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Why you shouldn’t choose a weight-related goal this year

New Year – New You, right?

Absolutely! And if you’ve had a sleeve gastrectomy, it’s likely that this is going to be the case! However, how you get to this new you is what I want to talk about today. Setting goals for weight loss and success after surgery is important, but the types of goals you set is even more important. I’m going to tell you something today that not many people are saying and it has to do with the scales and your weight…

I DO NOT want you to set a “weight” goal. You heard me. No more “I want to be 80kg” or “I’m going to lose 1kg a week for the year”. Sound weird? I know, but here’s why… (and if you’d rather hear me talk about it than read on, watch the video at the end of the post)

 

 

You are not your weight.

Even though you’ve have had a sleeve gastrectomy (or are maybe thinking about having one) your sleeve isn’t you. It’s a part of your story, but it shouldn’t define you. Focusing on weight all the time and focusing on your weight loss surgery can drive you nuts! We become super focused on that part of our lives and tend to forget the other sides of ourselves.

 

Numbers can equal dieting behaviour

Thinking about a weight loss goal is harking back to dieting behaviour and we know that diets don’t work very well in the long-term. What’s more, I’m sure you’ve already tried thousands of diets and they haven’t worked very well. You have the opportunity now to make a change and to think about it from a different point of view if you’re thinking about a number you’re most likely thinking about that number as an end-point. At that goal weight all your problems will dissolve and everything will be perfect. Sadly that doesn’t always work out and what you forget about is the process – how you are going to get to that point. Instead focusing on the process and thinking about the changes as a long-term option are a much kinder way to get to where you’d like to go.

Weighing yourself every day falls into this category, too. If you’re focusing on the number on the scales you’re probably missing out on all the other things so the number doesn’t tell you. You know whether you feel good and you don’t need the scales to tell you this! You can tell if you’re getting fitter, if your clothes are getting looser, if you can touch your toes which you couldn’t do before. Weigh yourself every day you get a lot of noise and error. Instead of a useful measure you get a measure of whether you’re hydrated; whether you’ve gone to the loo that day; what clothes you’re wearing; what time of day it is and you don’t get a good picture of what’s actually happening. What’s worse is if the scales don’t tell us what we want to hear we can end up just beating ourselves up for no reason at all.

Instead, I like to encourage my clients to only weigh once a week at the most, maybe ideally even once a month or not at all! You can tell just by your clothes by the way you feel you can tell what is happening with your weight, and whether you need to adjust things.

 

What to do instead!

  • Think about all the other things that are part of you so you don’t lose yourself while you’re focusing purely on the number on the scales. This is a much more fulfilling way to think about life. Write a list to go back and check from time to time.
  • Make some goals that have absolutely nothing to do with weight or weight loss. What about your career, education or family?
  • Rather than weight goals (outcome), choose process goals. What are you going to do every day that is going to help improve your life help you make the most of your surgery help to live the best sleeved life that you can? Be specific! Try some of the goals below for a start. If you can get these habits right the weight loss will take care of itself so you don’t need to focus on the number on the scales.

 

Some sample practical process goals to try:

  • I’m going to actually sit down at the table and make time for my meals.
  • I’m going to time myself until I am consistently taking twenty to thirty minutes to eat my meals.
  • I’m going to make sure I’m drinking 1.5L of water every day so that I’m not mistaking thirst for hunger.
  • I’m going to ask myself if I’m actually hungry before I eat (so that I’m not eating for other reasons, like boredom or stress so often).
  • I’m going to include some strength training twice to three times a week to build my muscle mass and help keep the weight off in the long-term.
  • I’m going to do my best to increase my average steps for the week each week so I am moving more throughout the day.

 

I’d love to hear what you think – comment below or get in touch. Also feel free to share if you found this helpful and think others might too!

 

Images: Indiatimes.com; myproana.com

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