Just wanted to share how excited I am that I’ll be running my first half marathon without my stomach this weekend. I’m super excited; lots of folks are running that I know. It’s going to be awesome, a milestone in my recovery for sure.
And I’m even gaining weight. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Post New Year’s at the gym is always the same, everyone back at the gym to burn off their holiday calories and vowing to stick with the gym for the new year. I say kudos for them getting back out there. I thrive when I exercise and every time I get out of shape, I’m reminded how much better I feel when I run.
But as I chat with people about the lbs they put on over their vacation or their attempt to burn off the excess calories they consumed, I can’t help but be reminded that a full gastrectomy gives you the opposite problem from most of American society. It is a constant, forced portion control (at least for the first year from what I hear). And pretty much everyday, I’m reminded how I have the opposite problem from everyone else. But as I complain that most of my pants are too big, my husband mentions most women would love to have my problem. My retort is that they also haven’t spent the last 6 months having to spit up their food when they don’t chew enough. 🙂 This surgery let me beat my cancer curse, so the food adjustment is a small modification. And I can proudly say I was able to put on a pound over my vacation!! This 6 month marker is truly another giant leap in gastrectomy recovery.
TV does get old when every commercial seems to be food or weight loss. Liposuction or a medicine to melt away fat. I think it’d be funny to join one of our work weight loss teams sometime where you maintain or lose weight over the holidays. I’d be a sure thing for maintaining weight, and I think later on weight loss should be pretty easy since I don’t truly feel that hunger pang.
I’m thankful to read the support groups because I know there is a group of us out there. It’s so helpful to share ideas and experiences. (It’s the Facebook support group to total and partial gastrectomy & nostomachforcancer). And I have to remind myself that weight does not equate to nutrition. I figure you can easily be overweight but deficient in vitamins, minerals, etc.
I didn’t run much over Christmas. I just took some much needed R&R. I decided I do need to get my leg strength back up before my half marathon, and it’s not going to be pretty! 5 miles today, weather was amazingly beautiful. My speed is ok, but my endurance is kind of lack luster. I’ll need some extra cheering on race day!!
Have a great, stomachless evening!
I wonder if the stress in preparing for a total prophylactic gastrectomy makes us more susceptible to getting sick. My brother’s surgery has now been delayed because he too came down with some bug. The doctors don’t want you going into this surgery compromised in anyway. So my brother will get rescheduled and go through all the “impending surgery” stress another time. I wished he wouldn’t have to, but I want him to go into the surgery full strength too!
For me, this Saturday marks 6 months post op. I’ve noticed significant improvements in the last month with my ability to almost chug water and most of my food staying down. I can identify my “too much sugar” crashes easily. Today I ate a regular Greek yogurt and poured on the nature valley crunchy granola. Apparently I devoured it too fast and the protein to offset the sugars was not enough. I can work through it; closing my eyes for a minute or so seems to work.
I tried some beef on a burrito the other day. It was horrible. The beef was over cooked and was impossible to chew. So I ended up flipping out the beef and eating the other ingredients. Next time, I’ll opt for chicken. I have been able to eat meatloaf, though I have to go slow and really chew it down. I usually chew so much that I can find the ground up pieces of fat and discreetly put them in the trash or on my plate to the side. But I was hoping the iron of the meat would help me out, along with the protein. I’m holding strong to my theory of protein, protein, protein. This is hard as a bit of a carb-a-holic.
On the running front, I did 6 miles before work yesterday. It went really well. I’m so tired by the end of the night that it’s insane, but most same people’s alarm clocks don’t go off before 5AM. I know I need a big post of food strategies and my surgery prep recommendations, but I’m being lazy. Will try to do that another night.
Have a good night.
There’s a new term I’ve read about called sightrunning. It’s where you tour a city just by running it. I did that this morning and wanted to share. It was beautiful and I was motivated to get the full 5 miles in. Wore my Boston marathon shirt but felt like a bit of a nerd running so slow while wearing it. Oh well, I’ll use my “I don’t have a stomach and am out of shape” excuse. So if you’re having a bad stomachless day, remember the good days come too.
I will say being stomachless touring through NYC can be frustrating at times. I’ve only had 2 meals fail, one worse than the other. The first one, I needed to “spitup” and was looking for the bathroom frantically and then found out it was locked. That was not cool. The other place, I found a bathroom but wasn’t able to eat anything further. All my other meals have gone fine. Again, it’s just when I get excited about how tasty some food is and one bite goes down too big. But I am able to slowly eat and enjoy all the flavors of my food here.
If anything, this city is well designed for the stomachless because you can always get a snack on just about every corner. So the constant snacking works out well. I’m a total sucker for the roasted almonds.
Here I am in Central Park.
