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I was asked recently on Instagram how I went from no exercise at all and being totally unfit to the point where I’m at now where I’m reasonably fit. Before I got on the waiting list for my gastric bypass I had to lose 8 kilos and that is where this fitness journey starts.
I looked at what I was able to do at that point. Walking was decent exercise for me at that stage and with my little boy in his buggy I could easily get a walk in during the day. I walked to one of the parks near my house and back to begin with and I would have to sit down at the park for five or so minutes when I got there to recover. It was hard work and when I figured out on Google maps it was 3K I was stoked that I had been walking so far.
As I got fitter and more able, you don’t realise how much being morbidly obese impacts your mobility until you start getting it back, I started going further and faster. I can still remember the first time I got the park and didn’t need to sit down I just turned around and came straight back. That was a small victory along the way.
My fitness built up to a decent amount during this time before surgery but exercise was still hard. Its wasn’t until after my gastric bypass when I had lost a lot of weight that I started to really progress with my fitness. I’m not saying you can’t build your fitness up to a greater level while you are that big but for me it was so tiring and such an effort that I couldn’t handle anymore than walking.
I wasn’t allowed to do vigourous exercise after my gastric bypass for six weeks and I basically did no exercise because I was being super cautious in how my recovery went. Once I was okay to start exercising I started walking again and found my body responded really well and it didn’t have the effect of making me want to nap all day after I had exercised.
Once I got to the point where walking was no longer challenging I started running. Now when I say I was running I started off running for as long as I could and then I would walk fast until I felt I could run a bit more again. Over the weeks as I got better and was gaining more fitness I started running for longer periods and really felt my fitness start building.
Even now when I go for a run I don’t run the whole time. I start off walking to warm up and then I run intermittently for the rest of my run. I run until my heart rate gets really high and almost feels out of control and then I walk fast until it drops and then I run again. I tend to run down all the hills and walk up most of the big ones but I do run up the first bits of them and little bits during them too if I feel like it.
If you are starting from the beginning with your fitness pick something you can do that you enjoy, even if that enjoyment is marginal. Then all you need to do is stick to it and work on it. As it gets easier and you get better at it you can increase your distance or time and make it harder for yourself in those ways. Set mini goals for yourself and celebrate when you reach them. When I’m training for an event I will build my distance up by adding half a kilometre a week and hope that my pace increases at the same time.
If you are competitive against yourself like I am you will find it easy to push yourself by comparing your times and always striving to outdo yourself. I like feeling challenged and the sense of achievement when I meet one of my goals is amazing. I have so much appreciation for what my body is able to do now that every small victory feels so big. Also having views like this really help to motivate me out the door!
Start with whatever you are able, take your time, challenge yourself and soon enough you will see and feel changes in your fitness and physical ability. How do you build your fitness up when you are literally starting from the beginning? What is your exercise of choice let me know in the comments below.