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Breaking up with food and other psychological issues



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What psychological issues are you dealing with post op? Do you see a baritric psychologist?

The one surgeon I have talked to didn't talk about it and when I brought it up he washed over it. I think a lot of negative self talk and feeding my emotions got me to this point. I feel like I need to address some issues so I don't make the same mistakes post op.

However, I'm also of the school of thought you don't have to always know WHY you do things and/or it's not necessarily helpful to keep talking about your problems if it keeps you in a negative place. You often just need the tools to get past the issues and get to a healthy place.

Thoughts? Thanks for your input!

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As a wise member on here once said "you don't get over 300# without there being some sort of emotional issue".

I really don't like counseling much, but I did it post WLS. For me, it was during the losing phase, it was after I hit goal. I was SO OVER food as a comfort, friend etc by the time I had WLS I was happy to be free of that drive to overeat. Others get very very stressed by the dietary restrictions in those early months post surgery.

I found adjusting to a new body (half my former weight) and basically a new lifestyle combined with other big changes in my life to be difficult. Actually, I think the truth is that obesity and overeating "numbed" alot of my feelings. When I became more active, physically healthy etc. I suddently FELT all those old numbed feelings and it was pretty overwhelming.

You don't have to read to far on these boards to find that many people have either sought out counseling support... or from the sounds of how distressed they are during the process should consider it.

Surgeon's aren't counselors, and can't really help but i am a bit surprised that your surgeon doesn't at least acknowledge this issue as it is pretty well known.

Good news is, it is all worth it because in the end you have a better life.

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I'm a huge fan of counseling. It just so happens that my counselor has also had WLS (found out when I was prepping for mine). It has been a true blessing. Regardless if you have a counselor that had WLS, talking through and working through your demons is amazing.

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Here are a couple issues I still deal with

i still see the fat girl in the mirror

I am far more critical of my new body than I was my old body

When I pick up a size 6 pants I can't believe how "big" they look.

I hate to eat - it tastes good when i do but it is very stressful for me.

IT doesn't happen as often as it used to, but sometimes is still there....

I would do this again in a minute!!

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I haven't had surgery yet (10 days!!), but my surgeon requires an evaluation by their onsite psychologist in addition to meeting with their dietitian, and then blood work, etc. I would be wary of a surgeon who doesn't seem concerned about the mental and behavioral components of weight loss surgery. The surgery will help get the weight off, but like everyone says, they just operate on your stomach, not your brain. If you have other issues that you never deal with, you may end up gaining back the weight.

I think it's very important to address the mental components--not just dealing with emotional eating, but navigating the emotional ups and downs of the process, finding health ways of dealing with stress, working on getting rid of negative self-talk and the distorted view we have of ourselves. My therapist agrees that you don't necessarily have to figure out the "why" behind your issues, but you do have to figure out how to move past them.

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In the past I have attended OA (Overeaters Anonymous Meetings). People there of all sorts of shapes & sizes...& different eating problems. Even have online meetings. You can check it out on the OA website.

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I was attending counseling before surgery, but since surgery I have found it even more important. I have dealt with depression and anxiety for a long time, and I found they both became much worse after surgery. Like Cowgirl Jane said, overeating tends to numb other emotional issues. Without that crutch, I have been forced to face things that I wasn't prepared to face. Many things don't even have anything to do with my weight. I would encourage anyone having the surgery to plan on some counseling pre and post op.

Edited by eyhornmom

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Things I'm dealing with emotionally post-op (I'm about 7 weeks post-op):

1. I don't think i look any different even though I have lost a little weight so far and I know that I am getting a little smaller... I just don't really see it.

2. People seem to be so happy for me and they want to talk about my weight loss progress all the time, and I find it a very personal subject that I don't really enjoy talking about with people I don't know very well.

3. It's very hard to verbalize how I feel about my journey. It's a very odd experience. I feel that most people who haven't been through surgery wouldn't understand.

4. I don't like how people talk about "skinny" like that should be everyone's goal. I just want to be healthy and happy... I don't care if I'm ever skinny and I don't want to measure myself against other people's standards.

5. I had my first bad day about a week back where it was a shitty day and I would have normally stuffed my face with some greasy goodness... but I know that I can't do that now... so I do have to deal with my emotions in a different way. So far it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be in terms of that.

My husband is my biggest supporter and I share my thoughts with him a lot. I think I'm doing pretty well so far with all of this. I also have a great friend that had the surgery 6 months ago and I talk to her a lot. I have another friend that's about to have the surgery... so I try to help her out as much as possible. So I have my little group of support that I am thankful for.

I haven't been to counseling but my husband and I both agree that if either of us feel that it's becoming necessary then I will go.

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I can totally relate to what everyone is saying about suddenly having lots more emotions when you give up food as a crutch. Sometimes when it's really intense, I think I want to "take up" smoking again! Of course I don't, but the fact that I would think of consciously picking up a different addiction should give you an idea of what I (and lots of people) dealt with when it comes to food. This is why it's been so important for me to find ways of coping, whether it's walking my dog with my headphones on, writing, coloring, etc. It's hard to even commit to those coping skills, but you just have to give it your best.

I'm still struggling with "avoiding" food. I used to do the same thing pre-op because everything about food and weight upset me after I got very heavy. I've found that now that my hunger isn't overtaking me, I "forget" (hmm..) to eat and then suddenly I'm really hungry and I want to eat more than the allowed portions. Seems like a small portion version of old behavior. I generally stop myself before I'm overfull, but there's been a couple of slip ups and I've paid for it! Bottom line - I need to make an eating schedule and stick to it.

I see a therapist too, but haven't seen her in a couple of weeks b/c of surgery and driving restrictions. Can't wait to get back in the chair!

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Eating is quite STRESSFULL to me, as is the feeling of hunger. I worry about regressing sometimes. I have a hard time eating more than 500 calories. I feel guilty when I do.

I don't like the feeling of being full at all.

I see an eating disorder therapist each week to talk over my issues. It helps.

Mostly I am afraid of becoming the slave to hunger and cravings that I once was. I feel the key lies in making good food choices. Carbs make me crave more carbs. Protein satisfies me much more. I will probably always steer clear of carbs for this reason, unless couples by a large portion of Protein.

Junk food creates cravings in me and I'm very wary of it.

I will probably always track my food intake and weigh in regularly.

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