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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Fit Is It Challenge
How did you do?

Email Me The Challenge

At right, LivingAfterWLS contributor Kim Stover completes her first 5K race. Read her inspiring account of this accomplishment.

Fit Is It Challenge – How did you do?
We’ve completed the first week of the Fit Is It Challenge – How did you do? I am not proud to report that I did NOT meet the challenge this last week falling short by 20 minutes. I only logged 160 minutes of formal exercise. My excuses? Twice I elected not to exercise because of the New Year’s Day holiday and my female cycle. Not a very good start to the Challenge and I apologize for not being a better example for you. This week I will do better! As I’ve said so often, a mistake is not a catastrophe, it’s simply a bump in the road.

Exercise – Is it really that important with WLS?
Many of you know I push the daily exercise rule pretty hard around here. I push it on myself and on our community. We understand more and more that if we wish to sustain long-term weight loss, even with WLS, we have to exercise. To be honest, I do not love working out and I fight my inner Little Fat Girl prior to each exercise session. She doesn’t want to go to the workout room, move, sweat and strain. And while she makes some compelling arguments she can’t win over the fact that I do love my strong fit body. I do love sustaining a healthy weight. And I do respect myself when I honor the exercise commitment.

20-Year WLS Veteran Credits Exercise for Her Success
I’ve been inspired by one community member, Judy, who had her surgery TWENTY years ago. To this day she sustains a healthy weight. Judy told me, “For the past 4 years, I have been doing 45 minutes to an hour, seven days a week. At age 56, I'm in better physical condition than many of my younger peers who have never experienced obesity! I get up at 4:30am on workdays to get my exercise in. The house is quiet and it's my special "me" time where I can feel the joy of movement and of a healthy life!”

“If I didn't work out consistently, I'm sure at least some of the weight would come back. And my flexibility and muscles would surely deteriorate! Another Denise Austin saying -- "If you rest, you rust." I believe it.”

Judy hasn’t always been physically active. She said, “I was a life-long couch potato, or maybe pumpkin would be a better word, considering my size. I never dreamed the sweat-bug would bite! I know if people would force themselves for a time to move, they would eventually find the joy in it!”

Exceeding the Challenge: Kim Stover
You know another of our community members who exercises regularly, Kim Stover. She joined the Fit Is It Challenge and set for herself a higher goal than them minimum 180 minutes a week. This last week she logged over 500 minutes of activity – that’s more than one workday spent moving her body. It also resulted in a favorable weight loss and an improved enjoyment of her new body. I expect we will read about Kim’s long-term success with WLS 20 years from now.

Malu’s Advice: Exercise Early After Surgery
Our friend, Malu Fernandez from the Philippines is another LAWLS community member who has made exercise a priority. She encourages us to begin exercise as soon as possible after surgery. Don’t fall in the “I’ll exercise after I lose the weight trap.”

Malu, who works in the fashion industry said, “Just recently one of my regular size 28 customers is now a size 12 also from gastric bypass. I felt so bad for her because she had no support. I saw how her body looked after losing 130lbs and I was aghast because she never even bothered to exercise. I don't understand why people think that the surgery alone is a panacea for all their problems.”

Malu exercises three times a week doing boxing, Wushu (martial arts) and strength training. She said, “The lady in my store is ashamed to work out until she reaches her goal weight. My advice to everyone is please don't do that! Exercise as soon as your body is adjusted to your new stomach. It will help tighten up your legs and arms and may prevent you from doing further surgery. At the least exercise to improve your health.”

Have you included exercise in your LivingAfterWLS lifestyle? How did you do this first week of the Fit Is It Challenge? Post your experience, tips, hints and comments here – we can all learn from one another.

Have a great week!

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