Recently when I saw a fresh weight loss and posted it, I was confronted with a commenter who asked me why I posted my body-weight. It is a fair question and I do not challenge her asking it, because it's been asked of me many times when I have posted my actual weight-as-a-number.
I will say that number-sharing is the norm (...or was?) in the weight loss surgery/bariatric community as a whole for as long as I have been a part of it -- and that is at least 10-12 years that I have actively read and participated in emails, groups and chats. I posted the question as a poll this morning on Facebook as well. Go answer! Come back.
Back in the hey-day of message boards we would add a line of text to our signatures (..siggies!) to signify our -
HW (Highest Weight)
SW (Start Weight or Surgery Weight)
CW (Current Weight)
GW (Goal Weight)
They would look a lot like this!
HW - 320 SW - 298 CW - 151 - GW - 150
Don't judge the comic-sans.
I would go back to *my old posts circa 2003/2004 and show you, except I was banned from my message board back then, and my posts via BethLButterfly disappeared. She posted in Comic Sans at times. Herdemise is why MM exists.
Number or weight sharing is. Was. Always will be? I would say that in general -- most individuals that have bariatric surgery are often proud of every single pound lost, and want to wear their "pounds lost" as a badge of honor. Some post ops are extraordinarily proud and not only wear the pounds lost, current weight, but will add things like "LBS GONE FOREVER!"
Losing weight is no easy feat, and after bariatric surgery -- it feels like victory. Why wouldn't someone want to own it -- even just for a while? I suppose when you've been 500, 400, 300, 250 lbs -- wearing a newly slimmed down self is quite a change and being able to put that number out there to the universe -- even just for a while is worth it.
Now, for me. This commenter wondered if my posting about my actual number was an obsession - let me clear it up here. No. I've always weighed myself.
Bariatric surgery and the life afterwards is ALL ABOUT NUMBERS. Losing pounds, inches, and sometimes counting calories, measuring food, and exercise. If you're a pre-op that doesn't want to 'hear that' - I am sorry - but it really, truly, is.
I absolutely understand that some people take these numbers to an extreme - and extremes are unhealthy at any level -- and that is how we get into situations like: needing bariatric surgery. Extreme caloric intake is unhealthy, an extreme sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy. We require balance.
It takes a very long time for some people to learn this: example ----> ME.
While I have always "weighed-in," I am also The Queen Of Avoidance, and as soon as I see the scale move up - I remove the scale. (That's magic, if I can't see my regain, no one else can. That is, until I SEE THE PHOTO EVIDENCE MYSELF AND SCREAM. *See below.)
So what has changed? I removed myself from the effects of negative influences -- changed my views on some things and ... GASP ...
I added ACCOUNTABILITY to my daily life. I now weigh myself near-daily, or at LEAST weekly. I check-in my food nearly every single day on a journal.
Is that obsessive? No. Why? Because before -- not paying attention led to weight regain. Surrounding myself by people with negative and apathetic views on life - brought me down.
Apathy causes failure.
Yes, I am fully aware I am a Bariatric Bad Girl - but maybe now you understand - BAD DOES NOT EQUATE "BAD," or breaking rules, or doing things WRONG.
It's BAD-ASS. (Help us help, BTW.)
*June 2012 - April 2013
But, recently I started paying attention - and seeing results:
My brain likes to see results, black and white, literal, on paper, in lines, to show me that if I DO X - Y WILL HAPPEN.
Because it works. (Shut up Weight Watchers.) And my little brain likes proof.
If I can see tangible results I will keep going - I will keep doing a thing if I can see a result. I do not like to work for "free - " you see. Does that make sense? Here's an example, a very simple one. I started going to the gym and doing basic exercise (...long walks on the treadmill and seated elliptical) about a month ago (...I'll check back in my Facebook check ins) and I noticed a tangible result the night before last. My leg muscles are coming back. This is enough to create a positive reaction to keep me motivated.
It's not about obsessing about a number. I don't have a goal.