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Mindful Body... and other thoughts on mental eating



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So I finally got my surgery date... July 22!!! It has been a long 6 months of tests and insurance fights to get to this point and although I feel ready for the surgery, the thought of being mentally prepared still lingers. I do realize, for myself, that I am not overweight because I am just a more hungry person than a thin person... I know I am overweight because I eat when I am not physically hungry at all.. just bored , sad, happy, tired or just to reward myself for a long day at work. I wonder what will happen with those feelings when I physically cannot eat. So much of my family time has been focused around meals , I guess I am just worried that even though I am aware there will be mental challenges I wonder If I will feel sad or frustrated?!! How long will that last ? Any advice or comments or overcoming the mental anguish that is sure to follow the surgery when I can no longer eat?? Thanks everyone :)

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Hey Vegas - Just read your post. I am a week post-sleeve. I believe that pre-surgery, you and I had a great deal in common relative to our relationship (good or bad) with food.

I can tell you that I was not required to do any diet whatsoever prior to the liver reduction diet. So, I was concerned that I would be hitting a concrete wall with that part. Frankly, I did a great deal of prep work ahead of time to teach myself how to divert my thinking from what I call "the absence of food".

What ended up being the most successful strategy was allowing myself to... put ME first. NOT something easy for me. Sometimes, I admit, I was a bit cranky. Other times I just had to walk away.

The nerves for the surgery did take over some of my thoughts about food that is for sure. No matter how many times people told me not to worry or "let it go", it did not resonate.

What worked was saying "I HAVE to put myself first." "I NEED this done." "This WILL work" The negative self-talk which I call self trash talk has to stop. If left to my own devices I would beat up on myself.

There are other little pleasures in life that I worked on enjoying during that time. I know, not food. But it worked. A warm shower, hot bath, buying some wild flowers, calling a friend I had not talked to in a great deal of time or looking at other sleeved patient's before and after photos.

So what has happened to date?? On the liver reduction diet, I was fine. I did what I was told. They said "Skim", I didn't say "but I like 2 percent"...I just did it. I suspect you will too.

Surgery is serious, they need your liver reduced, you will do it. You come out of surgery. You are committed to treating yourself right. You will do it.

I stopped worrying about how I would feel "if" something happened and just went back to thinking about WHY I needed this and how I got here. You'll do fine. I promise. :)

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I can completely understand that relationship with food - I think we can compare it to a bad relationship. Even though it's hard to walk away from - the bottom line is that the damage had to stop. Unfortunately with food, you just can't banish it from your life. ( I so wish I could) I really can't say what my reaction will be to this surgery - I intend to make the right food choices and since I have used food as a crutch for so long - I have my therapist to help me work thru the things I have used food to mask.

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