Many people look at weight loss surgery as the end to a contentious relationship with the scale, but this isn’t always the case. Though you’ll lose weight relatively quickly after bariatric surgery, many people have too-high expectations of their daily progress. If all you are looking for to feel satisfied is a number, then slight fluctuations in your weight may make the scale more frustrating than it is encouraging.
Truth be told, the number on the scale is not the best indicator of all the progress you’re making. Yes, weight loss may be your ultimate goal, but that number says nothing about the countless ways you’re improving your health and lifestyle. When you’re thinking about how far you’ve come, it can be motivating to think less about the pounds you’re dropping and give more credence to important changes in your:
- Emotional state. If you’ve been through a long struggle with obesity, you may be well aware of the complex emotions that excess weight can bring with it. If you suffered from low self-esteem or a lack of confidence, bariatric surgery can help you become more assertive and feel at home in your own body. Tracking your thoughts and feelings in a journal can help you see the improvements in your emotional state over time.
- Physical capabilities. Excess weight can make everything more difficult, from mowing the lawn to walking up the stairs. After bariatric surgery, you’ll find that losing even a few pounds can make your every daily chore simpler to accomplish. Your exercise program and nutritious, protein-rich diet will help you gradually improve your energy level and build your strength and stamina, making it possible to face new challenges and tackle tasks with greater ease.
- Compliments. Because the day-to-day changes in your body will be so minor, it’s easy to lose sight of them, but others may take note of them much more easily. Chat with a friend you haven’t seen in a few weeks and you’re likely to hear about how much better you look and how much your energy levels have improved, even if you don’t agree with the assertion. The compliments you get from friends, family members and co-workers are clear evidence that your efforts are working, so don’t brush them off—accept them graciously and let them make you feel great.
You’ll be weighing in regularly at your bariatric center to ensure that you stay on track, so the scale at home can be more of a nuisance than a necessity—especially when you are looking at it every day! Try adopting other means of monitoring your weight loss progress. You may find that using other sources to keep yourself accountable will help you become more positive and motivated about reaching your weight loss goals.