One of the most commonly overlooked problems in bariatric surgery aftercare is that we often set the wrong or ineffective weight loss goals. Of course, all of us wish to lose the entirety of our excess weight quickly. However getting there is very delicate balance between setting realistic goals and challenging ourselves. All too often we tend to go for the home run; setting a goal at a mark that may take us a year or more to reach. Unfortunately, there are two fundamental problems with this approach:
Firstly, weight loss is not should not be the only goal of post bariatric surgery life. To be sure, with a successful procedure and a solid aftercare program, you should be able to lose a significant amount of weight. However, just as important, if not more so, is the idea of improving or eliminate diseases associated with obesity including type II diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and more. While you may not see the number that you’re hoping for on your scale, you may find that at your next doctor’s visit that your blood sugar is improved and your cholesterol has come down. That is, by any measure, a huge victory.
The second problem with our original approach to weight loss is that the time frame and amount of weight loss is just too overwhelming. It is extremely hard to stay motivated over the course of the month let alone a year or more. That’s why we need short-term weight loss goals that we can celebrate as we reach them. So, instead of looking for a 100 pound weight loss over the course of the year, split it up into the monthly weight loss goals of 10 pounds. You may find that not only will you hit those goals within your time frame, but if you do hit every one of them, you’ll have lost 120 pounds – more than you originally expected.
The point is that we have to give ourselves small victories to make sure that we can continue to fight the larger battle. If we focus only on the big picture, the progress we have made over the course of the weeks and months will go unnoticed. Go ahead and modify your expectations to make sure that you are losing weight as effectively as you can.