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Taking Care of Your Body: What I Ate Wednesday

Disclaimer: As much as this following post is going to seem like a pity party, it actually isn’t.  I feel grounded and am just choosing to write out some factual realities that I am feeling. 

I threw out my back.

Even though I’ve lived nearly my entire life with some sort of back pain/discomfort – thanks, genetics – and even though I’ve been suffering from a disabling locked SI joint and hip tighness for the last 2-3 years, never have I had something happen to my back where I am disabled and in tears.

I don’t know exactly how it happened. I was sitting on my couch last night, made the slightest movement to grab my tea cup, and *cinch*… I was no longer able to bend my low back in any which way.    

Yes, it’s awful. It hurts and I can’t move. But the worst part is that I know I’ve brought this upon myself. 

I know I’ve been careless with stretching. I know I’ve been careless with how I move and treat my body. I know I did an exercise class this weekend where I did not use proper form and rather felt heavy weight and exertion was more important. 

My back has been quite bad these last couple of weeks (in its “normal” bad way) and in order to lessen the discomfort in the short term I’ve been stretching too harshly and in ways that were probably doing more harm than good. I have not been compassionate or taking it easy. Rather, I’ve been pushing past the discomfort and taking my body completely for granted. 

I know that this is a norm for me. When I get jacked up, I go to the gym and push past my limits and choose adrenaline over form. And then I pay the consequences. But I never seem to learn. I just do it again the next time. 

Honestly? I’m scared for my future. I’m scared for my health. And its not just the thrown out back. That’s just serving as my current reminder that I need to stop taking my body for granted. 

I have hypothalamic amenhorrhea. Will I ever get my period back? Chances are high I’ll never be able to have children. 

I have no estrogen. I very well may grow up to have osteoporosis. 

I’m underweight. Will I ever actually change this?

I’m not even 30 and have chronic back pain. 

No I’m NOT pitying myself. But I am asking, what needs to happen to finally drill in to my head “enough?” When will I finally choose to put my health first? When will I “learn?” Is there still time to fix all these things?  I want to live a long life without ailments. I don’t want to be crippled when I’m 60 or have early onset osteoporosis. 

Yet I continue to take my body for granted. 

Taking care of your body does not just mean what you eat or how much you weigh. It means being able to take deep natural breaths and not walk around with your shoulders so tense they nearly touch your ears. It means not slouching your spine as you sit in front of a computer all day. It means not running if your knee is hurting. It means not cracking your back, your neck, your fingers and toes 10 times a day. It means eating enough calories to keep your bones, muscles and organs cushioned. It means eating lots of vegetables to fight free radical damage. It means talking out your feelings and doing what makes you happy and inspired. 

It means so many things. Some of these things I have learned, and can happily say I’ve come a long way with. But others I still have to choose to make priority. This is my long journey towards health. I hope I get there one day. 

*************************************************************************************************************************

Today was a pretty slow day, so I had time to take pictures of my food. I didn’t think I’d be writing this type of post tonight but I figure I might as well still share the pictures I took. After all… food is still a major part of taking care of your body. Just so happens that I had a pretty darn nutritious day. 

Thanks to the What I Ate Wednesday Crew

Breakfast:

An early rehearsal meant a simple, smaller – albeit delicious – start to the day. Simple breakfasts steal my heart. 

WIAW taking care of your body

Thick slab of Meg’s Acorn Squash Strawberry loaf / banana / cashew butter / hemp hearts / decaf

Lunch:

A combination I discovered a couple years ago and continues to be one of my go-to “throw together” meals. So many good things washed down with some digestive probiotics in the form of (spiccccy) kimchi. 

WIAW taking care of your body

Ground beef in tomato sauce / steamed greens / zucchini noodles / roasted sweet potato / kimchi / avocado

Snack:

An apple a day…?

WIAW taking care of your body

Apple with a side of wet snow

Dinner:

If there’s any dinner that makes me feel like I’m giving my body a mega surge of nutrition, its these babies. They may look dainty but this meal is super satisfying. They’re stocked with sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, taters and veggies. Not to mention some good calcium from the tahini “mayo.” 

