It has been a bit of quiet on the medical front for me of late. The lack of news is mainly because not a lot has been happening,
For the last 4 months or so I have been busy 'detraining'. Basically this has meant doing no exercise, or at least very little and letting my heart recover a bit. Whilst detraining has been an adjustment it has been going pretty well. It took me a while to get used to the change in lifestyle, but over the past few months I have got the hang of it and even started to appreciate the extra time that I have gained by doing less exercise.
Of course detraining hasn't been all sunsets and roses though. Getting painfully unfit hasn't been much fun. You don't notice how unfit you have become until you are forced to exert yourself by running up some stairs or something like that. You then realise very quickly just how much conditioning you have lost. The other thing I have struggled with is weight. Once I stopped training I was aware that I was going to have to be careful around weight gain. It is the classic cliche, an athlete stops training but doesn't modify their eating habits and so as a result their weight sky rockets. Whilst my weight hasn't got out of control, I have gained much more than I was hoping, sitting about 10kg heavier than I was when I stopped exercise.
To be honest, the weight gain has been the hardest change to swallow. After all you only notice the lack of fitness when you try and use it, however, with the weight you are reminded every time you look in the mirror. It sounds conceited but one of the main reasons I would love to exercise more at the moment would be to help me control my weight a bit more.
Well the good news is that today I sort of got that wish. Today I had an appointment with Dr Stobie. This was my first appointment for nearly 4 months and so it was a bit of a status update. Other than losing fitness nothing has really happened over those 4 months, but that is just what Dr Stobie wanted to hear. Based on the lack of anything happening Dr Stobie is happy to let me do a bit more exercise. I need to be sensible obviously and keep the intensity down, but I can exercise for a bit more. That is great news for both my sanity and my waist line.
The toughest thing for me at the moment is figuring out what exercise to do. As you can imagine, my first instinct is to rush and out do heaps of training, but of course that would be silly and dangerous. Instead I need to be quite moderate in how I increase my training. Also I am keen to choose exercise that I enjoy, rather than doing exercise that I feel I 'should' be doing. I am not really sure what my exercise routine will look like as it will depend a bit on what I find fun, how much time I have and just how the body responds to increased loads, but I look forward to doing a bit more, no matter what it looks like.
Of course, the appointment today isn't the end of things with regard to the doctor and my health, more of a mid point, however the next step isn't for another 4 months, so I have a bit of time before that. The next step will actually be another stress test in the lab to see how my heart is going. That will be followed by an appointment to go through my results and the results of the genetic testing I had a couple of months ago. Following on form all that we might do a bit more imaging (MRI) if Dr Stobie things it will be useful. All that should give a good idea of how the heart is going. The journey continues.
I tell you what though, I am looking forward to getting back out on my bike.