Weight loss surgery has quickly become a popular treatment for obesity. It is saving lives and giving people the opportunity to fight health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and so many more. It truly is an incredible experience to be able to transform through bariatric surgery. There are so many amazing benefits from the surgery, but one thing people often forget is that it is just a tool. It can be easy to assume that bariatric surgery will fix everything when it comes to obesity, but this is not the case. Bariatric surgery helps jump-start the journey, but it does not cure the underlying reason of obesity for many people: food addiction.
As a bariatric patient, you will have a new lifestyle after weight loss surgery. You will have to take the steps to eat differently of you risk getting sick or hurting yourself. The first year after surgery is when you are going to lose weight the fastest, so take advantage of this time and work on building new habits. As you get farther out, it will get harder to say no to certain foods. You might not be physically hungry, but you will be mentally hungry. Food addiction is like any other addiction. You will crave the foods that you once regularly ate for comfort. Those first few weeks after surgery are very strange because you physically cannot eat anything but yet your mind will tell you how bad you want it. It really tests your self-control and can take a toll on you emotionally. I remember the first few weeks I would wake up in the night dreaming of cookies. Yes, true story. It consumed me. I felt like a crazy person because I was so addicted to food but knew I couldn’t have it or I would damage the surgery.
It takes time to really find that sweet spot where you feel like you mentally have control over the food addiction. I encourage you to work on letting go of foods that are triggers for you in the pre-op stage. The more time you have without these foods, the more successful you will be in the long run. If you know you don’t have control over a certain food, don’t put it back in your diet. The first time you put it back in, you will not be able to control yourself and it will just get worse as time goes on. Give yourself time to learn your new lifestyle and remember that your body will eventually stop craving these trigger foods once it gets used to your new way of eating. Also, talk to someone. This addiction is there for a reason and sometimes you just need to figure out why. If you have an addictive personality, you might need to replace your food addiction with a healthy addiction, such as working out. You can get through this addiction, but don’t think the bariatric surgery is going to do it for you. Be patient and stay strong! YOU GOT THIS!
“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
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