The success syndrome isn’t something that just happens to people that have gone through bariatric surgery. It’s something that happens to most everyone that’s trying to make healthy life changes. So what is the success syndrome?
The success syndrome is when you allow yourself to cheat because you’ve been so good for so long. It’s not from a planned cheat day but it can make a planned cheat day into cheat days. The success syndrome is that thought for feeling that allows you to eat more than you should or start skipping workouts or doing less at each workout.
I’ll use my own experience as an example of what I’m talking about. Typically for me I gain weight during the winter months. I know this so I try to make sure to be more aware of my exercise and what I eat. Usually this awareness and dedication keeps me on track for a good six to eight weeks and when I jump on a scale i’ll usually see some positive results.
This is when the success syndrome typically hits. Now I’m feeling good about myself and I allowed this success to undermine my dedication. It’s not intentional or completely conscious either. I’ll Allow myself to eat a cheeseburger where 3 weeks ago my dedication told me no don’t do that and I would listen to it. I’ll let my typical cheat day extend further. I may not work out as hard as I did before. All of this because I saw success on the scale and I felt that I could slack off because I had done so much already.
For people that have gone through bariatric surgery the success syndrome starts to show itself around six months post-op. Which I call the sixth month monster. It’s when you’re feeling good about the weight you’ve lost. It’s when you start feeling good about the dedication to the exercise you’ve put in. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be proud of your successes and you should celebrate them. It’s when that celebration becomes a justification for poor food choices and missed workouts that it can become a problem.
Best way to beat the success syndrome for the 6-month monster that comes with Bariatric surgery is being aware of it. Take a few days each month to food log. This will give you a chance to see where bad choices are starting to make their way into your diet. Get back to measuring the volume of your food, it will keep you honest on the amount you are eating. If you find that your workouts are becoming stale or you’re starting to slack on them, reach out and ask for help. At Phoenix Fitness we have a short 3 month program to help people get back on track.
Celebrate your success, enjoy your cheat day just don’t let that success undermine the work you’ve put in. It’s easier to read this than it is to actually do this but the more you’re aware of what you’re doing the better chance you have of Breaking the Habit undermining your path to your goals.