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Ali Schwabe | Fulcrum Staff

I GOT BACK to Ottawa after a month spent gorging on my parent’s Christmas cookies (they’re the yummiest) at home and having elaborate desserts and buffet dinners at a conference in Toronto. From about Dec. 15 to Jan. 15, the most exercise I got was unwrapping presents really fast and lugging my suitcase on and off of Greyhound buses. In only a month, I put on a very unwanted 10 lbs. My skinny jeans barely fit, and I’m frustrated with how some of my shirts look.

As someone who has learned to love the gym over my four years at the University of Ottawa, I got back into the full swing of things as soon as I got back to the city. It’s a way for me to relax, it starts my days off on the right foot, and I definitely wanted to get down to the weight and fitness level I was pre-winter break—plus my 2013 resolution was to run a 10K.

One week of workouts in and the back of my foot started hurting. Like an idiot, I ignored it. When the pain of walking became too much to bear, I turned to Google. Google told me to get my ass to a doctor, and so I did. He gave me some pretty upsetting news: I have tendonitis. In order to ensure I heal properly and it doesn’t become a chronic condition, I was told to stay off my foot as much as possible for three weeks, and then slowly start reintroducing exercise. A lot of emphasis on the slowly. I shouldn’t be running anywhere near 10K at anywhere near a race pace for three to six months.

My immediate coping mechanism was food. I thought, “Fuck it!” If I’m not going to be able to exercise, why should I bother trying to eat nutritious foods? I turned to pizza and Sugar Mountain to make myself feel better. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work, and I just felt guilty for feeding myself crap (delicious crap, but still crap) rather than turning to healthier options.

My boyfriend broke it down for me, though: Three weeks sans gym in order to heal, out of my entire life, is an insignificant amount of time. My mom reminded me that I can still swim or do upper body workouts. A friend recommended a good physiotherapist. I’m super thankful for such an amazing support group. Tomorrow is a new day; I have a meal plan and an appointment with a physiotherapist. I’m going to take care of my health, and I don’t need a gym to do so. I’ll be back next week with pics and recipes of healthy meals and accompanying grocery lists. Check back soon, and tell me what your biggest fitness frustration has been as of late. Too many New Year’s gym-goers? Anyone else working through injury? Let me know!

Talk soon,

xoxo, Ali