I gained 2 lbs this week and I probably deserved to gain it; after all I was on vacation for 3 weeks, ate and drank more than I do at home and was not on my regular exercise program. I didn’t get back home to Hilo until Tuesday and didn’t start my regular exercise until Wednesday…..and then, I had to ease into it again. It just shows you that you have to be on top of this all the time; which is what thin people do….it’s what my husband and my friends have always done. When I gained 3-5 lbs in a year I didn’t think that was a big deal, but I did it continuously for 10 years. If we thought we were getting a free ride by removing most of our stomachs, I guess this is where we need to think again.
I didn’t have much exciting to talk about this week anyway other than working on a bathroom remodel in Honolulu and packing away here in Hilo, so today’s post is about how I have worked exercise into my daily life. Even though I did eat differently on vacation, for me, I’m convinced I gained weight because I had stopped exercising aerobically. So even though I’ll watch what I’m eating a little closer this coming week, I’ll step up my exercise and see what happens.
Here’s the TOP TEN THINGS I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT EXERCISE in my 38 weeks since surgery. (Keep in mind, I was NEVER athletic, and always pathetic at regular exercise before WLS and I’ve always been very weak in my upper body).
- After surgery, when we were in Amsterdam, I started out with soup cans to do my strength training exercises. Now I’m up to 5 and 8 lb weights. I have been pretty consistent with these exercises (outside of the months we were on the road). I do 3 reps each of seven different arm exercises. Although going from soup cans to 8 lb weights is a definite improvement, I still feel very weak in my arms, they are major flabby and I can’t do even ONE push up. I was feeling pretty good about graduating to 8 lb weights when a pretty, 20-something walked in the other day and started lifting two 15 lb weights without any difficulty.…..sigh.
I love to walk and bike and one of the reasons we decided to move to Amsterdam is because walking or biking ‘organically’ is just a healthier way to live instead of getting in your car and driving everywhere. And even though I know that will keep me healthy, sadly, walking for me is not aerobic. I simply cannot walk at a pace that gets my heart rate up. So I exercise every day on a treadmill (thankfully there is one here in the complex where we live). With the treadmill, I’m able to push myself, unlike walking. My regime: 3 miles every other day starting at 3.0 mph and working up to 5.0 mph and trying to run about one mile of that. On the ‘other’ day I do 2 miles using the incline (increasing it 1 level for each minute then back down) and doing 30 minutes of weight training. On Sundays I go to a yoga class and pretend that I know what I’m doing and that I’m a deep enough person to understand the spiritual part of it. I’m not very good at it, but I think it’s good for me.
- I’ve learned to sweat. This is quite new to me; since I had never pushed myself before, I feel happy when I get sweaty. It makes me feel like I’m working hard enough.
- I stretch before and after every workout. After 8 months of this, I would have thought I would be more flexible, but I still feel very stiff and that my progress has been minimal.
I don’t use the elliptical machine! I think using this machine over a year ago is what caused my hip problems in the first place. Maybe if you’re younger or taller it’s OK, but I’m convinced it threw my hip out of whack….so use it with caution.
- When I don’t exercise regularly I can feel it; I get a little edgy. Like my body is craving it. I like this!
- When I first start out on the treadmill, I always think the time is going by really slowly, then after about 10 minutes I get into the rhythm and the time goes by so fast! I ALWAYS listen to fast music when I exercise; it makes a huge difference in my enjoyment and my speed. I put together an exercise playlist on my iPhone so it’s really easy. Even when I really don’t want to push myself (which isn’t often) I will play some slower music and just walk at a slower speed.
- I set goals for myself: on my 3 mile days, my goal is to do 3 miles in 45 minutes or less and burn at least 400 calories. On my 2 mile days my goal is to do 2 miles in 30 minutes or less and to work up to 8 lb weights for all my training and to do 5 push ups.
- I’m still doing my one leg thing in the elevator……going up, I stand on my left leg only, going down, on my right. I think it really is helping my balance.
- Lastly, I’ve learned that burning 300-500 calories a day, and eating less than 1200 calories a day will usually take one lb. a week off for me, but change that formula a little and what do you get: a 2 lb. gain. Lucky for me, I’m learning how this works now.
That’s it for Week 38. It’s good to be back in Hawaii even though our goal is to leave here in a couple of months. There is beauty everywhere you look: flora, fauna, ocean, sky, sunrises, volcanoes, critters; it all abounds here in the islands. There is a saying here…..”lucky we live Hawaii” and although this will be our part-time home once we leave, for today, I’m happy to be here.
A HUI HOU,
QUEEN OF CROP