Fitness goals: Routines and preparation key to success – Suggestions for weight loss surgery patients

Fitness goals: Routines and preparation key to success - Suggestions for weight loss surgery patients

Life just does not cooperate with the ideal exercise and fitness model.  It would be wonderful if we all had the multiple hours to set aside that it takes for us to complete the whole process of working out.  It seems hurdle after hurdle from different aspects of life are constantly trying to prevent us from getting that workout in. Exercise and physical activity can be a very time consuming process.  This does not mean actually exercising for several hours straight, but that the entire process from getting the thought of working out to ending the workout and cleaning up takes a significant amount of time.  Patients who have had bariatric surgery: lap band, gastric sleeve, gastric bypass especially need emotional support to attain weight loss surgery goals.There are way more variables and factors in play than the physical activity itself.  Although some seem very insignificant, many of these little things end up taking more time than you think. Before you know it a few delays during the workout process and you have used up all of the time you allotted for the actual physical activity. Unfortunately, these unplanned events are often what derails an exercise program that otherwise would be very successful. Some of these factors that contribute to decreased compliance with an exercise program and its time demands include:

  1. Workout prep- commuting to workout facility or place of activity, poor timing of a large meal, changing clothes, having to put things in a locker, remembering necessary equipment( headphones, ipod, radio, sweat towel, sports equipment), using the bathroom, taking kids to childcare.
  2. The Workout/physical activity-  the activity itself takes a chunk of time depending on what the goal is.  Some feel they do not have enough time to walk, jog, run,  play sports, dance, swim,  lift weights, watersports, etc.
  3. Post workout – showering, cleaning up, changing clothes, removing items from a locker,  using the bathroom, picking up kids from childcare.  All of these things take time. 
  4. Post workout recovery/replenishment- protein shakes, eating a meal, returning to work, commuting from workout place or facility, picking up children, etc. All of these take time. 
  5. Poor planning of daily meals- Some people eat a big meal right before the only time they can work out and it deters them from exercising. 

As we can see, there are numerous factors that are capable of being the reason an individual skips a workout or skips a series of workouts. Each and every one of these factors have at one time or another been the reason an individual is unable to maintain their program.  Whether it be something as simple as not having a lock to lock up their valuables at the gym or not having enough time to commute to their exercise location, all of these things have been the cause of exercise programs failing.

So how do we make it over all of these hurdles that are constantly coming at us??? The answer is PLAN! PREPARE! Get yourself in routines that set you up for success!

Yes, we will never be able to plan for every unpredictable aspect of our lives, but if we plan each aspect as best we can and forge good, solid habits, we will dramatically increase our chance of being compliant with our program. 

We all have our own forms of “hurdles” or barriers that present in our lives. Everyone’s situation will be different, but the willingness to prepare for whatever “hurdles” come our way is a mentality that can be adopted by anyone.

Some helpful tips to prepare for the most common culprits:

1.Workout prep- plan ahead as much as possible!

  • - Plan time for: commuting to exercise location, changing clothes, using the bathroom, putting items in a locker, etc. Each step adds up and planning for each will make things run smoothly. 
  • -Plan your meals for the upcoming day around your workout time, not the other way around. Decide when you would like to exercise and map out your meals accordingly. Determine what is best for ease, convenience, and to achieve best energy level around the time you will be exercising. For example, if you determine you like exercising in the evenings,  don’t feel like you have to eat dinner at the end of the work day just because society says that’s what we do. Let YOUR routine be that you workout after work and then eat dinner. 
  • -Plan time for the actual activity and how long you plan to do it- find what fits in your schedule, whatever time you can dedicate to yourself. Whether it be morning, afternoon, or evening find what routine you like best. Each week examine your schedule and find the gaps that you can dedicate time to yourself.  Each week take a few minutes to do this and you will find yourself  in a routine you look forward to before you know it.
  • -Keep all workout equipment supplies in one gym bag and keep it in your vehicle with fresh clothes, shoes, headphones, lock, towel, and whatever other equipment you use for your activity every day. This way you will always be prepared with your stuff.  Make sure this becomes part of your daily routine to make sure this bag makes it in your car before leaving your home for the day.

2.  Reminder the day or night before-  Remind yourself  at least the evening or night before when you are going to exercise, what the activity is, and for how long. This way you will know how much additional time to allot for the preparation steps discussed above for the given day.  Set a reminder on your phone if you have to! 

3.  Post workout- plan for however much additional time you need after the workout. For whatever it may be including showering, changing clothes, commuting to/from location of activity,  eating a meal, picking up/taking children, etc.  

All of this planning will help you to stay on schedule not only with your workout plan, but also with the rest of your life.  As previously stated, things will come up, but when you have this solid foundation of routines built in you will be able to readily adapt your program as needed. These preparation steps will play a key role in keeping you on track to reaching your fitness goals.

So PLAN! PREPARE! You are on your way!  Bariatric surgery patients, be it gastric sleeve, lap-band or gastric bypass procedures need motivation to succeed after weight loss surgery to maintain weight loss.  We are hoping the above recommendations help our patients gain the full success they are looking for!  Dr Shillingford’s practice, located in South Florida is a a general and weight loss surgery practice that wishes to motivate and support patients to have a healthy success story!

American Society of Bariatric Physicians ObesityHelp making the journey together ASMBS Realize University Of Michigan American Medical Association Society of Laparpendoscopic Surgeons American Associantion Of Physicians of Indian Origin