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What do you do instead of eating?!



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I’m coming to really really really realise that my whole life used to revolve around food and now I am in limbo. Just 6 weeks post op.
The other day I went to a flower festival - all I could do was watch people eating and want to eat all the yummy BBQ, burgers, crepes, etc etc. I realised that I have never been to a festival or park event without going primarily for the food on offer.
Then I’m getting to realise that I never really go anywhere that doesn’t have a food element. I get slushies and chocolate and crisps etc if I go and fill the car up or stop at the station on the way from A to B just for food and no petrol.
Meeting friends - all about eating. Maybe not for them, but for me. Staying home is take out.

Has anyone ever found something like that out about themselves? Anyone else “lost”? I have not idea what I’m supposed to do any more - and I’m realising why I’m so frustrated … all I ever used to do is eat or look forward to eating. It’s sad. I’m sad.

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I was like that at the beginning too. My thing was constantly watching people baking cakes and dreams of baking cakes. It will get better for you.

Now, I am more concerned with trying to find the healthiest thing I can eat. I'm on a broccoli kick now and can't get enough of it. As for going out to eat with friends I have been avoiding that cause I'm being a scaredy cat thinking I might get sick from the food and dump or something.

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Changing your thinking isn’t easy unfortunately. Boy how I wished it was. Sometimes though I’d have a sudden realisation which changed how I looked at eating in certain situations. Like realising going out with friends wasn’t about eating but about being with my friends. I started listening more closely to what we were talking about, initiating conversations & more closely considering their reactions. In many ways not focussing on what I was eating has built better relationships with my friends. My eating & drinking less doesn’t stop them eating & drinking either.

I developed an aversion to a lot of fatty, overly sweet foods, takeaway, fast foods & Snacks. It doesn’t even have to be in front of me. I cringe watching fast food ads on tv, images on social media, etc. Though I throughly enjoy cooking & baking shows but I guess they’re not about excess but moderation. This was very helpful my first year. Others experience this as well.

I’m also a do I need it or want it person. Coupled with that is why do I want it. Do I want it out of habit (like when you want chips & slushies when you get fuel)? Because I’m bored? Because I’m sad, angry, happy, frustrated, scared? Etc. And the big one: am I actually hungry? Once you know the why you can work out strategies to manage it. Want a slushie? Get Water. Bored? Find an activity to do (read, go for a walk, play a game, craft, …) And so forth.

It all takes time. And don’t beat yourself up if you give in. As long as it’s a rare slip it’s okay. Recognise it & move forward.

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I was exactly the same and can definitely relate to your situation. I realized that it wasn't even because I was hungry, but because eating in certain situations had become a matter of habit for me.

I'm not sure whether it will help you, but I've replaced it with drinking. (No, not martinis!). I never drank coffee in my life before surgery, but I have developed a new coffee obsession. When meeting friends, I now have a couple of cups with skim milk and artificial sweetener, and that satisfies me. I sometimes have hot tea, as well as sugar-free drinks from powder if I'm at home. (Plain Water doesn't always cut it--I need some flavor.)

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boating :)

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6 minutes ago, liveaboard15 said:

boating :)

ooo I am jealous!

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5 minutes ago, kcuster83 said:

ooo I am jealous!

Its perfect because its away from fast food and relaxing lol. Plus plenty of fish for food lol

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8 minutes ago, liveaboard15 said:

Its perfect because its away from fast food and relaxing lol. Plus plenty of fish for food lol

Definitely. We rent pontoon boats every once in a blue moon and that's a nice day out on the Water. I love it.

We keep talking about getting a boat, but live in the city and would need to pay to dock it. More importantly we are so busy most of the time, we just haven't been able to justify the purchase for how much use we would actually get out of it.

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On 07/22/2022 at 04:46, Arabesque said:



Changing your thinking isn’t easy unfortunately. Boy how I wished it was. Sometimes though I’d have a sudden realisation which changed how I looked at eating in certain situations. Like realising going out with friends wasn’t about eating but about being with my friends. I started listening more closely to what we were talking about, initiating conversations & more closely considering their reactions. In many ways not focussing on what I was eating has built better relationships with my friends. My eating & drinking less doesn’t stop them eating & drinking either.




I developed an aversion to a lot of fatty, overly sweet foods, takeaway, fast foods & Snacks. It doesn’t even have to be in front of me. I cringe watching fast food ads on tv, images on social media, etc. Though I throughly enjoy cooking & baking shows but I guess they’re not about excess but moderation. This was very helpful my first year. Others experience this as well.




I’m also a do I need it or want it person. Coupled with that is why do I want it. Do I want it out of habit (like when you want chips & slushies when you get fuel)? Because I’m bored? Because I’m sad, angry, happy, frustrated, scared? Etc. And the big one: am I actually hungry? Once you know the why you can work out strategies to manage it. Want a slushie? Get Water. Bored? Find an activity to do (read, go for a walk, play a game, craft, …) And so forth.




It all takes time. And don’t beat yourself up if you give in. As long as it’s a rare slip it’s okay. Recognise it & move forward.


