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I am a food addict. And Bypass isn't a cure.



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I have that fear about Soda, after my surgery. What I think is going to help me is people holding me accountable and talking about it with someone. If its here or someone close to you or even seeing a therapist of some sort. I would consider it an addiction and see if you could find someone to talk to about it. If you already are, good on you. I know that is going to be my plan if I see those trends starting/continuing after my surgery.

Thank you for sharing as it is always nice to know you are not alone in the struggles you face.

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You are right in that bypass won't cure the addiction. It never promised that. It is a tool that limits intake and creates a bit of malabsorption, but does not cure the head part. That is the work you have to do and it will probably take a good amount of therapy. You are clearly getting the endorphin/serotonin/dopamine release from the sugar. Sugar stimulates the same pleasure centers in the brain as cocaine, which is why it is so addictive in its own right. The good news is that if you can avoid all sugar for 3 solid days, the cravings will actually decrease. But you can't let it creep back in, or the cravings come back as strong as ever. The bad news is that you are going to have to work on figuring out another way to relieve stress, boredom, anxiety, or whatever else might be triggering the need for this sugar hit, and to find better coping mechanisms for dealing with the triggers.

You are not alone. Many people deal with this and are able to overcome it. Congratulations on your weight loss thus far. The tool is working for you, but it can only do so much. Best of luck and I really do encourage you to get some therapy to gain some insight and tools to help you be successful for the long term.

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WLS doesn't cure food addictions. They operate on your stomach, not your brain. A lot of WLS patients work with a therapist to deal with food addiction - might be something to look into.

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The important things are you’ve recognised you have an addiction & that weight loss surgery doesn’t cure it.

Now you can begin to move forward, work at taking control of your addiction & truely take advantage of your surgery. Whether that be with the help of a therapist or a support group (or both) is up to you.

Wishing you the best of luck.

PS - Yep, I’m with AZHiker. Sugar, real & artificial, is crack but I’ll also say so is caffeine. Now I’ll be in trouble - lol.

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I too suffer sugar addiction. It’s how I was raised. I’m also a food addict. I finally reached a point about three years ago when I realized I needed to take back control of my life. I constantly thought about food, often thinking about my next meal before I was finished with my current one. But, sugar was the worst issue. An entire large bag of skittles here, a quarter of a cake there. I was pre-diabetic with triglycerides off the chart.

I wasn’t ready for surgery yet, but knew root behavior needed to be changed. I began working with a therapist who specialized in eating disorders (I’d been diagnosed with compulsive overeating), as well as a dietician who specialized in the same. I worked with both for a year and they focused on Intuitive Eating.

I honestly feel like this, not the surgery, was the best thing I could have done for myself. Their therapy focused on listening to your body and employing behaviors that helped you do so, rather than dieting, food policing, and labeling certain foods “bad” or “off limits.” I was able to stabilize my weight, but without dieting, I wasn’t able to lose any. Unfortunately, I was often suffering chronic back pain, and couldn’t vigorously exercise to get the weight off. Enter the surgery.

There are books and workbooks on Amazon that help teach intuitive eating, and practitioners who can assist you in overcoming your addiction. It’s tough to fight this battle without overcoming those mental urges, and I do still struggle from time to time. I tried to have a very small sliver of pecan pie for thanksgiving (my favorite, and I love the one from costco you can only get at the holidays). I ended up so nauseous I had to lay down for an hour. I swore it off and told my husband to remind me of the feeling, only to find myself eyeballing it today. But one day at a time.

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9 hours ago, MaybeMeow2 said:

What I've found is my entire eating plan is focused on getting my "healthys" in so I can have a treat at the end of the day. I become obsessed. I realize I've always been that way. Eat healthy so you can indulge.

As long as you think of "eating healthy" as a chore that needs to be done, this will most likely not change. Do you like the "healthy foods" that you eat? If not find foods that are healthy enough which you truly enjoy and see if that makes a difference.

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When I'm in the middle of the nausea I swear I'll never have sugar again. But then it passes and I'm the addict again.

Does that somehow feel like "doing penance for your sins"... or something like that?

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I guess my point is... bypass didn't cure me. I do feel sick when I eat too much sugar. But it doesn't stop me from doing it. From constantly seeing how much I can have before I feel sick.

