By Susan McDonald

I found out the other day that I have a “thigh gap.” A coworker mentioned it. I had no idea what it was and probably haven’t had one since I was a teenage lifeguard. Because of my weight loss surgery and my work on the weight machines at the gym, when I stand up, my inner thighs do not touch. That’s a “thigh gap.”

It’s just one of little ways my bariatric surgery journey brings a smile to my face. In an online support group I belong to, they call them NSVs or “non-scale victories.” It’s a great way to remind ourselves that the journey – and our attention – cannot be stuck on the numbers that pop up on the scale.

Here are other non-scale victories I’ve had in the past few months, as I hit the 116-pound loss mark.

  • I can now shop in the regular misses department and stores I’ve long coveted but that do not carry the plus sizes I needed. What joy when I walked out with a few tops from a store I’d always liked, but could never shop in!
  • On our April trip to Ireland, I not only did not have to ask for a seat belt extender from a flight attendant, but there was about 10 inches of seat belt leftover once I tightened it across my hips.
  • My shrinking derriere meant that I don’t take up all the space in front of me in a seat, so I didn’t even have to stand up at a concert recently to let people get into the row.
  • I can enjoy crossing my legs like a lady. Left over right or right over left. Under the table or desk, out in the open. Even as a passenger in the car!
  • Getting up from a beach chair no longer means a tuck and roll movement, or a groan when my knees took the burden of lifting the rest of me. I was up and down so many times on a recent beach trip that my husband commented about how easy it is for me now.

The dramatic weight loss has slowed a lot now that I’m almost seven months out of surgery. I’m learning to monitor the scale, but not feel too upset when the numbers do not move. In fact, I’ve been hovering around one number for about a week, which could easily frustrate me. Yet, when I put on a pair of dress pants for work, I noticed the once-snug thighs were quite loose and baggy. Something I’m doing is working, and my body is getting healthier even if the scale isn’t budging.

Want to Learn More?

Information seminars for weight loss surgery are offered monthly at Kent and Women & Infants hospitals. Please visit The Center for Surgical Weight Loss for more information.

To find out if you are a candidate for surgical weight loss or to speak with someone about the process call (401) 736-3731.