Friday, June 10, 2011

Exercise in a Post-op World

Going into my surgery I understood that there would be some recovery involved and that I would be out of exercise for a while. What I did not know was what challenges that would create for my body and mind. Before surgery I worked out 6 days a week for 40-60+ minutes each day. When I say "worked out" I mean that I worked HARD. I ran 3.5 miles 3 times a week. I took a kickboxing class. I took a step class. I took a high intensity cardio class.

I worked out.

On May 9th that all changed. Yes, the change is temporary, but it is still a major change. For the first two weeks following my surgery I was not allowed to do any exercise. At night my legs would start to twitch. Sleep was inconsistent. I lacked energy. My muscles were so tight. I'll be the first to admit that this was partly due to my recovering body, pain medication, and poor food choices. I also know that my lack to exercise was taking a toll on my body.

At my two week post-op appointment I was given the green light to start walking. My first walk was only a mile and it was hard. Much harder than I anticipated. My next walk was 1.2 miles. I continued to add a little bit each day until I was up to 2 miles a day. My pace on that first walk was a 17 minute mile. These were brutal numbers to see. Before my surgery I had been running an 11-12 minute mile. It's been two weeks since that first walk and I am now walking 2 miles a day at around a 12.5 minute mile. I'll totally take that!

On my walks I've been able to have many conversations with myself. Hopefully people driving by think that I am talking to someone on my bluetooth as I cruise down the road blabbering on and on to myself. Being out of my normal exercise routine has been a fantastic way for me to gain a bit of perspective on my workouts. I love a good list as it's the best way to organize my ideas....

~ I miss my old routine. I can't wait to get back into my favorite classes and get back to running. I miss the gym. I miss seeing my gym buddies. I miss dripping in sweat.

~ My muscles will return once I am able to return to my normal routines. The world will not end just because I've lost a bit of muscles mass since being put on a restricted workout plan.

~ I was WAY too rigid with my exercise program before my surgery. Exercise is important for so many reasons. Exercise is not my world. I have loved being able to spend more time with my kids. Before my surgery I'd get really upset if anything interfered with my workout plan. The world will not end if I don't make it to Step.

~ Exercise is a lifetime commitment. I don't just workout because I will lose weight and tone up (although those are both amazing benefits), I workout because I want to be like my gym buddy Georgia. Georgia is ummmm...older. She is 53 and is in amazing shape. I want to be like Georgia when I grow up! I watch her in the gym in utter amazement. She is an amazing grandma who plays with her grandkids, works a full time job, and still gets up to make it to boxing at 5:30 AM. Exercise is a piece of my overall healthy living, but it is not my entire life.

For the next week and a half I plan on enjoying my walks and extra time with my family. School gets out on Wednesday and once I get the "all clear" to return to exercise I am going to map out my summer workout schedule. I really enjoy the summer because I can take classes during the day that I can't attend during summer months.

Here's to a healthy weekend~
Kari :)

About Me

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On June 19, 2009 I started my weight loss journey. It has become quite the journey! As of today (2-1-11) I have lost 162 pounds and have gained a whole new life. This blog is a continuation of my journey. I hope to inspire and encourage others through my process.