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Stay Motivated with Non-Scale Victories

By Clarissa Padua | July 7, 2021

During the weight loss journey most patients focus on how much weight they want to lose to reach their goal. While the amount of weight lost is a strong motivational factor, and as much as we love seeing the number on the scale go down, non-scale goals are just as noteworthy to help keep you motivated.

Patients often tell us that they want to lose weight so they can be more active with their children, walk for long distances without shortness of breath or get on an airplane without requesting a seatbelt extender. What are the reasons that you decided to have weight loss surgery? Is it to get through your  day to day tasks more easily and not feel tired so quickly? Is it to improve your balance? Or is it to not worry while you’re shopping if the clothes will fit or that you’ll need to get a special size? Are you on lower doses of your medications or want to be able to get rid of those medications all together? Some patients often tell us that their non-scale victory is when other people notice the weight loss and compliment them. 

Knowing your non-scale goals in addition to your weight loss ones before surgery can help keep you focused for the long haul. I always tell patients to start by making a list of their non-scale goals and save it as a note in their phones and read them daily.  After weight loss surgery, check off those goals as you achieve them and celebrate your progress just as much as the weight loss. Most importantly, do not get rid of this list of goals, even after you have achieved them.  Continue to remind  yourself of your non-scale accomplishments for the added boost of motivation.

Clarissa Padua, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Hackettstown and Sparta, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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