WIAW taking care of your body

Veggie Hash stacks / arugala spinach mix / tahini “mayo”

Evening snack: 

Took out my container of christmas treats from home. Wish they could last all year but I guess the sentimentality would go down. 

WIAW taking care of your body

Christmas biscotti / fudge / blueberries / pear

Taking care of your body means many things. Let's stop taking our bodies for granted. #selfcareโ€ฆ Click To Tweet

Tell me,

What could you start doing… right now.. today… to start taking better care of yourself? 

Have you had to learn any tough lessons about taking care of your body? 

Do you believe in “never too late?” 

35 COMMENTS

  1. chasetheredgrape | 11th Jan 17

    First of all I am sending you a big hug. No matter the cause having your back out is horrible and never nice.
    Identify (which you have done), learn and move onwards and upwards. It may happen again, it may not but each time the warning bells will get louder and you will succeed. ๐Ÿ™‚
    If you keep pushing speed over technique maybe try sticking to classes/ seeking out a coach? basically having someone there who will stop you in your tracks if your form is lacking. Might be worth a try!
    chasetheredgrape recently posted…How to be true to yourself in 2017 #5TTTMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Thank you, Jen. Its really nice having responses of of compassion and empathy and not the “how dumb of you” like what is going on in my head. I am definitely taking this, learning from it, and using it to live a better life from here on in. I’ve been given a lesson… one which I suppose I needed to learn… and one that will help me live a better life in the future.
      I would love to get a coach or trainer to ensure I am using my movements most efficiently. Unfortunately I don’t have the funds for it right now. The thing is I do know proper form… I just choose to negate it sometimes. I hope that stops now.

  2. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 11th Jan 17

    I know how you feel, and I’ve done exactly what you are doing—you are waiting, waiting, for that shoe to drop. In my case, the shoe finally dropped (and has, a few times) and I could no longer ignore the signals that my body was sending. Take the start of this year as a fresh note to go forward and be an active participant in your health–not just your mental health, which has been such the focus of your efforts as well. You can’t have mental health without physical health, and vice versa, at least, in my experience.
    And I realllllly hope that your back gets better. Back pain sucks, and you know I understand that!
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Benefits of Massage for Runners + Giveaway (Coaches Corner)My Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Waiting for the shoe drop. Yeah. What a scary, scary waiting room to put yourself in. If this isn’t my “ball” then it is certainly enough to have given me a really big lesson, and one which change how I treat myself from here on in. It is hard to look back and not feel painful regret about how you’ve treated yourself, but I’m working really really hard to just keep looking forward and start from scratch – as you say – to NOW make changes and start treating other parts of myself differently. I know you understand, more than most… <3

  3. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 11th Jan 17

    I’m so sorry to hear about your back! Is there a way to heal that? I think sometimes if we’re ignoring signs our body is giving us (or trying to give us), it often takes a larger symptom or impact to help us bring attention to our needs. I think my sign to take better care of my body is to go to bed earlier and make an impact to say yes to others more – get out of my comfort zone a little bit. Nothing nutritionally or taking anything away, but more about adding in new/different things. I think you’re starting to figure out what your body needs. I realllly hope your back pain gets better ๐Ÿ™
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…What I Ate WednesdayMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Not sure about “healing,” other than just a lot of rest and heat. Though I am going to be seeing a chiropractor and maybe a physio to hopefully get a better plan to “fix” my problem in a more long term way. But yes – if we keep ignoring our body’s messages it WILL eventually get our attention… somehow. But the goal is to listen before it has to start screaming. I really need to work on that.
      I love that “saying yes to others more” is a goal for your health, Sarah. That is so cool. Because doing so will help you learn and grow and figure out what inspires you and make you happy.

