“Food feels like my best friend.” We hear this so often from our weight loss surgery patients. Maybe you can relate. When you’re upset, anxious, despondent, angry, or bored the instant calm that food provides can feel like your greatest ally. But is it really a friend? Let’s take a look:
HOW DO YOU FEEL AFTER YOU’VE EATEN TO DEAL WITH FEELINGS?
Here are some of the feelings that people who overeat or binge report: “hopeless,” “disgusted,” “repulsed,” “out of control,” “unsatisfied,” “sick.” If a friend left you feeling this way wouldn’t you begin to wonder if it was a healthy relationship?
DOES IT REALLY GIVE YOU WHAT YOU NEED?
Friendships are based on give and take. We provide something for someone and they provide something for us. Of course, this may not always be perfectly balanced but certainly the best friendships are reciprocal. What does food really give you besides extra weight? How does food help your goal of optimal weight loss surgery results?
Everyone deserves a faithful friend. One who listens to us and makes us feel like our best selves. Looking at that list above, overeating, binging, or eating the wrong foods simply doesn’t do that for anyone. Food might stop the uncomfortable, negative feelings temporarily but it doesn’t give us the long-lasting reflection, relief, and companionship that a true friend can provide.
Next time you feel like turning to food for some instant gratification or comfort, be a friend to yourself and figure out what it is you really need. Pick up the phone and call someone, write down your feelings in a journal, play with your pets or kids, or get some exercise. Attend a weight loss surgery support group meeting on a regular basis. Whether you had the Realize band, LapBand, vertical sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or the duodenal switch, weight loss surgery patients can all help each other by sharing inspirational stories of success and struggles. You’ll feel much better in the long run.
Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco & The Surgical Weight Loss Center of Hawaii
*adapted from Michelle Fiordaliso, writer, psychotherapist and Clinical Director of Shrinkyourself.com