Medical bariatric program – Week 6

Hey hey…

Officially at week 6 of the program, and officially down another 3.6lbs — I’m in the 240s now!!! 246.8 to be exact, which is down 19 pounds from before I started the Optimist portion of this program.

This week also marked the first time I saw the doctor since starting the program, but more on that later.

This week’s session was with the social worker, who introduced the concept of DBT — or dialectical behaviour therapy. This sort of therapy holds the belief that two opposing truths can be true at the same time, creating a new truth. It allows for less black and white thinking, and encourages seeing the world in shades of grey. DBT allows us to accept where we are currently, but know that we can want/make changes at the same time.

For example, you may have “cheated” on the program, while at the same time you are doing your best. Your best may not be 100%, but that’s OK. You can do something, but it will be hard. You can accept who you are in this moment, but also want to change. DBT goes well with CBT, which we’ll learn about in a couple more weeks.

We also learned about the many different emotions we as humans have, because part of being able to confront and overcome emotional eating (a trigger for many obese people, SURPRISE!) we need to be able to identify and label our feelings.

A big component of being able to manage our emotions in any situation is to be mindful. Mindfulness doesn’t mean meditating or going to yoga or anything, just being aware of what we are feeling in our minds and bodies.

Some in the DBT community believe we have 3 states of mind. There’s our reasonable mind, or the logical part of ourselves. Then, there’s the emotional mind, or our instant reactions/feelings to a given situation. Then, there’s our wise mind, which is able to identify what we are feeling, what we know, and what we should do.

Practicing mindfulness will apparently help us manage stress, become more intuitive eaters, and improve our ability to cope with unpleasant emotions. FUCK YEAH. I’ve been cultivating my own mindfulness practice over the years, with a major focus the past year or so, and I can say it DOES have a big impact.

We also talked about the 7 different types of hunger, which will help us once we transition back to food to determine whether or not we are truly hungry. There is nose hunger, eye hunger, mind hunger, mouth hunger, heart hunger, stomach hunger, and cellular hunger. Food will never fill our heart or mind hunger, so it’s important to nourish those needs in other ways.

I met with the social worker later in the day to talk about how things have been going so far. While some aspects (like my relationships , depression, and routine) have improved a lot, it’s been one hell of a week when it comes to dealing with cravings.

I think because I am exercising regularly and frequently (4-5 days/week now), my hunger levels have picked up again quite a bit. I’m starving most of the day. Even eating my 2 cups of veggies every day isn’t helping. I get about 2 hours of satiety after I have my veggies or shake, and then my stomach is growling and in pain with hunger. It’s been hard.

My family also ordered pizza this week. I have all the heart eyes for pizza… and just the smell was enough to send me into tears. I had to leave the room. It even smelled in the car when I got in the next day. I would have cut off my own arm to have a couple slices, which sounds dramatic, I know. But, not being able to eat the foods you love (especially on your birthday, or holidays like Valentine’s Day) fucking sucks. I know I am making the choice to go through this program, which is why I am doing my best to stay strong and give 100% of myself to it, but I want to be honest about how hard it is. Yes, I could have had just one slice or bite to take the edge off, but I would only be cheating myself. And I still have to practice saying “no” to things that won’t serve my goals for when I’m back onto food full-time. I just hate hate hate that I’ve let things get to this point.

I mentioned this to the doctor when I saw him today, and he did say that as my ketone levels rise, the hunger should dissipate. Let’s hope so! He did say that 19 pounds in 3.5 weeks was phenomenal, and that I should be proud. It was nice to hear that, but also very frustrating given the clinic experience today.

Seeing the doctor on clinic days is done first-come-first served. I was told yesterday that he would begin seeing patients at 1pm, so I planned to arrive mega early in order to manage my childcare situation, as I didn’t want to wrangle both kids on my own in the clinic. Even arriving at 11:45, there were about a dozen people ahead of me. I didn’t see the doctor until just before 2:30! All for him to spend 10 seconds checking my breathing and ask me questions that were on the paperwork I had to fill out before seeing him. I was so frustrated to have my day thrown in this way, for less than 5 minutes of face-time with someone who is likely billing for far more. I hope they can improve upon this part of the process for future clinics, and will definitely mention it during feedback time.

Anyways, that’s where I’m at. Struggling, but still doing what I can. Knowing that I can do it, but that it can also be hard as fucking hell. Until next week…

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