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Life After Weight Loss

The Recovery Phase – What To Do After You Wear Your Body Out

It’s been a while since you have heard from this WLS fitness enthusiast, I know. Let’s talk a little bit about what has been on my agenda and what I’ve put my body through in the last 4 weeks.

As you may recall, I left Portland OR on January 12th with three main goals ahead of me.

  1. Get to Anaheim, CA and run a half marathon.
  2. Get to Dallas to have some touch up work done on my arm.
  3. Complete a cross-country move to NC in time to start my new job on Feb. 3, 2013

I am happy to report that all three of these things were a success. Keeping up on blog writing and sharing the journey along the way; not so much. There were however several updates on my social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter (A good reason to follow me there).

1549549_10151838494477447_627482255_nWhile I will be writing more soon about the Run Disney, Tinker Bell half marathon experience, today I want to talk a bit about recovery. Understanding that when we put our bodies through something that is physically exerting or takes extra energy to do, something like say, running 13.1 miles or having surgery that requires our body work extra hard to heal, or even something as simple as a long extended car ride, it’s important to understand that we also need to give our body time to recover.

So you just ran 13.1 miles, you’re tired, you’re winded and your legs are exhausted. What do you do now? For some the answer might just be “Lie down on the ground and die.” But guess what, that is exactly the wrong thing to do. How you treat your body after pushing it, is just as important as how you treat it before you push it. Now is the time to walk around slowly, hydrate well, stretch out and grab a little something to eat. You’ll see lots of people doing just these things around you in the finishers corral if you are participating in an event. And of course, make sure you are eating and drinking the right things. Water, water, water, you can always use water additives like Mio, Crystal Light or other non-calorie products to spice things up if you’re not a water lover.

dreamstimefree_204955What you are putting in your face is just as important. Remember to choose foods that have a high pay off, bananas will help replenish potassium with 400 mg which is lost through sweating. But don’t forget they are high in sugar, have only 1 gram of protein and no fat whatsoever, so don’t overdo it. My go-to recovery foods are a half a banana and a protein bar. Replenishing protein after exercise is a must do for me, I need those muscles to recover fast and protein is essential to muscle recovery since it aids in the repair of exercise induced damage to muscle fibers.

So you just had surgery? Your body is recovering and what you eat can make a pretty big impact on how quickly your wounds heal, not to mention they can play a large role in preventing complications like constipation from pain medicine consumption. The best suggestion I can make for you when eating post-surgery, and I’ve done this a few times now, eat whole foods. Remember that whole food, which really means unprocessed foods, are higher in vitamins and nutrients. This should really be an everyday sort of thing but is especially important when your body is trying to heal. To prevent constipation, focus on food that is high in fiber like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. If constipation is an issue you want to avoid things that are dried or dehydrated, dairy products, things that are high in sugar and red meats.

QuestCPBKeep your protein intake up (Especially important for you WLS folks) with lean meats such as chicken, turkey, pork and seafood, or if you want a vegetarian approach, nuts, tofu and beans. If you are having problems getting that protein in remember you can always add a whey isolate based protein shake.

So you just put your body through something like a three-week long extended road trip. You’re stiff and sore and your body isn’t moving quite the way you want it too. What do you do? Staying in bed, staying still and letting your body rest might seem like a good idea, and you definitely want to get that sleep in; it’s essential to weight loss and weight management for sure. But you’d be amazed what a little recovery run will do for you. I’m not saying that you should run 5-6 miles on day-after-half-marathon legs, or even I’ve-been-sitting-in-the-car-for-8-10-hours legs, but movement is a good thing to loosen up muscles and speed up healing.  Until I hit Dallas where I had minor surgery on my arm and got put on “no-exercise” restrictions. I was doing 1 mile recovery runs whenever I hit a new state on my trip. Ever notice that when you are sore the moment you stop moving for too long it hurts more when you move again? Just think of it as your body asking you to keep the blood flowing and you’ll be fine!

Today I am three weeks post my half marathon, two weeks post my little surgery, and one week into being in North Carolina and starting my new job as a weight management leader, wellness coach and membership sales manager and today is the first day that I’m allowed back on cardio equipment. Can you guess where Coach Pandora will be after work today? Utilizing her new work environment gym facility! Now I just need to find a couple of Wilmington, NC Ladies that want to have fun getting fit with me.


Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Celebrating a win against Obesity

33e684b278ce11e3bea312e473e15c6c_8It’s 5am on Saturday and I wish I could say that I had a relaxing day ahead of me or that I wasn’t the type of person that gets stressed out about packing. Both would be falsities.  I’m the type of person that normally stresses out packing for a week-long or two-week vacation, let alone a convention, and this time, I am packing for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend and my move to North Carolina to take a new job as a Weight Loss Program Leader and Membership Sales Manager.

