“You May Ask Yourself, where does that highway lead to? You may ask yourself, am I right, am I wrong? You may say to yourself my God, what have I done?”- David Byrne

When partaking on a path leading to bariatric surgery it causes you to deeply examine your past to find the trigger to such out of control weight gain. After all those who don’t learn from there mistakes are bound to repeat them right?

I quickly was able to rule out being an emotional eater. If anything when I am stressed or emotional I don’t want to eat at all most the time. The more I thought about the cause it really came down to the fact that I was never taught how to eat properly.  The majority of my family is overweight or obese. The learning tools were never set in place to show me how to make balanced decisions. From an early age we were allowed to eat whatever we wanted, and not just whatever but as much as we wanted. I get my sweet tooth from my dad. He always had bags of candy for us or some sort of tasty treat. My parents would allow me to eat super sized fast food multiple times a week (there was a period where McDonalds had buckets of fries and I ate them regularly). All without so much of a warning until it became too late.

Until about 4th grade I was rail thin and could get away with pounding pixie sticks, pop rocks, and Pepsi’s by the masses. My body was able to keep up with all the junk I ate until I hit puberty and then shit got real (I now know it’s likely that my PCOS was a large contributing factor as well). I remember being in 6th or 7th grade and coming out of the bathroom crying because I had gotten on the scale and it said 200 pounds. Around that time my mom had tried to make suggestions in not such carrying ways, which at the time just came off as bullying so I didn’t hear them. That day when she tried to tell me something about the diet I remember screaming at her about how hateful she was. She vowed never to say anything again and she didn’t.

It breaks my heart now when I see parents who let their kids eat mountains of sugar, or 4 cheeseburgers in one sitting. If only the struggles they were setting up for their children because they don’t want to be the bad guy. Well I can’t blame my parents entirely, I often wonder would I be in this boat had I been taught how important it is to not only be aware of what your putting in your body but about portions as well? It wasn’t until I joined Weight Watchers in the Spring of 2004 that my eyes were open to how to eat properly. However by then I was almost 280 pounds and well change was good it wasn’t ever enough to get me lower than 250.

Now a days I say the biggest factor in my recent weight gains have been mindless eating. When I tune out to what I am putting in my mouth it’s not that much changes in what I eat but moderation goes out the door. I get too busy and I just grab what’s easy, and then don’t pay attention to portions. I know one of my biggest struggles post op is going to be mindful eating. My challenge from the nutritionist this month is to eat mindfully. She wants us to chew everything 25-30 times and then stay connected with it when you swallow and see how far down you can feel it. I encourage everyone to try at least one meal this way, did you notice a difference in your satisfaction or consumption of that meal?

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