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Caro1014
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 4/20/2008 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd like to know when other people have decided to take up exercising or healthy dieting after their surgery. I had mine in January, things are going well, my surgical wounds are completely closed, the stitches in the back passage aren't causing any trouble and the doctor was very happy with them. I'm eating well and am very mobile again. Thing is I'm still carrying the weight from the steroids, I have quite a bit of a belly on top of the slight swelling around the stoma and frankly, I'd like to start to lose it. I try to walk almost every day but my stamina and fitness is gone to the dogs so I'm more of a quick stroller than a powerwalker!
I'm thinking of going back to Weight Watchers, I had great success with them when I put on a lot of weight about ten years ago and I'm the kind of person who needs the fear of the weekly weigh in to keep me motivated not to go overboard on the bad kind of snacking. As regards exercise, what did ye do? My abdomen seems to be waking up slowly but surely. I get pinched on the inside some nights and it can feel like I'm bruised on the inside but luckily, it's not bad pain and never keeps me awake or prevents me from getting around but I wouldn't want to take on any exercise regime that might harm the healing process there.

Any tips or advice would be appreciated. I suppose if I'm honest, I'll admit there's a big family wedding coming up in July and while I'm more delighted about the fact that I will be able to go and eat the food and not worry about pain or running to the toilet, a part of me does think it would be no harm to be toned up a little. Don't worry, I'm not about to try and compete with the thinner members of my extended family, THEY did not have major surgery and it would only end up hurting myself in the long run if I was to do some fad diet and lose weight too quickly. But it would be good for my brain to get something happening because it needs the challenge. I've been feeling a wee bit disconnected the past few weeks. I'm not working because I had to leave my job when the crohns flare up got too bad and anyway, they were terrible to work for. But it's hard when I've been standing still for the past four years because I simply was too sick to do anything and a lot of my friends are now married/have kids/promoted/moved away. I'm happy for them but I'm beginning to realise I can't pick up where I left off in 2004, it feels like I have to recreate my life. And that's a bit scary.

Wow, that became a bit of a longer post than I'd intended, sorry. But it feels good to have said it and I know if anyone is going to understand, it's the people here.

Caro

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 4/20/2008 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   

Caro1014-have you ever worked with a trainer?  After my first ileo, my husband gave me a gift card for a few training sessions at our local YMCA...and, I have to say, it was a great gift!!  I worked with someone one on one (and stayed with her for two years) and she was able to tailor excercises to me and my medical condition.  I don't work with her anymore, but I do still do excercises and eat in the manner that is best for my body (portion control, no soda/pop, lots of water, 5 small meals with lots of veggies).

I can lose weight, if needed, when I up my cardio and really watch my calories, but mostly I just keep a constant weight without trying!  Any program that works for you is definately the way to go, but remember to really get your heart pumping and challenge yourself to get the best benefit.

Good luck!


summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 4/20/2008 4:51 PM (GMT -6)   
walk, walk, walk, walk! i know that is all you have been hearing, but that's true. I lost alot of weight, about 60lbs by just walking and cutting out soda and some other sweets.
that was a few years ago, after i had my child. Now, after my surgery i still go and walk, on the treadmill, about two miles, i try to go four days a week, but it isn't workign that way,lol. But i am doing some weights and stuff, just be careful mainly with your stomach muscles at first, cause they aren't as strong as they used to be, and won't be for a long time. I have to tell you though, and i am not saying this to make you sad or anything, but steroid weight is alot harder to lose than regular weight. I don't know why, but i just wanted you to know, (at least for me) that it won't come off the way you might expect so don't get disheartened if you aren't losing like you want at first. i am having trouble with my eating right now, i told my husband i am only workign out to cancel out my eating,lol. But even that is a good reason!
good luck!

suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5692
   Posted 4/20/2008 5:10 PM (GMT -6)   

I got back to exercising the day after surgery by walking as recommended by my surgeon.  Within 2 weeks I was back to hiking and building back up the stamina I had lost with my years of being ill with UC.  I think you are ready to get back to getting fit and I think a personal trainer is a good place to start.

