January 2019 Member of the Month – Mary B.

By Member of the Month

We are happy to announce that Mary from our South Surrey location is our Member of the Month for January 2019! Her story is sure to inspire.

Two years ago this month I was advised that I needed my left hip replaced. I was not surprised as my hip was painful and I was finding it more difficult to walk. I’d been here before, having had my right hip replaced six years earlier and my left knee replaced two years earlier. Since my knee replacement I had led a pretty sedentary life and had gained quite a bit of weight. I’d struggled with obesity most of my adult life. I’d diet, then yo-yo back and now I was the heaviest I’d ever been. I also knew that prior to my first hip replacement I had been a regular gym goer and had lost a lot of weight prior to the operation. Not so much, however, preceding my knee replacement. I began to worry. It was January and time for new habits, so I joined LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic at Windsor Square starting twice a week.

That May, I had my consult with the orthopedic surgeon. He confirmed that I needed a total hip replacement, but also advised that my BMI was too high that put me in a high-risk category for increased infection etc. I needed to lose 40 pounds to get into the ‘safe’ zone before he was willing to operate. Wow, that was reality hitting me right on the forehead. I came to LIVE WELL that day and commiserated with the Clinical Exercise Physiologist Kelly, shedding many tears and feeling sorry for myself. But Kelly was amazing. Not only did she hold my hand but she encouraged me to develop a plan to address my goals: lose weight, gain muscle strength and flexibility. The wait-time for surgery would be about 16 months, so I had time.

I ramped up my gym schedule to 3 times a week and started keeping a food diary. I started losing weight, and increased my flexibility, but my hip continued to deteriorate. I became dependent on my cane to walk and move about and was in constant pain. After a while there were many movements that became just too painful. We continued to modify my routine and the encouragement I received at LIVE WELL, not just from the trainers but from my gym-mates was gratifying.

A year later I had lost 30 lbs. (along with 2 dress sizes) and was definitely stronger. Last June, my surgeon cleared me for surgery with a mid-August date. I decided to ramp up my fitness schedule in an effort to lose the next 10 lbs. before then So I started coming to the gym 6 days a week. It wasn’t easy at first. I dragged myself to the gym some days and others I was just tired, but I came. Both Kelly and Sam were very supportive, encouraging and helping me develop strategies to continue. Gradually it became easier and I started looking forward to my mornings. After a while I craved coming to the gym and was lost on Sunday mornings when LIVE WELL was closed. I came to LIVE WELL 6 days a week for the 2 months preceding my surgery and lost most of those last pounds. I felt ready for my surgery!

My surgery went well, with no complications, I was up standing and mobile that same evening! I credit my hard work at the gym for the ease of my recovery. Six weeks after surgery I was back at LIVE WELL 3 times a week. It felt great returning to the gym to cheers from staff Mona and Sam and my fellow gym-mates. I was still using my cane while reteaching my muscles to work and relearning to walk. I also had some movement restrictions for the first 12 weeks after surgery, so I took it slow and learned to be patient with myself.

Now I have retired my cane and continue to improve. I have a new vision for myself: a healthy BMI where I can touch my toes and get down and up off the floor without assistance. I want to gain balance and stability to maybe ride a bicycle around the seawall again, go hiking or even walk the Sun Run! Wouldn’t it be great to take the stairs instead of the elevator? I know that continuing to come come to LIVE WELL will get me there. I need and welcome the accountability and best of all, no judgement. The love and support I receive is healing. It’s like coming home to family.

We are so grateful to Mary for sharing her story. Mary, your commitment to staying on track and motivation is encouragement for all!!

Member of the Month

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