There are times when I question if I am obsessed with my weight. As a weight loss surgery post-op, tracking the pounds on the scale dial was an easy way to define success in the months and years after surgery. As time has gone by, I have grown to understand that other non-weight related successes sum up more than the pounds lost on the scale.
Even with the knowledge I have gained over the years, I still weigh myself daily. The number on the scale has not lost all of its power. For me, I fear the scale creeping back over 200 pounds. I equate my weight in the 190s as being onederland. 200+ is definitely not onederland. This past spring has seen me flirting with that 2-0-0. I am obsessed with that magic number.
I also find myself not alone in this thought process. Most of my bariatric friends are 3-6 years post-op. They are at the same stage in their weight loss journey. It is the defining time when the scale can slowly creep back up. These people have truly changed their behavior and become models of weight loss success. Even after achieving success, they fear the scale. It is a constant topic of discussion (perhaps obsession) in my social circle.
Obsession is the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc. Obsession can quickly lead to jealousy of others, poor relationships, and a mentally draining state of mind. Weight loss is a topic many people obsess over not just the post-op bariatric. Knowing when you are approaching obsession and when to pull back is key to keeping oneself healthy and happy.
Focus is a form of obsession that actually benefits us. When we obsess, we mindlessly elevate our weaknesses and shortcomings. We give them power to control us. When we focus, we concentrate on what we need to do to get to where we want to be. Notice that the negative thoughts are given no power. Building on our positive strengths is given the power. This is what will help us get ourselves just a little farther down the road to success.
Do you recognize yourself in any of these situations?
|Focused when you…||Obsessed when you…|
|Follow a friend’s lead by eating a healthy diet and exercise several times this week.||Are jealous and unhappy when a friend talks about their weight loss.|
|Spend time with a successful friend knowing they are a positive influence.||Can’t tolerate a friend anymore since their success just makes you look like a failure.|
|Spend a night out discussing weight loss and fitness goals with friends and family.||Have no free time for others since weight loss forums occupy the bulk of your time.|
|Track your food intake and commit to exercise to get back on track.||Want to give up exercise because the pounds just keep adding up despite the hours at the gym.|
|Step back looking at your weight and ask friends to help you stay on track.||Think your fiends see you as a failure since you have regained weight.|
Overcoming obsession is not easy. This is mostly because we fail to recognize that we are obsessing. There is a fine line between being focused and being obsessed. To stay on the focused side of that line, you need to slow down and take time for yourself. Take an inventory of where you are and what motivates you to move forward. Make a commitment to up your motivation a level. Most importantly, follow your heart and do what it says is right for you.