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Having trouble with motivation to exercise



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I am having the biggest problem getting the motivation to exercise. I have no energy to do so. I am 3 weeks post op and have only lost 12 lbs. I feel defective and like the surgery may not work as well on me. I also get cravings like crazy on some days. Idk, I really hope I turn things around.

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I've said it here several times before: exercise is not the key to weight loss--it's all about the diet. I did essentially no exercise during my weight loss phase (aside from walking) and lost consistently. Exercise is great for strength and stamina, but it's not going to be what determines the success of your weight loss journey.

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I did very little exercise during my weight loss phase. I rode a stationary bike for 30 min 3-4 times a week until I finally had a hip replacement when I reached about 130 lbs. Now I walk 4-5 miles every day. I haven't gone back to the gym yet since Covid. Maintaining my weight so far because I follow my plan!

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I didn't really exercise until at least 6 months post sleeve, and even then struggled with energy levels. I hit goal weight at 9 months post op, and then worked on getting my fitness up and lifting weights to build muscle mass. Give it time, I literally could not manage structured exercise at 3 weeks out, I was weak from lack of food!

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You just had a major operation. Don't worry about the exercise just yet. And 12 pounds in 3 weeks is AWESOME! Why are you beating yourself up? Take time to heal and focus on the proper eating and when you're ready you'll get energy to exercise.

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12 lbs in three weeks is pretty average. It seems like people expect to lose 30 or 40 lbs the first month, but that's pretty unusual unless you're starting out at the size of "My 600 lb Life" patients. I have no medical research to back this up, but I've been hanging out on this and other boards for about six years, and from what I can tell, most average WLS patients lose somewhere in the 15-25 lb range the first month, so you're right on target to be in that range. I lost 16 lbs the first month, so I was probably where you are a week 3.

the other posters are right - weight loss is 80% diet. I exercised pretty consistently, but some people don't, and they still lose weight as long as they're following their surgeon's plan (it might speed the weight loss up a bit - but just a bit - most of your loss will come from what you're eating).

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First of all, 12 pounds in 3 weeks is right on target, so you're doing fine! Many people gain weight immediately after surgery because of all the IV fluids, which can skew your early results. Many people have a stall in the first month (commonly referred to as the "three week stall" because it often starts right around week 3, but that varies from one person to the next). If you follow your surgeon's plan, you WILL lose weight. I know it's hard to be patient, but you have to be.

What did your surgeon say about exercise? Some surgeons actually discourage strenuous exercise in the beginning because, as you've discovered, you don't have enough energy while you're eating so little. Are you walking at all? It is good to walk a little, even if it's just around the house or up and down the street, but you don't need to be going to the gym or anything at this point. Did you exercise regularly before surgery? If not, you'll probably need to start slowly.

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Thank you all for your input. I feel so much better about my results! I was concerned because my surgeon said one hour of exercise in, 5 times a week. I cannot do that at this point.

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At 3 weeks out, all the exercise i did consisted of walking (very slowly!) around the block every day. I think I was only doing 1 lap around the block (600 metres) at this time. It was pretty exhausting so I didn't try to do any more (plus I wasn't cleared to do any more by my doc).

I was cleared for all exercise at 1 month, but didn't really start anything regular (outside of walking) until 3 months.

Listen to your body. If its too tired to do much....don't. You will feel up to it eventually.

P.S. 12 lbs in 3 weeks is great!

Edited by ms.sss

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1 minute ago, Bobbifaces said:

I was concerned because my surgeon said one hour of exercise in, 5 times a week. I cannot do that at this point.

Whoa. 1 hour five times a week at 3 weeks is ALOT.

I wasn't doing this much until I was about 5 months out!

(Though there are some who I have read doing so earlier than 5 months, but not at 3 weeks...)

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32 minutes ago, ms.sss said:

Whoa. 1 hour five times a week at 3 weeks is ALOT.

I wasn't doing this much until I was about 5 months out!

(Though there are some who I have read doing so earlier than 5 months, but not at 3 weeks...)

I was just going to say that! One hour 5x a week is a lot! I do that most weeks, but then I've been exercising for a long time (like...a few years). For someone just beginning, that is A LOT. I'd say 20 minutes or so for starters is a good start. But also, you (the OP) are only three weeks out - I was still really tired at that point, so you may not even be able to do 20 minutes - unless it's just walking.

I only walked until I was about a month out - in fact, I wasn't even cleared (by my surgeon) to do anything else BUT walk until I was a month out. After the first month, I was able to start up with Water aerobics again (my exercise of choice at the time) - but then, I'd been doing water aerobics for at least a couple of years before I even had surgery...so I was used to doing it for an hour a pop.

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40 minutes ago, Bobbifaces said:

Thank you all for your input. I feel so much better about my results! I was concerned because my surgeon said one hour of exercise in, 5 times a week. I cannot do that at this point.

I have an exercise transfer addiction and there was no way I could exercise that much at 3 weeks. I was trying to get 20-30 minutes of gentle exercise (walking the dogs in my neighborhood) about 5 days per week at 3 weeks, but that was it. As you heal and lose weight, it will be much easier to exercise. Take it easy on yourself right now, and just work on moving a bit more each day. It is ok to go for a 5 minute walk as opposed to a 5 mile walk.

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9 hours ago, Bobbifaces said:

Thank you all for your input. I feel so much better about my results! I was concerned because my surgeon said one hour of exercise in, 5 times a week. I cannot do that at this point.

Oh gracious. No wonder you’re anxious & lack motivation to exercise when you’ve been told to do an hour, 5 days a week at this stage. At week 3 I was still having mid morning & mid afternoon naps. Start slowly. Find the activity & length of time you can manage & then gradually increase. Walking is best to start. Then maybe add some resistance training which you can do sitting in a chair to begin.

I’m not a exerciser but when I do walking is my go to. I have a treadmill & pop on a movie or read to reduce the tediousness. I used to love yoga too. You wouldn’t believe how much your general fitness will improve just doing yoga stretching & breathing.

Good luck. Listen to your body. It will tell you what you can & can’t do. Also congrats on your weight loss so far - you’re doing well.

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I agree with everyone and my "exercise" was physical therapy when I started because I have a bad back.

Two years out I do Pilates on Zoom with some friends about 3x a week and walk my dogs anywhere from a block to a couple of miles most days. I motivate myself by putting on my Pilates clothes and a "Zoom shirt" for work in the morning since I WFH. If I'm already dressed to go, it's easier to get myself to do it.

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On 11/24/2020 at 1:58 AM, Bobbifaces said:

I am having the biggest problem getting the motivation to exercise. I have no energy to do so. I am 3 weeks post op and have only lost 12 lbs. I feel defective and like the surgery may not work as well on me. I also get cravings like crazy on some days. Idk, I really hope I turn things around.

Rest up, you've earned it!

Your energy will return in time ♥️

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