Some Obstacles you can expect after Weight Loss Surgery
A typical and unexpected obstacle most bariatric patients experience after weight-loss surgery is a struggle with emotion management. Food and the comfort of eating are often associated with ones emotions.
It has been found that emotions are associated with cravings. For example, smooth, creamy foods are often associated with comfort and crunchy, salty foods are often associated with anger.
If you are experiencing any sort of emotion, try to get in touch with your feelings and ask yourself “before I resort to eating, what emotion would I be feeling?” Then find a safe place to express those emotions.
Reach out to your support system and talk about what you are experiencing. If you hold in your emotions the only thing you will share your emotions with is food. As comforting or satisfying as food sounds it is not really what your body or mind is asking for – you need emotional comfort and safety.
Keep talking to the ones you love and letting them in before your emotions become overwhelming. A journal is a fantastic outlet to release emotions and assist with learning to manage emotions in a healthy manner without food.
Losing weight and struggling with losing weight is a frustrating and emotional process that can trigger extreme cravings. When you find yourself reaching for a food that is not on your nutritionally approved list take a second to understand what it is that you are trying to feel and remember it is not about the food but the emotion behind the food. Don't do it alone. If you feel that you cannot reach out to the ones closest to you find some where you can share and feel connected and understood.
Over eaters anonymous is a great local resource and accepts anyone struggling with food.
FirstHealth also offers a monthly support group the second Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Renaissance Room at Pinehurst Surgical, 5 FirstVillage Drive in Pinehurst. Call (910) 255-3690 for more information.
Devon Burnore MS, LPC, LCAS
FirstHealth Behavioral Services