Uninvited Detour

Eudaimonia tip #32 – The key to any life change is how we adapt to life happening all around us.  

Why I thought my weight loss journey would be straightforward is the question of the day. Most people would find that when they exercise more and eat less, their bodies react appropriately with increased energy, weight loss, and overall happier mood. Because exercise is good for the brain, at least that’s what they say… whoever they are. 

The good news is some weight loss is happening. I feel every so slimmer, I can see more of my jawline, and my clothes are fitting better. All of this is the silver lining rather than the pie filling because my body is just stubborn.

I admit I attacked my new lifestyle with a fervor. The first week I started my couch to 5K (Cto5K) running plan, and the week after I added on the summer challenge and also adopted a keto diet. The first two weeks were pretty impressive. My momentum, determination, and commitment levels were all working in my favor. 

As I progressed into week three of my running program, I was tasked with running seven two minute runs with rests in between. I started slow and only ran four the first day, then five, six and on the last day, Sunday, ran all seven. The feeling of accomplishment was excellent, and I was enjoying the running game until my feet betrayed me. 

Yes, the agony of da-feet (sorry I couldn’t resist). 

My plantar fasciitis (PF) kicked in on my left foot, so I threw some KT Tape on to help with support. I followed up with some stretches I remembered from the first time I had PF. A few days later, I saw my inner ankles starting to get poofy, but still pushed through and kept adding on my seven-minute runs. I should preface I notice my shins were stinging along with pain in my feet with every strike on the treadmill. 

I knew my feet were in precarious shape as I entered week four, and decided to repeat week three building up my seven-minute run intervals. Tuesday’s run (July 23) did not go well. My feet and shins hurt BAD, and I could barely get through the four two minute runs without wincing. The next day my feet were totally swollen and tingly and very uncomfortable to walk on, which posed a problem since they are required to get around and do things. 

Luckily, I had my appointment with my holistic doctor on Friday the 26th. I gave him the low down on the hijack of my lifestyle. He asked questions and then suggested that my ankle swelling could be related to my kidney function. It just so happens I have unilateral nonobstructive Hydronephrosis on my left kidney. This is a fancy way of saying that my left kidney doesn’t drain efficiently and retains fluids. Ironically, my left foot was the worst of the two, so some correlation can be made. 

This internal issue was discovered by ultrasound in 2017 as my left ureter (the tube that connects your kidneys to your bladder) was enlarged and dubbed the megaureter. My kidney function tested resulted in my left kidney draining at only 34 percent, causing my right kidney to pick up the slack and function at 66 percent. A few months later, I had surgery to see if there was a blockage, but there wasn’t. Lucky me, because that would be too easy. So now I’m stuck with a swampy left kidney, and no one can do a darn thing about it! 

I reminded the holistic-doc of my kidney issue, which confirmed his suspicion and led to supplements that support the kidneys and a few other ones for good measure. 

Next came the dark days of forced rest. There is nothing more annoying than wanting to work out, but realizing your body needs to rest. For the next two days, I stayed in the AC on the couch with my feet elevated and in compression socks.  Sunday I kicked the socks and was a bit more active by way of errands but still skipped any exercise. 

By Monday, my feet were my own again. The swelling went down, but I still had some soreness. I resumed my strength training workouts this week minus the running, and added in some yoga, walking and hopefully biking this weekend. 

My diagnosis is a combination of stressing my system with so much change, along with repetitive running on the treadmill resulting in body rebellion. 

The moral of the story is, sometimes what looks like a straight line has more turns and bends in it than perceived. My momentum took a hit, as I was looking forward to running again, but I realized that I needed to adjust my trifecta to weights, yoga, and healthy-keto. 

The key to any life change is to expect for life to happen, injuries happen, sickness happens, work happens, vacations happen, sick kids happen. You get the idea. How we react to those happenings is what matters most for success in the long game.

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