***I am not a doctor, I am not offering this story as a diagnosis or cure, please seek medical care if needed***
Health is not valued until sickness comes. ~Thomas Fuller
I have always been a fairly healthy person. Aside from seasonal allergies, which seem to have gotten somewhat better with age, I’ve never really had any health issues. I have always been able to be pretty active. I’m no marathon runner, but I can do a combat/kickboxing DVD like nobody’s business. (I sometimes say that I’m in good shape for a chubby girl….wrong, I know….but it makes me giggle).
I’ve struggled with weight and self-confidence issues my entire life, but it always seemed to come back to me feeling like I just wasn’t dedicated enough. I just didn’t push hard enough. I knew that I needed to take care of my body to be healthy and not just to be thinner, but I didn’t really make either a priority. I didn’t know anything other than being healthy, despite my extra weight. Until I wasn’t………
My wake up call
My whole family struggles with back/neck issues, but I never really worried about it because I never had to. That is something that happens to old people or people that don’t exercise, right? That’s what I always thought….I’m young, I don’t really need to be that serious about my body. I’ll fix it someday.
Then I went to work at an office job full time. 40 hours a week on a back that is genetically predisposed to have issues is not good. Within 2-3 months of going to work, I started having back issues. I went to a chiropractor and that kept me going, but it just kept getting worse. They eventually got me a stand-up desk for work so that I could alternate standing and sitting, but it was awkward and a hassle to use so I didn’t use it often.
I got to where I was having to leave work early 2-3 days a week to go to chiropractor appointments. I finally reached a point where I was pretty much pain-free, then I got sick for a few days. I spent those few days on the couch. The 1st day that I started feeling better I was ready to get out of the house. I bent down to put my shoe on and something happened in my back. I wasn’t sure what happened, but something did. It was sore, but at that point, I could still function.
The next morning, I couldn’t move. It was the most awful pain I’ve ever had; right up there with childbirth. I couldn’t get up by myself, get myself dressed, going to the bathroom was excruciating, and showering was out of the question. Because it was a weekend, I had to wait until Monday to get back in to see the chiropractor.
I ended up finding out through an MRI that I had a herniated disc in my lower back.
Over the next several months, I had countless chiropractor appointments, 3 shots of steroids in my back, money spent on an inversion table, and hours spent on the internet researching the best remedies for disc herniation. It was awful!!!
At the last appointment with my sports medicine doctor he told me that my next step was to do surgery. I could do some physical therapy either at a clinic or at home by myself, but if that didn’t work, surgery was next.
I absolutely didn’t want to have surgery, but I was so sick of being in pain. Because of the cost of physical therapy, I decided to try and work it out myself.
I also developed sciatica at this time. That opened up a whole new jar of problems, but I was determined to give it my best shot!
I started walking every day. When I first started, I’d pray that God would help me make it around my 3 mi block. It was absolutely horrible. My leg burned like it was going to fall off. I couldn’t turn my head to look behind me for cars, I had to completely stop and turn my body around. I would just beg God to let me use my body that way it was designed and I wouldn’t take it for granted anymore.
I definitely had setbacks. I would start feeling better then it would all come crashing down around me again, I’d have to start back at ground zero. It was so absolutely frustrating for someone who was used to taking her health for granted. I was so used to being in control. But I was also determined to not give up. I was committed to do whatever little action I was able to do.
As time went on, I started running short intervals during my walks. The doctors told me not to run because of the impact, but for some reason, I just felt like I was supposed to run. I’d run easy and slow, but it was faster than a walk. My first few steps would hurt crazy bad, but then the pain would lessen. I just kept praying that God would reward my faithfulness to Him in trying to use my body the way that He had intended all along. I trusted that as long as I kept putting forth the effort, He would continue to heal me. The days that I jogged, I noticed a significant reduction in my leg pain. Then Michigan winter came.
I haven’t run much since fall, but the last few days have been warmer than normal so I ventured outside again. I still run in intervals, but my sciatica pain is completely gone when I’m running. It’s not completely gone in my daily activities, but it is so much better than it was before.
I also do Les Mills Combat which I love love love. When I started that on a 5-day-a-week schedule in December, I had to modify to keep everything low impact. Now I am doing 1 hr workouts and feeling amazing.
I also found Revelation Wellness during this last year. This ministry has been an absolute blessing to me. I am praying about doing their instructor training at some point, but for now, I’ve just done several of their studies. They show you how to clean out the junk in your heart. Whole body health has to be obtained by bringing your heart and soul into the equation. No amount of exercise or weight loss will satisfy if you are carrying a mess around in your soul.
I have since resigned my job and came back home with my family. I am working from home now so it is easier to do what I need to do to help my body heal. However, I have to wonder if my back issues were just God’s way of getting to my heart. I was struggling for control. I was putting other things ahead of Him. I was making idols out of other things.
When your body is sick, you are vulnerable. You can’t do everything for everyone. You have to rely on help.
I keep coming back this year to BE STILL. I was forced to be still.
The lessons coming out of my physical restrictions are amazing.
I hate walking….with.a.passion. But I’ve been listening to podcasts by RevWell when walking and they have been life changing to me. They have brought up so much of what is hindering me. I would’ve never just walked if I hadn’t been hurt. I like insane, kill you workouts…….this made me slow down. It made me dependent on God to see me through. It brought me back around to Him.
I have gained so much through the facebook groups that RevWell has. Some are closed groups but click here if you want to check out their public page. The community and sharing and support that happens there is absolutely amazing!
I never thought about losing my health. I dabbled in healthy eating and exercise. I’ve never stuck to anything fitness related….it always comes and goes.
Not anymore. I get it, Lord……I’m not in control of my life. I’m not in control of my body. I can have all of my plans, but I pray that Your will reigns in the end. I’m listening. Thank you for showing me the heart crud that you’ve already brought to the surface and please keep digging for anything else that isn’t pleasing to You.
Being fit and healthy starts with your heart. You get the junk out first; the things that have been holding you down for so long, things that are holding you captive that you may not even realize, then the food and exercise won’t be so hard. When you get spiritually free, your body will come in line. You will see body movement as worship. You will desire to fuel your body with the foods God made you. It will all fall into place.
I will continue to share the lessons that I’m learning through Revelation Wellness courses, but will you add me to your prayer requests regarding instructor training? It is expensive, though is is cheap for what you receive. I am trusting in the Lord to provide if and when He wants me to go, but I’d appreciate your prayers while I’m waiting 🙂
Do you take your health for granted? Look at the sick and hurting around you, show your gratitude for your good health by proactively taking care of you; body AND soul.
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