One thing I love about bloggers is their sheer determination to not only get out there and achieve their goals, but also encourage each other along the way to do the same. Not going to lie: health and fitness don’t play a major part in my life. I’m not saying I’m queen of the couch potatoes, and I do tend to eat healthily and for the most part, and avoid junk food, but I wouldn’t consider myself fit in the slightest. Being part of the blogging community however has inspired me – seeing people run marathons, doing Couch to 30K challenges, shreds and daily yoga has really motivated me to take more of an active role in my own wellbeing. (If you don’t like something, change it, right?)
On top of the good I’m told it will do for my back, being in good shape was also something I wanted to tackle before the wedding (which is only three and a half months away (!!)). In the spring, I bought a used treadmill off the Internet, which, in an effort to prove I was going to suck at exercise, promptly broke within the first few months. In came the pedometer. Which still remains in its packaging. But like a fairy godmother telling me I shall go to the health and fitness ball, I received a magical text a couple of days before I left for England.
I’m moving. You want a free $2,500 treadmill?
Why yes, as a matter of fact, I did! My friend showed up with entourage of Big Strong Men, and delivered a state-of-the-art, gym-quality treadmill to my house complete with spare parts and instruction manual. I gave them $100 out of guilt and gratitude, and we said our goodbyes. Now I had no reason not to start running. Fast-forward to getting back from the trip, when my nose decided it was going to run longer and faster than I ever would, and I ended up being laid up with a fever, chills, dizziness, headache, and a cough worse than a chain smoker’s. Not great for my plans to be the next Kenenisa Bekele. I had, however, been doing a fair bit in terms of being healthier: going to hot yoga for a month (before the Intro Rate turned into the Regular Insanely Expensive Rate), making Green Monsters every morning for breakfast, taking multivitamins, picking up a copy of the 30 Day Shred on DVD, and buying a weighing scale so I could make sure I stayed at a healthy weight.
Which led to my discovery: I wasn’t at a healthy weight. At all. I recently learned that I was medically underweight. A BMI of 20 or lower, I was told, equalled underweight, and a BMI of under 18.5 was considered extremely underweight and possibly malnourished, with several risks including osteoporosis, respiratory/digestive diseases, increased risk of falls or fractures, depression, lethargy, and, at the very top of the list: compromised immune function. My BMI? 18.3.
I didn’t know what to do when I got sick again last week. When I’d got my new position, my boss had told me I had half a sick day left for the rest of the year. Had I really been ill that often? I did some research, and it clicked – maybe my immune system IS compromised by my weight. I couldn’t go in, but I felt terrible – I didn’t have any more sick time, and I was needed with the startup of this new project. Meaning I’d used up all my sick time for the entire year. They were kind enough to keep me on and give me this position, and I felt like I was screwing them over by being off for another two days. I told my boss I’d take it unpaid, or work late for a few weeks, whatever was necessary, but I can’t shake the feeling that I might be seen as one of those people who call in all the time just to get time off, when in reality I was stuck at home feeling worse than I had in years. I’m worried I may lose my job over this.
Sweet got the same bug I did, but it barely affected him at all. A little sniffly and a bit of a cough, and his work and social obligations (on top of his role as Best Caregiver Ever) remained unaffected. I got hit hard, couldn’t swallow even water, alternated between sweating hot and shivering cold, and could barely drag myself out of bed. I can’t afford to keep getting sick, but on the flipside, I don’t want to gain any weight. I’ve always been complimented on being slim, and when you don’t like the way you look physically, it’s something that does make a bit of a difference in feeling better about yourself. Being a smaller framed girl, the slightest bit of weight gain is instantly noticeable, straight to my stomach after a couple of days’ eating bigger meals, and you’d swear I was 4 months pregnant. I don’t want to get bigger, but I do want to get healthier. I can’t afford to keep getting ill and I know these risks are the sorts of thing that only get worse with time. Who knows, maybe it’s contributing to the back pain, too – if I am malnourished, surely it must be more difficult for the muscles to work and regenerate properly?
I don’t know. I’m not sure what to do. So this is where I appeal to all those healthy people out there I read and am inspired by so often: what can I do to get back on track to being a healthy weight without bloating up? Your suggestions would be so very appreciated ❤