Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I don't think I had any idea just how poorly I was and how hard things had become. I'd gotten used to living a weird sort of normal and was just trying to make the most of it, struggling with a brave face, with occasional moan. Now I'm in a totally different place and can feel my energy levels and fitness starting to come back and I'm feeling so much better being able to eat more healthily again. My body is slowly starting to feel slightly more toned and stronger again and I'm enjoying the 'ache' from doing my core work! I must be doing it right. It still far from where I want it to be, but it's progress and at least I feel like there are some muscles coming out of hibernation!
I feel like I'm glowing and have my sparkle back! wow! how great is that?
I'm struggling with my diet a bit though and feel quite confused about what to eat. Some experts recommend that people with an ileostomy like mine shouldn't eat nuts, stringy foods, sweetcorn, fruit or veg with skins etc - basically things that could cause a blockage. I have to say, I'm not especially cautious and give most things a go, but some things work better than others and it's a case of trial and error. Foods like nuts, grapes, oats and sweetcorn aren't great and I'm confused about fibre, electrolytes and healthy oils. It would be easy to use the stoma as an excuse and just eat highly processed cr@p as it's easier to digest, but I want to give my body the best chance of recovery and to be as healthy as possible.
So what I need now is some expert advice to get to grips with my new digestive system! What's the point eating a nut when it comes out in pretty much the same state? I can't possibly be absorbing any nutrients from it. So I was really excited to meet a Nutritional Therapist this morning at a friend's health shop opening, who I've booked an appointment with. She didn't balk when I mentioned the ileostomy and felt confident she'd be able to help me. I'm really looking forward to seeing her and seeing how she can advise me. I must have been inspired because I'm sitting here drinking jasmine tea of all things!! not like me at all. And it's actually quite nice.
As far as training goes, I've also been out on my bike twice this week, done my core stability work AND been running 4 times. The sub 140bpm heartrate thing is really working and even though I'm going incredibly slowly (running 11 min mile pace! good grief!), I can feel my fitness creeping back slowly. Monitoring my heartrate like this makes me feel confident that I'm absorbing the training and recovering now instead of pushing too hard, and I feel in control.
I made it back to my running club on Wednesday night for my first club night in months and was pretty nervous beforehand. I'm the slowest runner in the club by far now which is frustrating, especially considering where I once was, and the club is pretty fast and competitive. But lovely hubby and another friend Dave ran with me and a lady who'd just had a baby, so I even though we were right at the back, only did half the route and walked up all the hills - it was still nice and I really enjoyed the feeling of doing something 'normal'.
I feel like I've turned a corner this last week and I'm feeling really positive and happy! I had a glorious run this morning at Bedgebury forest this morning. 40 minutes of uninterrupted bliss - and I ran the whole thing without having to walk any hills. It's really beautiful there and at this time of year when the sun shines, its' just heaven. How could you not enjoy running in a place like this?? It makes you glad to be alive and lucky to being able to run. I know what it feels like to have it all taken away and I don't think I'll ever take running or my health for granted again.