Road to Recovery Check In

FiddleFit

Cathlete
Hi everyone,

I used to be a very regular poster on these forums, but I've receded into the background in recent years due to the rest of life getting so busy. If you remember me - great! Please say hi!

I started this check in for anyone who, like myself, is recovering from an ailment or injury, and needs to approach exercise differently for a while. I have developed a serious case of iron-deficiency anemia, that is not improving at all. This has been coming on very slowly for about 8 years, primarily due to heavy periods (due to fibroids). I was finally diagnosed in July, 2013 when the symptoms began to get extreme. I've been on iron supplements since then, but until the underlying problem gets fixed, I'm not going to get any better.

In the meantime, I've recently come to the conclusion that high intensity exercise of any kind is just not doing me any favours. My approach needs to be to keep moving, gently, without getting my heart rate up or breaking a sweat. To give you an idea of how I'm feeling these days, walking up a flight of stairs is like doing an interval of IMAX3 for me, I get dizzy and breathless getting up out of chairs, I can sleep 9 hours solid every night and still need a nap in the daytime, and when I plan my day, I can only choose one thing to focus on for the day (I have no mental energy to do more than one thing).

I've begun to have the fibroid/heavy bleeding situation resolved, so now I have to be patient while my body creates all these new red blood cells that I need. My goal is to be well enough to commute to work on my bike in the spring (20 miles a day). I also don't want to gain weight from lack of movement, or lose much muscle.

My workout plan is to do lots of walking and continue to do isolation lifting for my weight workouts. I won't be attempting to build muscle, just maintain. I'm thinking the Pyramid routines, Slow & Heavy, XTrain routines, and Push/Pull & SuperSets might fit the bill. Gym Styles might work, too, if I don't do the drop-set push ups (heart rate!). I will also do yoga 2 to 3 times a week. If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear them.

I'm also working to enhance the iron absorption from my food and iron supplement by eating lots of vitamin c rich foods and B12. Because I don't want to gain weight (I've gained 9 pounds since Sept 2013), I'm going to keep a close watch on my calorie intake, and portion control.

What about you? What's your health challenge, and how are you approaching it?

Thanks for joining me in this check in. I plan to get on here 4 or 5 times a week, depending on how busy life gets during the week. For the record, my hemoglobin count in December was 100, and my ferritin was 3. The hemoglobin needs to go up by 20, and the ferritin needs to be at 12. Both of these are a slight improvement of my numbers in July, but I have a ways to go.... (and I'm so tired of being tired).

Cheers
 

catgirl

Cathlete
You can count me in. I understand your current issue. I lived through it for well over a year myself. I didn't have fibroids, but had heavy non-stop bleeding for almost a year solid (due to perimenapause) . After many tests, my ob suggested getting a mirena iud. What a difference that made. All my bleeding stopped completely. But it still took quite a bit of time to get myself back to a good energy level.

I am currently recovering from some surgeries that I had at the end of August. After losing over 85 lbs. (through eating a healthy diet and lots of Cathe) and maintaining my weight for quite a while, I decided after much deliberation and consultations to have a full tummy tuck with abdominal repair along with a breast reduction/lift. Before my surgery I was in my best shape ever (again thank you Cathe), but all of the extra skin was uncomfortable and was even causing chronic infections. So right now, I'm on restrictions from my surgeon. I am unable to do any core work for one year, can't lift more than 5 lbs. and have just been cleared to do low impact types of workouts. Even after 5 months, I still swell quite a bit in my lower abs and have to wear compression garments.

I've been struggling since my surgeries to maintain my weight (which I had been doing rather effortlessly before. I know some may still be some water weight, but some is not. I'm up 5 lbs since my surgery (or a pound a month).

I just started working out again to Cathe on some of her lower impact series (Supercuts, Low Impact Hiit, Afterburn and Athletic Training). What a shock that was to see how difficult those are now. I have to modify some moves, use light weights and make sure I skip the core parts. I've also broken my back in the past and have had 2 back surgeries, so that also is a problem for me (especially in this frigid winter we are having). The good news is, it is easier to work out when you don't have all that extra skin.

My main goals right now that I've been cleared to do some exercising, is to get rid of the 5 lbs. I've gained (or at least lean out). After these last several months of inactivity, I want to work on getting my endurance level up again. I don't have any set time frame, slow and steady wins the race, and I'm in it for the long haul.

BTW, I'm typically a lurker on the forums, so one of my goals is just to be more active and involved. I fell in love with working out with Cathe 6-7 years ago when I discovered her on FitTv and have since ended up with most (but not all) of her DVD's.
 

cab0899

Cathlete
Hi Sandra, I saw your post and just wanted to say hi. I'm sorry to hear about your health challenges! It seems like you have a well thought out recovery plan.
 