  4. Kat | 11th Jan 17

    Yep Im convinced – we are the SAME. Girl I feel you so so much with your back pain. As someone who threw out her back SEVERAL times last year, it was not just a painful experience but also a painful REMINDER of how I’ve neglected and mistreated my body over the years to the point where my spine and disks are just so broken down that they give out at any given moment. I go to sleep with back pain and wake up with it. Its part of my life now. My sole focus this year is taking care of my back and hip – and I mean ACTUALLY taking care of it and not just talking about taking care of it! I’m with you girl – I feel you [in pain and in heart!] All we can do is continue to strengthen our bodies now instead of breaking them down!
    Kat recently posted…Paleo Squash Raisin MuffinsMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Kat, I thought of you when writing this post. I KNOW you have had many back troubles and that they’ve cost you your workouts…. which has been hard for you, of course. I hate to hear you feeling that sense of “guilt” about how we’ve mistreated our bodies… because I feel it too and know how hard it is. Its so so hard to not feel that guilt. But all we can do is continue to learn…as long as it takes us… and keep working to make changes to treat ourselves better. YES to strengthening our bodies. No more breaking them down and taking them for granted!! <3 to you.

  5. Patricia @Sweet and Strong | 11th Jan 17

    Oh I’m so sorry to hear about your back! I had a similar experience a few years ago where I finally had to tell myself to slow down and take time off from working out to get better. Since then I’ve tried to listen to what my body needs more. Really hoping you start feeling better soon! And I need to try that lunch combo, sounds delicious!
    Patricia @Sweet and Strong recently posted…Healthy Denver Egg Muffins Recipe and WIAWMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Did you?? Was it your back or a different injury? Its such a hard thing to go through, especially when you love your workouts. But we simply can’t keep ignoring what our bodies tell us because they WILL find a way to let us know. It’s so great to hear how that experience shifted your thoughts to choosing to listen to your body more. I really hope that this ends up the same for me.

  6. Emily Swanson | 11th Jan 17

    don’t give up hope Cora; I know God heals, and I know that I thought that I might not ever get my period back, but I have gotten my period back time and time again. Take care of yourself… Don’t take it too fast. Stop and just slow down and appreciate the moments. It’s okay to rest. It’s okay to refresh and heal. <3
    Emily Swanson recently posted…WIAW: Why I May Be Crying But I Still Have So Much JoyMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Thank you Emily. This week has been a reminder to appreciate just “being.” To slow down… be mindful of who and where I am and what I’m feeling… and not to put stress on myself (physically or mentally). Sometimes lessons come in the strangest and hardest ways, but they are needed.

  7. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 11th Jan 17

    Oh no! I’m so sorry about your back, Cora. That sounds so discouraging.
    You do such a good job–*such* a good job–taking care of your body. I just hope you know this. As I’ve read your blog, you’ve come so far in terms of learning to fuel your body more and taking more rest days, and the things you eat are so nutritious and packed with good calories and good nutrients! But as for the weight lifting, it’s so frustrating when something that you’re doing that’s meant to help your body be strong and healthy can make it weaker and more compromised. I sure hope you feel good soon–I know you have a production coming up!
    I still don’t have my period back. It’s frustrating. Just as I was finally starting to get a very light one back, I had to start taking birth control, which, ironically, has made it so I don’t have a period at all. It’s so frustrating that this basic sign of recovery from years of undereating isn’t there for me. But I try not to let that overshadow the progress I have made (which is easier said than done.)
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…Quick & Easy Veggie-Filled Lasagna (Gluten-Free, Low-FODMAP)My Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Thanks, Joyce. Those are really kind words. I have come a long way in may areas… I guess there’s just a few things left that are hard not to feel guilty about.
      Birth control made it go away!? I thought it tends to do the opposite….? Regardless. That is extremely frustrating and disheartening. You definitely can’t let that overshadow the huge distance you’ve made. Sometimes the world just begs a lot – a looottt – of patience from us. Hang in there <3

  8. Jamie@TheMomGene | 11th Jan 17

    Okay, I waited a while after reading this to comment because I wanted to think through my response (shocking in the blog-sphere). I know you know how to care for yourself. You are a smart lady with serious analytical prowess.. But what I want to tell you is that you are not alone in knowing what you need to do and still struggling to do it. I find it nearly impossible to rest like I need to because “mom guilt” is a real thing. The thing I continue to tell myself whenever I choose to read a book instead of do laundry or fix a hot meal for myself instead of the kid’s leftovers is that it’s not selfish or weak to give in. We don’t always have to be masters of our domain/body/life. The fact that your back is out (I too have a genetically terrible back) is not your fault. It happened. No shame in that, none at all. And now you get to practice rest.
    Jamie@TheMomGene recently posted…Why Youโ€™ll Never Beat Me at 20 QuestionsMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Thank you Jamie. I needed to hear these words. Thank you for your wisdom and reminding me that I’m not alone in feeling like I struggle to do the things I know I should do for myself. I wish we could all just do it with ease!! As for you – keep fixing those hot meals and pulling out those books. Your kids need a you that is taking care of herself.

  9. Heather @ Polyglot Jot | 11th Jan 17

    I’m sorry about your back ๐Ÿ™ I hope you find some improvement! Did you call a doctor or physical therapist?
    I’ve been learning so much about taking care of myself and learning my new pregnant body’s limits. It’s a little daunting to be struggling to do a usually simple workout move and now its so hard!
    Hope you have a restful rest of your week and that your back heals up!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…WIAW: 16 Weeks PregnantMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      I’ve seen a massage therapist and am seeing a chiropractor on monday! Thank you, Heather.
      You will be learning SO much about your body and how to take care of yourself in this next while, holy moly. It is going to be sending you all sorts of messages and signals – which I can see you’ve already been learning how to deal with in terms of learning the best foods to eat. And then that will continue as you need to take care of your body in order to take care of your child – that is just as important!!

  10. Ellie Pell | 11th Jan 17

    I used to believe I would never come back from certain things I’d done to my body, but luckily, the body works in mysterious ways. I mean, if we can regrow our livers, there are few things the body cannot come back from. Don’t give up Cora ๐Ÿ™‚
    I pray for a speedy recovery and also that you will remember this experience the next time you decide not to stretch your body ๐Ÿ˜‰ Heavy weight is fine, as long as you do it smart. <3
    Ellie Pell recently posted…My Favorite Cheese SauceMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Its true. Our bodies are insanely smart…. if they let them do their thing.
      Smart is what I plan to be from here on in.
      I can only imagine how important its been for you to learn how to listen to and read your body as a runner. Your body is truly your best friend so any slight messages can’t be ignored.

  11. Casey the College Celiac | 11th Jan 17

    Girl, this blog post spoke to me on so many different levels. Right now, I could give myself more downtime and more credit on how well I’m doing at managing my post-college-graduation insanity. I could also put less pressure to have the “perfect” trip back to college for my graduation this weekend. I know a lot of mixed emotions are going to come up and that the travels will be stressful and unpredictable. But it will be OK whatever happens. Hang in there girl. Self love is always a good choice, no matter how long it may take.
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…Secretly Superfood-Packed Slow Cooker Mac N Cheese (Gluten Free, Vegan)My Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Yes yes yes Casey… I hope you really hammered these things in and were able to give them to yourself – especially this weekend (an early congrats as you officially accept your diploma!!) Mixed emotions will definitely come up, but I hope you can keep the thought of how deserving you are of this special recognition at the front of your thoughts. Giving yourself downtime is huge. We know how important that is in order to keep our mental AND physical health and be able to do all the things we want to do.

  12. Jen | 12th Jan 17

    So sorry about your back, I hope you get some relief soon!
    Jen recently posted…How to Start on a Health JourneyMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Thank you, Jen! Its starting to heal up.

