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mdwill

Getting back in shape after surgery

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Hello,

My wife is going to be having surgery on the 14th and will be out of the gym for about 6 - 8 weeks.  she is 5' 7" and currently 145 pounds (gained about 5 pounds in the last few weeks from stress eating) and is starting to talk about how she is going to gain weight and seems apathetic about getting back into the gym.  I am wondering if any of the women here have dealt with this and how you have handled it. I want to help and support her through this and get her back to where she wants to be and currently feels like it's all slipping away.

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If she's anxious about the surgery, she should see if the hospital has anyone on staff that she can talk to - that's the most important thing to address. In terms of getting back into working out - SO much depends on the surgery itself, and how her recovery goes. Again, with any luck there will be a physio around that can help her put together a recovery program that will be appropriate and safe.

 

If it's not contraindicated, regular walking goes a LONG way to helping to maintain fitness when rigorous exercise isn't permitted. She can break it up into several 5-15min sessions throughout the day, slowly going for longer as she continues to recover. 1-2hrs of walking/day is always a good health choice. Depending the muscles affected, there may also be a range of movements that she can still do safely - but I can't in good conscience make any suggestions, other than talking to a doctor about it!

 

Apart from that, I think her enthusiasm will need to come from focusing on activities that she enjoys - even if they're not explicitly in the gym. Hiking, climbing,  sports, group classes, yoga with friends, etc. Right now, she needs to focus on her HEALTH and wellness, not necessarily her weight or 'fitness' level.

 

I think it'll be important to remind her that you're around to support her (or give her space!), and that your relationship isn't based on what her body looks like. That may look like you doing some lighter 'couples workouts' together, or being available to drive her to an activity she's interested in even if you're not joining in for that activity, or it could be taking an easy rest day together - go the movies or something. If you as a couple have typically prioritised health, fitness, and eating well, then you can continue to practice that yourself and provide as many TOOLS for her, without pushing her into stuff before she's ready to get back into it.

 

Part of what you CAN do is to make sure that there's lots of easily digestible healthy foods around, prepped and ready to go. Protein intake is super important during trauma recovery, since it can help to promote faster healing - she may prefer a protein powder for a few days after she gets home (at first), in case pain meds affect her appetite. Veggies are always a good choice - especially steamed/lightly seasoned. Fresh fruit and/or frozen berries are awesome. Complex, unrefined carbs are also important to maintain energy - whole grains, legumes, bakes potatoes, squashes, etc. And tasty fats like avocadoes, nuts, eggs, fatty fish, etc. 

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Hello,
My wife is going to be having surgery on the 14th and will be out of the gym for about 6 - 8 weeks.  she is 5' 7" and currently 145 pounds (gained about 5 pounds in the last few weeks from stress eating) and is starting to talk about how she is going to gain weight and seems apathetic about getting back into the gym.  I am wondering if any of the women here have dealt with this and how you have handled it. I want to help and support her through this and get her back to where she wants to be and currently feels like it's all slipping away.


What type of surgery is she going to have?
If I am understanding correctly her BMI seems in range (for how imprecise that measurement can be). Is there a medical reason for her to concentrate on the gym in a high stressful moment?

The next bit is harsh, read at your own risk.




Maybe you are a better support not reminding her she is 'slipping away' and tell her 'where she wants to be'. She is a grownup that can decide her priorities, and if at the moment big surgery makes her stressed and 'apathetic' about the gym don't shame her.
What would work for me?
Do the dishes, clean the house, ask me how am I doing and if there is anything you can do, walk with me in the countryside or in nature, make simple decisions (like dinner) if I tell you that I can't decide, or allow me my decisions if I need things in a certain way. And give me a hug. DO NOT MENTION THE GYM, at least if you want to survive :)

Sent from my FIG-LX1 using Tapatalk

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@Defining Thank you for your post, I understand that you don't want to suggest any exercises nor should you.  I just wanted to hear other women's stories from other women that are active so that I could share them with her so she would know she isn't alone and also maybe even give her ideas on the emotions she may face and ways other women overcame them.      

 

@Diadhuit I do understand that you didn't intend to be harsh but you were harsh by assuming I was mistreating my wife when I was looking to help her emotional issues she is starting to face before the surgery even happens. She is the one that said those things about her self, not I.  Those words and thoughts are not like my wife so I became concerned and thought that maybe reading other women's experiences may help.   

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@mdwill I totally understand, that's why I recommended that she should speak to a professional. Stress around both pre & post surgery is pretty common, and the emotional responses can be fairly complex - she'd be best served by speaking with someone with experience on the topic. It's not really a woman-specific issue anyway, but rather an experience-specific one.

 

While it's great that you want to be supportive, I find that in these situations it really is best to lean on professionals with the relevant experience. It's no different from speaking to a nutritionist or physio, in terms of getting an expert's opinion on best practices. Every person's stories and reactions can be SO different, even with the same set of criteria - so anecdotal suggestions & relatability only go so far. They can even sometime set unrealistic expectations (in either direction), for speed & methods for recovery.

 

I believe that your partner also has an account on NerdFitness? If she has any specific questions or requests for similar experiences within the forum membership, it may be best if she words it herself, so that she can articulate her own specific anxieties/worries.

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On 3/4/2019 at 10:51 AM, mdwill said:

Hello,

My wife is going to be having surgery on the 14th and will be out of the gym for about 6 - 8 weeks.  she is 5' 7" and currently 145 pounds (gained about 5 pounds in the last few weeks from stress eating) and is starting to talk about how she is going to gain weight and seems apathetic about getting back into the gym.  I am wondering if any of the women here have dealt with this and how you have handled it. I want to help and support her through this and get her back to where she wants to be and currently feels like it's all slipping away.

 

Checking in! How is your wife doing?

 

I'm currently wandering back into the forums from a hiatus and am about to have another surgery. It looks like now's a good time for her to start working towards new routines post surgery. I don't know what kind of surgery she had, or if they recommended physical therapy for it (which is a workout in and of itself!), even if they didn't it can't hurt to ask about it. I wound up with some scar adhesions from a previous surgery (I was overly careful about moving it) so I have some restrictions unless I really focus on stretching. Now that things are healing up for her it's a good time to stretch the area and make sure she can work on her range of motion. There's also a scar massage, which is uncomfortable but is great for making sure scar tissue doesn't stick to the wrong stuff. Good luck!

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