Handling the Anticipation of Weight Loss
To the few people out there who have been bestowed with impeccable patience, congratulations! You are able to go through life calmly awaiting the good and bad in front of you without anxiety. For the rest of us, patience is a real problem. We get so caught up in the anticipation of a looming event that we just can’t handle it. Whether the upcoming event is good or bad we want it now, we want to get it over with, we want to move on.
A lot of people experience these kinds of feelings in the weeks leading up to getting a Lap Band. The Florida sun rises and falls but you don’t notice a single day passing because all you can think about is the way your Lap Band surgery will change your life. There is no need to wait in painful anticipation. Making changes in the weeks or months leading up to your operation can set you up for greater weight loss success down the road.
“Change is not a process for the impatient.” –Barbara Reinhold
Anticipatory anxiety refers to the feeling of panic so many of us experience when we are expecting something to happen. We experience it subtly in the movie theater when the suspense builds up on screen, but more acutely in our own lives when we are anticipating changes. Whether that change is a new job, a new home or losing weight, the buildup to it is often intense.
Passionately wanting to lose weight is great. You can use this passion and desire to move forward and remain motivated as you progress through your weight loss program. However, impatience often drains motivation. When you feel impatient you feel that nothing is happening quickly enough—the weight is coming off too slowly, the weight loss surgery isn’t working fast enough, you don’t feel healthier or different overnight. These types of thoughts can become frustrating and derail your weight loss efforts if you aren’t careful.
Learning how to become more patient with yourself and with your weight loss progress can be a big help to your long term weight loss goals. Here are a few tips to help:
- Tone down unrealistic expectations: If you set yourself up with unrealistic expectations like experiencing a 180 degree change overnight then you are going to be disappointed and grow impatient with the weight loss process.
- Think of what is going on now: Audibly tell yourself what is going on in the room you’re sitting in (like the TV is on, the computer is on, or the cat is sleeping). Sometimes it is possible to ease your anxiety by asserting your focus on what is going on now.
Being impatient isn’t going to make something happen any quicker. In fact, your anticipation is only going to make time pass more slowly in your mind. Instead of growing upset over what you haven’t accomplished yet, turn your anticipation into action and take the opportunity to make the most out of the moment.