How to Set Goals after Bariatric Surgery

Setting goals after bariatric surgery requires a little more thought than you may expect. We are all tempted to affix a goal weight to your surgery and while that is certainly an important and necessary aspiration, there are many considerations to be made outside of that final number alone.

First is the very important concept of interim or milestone goals. These are the goals that are not final, but mark a progress point toward your desired end result. Milestones are important because they are a reminder of how far you’ve come and allow you to celebrate progress. Without milestones, you risk becoming frustrated as the weeks and months go by. Milestones should be set with both a target weight and target time frame – both of which should be reasonable. In other words, losing 10 pounds in a week is not a sustainable nor safe goal to set. Goals should be measured and attainable.

Your goals should also be diverse. By this we mean that weight should not be the only goal you look to achieve. Many other types of goals are just as exciting to reach. A few examples could be a goal dress size, normalized blood levels (cholesterol, sugar, etc.) or being able to perform an activity you never could before. This might include running a 5k or taking grandkids to the zoo without getting tired. Each of these goals is another tangible sign that you have made progress and there is nothing more motivating than seeing progress.

Setting goals is exciting, but also easier said than done. Make sure to consult with your support group partners to see what worked for them and be flexible with you goals, dreams and wishes. Weight loss is linear for very few people. More often than not you will have bumps in the road but with a good plan they can be managed and your target weight will be in your reach sooner than you think. The key is not to get frustrated and roll with the punches – you can do it!

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