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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by Kat410

  1. Dang girl. OK, here's where I am: Age - 52 HW - 335 CW - 165 Height - 5'8" 25 months post-VSG I lift weights but don't train as a powerlifter. I am considering it, but would need to better understand diet, programming, and get some dedicated coaching on technique and form. I do alot of work on eccentric movements, training w/instability, etc. For example, I don't squat with a barbell, but squat on a bosu ball with a 70 lb bag, 3 count on the down motion, 2 count pause at the bottom and 1 count on the up motion. I do single arm barbell presses in a bridge position on a stability ball. I do 60 lb kettle bell sumo squats with my feet on one of those little airpad thingies. I do deadlift though - I currently do 145 on the standard and about 120 on a sumo deadlift (I don't know why that is so much weaker). I also really like doing power cleans to push presses (just with a 45 lb bar) as a warm up full body movement. I can OHP about 65 lbs. Would love to hear more about what people are doing
  2. I would recommend that you shift the context from "dropping fat" to building lean muscle, overall strength, flexibility, endurance, balance (or whatever you would consider fitness). That gives you something to work on. Cardio programming builds cardiovascular and respiratory strength and endurance. You can use yoga to build strength, flexibility and balance. Strength training builds lean muscle and the big compound movements also improve balance and cardio-pulmonary health. Building and exercising lean muscle has significant metabolic benefits that support weight loss. Research, study and learn - that will be the best thing you can do to support your fitness goals.
  3. Hi! Happy to be posting here and connected to the group of 18+ months post-op. I hope to learn and continue to improve my health and fitness with discipline, smart choices and living the best life possible.
  4. Loving this thread. I definately gained muscle on a pretty intense calorie deficit - it's without question possible. However, I am not sure how much I could have gained or can gain. I am still (somewhat unexpectedly) losing weight and after the holidays am going to shift my nutrition focus. I am also focusing alot on other aspects of fitness which decline with age (its not just lean muscle!) but in my case balance. I cannot do a single leg dumbell deadlift without toppling over. I just need to retrain that in myself and I know it will come with time but it's been one of the more frustrating aspects of my fitness journey. However, I consider it one of the most critical given this morning I almost took a tumble down the subway stairs due to an off-balance misstep. I also like to create games - my next objective is to be able to do a full ab wheel roll out (e.g., arms full out, body just hovering over the floor). Been practicing and ugggh my abs hurt like a beast!
  5. Kat410

    Bad posture

    The hunched over posture is also connected to working a desk job. My massage therapist said at the beginning that alot of the muscles in my upper back were hyperextended. All exercises that work your back side from shoulders down to ass will help with this. I also find that alot of my poor posture is connected to inflexibility in my hips and I have to routinely practice sitting straight when i am at work.
  6. Hi everyone! it's been a while since I've posted before and after pictures, so here goes. I am 19 months post-op (VSG) and am blessed to have such great results! I am 51, 5'8" and while the weight loss is awesome, I most proud of what I have accomplished in my general fitness (thanks to great fitness training with an emphasis on strength training!) Here's to success for each and every person on this board and on this journey - IT CAN BE DONE and YOU CAN DO IT.
  7. Kat410

    100 lbs in under a year?

    I don't know if it's typical. I started at 335, am 5'8" and a year later I think I was at about 210. I am 19 months later and am at 163. I am what you would call on the far end of the bell curve in terms of response to the sleeve.
  8. What is the most reliable way to assess body fat? Based on an online calculator (which asks for wrist, forearm, waist and hip measurements + height and weight) my body fat is 26%. My BMI is 26 which is overweight, but according to body fat scales I am at an acceptable body fat level.I am not stressed about the stats - but I am curious. Maybe it's my uneven top/bottom distribution. On my top half it's like every freaking bone sticks out, including my ribs! The bottom half still has lots of cushion. One half built for speed, the other half built for pleasure 🙂
  9. Kat410

