Weight Loss Surgery - Saying goodbye to your best friend
02-17-2009, 09:46 AM
I am considering LapBand Surgery. I have an appointment next week to "get the ball rolling". My question is this: How do you deal with the emotional side of the surgery? Food has been my constant companion for 40+ years. I am a classic emotional eater and think that the lapband will help me, but how tough will it be? If you have had the surgery, did you go though depression? Anger? This dependence I have on food is a scary thing and it will feel as if I have lost a friend. Can anyone relate to this?
02-17-2009, 10:38 AM
I haven't had weight loss surgery but it is an issue with most morbidly obese people. Food comforts us and honestly food still comforts me but the bond has weakened a lot. For me, I had to change a lot of the foods that I ate and I still enjoy food but I enjoy smaller portions and slightly better foods. I know it sounds weird but a good example was my morning snack was a salad and I really enjoyed it. Other times it may be 50 calories of dark chocolate. Although I haven't gotten rid of all my old friends, bread has always been a good friend of mine although I did change the type of bread I eat and the frequency. I will still rarely indulge in nice soft french bread or something but its just rare.
Losing weight for me has been a total life change but I still have that emotional component. It may be part of the reason I still need to lose more weight and I struggle but I'm happy with my weight and weight loss.
02-17-2009, 12:47 PM
I had gastric bypass and understand exactly how you feel...it doesn't go away Jane, surgery fixes the stomach not the brain. I went into counseling about a year before surgery (didn't think the process of approval would take a year and I'm glad it did.) I needed to find the reasons why I eat, say good bye to a lot of the old ways of dealing with life.
The common misconceptions that surgery will either make it impossible to eat emotionally any more, that being thin and eating well will make life so much better that we won't want to overeat or that we can eat whatever we want and still lose weight...are all myths.
It is a fabulous tool to start the snowball down the mountain in a different way...to HELP us with a push in the right direction but eating emotionally is a coping mechanism that needs to be dealt with in counseling, by journal ing, by finding a good hobby that comforts us in those times we are alone and the fridge's contents begin to beckon or are just in need of something to do.
People help, be it in a Weight Watchers group or in Overeaters Anonymous, in Church or in a group of friends laughing and dancing the night away or coming here on this board and asking these important questions.
Helping other people helps you...get out and give back to the community, volunteer at the food bank, go and sing with the elderly or come here and answer questions, offer support or just listen...use whatever skills you have (volnuteer lawyer? Shopping for the disabled?) to put a smile on the face of those that need a lift... it's a beautiful, enriching feeling that gives us more then a chocolate whatever ever could!
There is no easy way out. We have to learn to deal with life in a different way.
In the immortal words of Jim Henson on Sesame Street...(in my day anyway, could be Dora the Explorer now a days LOL) "Can't go over it, can't go under it, can't go around it....have to go through it!" :D
When I first came to this forum, I wasn't sure how I would cope with giving up something that had been my constant companion for 56 years. Well, some very wise person here asked me this question, "Can you afford not to give it up?" For me it was either give it up as my very best friend or be dead because of obesity. Not that wasn't very tactful was it. No, but I'm trying to be very honest here. Food still has too prominent of a place in my life. I struggle with it like anyone does with an addiction. Unfortunately, sometimes even now with my surgery, it does take a number one spot in my life. I hate it, but I have to deal with it. I know that if I eat too much sugar, that I will get the shakes, nausea and probably blow the toity apart! I know that after surgery that if I don't get good proteins and veggies in that I can harm myself with health problems. I wish I could just forget about food, but I can't. So have to learn different coping ways. Get good counseling, keep temptations out of your way, and get a good support group going. You can do it!!!!!!
02-18-2009, 06:17 PM
wow!!! another JANE!! this is exciting!!!
ok, darlin - we've all been there -and while it gets more manageable over time [because we are learning a COMPLETELY new way of coping and of living], i'd never say that it's EASY!!!!
but it IS easy to fall back into old habits, and we have to keep our eyes open, and our guards up so that we don't fall backwards. and if we DO fall back, we gotta figure out how to get back up and keep moving forwards.
but let's face it, the alternative is much much worse, as Nan pointed out.
02-18-2009, 07:47 PM
havent had the surgury, but i am a binger and used to feel like i could never do without my binges i loved doing it so much.
something that really helped me was that i asked myself:
If I didn't have food, what would I have?
I know that doesn't make much sense typed like that. What it means though is if i imagined that everything in my life is as it is now, but for some imaginary reason, there just is no food, no opportunity, no desire, not even the knowledge that i could binge if i wanted too, what would be there in place of it? what would i be like? what habits and behaviours and thoughts would i have instead?
It was sort of scary and hard to think like that, but it got me to take a closer honest look at the way i view food.
hope that helps.
02-21-2009, 10:16 PM
Jane I must say that my biggest misconception about surgery was that the desire and thoughts about food would cease. It that is not true. I had to find things to fill my life with, stay busy and redifine my life. Surgery has made me refocus and look for my true purpose in life and it is not food. One motto that we use in my support group is "We don't live to eat we eat to live". My bond with food is changing and I happy for that change because I have been consumed with food for way too long.
02-22-2009, 04:25 AM
This is, honestly, my biggest fear about having wls. I am still going forward because standing still isn't an option, but I am terrified about how I'm going to handle having my addiction taken away. I've read some scary reports about some wls patients who turn to a different addiction, alcohol or sex, for example.
Does anyone who's been through surgery have any good ideas/insight on what gets you through this? What are some healthy "real" substitutions for food for us?
02-22-2009, 11:10 AM
LAURA!!!! the truth is that most of us have had some degree of professional counseling - it might have been a doctor-run support group, or individual sessions, but unless we get some grip on what makes us munch, we will ALWAYS have serious issues.
sooo, having said that - all of us knitters/crocheters - RAISE YOUR HANDS!!!
some of us exercise [including walking the dog]. others paint [thank goodness for artists in this world!]
but i'd also hazard a guess that most of us, at some point EACH DAY, remind ourselves that we're sooo grateful to be having a second chance that we make better choices.
Knitting and books baby! and Not watching the food network.
I had to seriously curtail any activity that involves food cooking shopping going out with friends (esp those with bad habits) is hard!
I struggle every day
In fact Thanks be to Lent I'm giving up bread and all things bread inclined!
I noticed something at a meeting about 2 weeks ago
it was a room full of skinny and average women and one heavy woman
Guess who my snack habits were like?
but I noticed it and it gave me pause
I'm not an obese woman I'm going to do my darnedest not to eat like one even if its hard
02-22-2009, 04:56 PM
I love to crochet. It does help me. My biggest problem with overeating is I don't know how to relax without food. I can stay on any plan for about 2 weeks and then I frequently crash and burn because I haven't really relaxed in that time. I work more and gets tons done, but it's like finals, eventually it ends or I burn out.
I think I need to set some real goals now about how and where I eat before I have surgery. My favorite thing is to curl up in the living room with a book and some snack. I should only eat at the table. I'll think more about this.