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7 weeks post hysterectomy: How to deal with hating my body? 7 weeks post hysterectomy: How to deal with hating my body?

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Unread 04-08-2021, 04:40 AM
7 weeks post hysterectomy: How to deal with hating my body?

Hello lovely sisters,

I'm 7 weeks post-OP for TLH and salpingectomy and feeling more and more down about how I look.

I look 5 months pregnant all day, every day, and it's really knocking my confidence. I've had a hell of a year with daily extreme pain and was so happy when I got the surgery, because I felt like I could finally live my life. But I severely underestimated how it would affect my body and how long recovery would really take.

It definitely doesn't help that my husband has become a fitness fanatic in the past year and has told me he thinks I would be happier if I watched my calories and exercised more. I feel like that's just a roundabout way of telling me I'm too fat. I'm right at the border of getting into an 'overweight' BMI but I'm lighter now than I have been for at least half our relationship.

Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with this? Obviously working from home and lockdown in general doesn't help, as I have no reason to dress up - not that I could in this state, anyway.

Would love to get advice on how to manage my confidence and body image, and how to dress my extremely bloated self.

Thank you for reading everyone <3
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Unread 04-08-2021, 09:42 AM
Re: 7 weeks post hysterectomy: How to deal with hating my body?


Even though you're 7 weeks post-op, your body is still healing. You may have been cleared to resume activities, but inside - where you had all those stitches and cauterizations - things are still knitting together, strengthening, and inflammation is still easy to trigger. With inflammation, there's likely to be our old friend swelly belly. How long that goes on varies from Sister to Sister, but generally 2-3 months post-op is typical. My own experince is that I got dull aches and swelling through 8 weeks, and beyond 8 weeks whenever I did more than my body was ready for. Sometimes it was activity specific, like power washing the front porch or shoving a 24-pack of soda over my head on a high shelf. One time it was an 18-hour day of working, driving, attending an outdoor concert and driving back home. Last time at the mat with those symptoms was after kicking up the intensity of a core routine, and that happened at 5 months.

So intense activity might not be in the near future, but certainly you can start walking regularly if you haven't already. With a return of stamina, you'll be able to find a program or routine which you like. I happen to enjoy Body Combat / Group Fight for cardio and Body Pump / Group Power with weight training. You might find that running or cycling is your sweet spot, or swimming.

As far as calories, yes, the idea is to use more calories than you need, but those extreme eating plans where calories are severely limited aren't the way to go for we often don't get the right nutrients and we starve our bodies - that's why such eating plans aren't sustainable. A better plan is to clean up the pantry and fridge: replace the highly processed foods, sweet snacks, added sugared drinks, boxed dinners with fresh ingredients, whole grains and water (flavored or add a little natural fruit juice just for flavor); make sure lean meats or other sources of protein get included, and get a good balance of protein, healthy carbs (grains, veggies, fruits), and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, eggs, cheese).

I don't think your husband meant to barb you with his comment, yet what he said wasn't wrong, either. I believe he was trying to get you to refocus from your opinion of your body from dwelling on where you are now to doing something positive. The walking and the pantry / fridge cleanout are both things you can do now. The more intense fitness can come later as your body heals. Remember, it's been through a lot: be kind to and patient with it.

Unread 04-08-2021, 11:54 AM
Re: 7 weeks post hysterectomy: How to deal with hating my body?

I had my surgery on Feb 1,2021 and I know how you feel. I had just found my abs when I needed this surgery to remove cancer. I am at a point now where I can step up my workouts and get my body back. Now I can't fit into all my clothes,size 8, so I did go and buy a couple pair of size 12 jeans to feel normal and comfy. Well worth it! And I put on make up everyday, just a little, just because it makes me feel pretty and ready to start the day. I am not working unless you count caring for all my farm animals....yep I dress up for them! Lol!!

I purged all bad foods back in September so eating healthy with lots of veggies, sprouted breads, fruits, good protein and healthy fats. And lots of water!!! With time, I know my body will return just have to take one day at a time. You will get there as well. I also took up one of those paint by number paintings to feel like I accomplished something...turned out pretty good.

