I got my surgery date almost 2 weeks ago. I’m scheduled for my prophylactic double mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction on July 28, 2017. FINALLY, I have something to work towards instead of just a big looming unknown.
I’m taking this time before surgery to get as healthy as possible and ensure my recovery goes well. There are things I know I can’t control, but I’m trying to take control of the things I can control. Diet and exercise are two of those things.
The first thing I did was join Weight Watchers Online. With Queen Oprah at the helm, I knew the program must be better than my past attempts (although I’ve had success with them before. My failures are totally on me not sticking to the program). I love being able to do everything on my phone instead of having stacks of books and a cardboard slider. I’ve been dieting on/off since… adulthood. So, here goes with the Weight Watchers.
The second thing I started doing was increasing my exercise. I’ve been going to the gym for the last 6+ months… dabbling, shall we call it. But I haven’t noticed a huge difference and was becoming increasingly less consistent with my workouts.
Here’s my “Before” picture. Notice how my future boobs stick out further than my current ones:
I’ve been on the plan above for two and a half weeks. That isn’t to say, I haven’t used my daily or weekly points on a glass/bottle of wine or a bite of a donut on Father’s day, but that’s what is great about WW. At the highest level, I have the freedom to eat what I want within my points for the day. Of course, the more nutritious and healthy those things are, the better for my overall health and results.
My co-worker, and workout buddy, Mark, has kindly been suggesting I get off the elliptical (and gym weight machines) and push myself to try new things. Slowly, I’ve been doing different things at the gym like the treadmill, stair climber. Last week, I went to 2 hour-long circuit training classes at the YMCA during my lunch break. They kicked my butt, but it felt good! My muscles ached until Sunday morning.
I’ve also been walking nightly and making weekends with my family involve walking and hiking too. I found the old saying, “A body in motion tends to stay in motion” to be true. When I get home in the evenings, after working out during lunch, I am more motivated to walk, cook, clean, straighten up and generally make the best use of my time.
The Results Are In
Week 1: – 4.0 LBS
Week 2: +0.2 LBS | -3.8 Total
Week 2 was such a disappointment. I followed every part of the plan and worked out so hard. But, this path to be healthier isn’t a sprint. It’s the continuation of a life-long struggle that’s about so much more than weight. It’s about confidence and a whole bunch of other stuff that I’m sure I haven’t figured out completely yet. I’ve never felt comfortable in my body, ever. I am curious how surgery is going to impact my thoughts.
People will say “If I can just ______, I will be happy.” Whether the “_____” is making $20K more or losing 5lbs or fixing their nose, there will always be challenges. They are just relative to our circumstance. I think it’s part of human nature to never be completely satisfied and always striving to improve or be better. But there has to be something deeper going on in a person’s psychology that impacts their ability to be happy right where they are. I think I have a lot to work on, both physically and mentally, and I am trying not to put expectations into what my body will look like post-surgery.
Here I am, in the middle of Week 3 of my challenge. I haven’t let up on the effort. Full speed ahead towards my goal of being a healthier me for surgery (and recovery).
If you have any WW tips, exercises or class recommendations, please let me know in the comments!