Social media can be a great tool, however it can also be a means of self-deprecating behavior depending on your interaction with it. We have discussed the fact that if you compare yourself in a negative light to others who post online, you are not doing yourself, or your self-esteem, any favors. Focus on what you are doing well and ask for help in improving what you can do better.
We have already discussed several reasons to avoid negativity comparing yourself to others on social media, yet another reason to avoid comparison is that it can result in a failure to recognize the progress you are making and the healthy changes you are accomplishing in your life.
Instead of using social media as a means to low self-esteem, use it to lift you up and learn to appreciate your worth! So, find groups or individuals, winners as I like to call them, that do just that—help you win!
Defining a Winner:
1. Winners are supportive.
They encourage people, rather than berate, judge, compare or critique them. Keep in mind that support may include honest observations and healthy suggestions.
2. Winners promote healthy post-op living.
Healthy post-op living is about eating nutritious foods, exercising on a regular basis, the continued use of bariatric vitamins, and regular physician checkups. Healthy post-op living also includes seeing a therapist, if needed.
3. Winners refrain from posting pictures of unhealthy foods that post-ops are not advised to eat by their bariatric dietician.
Posting pictures of unhealthy food is damaging for everyone involved in post-op living. The post-op sharing the unhealthy food photos is setting an unhealthy example for other post-ops. Those clicking on the recipes are moving in an unhealthy direction that will likely lead to regain.
4. Winners refrain from posting pictures of themselves engaging in the consumption of alcoholic beverages as a post-op.
Alcohol can be dangerous on many levels for post-ops. One drink affects the body as though it were three drinks. Within 90 seconds, patients can be legally intoxicated. Alcohol is full of empty calories anyways. The effects of alcohol, which include poor judgement, may mean eating unhealthy foods when the mind says, “Ah, who cares?”.
5. Winners refer people to professionals in the field rather than acting like they are professionals themselves.
Peer support is extremely important and much needed. Get suggestions for healthy living from your peers. However, beware of getting professional information about vitamins, nutrition, mental health, and physical health from peers. Educated and experienced professionals are a vital part of your ongoing health and maintaining success in healthy living.
Your health is your responsibility. This day and every day. Use social media in a personally responsible way to improve your long-term health following bariatric surgery.
When it comes to social media, like television, the books you read, and the people with whom you associate, remember that “garbage in = garbage out.” In other words, if you engage in unhealthy sources and information, you are likely to live in unhealthy ways. If you choose to stick with the winners in life, you are more likely to live like a winner!