My fitness journey after bilateral anterior total hip replacement.
Like many others, my fitness journey has had its ups and its down, thankfully more ups than downs. Unfortunately, 2014 was one of those down times that we all would like to avoid, but looking back I think it made me realize the true strength that I have deep down within.
My heaviest weight was 216 pounds and I was not happy with my body or myself confidence. This was when I decided to begin my fitness journey to a healthier and happier me. I struggled like most people do. I would work out for a few month then stop and repeat the process over and over until I decided I had to make working out a part of my life requirement and not a choice. I joined the gym, took Tae Bo classes and boot camp.
About a year into my fitness journey, I started feeling discomfort in my hips that began to affect my daily activities. Being the tough cookie that I am, I fought through the discomfort in hopes that it would at some point go away. The discomfort didn’t go away and I eventually decided to see a doctor to see what might be going on. My x-ray revealed I had Osteoarthritis. “Huh?! What?! I’m too young for this!” He mentioned that I had the hips of someone that would be in their 60s or 70s. I had all of these questions in my mind, “What am I going to do?” “Do I need to have surgery?” “Will I be able to walk normally again?” “How will this affect my fitness?” I was now faced with the fear that my diagnosis was going to threaten my fitness lifestyle forever.
I tried cortisone shots but this did not relieve any of my pain so in May 2014, I decided to go ahead and have bilateral hip replacement surgery. Yes, both hips replaced at the same time! I felt I was tough physically and mental at this stage in my life to have both hips replaced at the same time. I was determined to stay on track with my fitness journey, I did not want to have longer recovery periods.
After my surgery, I was in excruciating pain and could barely walk. I had to rely heavily on my upper body strength until I taught myself to walk again. I could no longer participate in activities that would impact my joints such as running, jogging, or hopping since it can lead to premature wear of the implants. Now faced with certain restrictions but still determined, I decided to focus on strength training.
Four weeks after surgery, I walked right into the gym with my cane. I felt all eyes were on me but I had the courage to stay focused and not let anything or anyone’s opinions get me distracted from my goals. My legs were so weak and the struggle on leg machines was very depressing. I wanted to give up. I was worried I would never regain the strength I had prior to my hip replacement. I could barely lift 20-30 lbs. I had to snap out of it and stay focused, having bilateral hips replaced would not stop my fitness journey!
Hey, now I was bionic and determined to build up my lower body strength. Today, I can lift approximately 180 lbs. or more depending on the leg machine. My lower body workouts generally consist of leg extensions, leg curls, hip adduction, kickbacks, lunges, deadlifts, calf raises and squats. My biggest challenge is doing squats. Going very low on squats is difficult for me and causes me slight pain, but everyone is different.
I hope my story can inspire others to realize their potential and motivate them to take care of their health. There were many days, I felt like giving up on my fitness goals, but I remained focused and was not going to allow bilateral hip replacement surgery stop me.
Although I have dropped down to 140 lbs., my body transformation is not done yet. The next chapter of my fitness journey is to develop better eating habits so I can lean and tone my body.
Results take years so never give up on your fitness goals if you do not see results immediately. Remember, your only competition is yourself and do not compare yourself to others.
Forget the excuses, stay focused and motivated!
For support, motivation or questions, please contact me on Instagram: Bionic_Alexis.