Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spending Diet: Fall Edition

Well, folks, it has been a summer of restoration and recovery.

I had knee reconstruction surgery in late April (following my injury back in January) and spent two months on medical leave. My medial patellofemoral ligament and the cartilage behind my kneecap were replaced with donor tissue. For six weeks I was not allowed to put weight on my leg. I wore a brace at all times, unless I was hooked up to the CPM machine.  I could not take a shower for two weeks; I washed using a basin of water and a cloth. I could not use the restroom without assistance. I had to sleep on my back, which I never normally do. All of this took a lot of getting used to. My mother and father took turns living with me so I could have a caretaker at all times. I am extremely grateful to them, and also to my beau, my friends, my family, and my neighbors... everyone who came to visit me during my recovery.

Rebuilding my knee has been like a full-time job; I have to stretch it and exercise it every single day.  There is still some swelling and I cannot descend a flight of stairs one leg at a time without being very careful and deliberate about it. Unless I want to limp for the rest of my life, I cannot stop pushing my limits. It is now the end of August, and my physical therapy is finally drawing to a close. I have regained full flexibility in my knee, and have recovered some of the muscle mass.  Recently, I was approved to start a jogging and plyometrics regimen.

My outlook has been, for the most part, very positive.  I've willingly pushed through the pain and discomfort of therapy. I've gladly endured the time-consuming process of my recovery. The support I've received from loved ones has been tremendous. The journey hasn't been without its setbacks, however; the sedentary lifestyle as a result of my injury, surgery, and healing has caused me to gain over 20 pounds this year.

In addition to the 20 pounds I had already hoped to lose prior to the injury, this additional weight gain has pushed me into an unhealthy range.  I have made permanent dietary changes over the past few months (details to follow in a later post), but it hasn't been enough. I need to be more active. Therefore, following the medical clearance for this new workout regimen, I excitedly purchased a new pair of running shoes.  Though anything more than a jog around the block is a pipe dream at this point, I have to start somewhere.

The injury and its related expenses were ultimately the driving force behind my initial Spending FastNow, in an attempt to slim my spending as well as my waistline, I am embarking on a four-month Spending Diet beginning September 1st.  It will not be as strict as my earlier fast, but rather a model for a more long-term lifestyle and budget I can stick with. I'm still injured, so I can't hit the ground running (literally), but that won't serve as an excuse to become complacent.

I hope to have your encouragement and support. I also hope to offer insight that can inspire others who struggle with finding the balance in their financial and physical well-being. Just remember going into this: health is always more important than wealth.

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