I'm about 10 weeks in to my journey of rebuilding strength and reducing fat post-surgery and I must say it has been a great experience so far. I haven't stepped on the scale yet but that dress that I mentioned here zips up so easily, and my jeans are all loose (time to go shopping!)
I've come this far to see these results through a combination of actions including:
Running for cardio exercises
Yoga for strength training
Fasting for longer periods of time
Generally being more mindful about what and how much I eat,
And I must admit, it feels amazing!
Blow an image to show my progress of running from November (last month) to December (this month). I almost tripled my distance and my speed per km decreased on an average of 29 seconds from one month to the next! But don't get me wrong, when I started running in November I eased in. My first run was 1.75km and took 16 minutes. I slowly increased the time by 0.25km or 0.50km and eventually reached my goal of 10km on December 18th. I pushed myself as the days passed and I became more fit, but the most important thing I learned was to listen to my body. If my goal for the day was 5km and I felt like I could keep going I would, but if I was exhausted I would stop.
I've decided to find a balance between cardio (running, and I'm thinking of starting swimming) and strength training (via yoga) and aim to do 5 workouts a week by combining these activities. Yoga is a perfect pair to running because it involves a lot of stretching which is helpful for runners.
The most important part about achieving and maintaining a long term goal is to make sure the actions taken are sustainable (more about this in one of our previous posts here). For me to dedicate approximately an hour a day to exercise is definitely doable.
My achievements did not not only result from increasing activity. A lot of it had to do with my diet, particularly focusing on longer fasts and only eating when I'm actually hungry. I haven't restricted any food or drinks (particularly sugar because I am a huge sweet tooth!), but because I eat less now with the intermittent fasting, I get full faster. So even if I have a few pieces of chocolate, it's not going to be a large setback. Here's an image to show a week of average fasting. A couple months ago it was between 14-16 hours and now it's almost at 18 hours. There are days that I only make it to 12 hours, but I don't beat myself up about it because hey, you gotta live!
I'm thankful to Dan for getting me started on this journey, Salman for being my running inspiration, and to myself for having the determination to reach my goal! I am now four months post surgery and I feel better than before the procedure! I plan to keep going and will periodically share my progress.
Always remember: if you put your mind to something and are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it!
Written by Devi Bajaj
Executive Director of Enliven Services