    Bodyfat / BMI Question

    My fitness goals are simple. Be as freaking strong as I can. Have kick ass endurance so I take no prisoners in life. And be agile and flexible so I have good tricks in the sack and make my lovers beg for mercy.
  10. I did read the book! and seriously it did change my life! I do not currently do any kind of programming. I am going to read Starting Strength and Practical Programming most likely over the holidays. While I am building strength and progressing, I am not doing any kind of programming. My trainer is now working with me on tempo which is a whole new world of hurt. And seriously, I am glad you can now be acknowledged for the contribution that post almost a year and a half ago was. What a privilege to have this shot at a new life. Thank you.
  11. Agreed. Right now I am almost 18 months post op. I am at goal. Fitness is my primary concern now. And by fitness I mean functional strength, mobility, balance, flexibility, stamina, endurance and overall health. @BigViffer recommended a book when I first came on whining about my gym anxiety (The Barbell Prescription) which I read along with other things. That book and the science behind building strength changed my view of what I was doing with this opportunity I had at the age of 50 having had VSG. I have lost over 170 lbs. My deadlifts are strong, my upper body work is strong, I work my core like a beast (ab roll outs, stability ball walk outs, hanging leg raises, all sorts of planks, pikes, inverted sit ups, V-this and that are about half my gym time) and have gotten enough joint strength and mobility in my knees to start doing weighted squats (that one took real patience). And this is just the beginning. I am healthier and stronger than I was when I was a teenager - and I played lacrosse, tennis, field hockey, swam etc. and did it reasonably well. Loosing weight is just the opportunity to actually create real health. People are shocked at how I look - they literally say they haven't seen someone lose this much weight and actually *look healthy*. Yes I have lose skin, yes it bothers me. But I'll either do something about it or I won't and that's undecided now. And I don't have so much lose skin that it impacts my health, wellness or mobility. Just impacts my comfort with my body in the sack. People ask me all the time how I feel after losing so much weight and it's difficult to explain that the real miracle for me has been fitness - yes, that could not have happened without losing weight, however if I had just lost the weight and stayed mushy, squishy and weak I really don't think I would have been as satisfied with the new life I have. And by the way, haven't seen it asked or answered - but @BigViffer, what is the Viffer? Inquiring minds.
  12. I didn't start working out until I had my weight at a range where I felt comfortable working out (which was 50 lbs post surgery - so that was about 6-7 weeks.) I started initially with alot of functional strength/mobility/bodyweight work. Now, 17 months later I am doing full body workouts with an emphasis on strength training, but I do cardio and yoga to support with my flexibility and mobility. Today I did my best deadlift weight for a full set of 5 reps after being stuck for a couple of weeks! YASSSSSSS!
  13. Kat410

    Fat Arms?

    This is one of those YMMV things - but I will tell you how this has worked for me. First of all, I started off assuming there was nothing exercise would do to improve lose skin (since it doesn't). That said, strength training has altered the way in which my arms look, including the appearance of lose skin. In certain positions (e.g., if I have my arms extended perpendicular to my body) the skin will hang down and no amount of muscle is going to change that. But I don't walk around in life with my arms sticking out at 90 degrees so who cares. When my arms are at my sides or other natural movements, my bicep and tricep definition is more noticeable than my lose skin. It is not distracting. The only time I am really observing this by the way is at the gym in front of a mirror so again, YMMV. But for example, when I do woodchoppers with a 25 lb plate, my arms look pretty firm. But if I extend them out 90 degrees they look like batwings. Also there's alot of upper arm and shoulder muscle activation in that movement and almost no muscle activation in just holding them out, so that's probably part of the difference. I would not recommend that you stare at your arms in unnatural positions and assess them from there. Also, your body works together as a whole, so its kind of nuts to strengthen your arms for aesthetic purposes and not work on strengthening your core, legs, back, shoulders and arms all together. But to sum it all up - adding muscle to my biceps, triceps, back, shoulder, core has seemed to improve the aesthetics of my arms.
  14. Kat410

    Starting with exercise - I think I got this!

    congratulations on your amazing progress! I am with you - on this journey the biggest transformation has been in the domain of fitness. I have become much more oriented around maximizing the abilities of my body rather than being thin, a healthy weight or the right BMI. I weigh 175 and wear at medium (8/10). I get a little smaller each week however my attention is on strength training progressions, flexibility and balance improvements and resolving joint issues. It is so much more fun and rewarding to create goals that actually light me up rather than try/hope to adhere to some standard that I am "supposed to be." Keep kicking ass and taking names!
  15. Kat410

    What were your starting workouts?

