Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bariatric Betty starts the school year with pics and a plan

First I want to brag - I jogged 30 minutes straight on Monday, hitting the final goal of Couch to 5k.  I would love to show you a picture of me "crossing the line" but my camera's battery died right before my son tried to take the pic.  Here's a (blurry) but triumphant pic taken with my phone a few minutes later:

My sons haven't gotten up to jogging that long yet.  My older son has started football, so for now he's off the program as he is getting PLENTY of exercise.  My younger son was really struggling to get past the 3 minute mark before he started wheezing.  At first his pediatrician and I thought it was exercise induced asthma and he tried an inhaler for a couple weeks.  It seemed to make a small difference at first, but then there was an incident in which my older son provoked my younger son and the wheezing started up at only 1 1/2 minutes into a jog.  Hmmm.  After seeing the doc again and him having us induce the wheezing by jogging around his office, his opinion (and mine) is that this is anxiety related, not asthma.  Anxiety runs in the family (as does depression) and he has long had fears that have impacted his functioning to some degree (not wanting to be alone in a room, not wanting to go up or downstairs by himself, fear of loud noises, etc). 

The pediatrician came up with a great plan to keep Ian exercising but reduce the anxiety and make this a positive experience for him.  Ian will only run for 30 seconds at a time, and then walk for 2 minutes, alternating back and forth for 30 minutes 3 times a week.  Then the next week, we shorten the 2 minutes to 1 minute 45 seconds, but keep the running at just 30 seconds each time.  He'll jog more times, increasing his aerobic activity while making it seem like he's not jogging any longer.  We'll keep subtracting 15 seconds away from the walking time and monitor how it goes.  We've done it 4 times now and Ian is responding really well. The first time he couldn't believe how easy it was, and said "This is FUN!" - yes!!!  Here's the boys celebrating my 30 minute jog with me.

Unfortunately, once we left the 2 minute walk zone (the approximate time it takes me to lap him jogging while he's walking) it meant that our workouts aren't very compatible, so I'm doing extra workouts with him and changing up my routine.

School started this week, and with it my return to working as a lunch/ recess monitor.  I love this job for two reasons: I get paid (a little) to walk around for 2 1/2 hours and I get to interact with kids (including my 3rd grader) and know what's really going on at the school.   I'm getting in 5000 - 7000 steps a day during those 2 1/2 hours.  I'm also trying to break my dog into Pooch to 5k so that I can jog with him in the morning. 

Couch to 5k would have me do 30 minute jogs 3 times a week for another week before I would be considered complete.  Between my son, my dog, and my work this is what I'm doing:  1 30 minute jog on the weekend.  Daily 40 minute walk/ jog alternating 90 second jog and 3 minute walk with my dog.  Monday through Friday 2 1/2 hours walking at work.  And 3 times a week, 30 minute walk/ jog alternating with my son.  This doesn't prepare me to jog a 5 k, but it's definitely a LOT of exercise and works with my family.

I had a lot of fun going back to school on the first day for another reason - the compliments!  I had lots of people telling me how wonderful I looked, which was fun.  I have been very open about the surgery, so everyone already knows about it and the only questions I've gotten coming back to the school now are "How much have you lost now?" and "Are you trying to lose anymore?".  I happily responded to the first by saying "90 pounds!" and to the second by saying "I'm not really worrying about trying to drop any more weight, but change more fat into muscle." 

My plan is to eventually get to something like this: jog 1-2 miles a day with my dog, walk 2 1/2 hours a day Monday through Friday, walk/ jog 30 minutes three times a week with my son, and weight/ strength training 2-3 times a week.  That might be a little ambitious, but it's my current plan.

I've been adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet when I have room.  The other night I had 1/2 serving of steamed broccoli and 1/4 of a baked potato after my protein!  Woo-hoo - living the high life!  I'm still getting in 75 - 80 grams of protein a day, so there's not much room for much other stuff, but it does make getting fruits and veggies feel like a treat. 


  1. Whoo hoo! Look at you and your 30-minute mark! I used to be able to do that! (and I don't mean I can't/don't just right now, under current conditions... I have really fallen off jogging, between foot problems and schedule changes and laziness). You are awesome and always inspirational. And Ian is doing great too! Happy back-to-school; hope Justin and Ian both have a great year.

    1. Thanks Janet, I'm sure once you recover you could lap me in no time - but I am proud of myself! So far so good on the kid's start of school - I think we got some great teachers. Hope B & J did as well!