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WLS Patients Take Too Long to Order Food: What's That About?


Families who dine out with their loved ones who've had gastric bypass surgery often complain the patient takes an unusually long time to order food. Rose, whose mother had gastric bypass about eight months ago asked, "What's wrong with her? It's so frustrating!"

There are a number of reasons gastric bypass patients are indecisive when ordering a meal at a restaurant. Consider some of these:

Perhaps she's worried about getting sick - dumping or vomiting. All WLS patients worry about getting sick in public.

Perhaps she has some unresolved emotional issues about leaving too much food on her plate. (Remember the "clean up your plate" threat of childhood and habit of adulthood.)

She may fear she won't like what she orders: to a bariatric patient taste takes priority over quantity.

Maybe nothing sounds good to her, in the early stage after WLS food can seem unappealing and even nauseating.

She may not be hungry, but doesn't want to offend you by rejecting your invitation to dine out.

Some patients in the early stage of living after weight loss surgery feel grief or loss for the foods they once loved gluttonously. She may be feeling loss seeing a menu of many things that she can no longer enjoy.

These things considered, is it possible to ask the family member if there is a specific reason she's struggling to order her meal? That may be touchy and her feelings are probably raw in this early phase of weight-loss, so be cautious.

Some bariatric patients I know look at on-line menus before dining out. They make a plan ahead of time and know what they will order and enjoy based on the very specific needs of the low-volume, high-protein WLS diet.

I believe Rose's mother, and others, will gain confidence in eating out and ordering skillfully for their needs. It is important to be patient as the family member attempts to bust a lifetime of bad habits thus finding the way to better health.

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

LivingAfterWLS is a no-nonsense resource for people Living After Weight Loss Surgery. Our community is growing in numbers even as we are shrinking in pounds. Together we support one another in this lifestyle, that it turns out, is NOT the easy way out.

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