As bariatric patients, we are dropping weight fast. For many, it happens so fast it can be hard to keep up, especially in the beginning. Often times we become obsessed with the scale. I remember when I first had the surgery, I had a competition with myself trying to lose more each week than the week before. It was a good motivator for me, but it ended up being very detrimental. I became so obsessed with the scale that I was not paying attention to the other exciting things that were happening.
When you have weight loss surgery, you are not just losing pounds. You are losing inches and sizes too! For many people, there are other non-scale victories such as coming off of medication, fitting into airplane seats for the first time, and so many more. When you are obsessed with the scale, it can be difficult to recognize these other exciting things. There are steps you need to take as a bariatric patient to make sure you do not get too caught up in the scale.
The first thing I would recommend that you do is to take pictures. As someone who is 6.5 years post-op, I can’t stress this enough how important it was to have pictures. Whenever I was not losing on the scale, I looked at pictures and it really helped me see the difference. Honestly, I wish I would have taken more pictures. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but I promise you that you will be so thankful you took those photos. When you are not losing on the scale, pull out an old photo and do a side-by-side with a recent picture. I am sure you are going to see a difference and it will make you feel so much better.
I also recommend that you take measurements. This is something I did not do and I regret it. I took measurements for the first few weeks but did not continue. When I did take them, it was really helpful for me. Seeing that I was losing inches made me feel better on the days the scale did not move. I truly wish I would have taken my measurements more seriously as I know I would be amazed at the difference.
Lastly, I would recommend that you journal or do something to talk through your journey. So much of this is a mental game and it is critical that you are emotionally and mentally healthy on this journey. If you are obsessing with the scale, your focus is not on the right areas. It is important that you reset and focus on other things, such as being able to do things for the first time.
There are so many factors that go into your weight each day. You could be bloated or gaining muscle, so that is why you are not seeing such a significant loss. I know it is difficult because in the beginning it will be fast, but you must be patient and remember that it will slow down the farther out you get. Try not to focus on the number on the scale. Yes, it is an indicator and something to help measure your journey, but it is NOT the entire picture. Be proud of yourself, no matter what the scale says. You are strong and have come so far! Get that number out of your head and enjoy your new, healthy lifestyle!