Thursday, September 02, 2010

Coming to Grips

I'm in a position I'm rarely in...

I've had several events (mostly weddings) this summer to which I've had nothing to wear. Oh, I made do with something, but it didn't fit well and I wasn't happy about my appearance.

Which was ok, really, at the weddings, since we were but minor guests, but at my 30th anniversary dinner I wanted to be happy about the way I looked and, well, I wasn't.

It's been The Year. Y'know, the one in which you wait from month to month to see if all the hormonal shifting has really more or less finished.

By the time The Year was officially up, I found I'd gained 10 pounds.
Part of the trouble is that most of this year I've been dealing with some pretty aggravating, mobility-limiting back/sciatic nerve pain. A recent MRI finally pinpointed the problem: a flattened/bulging spinal disc at L4-L5. I now have an appointment with the spine guy at the local orthopedic group to see what HE can do. The chiropractor has helped considerably, but it still is very prone to getting aggravated.

And, unfortunately, spending even moderate amounts of time standing at my cutting table is one of the things that super-aggravates it.

Part of me has been in denial...I've never really been heavy or overweight, and I just don't want to deal with it. But after seeing the photos from our anniversary celebration, I've got to deal with it.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about losing weight; I really do need to lose about 25 pounds for my health (things like blood pressure and cholesterol levels have also suffered during The Year). And, I honestly think my back might be better if I were a little more fit. So, if the spine doctor clears me, I'm going to start seeing a trainer at the fitness center which is in partnership with the orthopedic clinic. I know I need some exercise...but I want to proceed carefully so I don't aggravate anything.

So...meantime, I have no nice dressy clothes. I already have one project that I've promised myself I'd get cracking on this month -- the long-delayed trench coat. But I'm gonna promise myself one other thing, too: a garment that I can wear to a wedding or other dressy event that fits the body I have now. If I lose weight I'll kiss it goodbye, but I'm tired of squeezing into things that are too tight and feeling like a stuffed sausage all night.

So...that's my goal. Actually, I like the idea of making a jacket, a dress and a couple of pairs of trousers all that fit now....but I don't want to over goal.

Because my back hurts when I spend too much time at the cutting/pattern drafting stage.

Babysteps... ;)


  1. Sounds as if you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself, Lisa. Your back doesn't need it nor does your psyche! Try to take one issue at a time and the others will follow. Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity has a very cute dress pattern that I have made..I cannot find it right now which shows the status of my sewing room. Anyway, it is shown with a separate ruffle type bib..don't know what that is all about but the dress is stylish, comfortable and very easy fitting.( no ruffled bib!) Dress up or down. Might see you through thistime of frustration.

    Fran G

  2. I think you've got a good plan going forward. It is frustrating, because you know what you need to do, but can't. You need to get your back healed first, the exercise will come with time. I hope you can get healed without further pain and that you can enjoy cutting, sewing and living!

  3. I also am challenged by debilitating back pain at L4-5. It caused me to spend a great deal of time barely moving for a few years. Three years ago, I decided to change the status quo because I was getting weaker by the month.

    I won't bore you with the details, but I found a physical therapist who put me in the pool to do my therapy. I could barely flap my arms in the water at first. I was taught exercises to build up my core muscles, all while in the pool.

    Here I am, almost three years later, off pain meds, off BP med, slimmer and with very little pain, if any. I have graduated from PT, but still "swim" 3 times per week. I actually swim laps now in addition to the therapy exercises (which are NOT the same as water aerobics!).

    I am slowly, ever so slowly, adding a bit of dry land walking on a treadmill.

    Please, do yourself a favor and find a PT who knows water therapy.

    Praying for pain relief for you,
    Remnant aka Lisa

  4. You've certainly kept quiet about your Year. Yes, now it's time to pamper yourself with PT time and a pretty dress and jacket, or whatever you choose. Take good care, I'll keep you in my prayers.

  5. I totally understand how The Year changes your perspective and I wholeheartedly agree that you should make a few things for who you are now. Without that challenge, you can move onto the others that will help you stay healthy!

  6. Lisa, so sorry to hear about your back pain. I"ve lived with it 2X, 15 years apart had surgery both times and it worked GREAT! (I tell you that because so many people tell you it's bad). I second the suggestion of water exercise. I still do it and I work with a personal trainer from time to time to be sure I"m not doing things that will hurt me. You go girl!!!