Finding Myself Starting Over As The Year Ends – Long Term Success After Weight Loss Surgery

by sandi on December 27, 2017

Starting Over As The Year Ends The week before Christmas I contracted a stomach bug unlike anything I had experienced since being banded in 2004.  Thank goodness I made it through it without having to go to the doctor’s.  I was able to text my bariatric doc and ask for a prescription for something to stop the nausea.  It saved my life, and possibly my weight loss surgery since Lap Bands and throwing up do not go together well.  OK, that was TMI and I apologize, I am done now.

Starting Over As The Year Ends At any rate I couldn’t even think about fitness in any way shape or form for the week.  I was exhausted, in need of a bathroom often, feverish and very weak.  Bone broth, tea and crackers were my friends.  I then graduated to dry toast and tea and bone both and then to real soup, then soft foods and I am now back in the land of the living.  Both my fitness and my food choices were out of whack for that week, but that’s what it took for me to get through it.  That’s over now, the bread and crackers are gone from the house, I have WLS appropriate meals ready and planned and it was time for me to get back into my fitness routine.

Typically, even after a few days “off” from routine I start back in the pool, swimming laps for 30 minutes.  This allows my muscles to stretch and work all over my body and get me back in the swing of things.  I have not been able to get back in the pool yet because my sinuses have been telling me not to by having me wake up with a headache and a stuffed head.  We are deep cleaning my bedroom today because I am of the thought that I may still be reacting to dust and particles of ash that we don’t see that are left over from the Thomas Fire that has ravaged Ventura and Santa Barbara counties for the last 3 weeks.  My body is crying to get into the pool and I hope that this will be possible sometime before the end of the year.  If not, it will be soon, and I’ll be patient with myself and NOT use this as an excuse to not work out.

Starting Over As The Year Ends My alternative is to use the elliptical daily to raise my heart rate, work my arms and legs and burn some calories while I get my strength and endurance back.  I didn’t realize it would be so hard.  I knew that at my chronological age – 69 I would lose some of my endurance after being idle for a week, and I knew my stamina wasn’t up to snuff either, but I never expected it to be as HARD as it was.  My trainer is unavailable this week and I guess I’m grateful for small favors because an hour of strength training added to my elliptical time is just downright SCARY to me.

So Tuesday morning, December 26th I got up, got dressed and went to the gym, turned on my tunes, opened my water bottle and hopped up onto the elliptical and started moving.  One minute down, okay, two minutes down, still fine, 3 minutes down, OMG I can’t believe my heart rate has accelerated so much, 4 minutes down, I wonder if I can make it to 15 minutes today.  What you don’t know is that 4 minutes is just my warm up time.  YIKES!  How was I going to get through this.  Was it even possible?  Did I lose enough endurance that I would have to build from the beginning?  Five minutes at a time, oh my this is almost embarrassing …  OK Sandi, stop that Negative Nellie talk and just do what you can.  I gave myself permission to stop at 15 minutes if I had to and finish 15 more walking slowly on the treadmill.  I also let out a deep sigh and began to breathe and just go with the flow.  I made it, barely to 30 minutes.  At this point I did not care how much distance I had gone, I was only concerned with time so slow to moderate was more than fine.

Starting Over As The Year Ends When I stepped off the machine I wanted to throw my arms up in the air and shout YES!!!  I contained myself only because I don’t like being the center of attention at the gym.  I went home, showered, got my work done, had lunch, made dinner, sat down to watch TV and promptly fell asleep at about 8PM. 

This morning, Wednesday, December 27th I did it again.  It was not quite as hard, my body became fluid, loving the blood flowing through it and my aches and pains disappeared and when I checked my time I was about 18 minutes into it.  I had worked up a sweat, yet I knew that I could push to that 30-minute mark today, even if it meant falling asleep at 8 again tonight.  I did it, and added 1 more minute just because.  Yes, it was exhausting, and yes, even after a 5-minute cool down, a trip to the restroom and a walk out to my car my heart rate was still accelerated.  Typically after 30 minutes on the elliptical with a 5 minute cool down my heart rate has slowed.  I got it- this is going to take a few more days to get me back to where I was before my stomach bug cut everything short.

Oh how easy it would be to say it’s so hard my body isn’t ready to do this yet, or to quit after 15 minutes and head home, or to wait until I could get into the pool again to restart my fitness routine.  Hmmm, I could probably even get my husband, or daughter, or somebody to agree with me so I had support for NOT DOING.

Starting Over As The Year Ends Then I think about that 424-pound woman who couldn’t walk through Costco because it was too hard.  I think about all the work I have done to get to not only where I am today, but where I want to be tomorrow and the day after that and…….  If I look at my return to fitness like my return to eating after this bought of stomach flu…liquids, soft foods, then back to solids I can progress my fitness back to where I was before and then beyond with no frustration, only the gentle reminder that I CAN, I WILL and I AM.

Join me this week in taking those first steps to get yourself to where YOU want to be, one step, one minute, one choice at a time.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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