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A Chance to Start Again

Discussion in 'Pre-Op Diaries' started by OkieGirl, Oct 24, 2017.

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  1. OkieGirl

    OkieGirl Active Member

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    Start Weight:
    28st8lb
    Current Weight:
    26st0lb
    Goal Weight:
    11st0lb
    Lost(%):
    2st8lb(9%)
    Surgery Type:
    Don't know yet
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Now that I'm back from my holidays in Oklahoma with my family and with my first appointment at Luton and Dunstable looming on the horizon, I figured that now was the time to start my pre-op diary. I apologise in advance for any long-winded, rambling posts from here on out!

    ~*~

    "Jennifer, how did I get so fat!" I breathlessly asked of my sister while playing a game of badminton while recently visiting my family in Oklahoma.

    When I say 'played a game of badminton' please do not get any ideas that I was dodging all over the place and gracefully batting the birdie back to my sister. It was most likely that if I had to move more than two or three steps in any direction, I wouldn't even try for fear of losing balance, falling and hurting myself.

    My sister just shrugged, "I don't know. We were always doing stuff out here."

    And it was true. Growing up my sister and I were constantly outside in the backyard. We climbed trees, ran races, played in the sandpit our dad built for us, spent long summers in the pool, literally played badminton for hours at a time, kicked soccer balls, rode bikes... you get the idea. We weren't generally stuck inside watching TV or, being true children of the 80's, playing on our Atari 2600 constantly.

    I suppose to begin with no one could have imagined that I was going to have problems with my weight. To hear my mom tell it, I was a rather sickly child with frequent ear infections and bouts of strep or tonsillitis. My claim to fame, as it is, is that I'm probably one of the rare people of my age who had rheumatic fever. At least I guess it's a claim to fame; dentists are always shocked and surprised when I fess up to it, at least.

    Eventually after a particularly nasty case of tonsillitis when I was about six, our family doctor bluntly declared to my mom (and in my presence) that they'd have to come out and marched out of the room to arrange everything. Six year old me was left traumatised (although this was going to become a theme with this doc through the course of my life!) and sobbing. Shortly thereafter the tonsils were out and, again according to my mom, that was when my weight started piling on. She was convinced then and now that the doctor had damaged my thyroid. After more than a few thyroid function tests here, I can guarantee that she's wrong.

    So, why did I get so fat? What was the switch?

    I could possibly blame bad genetics. My dad was 6' 3" tall and over well over 300 lbs his whole life. He could, however, genuinely claim that he had big bones. After his triple bypass surgery, his surgeon announced to my mom that he thought they would have to climb on top of him and just tear him open. The bone saw could not get through my dad's breastbone because it was as thick as an average man's thighbone. Most of his family were built just the same as him. His aunts were all stocky and tall as was his father.

    I could also blame familial and regional attitudes towards food. Oklahoma isn't technically a southern state but its traditional foods are heavily influenced by southern cuisine along with heavy doses of Mexican and Native American foods. Also, let's face it, food has always been a natural part of celebrations and commiserations. Baby shower? Big buffet of finger foods and casseroles made of every possible processed ingredient imaginable. Someone died? We gotta pay our respects to the family by filling the fridge with more casseroles and cakes! We also need to put on a big potluck for the family after the funeral with more of the same!

    In my family, again as with many, food is love. Food is the stuff of sharing and caring. Easter, Mother's Day, 4th of July, birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas... food, food, food. No word of a lie, I would habitually look at my Grandma's photo albums when we'd visit her on Fridays for homemade burgers and to watch Dallas and noticed at one point that nearly every single picture was of the family around a table eating.


    Anyhow, I will stop here for the time being, but will continue with what I think is the biggest culprits that went towards my weight gain. Sorry for the wordiness.
     
