The power of surgery

This post is about working out and my boobs. If that’s going to be weird for you, I’m sorry. However, these are things I care about. If you don’t want to workout I won’t yell at you! That would be rude. And mean. I try not to be a mean person. So I’ll just tell my story and not force my ways on you!

I love working out. Some people think it’s weird, and some people think I am obsessed with workouts or don’t have fun because of them. All I know is that nothing gives me the same feeling of accomplishment as finishing a workout totally out of breath and tomato red in the face. I love that I can push my body to change, and get stronger, and turn into something else. It’s so incredible that we have the power to change our bodies. Some people just want to lose weight, some gain weight, others want to build muscle or stamina… But we have the power to make those things happen!

Two years ago I had breast reduction surgery. Before that I didn’t workout much, I didn’t eat a lot (I subscribed to the 1200 calories a day and low fat ideas of dieting), and I obsessed with the number on the scale. First thing in the morning I would weight about 115. After breakfast was closer to 116. Mid afternoon was usually between 117-118 and after dinner was anywhere between 117-120. Yeah, it wasn’t healthy. I was always concerned about the food I put in my mouth and whether it was going to “show” right away. I felt totally exposed to the world and tried to hide my discomfort with a big smile. It was awful.

Then I had the surgery. It was the best decision I ever made! I went from a quite hefty cup size, especially given my bone structure and height, to a totally manageable (yet still technically “large”) one. It was a super easy recovery, but I did spend a good week lying on the fold out couch in Mum’s family room in front of the TV. And I got bored. And anxious about all the food I was eating while I was just laid up. I started googling things like “tone up abs” and “diet”, and I came across Tone It Up. I read up on Karena and Katrina’s stories. I read their blog posts, found their youtube videos, and discovered there was a nutrition plan. I also discovered that a few days after I was cleared for exercise was their annual Bikini Series! I was hooked. I bought the nutrition plan, a set of 3lb weights, and a new sports bra. I eventually also downloaded the Couch to 5k app (which was huge – I couldn’t run comfortably before the surgery. So much of this is only possible because of that surgery!)

The beauty if the Tone It Up nutrition plan is it actually, you know, lets you eat. It’s not restrictive. It’s a healthy balanced lifestyle, not a diet you do until you get where you want to go. They include recipes laden with chocolate and healthy carbs, and they practice what they preach: Karena has been known to post pictures of carrot cake that she’s refusing to share, and the girls also celebrated the end of their 3 week long filming with belgian waffles.  It’s a totally maintainable lifestyle, you don’t feel deprived of ANYTHING, and the girls provide you with advice on how to bounce back after a rough weekend. You also get the entire Tone It Up community when you start doing their workouts, even if you don’t buy the nutrition plan. This is a group of women all over the world who encourage each other to keep pushing and be their best selves. These women encourage each other to reach their goals, whether it be a 10k, going up in weights in your workouts, or even graduating college.

I’m thinking about all this now for a few reasons. First, I found Karena and Katrina’s website two years ago about now. Second, this past Saturday was my boobs’ second birthday (happy birthday manageable boobs! I love you so much). Third, I am currently finding my fitness again. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I let my fitness slip over the last year. I let habits that make me happy and proud fall to the wayside. I’m disappointed that I stopped working out regularly, but I’m also excited that I’ve started again. I love that I am my own inspiration. I know that I used to be able to run 4 miles, and I will be able to again. I know that I used to be able to do every single workout on the weekly schedule and also add in extras because just the listed routines weren’t enough for me to feel like I’d pushed myself. And I know that I can get to that place again.

Today during my run I pushed really hard. I did week 5 day 1 of C25K, and let me just say that I impressed myself. Today’s run was 5 minutes on, 3 minutes walking, three times. During each 5 minute stretch of running I pushed myself through a 10 minute mile pace. That is really hard for me, especially since I only picked this back up a week ago. But not once did I lower my speed. If that wasn’t enough to make me happy my heart rate was lower than it was a week ago! I pushed harder and didn’t max out as hard. It’s proof of progress, it’s proof that my effort will come back to me in reward, and it’s proof that I’m right. I can get my fitness back where it was. I can’t wait for longer outdoor runs once it gets warmer!

And I’m not worrying about food as much. I’m eating lean, clean, and green. I’m not overloading on carbs. And I’m not over eating. I feel GOOD (aside from the health issues), and I’m starting to sleep properly again too. I’m just over the moon about how this is all starting to work and I’ve only truly recommitted to my chosen lifestyle for a week. It’s incredible how the smallest changes can make the biggest difference! I can’t wait to come back and tell you all about how I ran a full 5k!

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