upper body *I haven’t lost my exercise schedule – I still go 5-6 times per week, my focus is just different. *I can still eat well – I haven’t been completely discouraged and said #$@% it to the whole thing (although it crossed my mind) *And I can be happy here, even if it’s not everything I want – finally realizing the crankiness is optional This project has really helped me realize just how much I always try to control everything. I’m injured now because I’ve always done the same old thing – pushed until something gives: a disc in my low back, my rotator cuff and now this damn hamstring. Maybe I’m getting smarter, or maybe just older (I do refer to my right hip as my Old Lady Hip, which makes me and my trainer laugh), but I’m not pushing the same way I used to. Admittedly though, I’m not entirely comfy here. I have my moments where being ok with where my body is, how much I weigh, etc, makes me upset, frustrated and sometimes outright ticked off. Time heals all wounds they say, but so does consciously focusing on what I do have to be grateful for. For starters, I have at least an extra hour a day that I used to be exercising (when I was doing two workouts per day). I’m in less pain and I am sleeping better since I’m not overtraining anymore. I’ve finally started doing more stretching and yoga, which in the long run I need to balance out my pounding, intense, heavy training routine. And I’m being nicer to my boyfriend (who’s been getting a double dose of my bad attitude as he is also my trainer…). At times we have to embrace an injury or a set back as it gives us time to reflect on how we ended up here in the first place. I know I ended up here because I put pressure on myself to physically and mentally to lose more weight, and when my body sent me clear signals that it needed to rest , I didn’t listen. I have a habit of overdoing it and this project has helped me balance my drive to do more with ideas like honoring my body and its injuries/limitations, rest, recovery and being nicer to myself. While I’m getting cozy where I’m at – where are all of you? Thanksgiving is just a week away…what can you be grateful for about your health and your body between now and then? A whole lot, I imagine.