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Thinking about Bariatric Surgery?

One of the misconceptions of having bariatric surgery is that it’s the “magic pill” we have been looking for all of our lives.

Bariatric surgery reduces the size of our stomach or bypasses it completely and forces us to eat smaller portions. However, we still have the same mind.  I know that is an obvious statement but the hardest part of the surgery is dealing with our old patterns.  I call it, The Mind Game.  Just like any other diet, if we don’t change our thinking about food, we will gain the weight back.  We have all heard or seen the people who have had bariatric surgery, they lost their weight, looked great and gained it back, all over again.

Our struggles don’t magically disappear because of the surgery.  I remember during my first month post-op, wishing that I had been able to lose the weight without having surgery. I wanted to eat a full portion or maybe three. If I were watching TV, I would have to change the channel when a food commercial came on or if it showed people enjoying a big meal.  I could not bear to watch, it was too psychologically painful. I missed eating delicious food in a nice good amount.

I felt deprived even though I was not hungry. It really was interesting, not having hunger pains. However, my mind was still craving food.  It was a very big realization to see how much of my life had been dedicated to eating and not in a good way. The pleasure I derived from food was completely gone. I was physically incapable of eating like my mind had required for so long.

Not being able to indulge is the benefit of a smaller stomach but my mind did not comply so easily. At around three months, I felt like not eating at all. There was no enjoyment in eating and without hunger pains, I would have been fine to skip my meals.  But, I knew I had to follow the guidelines to lose weight. It is actually possible to not eat and still not lose weight. That would have been really disgusting. So, I knew I needed to eat every four to six hours and to make sure I got all the protein I needed.

At the time of writing this post, I am eight and half months post-surgery and I am glad to say that I no longer have those deprived feelings. Thank God! I have reached the stage where I can tolerate more types of food. The cool part is I don’t have those awful cravings anymore.  The important thing now is for me to continue making wise food decisions and not allowing old habits to come back. I refuse to even attempt to eat a “trigger” food.  Why play with fire?

Bariatric Surgery success is found by the people who embrace healthy behaviors. Remember, the surgery is a “tool” to help us lose weight but the success is all about making the right food decisions long after our surgery date.

Image by Sira Anamong provided by Free Digital Photos

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