Category Archives: Uncategorized

Post Bariatric Surgery Support Group Sept 14th

Hello all!

The September Post-Bariatric Surgery Support Group will be held on September 14th from 5-6 pm at the Hiatt Auditorium (second Thursday of the month).  I will be taking a break, and Dr Perugini will be facilitating this group.  He is actually going to make and bring a healthy snack for everyone to taste!  Our program must be the only one in the nation where the surgeon prepares and brings food to support groups!  Thank you Dr Perugini, you’re awesome!!

Please RSVP by September 8, email Narmin at Narmin.Virani@umassmemorial.org

Directions:  If you go past the Weight Center, past the cafeteria, take a left at the end of the hall, you will see the Hiatt auditorium to the right.

Warmly,

Narmin

 

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change” – Carl Rogers

 

Narmin Virani, RD, LDN

Clinical Dieititan, Weight Center
UMass Memorial Medical Center
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655

774-443-3886

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by | September 5, 2017 · 7:49 pm

Coincidence? I don’t think so!

You may have seen this news story  about a couple who met at the gym. (If you haven’t check out this inspiring story.)   Couples meet at gyms all the time.   However these newlyweds met against the odds.  She is 98 and he is 94!  Is it a coincidence that they met at the gym?  Or is there a connection between the fact that they both exercise regularly and have the energy to start a new relationship in their nineties?

“People always ask what it is that keeps us young,” Mr. Mann said. “Of course, one part of it is medical science, but the bigger part is that we live worry-free lives; we do not let anything we cannot control bother us in the least.”

“Age doesn’t mean a damn thing to me or to Gert,” he said. “We don’t see it as a barrier. We still do what we want to do in life.”

Exercise has been shown to slow the aging process in everything from our muscles and brain and even our DNA!

For example, telomeres are the “end-caps” on chromosomes.  They shorten as we age as well as with certain health concerns such as elevated body weight, smoking and type II diabetes.   Studies have shown that they do not shorten as fast in people who exercise.  This discovery explains one way exercise slows the aging process in ways we can’t see by looking in the mirror.

These regular exercisers, slowed their aging process and thus are getting more out of life!  The bride was a two term mayor of their town at 71 years old.  The groom received his bachelors degree in history at 94!

Are they superhuman?

Are they just lucky?

Nope! They are fit!

 

Keep Moving, Be well,

Janet

 

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

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by | August 15, 2017 · 8:19 pm

It’s summer! Stop trying, start playing!

Dive-in-WaterThe drive to work is easier this time of year; no school buses or crossing guards, less cars on the road and, with the exception of the seasonal road construction, it is pretty smooth and enjoyable.   I was thinking this morning how it makes up for the months of traffic headaches with ice, huge snow piles, and more vehicles in the winter months.

Life is dynamic.    The challenging times come and go. The enjoyable times come and go.  Its all normal.  It can seem like the challenges come more often and stay longer than the easy and enjoyable times though?  We are not just imagining things when life seems more challenging than enjoyable.  Our brain has a “negativity bias”. It is set up to look for what is wrong, could go wrong, or did go wrong, in order to keep us safe.  Rick Hanson puts it this way “negative thoughts are like Velcro, and positive ones are like Teflon”.

This effects how we approach exercise.  We try really hard to exercise away what is wrong with our bodies.  We try tricks to fix our low motivation.   We try to fit it into our already full schedules.  We try to push our body to be stronger, faster, better.    With all this trying to fix what is wrong we forget that movement itself has been a resource for celebrating life for all of time.  rwanda-1229760.jpg

Its summer! Time for taking it easy, resting, having fun, enjoying life a bit!   How about we stop trying with exercise and just enjoy moving?  Put on music and dance.  Play with kids.  Walk to discover a new place.

Three years ago I wrote this blog on the health benefits of play. Could it be that all this “trying” is leading us to miss out on the true benefits of moving – to enjoy life a bit more?  What would happen if we stopped trying and start playing?  Simply enjoy moving in any way, for however long, and as often as your body allows you to.  No rules, just move in a playful way.

