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What Was Your Biggest Challenge



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What are the challenges that you have encountered before and after surgery? How were you able to overcome these challenges?

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1. Figuring out what to do with the pissed off/sad feelings when food wasn't an option to self soothe with.

2. Grieving no longer liking foods I've used as a comfort crutch for a lifetime.

3. Being suprised that this is a lifelong challenge, a lifelong calorie count, a lifelong need to be mindful, a lifelong fight.

You don't "overcome" this. You learn more strategies to deal with disordered eating....every day....for the rest of your life. You learn more about how you ended up fat. You learn more about yourself.

Most newbies think of weighloss surgery in terms of....

First hurdle....getting surgery

Second hurdle..surviving post surgical diet

Third hurdle..doing extreme things to get down to goal weight as soon as possible. (terrible idea)

and at Goal....the fantasy ends.

The typical Newbie thinks goal weight is the yellow brick road happy ending with a rainbow over it. Goal Weight is arriving at the destination you will never depart from. It is THE END, the reward, Bliss, Victory, blah blah blah...

The problem with arriving at goal....is that you wake up the next day....and you're still you. LOL.

Look past goal. Goal isn't the end. You don't get fixed just because you reach goal. Your brain and eating aren't less disordered. You have to work through all sorts of weird behavior and fix the parts of you that need attention...the parts that drove you to morbid obesity.

That's the real challenge....living permanently with new eating habits, new physicality, and finding new outlets for toxic feelings that don't end up being self sabotaging.

The work is never done. I won't say it doesn't eventually get easier. But it's never done.

I will be working on this big life change....for the rest of my life.

One of the bigger challenges many people face is thinking the surgery magically fixes you (it doesn't), thinking that the surgery does the work (it doesn't, but you do), and thinking that you're cured somehow at goal.

You are just getting started.

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1 hour ago, Creekimp13 said:

1. Figuring out what to do with the pissed off/sad feelings when food wasn't an option to self soothe with.

2. Grieving no longer liking foods I've used as a comfort crutch for a lifetime.

3. Being suprised that this is a lifelong challenge, a lifelong calorie count, a lifelong need to be mindful, a lifelong fight.

You don't "overcome" this. You learn more strategies to deal with disordered eating....every day....for the rest of your life. You learn more about how you ended up fat. You learn more about yourself.

...

One of the bigger challenges many people face is thinking the surgery magically fixes you (it doesn't), thinking that the surgery does the work (it doesn't, but you do), and thinking that you're cured somehow at goal.

You are just getting started.

I appreciate this question/post. Thank you for this very real response, Creekimp13. We need more like this... straight forward and no sugar coating, so that others can make an honest, informed decision. Much appreciated!! Be well!

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One of my biggest challenges post op was developing a wheat allergy. They don't tell you that it can happen to you after surgery, but it CAN! Learning how to eat around it is insanely difficult! Eating out was already tough, but now it's next to impossible... you have to constantly ask "Is there wheat in this? And if you say no, is there flour in it, because if there is, then yes, there's wheat. I'm allergic to wheat." It gets annoying. I had no idea just how many things have wheat in them! Learning to eat different was already difficult and then I had to change things to take wheat completely out of my diet but due to wheat being in more than 90% of flours it's in pretty much everything! You have to look for either 'wheat free' or 'gluten free' most of the time to know right off the bat that there isn't any wheat in it.

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On 4/8/2021 at 12:21 PM, NovaLuna said:

One of my biggest challenges post op was developing a wheat allergy. They don't tell you that it can happen to you after surgery, but it CAN! Learning how to eat around it is insanely difficult! Eating out was already tough, but now it's next to impossible... you have to constantly ask "Is there wheat in this? And if you say no, is there flour in it, because if there is, then yes, there's wheat. I'm allergic to wheat." It gets annoying. I had no idea just how many things have wheat in them! Learning to eat different was already difficult and then I had to change things to take wheat completely out of my diet but due to wheat being in more than 90% of flours it's in pretty much everything! You have to look for either 'wheat free' or 'gluten free' most of the time to know right off the bat that there isn't any wheat in it.

I didn't know that it could happen, have you ask your doctor about that?

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21 hours ago, Lavender032 said:

liquid diet, before, and after surgery. Sucked!

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14 hours ago, Numbheart said:

I didn't know that it could happen, have you ask your doctor about that?

When I told them I 'dumped' after eating a low carb wheat bread they tested me for the allergy because you're not supposed to dump with my surgery. However, they just told me to avoid wheat and never told me that it was an actual allergy until I saw my gastroenterologist and THEY told me that I'd developed a wheat allergy due to my surgery. I wish the bariatric surgeon had MENTIONED it was an allergy and not just 'avoid wheat'. Like, really? But, apparently it happens. My gastroenterologist said I'm just lucky it wasn't Celiac Disease because WLS can cause that.

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Anyone here who has good experience with a counselor prior to the procedure? I heard it can help set you up for long-term success following surgery.

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Aside from the mental/emotional work that I am still doing my biggest challenge has been eating slowly/ chewing more. It’s harder than it sounds to train your mind to do it.

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Getting used to different portion sizes. I still have a mental “seriously?!?” When I eat dinner and I’m done after like 3 bites. Physically I’m satisfied, mentally I’m not, if that makes sense.

Mourning the loss of food as a treat or a reward. This is how I got into this mess in the first place, but doesn’t mean that I don’t still kinda wish I could deal with a bad day by ordering a huge pizza and buying an assortment of candy. Now I just have to deal with my feelings like a well adjusted adult or something? Not cool. (Joking....kinda)

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I'm pre-surgery still, but I will say the hardest thing I've done so far is go on vacation and not eat everything in site. Usually I gain 5-10 lbs on vacation, but this time, I gained only 0.4 lbs. I did it by tracking everything I ate and sharing meals with my mom (she actually did gain weight, which is unusual for her, but she's a lot thinner than me). It's hard especially because my mom is so focused on which "nice" restaurants we go to and what we're going to eat; if it was just me and my dad we'd eat from a chain salad place every meal.

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