It’s been about a month since I weighed out by finishing a month of running and saying that it was a successful trial. I’d tell anyone to try it, if they weren’t trying to lose too quickly and like running. So what’s been going on since then?
Well, as I said in the weigh-out post, I had every intention of keeping up with the running, in order to make it to a solid 27 minutes and continue working towards my 10k goal. It’s just that something happened: summer.
For those of you who are not aware of my situation (hey, there might be a few), I have Multiple Sclerosis and am very averse to heat and humidity. It was all fine while I was staying with my friend in DC and walking across the hall to her air-conditioned, in-house gym. But once I got back on the road to visit friends and family and then to go on job interviews overseas, it all went downhill. I canNOT function in heat and humidity, and if it is warmer than 22 degrees (71 for all of you on the fahrenheit scale), I need to not exert myself and take a dip in a pool (or a bathtub, if no pool is available). This means that leaving the AC to travel in July on the eastern seaboard was not going to work unless I stayed indoors.
I literally melted. I’m still melting, since Western Europe seems to be in the middle of the summer heat wave (even England got hit this time, boy were they confused!). I can thankfully function (kind of) without the AC, but it means my activity-level is severely limited.
At first, I was all optimistic: I got up HELLA early and went for runs outside before the sunlight heated things up. But then we got to the part of the summer where even the NIGHTS are too hot, and in places with no AC, this equates to me waking up and taking a cold shower, just so I can get on with my days, or laying around all day in the shade, fanning myself. Which did happen quite a few times…
So running got nixed a few weeks ago. I have since then tried to go out on the cooler mornings, but have had to deal with the typical ‘you haven’t fun for so long, now you’re going to have knee pain for a week’ that always comes out of it. And then in Belgium, I pinched a nerve in my back, again, and have spent the last week recovering from that. Hot baths on hot days are NOT good for me, so I have to knock myself out just to ease the back pain for a day. Every day.
I had this thought in my head that I could jump right into another fitness trial, and maybe I could have, if I’d have stayed in one place. But since I can’t manage to sit still, I’m knocked out of commission for a while. Again.
For the first few weeks, it was a constant ‘I can be off for a week, I’ll get back into it as soon as the weather cools down’. That was an ok place to be mentally, but it was on the verge of worrying. Then it moved into the stage where you realize all of the progress you made (endurance wise, dress-size wise, etc) is slowly melting back to what it was before you started, and that is a terrible downward spiral. It never helps that your period always comes when that thought process is starting, and that’s about where I was the past two weeks.
I fall into that often, as I get knocked out by heat rather often. I don’t like being there mentally, because it is a hard process to recognize and stop. I am really, really critical of myself and have a terrible memory in my head of what I used to be capable of before the MS and life hit, and I hate looking in mirrors with that thought in my head. It never quite goes away, even when you are at your physical peak. It’s always there, nagging, saying ‘yeah, but remember when you had an 8-pack and thought you were fat? Remember how well you were doing LAST summer? Now your thighs are back to rubbing together’. It’s terrible, and it’s easy to fall into when there IS a memory like that to occupy your mind.
It’s even harder to combat when you are in a state of flux. I haven’t had my own bed since March. I’ve been relying on the kindness of my friends and family since then, as I move around looking at job opportunities and trying to figure out where I can actually survive. There has been no ‘normal’ for me for quite some time, and that’s a hard place to be, as there is no routine, no ‘home’ to fall back on. It makes dealing with the summer issues harder, because I have to adapt to each new place.
At the moment, due to the lack of running and physical activity past daily things, I’m still dealing with weakness, focus issues (my eyes are NOT happy) and balance issues. My knees won’t bend properly going down stairs so I have to take them REALLY slowly, and I get dizzy when there is too much space/too many fields to focus on in front of me and need to hold onto something (or someone). It has made tall escalators a nightmare. I’ve been dealing with a lot of that since March/April, but the heat isn’t helping it to go away, as I can’t even get myself to do yoga routines to try to work my way out of it.
It’s a bit of a predicament at the moment, and all I can do is deal with it and take my meds, and hope for a cooler day so I can try to do something.
In these types of situations, when there is no workout available in sight, all I can do is stretch in the mornings and eat right. As long as I don’t eat shit on top of everything else, I can at least maintain something of a healthy weight, even if I end up losing all the tone by the time the heat dissipates. One of the upsides to my heat issue is that it also totally ruins my appetite, so I couldn’t overeat even if I wanted to.
Silver lining? I guess?
So that’s where I am for now. I can’t run outdoors, there isn’t an indoor option for anything at the moment, and it seems my workouts are put on hold until I get somewhere cooler or the weather gets cooler. In the meantime, I’ll post about other things like motivation and diet, as I can:)
This week I’m reminded of exactly how important it is to eat well. We can discuss that later.