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All OR Nothing Exercise Mentality – Bariatric Edition

All OR Nothing Exercise Mentality (That Kills Long Term Progress)
Let’s train our brain to celebrate ALL the victories no matter how small or big they are.
It’s January 2021!! We are all revved up for the New Year. If you didn’t download my gift to you last week, you can do so HERE. It is a one-week autoimmune menu plan with a ketogenic approach. 
This week I want to talk a bit about exercise. Those of you who follow me and read my blogs know that I am a HUGE fan of exercise for mental and physical health.
I don’t ever push exercise for weight loss. I truly believe that weight loss occurs in our kitchens through the food choices we make and good physical and mental health is created through movement.
We cannot exercise our way out of a bad diet. We may have done this as teenagers (eat 1/2 a cake and hit the gym), but this is not a long term plan. To lose weight, our eating patterns need to be on point.
So let all of us strive to have a good, solid, bariatric food plan in place. What this means is a diet that is higher in protein and, lower in processed and refined carbohydrates. Let’s not be afraid of eating healthy fats. Let’s not add gobs of fats to our food but let’s not be afraid of eating the foods which already contain healthy fats like avocados, salmon, nuts, seeds, meat, yogurt, poultry, eggs, etc.
What about exercise? Do I HAVE to do it? Guess what, you GET to do it. How exciting is that? You GET to move your beautiful body in any way that makes you happy. Do you like to walk? Great! Is it your goal to jog a 5K? Fantabulous! Do you love taking Zumba classes? Dance my friend! Is spinning your thing? Spin till you sweat up a storm! Are you bendy and love Yoga? I get it, I love yoga too!
What if you start to jog and you end up hating it? Then find something new. What if yoga was great last year but this year you are just “not feeling it”? Try a Pilates class or get yourself a bike.
Don’t. Give. Up.
I find that a lot of us have an “all or nothing” exercise mentality. Either we are running marathons or eating bonbons. We are swimming across the Atlantic or sipping cocktails next to the pool. 
Why not start slowly? Why not set some easy goals to accomplish before crushing huge goals? What’s the rush? We don’t need to run a marathon tomorrow. Let’s start by walking a 3K followed by a 3-minute walk and a one minute run. Let’s build up slowly. If we jump in too fast, we are not conditioned for this type of exercise and we will 1/ dread it and 2/ get injured.
In my mind, exercise is NOT an option. It is something that NEEDS to be done daily. Truth be told, I take one to two days off each week from my exercise routine. “Realistic” for me is 5 active days a week. “Active” can be indoors or outdoors. Active for me means “sweating”.
My exercise plan may not look like your exercise plan. My plan is fluid and I try to cross-train and not do the same thing over and over again. Why? Well, boredom for one and over-use injuries for two. You can find me spinning on my bike that goes nowhere, biking the trails outside, jogging on the treadmill, jogging outdoors, taking strength classes from my basement, yoga-ing from my living room, cross country skiing outdoors, swimming in the summer… I try to never get in a “rut”. 
I want your exercise plan to make you happy and to get you excited about exercising. You can try a bit of everything to see what you like. If you hate spinning, by all means, don’t do it! Find something that you DO like. Find something that you are good at. It will build your confidence and you will want to try new things.
I want you to exercise for your MENTAL health. Exercise releases “feel-good endorphins”. This is good stuff. These endorphins make your day so much better. It’s an injection of HAPPY into your brain. The world looks better. You feel better. Guess what, those endorphins are FREE. You just need to sweat a bit.
Exercise is “Motion Lotion”. When you are physically fit and have a regular exercise routine, you HURT LESS. That’s right folks. You wake up in the morning and when your feet hit the floor, they don’t hurt as much. Your back feels better. Your neck feels better. Those knees, they feel better! It is like “juicing your joints” when you exercise. You get to send fresh blood and oxygen to your joints each time you exercise. They thank you and pain is reduced.
Use it or Lose it. It’s your choice. Inactivity breeds Inactivity.
You love yourself right? Love yourself enough to put a realistic exercise program into place. Those endorphins are waiting to get released and to make you feel happy. Exercise lifts depression. I am not telling you to stop taking your anti-depressants. I am asking you to exercise at the same time. Even if you don’t feel like it. 
You can bargain with yourself. It goes like this… I don’t feel like exercising but I will do _____ for 10 minutes. If I still don’t feel like it, I will stop. Guess what, you won’t stop but permitting yourself to stop will get you started. 
I want you to get moving. I want you to brag about it on social media. I want you to tell your friends and family about it. I want you to get stronger and feel happier. I want you to bathe your joints in “motion lotion”, and I want you to fill your beautiful brain with happy endorphins. You’ve got exactly NOTHING to lose.
So, what’s your plan? Shoot me an email and tell me all about it … and let’s make 2021 the most active year yet. 
Sheri Burke RHN

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

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