The scale. Let’s talk about it.
It goes without saying that weight loss is an important part of Bariatric Surgery. When the weight comes off, health improves and other doors open (just think about all the non-scale victories you’ve had so far!).
Although seeing your progress on the scale feels great – you may also feel the enormous pressure to lose weight every single time you put your feet on the scale (spoiler alert: you really don’t have to!).
Watching your weight drop feels incredibly motivating. But when you hit that weight stall.…those euphoric feelings can turn into despair if you don’t keep yourself grounded. And that feeling of calmness is exactly what we hope to give you today.
In this blogpost we’re sharing 3 simple tips to stop giving the scale so much control over your feelings – whether good or bad. So that you can find peace through your own actions instead. But first, we need to dive a bit deeper into weight loss after bariatric surgery. Let’s begin!
Okay, so what is “good” weight loss after Bariatric Surgery anyway?
Can we really say something about “good” or “bad” weight loss after bariatric surgery? According to the statistics this is what you can expect to lose depending on your surgery type.
(side note: the first 12 to 18 months after bariatric surgery is called the honeymoon stage. In this time frame it’s expected to lose most of your excess weight. Excess weight loss is calculated by subtracting your ideal weight from your current weight).
|Expected excess weight loss after a Gastric Sleeve||Expected excess weight loss after a Gastric Bypass||Expected excess weight loss after a Duodenal Switch|
We firmly believe in data BUT we also acknowledge that every journey is different. And you’re not failing if you don’t meet up to these standards.
Your journey doesn’t have an expiry date. And ultimately, it’s about creating new habits that last way beyond the honeymoon stage.
With that being said, let’s move on to 3 tips to stop the scale from controlling your mood.
#1 Stop weighing yourself every day
It may be tempting to watch that number drop, ultimately, it’s not going to be helpful. Your weight fluctuates greatly on a daily/weekly basis. These fluctuations may be entirely unrelated to eating patterns alone. And here are 4 reasons for those fluctuations:
- Water retention (sodium intake, glycogen storage, etc.)
- Hormonal factors (for example, your period is due)
- Feces weight (if you didn’t have bowel movements for a couple of days – you’ll weigh more)
- Differences in muscle mass (you may be gaining muscles, while losing fat tissue)
But the most important question you might want to ask yourself is this:
WHY do I feel the need to weigh (almost) on a daily basis?
Tell us if we’re wrong here, but it probably has something to do with ‘feeling in control’ right?
Like, if you can just see that number going down, then at least you’ll have that confirmation that you’re on the right track….
And that brings us right to the second tip, so keep on reading!
#2 Focus on what you can control instead of what you can’t
You can’t control the weather, but you can control what clothes you’re going to wear to match today’s forecast.
And sometimes, this goes for your weight loss process too!
Now listen…we’re not saying that you can’t actively do something to control your weight loss process. But sometimes truly there isn’t anything left to do than focusing on helpful habits and trusting the process.
Yep, that’s right – focus on the things that you CAN control, such as:
- How much water you’re drinking
- Staying on top of your protein intake
- Making sure you’re adding enough fiber to your meals
- Your daily movements
- Making small promises to yourself
- Focusing on meal planning and meal prepping
- Celebrating your non-scale victories
These are just a few examples on how you can focus more on habits instead of weight loss alone.
#3 Look at how far you’ve come, instead of the road that’s still ahead of you
Do you feel overwhelmed when you think about how much you still have to lose until you reach your goal weight? Do your goals feel faaaaaar out of reach? And does that bring your motivation down to zero?
We get it.
When you focus on the greater goal alone, you may lose sight of what’s right in front of you.
The daily wins such as prepping tomorrow’s lunch. Or remembering your vitamins. Tracking your protein and asking for help when needed. Those are the things that matter right now.
If you are blindsided by the gap between where you’re now and where you want to be, you’ll never be able to truly enjoy your journey (it’s a harsh truth, but one that can create more peace of mind once seeing it for how it is).
Pondering over how far you still have to go is demotivating and will not get you anywhere today.
So instead, cross off your NSV’s with this checklist to brighten up your day.
Final thoughts about the scale after Bariatric Surgery
Weighing yourself in your post-op journey isn’t “bad”. The scale can be a handy tool for accountability and to keep track of your progress overall.
And obviously, it’s motivating to see the numbers go down while your clothes size drops too.
But the scale isn’t the only measurement for your post-op success.
And unfortunately, it can be too easy to obsess over the numbers.
If weighing brings you in a bad mood and crushes your motivation, remember this blogpost. And you may even feel better to put the scale away entirely (at least, until you feel less defined by your weight loss charts).
And remember – your weight loss journey is different than someone else. And that’s okay. The more you focus on yourself, the less you’ll be concerned about others. You got this!
About Your Onederland
We’re so glad you made it to the end of this post!
If you’re looking for reliable bariatric resources and want your questions about your journey answered – then you’ve found the right place.
Your Onederland is your go-to resource for all things bariatric surgery. We give you a free platform to connect, delicious recipes for your post-op journey and tons of tips to make your bariatric journey work.
- Mechanik J.I., Youdim, A. Jones, D.B., et al. Clinical practice guidelines for the perioperative nutritional, metabolic, and nonsurgical support of the bariatric patient: Cosponsored by American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, The Obesity Society, and American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013;21Suppl 1:S1-27.
- Ansari el W. & Elhag, W. (2021). Weight regain and Insufficient Weight Loss After Bariatric Surgery: Definitions, Prevalence, Mechanisms, Predictors, Prevention and Management Strategies, and Knowledge Gaps – a Scoping Review. Obesity Surgery; 31: 1755-1766.9.
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