Fitness And Exercise At Any Age, Thoughts From Denise On The Fitness Journey Over 50

My Health Before And After Surgery

Many in our community know that I had surgery at the end of last year.  What I did not tell folks is the reason for the surgery.   It wasn’t that I was embarrassed or not feeling well enough to talk about it.  The reason I did not say what the surgery was for is because I wanted to see how I would personally recover.    My surgery was a complete hysterectomy. I had heard so many different versions of how well people recovered- or didn’t recover –  that I did not want to put anything out there without knowing first hand.  Now that it’s been 8 weeks since my surgery I feel comfortable talking about it from my personal experience.

First, let me tell you that I have not felt this good in at least 5 years and part of me wishes I would not have held off on the surgery as long as I did.   My issues started in my mid-40’s and became increasingly difficult to deal with and toward the end I was losing at least one day per month because the pain prevented me from doing much of anything except sit on the couch.  I, however, am not a big fan of unnecessary surgery or medication and thought I could try to “ride” it out so to speak until I was through menopause.  I agreed to take birth control pills which did help for a short time but unfortunately, the symptoms I had been dealing with continued to get worse.

So the last time I met with my doctor, I told her that I had had enough and was ready for surgery.  This decision took me 3 years to reach.  The doctor then told me that they would have to scrape the lining of my uterus which she attempted to do in the office.  Can you say fly off the table?  Since that did not work, she told me that I would have to have the surgery to check to make sure everything was okay as far as no cancer THEN have a second surgery after that.  I said absolutely not and told the doctor that I was not going under anesthesia twice.  I made the decision that I felt was best for me and the doctor scheduled a laparoscopic surgery.

Run DC April 2013 Denise Sanger
Run DC April 2013

Unfortunately, once the doctor started the surgery, it was quickly determined that I would have to have a complete hysterectomy and my lower abdomen was cut open.  The doctor found that my uterus and ovaries were loaded with fibroid tumors – which was the main culprit in how terrible I had been feeling along with looking like I was 6 months pregnant. Everything was removed.  It has been 8 weeks since that surgery and I have not felt as good as I do now in at least 5 years.

The day after surgery I was walking around the hospital floor.  I was released from the hospital after spending 2 nights and began walking around my yard the same day I got home gradually building up the distance.  I would tell my husband, come on – it’s time to take me for a walk!   Two weeks after surgery, I was back in Coach Becky’s Zumba class and in less than six weeks, I was back to running and completed my first 5K since surgery.  Next week I fly to DC to participate in my 3rd half marathon,  the Rock N Roll Half Marathon with my brother and sister-n-law.  This 3rd half marathon is a little under a year from my first half marathon April 2013 – picture above.  That’s me on the right 🙂

I truly believe that if I had not been in the shape I was before surgery, I would have had a much longer recovery time and may not even have been walking at this point 8 weeks later.  My hope is to get others to understand that your fitness must be a priority in your life because without your health, what do you have?  Make the changes you need to make right now and get healthy – yes you CAN!

To your health,


Coach Denise

Denise Sanger is a high energy business owner with over 30 years experience in the marketing area.  She has transitioned her love of fitness and marketing into helping others succeed in their own journey to health and businesses.   She founded How To Stay Fit Over 50 to provide hope and support to others by motivating them to take the first step in their fitness journey no matter what age.  Email her at or



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