If you struggle with weight loss after hysterectomy or feel you live a high stress life that is affecting your weight loss ability read on. :)
I have always been able to see weight changes when regularly working out and eating well since starting my weight loss journey in 2012.
I had a baby in 2013, and lost all the baby weight in 6 months and within a year got into the best shape of my life.
However, this pattern was to end. Here is the back story to how I decided to let my body RELAX to lose weight instead of working it harder.
In 2017 I had my last baby, which resulted in a horrific invasive abdominal surgery to safely deliver my daughter prematurely and save me from bleeding to death. The events leading up to this surgery included bedrest, many doctor appointments and ultrasound screenings, and a LOAD of stress as I had 4 other kids at home living life and needing momma. I experienced anxiety as I never had before, and my weight gain was not awesome. To save my life, the surgeons on delivery day had to remove my uterus (hysterectomy) and a few other internal organs were messed with as they did so in a hurry due to the nature of the complication and arising complications the longer they were in there.
This event (the diagnoses, appointments, bedrest, surgery, premature birth, NICU time, all 4 hours away from my home) resulted in trauma to my mind and body, which has manifested as mental illness in Post Traumatic Distress Syndrome and subsequent mild depression and anxiety. I have also had a change in my female hormones due to the hysterectomy.
These things combined created a perfect storm for cortisol development in my body, as well as mental unrest. BOTH things that largely affect weight loss ability.
I started back with my exercise routines as soon as I could, slowly working with my doctors and my body to do what I could. Many of my ligaments in my lower pelvis were cut, which has affected the stability of my tailbone, lower abs, pelvic floor, and my ability to jump.
Slowly but surely I regained most of my agility and core strength and lost about 20 pounds over 2017.
In 2018 I committed to a really high impact workout routine that was an HOUR every single day for 80 days. Believing that it would help me lose the last 20 lbs and some body fat I was ALL IN. I was 38% body fat and it was bothering me a lot.
80 days (3 months) later I had lost 2 lbs, 12 inches, and 4% body fat. I had followed the nutrition 90%. I was proud of my commitment, and the mental strength that I had gained and my mental health improved by leagues through this program. I will forever be grateful!!! However, I was frustrated at the minimal fat loss. So- I started another program promising to build muscle. Because, I mean, muscle weighs more than fat and muscle burns fat for energy, right? I was ALL IN.
4 months later I had lost 2 lbs, another few inches, and another 2% body fat. My nutrition wasn't super great, but it wasn't mindless either. Again though, I was really proud of my commitment which helped my mental health. My husband had also worked through this program of classes with me, which created a healing bond for us after all the rebuilding I was doing mentally and physically. I believe that him seeing how hard I was working to change, increased his admiration for my efforts and he became my BEST cheerleader that summer.
But I NEEDED to lose more weight. My body fat % was still too high. My BMI registered at just below obese.
I pondered a lot on what to do next, and I prayed to God to know what to do.
A whisper came to my mind that my body was different now. I had been treating my body like it would respond in 2015, 2016, etc. The thought concluded that I could not expect this body to do what I expected it to do, treating it like a body it was not.
So I started a list of all the ways this body and mind were not like my old self. (I love making lists to help me think!) I knew I had a body flooded with cortisol as I battled PTSD and anxiety. I knew my mind couldn't process information as fast or as smartly as I used to (at this time). I knew that my food choices and willpower were waning faster than ever before each day. I knew that my hormones were reacting to hard physical work differently than they had in the past. I experienced emotional burn outs after long workout days, which was new. And the list went on a bit more.
With my fact list and my resources and talking to others in my circles who had successfully lost weight with hormonal imbalance, I decided that I would start a low impact, yoga only focused workout class schedule from Oct 31, 2018 until the end of January 2019. I used my online gym, Beachbody On Demand to create my own class schedule since their classes are all up and streamable 24/7. (LOVE THAT!) I would simplify my foods and follow the 2BMindset food guides that the Beachbody company created, and I would focus on my Spiritual healing daily. I knew from enough therapy and research that a lot of my unrest in my mind and body was due to a Faith crisis of sorts I was working through.
Within a week, I knew I had made the right choice!
The rest of my exercising mom community were working through harder exercise classes and I was doing this on my own. But it felt SO SO SO good. My mind was thinking faster. My body was getting more flexible, and I was feeling STRONG. The strength I felt in my mind and body aided in my food self control. I could literally feel my body relaxing! I hadn't felt this restful for almost 2 years.
I found that when I didn't burn a ton of calories, I was able to feel more at ease during meal times and I naturally ate less. I also found my sleep to be better when I didn't have any inflammation from high impact workouts. I LOVE the toning I get from high impact, free weights and intense cardio. But I learned that my body feels STRESSED when I workout this way, so I need to change up my routines every 3-4 months to counterbalance it.
