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MIIS Blog

“I don’t want to die” and Other Reasons for Weight Loss Surgery

“I don’t want to die” and Other Reasons for Weight Loss Surgery

There are many reasons people choose to get have weight loss surgery.  It’s rarely because they didn’t try everything else first.  Most of our patients have done the gamut of self dieting, commercial diet programs like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, and doctor-monitored dieting which they couldn’t maintain after.  They’ve exercised, had blood work, sought treatment, and tried.  They’ve tried really hard to manage their weight before exploring weight loss surgery.

When we first meet a potential weight loss surgery candidate, we discuss the holistic program we provide and why it’s important to have support before, during and after the surgery.  Often during the before sessions, patients tell us their reason for seeking bariatric surgery.  “I want energy to live my life and play with my kids/grandkids”, “I take too  many pills”, “I have an illness and losing weight will improve it”, and “I don’t like how I feel in my body and I know I can feel better” are some of the top reasons we hear.  Sometimes the answer is simply “I don’t want to die.”  Statistics about morbid obesity and disease and premature death are unfortunately grave.  We discuss in our online seminar some of the impacts of obesity and how surgery may impact a patient’s lifespan.

“I don’t want to die.”  Those are hard words to say.  Even harder to internalize. The majority of us have a strong sense to survive and facing issues that jeopardize our mortality can be daunting.  We tend to feel invincible until one day we don’t feel that way.  Some patients come to us and they still feel invincible.  Others express that feeling is waning or simply gone, and they turn to bariatric surgery as a tool to recover that feeling.  We hear in our after-surgery support groups how many patients regain their energy, reduce their pain, and find new joy.  The best news is at the one-year check-up when patients tell us that they feel better, their lives have changed in positive ways, and that they feel their own reasons for having the surgery are coming to light.

Choosing to have bariatric surgery is not a small undertaking and there are no guarantees for outcomes, but understanding one’s own reason for taking this path can help make decisions along the way.  Read about other’s weight loss journey here.

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10 Tips to Avoid Stress-Eating

10 Tips to Avoid Stress-Eating

During the day our bodies go through all kinds of stress, and sometimes it seeks comfort in eating, which can easily lead to poor nutrition and consuming too many calories.  Here are some tips to avoid stress eating:

  1. Pause when the urge to eat hits.  Analyze your motivation.  Are you actually hungry?  Has it been a reasonable amount of time since your last meal?  Self-assessing stress, procrastination, boredom and other emotions against your actual need for food is important.
  2. Recognize your body may just want to be hydrated.  During stressful times we may be using a lot of resources that we’re not paying close attention to.  Hydration often gets away from us and our bodies know that many foods can be hydrating so it turns on the hunger hormones in order to get the hydration it wants.  Set a “sip” reminder on your phone to help you quench your thirst.
  3. Take vitamins.  Much like hydration, your body’s vitamins and minerals may not be at optimum levels during times of stress and it can turn to food to replenish.  Soothing your body’s desire for vitamins and minerals with a daily vitamin can quench that demand before it begins.
  4. Use physical signage.  Put a stop sign on your fridge or pantry to help you work through a pause and give yourself time to analyze what you really need.
  5. Keep a list of what you ate on the fridge door and when.  Yes, there are apps that you can use, too, but having a dry erase board on the fridge door to track your consumption keeps it front and center when you next decide to graze or make a meal.
  6. Stop sneaking food.  Sneaking food can be a serious food-centered behavior and it can easily derail you.  For some of us, it’s a real problem and stress can make it seem like even more of a necessity.   This can be a downward spiral into shame-eating and a negative relationship with food.
  7. Stock your pantry well.  You know that sugary foods and drinks can turn on food-craving hormones.  Grazing in the kitchen in general can lead to overindulging in foods.  Don’t be lured into the realm of false sweeteners.  Our bodies don’t fully understand zero-calorie sweeteners and they can still be triggers. Or we can trick ourselves into thinking that we added something “diet” to our meal therefore we can “supersize” something else.
  8. Plan your meal and snack times and diligently maintain your schedule. 
  9. Meal plan your schedule, your hydration and nutrition.  When we’re stressed, we tend to grab what’s easy and often too much of it.  Having a plan and having meal-prepped items in place can give us a sense of control and remove some of the stress of meal preparation. Plan your meals wisely, for example if you know you’re not great at hydrating during the day, make a broth soup as your main dish.  Feel your nutrients or vitamins aren’t up to par?  Choose super foods over low-density foods, like spinach leaf salads instead of romaine. 
  10. Prepare your own food.  We know drive-thrus and work lunches have their appeal, but relying on them frequently adds too many negatives over the short-term positives. 
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GERD After Bariatric Surgery

GERD After Bariatric Surgery

Following bariatric surgery some patients may experience discomfort with heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD.  Heartburn and GERD are treatable conditions that can be made better with diet, medication, and some lifestyle to help you along the way.

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Drinking Calories

Drinking Calories

Beverages and even cup sizes can easily add calories to our days and inches to our waist.  We all know that staying hydrated is important, and especially after bariatric surgery, when Dr. Huguet recommends drinking an ounce every half hour.  Choosing calorie-free or low-calorie drinks can help keep the calories down and the pounds off.

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