It might be worth a try.  What we have been doing to “try” to move more has not been working. In the past 18 years the amount of people who get the recommended amounts of exercise has increased from 16% to 20%!  4% in 18 years!  No business would survive with that growth rate!  Could part of the problem be that exercise has become more about guilt, dread, pain, and fatigue rather than  relaxation, recreation, and rejuvenation?

Lets see what happens between now and Labor day if we simply think of exercise as a way to play and enjoy life more!

Enjoy Moving, Be Well!

Janet

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

 

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by | July 5, 2017 · 6:34 pm

Resilience!

resilience

Some members of my family just returned from Haiti.  When I saw this picture I was just amazed.  It is impressive enough how people walk for miles and miles balancing heavy objects on their head. This woman is doing it with one leg!!!

Years ago I taught aerobics for people with disabilities.  I will never forget the woman  with a birth defect where the only limb she was born with was a left arm. I can still picture her in her wheelchair doing aerobics like nobody’s business!

Here at the Weight Center there are countless stories of resilience.  The images in the header above are just a few.  These are snapshots of success but in between I know were many days of challenges to overcome in order to get there.  cropped-keep_moving_banner_09-301.jpg

We all have our challenges.  Some days are much harder than others.  This is not meant to be an article to make you feel guilty when you skip exercise.  Just the opposite.  It is a reminder that resiliency only comes from our challenges.

When your life is limited by your body, it is a challenge.  It is those challenges, combined with a sense of purpose, that create resiliency. And resiliency is what it takes to keep moving forward.  We don’t move forward in one straight line.  We will have days the challenges win.  Resiliency does not come over night.  It is a gradual strength that only comes from being committed to doing the best you can at meeting your challenges day by day by day.

Keep Moving, Be Well

Janet

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

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by | May 30, 2017 · 8:37 pm

Celebrating Well

walking-in-snowIf you are celebrating this month in some way – how do you celebrate well?  Meaning, how do you celebrate and still stay well – healthy, happy, balanced, active, nourished, rested, energized, calm?

The answers will vary with each person reading this.  I don’t have the answers, but you do.  What are you doing to maintain both your mental and physical well-being this season?  Take a moment to brainstorm all you or doing that works to some degree or another.  Make one section just on all the ways you move that makes you feel better.

Why?  First, because we can be so busy we don’t take time to appreciate what we are doing, only what we are not doing this season.  Second, because now you have a list of all the ways you can stay well this season.  When you start feeling out of balance, pull out the list and do one of those things to regain a sense of well-being.

That list of movements that work is a key part. When we are stressed, the body is preparing for movement.  Movement is an essential antidote to the stress response.  Sitting at the dinner table, at our desk, laying in bed, or in front of the TV stressed is only draining energy and health.  Something is definitely better than nothing here.  A quick 5-10 minute walk, stretch, dance,  a few weight lifting exercises… all great for lowering stress and regaining a sense of well-being this season.

Happy Healthy Holiday’s to all of you!  Enjoy!!!

Keep moving, be well,

Janet

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by | December 21, 2016 · 4:48 pm

21 Days to Change a Habit by Sherry Pagoto, PhD

Check out the latest article by  UMass Medical School’s Sherry Pagoto, PhD entitled:

21 Days to Change a Habit? Why it is not that simple.

Does it really only take 21 days to create a habit? This hopeful concept has sold a lot of books. But if it were true, we’d all be slim, avid exercisers, nonsmokers, and achieving huge work successes by next month. Instead, we muddle through on a much rockier road to behavior change…. Click here to read more of my latest post on US News and World Report.

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by | October 26, 2016 · 2:38 pm

Surgery Support Group

Reminder:

The surgery support group open to all UMass Weight Center surgical track patients is this Thursday 10/20/16 from 6pm to 7pm.  It is held in the Hiatt Auditorium in the UMass Medical School building.

This group is for patients before or after weight loss surgery and is held on the third thursday of each month from 6pm to 7pm.  Next dates:

November 17th, 2016

December 15th, 2016

No need to register for this group.

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by | October 18, 2016 · 5:46 pm
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