Marissa and Thomas P Finding Fitness After Bariatric Surgery: One Couple's Story

“I can run up the stairs now without losing my breath—which is important for a police officer”

Crunches and Push-Ups

Marissa and Thomas Patti of Belleville gained weight together during their marriage and lost it together last year, when they both underwent bariatric surgery. Amazingly, they both weighed almost exactly the same—just over 310 pounds—pre-surgery and ended up in the low 190s afterward.

Neither Marissa, 35, a manicurist, or Thomas, 38, a police officer, had exercised before, but that changed immediately after surgery. When the gym they were going to had to close, they began a regular walking regimen: two to three miles at least five days a week, as well as sit-ups, crunches and push-ups.

The results are remarkable. “I can run up the stairs now without losing my breath—which is important for a police officer,” Thomas says.

But according to Marissa, it’s their 6-year-old son who most reminds them of their progress. “When he sees old photos of me, he says, ‘That’s a big lady, that’s not Mommy,’ and I tell him, ‘No, that once was me.’”

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.