Written by: Julia Karlstad, M.Ed., CSCS, SFN-ISSA
In the spring of 2017 I received a call from Ulysses Press asking if I’d be interested in writing a book about fitness specific to the bariatric population. Considering that I told myself and many others after the authorship of my first book in 2009, Rx Fitness for Weight Loss; The Medically Sound Program to Get Fit and Save Your Life, that I would never write another book, I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. They let me know I was one of a handful of potential authors they were seeking out and wanted me to send a sample writing along with my resume. I guess it’s not every day that you get sought out by a publisher to write a book and I have a huge passion for the bariatric patient, so I couldn’t turn it down and let’s just say “never say never”!
After negotiations with the publisher and getting a signed contract to write Bariatric Fitness, I had six short months to turn in a manuscript to my editor at Ulysses Press. A fast turnaround considering my full time job, owning and operating my business, being a mother, and a spouse.
Much like I outlined fitness programs for my clients, I outlined a personal writing agenda for my book. First an outline was created of what all would be in this book about fitness for bariatric patients. Then I made a point to dedicate at least 2 early mornings a week (usually from 4am-7am) and another 2-3 hours on the weekends writing. Slowly but surely the book started to evolve. Since this book contains several guided workouts, in conjunction with writing came photo shoots. I sought out two fitness models that weren’t your typical fitness models. These models looked like normal people that were trying to lose weight and get fit…I wanted the readers to relate to the models. In fact, one of the models, Natalie Nelson, had the gastric sleeve about two months into my book writing and she lost the majority of her weight (135 lbs to be exact) during the authorship of my book. It was inspiring and motivating to watch her go through this transformation while I was writing. I watched Natalie not only lose weight, but also witnessed her becoming fit, decreasing joint pain, improving her health, meal prepping with the best of them, and building self-confidence. Much more than weight loss was gained in her transformation! We ended up doing three different photo shoot and took over 1,500 pictures. Natalie said, “We took so many pictures my face hurt from smiling!” And smile we did as the book was finally finished nearly six more months after turning in the manuscript.
My goal in writing this book was not only to inspire the bariatric patient, but to educate many about how to exercise for weight loss. This book gives a functional approach to long term sustainable weight loss. Bariatric surgery is a highly effective way to take control of your weight., but it’s only one part of the solution. A sound exercise program combined with healthy nutrition that is individualized for your current health and fitness level are key components to long term success. Bariatric Fitness will give you the tools you need for success!