  2. OkieGirl

    OkieGirl Active Member

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    Start Weight:
    28st8lb
    Current Weight:
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    Goal Weight:
    11st0lb
    Lost(%):
    2st8lb(9%)
    Surgery Type:
    Don't know yet
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    So for those of you who waded through my first entry, thank you and again, sorry for being so wordy! Thank you for sticking with me. I just want to give a bit of a trigger warning for this post for discussion of sexual abuse. I promise it won't be anything explicit but I just wanted to give people fair warning.

    ~*~

    While what I've mentioned in my previous post have, I feel, contributed to my weight, I believe that the single largest event in my life that caused that mental switch to flip was being molested by a cousin that I adored when I was 8. He is 7 years older than me. It "only" happened twice, but that was enough. In some ways I feel almost ashamed that it affected me so much considering that it happened so few times. There are people in this world who suffer at the hands of family members for years and years and seem to be able to come through their experiences seemingly unscathed, but I guess that not all scars are visible. Not everyone deals with emotional trauma by coming home from school and stuffing their face with a bowlful of mayonnaise mixed with Frito corn chips washed down with multiple glasses of whole milk.

    Binging like this became my new default mode. I almost made a game of it at times, patting myself on the back when I managed to eat just that bit more. The amount of pride I felt in myself when I managed to eat three slices of pizza instead of two... which then I managed to push to four... I started sneaking food at night when everyone was asleep. At dinner I'd shovel in the food and it never seemed to be enough. If we had something like fried chicken I would hide a piece behind my back and try to sidle past my mom and dad to my bedroom to scoff it even though I was most likely already fit to burst.

    In all truth, I had blocked the molestation from my memory until I was about 16 when it surfaced and burst like a bubble in my brain. There was no ah-ha! moment with it or dawning realisation, it just was suddenly there and I wasn't sure what to do with it for a while. Eventually I shared what happened with my best friend and, although what happened to me was awful, there was some good that came from it. After I told my friend, she got up the courage to tell people about the ongoing sexual abuse that she'd been subjected to by a family member and it was subsequently stopped.

    I also did finally tell my parents and told them the details but my dad defaulted to the position that kids experiment with that kind of stuff. I was 8. My cousin was 15. That wasn't experimentation, not on my part at least. He knew on some level what he did was wrong because he swore me to secrecy. A secret that I carried for years and still do to a degree because my mom's reaction to it was not to show any sorrow for it or tell me that she was sorry but she instantly told me that I could never tell my Grannie or my aunt about what had happened.

    You see, my cousin was the product of a broken family. His dad (my uncle) had no interest in bringing him up and his mother was strung out most of the time and unable to care for him. Because of this, he was raised by my Grannie and my aunt and, to a small degree, my mom, too. I knew way back then, long before he ever touched me, that as far as they were convinced he was the poor little prince who could do no wrong.

    Later on, after my dad (whom I absolutely adored) had passed away, my mom ended up rubbing salt in the wounds by giving my cousin my dad's golf clubs and a desk that my dad had gotten for me. It really did make me angry and still does to this day. I did eventually tell her this and that if the choice had been mine, I'd have rather taken them out to the backyard and set fire to them than let my cousin have them. Also because I have honoured my mom's order, my aunt has persistently arranged family get togethers, ensuring he's there. I did put my foot down this recent trip and made it clear that I wanted our holiday to be about my family, my mom and sister and that I didn't want anything "special" arranged on our behalf. I've also recently discussed what happened to me in more detail with my mom, although I still don't think she fully understands or wants to try to understand the effect it's had on me. It's too difficult for her and she feels guilty on one level because she couldn't protect her child.

    Please don't misunderstand me on this: I love my mom. She had no idea what had happened until I blindsided her with it. I never expected her or my dad to kick off or try and seek justice for me. I just needed them to know that it had happened. My mom always has done the best she could for me and my sister, she loves me loads. If anything, her reaction only makes me wonder if at some point in her own life if she had also been molested. I seriously doubt that I'll ever know for certain.

