Food Addiction and WLS
Good Monday Morning, Blog Readers,
Food Addiction and Weight Loss Surgery – I had WLS – VSG – vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy “sleeve” on June 13, 2013 and though it isn’t easy i would do it again in a heartbeat! )
Another summer weekend passed and we are expected to have a week of sunny 70s weather – anyone want to come to coastal Maine for a visit? wink emoticon
I was talking with another sleever this weekend and afterward reflected on what seems to be a common theme when food addicts have WLS. The focus on weight loss becomes so high that we/I forget sometimes what is the underlying problem – food addiction. For after the weight loss is stabilized I will be facing myself and my food addiction behaviors plain as day, if not before, as I’m dealing with now at 2 years 2 months out. No I cannot eat a whole bag of baby carrots, even if I could w a sleeve, just because it won’t cause me to gain weight for that would activate the food addiction behavior of stuffing, maybe even bingeing.
I was given a food plan to follow post-operatively for just that reason – to help me to address stopping my food addiction behaviors and to support my building a new relationship with food. For me at this stage that includes weighing and measuring the 5 small meals a day with the focus on protein, water and veggies, one day at a time, daily. Of course I do not expect to do this perfectly for I am human, but I now have the ideal plan in my hand, and lots of support to continue onward in a healthy manner with my health being my overall important goal.
I’ve had to acknowledge that all along my own food addiction voice was chattering in the background with plans of “now I will be able to eat breads and sweets in one portion sizes” etc – other food addicts know the voice I’m talking about…wrong! I can never again safely eat any of my personal binge foods as if I do it will set up the cravings again. One of the most miserable feelings I’ve ever experienced was the one where I ate cookies until I was full, stopped due to sleeve, yet the craving and urge to eat more and more was fierce. I had the insight that if I followed that crazy addiction urge I could easily become bulimic right here and now. Did I want that? No way! not even so I could eat sweets. What I want more than anything else is sanity. Sane behaviors around food leads to peace for this recovering food addict.
The one book that comes to mind that was most helpful to me in understanding the phenomenon of craving is “Food Addiction: The Body Knows” by Kay Sheppard. It explains that even if we ingest the minutest amount of an addictive food, even without knowing (for me that could be flour or sugar such as in gravies or sauces) the body knows it at the cellular level and the cravings will begin again.
So while significant weight loss is an important goal that I have reached the more important goals are sanity around food and good health. All for now and off to enjoy this beautiful day. You have a good day, too! smile emoticon