Got to squeeze in a wonderful early morning run today. It was perfect. Weather was great, the best way to begin a day. 3.6 miles or so today. I’m trying not to push too hard given my side effects to my last cold. Hopefully I’ll have it in me to get somewhat decent training in for my half marathon. January is fast approaching…
Today I took a mommy day. I got to catch up on everything I’ve been wanting to get done, enjoy a breakfast with the kids without having to rush off to work. It was very pleasant.
I was able to get another run in. This run was pushing it because I forgot my water bottle I run with and even though the physical temp is dropping here, the 99% humidity is quite brutal when coupled with early morning sunlight. But God must’ve been watching over me because when I was really needing water, I found a water fountain! Thank you!
I’ve been trying to catch up on my hydration all day. That’s tough to do with as long as I spend eating and chewing. And since I can’t chug water immediately post run, it’s more of a chore.
Then I bought me some new pants. I’ve found myself swimming in a lot of my old clothes, so to get some that fit absolutely made my day. Then I cleaned out my closet, and I couldn’t help but thinking I have no clue what size I’m suppose to be. My current pant set had gone from post college, through 2 pregnancies and now a gastrectomy. Maybe this is what I used to weight. To be honest, I’m not sure anymore.
So, a happy day here. I feel like I got a lot of random things accomplished that I’d been wanting to do for a while. To get everything done, I even ate some cheese-stuffed raviolis in the car….I call that creativity. And I don’t like wasting all my time sitting at home eating when I could be en route to task 132 while eating on the way.
Hope you had a good day. Have a great evening.
My legs are still a bit sore, but I got back at it today! This run went even better, and I added a half mile. My weight seems stable with the extra mileage, but I’m forcing myself to stay diligent with my eating.
Proof of my run today (again on the dreadmill…)
From the perspective of a marathon runner, I’m in shock. With 5 marathons under my belt, it’s hard to believe that my legs are sore after a mere 2.5 mile slow jog. But yes, it’s true. My leg muscles ran away and hid somewhere while I mentally prepared myself to get back into running.
When I said it was going to take a lot of work to get back to full strength, I wasn’t kidding. Today got insanely crazy, so no running. We’ll see how tomorrow goes. One thing I’ve learned about running is that a week away was noticeable; so I guess 3 months out of the game plus major surgery & weight loss is so far beyond behind, it’s an entire strength rebuild.
Yesterday I blasted through 2000 calories on my food intake, so the 2.5 miles didn’t cause me to lose weight. I have typically used the rule of thumb that it’s 100 calories burned per mile. So, the 250ish calories lost were compensated for by my food. So I was able to keep up with my food on my first day returning to running. I’ll just continue to test my mileage increase to see what the pushpoint is when I see my weight look like it’s going down again.
The biggest challenge to this post-gastrectomy life is how constantly diligent you have to be about nutrition. And since consuming food just outright takes longer with all the chewing and snacking, that’s a huge time commitment. Will try to keep it up. Word on the street is that after about a year, your body has adapted a bit more. High hopes!
Have a great night. I’m tired now, like usual…I should stop blogging right before bed. You must think I’m constantly exhausted.
Well, I wasn’t sure when I’d be completely ready to startup running again, so I just packed my workout clothes today and went for it. It’s too hot outside with my slow rehydration abilities, so I had to opt for the dreadmill. Plus I figured with my first return to running, if I passed out or something happened, better to be at a gym where someone could help. Luckily, nothing bad happened. No need to call the gym staff!
I was able to just start running. It wasn’t overly pretty, my legs are probably the weakest I can remember. But it was great! Slow, but great! I have a lot of building up to do, so it’ll take some work to get back to full strength. Plus I’m being careful around my incision. I’ve been coddling my incision area for quite some time, so I’m still a little leery about getting too crazy.
Now I’ll just have to see if I can compensate for the calories I burn during my run. We’ll see. Today seemed to go ok. Exhausted as usual, but my run added a burst of energy!
So I need a plan for my return to running, but it’s still hitting 104 here. Yuck! I might have to start with some undesirable dreadmill jogs to get back into it.
My weight is now down to the 111 range. So that’s a total of 12lbs lost to date. Basically the biggest concern about the return to running is my ability to keep my weight up. It takes everything I have to stay at the weight I’m at today. Doesn’t sound like a lot of food on paper, but it’s taking constant effort to be where I am. But I need to get back at it because my leg muscles are dwindling sadly away; this exercise hiatus can’t be good for my health.
So my B12 was high, my iron was good and my prealumin (indicative of long-term protein stores) was low. So I just need to incorporate more protein into my diet. I had cut out the protein shake a while back because it was tearing up my gut a little. I’ll have to try again and see how it goes.
And other than that, I’ll need to go buy pants one size smaller. Now my old ones are too loose. So that’s all my random thoughts for today.