How I am Recovering from my Back Injury

I am back writing about my wellness journey. It was a good idea to write about my health at first, but I lost my desire to share my process. Three months ago, I strained my back dancing (I am a professional dancer if you are new to my website), and I have been out from doing a considerable part of my life- movement. I love all movement, not just dancing. When I am not able to use my body, it can be very tough for me to be motivated and I can get anxious.

This blog post is me posting about my journey back to full mobility and full ability to dance. This injury has been a frustrating process for me since the original timeline for me to be back to entirely dancing was set to be at the beginning of January, and it is currently the middle of February, and I am not close to getting fully back. That being said, I want to move forward and get better even if it is at a slower pace than I anticipated.

This is me using a Pilates Reformer

The injury I have is a lower lumbar strain. A lot of my rotating motions in my upper body are minimal, and I cannot lift mostly anything besides lightweights.

I have been going to physical therapy for two months now trying to build my abdominal core strength to offset the load I usually put into my back which caused the strain in the first place. To strengthen my abdominal core, I am mostly using a Pilates Reformer. I do not own one, so when I am not at my physical therapy clinic, I do a few Pilates Mat movements that engage the core without crunching my back. I feel my core strength has increased in the last month during my physical therapy.

Something I have not been good at doing and I need to get better at doing is consistently stretching my legs. When I was in the ballet studio for 8 hours a day, it is easy to find time to stretch, and you are around dancers who are also stretching. Since I am not at the studio for 8 hours a day, I need to be better at carving out time each day to roll out my legs on a foam roller, as well as do some stretches that don’t twist my back.

This is me rolling out on a foam roller.

I have started to take a little bit of barre in ballet class. I modify the different movements, so my back does not flare up. I do not do a lot, but baby steps are more progress forward than none at all.

The hardest part of this whole injury is my mind. I can doubt and beat myself up in my mind. I can become insecure from lies that I stir in my head. I would be lying if I told you that I was not disappointed that I cannot dance. That being said, it is easy to wallow in that sorrow and let that sorrow paralyze me from progressing forward. The most significant thing I need to strengthen every day is my psyche! I hope by writing about my progress, it keeps me pushing forward. Thank you for all of your support! This injury has not been a fun injury for me, but I am excited to get back to dancing.

Follow along on my other social media platforms to see my latest updates throughout the week! 

DETOX OVER | Detox Day 28

I wanted to wait to write this post. So I gave myself a few days after the detox before I wrote this post. Have I really changed or was it just for a month?

I have the freedom to eat whatever I want... but honestly, I do not crave eating the same way that I did before. I was planning to do a huge, unhealthy meal at the end of the detox but I had one donut and I was toast. I also had a brownie later that first day away from the detox and stopped.

For the most part, I am still eating the way I was on the detox. How could I change? I feel so good about my body! People have given me compliments about how I look and my skin! I have slept better this past month. I feel clean.

I feel free.

I am aware of what I am fueling my body with and I want to continue to pursue research and creating a healthy lifestyle. 

The biggest takeaways from this Detox

1. NO MORE GLUTEN. Gluten just kills me now. I used to make fun of people who are gluten free... well Matt, welcome to the club. I just cannot do beer anymore. Bread is not terrible, but not beneficial. I am going to stay away from gluten as best as possible and pay the extra money for a gluten-free crust or bun. 

2. Less Coffee. Matt not drinking coffee?! Craziness, I know but because of it is high acidity it can really affect my skin. The only coffee drink that I will allow is a Cortado which is one shot of espresso and a bit of milk. Even then, I will not have that every day. Once I got used to not drinking coffee, I did not miss it as much. 

3. Less Sweets. Everyone wants to not eat as many sweets but this is a real struggle for me. I can go hard on the sweets without blinking. I think the biggest difference this whole month was this component right here. If I am more strict with no-gluten, it will restrict me on eating cookies and brownies. Also, if I do eat sweets (Gluten free and vegan), it needs to be during the day and not at night because that affects my sleep.

4. Drink More Water. I love water now but wow I did not drink enough- ever. I tracked my water intake from the last month and doubled about my usual intake per month. I need water to help with digestion as well as minimizing cravings. 

Overall, this has been a fantastic time for me and my body. Our bodies are a process and it takes time to test what optimizes our bodies. Everyone is different, but if you never try to find what fuels your body, then you are missing out on life. Stress, cognitive senses, sleep, and energy are affected greatly by how we eat. Treat yourself as a professional athlete- healthy should be at the forefront of your mind. NO ONE else really cares about your nutrition. Your doctors sure do not. They barely learn about nutrition in medical school. Only you can change yourself and your diet but it all starts with your desire to do so.

I cannot encourage you to start questioning how you eat.

Want to know more about my detox? Feel free to reach out to me here or on social media!

Kale = Superfood | Detox Day 27

Before this detox, I was not eating a lot of Kale. I do like Kale, but I just never really thought to buy it. I usually stuck with Spinach. I started using more Kale in my diet over this past month- Man, have I been missing out on a superfood.

Kale is powerful!

Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods out there. It has an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. I did not know that there was a vitamin K. There is a vitamin K, and one cup of Kale had SEVEN times the daily need of vitamin K which helps prevent blood clogging. 

Kale is very easy to make and cook. Kale chips are simple or maybe cook it up and put the kale in your salad. Are you making a taco? Put Kale in the taco instead of lettuce. 

After this detox, I realized that I need more Kale in my life! 

Want to read more about Kale? Here is an article for you!

Are you a fan of Kale? Do you have recipes for a healthy dish with Kale? Send them my way in the comments or on Social Media!