  13. Stephanie Leduc | 12th Jan 17

    I think it could perhaps one day be too late to reverse things like osteoporosis but at your age, it is so not too late!!
    I got into the habit lately of cracking my knuckles… when and how I started I have no idea, but I’m trying to get that under control.
    I went at a trampoline gym last week and my upper back has been hurting ever since, I can’t job nor can I run (it gives me the most ridiculous pain in my upper back for some reason when I do these two activities). I’ve been doing uphill walking on the treadmill instead (Which honestly I’m almost happy about because I hate running haha), I definitely think that a muscle pain that is unnatural should never be pushed!!
    I had no idea you had hypothalamic ammenorhea, that truly sucks.. There isn’t anything that can be done for that??!
    Stephanie Leduc recently posted…15 Things I Never Told YouMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      I hope you are right, Steph!
      Ugh I’m sorry about your upper back Its crazy how a new movement can jostle our bodies in ways that it doesn’t like. I’ve definitely been set down to treadmill walks instead of runs for the last couple years so I hear you…. and like you, its a blessing in disguise. I hated running on it. And I’m finding walking way more soothing and actually limbers up my body instead of tenses it like running. It feels good!
      As for my HA… thanks. Nothing really can be “done” except for decreasing all stress, upping calories and gaining weight until your body trusts you again. And waiting. Lots and lots and lots of waiting and patience.

  14. Kristy from Southern In Law | 13th Jan 17

    I have definitely learnt the hard way that you have to really look after your body. Whilst most of it wasn’t my fault (undiagnosed coeliac related issues), I’ve often had issues due to stress that told me I needed to stop and look after myself ASAP.

    Luckily, our bodies can be quite forgiving – if we look after them for long enough to give them a reason to trust us. Don’t give up or lose hope, just do everything that is needed to look after yourself. Even if it’s hard – because it’s SO worth it.
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: Unexpected House Guests, Unicycles and SketchesMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      Thanks, Kristy. Listening to your body when stress is causing negative consequences is hard, but you did it. Thanks for being a motivation.

  15. Evangeline | 13th Jan 17

    This doesn’t sound like a pity party. It sounds like an honest reflection, one that’s probably a little painful to face. That question, “when will I stop taking my body for granted,” usually comes up when I get injured or sick because I realize that I’m not invincible. I’ll be praying that your back has a super speedy recovery. You’re strong, Cora. Even when it feels like you’re not moving forward, just the fact that you are wise enough to recognize these truths (and be willing enough to share it because we all need this reminder) is a ginormous step toward all things recovery and healing. So much love <3
    Evangeline recently posted…Four Ingredient Chocolate Chia Pudding (vegan option)My Profile

    • Cora | 13th Jan 17

      I really appreciate you saying that this doesn’t sound like a pity party, but rather an honest reflection… because that’s really what it is and I don’t want people to think otherwise. Im taking this as a really really sucky lesson, but one that I am using for positive change moving forward in my life. Thank you for these kind words my dear.

  16. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 14th Jan 17

    We all do stupid things we know we shouldn’t with crappy consequences. You’re not alone, although you are self aware, which is more than most can say. In fact, I think this coupled with your analytical prowess puts you a step above the rest. You know what you need to do now, so start working on it, one little step at a time. We can’t change everything overnight. Baby steps.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Mothers Wanted: Apply WithinMy Profile

    • Cora | 15th Jan 17

      The little steps have started and I just hope I can keep on stepping!

  17. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 14th Jan 17

    P.S. I’m thrilled you made and liked the bread. You rock!!
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Mothers Wanted: Apply WithinMy Profile

  18. Kaylee | 15th Jan 17

    I hope you’re feeling better Cora! Please remember to show yourself–mind, body and soul–some compassion because of you are doing better than you give yourself credit for. ๐Ÿ’—

    I haven’t had anything as awful sounding as throwing a back out but I definitely take my body for granted; I abuse it. I forget to be grateful for the things my body allows me to do especially as there are those who aren’t as lucky. One of my goals for 2017 is to take better care of my hair, skin and teeth, which I guess is one small way I can take care of the big picture.

    On another note, those meals are mouth-watering: Kimchi, that strawberry loaf, Christmas leftovers, a juicy apple. You are for sure fuelling your body with all the goods!
    Kaylee recently posted…Must-Reads of the Week (19)My Profile

    • Cora | 18th Jan 17

      Well you definitely aren’t alone in this, Kaylee. Having a goal to take care of these things is perfect. Last year I made the goal to take better care of my teeth. Its amazing how much these little things really make a difference in our over all health. And they are all ways of showing ourselves we are important. Kindest of thoughts to you my friend!!

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