Detox Diet: Day Three (aka The Final Frontier)

I’m not going to lie to you, today has NOT been easy. When my alarm went off at 6.55am I could barely find the strength to lift my head off the pillow, let alone do my pilates DVD as planned. So it was back to sleep for another 45 minutes, and even then I felt like someone had dropped a breeze block on my head from a great height.

At work I was grumpy and impatient – though having to proofread a 310 page document would probably have that effect on me with or without a detox.

At lunchtime, to cheer myself up, I had an extra-large bowl of garden salad with lemon and oil dressing, rationalising that the ingredients would otherwise have gone to waste (because I’m sure as hell having something different for lunch tomorrow – most probably something that’s been deep fried in a foot of animal fat then coated in three consecutive layers of chocolate and cheese) and anyway, how can it possibly be bad to have an extra half of a tomato and a handful of spinach? Give me a break.

After lunch I took a stroll outside, then sat in the sunshine and read for a while. At one point, having watched countless happy people strolling past with iced coffees and frozen yoghurt, I almost succumbed to the sugar craving and had a tic tac to keep me going. But I resisted.

In truth I nearly gave up altogether when my colleagues asked me for a post-work glass of wine, but I hadn’t come this far to fall at the final hurdle. So I made my final revolting (and I really mean that. So many tasty ingredients went into it but the only two I could taste were celery and parsley. Gross.) mean green juice and threw it down the hatch in one, grimacing all the way.

When I got home I forced myself to do the pilates DVD I’d sacked off this morning, and I feel a whole lot better for it (if slightly light-headed given I’ve consumed the sum total of about five calories in the past 72 hours).

Tomorrow I’ve invited a friend for dinner and have promised her a nice big, cheesy lasagne with lashings of garlic break – in your face detox!

As for now, only one portion of ‘fat flushing soup’ and a chamomile tea stand between me and FREEDOM!!! It’s pathetic, I know, but I’m actually quite proud of this achievement….

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Woe is Me / Fat Arses and Cake

I’ll admit it: I’m fed up. It’s been three weeks exactly since my last run – you know, the one that put me firmly out of action for the Rome Marathon 12 days later, and also catalysed the depressing spiral of back-related issues which, over the course of the past 21 days, have included – but not been limited to – the following: General/dull lower back pain/stiffness; acute lower back pain; acute pain in right buttock (particularly uncomfortable when sitting down); shooting pain in right shin (particularly uncomfortable when walking); numbness in lower right leg (problematic when attempting to walk due to tripping over of self); tingling in toes of right foot, inability to walk without being in excruciating pain (especially when involving stairs).

For the past five months I’ve been an exercising powerhouse. Now, all of a sudden, it’s a struggle just to walk around the block (and when I say walk I mean hobble at a woeful pace – put it this way, in a sports day full of geriatrics right now I’m pretty sure I’d come last). The worst thing is not knowing what the problem is – well, I have a fairly good idea it’s something disc-related, but have to wait another fortnight for an NHS physio appointment to establish the root cause of the injury, and thus begin the arduous process of trying to fix it. In the meantime I’m floating on a sea of unease, unsure whether to rest, to exercise, to use heat, to use ice, to take this painkiller or that one – or just to drink copious amounts of wine (always the preferable option). And, as is always the case in these situations, everyone’s an expert, so I’ve been inundated with (mostly very helpful) suggestions about what I should and shouldn’t be doing – my concern being that surely every back injury is different, to some extent, so what works for one person might not work for another (in trying someone’s suggested exercises, therefore, might I not be doing myself more harm than good?).

Since my lowest ebb last Friday I have at least managed to keep away from the Tramadol – a last resort in pain relief (though really floaty light) – although the diazepam’s been making reappearances from time to time when the pain wakes me in the night (as it did last night). In my more positive moments I think it’s getting better and chide myself for being a big baby, but in the lower ones when I’m writhing on the floor with pain or unable to climb the stairs without feeling I might pass out I just want to give in and cry. I’ve been signed off work but my conscience won’t allow me not to work from home, so to add to the frustration there have been repeated attempts to access emails remotely and locate files from the server that I’m sure I’ve sent myself in the event of this eventuality but which seem to have deleted themselves spontaneously upon sending.

Put simply, having a bad back sucks. This experience has been exhausting and depressing in the extreme, and has made me feel enormously sympathetic towards all who suffer chronic back pain every day of their lives. I can at least be fairly confident that with time and patience (the latter sadly not being one of my strong points) I will heal, and that one day (soon? Please God, let it be soon) I’ll be back in the gym and training for my next big challenge, whatever that may be – but not everyone has that luxury. So I will close on a positive note: Normal service will resume shortly. In the meantime I’ll be sitting on my increasingly fat arse eating cake.

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What I may look like soon if I can’t start exercising…