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Combatting Food Addiction...



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I am 20 days away from my surgery and decided to start my pre-op diet a bit early. I have had a terrible addiction to Coca-Cola for years- stopping cold-turkey was not easy, but definately necessary. I'm struggling, trying to adapt to high Proteins, Vitamins, more Water, etc.- it's a shock to the system to all of a sudden eat healthy!

I think the biggest discovery for me has been the realization that I am addicted to eating. food has been the biggest part of my life for so long that I almost mourn the loss at this point. Rather than thinking about what I am going to eat incessantly, now I am obsessing about what I can't eat. I have all of these wonderful things in my life; family, career, friends- and food has been the thing that takes up most of my time. It's sad.

My concern (and fear) with having the sleeve surgery is that my addiction will continue. Even though I won't physically be able to eat, will I still obsess over food? Will I think about it all of the time? Will I sink into some sort of depression (I've never been depressed in my life) because I can't eat?

How can I combat this? I am so excited for my surgery. I've remained committed for the past 6 months to my appointments. I've done my homework, and I am as mentally as prepared as I can be. Any experiences or input anyone can provide would be very helpful at this point.

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Like you, I struggle with whether or not I will obsess over food post surgery. I have disordered eating - I will eat nothing and then I'll be famished and over eat. I need to get committed to eating consistently to combat that. I have been on diets like all of us, cutting out carbs, eating low fat, going on a Soup diet, you name it. I've tried it. But nothing could ever stick for long because I would feel that depriving myself of things I want isn't natural and I didn't want to make food groups evil. I want to be able to choose without struggling over my decision. That doesn't mean I want to have chocolate cake for Breakfast lunch and dinner, either. I really like fruit - not having fruit for ever isn't an option for me. Not ever having bread again isn't an option either. My Nutritionist told me that eventually I will enjoy many of the foods I won't eat for a while, but that I shouldn't worry about that because the goal is to be able to eat a piece of fruit and be full from it. Or to have a NORMAL portion of food and it will be enough. I just keep thinking about those things, and if it means that I have to think about food a lot to get my weight to a reasonable place - then I win!!!! :) Good luck to you, too!!

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My concern (and fear) with having the sleeve surgery is that my addiction will continue. Even though I won't physically be able to eat, will I still obsess over food? Will I think about it all of the time? Will I sink into some sort of depression (I've never been depressed in my life) because I can't eat?

I still think of food I can't have daily and I am almost 5 weeks out. However, I tell myself no and it's more of a little birdie annoying me and not someone screaming at me to eat. I have to make myself eat and I find eating boring now. You will have these foods again, whether they are in moderation or they are "modified" (a healthier pizza on a tortilla instead of one from pizza hut)

Another thing I do is watch food documentaries and calculate the calories, fat, carbs, Protein, etc. I used to binge and found out that I did 4,000 calories, 7,500 sodium and 210 fat grams in an hour during a binge. I must say, that definitely turned me off to the idea of eating things I'm not supposed to have. You will learn to change your life for the better and soon it will be a habit to reach for fruit instead of a cake and to always eat lean Protein first.

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i had the exact same fears pro-op in fact it kept me from having the surgery for years.Now 3 months out i find that it's not an issue. I know I'll probably face it again some time in the future but for now i'm not craving anything. i was a Desserts person and had something sweet every single day. Now i find my sense of taste has changed and sweets just dont taste very good anymore. I know it's not the same for everybody but this is something you don't do alone. Your NUT will help a lot and there should be a therapist on your doctor's team who will also help. In my doctor's team there is a surgeon, an endocrinologist, a nutritionist and a psyciatrist and i am required to see each of them at least once every two months. Also there are lots of support groups or even forums like this where you can find someone at any time of the day or night. So as long as you really want it you'll be able to do it. It;s not always easy but you can - and will. You've already mada a great start. Good luck with the surgery.

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Everyone is different, but for me - I've not craved food since having the surgery. As a matter of fact I am rarely hungry... I mean it is weird when others are eating these huge plates in front of you, but I just eat slowly and think about being skinny one day - its really helped me. To me the surgery gave me (forced me) to have will power that I never had before. Good luck!

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