Bariatric patients shares how to stay healthy – even during a pandemic

By Nuvance Health staff  |  5/4/2020

Social isolation during the coronavirus crisis posed challenges for many, but for some people struggling with obesity, the changes that happened rapidly involving grocery shopping, business closures and non-essential work made it even harder to eat right and exercise.

“I have had a day or two when I sat around moping because I was bored,” said Brian Davis, who had weight loss surgery at Northern Dutchess Hospital in February 2019 and lost 150 pounds. At his heaviest, he weighed 380 pounds.

But the 48-year-old school custodian and volunteer firefighter from the Town of Olive, Ulster County, wouldn’t let the pandemic reverse the good habits he developed through the hospital’s weight loss surgery program.

“I take one day at a time, keep busy and make a schedule,” he said during the pandemic. That includes waking up early, going into work for a few hours, running errands for others, meal prepping – and lots and lots of house and yard work.

“Tomorrow, I know it’s going to rain. I can’t do activities, so it’s a treadmill day,” he said.

Another tip Brian learned as a bariatric patient was to cut calories on the days he watches more television than normal. Using a calorie-tracking app, he knows exactly how much he can eat to maintain his much-more-slender physique.

“What helps me the most is routine. You have to write things down and set timers on your phone to remind yourself to have your water and healthy snacks. You have to make plans for the day. You can’t just sit around,” he said.

Weight loss surgery programs involve more than the surgical procedure and post-operation follow-up. The several-month-long program prepares patients to develop life-long healthy habits through nutrition counseling, support groups and much more. For information, visit our Bariatric Surgery website.  You can also schedule a Virtual Visit with a bariatric surgeon: https://www.nuvancehealth.org/virtualvisits/