od Addiction-Part 2
So after my bariatric surgery in Feb. 2014, I sought out counseling. I was afraid that I had an eating disorder left over and that this surgery would potentially exacerbate it again.
I was terrified.
I had been physically sick for so long. I didn’t want to screw up this opportunity at health and real living.
So 6 weeks after my surgery I started seeing a therapist.
I see her every Monday and have been since March. It’s taken this long for me to even think about possibly being a food addict…….
I feel disappointed in myself.
But I am human
I have used food to numb all negative emotion so that I don’t have to feel anything.
and most of all
These seem to be my biggest triggers.
To really understand food addiction, I researched the definition and it reads:
“Food addiction is a real addiction, just like those related to drugs and alcohol. It most often shows up as a compulsive need to eat. This can occur even when you are not physically hungry.” (healthline.com)
Yep that pretty much describes me…….
How many times had I had a compulsive need to eat when I wasn’t hungry?
How many times had I just eaten because it was dinnertime, lunchtime and I wasn’t hungry?
How many times had I eaten because it was just easier to push down food then to deal with my feelings of forgiveness, anger, fear, sadness?
Food addiction is so common place in our culture that I think people don’t even realize the hold it has on them. I know I didn’t realize it.
I’ll be honest. I always thought the 12 steps of AA or NA were a hoax for weak minded individuals. I was prideful about them really. I was wrong.
I have no real clue how they work and I’m sure I’ll be discovering more about them as I continue to journey this path. I’m currently researching and learning about step 1
We admitted we were powerless
over (fill in your issue) FOOD—that our lives had
I most definitely feel powerless around food. Not all food, just my trigger foods….Foods like peanut butter (yes I could eat an entire jar in one sitting), Reese’s peanut butter cups, and , no bake cookies, these food for me are just like heroin for a drug addict or vodka for an alcoholic…..I’m still discovering what foods are a major issue for me. So I’m sure this list will grow.
When I’m around these foods I lose all control. I eat them, not as enjoyment, but very compulsively. I’m still learning why. I know in order to be successful with having had this surgery and losing 90 lbs. I HAVE to deal with the root of this issue. My root is food addiction. Using food compulsively to numb whatever I’m feeling at the time I lose control.
Look I didn’t get to 315 lbs. with only health related problems. Trust me, I had my fair share of health issues. Even gained a ton of weight on steroid meds. BUT those meds and health issues didn’t put 150 lbs. on my body.
! To say differently is false.
I had to come to terms with my own culpability in my situation.
I knew two things. I knew I was fat. I knew I was unhealthy. I knew I had eaten my way to 315 lbs. and I often used the excuse, “but I’ve had so much I deserve to eat that donut, or I deserve to eat….whatever I shouldn’t be”
I felt completely justified in my behavior.
Even though after I felt rotten physically and emotionally, it didn’t change my behavior.
When I decided to have bariatric surgery, I was quite frankly fed up with being fat. I knew that I was at risk for diabetes and cancer (both run heavily in my family). I knew that I was ALWAYS hungry. I knew that I couldn’t handle decreasing my calories and trying to do it on my own, so the surgery was a right fit for me. It gave me the motivation I needed to kick the fat in the butt and get healthy. Little did I know the easy part would be exercise? After the surgery and about 50 lbs. lost, I knew I had to start to seriously deal with my head. Thankfully, I recognized my interaction with food is unhealthy! This is something I think only God could put His finger on because I have been so prideful in this area for so long.
It wasn’t until the end of Sept. this year that my perspective on food really changed. I had hit a 3 month weight loss stall. Which is common with bariatric surgery, but since my mind wasn’t healthy, this really flipped me out. I was still eating sugary crap, no vegetables. My diet was seriously out of whack. The only difference this time than any other time was that I had placed goals on myself to lose weight. My ultimate goal is to lose 157lbs putting me at 157. Since this I my focus, I was ready to find some solutions. I thought about reverting back to old ways of dieting, even toyed with the idea of carb cycling (something that worked for me short term in the past).
But thankfully God saw it fit to send a fellow bariatric person into my life and give me insight on what and how to eat.
So at the end of Sept. I began eating differently. Low carb, high protein, NO sugar, limited grains, no dairy. This nutrition approach coupled with my exercise routine, I managed to lose 18 lbs. in October!! In the bariatric world, at 9 months post op is unheard of.
So my discovery from this time is that food truly IS fuel. Also as a result of eliminating sugar and processed foods from my diet, I’ve become virtually migraine free. Once a person who frequented the ER for migraine relief and received Botox injections every three months to prevent migraines. I no longer have to do either!! I am absolutely 100% convinced that my diet was directly influencing my health in a very negative way. I will NEVER go back to eating what and how I did. It’s simply not worth it anymore.
Does it mean I’m cured? Hardly.
It’s a daily and constant battle.
I deal daily with emotions that have been stuffed for years and years.
It’s hard work.
I will tell ANYONE who will listen. If you recognize that you are morbidly obese, this didn’t just happen to you.
You didn’t wake up one day and voila you were morbidly obese.
Chances are if you are reading this blog post you are considering or have done bariatric surgery.
My hats off to you. That’s a huge decision and one that can greatly impact your future for the positive. Take my advice and seek out cognitive behavioral therapy with a counselor you feel comfortable with. The head work is just as important as the body work. Get your body, mind and spirit to gel and the sky is the limit for you my friend!!