Medical bariatric program – Week 8

I know I’m late on getting this week’s post out, but it’s been a wild week indeed, between work projects, personal things, and just not feeling like sitting in front of a computer screen for a few days. But I’m here, and I’m still plugging along, so I figured I should at least update y’all, even if we are a few days late getting here.

It’s been 8 of the program, and our group session was led by the social worker. It focused on CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and how to apply it to our weight loss goals. I was really interested in this week’s session, since I have been practicing CBT for many years now for my depression and anxiety, and have found it extremely helpful — but I wasn’t sure how to apply it for emotional eating and the like.

More than simply giving us fuel, food is so connected to a number of emotional experiences. From weddings to work celebrations, to funerals and simply rewarding oneself for a job well done, there’s a strong connection between food and our emotions.

We talked about how while food can soothe negative emotions and experiences, it’s not actually getting at the root of the issue, which means it really isn’t solving our problem. And, could be causing more problems instead — hello jelly belly. It’s better to get at the root of what’s making us feel discomfort, than to soothe it with food. Same for celebrating — there are limitless ways to celebrate a happy occasion rather than eating or drinking something our body doesn’t necessarily need.

We discussed the cycle of emotional eating, and how the first step to overcoming it is to have insight into what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and what we really need instead of food. Not easy questions to ask/answer when you’re in the middle of an intense/unpleasant feeling, but important work.

CBT — and thought records, specifically — allow us an opportunity to work through these feelings and thoughts in the moment, or even afterwards, in order to identify thought patterns and automatic thoughts. By gaining this awareness, we can slowly begin to bring about changes by pausing and changing our thoughts when they pop up. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s really cool when you notice that your automatic thoughts switch to your healthier, more accurate ones.

Now that I have a better understanding of how to apply CBT to my emotional eating habits, I’m really looking forward to working through some thought records for my most prevailing automatic thoughts, and adjusting them so that they serve me better.

Aside from class, I’ve been able to maintain my strength training workout at every other day, as well as adding in some walks with the dog and kids. My cravings weren’t too bad this week, and I was able to enjoy plenty of veggies. The poop struggle is real, so I’ve tried a couple doses of Restorlax to see if that gets things going again. Not pooping has got to be the hardest part of this, even more than managing social situations and cravings!

I weighed in this week at 239.8 pounds, down 3.5 from the week before, and am officially in the 230s! My total weight loss to date is 26 pounds, which means that I’ve achieved my 10% goal of 26 pounds. Now, to chase that 15% goal of 39 pounds!

Until next week…

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