FiddleFit

Cathlete
Hi! How have you been doing? It's been a long time, hasn't it? I hear the weather in your part of the world has been particularly challenging this winter.
 

FiddleFit

Cathlete
Yesterday was a good day. I didn't have to move too much, but I did do XTrain Burn Sets: Chest, Back & Shoulders. Amazing how winded I can get even from that kind of lifting. The long rests in between sets are what make it doable for me.

My lower back (the bane of my existence), is not too stiff this morning. Ergo, I did something right yesterday.

I ate very well; the time I'd spent on Sunday preparing food was worth it.

Tonight I'm going to do Turbo Barre or one of its premixes. I want a lower body workout that doesn't jack up the heart rate.

Cheers!
 

measuredoak

Cathlete
Hi Sandra,
I read your post & wanted to wish you well on your road to recovery. Last year I injured my foot (specifically the ball of my foot); not sure how, but the doc says it's a pinched nerve. Short of surgery, I can't seem to find anything that helps. I used to walk 3 miles a day M-Th and a longer walk of 6+ miles on Saturday. Now, walking is no longer fun and workouts are a challenge. I've tried different OTC inserts for my shoes & have orthotics for my every day shoes; while both help; the numbness/pain never fully goes away. I steer clear of high impact and have learned to modify, modify, modify and do what I can. I also use a lacrosse ball to massage the foot & have added extra stretching for the feet & lower body. I've learned how important it is to listen to the body & to do what I can.
 

FiddleFit

Cathlete
Catgirl - good grief, you've been through it all, haven't you? You're an inspiration - thank you for chiming in and giving your story. I had the mirena inserted in early January. My next cycle was a bit lighter, but also longer. I'm hoping to see more change in the next month or two. If not, I'll probably move on to the next option (possibly a hysterectomy).

Measuredoak - wow, that sounds like a challenge. What is your strategy, then, if even walking is not fun? What can you do?

Yesterday I did Turbo Barre, until the end of the standing portion (about the 1 hour mark). Today I walked 35 minutes after work, to the subway station on the other side of the downtown instead of the one across the road from my building. That was a convenient and easy way to get in some exercise. My FitBit tells me I've passed the 10,000 step mark today, which is my daily goal.

Since I've taken the intensity of my workouts down, I am feeling more energetic. I take that to mean that I'm on the right track.

Cheers!
 

catgirl

Cathlete
1-30 Check In

I've been sticking to it the last few days. I've completed Xtrain Hiit, Supercuts, Afterburn and yoga. Been having some moderate swelling the last couple of days so I've really been watching my diet (one good thing about swelling).

Fiddlefit - it took me about 4 months after insertion of the iud for things to settle down. At about six months, all bleeding stopped. Hoping things work out for you.
 

FiddleFit

Cathlete
Wow, good for you, Catgirl! Those are some tough workouts.

I saw my gyno today for a one-month follow up from the IUD insertion. He's happy with that, but as you said, it will still be a few more months before it makes a real difference to the heavy periods. The other thing he said was that a cyst I have on my left ovary has gotten larger, rather than going away as he'd expected. I have to go back in 3 months for another ultra-sound, and if it's still there, we will need to "deal with it." I'm not sure what that will entail, but I'm not feeling optimistic about it. I'm feeling downright depressed, actually. This is going to be a longer road than I anticipated.

I didn't do any workout today, because I was exhausted when I got home. I had a ridiculously busy and stressful day at work, that resulted in accumulating over 10,000 steps on my pedometer. Maybe that's why I'm so dang tired.

'Night,
Sandra
 

ReneePruitt

Cathlete
Hi there! I remember you I think! I think you sent me the best message ever and I needed it at the time.
I sure hate to hear you have been sick. I know a lot of people has stopped posting much on here. It really gives me motivation to read everyone's workout and successes.

Even the struggles we are having can inspire and motivate me! I have been. Getting a little stronger I think since I started on the forums. But I had a few set backs to and I just felt I was never gonna see progress. My mom passing away and me eating constantly while exercising and I got PF flare up two times! A number of things that happened recently that I can't go into detail about right now because if I think about it, I will start crying and I don't want to get a headache. I will pm u or you may can read my posts and tell the details but in short I lost my son in Sept the day before my BD !! I don't even want to move some days. Some times I can talk about it other times it is hard to.

I won't be doing a check in however I do read a lot so I might pop in if you don't mind once in a while to cheer you on! I sure hope you will get better soon! I will pray that cyst goes away! Now once you start getting ur blood back up will you be able to do the workouts then? I'm so sorry!
Well feel free to pm me anytime! It is 258 in the morning and as u can see I can't sleep well anymore so that is probably y I'm so tired !!
 

