The experience of having weight loss surgery is like nothing…
There is a well-known quote that comparison is the thief of joy. In the world of weight loss surgery this could not be more true or apt. It’s a very natural thing for us, as humans, to compare ourselves to others around us. This is especially true when we are going through an experience like bariatric surgery which can be incredibly isolating in many ways. Please, whatever stage you are at and whatever you are hoping to achieve with bariatric surgery don’t compare your journey with anyone else’s.
The temptation to compare ourselves with people around us is everywhere. In the age of the internet when people in general tend to share more personal info relating to their weight loss journeys it becomes even easier. When you find someone who has a similar starting weight to you and is having the same surgery it seems reasonable to expect that you’re in for a similar ride and can expect similar results. The reality of it is that we all respond differently and we can’t expect to have an identical journey.
I see people asking on message boards and on social media frequently how much weight everyone lost in X week after their surgery and what was the total they had lost by a certain point. Others answer and try to be encouraging which is fantastic. It can be helpful to know you’re not alone but if someone else has done exceptionally well it’s easy to feel like you aren’t doing so great and that starts to suck the joy out of your post-op journey.
I think it’s more helpful to view your own travels through bariatric surgery like a mystery trip. You’ve booked this great holiday but you’re not quite sure where you’re going. You don’t know if you’re going to fly business class and have a smooth and almost enjoyable trip or if you ended up booking the trip in economy on the budget airline and if you’re really lucky you may have to take a bus ride for 12 hours after you get off your flight, through a hot country without air conditioning.
I hope you can see the point I’m trying to illustrate. You kind of know what might happen and where you might end up after surgery but you don’t know what it’s going to be like or the path you will follow to get there. Like my journey it might go relatively smoothly and you may end up feeling lucky you had such a good road. You could end up having some bumps in the road but even though there were some unexpected things you still got there in the end.
See the joy in your journey, however close it is to what you hoped for or expected. Don’t base your perception of your own success by comparing it to what others around you have done or achieved. You have done amazingly, regardless of if you didn’t quite make your goal or achieve the same as someone else.
If you have a quick look at Instagram and search certain hashtags you will find thousands of weight loss transformation pictures out there. These can be really helpful in times when you need a little bit of motivation. What’s even better is having photos taken throughout your journey so you can do those side by sides and see just how far you have come. Sometimes until you see it staring you in the face you might not quite believe it.
Do you find you compare your journey and results to others frequently? Do you find it motivating and inspirational or do you find it’s not always helpful? Comment below and let me know.