I am not a runner.
Heck, I’m not even much of a walker right now.
I’m sure you’ve seen this photo in some form or another. Maybe on Pinterest or around the Net, but in case you haven’t:
Right now, I would love nothing more than to run like the little girl on the bottom. Seriously.
When I went to my post-op appointment my doctor said that I could begin incorporating my normal routine back into my life as tolerated. ‘Yoga? Sure, you can slowly begin doing that. You can even do some light jogging!’ he said with enthusiasm.
Light jogging?! Is he joking? I know for a fact that if I even attempted something like that, well…..let’s just say the outcome wouldn’t be pretty.
I’m having déjà vu moments these days. When my mind tells me that I must try to get up and exercise – any exercise, my body simply fights the idea.
It’s too hard.
It’s physically draining.
How about I don’t but say I did?
These are the same phrases I used when I was 100 pounds heavier. In many ways I have never felt more like the fat girl wearing thin than I do right now. My circumstances may be different – I need to put on some weight due to the post surgery blahs, but thin doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Or strong. Or competent. Or physically stable, even. I may not be carrying the weight this time around, but I feel as if that healthy gal I long to be, is far,far from my grasp.
Don’t get me wrong. I am making progress, though my definition of progress is the fact that I’ve mastered the art of rolling out of bed without wincing. Pain and fatigue seem to be my BFFs right now. I encountered a minor setback this past Monday when I fell going up the stairs; no serious damage done but I’ve been pretty uncomfortable all week long thanks to that little spill. Still, I simply couldn’t allow any more time to pass without doing something physically productive. So, I started forcing myself to walk on the treadmill. Currently, it takes about 30 minutes to walk 1 mile. I do the majority of that walking with one hand on the machine, the other hand gently holding onto my stomach.
This is certainly not where I thought I’d be five weeks after surgery. Hearing from other women who have had this type of surgery provides a bit of comfort in the way that at least I don’t feel so abnormal. Almost every woman I’ve been in contact with has said that it’s taken anywhere from six months to a year before they started feeling really good again.
If that’s the case then I’m officially placing myself back at the starting line; square one. It’s been a while since I’ve had to start over. I thought that part was behind me, but clearly life hands us surprises now and again, and we either face them or we don’t. My body was far from perfect before my surgery, but I felt healthy, strong. I want that strength back, no matter how long it takes.
So, the million dollar question is: how do I start? Well, I’ve done this before so I should know, but what I needed was motivation. I started pouring through old journals, hoping for some entries that described what I was doing in the beginning. I didn’t find anything relevant so I went to Sahar’s FatFighterTV and read through the amazing stories of my fellow maintainers like Jane, Lynn, and Cammy. Then I reread my story. It was a very emotional read. In one sense I was deeply saddened because I’m clearly not at the level of health I was when that article was published. It was as if I were gaining strength from someone else’s story. The following words were the ones that jumped out at me:
…I focused solely on one thing: moving my body. I bought a pedometer, attached it to my waist, and kept track of how many steps I was already averaging; then I aimed for 500 additional steps every few days until I reached the recommended 10,000 steps a day.
Wearing the pedometer gave me instant gratification because I could see my progress at any given time.
Moving my body was the key to my success all those years ago. Here today over a decade later, it’s still the one thing that’s going to be critical if I want to get back in shape and stay that way, so I’ve got to get back to basics: dig out that pedometer, and literally take it one step at a time.
How do you keep a positive attitude when you have to start over?