When Staying in Shape Means Surgery or Medicine

Except for a few very slow attempts at chasing down my belligerent toddler-age son, I’ve been flat on my back with my right leg elevated all week since having arthroscopic surgery to repair a partially torn medial meniscus. After showering this morning for the first time in – I’m going to keep that secret to myself – a while, I again realized how much it really takes to stay in shape, to stay well, and it takes way more than just working out. I’m past my prime, so if I want to move forward, I have to treat and heal the things that have been holding me back.

4 days post-op w/one bandage off

I get real about real fitness on this blog, and real fitness ain’t a six-pack under a muscle shirt or scrawny legs in a mini skirt. A lot of self-declared experts out there in the fitness and wellness field just want to sell you products to lift and tone your face or your butt. But real fitness and wellness means we do what we need to do to improve in all areas of our life: social, emotional, physical, spiritual, environmental, mental…

Sometimes real fitness means surgery to fix what’s been broken by chronic breakdown or acute injuries like falls, twists, hits, trauma, etc. Sometimes it means a root canal to stop the spreading infection from an abscess that could be traced back to too many nights in college falling asleep while studying with a bowl of ice cream.  Sometimes it means asking a chiropractor to help realign and unwind the tight places from stress and sleeping on too many pillows. Sometimes it means diastasis rehab because you’ve done too many crunches and only barely survived two babies in your belly and 5 years of breastfeeding.

Diastasis rehab took me six weeks, but my core was stronger afterward. Anti-depressants lasted almost two years, but I can think straight now. Knee surgery lasted 45 minutes followed by a few days of down-time, but now I’ll be able to get on the floor to do pigeon pose and play with my kids without severe knee pain from a years-old injury.

Click HERE to read a Fit2B member’s comparison of Tummy Tucks VS Ab Rehab

Dare I say that staying well can also {sometimes} mean going on anti-depressants? We take medicines and herbs for headaches and toothaches, so why not brain-ache when we now know that clinical depression is a chemical imbalance and breakdown of brain tissue? I myself was on Zoloft for 15 months prior to launching Fit2B because all the prayer and outings and church and yoga and kind cards and chocolate and St. Johns Wort and chamomile tea in the world wasn’t keeping the dark crazy thoughts out of my head.

I’m being really candid here, but you need to know that millions of moms struggle with PPD and think they’re alone. You’re not alone. There is help. This is part of my story. God used a little blue pill to help heal my heart and mind, which then enabled me to get back to using my talents and abilities to reach thousands of people with Fit2B’s message of diastasis awareness!

When my youngest was tiny, I couldn’t look at a sink full of dishes or hear my kids fuss without my heart rate hitting panic mode. I was dangerously angry and sad all the time. I just. couldn’t. calm. down. It was like I was standing back and watching my body tremble and my mouth scream and my eyes cry, and I couldn’t control it or get myself to stop. As it turns out, I had severe anxiety and post-partum depression. Praise God for a pastor’s wife who comforted me and counseled me to talk to my doctor!

My OB/GYN wrote the prescription, and that tiny dose instantly ordered my thoughts, helped me see straight, helped me sleep, helped me understand that the dishes weren’t the end of the world … because they really felt like it at the time. I weaned off those meds 15 months after going on them {you need to be under the care of a competent physician whose plan includes counseling and eventually weaning you off them because anti-depressants have some potentially dangerous side effects} and I haven’t needed them since then.

If you want to move forward, what things do you need to treat and heal? What does staying well mean for you? What broken, tight, torn or anxious places in your body, mind or soul need a little re-shaping in the near future? I’d love to hear your comments! Thanks for reading!

5 thoughts on “When Staying in Shape Means Surgery or Medicine

  1. HeatherVonBerg says:

    I enjoyed this blog.. healing is hard sometimes ( well, most times ) and it involves a decision, and action and a persistence… good job on healing! I still have a lot to heal, but I am praying that Jesus will teach me how to start. Thanks for sharing.

  2. bethanylearn says:

    Amen, Heather! Now that I am more than 5 weeks post-op, and my diastasis is nearly closed, I cannot express how grateful I am for these healings. One was done naturally, and one needed some technology. How awesome to serve a Creator and Lord who can use so many avenues to touch and tone our lives back to a healthy place!

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