So one of the benefits of being your friendly neighborhood blogger is that I speak to a LOT of you on a day-to-day basis. And I do actually listen to what you are telling me. I’m that blogger who, when you email me, I WILL email you back!
I thought I’d start tapping out some general thoughts about my interactions with post-ops in hopes that those broad observations might help
Today’s topic: the thin line between a healthy thought and
I titled this “The 5 Most Dangerous Things Weight Loss Surgery Post-Ops Tell Themselves.” And some of these will be controversial because some of these statements are perfectly healthy statements — if, and ONLY if, you use them in a healthy way. I’ve seen each of these used in a healthy way but I’ve also seen them used in an unhealthy way enough to warrant this post.
So that is to say feel free to debate these in the comments. I’m also that blogger who isn’t afraid to a) defend her point or b) admit she is DEAD wrong!
Without further ado..
#1 –All Things in Moderation
“What??? Nik, c’mon, this is a healthy attitude!”
It is. But sometimes it isn’t. I spoke to one post-op a few years back whose idea of “all things in moderation” was eating a bowl of ice cream every day. BEFORE eating her protein or veggies. And this person was afraid they would eventually gain weight from this behavior (so they emailed me to shoot down that fear with a “no, no…it’ll all be fine” statement), but was equally insistent that they were unwilling to “give up” anything in the name of weight loss surgery. This is NOT what they’d signed up for and they wouldn’t do
it. Nope. Nuh-uh!
I’ve heard this many times. Here’s my official opinion: I don’t think you should have to completely give up anything either! BUT (you knew there was a but), many of us don’t come to this process automatically knowing what moderation means and, further, what it means to us. For me, there are foods that just cannot be moderated (peanut butter). If they are around (peanut butter), I’m going to go bonkers (peanut butter). So I know that with (peanut butter) those foods I must be a bit more vigilant. It’s not an all
things in moderation as much as an “all things in consideration.”
#2 – How bad would it be if I ate/drank
Yeah, if you’re asking that question, you already KNOW you probably shouldn’t do it. And it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the stats on the food. It has to do with YOU.
Again, if a food is one you can’t control, admit it. You may never act on that admission but at least you’ve taken the first step toward a healthier attitude.
#3 – “I’ll never eat X/Y/Z again!”
Yes you will. Eventually. And I’m not trying to mock you. But chances are you will. And by saying the above, you’re actually setting up a pass/fail mentality that makes you feel like you did wrong by eating X/Y/Z.
Now I know I flagged the moderation thing in #1 but if you are living a life of moderation you have to accept that sometimes a cookie/potato chip/cupcake will happen. (Stop shaking your heads so hard, newbies, you’re gonna get whiplash!)
I’m not condemning or condoning unhealthy food choices, but very, very, VERY few post-ops are 100% compliant 100% of the time. So what do
If you ate a cookie/potato chip/cupcake, don’t freak out! Move on. I know some post-ops who actually PLAN indulgences. They lower their carbs/fat/whatever for the rest of the day and enjoy a reasonable portion of what they want guilt-free! How about that!
Bottom line: Unless you have a crystal ball and titanium will power, you might want to say that you’re not planning to eat X/Y/Z in the near future. That scenario saves you just a bit of self-bashing if you happen to succumb to a craving.
#4 – “Just one more
Beware the Ides of March, Foodies! Those are famous last words. That bite took three seconds to take and three HOURS to come back up,
Most of us can tell when our last bite should be our last bite. I’ve spoken to enough post-ops who get the hiccups, or a runny nose, or burp or SOMETHING to know that most of us have cues. You just need to know yours. And if you don’t know yours you need to consider eating a little bit more slowly so that you can give your body time to react. Sometimes it takes the fullness signals a minute to get to where they need to be.
But here’s the REAL destructive power in that statement in my little opinion. For some of us (not all of us) but for some of us, that last bite will drive us friggin’ NUTS if we don’t get rid of it somehow. We gotta destroy it or throw it away or pour salt over it or just make it disappear. We could blame our mothers for this but it’s truly our issue. So that “just one more bite” becomes the justification to just get it out of our face. I experience this a lot. This is why I am grateful for my dog.
#5 – “I don’t count [calories/carbs/protein]. I just eat well.”
Yeaaaaah. I like this one. Because from my perspective a lot of us start out eating good stuff. But then we add stuff to the stuff (we’re playing with our food, after all!) and so in our heads it’s all still above board. It’s all still healthy? I just added some peanut butter. Peanut butter has protein, right???
I stress the importance of knowing what you eat because the human brain is a master manipulator. There is a reason humans run the world and not elephants! We can convince ourselves of nearly anything. But data doesn’t lie.
So if you are a die-hard “I hate tracking my food” kind of person, consider doing a sample week every few weeks. If you never tracked at all, you should start, ESPECIALLY if you are stalled or have regained. You can’t know what to fix unless you know…what to fix.
And there you have it. My five most dangerous things we post-ops tell ourselves. Again, not all of these are completely unhealthy statements. And only YOU know if you say these things to yourself from a place of good or bad decision making.
But I’m putting it out there. Because it needs to be discussed. So discuss it!