I’m with you on most of that.. just amazing that it’s hard to work out what the emotion or feeling is. I am hungry all the time (the off switch is broken and hormones haven’t changed) but then when i have just eaten and am still hungry I know there’s an emotion going on.. but I don’t know what it is. I think I have dulled my emotions over the years with food. Swallowed down any feelings, positive or negative. Can’t get hurt if I can’t feel!!! I’m realising this now - it’s not be conscious before and I suppose that’s going to be my “off-switch” in the end.. realising that I’m feeling things and learning to put names to the feelings. Does that make sense?!

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Ride my motorcycle!

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5 hours ago, Recidivist said:

I was exactly the same and can definitely relate to your situation. I realized that it wasn't even because I was hungry, but because eating in certain situations had become a matter of habit for me.

I'm not sure whether it will help you, but I've replaced it with drinking. (No, not martinis!). I never drank coffee in my life before surgery, but I have developed a new coffee obsession. When meeting friends, I now have a couple of cups with skim milk and artificial sweetener, and that satisfies me. I sometimes have hot tea, as well as sugar-free drinks from powder if I'm at home. (Plain Water doesn't always cut it--I need some flavor.)

Hunh...this explains so much to me. I was always a plain Water drinker now I can't get by unless it has some flavor.

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12 hours ago, kcuster83 said:

Definitely. We rent pontoon boats every once in a blue moon and that's a nice day out on the Water. I love it.

We keep talking about getting a boat, but live in the city and would need to pay to dock it. More importantly we are so busy most of the time, we just haven't been able to justify the purchase for how much use we would actually get out of it.

I also rent pontoon boats here where i live. I dont own a boat. There are websites where you can rent peoples personal boats kinda like that car rental website that lets people rent out their own cars. I cant have a boat parked where i live either. When i had my jetski i paid to keep it at a marina. My friend bought a $90K Boat last year. They use it maybe twice a month. I cant justify spending that much money and only using it that much lol. when i had my jetski i used it almost every single day. Thought about buying one but i am planning on moving out of Florida next year and if i get a jetski then cant move until its paid off lol. I will keep renting instead. Also not sure if its available in your area. but here. THere is also something called a boat club. prices vary by location but basically you pay $7K Upfront and then a monthly fee of a couple hundred dollars depending on the package you choose and you get to use a boat for a certain amount of days a week all year long. You reserve online, and its ready for you at the marina, Bring it back when you are done, they clean it and do all the maintenance, I found that to be the best deal to be able to get out on the Water without the high cost of boat ownership and storage.

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14 hours ago, Lornapc said:

I’m with you on most of that.. just amazing that it’s hard to work out what the emotion or feeling is. I am hungry all the time (the off switch is broken and hormones haven’t changed) but then when i have just eaten and am still hungry I know there’s an emotion going on.. but I don’t know what it is. I think I have dulled my emotions over the years with food. Swallowed down any feelings, positive or negative. Can’t get hurt if I can’t feel!!! I’m realising this now - it’s not be conscious before and I suppose that’s going to be my “off-switch” in the end.. realising that I’m feeling things and learning to put names to the feelings. Does that make sense?!

Yes it does make sense. I’ve had times when I’ve shut down to protect myself but I’ve been able to work my out of it. You may find you’ll never manage your hunger & eating until you open up to your emotions again. You may find therapy very helpful to guide & support you work your way through your emotions & what lead you to burying them. A therapist will also help you develop strategies to manage your feelings too. Many have found therapy extremely helpful. Your surgeon or medical team should be able to recommend someone who has experience with bariatric patients & disordered eating.

11 hours ago, Candigrl1 said:

Hunh...this explains so much to me. I was always a plain Water drinker now I can't get by unless it has some flavor.

Plain Water can almost seem too heavy to drink after surgery. I was a big water drinker pre surgery but for months after it was a struggle. I was able to drink green tea so I started drinking a large mug everyday after I got home from hospital. A few months later I also added a large glass of sparkling water. I’d sip it over a few hours alternating with plain water so it would be pretty flat. I also used to open the bottle when I put it in the fridge so it wouldn’t be as fizzy when I went to drink it. The minerally taste was a nice change to plain water.

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Yes, I understand the relearning to name feelings. Therapy helped with that. You may need more mental health work if you have a history of trauma, or a difficult situation like raising a special needs child.

I found new hobbies like others have said on here. In the winter I crochet. In spring pickle ball is a great game and social too. I’m looking at sit on type kayaks now, or a paddle board. Find hobbies that keep your hands busy and your mind engaged. Oh, I like goofing off on my guitar too!

When I look at my older relatives that seem to be aging successfully, I see that they are always busy doing interesting things, AND some of those things are helping their local communities too. Nothing beats seeing a homeless guy wearing a scarf, hat, and mitten set you made! It’s nice to stop thinking of feeding myself inwardly and then help others outwardly instead. BUT, if you were never nurtured properly to begin with in life, you may need to do the therapy work to heal yourself first before knocking yourself out to help others around you. Only you can answer that for yourself.

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