Week Five: Keep It Moving

Hello again friends.

I reached one calendar month post surgery on the 24th. It was and was not a major milestone. Keeping myself alive and healthy this far is wonderful but I didn’t realize the date had passed until a couple days later.

I was busy, okay.

Working takes up a lot of my time, as usual. In addition to this, I’m trying to incorporate more exercise into my day to day life. I walk more during the day and do some arm and chest flexing in the evenings. My son and I enjoy taking walks when we still have some sunlight left. It’s harder when the weather is nasty. I usually don’t have the time to drive to the gym. Exercise falls by the wayside on those evenings.

For the record, I have always loathed exercise for the sake of exercise. I love playing sports and playing around with kids and friends, but making a whole separate trip to the gym was too much. I was too busy and lazy to make that happen.

Going to the gym wasn’t always a positive experience for me either. People tend to give the new fat person in the gym large amounts of side eye.  Given my naturally elevated anxiety levels, I could always feel myself being judged. Every time, I got on a treadmill there would be some physically fit person nearby running their fifteenth mile. I only managed a half hour before I couldn’t take anymore. Meanwhile, the nearby fit person just finished mile thirty-two and shows no signs of stopping. Tends to make you feel worthless.

All of these problematic thoughts led me away from the gym. I still paid for the membership every month, harboring delusions that I would return. In reality, I was more likely to spend my free time taking car naps.

I had to find a way to get past these feelings. Exercise isn’t the enemy I though it was. Yes, it still hurts at times. Yes, I get sore and still for days afterwards. Yes, people still give me unpleasant looks at the gym. At the same time, I promised myself I was going to work on improving myself. I cant get better by doing the same things I’ve always done.

Therapy has helped me in so many ways. I’ve learned the type of messages I should be telling myself to get ahead, to move forward instead of wallowing in my sadness. Talking about my various insecurities also helps to weed out my really irrational thoughts. I used to say and think terrible things about myself. Things I would never say about another person. Now, with some effort, things are turning around.

Gym time is a necessary evil now. I have to burn off a lot of fat to reach my goal. Sitting around and crying all the time is not the way to get it done. I’ve increased my treadmill time and Id like to get back to weightlifting. There is some toning and sculpting I want to do. I lifted for a little while in high school, but it fell by the wayside. If anyone has any tips or advice for getting restarted, I’m open to suggestions.

I’ve also started to eat less than 1000 calories per day. That doesn’t seem like much but it can be a struggle to get that far at times. My breakfasts include coffee and Chobani blended yogurt cups. Lunch is chicken breast or refried beans and crackers. If I get to dinner, I get some type of steamed veggie and a lean meat. Chicken or fish, most of the time.

The scale isn’t moving much at the moment. I’ve been stuck for a little while now. I know that stalls in weight loss are normal but it can still be very frustrating when you’ve been doing everything right. However, you can’t get inside your own head about it.

At this point, I’m doing well. Losing 40 pounds in fifty days is amazing. I’m focused on my long term success right now. I have moments when I get really down on myself because I feel like I could be doing more. However, I have people to remind me that everything is fine and I’m fine. A good support system in invaluable during this process.

If anyone has anything they would like me to include in these updates, just let me know. I’m talking my own experiences, but I will try to field any questions about bariatric surgery or mental health that I can.

I’m here to help.