News Flash!! Double Dipping Allowed!

For the last several months, my weight has been hovering and I’ve been increasingly getting more flustered and frustrated. I knew that I didn’t want to lose another year of not losing and knew that I was the only one who could make “something” happen. In my defense…..there were a few vacations, several parties and friend’s visiting thrown into the mix, but even though I’ve been pretty much staying (weightwise) at the same level, some have commented on how I look like I’ve continued to lose. Having my own issues with how I actually “look”, I have to believe that these perceptions are something other than the truth.

I do think that, while I’m not losing the pounds, I am losing inches. I really wished I better understood how someone can stay the same weight yet look smaller…I understand that it may be a redistribution of the actual weight, itself, but I’m still baffled by it all. I’m aware of what I’m eating and don’t think I’m piling on the calories and I know that, without doing some kind of exercise, I’m toast and will definitely gain at the level of what I’m now eating…..which brings me to “double dipping”…..

When I first had my surgery, I appreciated the advice that I was given to eat right, think right and move right. I know that all healtcare providers working with bariatric patients do have their best interests in mind, but it really amazes me that, for the most part, the message that is being sent is — do the surgery and make these immediate changes and all will be well. Generally, a big part of “these changes” include getting more exercise. I do understand that, in theory, if we all did what we were advised to do, some of us wouldn’t have the issues that we do. However, realistically, changes are not easy to make…..it’s not like you’re able to flip a switch and these changes suddenly happen.

My point is, if you’re considering surgery, or have just recently had surgery, and you feel that, once the surgery is done, the magic will “just” happen and the switch will automatically be thrown….I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but, for the majority, this isn’t what happens. I’ll be 4 years out from my surgery this coming fall and it’s taken me almost this long to understand the importance of exercise. For a good 3 years, I farted around with dabbling at “something”….but never stuck with it. It’s not that I didn’t want to exercise, I just didn’t know how to exercise. It really wasn’t about the physical movement, but more about the emotional/”head” commitment that I never got. Once I realized that exercise could be more beneficial than harmful to my health, I started to exercise regularly.

When I don’t either hit my water aerobics or Yoga class, I miss it. Telling me that I’d be thinking these thoughts six months ago would have been something I wouldn’t have really thought possible. What’s even more unbelievable is that I often “double dip” with my water aerobics and do two back-to-back sessions. When I’ve missed class for more than one session, I begin to feel like something’s missing in my life. I know that, when I do get to the pool on a regular basis, I feel better, sleep better and, dare I say it??, look better. Whether it be because of the additional movement to my body (and getting the blood moving) or getting my endorphines going or because I just really enjoy the friendships and commorodory that I’ve developed over the last several months…..whatever the reason, I just am better off hitting the pool on a regluar basis.

My point of this whole blog is, if you’re not in a place where you’re adding exercise into your life and everyone else around you seems to be doing “something”…….don’t beat yourself up about it. If your exercise switch has been in the “OFF” position for as many years as mine was, a directive to “get more exercise” will probably not cut it. How I got to where I got to, took much consideration and getting to a point where I couldn’t ignore not getting more exercise. My weight had gone up, I needed to lose the 33 pounds I had gained, I wasn’t losing anything even with a lower caloric intake, so I came to the realization that if I want to lose, I have to move (more). Early into the program, this may not be so critical (because you’ll lose based on lower intake), but it becomes more important as the years roll by and your surgery is further behind you.

If you’re considering incorporating some kind of program — congratulations. Thinking and planning is the first step to moving forward to “doing” it. Whatever “it” is should be your choice — what’s right and works for you, may not work for another. Sometimes finding the “it” factor is the hardest thing in the process, but, once you’ve found “it”, you’ll know it and “it” won’t be something you view as a chore or something you HAVE (vs WANT) to do. Be patient with yourself. Know that old habits don’t die quickly. Most of all, have fun — finding a movement program that you like and works for your needs is the most important factor. The only thing you have to lose by not trying is to not lose……quirky, I know, but, by not trying, you’re robbing yourself of increased happiness and a healthier life. Take this bit of wisdom from a former queen of the couch…..



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