Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pneumonia and a Good Cheerleader

Has it really been almost a week since my last post? Yeah, life happens. Anyway, I have some bad news. I have pneumonia again. Major. Bummer. I've been coughing for a while now, it started before the Nike half, seemed to clear up the day prior, but came back a couple days after. I wasn't planning to see a doc because I don't have a fever and haven't felt that rundown. Well, that's not true, on Friday I was practically falling asleep come late afternoon, and I was still at work. Not good form.

Anyway, I was repeatedly harassed encouraged to see a doctor and finally made an appointment just to keep the peace, feeling quite sure I didn't have anything. But when the doc put the stethoscope to my back she sighed and said, "oh, I'm sorry." She's a runner too and knows I'm struggling with no exercise. In fact, she rolled into the exam room in a wheelchair because of a stress fracture. The good news is, we caught it much earlier than last time and so I don't need to be on bed rest or anything. Just a week of antibiotics and no exercise. If my lungs are 80% clear at my follow up appointment next Thursday I can start exercising, slowly at first.

While I know I won't be starting from scratch it's also going to be a measured transition to back my routine. I can't dive back into running/biking/swimming/weight training at the same level I was before. And that's ok, I remind myself I'll get there again.

The thing that's made things so much harder is that not being able to exercise has come at a horrible time. The personal stress stuff I have going on is not letting up, and won't for some time really, and I've been feeling like a person in a vice, being squeezed tighter and tighter without being able to burn off steam in the gym or leave the stress in my dust out on the road. I know I'm not really writing about what's going on in my life, and I will eventually, it's just that right now it's all too personal, fresh and evolving to be opening up here.

But when things are more settled, when the unknown becomes more known, I'll share. Just know I'm going through all sorts of, "What fresh hell is this?" and it's not a good time to be sidelined from the exercise. I've been doing a lot of self talk to get me through.

You'll be able to exercise again one day.
It's not normal to feel this tired, you'll have energy again one day.
You'll get through this, it won't go on forever.
This is temporary.
When you can get back in the gym and out on the road, you'll rebuild your routine.
You're sick. Sick people rest. You're not lazy or slipping into old habits. You're sick.

I have no doubt that I'll get back to it. The old fears I used to have in this type of situation - that I'd fall off the wagon and regain weight - are not there. At least not much. I have a niggling fear that it will be too hard, that I won't be able to do what I used to do, but in those moments I calm myself by saying, "Not now, you can't challenge that now, but the time will come, very soon, when you can challenge that, and we'll see, once again, what you're made of."

The other complicating factor is food. And candy. The Halloween candy situation was just poor timing. I ate quite a bit of fun sized junk. But the Halloween candy is out of the house. I made a candy-for-toys trade with the kids and everyone walked away happy. But my meal choices, when I've even managed to eat a normal meal, have been less-than-stellar as well. Mostly though it's been a bowl of cereal here, a slice of bacon there. Donuts, bagels, and other random food encounters. That, coupled with the lack of exercise, leaves me feeling like crap. For the first time in ages I got a headache last night that didn't resolve with ibuprofen. Pre-lifestyle change I got headaches regularly, once a month or so, now I get them a couple times a year and almost exclusively when I'm not taking care of my body.

I haven't gained weight, though my body fat percentage is creeping up. If I were to continue on this path, the weight gain would follow. But I know I'm going to continue on this path. My weight is around 140 and my one year goaliversary is tomorrow! One year at my goal weight, I'm very excited to pass that milestone. This is not a passing fancy, this was not a diet. I'll write more about that in my goaliversary post.

In the meantime, life goes on. I'm putting one foot in front of the other, trying not to think too hard or too much, and doing my best to be a good cheerleader for myself. There's a woman inside jumping up and down, shaking her pom-poms, and screaming, "You've got this, keep going Michelle, you've got this!". Sometimes I question her enthusiasm but mostly I'm just grateful to have her. Conjuring up my inner cheerleader whenever I need her, another tool in my toolkit.


  1. That sucks! But this too shall pass! Feel better!

  2. you should take full rest and get complete recover before starting to exercise again.
    don't take things for granted., you see. hope all is well with you...

  3. Hope you feel better soon physically and emotionally. Hugs!

  4. Michelle,
    I’m a young college student who is always concerned with maintaining and keeping weight off. I find it so inspiring that your entire life you have (or have tried) to make health and wellness and major priority. I couldn’t agree more when you say fitness will always be on the front burner. It is something nobody should take for granted. However, sometimes life gets so busy we don’t make enough time for ourselves and our bodies. I think it is awesome you have worked so hard to train and keep your body happy and healthy. This sickness will pass and you will be back out there before you know it. I really enjoy your blog.


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