Erika Tabur burnt the candle at both ends and her body suffered. This is how she came back much stronger.
Q. How has your weight see-sawed?
Five years ago I was 125lb with 18% body fat, and I’d drop to 115lb when stressed because I’d lose my appetite and continue exercising. I’m now 145lb with approximately 22% body fat.
Q. What was the turning point?
My senior year of college was when I was overwhelmed with work, school, personal life, and depression. I was overtraining between teaching group fitness classes, my own training, and keeping up with work. I soon developed chronic exertional compartment syndrome in both my lower legs. I could barely walk and could barely stand my job as a personal trainer, being on my feet. A pinched nerve in my neck and a concussion that went undiagnosed for a year really forced me to accept my limits and listen to my body.
Q. How did you change your diet in the beginning?
When my depression and stress was overwhelming, I ran or trained through it. After my turning point, I prioritized eating protein. So when I’d have no desire to eat, I still had to force down some turkey or bacon every morning, or have a shake at lunch. This helped me maintain my weight and also my appetite in times of high stress.
Q. What was the first step you took toward gaining control?
My physical therapist gave me a new perspective about how the whole body is connected; what that means for movement health, and how to approach my recovery. My workout time became “movement time.” It’s a little change in semantics but helped me reframe that hour or so at the gym from “look how pathetic I am and how much my injuries suck” to “I’m building a stronger foundation than I’ve ever had to help me come back better than ever.” These methods forced me to slow down and focus on body awareness.
Q. When did you get serious about your training again?
I always deterred by injuries. Oddly enough, the most consistent I have ever been was while dealing with these injuries and my concussion. Some days were just breathing exercises. From a training standpoint, the only factors I could work with were frequency and consistency. I scheduled a minimum of three times a week where I would work on my physical therapy exercises.
If my injuries and concussion symptoms allowed, after a few rounds of these exercises I would continue with some lifts or cardio that didn’t hurt or interfere with what I was working on. Except for a spare few times of having the flu, I haven’t missed a day of doing my routine in over a year.
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