Listening to Your Body

It sounds trite, but there is definitely truth to the advice, “listen to your body.”

As you may know from previous blog posts, I had surgery just about four weeks ago. Before the surgery, I was told to plan on 10-14 days of doing nothing, that I would probably begin to feel like myself after 3 weeks…but wait to work out until 4 weeks. I have seen others who have had the same surgery talk about a timeline that extends out to 6 months and beyond.

I saw my surgeon on Wednesday who cleared me to do whatever activities I felt I was able to do. In other words, I have not restrictions, but I should listen to my body…which, by the way, has been saying “take a nap,” a LOT lately. I have been slowly ramping up the activity and exercise, and even started teaching my fitness classes for older adults again last week. I am paying careful attention to what feels right and what does not. At first, I felt lots of twinges from the main incision site, but those have dissipated almost completely. My digestive system is almost back to normal, but I am still mindful (as always) of what I eat and when I eat it. I am particularly cognizant of my energy levels and my sense of balance.

There is, of course, a flip side to this. There are a lot of times when we feel like our bodies are telling us to have that slice of cheesecake or to just stay in bed rather than exercise. There is a fuzzy line between “pushing yourself” and “overdoing it.” We know that what does not challenge us will not change us, and at the same time there is a risk of overtraining. That fuzzy line will be in a different place for everyone.

I am pleased with my progress post-surgery. I am feeling better and stronger nearly every day. The key moving forward will be to really listen to my body; right now it is still complaining a little bit, but if I follow a path of moderation I am certain it will be humming–and even singing–soon enough!

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