Before I went in for my surgery on April 7th, I had the full understanding that this surgery would require a 6 week recovery. That means NO exercising and NO child holding. My heart broke at the thought of not holding my children. I have a 2 and a half year old and a one year. It was rough as far as that goes. I had comfort in knowing they were ok, that it was just me that was suffering. I had great help here from family and I’m very grateful.
Oh, and then there’s the fact that I’m a FITNESS INSTRUCTOR. So how about that ‘no exercising’ for 6 freaking weeks?!
And here’s why I’m sharing this story. It turns out that when something happens to you, whether it’s a twisted ankle, a pulled muscle, a torn ligament in your knee, or recovery from surgery, that there are a few different ways to handle it. One way can help you heal faster and keep your spirits up, and the other way is a downward spiral.
What I usually see people do is get very frustrated and angry with themselves. They feel broken or like something is wrong with them. I hear things like “wellll, I couldn’t do that because of my stupid ankle” or “I am so pissed, now I can’t do my marathon because of my knee” or (while sighing and sounding defeated) “I couldn’t even do my plank because of this damn shoulder” or any number of things like that.
And what I’m really hearing is “I am so mad at my broken body. It won’t do what I want and I hate it!”
In case you didn’t know, your body hears and responds to your thoughts. Your thoughts, just like your body, are made up of energy, so when you send your bod negative thoughts, you’re creating a negative environment.
So besides the fact that allowing yourself to go down the dark road of self loathing feels terrible, it is also literally slowing down your healing process. It’s what they call ‘bad for you’. And that’s the downward spiral option that I mentioned earlier.
I’m here to tell you there’s a better way! I found that what I did was stay in bed or on the couch for most of my recovery. My Dr said walking was ok, but I found that it hurt me to go even 4 houses down the road, so I stopped doing that. My daily exercise became going up and down the stairs, just enough, but not so much that it hurt. I did the exercise purely to treat my body well and help it heal (as opposed to punishing it for being ‘bad’). I decided to use the time to catch up with clients and friends. I got on the phone with as many people as I could. I caught up on reading and writing. I took an online course, wrote in my journal, and had fun making plans for the future. It never occurred to me to be mad at my body for not behaving.
I’m not telling you this because one way is right and one way is wrong. I’m telling you this because most people default to self loathing and punishing their bodies, and that way is counter-productive, doesn’t help the healing process, and makes you feel like crap.
In other words, you don’t have to go there! We all have ups and downs on our journey. We have injuries that need time and care to recover. ALL of us have these things- it’s life! So why would we send our body these negative thoughts?
Bottom line- if you take care of your body, it’ll take care of you. It may help you to think of your body as your child. If your child was hurt, what would you do? Would you punish the child and say terrible things to him for needing to heal? Or would you nurture and take care of him?
The sooner you decide to show compassion and love for your bod, the sooner it will heal. Catch up on your reading. You can exercise, run, jump, dance, ski, kickbox, whatever, when you have healed. And the sooner you take care of yourself, the sooner that’ll be.
Allow yourself the time. It’ll be worth it 😉
All my Best,