4th Lesson, Back Pain, Nutrition

I didn’t get to blog after my lesson on Thursday 1/26/17, but I figured better late than never! The lesson was more of the same for me. I wasn’t very successful in practice, but the lesson went fine. I didn’t push myself too very much, since my back was still hurting (seems to be a recurring problem).

I worked on waltz jumps from standing, along a line, from crossovers, and eventually the waltz jump – side toe hop – waltz jump combo. I didn’t realize that I was practicing my waltz jump from crossovers in the wrong direction (like I would use to go into a spin), when doing them in the other direction, I just have to step into the jump. It was much easier and definitely helped my sense of direction on the combination. Here’s a video of it:

1/26/17 Waltz Jump-Side Toe Hop-Waltz Jump

I feel like it’s improved since I started, and I believe that once I get my back under control, my ability to jump will be greatly improved, since I won’t have to worry as much about pain from landing.

After waltz jumps, I worked on pivots. Pivots were pretty easy using the left toe, but the right toe was much more of a struggle. I progressed to pivoting from skating forward and then did pivots into a two-foot spin. I’ve never been particularly successful with two-foot spins, but the pivot did provide the perfect entry!

I practiced a few scratch spins and toe-loops next, but neither went so well. My back was killing me by this point, and then the zamboni came out on the ice to signify the lesson was over. I am really enjoying my lessons, I am just so frustrated with my back.

I have been seeing a physical therapist for a concern that’s likely related to my lower back pain. My first two visits were in Round Rock, as I wanted to try a specialized therapy, but I have since relocated to a therapist in Houston. I actually see her today. The Round Rock group determined that I have a lot of trigger points throughout my back and hips and believes those, combined with the muscular imbalance essentially all over is causing my issues. The new therapist in Houston feels like I may have a leaky gut and that’s leading to inflammation, which is causing the tension, trigger points, and pain. She suggested a gluten-free, no-processed food, etc. diet for 6-weeks.

At the beginning of January, I embarked on my first ever Daniel Fast when a coworker suggested I join her church and pursue closer intimacy with God. It sounded challenging, but I knew it would be good for me, and I was elated when my husband agreed to do the fast with me. The Daniel Fast involves a 21-day modified Vegan diet where you avoid processed food, meat, refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol, and non-whole grains. Essentially, you eat a lot of vegetables, beans, some whole grains and drink only water. This was similar to the diet Daniel of the Bible ate, which brought clarity of his mind and helped him draw closer to God.

I learned of my physical therapist’s nutritional suggestion for me on Day 21 of my fast. Imagine the prospect of six-weeks of restrictive nutrition after 21-days of restrictive nutrition was about to end?!? She granted me a one-week reprieve, but I decided to only take one day off and began the new program on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. I quickly learned that eating “bad” food for one day didn’t feel make me feel particularly well. I didn’t want to suffer through “good” food withdrawals, just to experience “bad” food withdrawals a few days later!

After talking to friends, I chose the Whole30 program as a way to determine if gluten or any other inflammation-producing food was contributing to my back pain. The Whole30 allows me to eat meat, but I cannot have any source of gluten, no beans, only select oils, and many other restrictions. Otherwise, it’s similar to the Daniel Fast – no processed food, mostly vegetables and fruit, water, etc.

I am now on Day 6 and I’ve had moderate success. The day after I skated, I woke up with no back pain. It was the first time in a month that I woke up feeling good. Unfortunately, once I started moving around, it returned. I’ve had several dull headaches, and my back and hips are stiff and achy. My trigger points still hurt when I press on them, and my husband hasn’t noticed any improvement in the tension in my back. But, it’s only day 6.

Going essentially from the Daniel Fast to the Whole30 seems to have minimized the negative side effects of cutting starch and sugar completely. It was a nice transition to go from processed refined sugar to only whole grains to nothing. I look forward to having the opportunity to add foods back to my diet and I pray that things I like aren’t the culprit. As a craft beer aficionado, my biggest worry is that I will never be able to drink beer again without suffering consequences. But, if that makes me feel better, I guess it’s worth the sacrifice.

Oh the joys of getting older! My stomach of steel that I’ve always prided myself on seems to be rusting…. I guess it’s not made of stainless steel after all!4th

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