Sue


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


awesomeame
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 625
   Posted 4/20/2008 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
walk!! about 2 months post op i started walking. at first i could only make it a couple houses down the street and back, soon enough i was going around the block, then up to 40 min powerwalks...THEN i knew i had the stamina/strength to join a gym so i did that. (approx 4 months post op)

i really recommend a trainer, at least for a couple sessions. tell them right up front about your situation ("just had abdominal surgery" is all they need to know) and they'll tailor something for you. they deal with post-op and injured ppl all the time, they can set up a plan for you. if you get on a machine and feel discomfot just say "this thing is no good" and get up. they don't need to know any details..

the more variety of machines the better, some will aggrivate your wounds, while others won't, even though both may exercise the same muscle group.

--matt
Dec 2006: Proctocolectomy/permanent ileostomy
Since 1991: Indeterminate crohn's/ulserative colitis


awesomeame
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 625
   Posted 4/20/2008 7:37 PM (GMT -6)   
and btw i totally understand about recreating your life! how all your friends have moved on with their lives and we kinda stood still. almost ALL my friends are married, i'm the odd guy out now. it's hard to relate with them, i find i don't really want to go visit with them. it's a new beginning really...i quit my job, changed my career focus, and am planning on moving elsewhere...good time to start over!!

--matt
Dec 2006: Proctocolectomy/permanent ileostomy
Since 1991: Indeterminate crohn's/ulserative colitis


flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 4/24/2008 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with everyone that walking is the best exercise after surgery. You can start out slow and then speed up and go farther as you gain more stamina and energy.
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Small Bowel Obstruction Surgery in '08, caused by adhesions.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)


Caro1014
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 4/25/2008 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for the replies. I'm going to start with walking. I don't mean this to sound like excuses but at the moment, I'm enjoying being able to eat like everybody else to start on a diet plan. Not that I intend to go about stuffing my face and then wonder why I'm putting on weight! But I like being able to try foods that I couldn't touch for years. And walking is a cheaper form of exercise than a gym or personal trainer so for the moment, I'm going to eat healthily and build up my walking stamina. If that doesn't produce results or I get lazy, then I'll have to go to plan B.

And yeah, I'm starting to look on this as a great opportunity to do something new with my life. Okay so my way of getting the chance to start over was a bit severe but I've been looking at some courses to do over the summer to learn some new skills to keep my brain active as well.

lasbutterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 4/25/2008 7:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Caro1014, good for you!  Keep your sense of humor and positive attitude.  Spend some well deserved me time for you, and life will fall in place.  Good luck in all of your new surroundings and with your classes, too..  (They'll be a breeze after what you've been thru..) yeah
 
The best diet for us is to keep walking..  Motility disorders require us to walk for the rest of our lives, in addition to having colectomies.  I was very sedentary and bloated for the year prior to surgery.  Now, I am active, walking on breaks at work and afternoons at home.  I used to hate to exercise, and now it's my time for me and my escape.  Walking for me is like insulin for a person with diabetus.  I do it to stay healthy after all my surgeon did for me.
 
I have lost 86 pounds since surgery in August, and I eat 6 small meals a day and am never hungry.  I probably eat more now than before, but everything that I put in my mouth is thought about more and mostly nutritious.  Partially, because I don't want to ever be so overweight again, and also because I realize that alot of what I ate before will make me sick now.  I have a very tempermental tummy since surgery, and still cannot eat raw vegetables or any fried foods.  I eat almost all meat grilled or baked, lots of fruits and vegetables, protein smoothies, and all kinds of cereal and glucerna bars which are yummy and nutritious.  (Oh, I can't do without my bagel for breakfast..)
 
Small frequent meals and walking has changed my life.. :-)
 
butterfly

flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 4/26/2008 4:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Carol, being able to eat foods that you couldn't eat before surgery is one of the joys of being healthy, so you should enjoy every bite! :-)

Butterfly, congratulations on your healthy lifestyle! You are an inspiration to me. I'm going to go put on my walking shoes and have some "me time"!

Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Small Bowel Obstruction Surgery in '08, caused by adhesions.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)

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