Weighty Matters

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Re-Learning

on February 8, 2017

I’m really enjoying the support of this online group I joined of all weight loss surgery folks. With a weekly weigh-in that we report and post about, it helps me with my accountability. Trust me, it wasn’t easy for me to be willing to step on the scale, take a picture of my weight and post it to the group. Then, I saw so many other women doing it – some who weigh more and some who weigh less – and decided to stop resisting the idea.

It is easier to do this when I’ve lost weight from the week before. That’s happened every week but one, but I was still honest on the week that I’d put back a couple of pounds.

There are different tools to be used and also mindsets to be cultivated. I’m re-learning things about my stomach and my eating that I’d been introduced to after my surgery and for the first year or so.  After that, I sort of unlearned them so it’s good to reconnect.

One of the main lessons is that I physically do not need as much food as my head wants, or that it tries to make me believe that I do. When I eat mindfully, really paying attention to the quantity on my plate and, most importantly, my hunger and satiety levels, I eat less.

Here was a big lesson that I’m still working on so that I’m more consistent. The group coaches advise that we always remind ourselves that we are Weight Loss Surgery people. That sounds obvious but I realize after a lot of reflection and consideration that I wasn’t keeping it front of mind. It’s like I was pretending that I could eat like a regular person just in restricted quantities.

Well, I can but I can’t. Maybe what I should say is that I can sometimes but those sometimes need to really be only some of the time – not all of the time. Tagging onto the WLS reminder is the need for me to always remember that I have the eating disorder of compulsive eating/binge eating.

For ease of typing, I’m just going to combine the letters and identify myself as WLSBED. So what have I relearned in the last month, or at least stopped denying about food? The big things are that I cannot eat what I call “junk” carbs every day or even every other day. Bread, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, cookies, cakes, white potatoes, white rice, regular pasta – These all need to be exceptions. If I eat them with any regularity, I might as well just pick up globs of fat and slap them on my butt. I am a WLSBED – These carbs are not food plan friendly and will lead to weight gain.

It’s a given that refined sugar products – candies, ice cream, those cookies and cakes again, you don’t need a full list – definitely need to the rarest of rare indulgence.  I can get away with a very small amount of good dark chocolate that has a lower sugar content, but definitely not even that morning, noon and night.

One of the hardest things for me to accept was that I had to really cut back on my fruit intake. I love fruit. It just doesn’t seem fair, but it’s something that I’ve come to accept as a WLSBED. Honestly, prior to joining this group, I was eating fruit three times a day on most days – in my morning smoothie, my afternoon apple snack, and then often another piece as a late night snack. I don’t know where my common sense went but I finally get that I was just sucking in a whole lot more sugar than my body could handle if I wanted to maintain or lose weight.

There are lots of other food-related things that I’m either learning or breaking out of my denial about.  There are still other things that I knew and accepted that I’m positively reinforcing myself for doing which helps to make them stick. For example, I always look for the sugars in other products and try to cut them down or cut them out.

In case you haven’t realized it just by reading this post, one other thing that I’ve re-learned is that being successful in this endeavor, meeting my goals and challenges, daily living as a WLSBED is a LOT of work.  Thinking ahead, planning and preparing my daily foods takes thought and time. It all calls for effort and willingness. The willingness I have in abundance. So the days that I’m exhausted, I reach down for the spirit to keep going.

Today I’m grateful for all that I’m learning and re-learning. They are helping me make progress to where I want to be.

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