Jul 21

Motivation for Pre and Post Weight Loss Surgery

I’ve been through two of my required six months of medically supervised weight loss appointments with my doctor. I originally thought these six months were going to be a waste of time and were just the insurance company’s way of making it more difficult to get the surgery.

MyFitnessPal a great tool for weight loss surgery patients

MyFitnessPal keeps track of food intake, nutritional values and calories. Also track weight loss.

So far, I’ve lost six pounds and changed some of my bad habits. The two biggest changes I made were both at the direction of my doctor. I’ve incorporated technology into my daily eating and exercise plan.

First, I use an app on my phone for journaling my calorie intake. I have found the MyFitnessPal app to be very useful. It has a wealth of food and meals already in its database. I can quickly and easily search for food or use the barcode scanner to scan in packaged foods.

Why has keeping a food journal made an impact? For me it’s knowing I have to be accountable. The numbers add up quickly. At the end of the day, seeing I stayed within my calorie budget makes me feel accomplished. Seeing I went over by even 25 calories is frustrating, and I know the overage will be reflected on the scales in the next few days. But, at least I know where I stand and can correct my intake.

Second, I wear a FitBit. I’d never heard of the before my doctor recommended I get one and wear it. She showed me hers and described how it has helped and challenged her to walk more. I decided right there, in the doctor’s office, I was going to get one.

When I got home I looked them up online. They aren’t cheap. I almost changed my mind and considered buying a cheap pedometer. Then I realized that going the cheapest and easiest route at every crossroads is a big part of why I’m obese. So, I ordered two – one for me and one for my husband.

Fit Bit for Weight Loss and Tracking Walking Exercise

The Fitbit is just one of a variety of walking trackers. It offers advantages over plain pedometers.

FitBit vs. Standard Pedometer

  • Competition: Once I set up my FitBit with my computer, I was able to find friends through Facebook who also have FitBits. Now we can compete and cheer each other on to our goals.
  • History: I can see my progress over the long term. I can quickly see I tend to be far more active on the weekend than I am during the week. The information prompted me to make changes during the weekdays to get up away from my computer more often and take every step possible.
  • Weight Tracking: Whenever I weigh myself, I enter the information into my FitBit dashboard. It is a huge motivator for me to see that every time I hit 10,000 steps for a few days in a row I lose a pound or two. I also see that when I’m a slouch and only take 4 to 5,000 steps over a few days in a row I gain a fraction of a pound. Talk about motivation.
  • Dots: The FitBit doesn’t have a digital display to show me the number of steps I’ve taken. It has a display of five dots. Each dot represents 20 percent of my daily step goal. Viewing dots instead of numbers has pushed me to go farther. When I’m out walking and hit a mental crossroads, I have to decide whether to walk farther or start heading toward home. Not knowing if I’m only 10 steps or 1,900 away from my next dot always makes me choose the longer route.
  • Food Journal: The app and dashboard offer the option to also track food. Because I’ve been using the MyFitnessPal app for a while I decided not to switch.
  • More: Depending on the model of FitBit you choose, you can also track your sleep, steps climbed and more. I’m really just getting started using my FitBit and all it has to offer.

These are just two high-tech tools that have motivated me. What high-tech and low-tech motivators do you use?



About the author

Laurie Lee Dovey

LLD is a writer, photographer, marketing and media consultant, hunter, angler, RVer, sports nut, poker player, and wife.


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