At the end of January 2019, I had lost EIGHTEEN POUNDS. -18 lbs my friend!!!!
That is significant! I didn't lose as much body fat, only 2%, but I felt SO good in my clothes. I went and got a DEXA scan to measure my body fat for certain (home methods are only 50-60% accurate) and I was pleased, but found out that of the body fat left, 75% of it was located in my Trunk. Between my neck and hip bones. It was called "android" fat. The fat that makes you more susceptible to heart disease (heart attack), diabetes, and other diseases from fatty mass around your vital organs.
This news helped me know that I needed to do more upper body work. And I needed to cut out most of the cholesterol and fat containing foods- 100% animal product foods (cheese, milk, meat, yogurt, etc.) I'm not a huge fan of these so it was easy actually.
In the name of counterbalance in my workouts though, I needed to tone up and build some muscle. I did my own lifting/yoga routine until June when I started running again. AND-----> the weight loss pretty much plateaued. I knew from my past experience that this was to be expected though. Then I jumped on board with the Morning Meltdown 100 program of classes and my husband joined me. It was a wonderful experience! I LOVED the trainer, Jericho. I LOVED the variety! I LOVED that I was physically in shape to do it! I was losing inches and toning up like I hadn't in years. However..........
By the last 20 workouts I was feeling something happen in my pelvic floor. Something wasn't right. I was also feeling fatigued a lot. I was seeing the scale creep up. I was feeling fuzzy in my mind and I knew the cortisol was flooding my system again. Anxiety was creeping in and I started to feel physically ill. I actually developed an infection in my pelvic organs and I pulled pelvic floor muscle. I could no longer jump or do anything high impact. I had to sleep more. I had to take my anxiety supplements again. I was a mess.
I finished that program and was again, SO grateful for the mental boost that the commitment offered me and the bond that my husband and I strengthened doing 100 workouts in 100 days together. And I did lose inches and toned up and built muscle. I could SEE it in my photos. But I didn't lose more than 2 lbs, and that last week? I gained those 2 lbs back plus. I did lose another 4% body fat though, and now am sitting around 23-25% body fat. Great changes!
While I was healing from the infection and anxiety flood- I have been doing some restorative yoga and really laying low in all areas of my life. No new commitments. No super human efforts if I could help it. At the time of writing this I am just BARELY feeling normal again.
My fitness community is all gung-ho about a new fitness class that is high impact and promises life altering physical and mental results. But----- I'm not even close to being ready or willing to do it. Not with what I know about my body. :)
So here we are again! It's the Holiday season and I am ready to RELAX this body and lose the LAST 5 lbs to get me to my IDEAL weight. Yep. I DID lose that second 20 lbs in 2018-2019 and I'm so grateful. But now, after the toning I have from the MM100 program I'm in condition to counterbalance and do some healing work.
I created a Holiday yoga/low impact workout class calendar based on the available classes in my 24/7 online Gym and it is attached below. :) I would LOVE to have you do this with me!
I'll be doing a cleanse over December and will end it right before Christmas to reactivate my metabolism and clean my liver and pancreas, but you won't have to do that with me unless you want to. :)
I will have a private Facebook community to jump into if you'd like to check in as often as you like, and I'll have recipes, fitness tips, and my daily check in's going on there too.
I will be practicing intermittent fasting for part of this challenge, and I'll be doing some Spiritual healing and feasting again along with it. The holidays seem to be a time when I really love to do this type of work. I'm always traveling and going on family trips during the good weather months and don't get as deep with my Spiritual journey.
To do the Healthy Holiday group of yoga classes with me, you'll need a subscription to my online gym, Beachbody On Demand (BOD). You can set up your account here. SET UP MY BOD ACCOUNT.
If you already have a BOD account and would like to get into the group, email me @firstname.lastname@example.org or message me in Social Media and let me know to add you in!
If you want to use the meal replacement/vitamin/fiber/greens/pre-probiotic supplement I use to simplify my nutrition needs and kitchen time AND get it discounted in a bundle---- use this link to get the bundle prices! CLICK HERE. And choose your flavor of meal replacement. I suggest Chocolate. :D
You'll get to print or save these calendars! You'll find ALL of these classes in the BOD class library. Here is the PRINTABLE PDF DOCUMENT: CLICK HERE
I am SO thrilled to be feeling better and to feel my whole body relax again. I can literally FEEL the cortisol release and my brain start working again. Its amazng how in tune I am with my body these days. :)
If you struggle with weight loss after hysterectomy or feel you live a high stress life that is affecting your weight loss ability PLEASE jump in with me! I would LOVE to share what I know and cheer you through this process of change and meeting your body where it is NOW, not what it has been in the past.
PS----- If you would like to learn more about intermittent fasting and hormonal weight loss, check out my post on that here!