20 days post surgery – first week back to work

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Last Wednesday I was cleared to go back to my routine. This was exciting because it meant that I could go back to the gym. Obviously not as extensive the first few days, but I would be back and moving around a bit more. This also meant that I could restart my reverse diet – something that I was loving so damn much after competition season. Maintaining your weight is a whole new monster and I was getting the hang of it. For a reminder- we cut my macros during recovery because 1. I wouldn’t be moving as much so I wouldn’t really need as much fuel. 2. There was potential that I wouldn’t be able to hit those goals since I was going to be on medication cuts appetite, but also makes you sick. Lastly, being cleared means going back to work. Am I thrilled? I mean, if I could eat and lift every day and not have to worry about money I would eat and lift every day and probably travel around to find new donuts and cupcakes across the country. But, money helps us live and I like living.

Today was my third day back work and it wasn’t terrible. The second day was ok and the first day I was like “oh, yeah this is happening.” I know that makes it sound not great, but while I’ve been active and moving around, I haven’t been driving far or staying in a seated position. My first day back kicked my ass. No questions. My second day was better and mostly because my co-worker and I walked a grocery store for 20 minutes finding her a snack and well, I found a cupcake. On the way home, I caved and stopped at the second rest area between the office and home to stretch. Today, I stopped on the way to work.

Being seated causes me to tighten up. There’s no swelling at all, but I get very stiff along my scar. Monday I was stiff slightly above my belly button – it sucked.

We can ignore the 5 am gym sessions, that’s normal. Even after not being in the gym for two weeks, getting up at 430/450 for the 5 am opener doesn’t phase me. Today was my third day getting up that early and I had no issues at all. However, I work an hour away, so a two-hour round-trip is exhausting. Not only do I commute an hour each way, I work a desk job. From 9 to 4 my booty is in a chair, granted I take a lunch and I do try to move around, but for the most part I’m seated much more than I am moving around. I find myself slouching even when I’m trying to pull myself up and have better posture.  I learned my lesson Monday and immediately, I asked JP if we could go for a walk around the city since I knew my overall movement for the day was low, but also because moving around loosens me up. I am a high active person and sitting still just isn’t my thing. After our walk, the tightness was almost gone and that was exciting, but I was definitely exhausted. As many of you know, there are some external stressors going on as well, so I was in bed around 8:20 on Monday. Yeah, grandma status.

Today isn’t that bad. I went to the gym this morning and had a great workout. I did stop on the way to work to stretch like I said earlier, but today was very normal and I like that. I had a donor visit over lunch – the best part of my job and sitting at the high top didn’t bother me much. I will say though, I am thankful I parked a few blocked away from the restaurant – the after lunch walk helped a lot.

Like so many of you, I wear a Fitbit. The Human Resources team at the school I work for gave them away for free to employees who wanted them, so I figured why not. When I started this job last July, it meant I had the ability to quit my part time retail job. The salary increase was enough that I didn’t need a full time and part time job. However, the downside was the 10 miles I was deducting from movement weekly – yeah, retail provides a TON of steps. My thoughts on the Fitbit were that I would have a much better idea of my movement and this would help with progress. I lowered the goal of 10K steps to 7K because I do sit at a desk most of the day and if I’m traveling I’m still seated mostly. Even on days with cardio hitting 7K steps can be difficult. My Fitbit has helped a lot the past few months and even more with recovery. I could look at the app and think about how I was feeling after a specific number of steps had been achieved. This was great after I got off of bed rest.

This is my first full week back at the gym, my first week back to work and my second week with a macro increase. It’s nice feeling slightly normal again, having my routine and being more independent.There are two more days of the work week and I have two more workouts this week (tomorrow is a rest day, but Friday and Saturday). I’m excited to see how I feel the next few days. My energy has increased, but again, I’m slightly tired at the end of the day. My next post op is in two weeks and my hope is that I will be less fatigued by the appointment. I’m also hoping to be told that I won’t need my compression garments at all. I’ve already been told I can use stage 2 compression wear – they should be on my doorstep tonight! But being told no compression wear at all will make me feel more free and I want all the freedom I can take.

I know that my recovery isn’t necessarily the average recovery, but that doesn’t mean it’s not normal. So many have commented about their surprise at how fast I recovered, but I was super healthy prior to surgery and this was my end game. That doesn’t mean that waiting as long as I did is the only way to have the surgery because that’s not the case at all. Waiting until I was done losing was right for me and resulted in a quicker recovery, but  not everyone can wait until their done. Surgery is very subjective and there are WAY TOO MANY factors that determine how long someone should be in bed, wear their garments, stay out of work, stay out of the gym. We are all different. I hope that people can see my journey and learn, but also know to not assume that what I went through is what everyone will go through. Different people, different bodies with different doctors. For 20 days out I feel really good. I can’t wait until next week and the week after that and the week after that.


<3 Cristina

2 thoughts on “20 days post surgery – first week back to work”

  1. Thanks for sharing your journey. I just had a suggestion for you. If your work is accomodating and you don’t sit with clients all day, a sit-stand is amazing. You can work standing up, so although it’s not like a walk, it still helps stretch out a bit and correct your posture.

    1. Yeah, I don’t see clients when I’m in my office, it’s not that kind of job. However, the amount of time to get something like that I would probably be healed! I am going to try to get up and about a little more throughout the day if my days are less busy than they have been.

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