Jacqueline R Finding Fitness after Bariatric Surgery: Jacqueline’s Story

"Surgery was the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Jacqueline Rettschlag, 44, of Kearny, was a stay-at-home mother of three who had reached 400 pounds when she decided to have bariatric surgery at Clara Maas Medical Center.

“I basically did no exercise,” she says. “I didn’t even leave the house. I began to feel I wasn’t giving my kids the life they deserved.”

Walking and Working

Post-surgery, Jacqueline slimmed down to 198 pounds. She began walking a half-hour daily, often with her two daughters.

With her new energy, she did volunteer work and also found a job at her children’s school that keeps her on her feet for four hours a day.

“That’s exercise, too,” she says. “I could’ve accomplished none of this before. Surgery was the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric surgery alters the digestive system and metabolism, but it’s not the end of the weight loss journey. It’s a first step toward a new way of life that includes healthy eating and exercising.

Naveen Ballem, MD
Naveen Ballem, MD
Often, it’s a necessary step. Many people who are severely obese (over 50 pounds overweight or with a BMI, or body mass index, over 35) find that their bodies are resistant to long-term weight loss through diet and exercise. In fact, the National Institutes of Health Experts Panel has stated that in such cases, long-term weight loss is nearly impossible by any means other than bariatric or metabolic surgery.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all exercise regimen for after surgery,” advises bariatric surgeon Naveen Ballem, MD. “Work closely with your bariatric surgeon and team to find the right exercise plan for you.”

To learn more about weight loss and bariatric surgery, visit Clara Maass Medical Center, request an appointment or call (973) 450-2393.