Bariatric Support Series Part 12

#12: Joy in Movement


The best exercises for you

How did the challenge of being loving, compassionate and kind to yourself work out? Did you find it easy or hard to accept yourself without criticism or judgement? I would love to hear about it so please, if you want to share the experience send me a message in the comment box below.

What is the best exercise for weight maintenance? The simple answer is—the one that you will do.

We lose weight mostly with diet.  We use exercise for maintaining the weight when it is lost. Contrary to what companies and trainers want you to believe true weight loss begins in the kitchen.  The types of food you eat, avoiding excess carbohydrates, eating foods that give you longer satiety between meals, that’s the way you lose weight.

Exercise is most important when you are at your goal weight and ready to maintain that level. Avoiding carbohydrates during weight loss is key but once you are at your goal weight then carbohydrates will likely be back in your diet and when they are, you need metabolism to burn those calories to maintain your weight.

If you want to succeed with becoming more active and getting exercise forget about the athlete version of exercise instead think about developing a habit. Striving to be like a professional athlete or Olympic competitor is not a bad thing but may not be the most realistic goal.  The habits and training that those athletes have and go through is what you should attempt to accomplish.  Those that achieve those high functioning levels of athleticism started from “scratch”, that is, it began with training and eating right and simple stretches and running and moving.

One theory says that the major hurdle that most of us have to sticking with an exercise routine is an “all or nothing” mindset.  Thinking about goals in exercise should be about small milestones, not huge steps forwards.

We are a society and as humans always want things now and quickly but the weight did not increase overnight and exercising at a high level doesn’t happen overnight.   Olympic athletes don’t just wake up one day and then go the olympics and win a gold medal; they have to work at it for years and buildup stamina and fine tune their skills to make it happen.  Eventually they are working to “win it all!”

  • Start small and start from where you are right now.
  • Give yourself an honest assessment of your physical fitness and capability.
  • Then start with stretches and walking, in addition to diet changes.
  • If you need to get to a gym, then start adding in some weight training if you’re feeling stronger.

Gradually the endurance builds and your exercise routine that began as 5-10 minutes now has become 1-2 hours and its hard to imagine only exercising 5 minutes!

The right exercise for you is the one that will give you emotional and physical fulfillment.

To really be able to stick with something in exercise you have to find something that you like or at least gives you satisfaction when you’re done.  Otherwise, exercise will become more like work and less like enjoyment and time away from the stress of everyday life, which it can be for most. This is a personal decision because only you know what will give you that level of satisfaction. Walking, water aerobics, stationary cycling, Wii Fit – you just have to find the thing that you enjoy.

  1. Do you need feedback as you go?
  2. Do you like the rush of running fast? or far?
  3. Does making a 3 pointer give you the biggest joy?

Thinking about those activities that give you satisfaction is a start and if you can’t think of something, start trying out somethings to find it out.

No better time than now to starting trying.

  • Focus on what you can do not what you can’t do right now.
  • Are you having too much pain that you need to offload?
  • Do you need to avoid gravity with pool work?
  • Maybe seeing your doctors and asking about what level activity is safest will make you feel more comfortable.
  • Assess yourself honestly and then start small.
  • Don’t be in too much of a hurry to push your activity.

Again, gradual change in human behavior will lead to long term habits.

You cannot rush changing habits since more often than not it took years to establish the bad ones!

Session Challenge

Do you have an activity you love?  Is it easy and uncomplicated and are you looking forward to doing it today and tomorrow.

  • If yes – challenge met, all you have to do is keep doing it for the next two weeks
  • If not – let’s start looking for that magic activity. The one that will become a habit that you can stay with no matter what.

This one is hard to get help with because only you know what will be fun for you but you won’t find out unless you start looking so that is your challenge.

Start researching and trying activities that are within your limitations and capabilities but will bring you satisfaction.

Then report back to me what you have tried and how it went.

Above all else, have fun with the challenge.