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Celebrating Non-Scale Victories: A Journey Beyond Weight Loss

After bariatric surgery, your eyes may be glued to the scale. Weight loss can become the primary focus for many people trying to lose weight, especially those who recently underwent bariatric and metabolic surgery. 

Bariatric surgery is undoubtedly a transformative journey, but its significance extends beyond just the numbers on your scale. 

“The scale is such a small piece of your weight loss journey,” said Farah Husain, MD, a bariatric surgeon with Banner – University Medicine. “Weight loss surgery is about wellness first and foremost. It’s important to celebrate every step in your quest for wellness.”

Celebrating non-scale victories

There will be periods where the weight loss happens quickly and times when it slows down or halts. What is most important is to focus on the non-scale victories. 

A non-scale victory is an improvement in your health and well-being that comes from a life change that may otherwise go unnoticed if you’re only focused on the scale as a measure of your success. 

“The non-scale victories are often the ones that stay with you forever and can be shared with your loved ones,” Dr. Husain said.

Whether you’ve recently undergone bariatric and weight loss surgery or you’re on your own personal weight loss journey, here are eight non-scale victories to celebrate.

1. Improved health markers

One of the most significant non-scale victories is the positive changes in your overall health

“Bariatric surgery leads to improvements in diabetes and other medical conditions, even before significant weight loss,” Husain said. “It is a metabolic intervention and actually causes hormone changes that can optimize health.”

You may experience positive changes in your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar control. Losing weight can reduce your risk of developing other serious health conditions like heart disease and cancer. 

Your health care provider may even give you the green light to decrease (or stop) the use of some medications to manage health issues. 

These achievements are not just numbers on a report. They also signify a healthier life, which deserves a big celebration.

2. More energy 

Eating more nutritious food can positively affect your mood and energy levels. This makes sense because your body no longer gets bogged down trying to digest large meals.

Enjoy the thrill of accomplishing tasks without feeling tired or out of breath. More energy means more time spent with loved ones and pursuing activities you enjoy.

3. Clothing achievements

Feeling fabulous in a smaller clothing size is a fantastic non-scale victory that should never be overlooked. Your wardrobe will undergo a transformation and each time you fit into a smaller size, it’s a reason to celebrate.

4. Improved mobility, flexibility and strength

Bariatric surgery can improve joint health and reduce strain on your body, allowing you to enjoy physical activities you may have thought were impossible. With time, you can build strength and improve your fitness levels.

“We see patients doing their first 5K walk or run, hiking mountains, swimming or trying a new adventure sport,” Dr. Husain said. “Weight loss and bariatric surgery allow them to meet others with similar goals, work together and provide peer support.”

Celebrate each new milestone, like completing a longer walk or a new workout routine. This sense of empowerment and capability comes with improved mobility and strength.

5. Inner happiness

A crucial but often overlooked non-scale victory is the improvement of emotional well-being. 

As your body transforms, so can your mental health. Increased self-confidence, reduced anxiety and enhanced self-esteem can contribute to a happier, more fulfilled you.

6. Improved quality of life

This journey is about embracing life to the fullest. Celebrate all the small and significant ways your daily life has improved. 

From spending time with loved ones to fearlessly tackling new activities, every day is a chance to celebrate the steps you’ve taken to get you where you are today.

7. Non-food rewards

Many people associate rewards with food, but why not change that perspective? Treat yourself to non-food rewards for accomplishing your goals. 

Whether it’s a spa day, buying new workout clothes or a day at the beach, celebrate your successes – big or small – without relying on food as a reward. 

8. Sharing with your community of supporters

Last but not least, don’t forget to share your victories with those who support you, whether it’s your friends, family or a support group. Celebrating together can reinforce your motivation, build stronger bonds and inspire others on their journey.

“If you share with your support structures, it may encourage them to work on wellness,” Dr. Husain said. “The journey is even better if you do it together.”


Your weight loss journey extends beyond the numbers on the scale. By recognizing and embracing non-scale victories, you can maintain motivation, cultivate a positive mindset and truly appreciate the holistic impact of your life-changing decision to improve your health and well-being. 

Here’s to a journey of victories beyond measure. If you need help on your weight loss journey, don’t hesitate to talk to your health care provider or a bariatric specialist. 

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