Saturday, April 19, 2014

Eat, Rest and Carry On.

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Ugh, I'm tired. Not sure why, I suppose it's related to being 12 days out from surgery. I'll open with a pic from my first trip to the gym post-surgery this past Wednesday.

The first thing I did was walk on the treadmill. I set the speed to my normal walk pace, 3.0mph. Whoa, horsie! WAY too fast. So I slowed it down to somewhere around 2.0, maybe even slower, and just walked. I had a book and read and walked for 10-20 minutes (didn't pay attention). After I got tired of that I went to lift some weights. I did some really easy stuff with only 5 pound weights, bicep curls, tricep stuff, the basics.

Thursday was my follow-up with Dr. Canales, "I read your blog and about spit out my coffee when I saw you went to the gym." That followed with an explanation of why even the easiest of weight training is NOT ok at this early point. I'll spare you the details but it involved internal friction and bleeding. Ok, got it. So here's the general answer to my "When can I exercise?" question.

Weeks 0 - 2: NO EXERCISE
Week 2: Can start walking. No increased heart rate, no sweating.
Week 4: Can start running. Emphasis on taking it easy, listen to my body, etc.
Week 6: Can start engaging core (weight lifting). Again, listen to my body.

Admittedly, I'm not the best at listening to my body. But given the gravity of my situation, I will do my absolute best. I don't want any bleeding or other such problems to take me backwards in my recovery. Speaking of blood, he also gave me a NSFW picture of me mid-surgery. It's not for the faint of heart. I'm warning you, only click here if you don't mind blood and gore. The black line is where they cut. The 11cm spot on the ruler is where my belly button used to be.

He said they cut off about 3lbs of skin, 1 lb of fat and removed about 1lb of fat from my love handles via liposuction. So, about 5lbs altogether. Not that I did this to lose weight, had nothing to do with that. I'm still fairly swollen so I haven't seen that change on the scale, I'm still about 144 and can barely zip a size 10 (I was mostly wearing a size 6 before). Not that it matters, I'm all about the elastic waistbands these days. None of this matters for now.

Other than my eating. Trying to put my energy into focusing on that, since I can't exercise. Speaking of food, here's what I made for dinner Wednesday evening. These are zucchini, red bell pepper and pineapple kabobs I grilled. I also did chicken thighs marinated in a bottled orange ginger sauce on the kabobs but didn't take a pic of those. It was a yummy dinner. Too bad the kids only wanted the chicken, I thought they'd at least go for the pineapple.

Anyway, back to my follow-up appointment. When I was done with that they told me the MedSpa downstairs was doing free demonstrations of Obagi Blue facial peels and asked if I wanted one. Why not? BTW, taking a selfie while laying down makes your skin look perfect?!

And here I am with the medical aesthetician, Danielle Anglen. Does my skin look all glowy and perfect?

I think it's supposed to induce a bit of peeling but it's been two days and I haven't noticed anything.

Anyway, about this time I was feeling really good, no pain meds, had a good amount of energy. I did a bit of shopping, got Easter outfits for the kids and picked up a couple Spanx tanks for myself, since I can now switch to those from the abdominal wrap. Friday evening I had plans to visit one of my oldest besties...wait, not one of my oldest bestie, my only oldest bestie...Joy. She's been in this blog before, way back in 2008 when we joined her crew on a rafting trip. I was preggo with Marek at the time.

Joy and I have been friends since we were 14 years old and live a mere hour apart but you know, life gets busy and we just don't see each other enough. So I made the drive out to see her for dinner and stayed the night at her place. It was SO fun to catch up. We started with sushi for dinner. Joy got out her reading glasses and...oh dear, we are aging aren't we?

I love this woman!
But at least we're healthy! Joy is a serious mountain biker and hits the gym on the regular. We caught up on all things - work, friends, relationships, kids, etc, etc. Takes a while when you wait years to see one another. Anyway, after a few sushi rolls and a lot of chatter we decided to drive to Davis and see The Budapest Hotel movie, which was solidly ok. Walking back to the car in this university town and we spotted people eating ice cream sandwiches. Even after movie theater popcorn that still sounded good. After a quick Google search we found our way to Cream.

We went with an oatmeal raisin cookie on one side, chocolate chip on the other, and soy mint ice cream in the middle. And split it. So good.

The cookies were still warm!
The only problem with the visit was all the laughter. I was in agony and begged her to stop but with her being both funny and sadistic, that wasn't happening. Back home today and errands, a family lunch outing with Miguel and the kids, getting ready for our big family Easter party rest for the weary. No wonder I'm feeling drained.

Speaking of drained, today I put a practically whole gallon of vanilla ice cream down the disposal. I knew I was feeling too mentally drained to have it around. Sure, I could have lied and told myself I'd save it for the family Easter party tomorrow and then go on to eat half of it tonight. No, that's not happening There are times when this weight loss/maintenance thing feels like war and I have to fight. So fight I did. The money's been spent, eating that ice cream won't bring it back.

Well, that's the latest. Monday I'm allowed to start walking so I plan to go to the gym after work for another leisurely stroll on the treadmill. You might wonder why I'm not just walking outside. It's the air at the gym, I need to breathe it, be in that environment, remind myself that the gym is part of my routine. So I'll stroll, and talk up the positives and wait out my body continuing to heal.


  1. i totally and completely understand the need for the gym air. i really do. when i get myself in the habit of going to the gym multiple times a week, i'm the exact same way. unfortunately for me, right now, i'm having to sort of force myself to go to the gym and do my strength training. anyway, this is about you! you look amazing and i actually looked at your gorey picture and was just plain fascinated by it. that's a huge difference in belly button location! your post-surgery blogs will help me later down the road (a few years from now when other things are paid off), after i've reached and maintained a good weight loss that makes me happy, your blogs will help me make the decision if it's right for me or not. it is something i've thought a lot about but i don't actually know anyone that's had one, so i had no one to tell me what it's actually like. thank you soooooo much for sharing your experience with us!

  2. Wow, I didn't realize the restrictions on activity were so serious post-surgery. I can understand the desire to at least do something after being cooped up. That picture looks unreal, like something from a movie scene. This type of surgery is something I've done a lot of thinking about as well. I've lost a little more than a hundred pounds so far, and I already have all this weirdness about my body with things getting in the way. I have another 65ish pounds to go to reach goal, and I'm very sure I'll want to go the route of a body-lift once I've managed to successfully maintain at or around goal for a while. I just want to thank you once again for being open enough to share all of this. Being able to read other people's experiences and stories makes it so much easier to make the decision for myself.


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