Celebrate the Non-Scale Victories
Those of us who have had weight loss surgery can often exhibit compulsive tendencies, especially when we start seeing positive results. We get excited we find the scale tipping to the lighter side after bariatric surgery. For many people, losing weight becomes the primary focus and therefore, getting on the scale becomes a routine habit. We start equating weight loss to success. So, when we don’t see any difference in our weight, we start losing the motivation to continue with our newfound better lifestyle. And that is a problem.
The solution is to find non-scale victories and celebrate them.
What are non-scale victories (NSV)?
In the simplest terms, non-scale victories are health or lifestyle goals which are not attached to the scale. Such non-scale victories offer goals to patients that may not reflect on the scale but have a deeper impact on the life of the patient.
Non-scale victories can be many. Here are a few of them:
- Fitting into a favorite old outfit
- Tying your own shoes
- Crossing your legs without discomfort
- Painting your own toenails
- Being able to sit on the floor
- Not having to ask for a seat belt extender
- Ability to ride a roller coaster
- Able to sit in a stadium/theater seat without being cramped
- Picking out clothes that look good and NOT just those that fit
- People turning heads to make sure it’s the same person
- Ability to walk for miles without panting
- Not feeling any pain in our joints
- Maintaining healthy vitals without medications
These are just a few of our favorite NSVs. Everyone should note the small wins that they are able to enjoy as a result of this dramatic change in weight.
Why is it Important to Celebrate NSVs?
Keeps us Motivated
Weight loss is not linear. People hit weight loss plateaus. At that stage, it is easy to get demotivated and go back to the old ways. Non-scale victories act as the much-needed buffer. You may have experienced a day free from joint pains even when the scale is showing no change in weight. If this is recognized as a win and celebrated accordingly, then it helps you stay motivated and achieve the next goal.
Positive for Mental Health
Patients who attach too much importance to their weight may end up hurting their mental health in the process of losing weight. If they do not see any change in their weight for a few days, they may start feeling low. So, celebrating NSVs not only helps them improve their physical health but also their mental health.
Achieving a healthy balance/life
Sure, the positive changes you see on the scale make you happy, but they are rarely the primary motivation to lose weight. People realize they want to lose weight when they can’t fit into their favorite dress or sit on the floor to play with their children or are diagnosed with a lifestyle disease or are unable to hug the people they love. NSVs are usually the real reasons why patients opt for Bariatric surgery. Celebrating these ‘real’ victories reminds us of the real reasons, which brings us a real sense of achievement.
Every NSV is important. Before the gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery, everyone should jot down the non-scale goals they want to reach. After the surgery, as you accomplish them, return to these goals, and check them off the list.