ReneePruitt

Cathlete
Also I forgot to mention I discovered a type of yoga called zen yoga and another restorative yoga these two types are wonderful! I am not sure if they are the same or just similar as I am just now learning but i trie a zen yoga oo my you hold poses longer but it is wonder!
 

FiddleFit

Cathlete
Hi Renee! Yes, I remember you! I'm so terribly, terribly saddened to hear about your son. I can't even imagine what you're going through - I'm so sorry. It's good to see you still here, still posting, still talking things through.

Thank you for the suggestion on the yoga. I do have a full collection of yoga dvds that suit my needs very well. Some of them are restorative, which feels wonderful, as you note. Yes, my goal is to hold off on the heart-rate raising workouts until I get my iron levels much closer to normal. I've been riding my bike to work and back for the last two summers, which is 10 miles each way. I'd really love to do that again this year, but will wait and see.

Every Friday I do yoga at work with some co-workers, in a boardroom. We move the tables and chairs, and roll out our mats. Yesterday we popped Eoin Finn's "Blissology - Monday" routine into the DVD player. That's a great all around session. We always do an Eoin Finn routine of some sort - he has so many, and people love his personality.

I'm feeling pretty decent today, for a Saturday. Usually I'm exhausted. Today I'm going to do a total body weight routine; maybe Push Pull. Maybe SuperSets. Maybe Muscle Max.

Cheers!
 

catgirl

Cathlete
Been doing well with eating and working out. Yesterday I did Cathe Boxing with heavy bag (minus core conditioning) and today Athletic Training. Still up about three pounds this week. I can only assume its water retention. I know that exercising after a tummy tuck can make you swell for six months to a year. I'll just keep chipping away at it. Positive side is that I can tell even in the last two weeks how much my stamina and endurance have improved. It comes back quick.

FiddleFit - I am so jealous about your weights plan for today. I miss them so much.

Renee - I'm so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts will be with you.
 

FiddleFit

Cathlete
I surprised myself yesterday and actually did a cardio workout: Party Rockin' Step #1. I love that step routine. It's fun, and not too high on intensity factor. In other words, it keeps you in a nice steady aerobic zone. I was longing for some nice, rhythmical movement, and it fit the bill nicely.

Today will likely be weights, or yoga, or both. Or maybe FlexTrain. I did that one time, and can't remember how intense it is.

Taking this day by day,
Sandra
 

catgirl

Cathlete
Broke out some old VHS step videos and did those today. It was fun listening to old tunes and looking at the old styles. Nice chance of pace. Eating on track. Still swelled up like a balloon. Oh well.
 

FiddleFit

Cathlete
Catgirl - how motivating that you're seeing improvement in your stamina already! One thing at a time..... the rest will come. I've been bloated ever since I started the iron supplements last summer, and I think it's gotten worse with the IUD. But, my health is more important than my vanity.

I wound up doing Push Pull, after some humming and hawing about it. I enjoy that workout.

Cheers!
 

catgirl

Cathlete
More boxing for me today. This is my current substitute for an upper body weight workout. I ordered several yoga workouts which will be here midweek. I'm looking forward to attempting those. Still eating well. Made salad dressing from scratch today. Didn't realize how much sodium is in the bottled stuff. Trying to eliminate as much sodium as possible to try to help with this bloating. :)

Keep up the good work.
 

catgirl

Cathlete
LIS Cardio Supersets Extreme today. My plan is to do some step tomorrow. Been doing really well with eating. Just making sure I don't hurt my abs in working out. Still swelling.

Keep strong.
 

FiddleFit

Cathlete
Hi Catgirl,

Congratulations on sticking with the good eating. That's what's going to give you the results you want. I need to address my eating habits better, too. I need to roll back what I eat, because I'm not moving as much. I have been doing a good job of getting more fresh vegetables in my daily diet, which is making me feel better.

Yesterday I did FlexTrain, and today I did Hardstrikes premix #16 (cardio conditioning only). I'm feeling reasonably well energized this week. Having said that, I'll be heading to bed very soon, because I'm feeling rather bushed tonight. It was a very busy day at work today.

Cheers.
 

catgirl

Cathlete
I'm still eating really well. I went through everything I normally eat and checked sodium contents. For anything that was high I've made no sodium substitutes from scratch. I have to say, everything I've made from scratch tastes so much better. I'm hoping this will help with the swelling.

Did some old VHS step tapes from the early 90's today. That was fun. Today my new yoga tapes should arrive so I may try some tomorrow. I have FlexTrain on my rotation for this week.

Good job on getting the veggies in and the sleep. Both are much needed. I envy you doing Hardstrikes. That is one of my favorites. I've held off on that one for now as it has more impact than I can handle right now.

By the way some of my posts never show up. It says they have to be approved by a moderator, but I guess they are not, don't know why. I'm trying this from my iPad this time. It seems when I post from here, they get posted.

Keep up the good work.:D
 

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