Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Body Dysmorphia: Mind Games After Gastric Bypass Surgery


Maybe you've heard about body dysmorphia - it's a mental image many victims of anorexia nervosa have that tells them they look fat, even when they are emaciated. Bariatric patients can suffer from body dysmorphia as well.

When we were morbidly obese our emotional coping mechanisms kicked in and many of us were able to convince ourselves we really weren't that big. It is emotionally kinder to avoid body criticism, the whole issue seems hopeless. In fact, many morbidly obese patients will say they see themselves normal sized. That is until a rude moment reminds them they are not normal sized: a skinny chair, a turnstile, a bathroom stall, a flight of stairs, a photograph. This false perception is a subconscious coping strategy to protect us from the brutal truth, the truth about how big morbidly obese really is.

My sister and I were clothes shopping one day with our morbidly obese mother. She tried an outfit and complained to us, "but it makes me look fat." And gently we told her, "Mom, you are fat." Intellectually my mother knows she is morbidly obese, but the emotional issues run over reason and she doesn't see herself fat. She is in serious denial that is preventing her from getting the help she needs - bariatric surgery - to save her life.

After surgery, there is a tendency for the body dysmorphia to reverse. Before surgery we denied how big we were, after surgery we judge ourselves critically - like the anorexic - and fail to see an honest reflection. One woman, down from size 24 to size 10 wrote, "I feel fat daily. I never felt this at 248 pounds - I saw a thinner person in the mirror than I see now. I look at my size 10 jeans and they look like tents. I don't feel as attractive as I did when I was heavy. I don't understand it," she continued, "but I think it has to do with learning to accept yourself fat so you didn't see all the fat. Now I just have to learn to accept myself as thinner."

Many patients report hyper-judging their figures after weight loss. It seems the thinner you get the more judgmental of your body you become. To this day, the first thing I see in my reflection in my pudgy tummy - I think it's enormous. I don't see long slender legs or a tiny waist or trim arms. I see a Buddha belly. I've even apologized for my chubby tummy to others when they compliment my new figure. The apology usually goes, "Yes, but I can't get rid of this stomach." I say this while pointing to my "flaw".

That is wrong and brutally unfair to myself. I am working daily to keep this hyper-judgment in check, reminding myself the days of belittlement and self-loathing are over. Now is the time when I love myself.

Patients report universal success when they do one thing in the face of body dysmorphia: dress to impress! Get rid of the flowing camouflage clothes and wear a smart, well fitted outfit. Gentlemen, tuck in your shirts in. Ladies, wear a fitted skirt with a waistband. Small sized "fat clothes" do nothing for body image - dump that style and get something that flatters your new size. Enlist the help of friends you trust to find flattering clothes. Sometimes you have to force yourself to see your body as it is, a great fitting outfit will certainly do the trick.

Extreme cases of body dysmorphia after gastric bypass weight loss may be treated with counseling and psycho-therapy.

Kaye Bailey is a weight loss surgery success story having maintained her health and goal weight for 5+ years. An award winning journalist, she is the author and webmaster of http://www.livingafterwls.com and http://www.livingafterwls.blogspot.com - Fresh & insightful content is added daily, check in often.

Copyright 2005 Kaye Bailey - All Rights Reserved.


MORE RESOURCES:

New York Times (blog)

Ask Well: Exercise and Weight Loss
New York Times (blog)
“It all comes down to energy balance,” or calories in and calories out, said Edward Melanson, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, who has conducted many studies of exercise and weight loss. Most of us will burn only ...



Wisconsin Rapids Tribune

Is weight loss a recipe or a road map?
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
Did you make a New Year's resolution to lose weight in 2014? If so, you are not alone. Arguably, weight loss is one of the most common promises people make. How effective are most of us at keeping our promise? In this society, food is abundantly ...



KTXL

Documentary Leads to 100-pound Weightloss in 1 year
KTXL
After one year, Kurtz was 100 pounds lighter and could fit into one pant leg of his former jeans. His health insurance rates also went down three times as he got healthier. Courtesy: Benji Kurtz. (CNN)-. Having to ask for a seat belt extender on a ...
Weight loss success: 100 pounds with a plant-based dietBayoubuzz
Severely obese man drops 120lbs in a YEAR by following the plant-based diet ...Daily Mail
Light bulb goes on: He lost 100 pounds with plant-based dietkplr11.com

all 20 news articles »


The Perfect Dinner Equation for Weight Loss
Shape Magazine
You might have breakfast and lunch covered when it comes to a weight-loss plan, but dinner can prove to be a little more difficult. Stress and temptation can sneak in after a long day at work, and building that perfect plate to satisfy your body and ...



Doctor healing herself with weight-loss regimen
Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
Because of Manning's dedication to good health, however, her personal struggle with weight loss has been a particularly difficult road. For Manning, weight gain was a direct result of leaving the military to focus on her budding medical career. “When I ...



Marshfield News-Herald

What you need to know about weight-loss surgery
Marshfield News-Herald
Weight loss is different for everyone — some diets or exercise programs work for some people, while the same program might not work for someone else. People might wonder the same about bariatric surgery. An online educational tool, called the Ethicon ...



Weight Watchers, phentermine/topiramate best value in weight loss
Healio
Data were based on adults in studies with no less than 50% attrition, with a primary outcome of weight-loss results extending at least 1 year. All weight-loss strategies included in the study are currently approved and available for use in the United ...



In the game of weight loss, a new book touts cheat days can rev your metabolism.
Monroe News Star
The book, “The 3-1-2-1 Diet — Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss,” advocates that dieters eat “cleanly,” adhering to a 1,500-calorie-a-day diet, for three days, then follow those days with one “cheat,” or indulgence, day. After that, he or she ...



Dmitri Young explains his amazing weight loss
Washington Post (blog)
Over the weekend, Dmitri Young visited with some former D.C. baseball friends in Cincinnati, leading to a couple unbelievable photos of the former plus-sized star. And three days later, it's still kind of impossible to believe that the guy on the right ...

and more »


Anthony Anderson's Weight Loss: Why It Was Do Or Die
Access Hollywood
Anthony Anderson is on a mission to discover the best food festivals in Food Network's “Eating America” — a challenging assignment for Anthony since a medial issue forced him to lose 45 pounds. Now, Anthony shares why losing weight was do or die.

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.