Mind Matters: Enjoy The Scenery

November 6, 2012

Mind Matters-Enjoy The Scenery

When we have weight loss surgery, we are excited to get to our goal weight. While it is good to be focused and persistent as we work to achieve our weight loss goal, it is possible to be a little too focused. Are you so fixated on the end of your weight loss journey that you don't enjoy the scenery along the way?

Life doesn't begin once we reach our weight loss goal. Many members whom I've talked to throughout the years tell me what they will do when they lose all of their weight. But, what about the here and now? Don't put your life on hold for a single day. Enjoy all your Wow Moments and daily victories. It is equal to driving from San Diego to New York with your nose in the map the entire trip. There is so much beautiful scenery in between that you will miss if you don't make each day count!  Your life is happening now, not at some point in the future when you've lost weight.

Here are some tips on how to enjoy the scenery along the way:

Log it/blog it. Keep a journal of your experiences, insights into yourself and anything that is important to you. Whether you are a pre-op, recently had surgery, or a post-op of many years, you want to remember those little things that occur every day. Time goes by so quickly, and your life deserves to be celebrated and memories recorded. It is so much fun to read back on what you've written.

Take photos. I love to take photos. It is a way to remember the big and small things in your life. Whatever is meaningful to you, take photos. Record your life through photos. If you wear a new outfit or take a walk and see a pretty flower, take a photo. If you see a beautiful sunset or a funny billboard, take a photo. If you buy special walking shoes, run a 5k organized charity walk, or run into a long-term friend you haven't seen in years, take a photo. Not only will you get to live and relive precious moments, but so will those around you.

Ready, take, action. Record your experiences, thoughts and feelings in a video diary. Take your video camera with you on walks, to parties and get-togethers, on vacation, as you cook a new favorite recipe, record your children or grandchildren playing, and talk to the camera as you reflect about your day.

Scrapbook. Scrapbooking is a fun hobby, but also a very useful one. You can create a themed scrapbook for your first year after surgery. You can fill your scrapbook with the happenings of your life, and things you want to remember with no particular theme in mind. Keep the movie ticket stub of your favorite movie, or the first time you fit comfortably in the theater seat. You can tear the size tags off clothes as you lose weight and change sizes. Include monthly photos you take as you lose weight or before/after of plastic surgery. If you want to remember it, put it in your own personal scrapbook.

Me Minutes

Select a way to journal your WLS journey, no matter what stage you're at. Spend your Me Minutes each day journaling the big/small events. It can be easy to live in the future of how our life will be when we lose weight. Yet, when we become too focused on the future, we ignore the improvements and growth we've made in the present. While it is important to work towards our goals, we need to live in the present to enjoy the progress we make. If your goal is to lose weight, don't wait to celebrate the pounds lost and the improved health you've gained. If you have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, you will miss out on today. Enjoy the amazing scenery on the road to accomplishing your goals, embrace and celebrate each day.

-Photo courtesy of El Frito

cathy wilson


Cathy Wilson, PCC, BCC, had RNY surgery in 2001 and lost 147 pounds. Cathy is a regular contributor to the OH Blog and authored the "Mind Matters" column in ObesityHelp Magazine. Cathy is a licensed pilot and loves flying. She is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).

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