Give yourself time – The gastric sleeve and exercise

Give yourself time – The gastric sleeve and exercise

This is true whether you are losing weight or gaining weight. Of course bariatric surgery is the exception to the rule but even with the tool it can take months to shed the pounds, and it takes longer for you to gain the muscular and cardiovascular strength you need to be healthy.  I know that for many people it can become frustrating and demotivating when you put in the work and don’t see the changes you expect. 

Yet gaining body fat was also a slow change. You didn’t go bed at your ideal weight and woke up not being able to fit into your pants. The slow progress of gaining body fat took years to accomplish. It took a lifestyle change that had you being less active. It took a change to your diet to help promote your weight gain. Of course stress and big life changes may have helped to keep you motivated in your weight gain progress. 

exercise takes a while

It’s no different with the improvements that come with exercise. It’s discouraging to not see the change you want after a few months. The difference with weight gain is it’s mostly done behind the scenes. You really aren’t working on gaining weight, it’s just happening because of the reasons mentioned above. With the exercise you have to be more mindful of what you are doing, more goal oriented, and focused. This is what makes it feel like it takes longer to lose weight and gain muscle. 

When it comes to exercising after weight loss surgery it’s really no different. The gastric sleeve is an aggressive procedure. It can take longer to see the positive changes in muscle growth and cardiovascular strength. Even when you start working out you are going to be losing muscle mass albeit at a slower rate. If you have to lose a large amount of weight or have joint pain, then cardio work may be delayed until there is a more of a loss in weight. For many there can also be a learning curve with form, balance and becoming more confident in how to move.

New habits take time to establish

Because of these factors it could be a year after your gastric sleeve surgery before you see the changes you want. That is a point where habits have become more ingrained into your life.  From that point it’s going to take a couple years to really see the healthy changes that you are looking for. 

This is not to discourage you, instead give you a realistic view of your weight loss journey. Knowing this frees you up from feeling frustrated when you aren’t seeing the changes that you thought you should after a few months. Since habits are built through trial and error, knowing you have this time gives you the freedom that you need to build and set the new habits you need to be successful. Remember you are building a new life and that takes a lot of time. So be patient with the pace of change and be patient with yourself when it feels like nothing is happening. If you are doing the work in any way good things are happening.