Since my procedure I have been a touch remiss with my exercise regime but this week I have definitely started to remedy it so that I can begin to count myself as active and as such am going from a monotonous state to a motivated one.
After the surgery I was limited to walking around the apartment as I had too many stairs to climb, to and from pavement level in order to walk. This only lasted a week but it was a week of cabin fever that I have no desire to ever repeat. The second week I was limited to some short walks around my very locale and at a gentle pace to boot but on the Saturday, two weeks post op, I took out the lord of the little legs and walked a nice 5km at a decent pace. Little did I know this would be the last I did for a couple of weeks because the infection that struck that night levelled me for a fortnight.
So since last week I have been getting back into it with some gentle walks and regular activity with my wingman Archie The Dog and assorted walking friends. As you may know, I have also joined the gym whilst also increasing my walking activity further still. That is bar Sunday when my back pain finished me off for the day. I now aim to walk for at least 45 minutes to an hour each day and also attend the gym three times a week to follow my new 40 minute regime of machine weights and 10 minutes of cardio.
I am quite surprised that I still need the activity to continue losing the weight as it seems odd that with most of my stomach missing, I should even be able to put weight on or at least remain the same as the previous few days. Weight loss with this new stomach is not as cut and dried as everyone might think. Yes I am limited to how much I can put in my tummy but I could still fill it with chocolate, crisps and other high carb foods and that would get me nowhere. I suppose in that case I am quite lucky that I do not crave any of these more than a passing glance but I know there are some patients that after surgery are unable to change their eating habits and as such they still crave the wrong foods that put them where they were in the first place. Unfortunately some of them actually indulge these cravings as it is quite a difficult thing to work out what the stomach is telling the brain due to it being so much smaller than before. This means it will empty quicker, but amazingly enough just because the stomach is empty doesn’t mean its owner is actually hungry.
It is all to do with the food moving into the small intestine as opposed to sitting in the stomach whilst it is broken down and then taken into the intestine so the nutrients are absorbed. The brain is still learning the messages that the stomach is sending it and it is getting thoroughly confused. Even a growling stomach doesn’t mean feed me! Take all of this into consideration, it is easy to see how people make mistakes once they are post procedure, not understanding the signals and readily going to the default setting of eating as they believe it can do so little harm now that their stomach will be full in a couple of mouthfuls.
I would like to think that I am not in this category because at the weekend I ate sausages and bacon and felt guilty. Although only a small amount at 2 rashers and one sausage it was subsequently considered too much. Eating these foodstuffs was not a great issue according to the nurse, just the quantity. However, I know it affected my diet to the point where my weight plateaued and possibly increased due to the increase in red meat. Yes, I made an error of judgement but as soon as I saw it, I called the nurse at the hospital to have my worries confirmed and then I cracked the whip and got back on the horse. I understand that this is all part of the learning process but being me, I don’t like to be learning for long, I want it mastered like yesterday.
I know that my general malaise of un-wellness contributed to my inactivity but I also believe that it contributed to my food choices. A lack of motivation can strike anytime there is monotony and it will take you by surprise so before you know it there is poor food choices and much laying about on sofa’s. It is very much easier to remain active during the sunny weather and as such I shall make hay whilst the sunshines and be out in the good weather as much as my new working schedule allows me. Walking is no real issue as I almost have a different friend for company every day of the week especially if the sun has his hat on, however the retraining of gym attendance may prove as difficult as retraining my stomach.
Mind you, with the renewed motivation I am currently feeling I reckon I will smash it in the Gym in no time, although I may just have to work a little harder on sausages 😉
Stay out of the fridge.