Take care!
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Unread 04-09-2021, 04:48 AM
7 weeks post hysterectomy: How to deal with hating my body?

Where I live, we've been in lockdown since the end of November, and our government has just issued a Stay At Home order in response to skyrocketing case numbers. During this time, I've found that simply putting on clean clothes and brushing my hair every day makes me feel better about myself; for essential trips like grocery shopping and health care appointments, I'll get a little more dressed up, and swap out my usual ponytail for a modified French twist. I've also recognized that eating healthy food and going out for regular walks, as permitted under the current order, help to maintain my health, and make the current situation a little more bearable. I'm also an avid knitter, and instead of obsessing over my imperfections, I've been learning how to tailor my patterns to complement my unique body shape, and I aim to do a little bit every day, so I can feel like I've accomplished something. Our government has also stepped up its vaccination rollout, and I have an appointment for my first shot today, which gives me hope for a future when all this will seem like a bad dream. So don't give up hope, because better days are ahead! Wishing you all the best for continued health and healing!
Unread 04-13-2021, 04:36 PM
Re: 7 weeks post hysterectomy: How to deal with hating my body?

7 weeks is NOTHING--it's going to take awhile for your stomach to go back down---didn't the medical staff prepare you?--before I had my operation my partner and I knew what I was going to look like and we both were prepared--I didn't get back to my normal self until 1 yr later--but for me it took about 24mos for full recovery---every woman is different though--now almost three yrs later I'm down to hourly hot flashes---you name it I went through it. You shouldn't be doing anything other than walking at this point but ask your doctor--Just eat healthy --forget the calories ---good luck
Unread 04-13-2021, 04:48 PM
Re: 7 weeks post hysterectomy: How to deal with hating my body?

Everyone has already given you great advice, and I would echo all of their sentiments. But also want to add that at 7 weeks you're probably still really swollen. I am still swelling towards the end of the day and I'm four months out. Jeans hurt if I wear them too long. So don't mistake a bloated-looking belly for fat. It's likely fluid packed in down there to protect your healing bits. Someone in the forums likened the swelly belly effect to a broken ankle that swells up. If you elevate your ankle, the swelling goes down. Well you can't elevate your belly! But you can rest (fully lying down) as much as possible while you're still healing. I know it's hard to get out of your head but it's far too soon to start expecting "normal". I've learned to embrace maxi dresses and leggings. I dress up for remote work whenever I'm feeling up to it. If you have a little extra time, try getting ready for work like you're going to leave the office! But skip the pants and opt for shorts or leggings. My WFH motto is Business on Top, Party on the Bottom. You'll find me, most days, with a blazer on top and leggings down below!
Unread 04-14-2021, 04:29 AM
Re: 7 weeks post hysterectomy: How to deal with hating my body?

I agree with everything said here. I was only just beginning to feel like I hadn’t just had major surgery around 8 weeks. I didn’t even attempt to start working out again until 12 weeks and then I took it slow. In the meantime, don’t forgot to celebrate your body. You are a warrior! What your body has been through and survived is amazing. I was never a “gratitude journal” kind of person before, but I started making mental notes and even sometimes in my phone about how grateful I was for my body and what it did for me. I started telling my belly I loved it. Stressing about your body raises cortisol which makes you actually hold on to weight. As for the swelling, it will go down. It may take months, but it will. Target has some super cute athletic wear right now that’s more like lounge wear. High waisted joggers and cute tops have made me feel a lot better.
Unread 04-14-2021, 07:40 AM
7 weeks post hysterectomy: How to deal with hating my body?

Hi im sorry for what you are going through and I know exactly how you feel and im still dealing with the extra pounds. And same wi my husband always telling me to exercise wi him.
Maybe you could start off slow exercising? Thats something you could do together.
I heard stitch fit is really good as well.
Clothes suck. Period. I hope this helps

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