Baby Steps to Lifestyle Modification after Weight Loss Surgery: "How to Start Your Journey"
By Nives, Certified Physician Assistant and Lifestyle Weight Management Coach
- If you have a busy work schedule and can’t fit in exercise before or after work, increase your activities at work such as taking the stairs, walking during your lunch break, parking the car further, and using the restroom that is farthest away from your desk.
- For a busy home/family schedule, consider getting the family involved with exercises – such as going to the park, Xbox/Wii games, or heading to the fitness center together.
- Make sure the fitness facility you go to is on the way to work or home, and pack a set of workout clothes in your car for convenience. One patient even mentioned that she wears her workout clothes to sleep to inspire her to exercise first thing in the morning.
- If you have kids and can’t find a babysitter, you can trade with your neighbors to watch the kids while you take turns going to the fitness center. Other options included ordering DVDs online to exercise at home, such as www.collagevideo.com.
- Not everyone can afford to join the gym or hire a trainer. To overcome that challenge, you can look for a virtual trainer like sharecare.com. The American Heart Association also has a website with good information about walking trails in your area: http://startwalkingnow.org/.
- Always remember to set realistic and short-term goals to avoid burnout or losing motivation.
- We are all driven by the reward system in our brain. A suggestion was given to create a To-Do list for exercise and measuring food before consumption. Once you’ve checked off all the duties on your list, you can then reward yourself with watching your favorite TV shows, or go clothes shopping if you reach your monthly goal weight.
- For those of you who work in a candy/baked goods/doughnuts surrounded environment (yes! That is a hostile work environment!), you can imagine that someone might have sneezed or spit on the food while they are talking in front of the goodies, or even think of bugs crawling around it! Another way to resist temptation is to remind yourself of the types of medical problems and medications you were taking before surgery and it is not worth it to sabotage yourself for all the hard work you have put in.
- If you have physical injuries, we have ideas and suggestions to help you with exercise programs. For lower body injuries such as hips/back/knee issues, we have a handout for upper body exercise to keep you in shape. If you have shoulder injuries, you can still walk to keep burning calories!