Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bariatric Betty's strengths and weaknesses

I have signed up for my second 5k, The Color Run on April 27th in Akron, OH.  It looks like a LOT of fun!  You can watch a video about it here:  Basically you run a 5k wearing a white shirt while people throw packets of non-toxic pigment on you.  What I've learned about jogging/ running is that I don't find it fun.  I feel better after I exercise daily, and I am glad I can do it quicker than the same amount of exercise I would do walking.  But do I look forward to jogging?  No.  However, I DID enjoy running a 5k race!

So now I'm looking for fun runs - I'm not trying to win a medal, I want the social aspect.  A bunch of people jogging/ running while wearing costumes, or running to raise money for a good cause, or in the case of The Color Run, running while being silly and finishing looking like one of Willy Wonka's Everlasting Gobstoppers.  This way I look at jogging as preparing for my next fun race, and I can work on improving my time from a race one year to the same race the next year.

I have also signed up for a mini-triathalon in the beginning of April.  It's being held at our rec center, and they have it down to a science.  You are assigned a wave time, and start out sharing a lane with one other person.  At your start time you swim as far as you can in 15 minutes while they count your laps.  Then you go to the spinning bikes where they track how far you bike in 20 minutes with an odometer on the bike.  Then you go to the indoor track where they track how far you run/ walk in 20 minutes.  That's it!  Well, that makes it sound easy - and I would find doing each of those components easy on any given day - however, doing all three in a row will be challenging, I'm sure!  Not to mention the decrease in my padding around the spin seat-area will likely lead me to stand for most of the ride.  I'm looking forward to it, and will be sure to let you know how it goes - with pics, of course.

One thing about walking and jogging being my primary cardio exercises is that my legs are very strong and in great shape.  However, my upper body has not kept up.  Just yesterday I was bringing in groceries and was reminded yet again that my arms aren't as strong a they used to be.  When I reach up to close my trunk while holding several plastic bags of groceries in each hand, my wrists and arms tremble.  Am I experiencing upper body weakness?  No.  But they aren't as strong as they used to be, partially because they aren't helping me support my extra +100 weight anymore and I haven't been giving them the attention that my legs have been getting. 

So yesterday before work I went to the Rec and did some assisted chin-ups, dips, captain's chair crunches, and torso twists against resistance.  Gotta love the machines that let you counter balance some of your body weight for chin-ups and dips.  I was only supporting about 45 pounds, and it was hard.  I plan on doing it 2-3 times a week and look forward to being able to do more weight and reps.

I went to my monthly support group last night.  I love my support group!  They are such a blessing;  these women are truly fabulous.  As one of the other members said "All of you are beautiful, and you have a 'glow' around you".  We have pre-ops, recent post-ops, people a year out, all the way to people 11 years out.  Good ideas, answers to questions, and tough love when needed.  The support of my family means so much to me - and unfortunately, not all WLS patients have that.  But the support of people who have traveled my road, who understand the challenges, temptations and inner demons I wrestle with - nothing can replace that.

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