Bypass challenges for sporty people

I’ve been a very good girl lately! I’ve been to the gym – enthusiastically! – and I’ve enjoyed 2 trainings with my personal trainer so far. It’s so much fun. My muscles are aching and I can barely lift my arms above my head after a session, but no pain, no gain, right?

The first personal training session started with a bang. I was pushed to my limits. So much that at one point, I had to sit down because my heart rate was plunging and I was feeling extremely dizzy and light-headed. Yep, I was crashing. I absolutely didn’t see it coming and it took me by surprise. I thought I had eaten enough and I made sure I drank plenty of fluids during the day. But juggling a small stomach pouch with limited absorption capacity, along with my new physiological incapacity to digest sugars and fats, with high-intensity sports activities… wow, that’s a challenge.

I did a bit of research on the internet and there are only a few scientific studies about nutrition and endurance sports after gastric by-pass. Patients who had bariatric surgery and practice endurance sports must be careful with commercially available sports drinks, gels and bars. Sugar is the biggest issue. It’s a bit of trial and error – some preparations might not cause any discomfort for certain persons, but trigger dumping for others. Same goes for protein powders. After some reading, I came up with my own recipe for a sports drink, which doesn’t contain as much sugar as regular sports drink, but just enough to give me a little bit of energy without causing me any discomfort:

– Water
– 2-3 tablespoons of concentrated fruit syrup (like this one)
– 1/2 teaspoon of salt

I’ve been drinking this mix for a couple of weeks now at the gym and so far so good 🙂 I even survived the 2nd personal training session a couple of days ago – and trust me, it was intense. But I didn’t crash!

On the running side of things, I was amazed at being able to run 4 minutes today. It seems it was just yesterday that 1 minute felt like eternity! Here’s what the trainings look like for this week:

2/2, 2/2, 4/3, 3/3, 3/3 (bold= running, standard = walking)

I treated myself to a new pair of running shoes, my old pair was… well… old. They were not absorbing shocks as much as they used to (5 years ago!) and I just wanted to make sure I was still a neutral runner by letting the guys at the shop analyze my running. Aren’t thy precious in pink and purple? 😉

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That’s it for now, folks! Time to go nurse my sore muscles 😉

A present for myself

Things are going well on the sporty front, I’ve managed to go to the gym twice per week the last two weeks, AND I also managed to get the hubby to get a subscription, so we could go together! It’s always more fun with someone else 🙂

And since this period in my life is a journey of healing, reconstruction and transformation, I’ve decided to offer myself an early x-mas/b-day present: a personal trainer. Just to help me get started. To help me train the right way to achieve my goals. To motivate me when my body acts as an enemy and I just want to feel sorry for myself. To make me enjoy physical activity, and help me keep the habit for the rest of my life. It’s far from being cheap, but I think it’s worth every euro. I’ve talked to him a few times already, about my goals, what I want to achieve, and I think there’s a good connection there. I’m meeting him again this evening for a real intake, with measurements, weight, etc. and goals setting, so we can start working together. I think it’s going to be fun!

Yesterday was a really good day. I think I have to mark 11-12-2012 in my calendar or something. At work I had a wonderful  chat with a coach, who is also there to help me through this journey – not only on the work front, but also in my personal life. She shared great insights and I came out of her office lifted, optimistic, relieved and confident. Then in the evening after work I went to the gym and I did something I’ve missed so badly and could only dream of doing again: I ran. Not fast, not for long (I did the first training of Start to Run, a podcast series from Belgium, similar to the Couch potato to 5K program), but I ran. It was the best. feeling. ever. The feeling of achievement was almost too overwhelming, I thought I was going to cry! I’ve come such a long way…

The road ahead is still long and tortuous, I’m about to start a heavy hormonal treatment that I know from experience is going to make me feel tired and cause me a lot of pain, but I am determined to not let it stop me. I will listen to my body, but instead of working against it, I will work with it.

I think I got my mojo back 🙂