I recently started receiving a few congratulations from some Spark members regarding being nominated one of the Spark motivators of the day, yesterday. I literally had no clue and thought for sure that they were mistaken as it wasn't me and some one else, LOL.
Wow, I'm so humbled and appreciative of that honor.
It's been a long journey for me to get to where I am today and definitely not an easy one; but if it was easy it wouldn't mean as much.
I've battled health issues for years but ended up last year having an abdominal hysterectomy as I felt I had no other option. My life was dictated by my body and no matter how healthy I ate, it didn't change the female issues I was dealing with.
In some ways it was the best thing I ever decided to do (besides of course having my children, marrying my husband, and taking time for "me" and this path to a healthier body and lifestyle). In others, I at times wish I hadn't but the positives are definitely there as I can finally live a "regular" life again.
I had a lot of setbacks after this surgery including back issues (that so far seem to be fading away), inability to do much of any exercise including walking up small hills (which there are plenty of where I live), etc.
I was cruising along doing great even with being very inactive during my recovery period, but I continued to track my calories. Even when I was unable to measure my food portions while recovering for months, I had my family do it for me and I kept tracking everything on Spark People.
I went to specialists for my back issues (that started right after my hysterectomy), had x-rays taken, and was going to get a MRI when suddenly I noticed I didn't have to take the pain relievers anymore and it was getting better. Well, wouldn't you know that as soon as that irritant left me behind (hopefully for good), a new one started.
All of a sudden I noticed that my back was getting irritated by my bra strap, my stomach was swelling again (I knew with an abdominal incision that it would swell) and my weight started climbing for no reason as I was still following the calorie intake suggested by SP and I had not wavered in tracking it on a continuous basis. I was also very fatigued all the time (which part of it I realized was the surgery) even after getting groceries.
There were/are days I feel I can't do much of anything except very small things like getting a shower, making meals and that's about it. My family dr. did blood tests and they came back that my estrogen was fine but that my FSH levels said menopause so he sent me to my gynecologist (who did my hysterectomy).
The gynecologist said they didn't look at estrogen levels (mine was normal) but looked at FSH levels instead and I was definitely in menopause. So that explains why I started gaining weight almost overnight (literally), feel swollen all the time, I'm irritable on a frequent basis, and I'm so tired.
Since I'm not having horrible hot flashes (although I don't sleep well at all) or sweats (knock on wood, but I'm sure it will be coming soon) that often he didn't put me on hormones so I'm dealing with the weight gain, fatigue, etc.
My husband decided it was time to improve his health (he has diabetes, although he's not overweight nor does it run in his family) as well as all of our health, so we joined a gym and all of us have been working out.
I'm doing strength exercises now, but doing them at a gentle and easy going pace. I've lowered my calorie intake but haven't noticed too much of a difference in my weight. I'm frustrated with that as I had purchased lots of clothes in my lower size since it seemed my weight was stable (give or take a pound or two) but now not so sure where I will end up.
Menopause has been a positive thing in that it has caused me to get off my "behind" and start working out as I should have been doing, but life was busy and I felt I was doing great just tracking my food religiously. Now just food tracking doesn't work.
I'm still tired (one test didn't show thyroid issues, but I'm still wondering if the blood tests were inaccurate as one of the tests showed I had low white blood cell count and a second one showed it was normal), I sill feel "bloated", and while the exercise has helped some of my irritability, it doesn't seem to help with my sleep issues.
I was so intimidated by the weight machines in our gym and they looked so menacing. I met with one of the employees of the gym and had him show me a few of them so I would know how to use them correctly and now they are my favorites. I'm smacking my hand against my head and thinking to myself, "What in the world took me so long????!!!". LOL. I never looked to exercise as something fun really, but knew I had to start as I want to make sure that my bones, heart, and muscles are healthy.
I may weigh in the 120's, but feel as I get older that I'm saggier (because I am, LOL), I'm not toned, and as this menopause has hit me, I'm flabby looking in a bathing suit.
I'm getting there though and doing all that I can to get through this challenging time of life for a woman. June will be one year since my surgery (I've been told it takes at least a year to recover from this) and I'm looking forward to that day.
Thank you so much for the support over the years I've received from so many wonderful people on SP. Thank you also for this wonderful honor of motivator of the day!!!