Tomorrow a new chapter of my life begins as I leave OR with Heather and one of my Jack Russell Terriers, Manny, and start making my way to these next two big milestones.

Boxes have been packed, some have been shipped, some will be going with me in the car, but the suitcase of what I will have available to me over the next few weeks is still looming over my head this morning, as is taking down and packing up my desktop computer.

“Second star to the right and straight on ‘till morning.”

Heather is the type of person that can pack a suitcase in 15-20 minutes and never worry that she’s forgotten anything important. Me, I’m worse than Santa Claus, making a list, checking it three, four, five times. Do I have everything? What if I forgot something important? Because you know what, in my world apparently overnight mail hasn’t been invented yet.

Tomorrow morning we will leave Portland and drive as far as we can in the day, likely somewhere near Redding, CA where we will stop for the night and get some rest and then get up Monday morning and head into Santa Maria, CA where we will stop for a visit and dinner with my dear friend Tammy and my Godfather.

Tuesday morning we’ll be heading south to Ventura, where we’re going to stop and see my WLS Parents, Sandi and Chuck Henderson, you probably know Sandi from her website, we’ll be stopping to visit with them and having dinner with them to celebrate my new job in North Carolina.

Bright and Early Wednesday morning, ( After a workout even perhaps ) We’ll be heading even more south and arriving in Los Angeles, where Heather and I will spend a day doing something fun and exciting, I’m putting a short run on the southern CA beaches on my to-do list.

a508225c7a7e11e3b7650e1e7e7c6e3f_8Thursday morning it’s time to meet up with my How Do You Celebrate Success contest winner Dawn Brell and begin our Magical Weekend and Disneyland in Anaheim CA for the Tinker Bell half Marathon weekend. Be sure you follow me on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if you want to be part of the fun and see all the photos and check-in’s we’ll be posting from the weekend.

We’ve’ve got so much fun stuff ahead of us that weekend. We’ll be spending time at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Expo, a day in the Disneyland Theme park, and of course, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon itself; 13.1 miles of faith trust and pixie dust in one of the happiest places on earth.

The only regret I have at this point is that I didn’t sign up for the Never Land Family Fun Run 5K and the Tinker Bell 10K and do all three on Friday-Saturday-Sunday. If I come back for the Tinker Bell next year which I sure hope I do, that will be my plan for sure.

Sunday morning, Heather, Tammy, my Godfather, Sandi and Chuck will all be driving into LA to be there at the finish line when Dawn and I cross clapping and cheering. I’m so lucky to have such amazingly supportive friends and chosen family in my life.

After the weekend, I’ll be giving some very emotional goodbye hugs as my Godfather and I start the next leg of my trip, getting me to North Carolina in time to start my new job at the beginning of February. But first I’ll be stopping in Dallas for a short visit with some of my near and dear Dallas peeps and for a quick follow-up visit with my Plastic Surgeon.


There is just so much to do, I must go, and I have to get back to packing. But I wanted to make sure that I wrote about how excited I am. Disneyland CA, here comes the new and improved COACH Pandora. You may have seen me most my life, battling obesity, struggling to move around your perimeter, trying to be the most invisible large person known to man out of fear someone might notice me and make fun of me or make a rude comment to me. You’ve even seen me in the middle of my weight loss journey when I came back for a visit with some family, but you’you’ve never seen me like this! You’ve never seen me at a happy healthy weight, running a half marathon and bringing one of my weight loss coaching clients with me along the way.

Watch out Disneyland here I come – “Second star to the right and straight on ‘till morning.” Because this previously 420 lb. morbidly obese girl who had to roll around in a scooter to make it an entire day in your park is about to show you what she’s made of now because “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Remember this before photo? This was me; weighing 420 lb. Standing next to Eeyore at Disneyland. This is me last week on my 14 mile training run:

And lastly, if you’re thinking “Wow she’s about to run a Half Marathon, I sure wish I could do that.” Let me just remind you that you CAN, and hopefully I’ll be giving another lucky blog reader the opportunity to do that with me again soon. As I finish packing and head out for this Half Marathon, which will be my 5th Half Marathon since June – (That’s right, 5 Half Marathons in less than a year) the thought most prevalent in my mind is: THIS is how *I* Celebrate Success; I fought Obesity and I won.

It’s time for me to go Slender Seekers, but for now, let me leave you with some very wise words from Mr. Walt Disney himself to inspire you.

Before I leave you this morning Slender Seekers I want to ask you to please go visit the pages of the sponsors that made this all possible, without them, none of this would have come to fruition and Dawn and I wouldn’t have this amazing opportunity.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

“The way to get started is to quit talking and being doing.”


Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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