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Emotions and Eating



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So, Ive made the leap and booked surgery. I have had a 20 year struggle with my weight, up and down and I just want to be free. I am fully aware if my head hunger problem and have been quite introspective and trying to deal with this prior to having surgery. I was reading an article last night that really hit home, when it indicated that sometimes we over eat and keep ourselves fat in order to have an excuse not to step out of our comfort zone, avoiding rejection by not dating, standing on the sidelines of life from fear of failure.

My last successful "diet" I lost 100 lbs, worked out like a deamon, met a man, fell in lust, fast froward two years, had a terrible ending to the relationship, and now have gained 80 lbs back. I know I dont date because I fear being rejected all over again.

So, how do you deal after surgery, what tips and techniques have you used to bring yourself over from the fat side? How do you let go of the fears?

Thoughts?

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I too have struggled with being heavy most of my life. I have not had mine yet. I'm scheduled for my sleeve in just two days, which has me thinking the same things. I know that a lot of local hospitals that perform bariatric surgeries also hold bariatric support groups. At least they do in CA where I am. I will be trying to attend those. Talking to a therapist also sounds like a good option for me and may be very helpful to work past the initial feelings of food deprivation. Also getting down to the causes and conditions of why I eat the way I do etc...After putting ourselves through something this major, we should go to Great Lengths to ensure our own Personal Success. Good Luck to u! =)

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Congratulations both of you on your upcoming surgeries. I went the therapy route last summer as I was doing my research and going through all the hurdles leading up to my surgery. We really broke down the behavior all the way in order to find the specific triggers -- time of day, surroundings, etc. For instance a phone call with my mother would set off a certain response to go get a little something to eat, and then a little something more, etc. Or working, needing to be on my feet in front of people or on a conference call -- turned out that was a major trigger and I'd prep myself with food ahead then reward with food after. All the while beating myself up for it, of course. The therapy was a little tedious -- really, really examining the whys and wherefors when of course I felt like I had done all that already. I'm in my fifties. But this time it was different because I had made this enormous decision to have weight loss surgery. I was brutally honest with myself and in therapy, which is basically just holding up a mirror. I really looked into that mirror and admitted that I could not do this by myself. I had tried so hard for so many years and the failures were debilitating -- my self image was very low because I had a lot of evidence to support the fact that I could not succeed. As soon as I came clean with myself in this way I started feeling that happiness and empowerment of choosing myself first and my healthy future -- in deciding to have surgery I realized just how much I was showing up in my life in a new way. Absolute clarity -- I am worth all of this. I am doing it. And I have to say, it feels so good. That elation took me through the surgery, the discomfort and healing phase -- Cloud Nine because I was doing this major thing for ME. And I cannot express how marvelous it is to have the appetite dimmed -- that monster off of my back. Everything that was so hard before is easy now. I am not perfect, I'm not setting any records for weight loss but I'm fifty down in almost seven months and I feel great. I'm exercising like a different person -- I didn't know I had this in me. I choose good food and eat small amounts at appropriate intervals. Yes, I still have trouble grazing in the evenings but I'm getting there and it's not a big head struggle. It was kind of automatic. The work was there in terms of getting the new mode down -- the stages of eating and learning to really listen to the body -- but the rest was automatic. I automatically felt pride where there had been disdain before. Proud of myself for doing such a big thing, for giving myself this gift. You're doing that, too -- what a gesture of self worth. My only advice is to be patient as at times it seems like it's taking a long time or not really working, etc. We have all felt that when in reality it's all happening. I set aside a year in my head -- knowing it would be a year for my new lease on life to really be in effect. Best wishes to you!

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HERE is a thread with the same title:

http://www.bariatricpal.com/topic/309095-emotions-eating/

I was (am) more of a comfort eater. When I was down, feeling angry or bored, I would turn to food. I found myself eating often when I wasn't even hungry. I would just mindlessly consume.

This is still true for me, to a point, today. The sleeve helps to serve as a reminder, though, and gives me the kick in the rear to look at the core reasons I want to put that xxx in my mouth.

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Thanks everyone, I think that I will explore my employer health benefits to see if they will cover the cost of a therapist. There are no barriatric surgery centers in my area, so I am kind of at a loss for the support groups!

Thanks PDX man, I was reading the other post, but that one seems to be more about food triggers. I just think, when I quit smoking I chewed gum or candy when the urge to smoke hit. So now that I want to quit food, what do I do when the urge to eat hits? While therapy will help identify the triggers for my eating, will it give me hints on things to do to stop the cravings?

Edited by Sweetums

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Thanks everyone, I think that I will explore my employer health benefits to see if they will cover the cost of a therapist. There are no barriatric surgery centers in my area, so I am kind of at a loss for the support groups! Thanks PDX man, I was reading the other post, but that one seems to be more about food triggers. I just think, when I quit smoking I chewed gum or candy when the urge to smoke hit. So now that I want to quit food, what do I do when the urge to eat hits? While therapy will help identify the triggers for my eating, will it give me hints on things to do to stop the cravings?

In my experience, it is not so much of stopping the cravings, but rather how we react to them which I need to address. Life is going to continually challenge me, I cannot change that. But what can change is how I react. Identifying triggers is great, but identifying our behaviors and the motivation behind why I am putting something into my mouth has been the difference for me.

You can do things to stay away from your triggers, but it doesn't prevent you from making poor decisions. Sure, maybe you don't eat, but what can happen is cross over addictions where now the reaction is abusing alcohol, prescription medication, gambling, shopping, sex ... You pick the vice. For me, these things are merely the way I sometimes poorly react to living life in life's terms.

Edited by PdxMan

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I completely understand your struggle. I too share these same problems but for me I learned that it is a head thing as well. I had to take control of my thought processes and become stronger. This in itself is a aily ongoing struggle. I am two years post op and I still have about 30 more pounds I need to lose. Besides the head issues I also suffer from vertigo, degenerative joint disease, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome or and I also have an incisional hernia that is as big as my fist in my belly. I have a very stressful job and when it starts to get to me I grab a Protein Shake, grapes, or something that is very healthy to eat to help get me through. We have to always think smarter about our health. No one said it was going to be easy but if we made it this far we can make it even further. Good luck to you.

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