The Wonders of Weight Loss Goals
How creating incremental goals can help you stay motivated after seeing a bariatric surgeon in Michigan
When you first met with a bariatric surgeon in Michigan, you probably discussed how much weight you hope to lose. This is one of the most important questions to ask before weight loss surgery, and your ultimate goal will remain an important part of your journey. That goal weight is what all your efforts are leading towards, the finish line at the end of a race against obesity.
However, bariatric surgery will improve your health and lifestyle in countless ways beyond just weight loss. In reality, the number on the scale is a relatively poor indicator of your progress. As your weight fluctuates week to week, paying too much attention to it can become frustrating, and this is why you need to come up with a few personal, incremental goals that keep you motivated and focused on all the good your program is doing.
Each time you visit your bariatric surgeon for a check-up, you may find yourself feeling better than before. As you lose weight, your energy levels will improve, your body will become stronger and you may even begin enjoying healthy foods that seemed so unpleasant before. If you let it, your weight loss journey can be an opportunity to build a better life outside the confines of the scale, so it helps to strive towards goals that reflect this.
You can start creating your own motivational goals by making them SMART:
The more specific your goal is, the easier it will be to reach. Spell out your goals in as much detail as possible. Instead of “eating healthier,” make a goal to “follow my diet by cooking four meals recommended by my bariatric surgeon this week”. You can plan your goals in as much depth as you like—take the healthy meal goal further by including meal plans, calorie counts, dates, times, etc.
To know if you’ve reached your goal, you’ll need a way to measure your progress toward it. Be sure that your goals are quantifiable. Rather than a goal to work out three times this week, make a goal to work out three times for 30 minutes, or a goal to hit a specific walking time or number of reps. You’ll also need a way to record your progress. Some people like a good old-fashioned journal, other people turn to Excel spreadsheets or smartphone apps.
Working towards a goal you’ll never reach will be frustrating and fruitless. Though you may be eager to set your sights high, it’s important to be able to accomplish your goals—otherwise, they won’t keep you motivated.
Again, your weight loss goals do not have to be related to your goal weight, but should be somehow related to the progress of your program. Think about the many good things that losing weight can do for your body and focus your goals on the ones most important to you. Will you reach your exercise goal this week because it improves your energy levels and reduces stress? Will you cook healthy meals this week because you enjoy exploring new nutritious foods?
You need to set a starting point and endpoint for your goals to keep yourself from chasing them forever. You don’t have to limit yourself to short-term goals, but should always define the time period in which you will pursue them. Take other responsibilities into account and remember that you can always give yourself more time if needed.
Personal goals can be a powerful motivational source after bariatric surgery. What goals have you made and reached after seeing a bariatric surgeon in Michigan? Share them in the comments below.