Category Archives: weight loss surgery

When you think you can’t exercise

Copy of bake bread(1)Do you ever come to the conclusion you cannot exercise?  Maybe its lack of time or energy, or too much pain or discomfort.    The vast majority of the time, the problem is not your body or your lifestyle.  The barrier to exercise is often how you are defining exercise.

If your definition is based on athletic performance, you are training to compete.  That definition includes feeling uncomfortable, pain even, with exercise, because you always need to keep that competitive edge. This definition can bring you to the conclusion you cant exercise because your body cant keep up with the training or it just does not fit in your schedule right now. Exercising for competing is not meant to be done for a lifetime.

If you are using the medias definition of exercise for weight loss, you could be stuck in “never enough” land.  This is where you need to keep doing more and more because this definition of exercise is for burning calories.  There is never a level of enough exercise. There are always more calories to be burned.  More is better is not a definition that is sustainable.

When exercise is defined by moving to feel better and functioning better in daily life, sustainability is built right into the definition.  It is based on the fact that your body gets used to what you give it.  Your body and your schedule will change, day to day, season to season, year to year. That is a given. Change is just part of life.  If you want to feel and function better your whole life, exercise needs to be flexible because it needs to be done consistently.    Adjusting what you are doing for exercise for these inevitable changes, means less times you conclude you “can’t exercise”.  The more often you can exercise, in some way, the more often you get to feel and function better.

Life is dynamic. Your body is in constant change.  When your definition of exercise  is one that gives you the freedom to adapt to these changes, you have found a definition that is sustainable for life.    If you think you can’t exercise, it might be time to re-think your definition of exercise.

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by | May 14, 2018 · 7:49 pm

“All in!” Patient Perspective

jump-1209647__480Being “all in”  separates the goals we set because we “should…” from the goals we set because we “REALLY want…!”

Lets face it, trying to do something because we should is exhausting.  Working for something we REALLY want is energizing.  Below is one patients story of what happens when you go “all in”.  Although this is a patient who decided to have weight loss surgery, the approach can be applied to any goal set because we want to enjoy life to the fullest.

First, let me start by saying that when I went to the original orientation meeting for the Weight Center, I had absolutely no intention of having surgery. I was thinking that I could lose weight with behavior modification. Heck, I’d done it before. Of course, the weight always came back, usually those pounds brought a few friends with them. To consolidate this, I did have a sleeve gastrectomy in 2014. At first, I reluctantly pursued an exercise regimen, because I was *told* that this was part of the program, not because I actually wanted to. My mindset at that time was simply this, I had gone through all the preparation and such to have the procedure done, I may as well do the work – this might be my last opportunity to be healthy (note, I did NOT say “skinny”).

I’m by no means saying that I’m perfect, or that anyone should see me as an example of what you *should* do. But I found, over time, that success becomes its best motivation. For every thing I suddenly realized I could do that I could never do before, I wanted to do more. Success is insidious and addictive. People who haven’t “been there” have no idea how empowering it can become to be able to MOVE, to do things that darn near felt like a near death experience before. Over the course of the last 2 1/2 years since my surgery, I’ve gone from being a card-carrying couch potato to working out nearly every day for an average of 45-60 minutes. I bought into the mindset that long term success requires total lifestyle change. It’s not a finite endeavor with some “end goal”, after which you can go back to your old habits. They’re what got you to the point of seeking surgery.

I’ve heard others say things like “I don’t want to deprive myself”, or “I don’t exercise, but I’m still losing weight”, and in inwardly cringe. These people just don’t seem to understand that bariatric surgery isn’t some magic pill that is going to fix what’s wrong…. it is merely a tool that can be used to aid in major changes in behavior. In order to be successful long term, you really DO have to go “all in” and exercise as well. No matter if your stomach is the size of a hard boiled egg or a Winnebago, exercise will *always* be a part of achieving a healthy body.

I went “all in”, and I still have work to do to reach my goal weight, but that is really secondary to what is truly important – being healthy. My advice, for what it’s worth is this: embrace the whole shebang, you might curse the process in the beginning, but when you see and feel your own success, you’ll be eternally grateful you did it.


Keep Moving, Be Well, Be All In!


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 | April 10, 2017 · 3:18 pm

March 2nd Post-Bariatric Surgery Support Group


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by | February 14, 2017 · 3:23 pm

February 2nd. Post Bariatric Surgery Support Group

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by | January 23, 2017 · 3:40 pm

December Post Bariatric Surgery Support Group


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by | November 14, 2016 · 8:08 pm

Post-Bariatric Surgery Support Group November


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by | October 18, 2016 · 5:34 pm

Post-Bariatric Surgery Support Group NOW at 5pm!

You asked, we listened!  Our Post- Bariatric Surgery Support Group is moving to 5pm.  Hope you can join in this great opportunity for support, sharing and learning.



by | September 20, 2016 · 5:01 pm