When I was younger, I was a dancer. I did tap, jazz, ballet, and lyrical. I danced from childhood up until my senior year of high school. I also played lacrosse for my four years of high school. Being active was a big part of my life. When I went to college, I joined the dance team and started hip-hop and step. After college, I continued to dance salsa, bachata, and merengue.
When I was diagnosed with UC, I became less active and didn’t have energy to keep dancing. Once I went into the hospital and had my 8 surgeries, I could barely walk to the mailbox without getting fatigued. It was very challenging finding exercises to do that I enjoyed. I did physical therapy for some time.
I felt fatigued and have chronic back pain to this day. I can only blame myself for my physical health. I should have been more active right after my surgeries but needless to say…here I am 5 years after my last surgery. I recently joined the gym with my best friend and we go a few times a week. I’m starting off slow and I really enjoy it.
We work on a few machines to strengthen our core, legs, and backs. We also walk the treadmill or track for about 30 minutes for some cardio. I limit my cardio because I don’t want to lose weight. I want to tone and gain some muscle in hopes that it will ease my chronic back and neck pain. I used to feel like crap after a workout but the more I do it, the more I’ve been feeling better about myself and energized. It also helps me with stress relief. I am fortunate that I can walk to work. It’s about a 15-minute walk one way and since I work in a hospital, I get a lot of extra steps in throughout the day.
I was hesitant about going to the gym at first with my ostomy. I was nervous about sweating too much and decreasing the wear time of my wafer/pouch. I’ve been a few times and I’m already brave enough to rock my sports bra and high waisted pants with my ostomy showing! Working out like that actually makes me feel really sexy and I’m embracing it. Gotta rock that confidence!