Life after surgery

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Monitoring your progress

Not having outward signs of change can be frustrating when you have put months of hard work into changing your diet and lifestyle and have undergone surgery to help you meet your goals. It's important to remember that changes are occurring, even if you can't always see them. Living in your body every day makes it hard to detect subtle changes. In addition, your emotional connection to your weight can make it difficult to accurately judge your improvement. It may help to devise some methods of monitoring your progress so you aren't relying solely on the numbers on the scale or the reflection in the mirror.

  • Don't get too hung up on the numbers. Your weight can naturally fluctuate a few pounds during the day, so if you weigh more one day than you did the day before, don't automatically start thinking you are losing ground. Weigh yourself two to three times a week rather than every day to keep from focusing too much on the scale.
  • Be patient. You are developing long-term dietary and lifestyle changes that will lead to years of improved health. Major change doesn't occur overnight.
  • Remember that weight does not come off uniformly - you may be eager to lose weight in a certain area of your body, but try not to focus all your attention there. Your body may respond in different ways than you expect or hope it to, but that doesn't mean you aren't making progress.
  • Be open to positive feedback from others. Often, when we don't see the changes we are looking for in ourselves, it can be difficult to accept compliments from others. You may think others are just telling you what you want to hear, but outsiders are often better judges of change because their distance makes them more impartial. Learn to accept compliments gracefully and sincerely.
  • Take pictures. Photographs can be a great reference point and often give us a more accurate picture of ourselves than a reflection in a mirror. Keep a picture of yourself at your starting weight - a straight-on standing shot is best. Once a month, have someone take a picture of you in the same position. Don't wear clothing that is so loose that it completely hides your body shape.
  • Remember your goals. Aside from losing weight, what were your reasons for having Lap-Band surgery? Write down all the things you want to accomplish, whether it's running a marathon or having more energy to play with your kids. Every day, write down your improvements in these areas, no matter how small they may seem. Having a written record of your accomplishments can provide inspiration when you hit a bump in the road and start feeling discouraged.
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