Figuring this out AGB

by Christine on March 12th, 2015

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

So I’ve had three sessions now with my therapist where we have talked about weight, weight gain/loss, self-image issues, and life After Gastric Band (AGB). Yesterday, my therapist was trying to drive in the point: “If you ate like you did when you HAD the gastric band, then you should be able to maintain or lose weight.” Right?

Right?

It’s not easy for me to agree to this statement. I mean, sure, on one hand it seems perfectly logical. Eat like you did with the band, and you should be fine. But that doesn’t seem to account for the magic voodoo of the band. It doesn’t account for the spell it casts over you.

We talked a bit about this “magic,” and he says that the magic is merely that it was able to regulate my eating–ESPECIALLY when I was emotional–when I lacked the ability and willpower to do so beforehand.  He says that’s all the “magic” is. The rest is all stuff that I can easily do on my own.

Maybe. I still haven’t totally embraced this solidly rational thought pattern.

I asked my therapist about my emotional eating binges. I mean, I know WHY I have them (you know, issues when I was growing up developed poor behavioral patterns. Filling the metaphorical “hole” in my heart with food feels good, blahblahblah) but I don’t know HOW to stop with the urge to respond to highly-charged emotional issues by feeding my face. In the past I replaced emotional outbursts with extreme exercise sessions. Okay, so that’s a “healthier” way of dealing with emotions (although there are many that would argue that it’s perhaps NOT the most healthy things)–my wish is that I wouldn’t feel the need to “fix” the emotional outburst at all. Whether you’re feeding your face, or doing something “healthier” like exercise–the response is essentially the same: That the emotional outburst is bad. Uncomfortable. Something I want to STOP. And so these behaviors are a way to either dampen the emotion, replace the pain with another kind of pain, or to make the pain stop altogether.

It seems to me that a healthier response would be to simply ride out the emotion in a zen-like wave. To recognize it, accept it, love it, and to also know that it won’t last forever. Watch it pass away and be replaced by other emotions that are less uncomfortable.

I think I would rather respond in the latter way, but how do I get there? And how do I get there without succumbing to the urge to feed my face when these emotional outbursts occur? That was my question for my therapist yesterday.

I suppose different kinds of therapies would offer different kinds of “solutions” for this. I’m not an expert in psychology, so I’m not entirely sure what a cognitive therapist would recommend, or what a behavioral therapist would recommend. My therapist ascribes to a branch of psychotherapy called Social Therapy. Therefore his recommendation was: Create a busy, happy, full life, and eventually this “problem” will just disappear. Have friends that you talk to about your emotional outbursts. Have hobbies that you find rewarding. Embark on personal growth and development. You can’t STOP emotional outbursts from happening, but the power you give it to rule your life IS something that you can change. If you give more power to the friends in your life, to love and fulfillment, then you give less power to emotions that rule your world.

So: I am reminded to create a full life for myself.

And so, at the end of my session, I was left thinking that maybe the magic of the band wasn’t so much that it restricted my eating. Maybe the real magic of the band was the fact that it allowed me to be free to create a full and happy life for myself. Once I created the full life for myself, the weight started to come off or to be maintained.  It’s a coincidence that I hadn’t really picked up on before. Full life = weight loss, and weight loss = full life. It’s a yin/yang circle. Just because the band is gone doesn’t mean that my world has to become small again. I can create that magic for myself. If I create the full and rewarding life, the weight should be less of a “problem” that needs to be “solved.”

And to that end, I am trying more consciously to re-emerge into the world, after six months of wrapping myself in my sorrows. Oh, my sorrows will still be there, but maybe if I can stay active with meaningful activities, that I can keep the real magic alive. And if I keep that magic alive, maybe adhering to a diet/eating lifestyle would be made easier during the difficult times.

Maybe.

So….this weekend was a very difficult, emotional weekend for me that was wraught with poor behaviors towards my friends and subsequently poor eating choices for myself. I’m feeling a little bit back on track this week, making better food choices. I also started walking at lunchtime while at work, which I did twice this week. I’m have plans to meet a friend to go snowshoeing after work tonight as well. I’ve been mulling over what kind of rewarding and empowering activity I want to do this weekend, and I’m considering a few different things.

And….I didn’t gain any weight this week.

Walking at work this week. 

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