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Bariatric Surgery and Fitness

February 15, 2017 6:56 pm Published by 2 Comments

Okay so you shrink the size of your stomach et voila mission accomplished. You wake up a size 6 ready to take on a full marathon right? Well – I don’t think so.

I’ve been invited to be a guest speaker at a Montreal General Hospital Bariatric Support Group run by individuals who have first hand experience with bariatric surgery.  The members are a combination of pre and post op weight loss surgery patients who come together monthly and support one another and discuss the hardships and the benefits of undergoing these procedures.   I’ve been asked to speak about my personal journey of obesity, my experience with bariatric surgery, the importance of fitness for weight loss surgery patients and my lifestyle changes which involved physical activity and resulted in KEFI Fit™.   I’m excited and humbled by the fact that I’m being given a platform to share my story and in turn learn from others and their stories.  Life is about relating to one another. It’s about sharing and learning from each other.  It’s about surrounding yourself with like minded people who you’re able to connect with.

Whether you’ve had weight loss surgery or not, or whether you’ve dealt with obesity or have ever opted to lose a few pounds you can relate to the struggle. Even those who don’t have a weight issue can understand and attest to the fact that implementing physical activity to your daily routine is HARD.  It takes motivation, determination, planning, effort and discipline.  Sometimes simply finding the time to actually exercise is enough of a challenge to deter you from doing it all together.  Then we get into busy moms, single moms, working moms, dads with double shifts, homework, kids, people feeling too old and you’ve just added about a dozen of other factors to the list.  At what point do we take a step back, breathe and say – okay, it’s my turn?! Will a heart attack change your mind? Or perhaps diabetes, or a stroke, or sleep apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol? What has to happen in order to realize that your heart needs to pump and your body needs to move because that is simply what we’re created to do – we’re built to move.  We have accepted this sedentary lifestyle and society has allowed us to believe it’s normal.  It is not normal.  There is nothing normal about us walking to our car, driving to the store, looking for the closest parking spot to the door, driving back home and sitting on the couch until we’re ready to get into bed and sleep.  Believe it or not many live this way.  It took me many years to come to this realization as I was one of those people.

Make small goals for yourselves. Put your running shoes on and walk around the block. It sounds trivial but start there. Then walk around 2 blocks, then 3 until your walk becomes a jog. You’ve got a gym membership? Tell yourself that you will go for 15 min and walk on the treadmill or simply get on the bike. You’ve heard about KEFI Fit™ or ANY class for that matter and you’re curious … try it out. Tell yourself that you will go ONCE.  THAT in itself is a small goal.  Once you achieve a bunch of small goals you’ll be surprised how much closer you get to a big one.  The first step is always the hardest.  Once you start and get rolling you’re unstoppable.  I went from putting a dent on my couch, eating myself to a slow death to running a 5K run (now training for a 10K) and teaching, managing and operating a fitness program.  There is nothing extraordinary about me. I have done nothing that anyone else can’t do.  We are all stronger than we think. The only thing I did – was I stopped listening to voices in my head that kept telling me I CAN’T.  All it takes is one person to believe in you and you can change the world.  If you don’t have that person, then BECOME that person and make others believe in themselves.

“There is no one giant step that does it, it’s a lot of little steps.” – Peter A. Cohen




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    Catherine Frangoulis says:

    You are a true inspiration. I came to one of your classes at le Sablon and I wish it was in Ville St Laurent and started earlier . I enjoyed the class and you know how to bring the energy and fun into the class. I work for the MUHC and it would be awesome if we can get a class onsite at lunchtime. Keep up the great work Dina, you should be proud xo

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      Dina Bastounis says:

      Hi Catherine,

      I just got home and settled in with a cup of tea and checked my email to come across this beautiful comment. I can’t express how much this means to me and how grateful I am to people like you because the truth is – even the biggest of motivators sometimes need a little lifting and you did that for me. THANK YOU! As my team expands so will my classes and locations. With respect to MUHC I am ready when you are! Please send me an email or let me know who to contact to set this up. I can’t think of a better way to break up the monotony of the day or lift your mood than a mid day KEFI Fit™ class! Thank you again for your kinds words and I look forward to seeing you again!

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