    I was pretty much starting at 0 after not working out at all. I hired a great personal trainer. That turned out to be the best thing because I was so out of shape I couldn't do a basic sit up. I couldn't do a body weight squat. But he broke me in without breaking me down. I started working out after I lost the 1st 50 lbs, which also worked because the first 2 months my energy level was literally through the floor. Now I am 13 months after starting this and the progression is incredible. A typical workout usually goes something like 2M on the rowing machine to warm up, then I typically do 3-4 sets of 3 sets of 3 movements (e.g., deadlifts, single arm rows or renegade rows with push ups and the third is a core activity like ab wheels, hanging leg-ups, planks of some kind). I focus on doing both pull and push, working the whole body and doing as many compound exercises as possible in each set. I move quickly from set to set in the superset then do a short rest between supersets. I plan what I am doing in advance and sometimes plan around specific physical issues I have. Strength is progressing nicely and what is weak is flexibility (in particular in quads, knees and shoulders) and balance. So while I get more gratification doing strength work, I am also doing more to address balance and flexibility given that is what really sucks now. But hey, practice is the key. Then there are lifestyle choices - I live in NYC, so lots of opportunity for stairs and walking. I typically walk 8-9 miles a day on a day off, I live on the 5th floor and take the stairs most of the time and always choose the stairs in the subway. I think it's important to start by giving yourself alot of room to try different things and to start with where you are and build from there. I also find it helpful to do what I enjoy and enforce that I do what I am weak at.
  16. Hey! What are your short term fitness goals? Here's what I am out to accomplish in the next two-three weeks: 1. Be able to do a full standard push up - I am almost there and have been working on this for two months, getting lower and lower! 2. Shoulder press (standing) 70 lbs 3. 3000 meters on rowing machine w/no break What about everyone else?
  17. Kat410

    Short Term Fitness Goals

    Diana - that is just badass! An unassisted pull up seems almost impossible - I am not even working on it. But you have just created some #goals.
  18. Hi there. I was in a similar place as you. I am 51, 5'8" and was 335 (highest weight) at the time of surgery. I had said I would start working out at 280 and was uneducated, unsure, anxious and frankly frightened. There is a small boutique fitness studio about a block from me and I called them up (mostly because I figured the best exercise program is the one I would do and proximity was a big plus given I also live in NYC and work a hectic schedule). I recommend that you do what I did - I laid it all out - weight, age, surgery, history with exercise/sports, co-morbidities, etc. I got lucky here - the couple who owns the studio is really extraordinary and if you want more information PM me and I will be happy to provide it. Any really good trainer will assess where you currently are and they will work with you from WHERE YOU ARE. And I think it's a smart move if you are older/obese/very inactive to invest in a trainer with good credentials and educated. In addition, you should educate yourself. Read a lot, learn about different exercise modalities and what they accomplish, etc. Building strength should be a key concern. There is a bunch of bullshit in peoples' understanding of what happens at the gym and the more you educate yourself the more you will be able to work with your trainer on establish goals because you will know what's possible for you. The good news is that you will see improvements very quickly and gains very quickly. A good trainer will break you in without breaking you down. While seeing a trainer was an investment, I have gotten very educated and work appropriately within my body's limits (mild arthritis in both knees and a chronic case of Achilles tendonitis). I am stronger and fitter than I was in high school (and I played sports in high school). I work out 4x a week mostly focused on barbell/dumbbell work, isometric and body weight exercises and CV/Resp conditioning. Virtually everything I do is low impact due to Achilles issue. I will say without hesitation that hiring a trainer to get me where I am now is a miracle. I now see him 1x a week and manage my own workouts. A lot of times I have review the routines I am planning. I pretty much have a solid repertoire of 2M warm up on the rowing machine, various circuits of bodyweight exercises (with a focus on core strength) and a standard lifting program of deadlifts, power cleans, presses, squats, etc.
  19. I do have quite a bit of loose skin but given my age and weight loss it’s not as bad as I expected. But I definitely could stand to lose 15-20 lbs. there is not much of a fatty layer in my upper body but plenty still there in the thighs.
  20. Hi there, I am looking for some input here. I had a VSG in May 2017. Weight loss has been steady (you can see in my sig). It slowed down significantly as I got closer to goal weight (which I expected - no problem). But now it has basically stopped. I have been fluctuating between 180 and 184 for several weeks now. I started at 335 so I have accomplished more than I ever expected and would be on the high end of a normal BMI at 165. I am healthy, fit, strength train and really happy. That said, I would like to get down another 20 lbs and it's not happening I am taking new actions (mostly getting back to the basics of calorie management) - but I wanted to get other peoples' insight into weight loss after 12 months. What has made a difference for you 14 or 15 months in? How did you manage your diet? How long did you continue to lose?
  21. Kat410

