Jenifer F Finding Fitness After Bariatric Surgery: Jenifer's Story

"I have four daughters and we make exercise a fun, competitive activity."

Jenifer Felix, 44, of Bloomfield, weighed 197 pounds when she opted for bariatric surgery. A single mother of four, Jenifer works two jobs and has a hectic life. However, she makes time for exercise to maintain her 60-pound weight loss after bariatric surgery at Clara Maass Medical Center.

“Before COVID-19, I used to go to the gym, but now I use whatever I can in the house: the kitchen chair or my exercise ball,” she says. “I do push-ups, squats, and sit-ups. I have four daughters and we make exercise a fun, competitive activity. We walk to the park or jog regularly together. There’s so much you can do if you remain positive and motivated.”

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.”

Learn more about weight loss and bariatric surgery at Clara Maass Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility.