Snacking, Fear, Greed and the Gastric Bypass Tool
Do you remember nodding your head with understanding during your pre/post WLS seminar when the speaker said, "Gastric bypass is only a tool, the rest is up to you." I nodded my head to the nurse dietician as she spoke to the room of fresh-out-of-surgery gastric bypass patients. We thought we understood "only a tool."
But the words "only a tool" are vague. It would be more accurate to tell new patients, "I'm sending you back into the very world that made you fat. Nothing in your environment has changed. In fact, the only thing that has changed is you - every external force that acted upon you 10-days ago is still out there. You are going to have to claw and fight your way in that same world resisting the habits and instincts that caused you to be obese in the first place. The only weapon you have is a little stomach and impaired absorption system - this is the tool. You will still have emotional highs and lows, days of self-doubt and days of celebration. There will be food pushers, saboteurs and cheerleaders along the way, but the burden is on you to use the tool."
"It's only a tool." Frankly, sometimes I get sick of hearing that and sick of saying it.
Financial planners say people manage their money with two emotions: fear and greed. They fear losing money or fear not having enough money. Greed manifests when they want more money or presume they never have enough money.
I suggest in many instances we use the same emotions to manage our eating behavior, before surgery, after surgery, regardless of the fact that we have "the tool."
Fear could be about wasting food, betraying friendships, damaging relationships. We fear the discomfort of stress, boredom or loneliness and manage those emotions with food. In addition, WLS patients are known to fear weight loss success because we've never really accomplished massive, lasting weight loss before - success is an unknown place to be.
Greed could be about always wanting more, one more taste, one more bite, one more piece. Greed could be the frantic collection of a snacking-stash for "just in case" moments when we really "need" something fast. Greed results from "worthiness" - I have done my exercise so now I deserve a reward - which often is a snack or treat.
By managing our emotions with fear and greed we caused, in part, our obesity and ultimately that led to morbid obesity. Given thoughtful contemplation I am certain we can list the fears and the greed that got us to the surgical table.
But what if fear and greed could work in our favor if we teamed them with "the tool"? Would fear and greed, emotions we love and hate, be a good thing? Consider this:
What if I fear dumping/vomiting/weight gain if I eat Nutter-Butter cookies? Or popcorn? Or crackers? Or, or, or.
What if I fear the co-morbidity of Type II Diabetes returning if I engage in mindless snacking?
What if I fear the cruel things people will say (and they will say cruel things) if I regain my weight?
What if I fear having to buy bigger clothes because I'm snacking and regaining weight?
What if I fear having to return to the surgical table for a revision surgery because I couldn't get a handle on my eating habits?
What if I'm greedy and want to live long and healthy to see my children and grandchildren grow-up?
What if I'm greedy and love the pleasure of active living that weight loss has given me?
What if I'm greedy and don't want to spend money on prescription medicine for ailments I no longer suffer because I've lost weight?
What if I'm greedy and want to hear more compliments about how healthy and fit I look after achieving massive weight loss?
What if I'm greedy and unwilling to sell-my-soul to the guilt-monster for a lousy indulgence?
I'm going to spend a lot of time considering how I can make these emotions work for me because I've got to conquer this snacking habit before I'm doomed.
Kaye Bailey © 2005 - All Rights Reserved
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.
Fresh & insightful content is added daily, check in often. To subscribe to the LivingAfterWLS monthly newsletter "You Have Arrived" click on http://www.livingafterwls.com and enter your details in the subscription box.
The Folly of Diet Recipes
Have you ever wondered why diet books always seem to have a section of recipes?Apart from the desire to make the book look larger and therefore more worthwhile, why should we be so interested in studying foods and ways to serve it when we are trying to avoid it as much as possible?It is inconceivable that we have reached adulthood without the basic skills to boil, bake, steam, or roast our food.We all know that these are the only low fat methods we should be using on any diet.
Weight Loss Proteins -- The Casein & Whey Protein Debate
The weight loss protein debate centers around the effectiveness of casein and whey protein as weight loss supplements. Which type of protein can help you safely lose weight?Support for Whey ProteinWhey, as a weight loss protein, is derived from animal milk sources.
Ultimate Weight Loss: 7 Simple Ways to Eat Better
Make sure you check out the meaning of many common terms. This should help you to improve or better your food purchases and help you eat healthier.
Fat Burning Tips
These fat burning tips can help you discover a fat burning secret that works well. The fat burning process is a matter of proper dieting and the correct exercise and training techniques.
Were Cave Dwellers Ever Fat?
In our mind's eye, we see our ancient ancestors as they have been depicted in paintings, stories, films, and scientific recreations. Small, wiry, hairy figures surrounding a huge beast, poised for the kill.
Doubts About Gastric Bypass? One Womans Final Effort to Lose Weight Without Surgery
One may think that on a website called "LivingAfterWLS" you would never read about conventional dieting: losing weight the old fashioned way by eating less and exercising more. One would think WLS proponents would say, "It can't be done.
Is Obesity a Disease? And What Should Be Done About It?
You have noticed your obese friend suddenly slimmer. You want to know what she's doing, but you don't want surgery or side effects.
Self-Sabotage Snacking After Gastric Bypass Surgery: Why Do We Do It?
LivingAfterWLS reader feedback indicates snacking is the single biggest problem for people after having gastric bypass - the problem being we snack on unhealthy items, we sabotage our weight loss or weight maintenance and we spiral back into the self-loathing that is so much an emotional part of morbid obesity.None of us goes into surgery expecting to be the one "who lost all that weight and put it back on.
Diets May Have Long Term Side Effects...Do You Know What They Are?
To see the "low carb" diets on the way out is a somewhat reflective process, not that I was an advocate of ketogenic diets at all unless you have Adolescent Epilepsy, but bringing the "low carb or ketogenic diet" into the forefront of our American Society meant that more people were being educated about obesity, food and eating. This acknowledgment about food was astounding and became overwhelming , causing restaurant chains and some farmers to really suffer from these trendy diets, people have lost farms that have been in their families for years , businesses that lend job and economic stability to an area, have gone out of business or lost business, all on a dietary whim, with no research done on the side-effects of "not eating" what these diets restrict.
The Ultimate Weight Loss Product Guide
Are you one of the many who may be tempted by advertisements for diet pills and other weight loss products promising easy, quick ways to lose weight? Were you aware that a simple 30 minute infomercial can cost anywhere from $80,000 to 120,000 dollars to make. Pretty crazy don't you think? Yet time and time again you see countless weight loss infomercials selling product after product.
Your Weight Loss Problem: How To Cure It By Watching Movies Or Reading Books!
I don't know anything about you but if you're anything like me then you struggle with a weight loss problem. Your weight loss problem consists of you struggling to keep your weight down or struggling to make your weight go down.
Good Night, Sleep Tight!
One of the most important things you can do for fat loss, controlling weight gain and for overall health is often overlooked. MORE SLEEP! Yes, you actually need to sleep more to gain less!A lack of sleep could be contributing to America's obesity epidemic.
Lasting Weight Loss: No Discipline Required
"I'd love to lose weight, but I don't have the discipline."If I had to lose weight the way the diet mongers say we need to, I'd never lose an ounce.
Buyer Beware: Purchasing Fat Burners and Other Supplements Online
Each month I receive hundreds of e-mails from consumers who have been bilked outof their hard earned dollars by unscrupulous supplement / fat burner manufacturers. Manufacturers who have added them to monthly recurring billingcycles without their permission.
A Clean Diet For Permanent Weight Loss
Getting Started on The Clean DietIf you want to lose some weight then following a healthy eating plan is a good start, but allowing someone else to dictate exactly what, when and how much you can eat is crazy making. Guidance is good but ultimately you must learn to make better choices in your eating which leads to your gaining the ability to maintain your new shape after the weight has been lost.
Dieting to Death
It has been 15 years since I was diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa and I have been recovered for 12 years. To this day if I head for the washroom after a meal my mother feels the panic start to well up inside of her.
Ive Been Dieting for Five Minutes - Am I Thin Yet?
When Instant Results Take TimeYesterday I decided to "get back in shape," and today I'm already checking in the mirror to see if there's a difference. Sound familiar? Everything else is instantly obtainable from microwave dinners to pay-on-demand TV, so why should weight loss take so long?Before microwave ovens people had to decide in the morning what to make for dinner because it took all day to thaw the meat.
Panic After WLS: Im Succeeding at Weight Loss: Now What?
The fear of success arises in patients when they realize a genuine change is occurring and they are moving forward with their life. To have bariatric surgery is to pursue an allusive dream that is now being realized - many patients have dreamed all of their lives of successfully losing weight.
Why Isnt My Diet Working?
Have you been on a new diet for a couple of weeks and found that you STILL can't lose weight? Have you actually GAINED a pound or two since you've been on it? Are you just about ready to throw this diet out the window and try something else? Well, hold on a minute. There might be something else going on that's preventing your diet from working.
Weight Loss Options -- Infrared Radiant Heat Saunas (IR Saunas)
Infrared Radiant Heat (IRRH) is a form of radiation that penetrates the outer surface of objects, including human skin. Heat is generated as the infrared energy interacts with and penetrates the skin surface.