    Exercise tips

    I do full body workouts 3-4x a week, which include a lot of compound movements, HIIT type of workouts and occasional yoga. I also do a lot of core work, my go-to's now are reverse crunches, push ups, low planks to high planks, renegade rows w/pushups, back extensions with weights, Russian twists, etc. Then, of course, lots of squats. I alternate with sumo squats (on two platforms with 60 lb kettlebell), goblet squats with weights, split squats. And of course deadlifhts - both standard and single leg.
  22. Obviously for most of us, when we loose weight we change the way we dress. Different sizes and different cuts, not to mention different choices all have an impact. But what I'm curious about - is how has losing weight impacted your sense of style and fashion? When I was 335 and a size 24, I gravitated towards wide leg pants, fit and flare dresses (always in winter with opaque tights) because it was a favorable profile for my waist-to-hip ratio. I always wore long sleeve tops or dresses (never sleeveless, hated my arms) and also chose a lot of V-neck tops and sweaters. Finding a blazer that wasn't like a box over my top was challenging, so I rarely wore them even though I love the look of a tailored blazer. I never wore heels, they were just too tough on my feet with 14 hour work days and living and commuting in NYC. I never wore any skirts shorter than a midi (if at all) because I didn't like the way my legs looked and I hadn't owned a pair of shorts in 15 years. I didn't mind wearing more form fitting dresses and tops, but it would always be a measured choice with the shapewear that invariably went under it. I tended to lean towards classic, tailored cuts and shopped a lot at Eloquii (avoiding things that were too trendy), Talbots and Nordstrom. Now that I am a size 10/12 and have lots of options, I find myself really enjoying fashion and style. I like the way pencil skirts look on me and I am now comfortable with knee length dresses and skirts. I don't wear shapewear (but I do wear tight shaping panties if I am wearing a clingy skirt). I am starting to develop a kind of sexy professional style that is fun and funky - mixing up prints and pastels, wearing shorter length pants and different shape pants and lots of skirts! I am getting transition pieces at Asos (good bang for the buck, but beware their clothes are sized huge, so order down in sizes). I am still loosing so not buying a lot of clothes - but today I subscribed to Rent the Runway to rent different designer pieces and can't wait to mix it up and create a new sense of chic style with a new me. So how is your new body influencing your sense of fashion? What are you wearing that you never thought you would wear? And oh! don't be afraid to post pics of your new found fashionable selves!
  23. I think it depends on what you consider normal. Unfortunately most western diets normal means highly processed foods, high sugar and high fat which is a deadly combination If by normal you mean lots of veggies, unrefined carbs and healthy proteins and fats then no problem, sounds like a good maintenance diet. For myself as I get close to goal it’s becoming clear for me that I will always want those things and will have to manage myself to some degree. It’s not that I don’t eat the occasional sweet or chip, but I do manage for the vast majority of what I eat is not triggering old cravings or a slippery slope. It probably depends a lot on what got you overweight to begin with and what triggers old patterns.
  24. This is stating the obvious I think, but I would recommend that you identify what you can or should be doing with a doctor and good physical therapist. I am 51 and a lot of various aches, spasms, pains and mobility issues had gradually been piling on and truthfully it was so gradual I didn't really notice that I ached/hurt/spasmed/cramped all the time. This is different from what you describe which sounds more acute than what I dealt with. Loosing the weight will probably help. But you do also need to get a program to heal and strengthen your body. I have arthritis in both my knees - not severe and recurring Achilles tendonitis (which I am almost certain is from a treatment with Levaquin after a compression injury in my right leg - but that's another story). I have been at work strengthening the muscles around those joints as well as stretching and most days now there is no pain or the pain is so mild as to be barely noticeable. A year ago the tendonitis was so bad there were days I could barely tolerate walking (no fun for a new Yorker). I could not do lunges without activating the knee pain. Now the only thing I avoid are high impact (jumping, jogging, etc.) You don't have to feel motivated to follow a plan from your physical therapist. You just have to do it. I had an ah-ha moment about this a couple of months ago. Sugar was starting to creep into my diet. When I get off the subway to go to work it's like running a gauntlet of temptation. The chocolate chip cookies at Subway (warm and gooey!). The 3 donut carts between the subway station and my office. The hot nut cart with honey roasted peanuts. The Aunt Annie's buttery warm pretzels. And I started buying and eating stuff. And then I felt bad or justified it (at least my calories are in line!!!!) and then I would try to handle my motivation or resistance to temptation. Do you know what? I only had to do one thing. I just had to keep walking. So that's how I deal with it now. I just keep walking. Same thing with exercise. How do I go to the gym at 6:30 AM after getting home from work at 11:30 PM? I get my ass out of bed. I put on my clothes. Brush my teeth. Then I wash my face. Then I lace up my sneakers. Then I start walking. It's that simple.