Cure you from exactly what? From having cravings? From having "bad habits"? From wanting "bad foods"? From "being the bad girl" in regards to food/exercise?

People will test their boundaries and stretch them sooner or later. Yes, I know, I know... people swear they won't do it like never again and will always be the good dieting gal/guy from now on after WLS and will never fall from grace forever and blah blah blah - but I've seen too many people falling flat down on their faces with that approach to think of it as a feasible for the majority of us. I know I'm not one of these saints, lol.

Unfortunately we don't have that much old-timers on here. Like five years out and more. What we have to say is not always to the liking of the n00bs but after a few years they might chime in with us. Seen that happen more than once.

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4 hours ago, Blue Crystal said:

I honestly feel like this, not the surgery, was the best thing I could have done for myself. Their therapy focused on listening to your body and employing behaviors that helped you do so, rather than dieting, food policing, and labeling certain foods “bad” or “off limits.”

IE helped me tremendously in the past. I can only recommend it. I can remember losing re-gain that occurred after I stopped smoking with IE without any struggles. I was impressed. That's when I seriously lost all faith in the "be stricter and try harder"-approach.

Sometimes the little self-improvement devil raises its head (biohacking anyone?), usually in stressful times when I feel a need to be "in control" and "to eat as healthy as possible and get enough (but not too much!) exercise to have the most energy possible" (like now).

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Thank you for this post. I think we all *know* that surgery isn't a cure, but merely a tool - and at the same time, many (ok... ME) go into this thinking that the tool WILL cure the addiction because of the forced restrictions. If nothing else, your post is a reminder to me that the tool is the easy part - I still have to make wise decisions and face my own personal demons.

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Surgery is just a tool. I'm a chocoholic and could still go the rest of my life with only eating chocolate and Cookies and never any food but I know it's not healthy for me and I refuse to do it. Thank goodness the WLS made my stomach so small that I can no longer sit down and eat a box of cookies in one sitting. Grazing is a problem and I have to be mindful every single day not to do it. So I don't buy any sweets or let them in the house. I have sugar-free and carb-free chocolate "treats" to satisfy my sweet tooth. Whenever i have a craving, I take a drink of a chocolate Protein Shake.

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45 minutes ago, GradyCat said:

Grazing is a problem and I have to be mindful every single day not to do it. So I don't buy any sweets or let them in the house.

I'm with you on this. I'm only 5 weeks post-op but have realised things I didn't know before my wls. I thought that I ate when I was "down" or depressed. Actually I've realised since surgery that I want to eat when I'm bored. But I've been more weepy than usual since surgery and I think that the sweet stuff must have been releasing serotonin which helped my mood [although it's hard to tell at the moment as the lockdown /situation we're in here is so depressing anyway]. I doubt that I will become addicted to exercise to fill the serotonin gap as I have never liked sport, so my only real option is not to have the trigger foods in the house at all.

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2 hours ago, Deb9386 said:

I'm with you on this. I'm only 5 weeks post-op but have realised things I didn't know before my wls. I thought that I ate when I was "down" or depressed. Actually I've realised since surgery that I want to eat when I'm bored. But I've been more weepy than usual since surgery and I think that the sweet stuff must have been releasing serotonin which helped my mood [although it's hard to tell at the moment as the lockdown /situation we're in here is so depressing anyway]. I doubt that I will become addicted to exercise to fill the serotonin gap as I have never liked sport, so my only real option is not to have the trigger foods in the house at all.

a lot of women seem to have mood swings for the first few weeks/months after WLS. Also, screwed up menstrual cycles are also common. It's supposedly due to estrogen being released - it's stored in fat cells, and with rapid weight loss, it's released. It'll stabilize after the weight loss slows down (which it starts to after the first couple of months. So that could be the causing your weepiness, too...

Edited by catwoman7

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Hi Meow! Welcome back! Sorry about your struggles. I have been struggling this month with my food addiction as well. I agree with another poster about intuitive eating. Eating intuitively is my end goal when I reach maintenance. Buy the book and read it. It is actually a good read. This is also MY reminder to go back to the principles outlined in the book and to refocus on my surgeon’s plan.

💕💕

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