Beyond the Scale: Personal Weight Loss Goals
Though you may be most focused on the weight loss goals you’ve established with your bariatric surgeon in Albany or Macon, they should not be the only goals you’re working towards. In reality, the reading of the scale is not always the best measure of your progress—focusing on its minor daily fluctuations can become discouraging.
Instead, it helps most to focus on the countless ways you’re improving your health and living better on the way to that far-off final weight loss goal. Your bariatric surgeon has given you the tools to lose weight, but those same tools can also help you explore exciting physical activities, find fulfillment in a healthy diet and develop a better overall sense of well-being.
These are achievements to be celebrated, and as such, you should work towards them just as you work towards your goal weight. Developing incremental goals around these positive improvements of your weight loss program can help you stay motivated and see all the good that losing weight has done for your body.
Start developing your own personal weight loss goals by thinking SMART:
- Specific. Without precise parameters, it may be tough to know when you’ve reached your goal. A goal like “I will exercise more” can be frustratingly unspecific. Instead, it’s best to lay out your plans to reach that goal in as much detail as possible—“I will walk four times after work this week and go a quarter-mile further each time” will be much more useful.
- Measurable. To gauge your progress towards your goals, you’ll need a concrete way to measure this. You can make your measurements as meticulous as you like, but each goal should have at least one element that makes it easy to quantify. You can count calories and levels of important nutrients in your healthy meals; you can record number of reps and changes in heart rate during your workouts; you can rate the amount of stress reduction you experience from deep breathing exercises on a scale of one to 10. Just be sure you also have a way to record your measurements like a notebook or spreadsheet.
- Attainable. If you won’t ever be able to feasibly reach a goal, you may be wasting your time in striving towards it. Always challenge yourself, but never overburden yourself.
- Relevant. Your goals should be in some way related to your weight loss program, even if just tangentially. Remember: your goals do not have to be directly related to the actual amount of weight you’re losing, but should reflect on the strides you’re making in your lifestyle.
- Time-Bound. Set a specific timeline for each goal you work towards or you may end up pursuing it for longer than you intended. Often, a week is the perfect amount of time for personal goals, and you can always give yourself more time if you truly need it.
Your bariatric surgeon is doing a lot more than just helping you lose weight—he’s giving you the keys to a healthier way of life, so focus on goals that help you reach it. What are some of your personal weight loss goals in Albany or Macon? Please share them in the comments below!