Habits are such funny things. The good ones are hard…
If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may have noticed I have really started focussing on exercising again. If you don’t already follow me on my social media accounts follow the links up in the right hand top corner of the page and give my accounts a follow. I post some more little snapshots into my life post gastric bypass that are not necessarily enough to write a whole blog post about. Over winter I have seriously let my exercise slip to the wayside and I have missed it.
It’s the first day of daylight savings here in New Zealand as I write this post and of course more daylight hours make everything seem a bit brighter and easier. I have been making a real effort to make myself and exercise a priority and I can’t believe how much I missed it. I have had an incredibly stressful couple of weeks and my best way to deal with stress and help keep my mental health in check now is to exercise.
I have been building up slowly and have been focussing on a mix of walking and running. I really, really enjoy running now. If anyone had told me pre gastric bypass when I was 132 kg that one day I would love and seriously miss running I would have had a good laugh. As I lost weight and was able to increase my exercise a shift happened in terms of my experience with exercise and how my body dealt with it.
At my highest weight exercise was hard. Not in a oh it’s not easy so stuff it kind of way but in a when I get to the park I need to have a 5 min sit down to recover from getting there. Then when I was done I felt like napping all afternoon. When people wonder why it’s hard to exercise when you are morbidly obese they actually do not realise how incredibly difficult and tiring it is when you are that big. To be honest getting through the day when you are morbidly obese is hard enough let alone trying to exercise as well.
As I got lighter and more gained more capability back I got to a point where walking wasn’t challenging enough anymore. I saw the Skechers 6k run advertised and that a few people I knew were doing it and I hesitantly signed up to do it. I had never intentionally run before and had six weeks to train for this event. I found having a huge goal and an event to train for gave me so much motivation purely out of not wanting to lose face on the day.
Over the six weeks I built up my running and gradually built up the distance I was doing. I have to say it wasn’t until a couple of months after that Skechers event that I actually really felt like I had found my stead with running and had kind of ‘got it.’ While training for that event though I fell in love with running and the challenge it presented me with. I love pushing myself and racing against my previous times and trying to do better than I did the day before.
Since I have started getting back into it for the summer again I already feel stronger and more vital within myself and I LOVE THE FEELING!!! I love the downtime it gets me to just be in my own head and the little bit of time to myself I get while I’m running. It’s the best stress relief I can find now and if I’m having cravings for things I shouldn’t it kills them completely.
What I find really interesting is that now exercise gives me energy and perks me up which is the exact opposite to how it used to make me feel. I also really like that after exercising I get properly tired at night and sleep so much better being physically tired. I am building up my fitness again and can’t wait until I get to the point where I really feel fit again.
I will over the next couple of weeks add in some weights and resistance exercises as well to help build muscle and really feel strong. My body responds really well, really quickly to exercise and after a couple of weeks of running and walking I can see more definition in my arms and tummy again already. This really helps add to my motivation and keeps me wanting to do more and see what else I can achieve.
This is one of the many things I couldn’t have imagined would have changed pre surgery. I thought I just hated exercise and was always going to find it difficult. My body feels so much stronger and I think how it’s supposed to now that I’m at a healthy weight and this is something I never want to give up ever again. Because of the gradual way I lost some physical capability I didn’t notice many things I had lost until I got them back again.
Have you found your experience of exercise change significantly with your weight loss journey? I would love to know what you can do now that you never thought you would enjoy or even dreamed of doing.