Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How Much Does Fire Weigh?

The hamstring is a term used for the four muscles on the back of the upper leg. “Pulling a hamstring” just means that one or more of those muscles have been injured. This can happen at any age or physical condition. It is typically pretty painful and slow to heal. It can also be fairly serious and may require surgery if the damage is extensive.

My injury happened about a week ago while I was running. My legs were very tight despite stretching after a warmup. By the end of my run my right leg was not doing well at all and it continued to tighten up and hurt. The next morning I could barely walk. This prompted me to do some research on hamstring pulls since I had a vested interest. That, and paramedics as a general rule don’t go to doctors if they are still breathing. If they do stop breathing they will still drive themselves. I was still breathing so went on the internet to diagnose myself and put together a treatment plan.

I don’t typically like applying ice packs to my body because they are cold, but in this instance the cold has brought a lot of pain relief. It’s annoying to have a fitness plan sidelined by an injury but this is one that demands rest. I can still do upper body workouts and I have been gradually adding in some walking. I have to be very careful with that though because the muscles don’t need to be stressed or overly stretched. My goal for the 5k I had been training for is now to be able to walk that far without aggravating an injury. I still want the T-shirt.

An interesting thing happened with the bathroom scale over this whole thing. I have been faithful to my diet and continue doing the daily exercise that I can. According to my smartphone app that tracks my daily intake and exercise I should still be losing weight. Instead, the scales have gone up by about six pounds. How is that even possible? If you want to have an excuse for getting discouraged try getting sidelined in a fitness goal and then see the scales go the wrong direction even though you are doing everything right. So what happened? Am I sleep limping to Taco Bell?

One or more of the large muscles on the back of my thigh was injured. That causes inflammation and swelling. There’s where the six sneaky pounds came from. It may actually be more than that if I factor in my underlying weight loss by sticking with the program. Fluid is heavy and inflamed tissue can hold a lot of fluid. With that being the case the worst thing I could do right now is get radical with my diet based on the number on the scales. My body needs optimal nutrition for healing.

It’s very interesting to me to see just how much my weight is affected by inflammation. When I first changed to a clean healthy diet months ago I saw a dramatic drop in weight immediately. This probably had a lot more to do with reduced inflammation than from actually burning very much fat at that point. One of the primary negative effects of all the chemicals in our processed foods and fast foods is inflammation. When you eliminate them from your diet you eliminate the unhealthy effects on your body and it’s fun watching the numbers drop on the scales. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel also. Just be careful of sports injuries.

 The goal with all of this health stuff is so that I can live a better life and truly fulfill my life’s mission. There will be setbacks and some of them can be pretty painful. That’s life. So I am going to rest and rehab my leg, eat right, drink my daily Shakeology, and fascinate you by blogging about the journey. See you on the running trails again soon.

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