    So where does this leave me? It left 8 year old me feeling as though I had done something terrible, although I couldn't articulate or understand it fully. All of this also coincided with the first instance of being bullied at school by some random 6th grader calling me an ugly little Frankenstein. Add in the awfulness of being a tomboy that ended up being the first of my year to need to wear a bra and the general awkwardness of puberty and, well, I was a rather confused mess if I didn't fully recognise it at the time. All I knew was that I was fatter, taller and clumsier than the other girls. My self esteem nosedived. It seemed back then that the only certain thing in my life, the only thing that didn't let me down or reject me was food. That's a dangerous mindset to get into at that age because those thoughts and ideas aren't just out there random ones, they become a part of you, a part of your personality, for better or worse.

    There's still plenty more I could say about this, but I won't. It doesn't change what happened, but putting it out there like this has been cathartic. This is the one thing that's happened to me that I worry about mentioning to the psychologists. I worry that they'll tell me that this experience and my reaction is proof that I am unsuitable for surgery, that they'll tell me that if I lose weight and start getting attention that I won't be able to handle it and will have a breakdown. You see, when you've been the fat girl for most of your life and you've never experienced that kind of attention it's hard to know how you'll react.

    Anyway, I think I've bored you good people long enough for now so I'll sign off. ;)
     
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  3. Maria61

    Maria61 Well-Known Member

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    Current Weight:
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    Goal Weight:
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    Lost(%):
    7st3.5lb(37.18%)
    Surgery Type:
    Gastric bypass
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Consultant:
    Mr Jain Luton and Dunstable
    Surgery Date::
    19th September 2017
    Wow, how brave of you to tell us all your story. You are an amazing person and I wish you every success in your weight loss journey xxx
     
  4. SAM55

    SAM55 Well-Known Member

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    Mr Mehta
    Surgery Date::
    5th September 2016
    Thank you for sharing your very personal story. Be assured there are a number of us on here whose weight issues have stemmed from sexual abuse as a child including me. Your story is your story and number of incidents does not invalidate what happened to you. I also had a mother who couldn’t cope with the revelation so no support there. I found later on that caused me more trouble than the abuse itself. At my psychological assessment this didn’t come as a surprise to them and I had had a number of years of therapy. I was warned that a number of people do reach a weight loss point where they suddenly find they get a block on losing anymore because of fear of unwanted attention and to seek support if that should happen.

    I have found it helpful to disclose and work through my stuff and you have made a good start by sharing with us on here. Xx
     
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  5. Bling Babe

    Bling Babe Well-Known Member

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    Lost(%):
    5st10lb(34.63%)
    Surgery Type:
    Gastric Bypass
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Consultant:
    MrJain
    Surgery Date::
    5th April 2018
    That is so very sad and I can only imagine how it messed your head up, I had it has helped to put it into words and would like to hope that this will not have any negative impact on your journey. What time are you at L and D on 9th, I’m at 2.30 Mr Jain and 4.55 Dr Shetty
     
  6. OkieGirl

    OkieGirl Active Member

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    Don't know yet
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Aw, thanks @Maria61 ! :hugs:I've always been a big believer in WYSIWYG. I'm pretty much an open book, really.

    I've wondered about the long term impact this experience might have on me in regards to the surgery and weight loss. I'm sorry that you've had the same experience with your mum as I have. Mine seems to have come around quite a bit now though and completely backed me up when I said I didn't want to see my cousin this time around. She made it very clear to my aunt that she was not to plan anything, and she didn't, although I'm sure she has no idea of the reasoning behind it.

    The more I think about it the more I feel it will be important to tell the psychologists what happened to me because I feel it is a big piece of the puzzle that is me and my weight. I don't necessarily feel that it's difficult to talk about, but I also don't want or need someone telling me that if I find a way to put it behind me that my problems will be solved and the weight will just magically drop off. And yes, I have had someone tell me this before! I'm certain, though, that the psychs working with weight loss surgery patients have seen this time and time again and know way better than that!

    I would like to say that I haven't let it fully determine my lot in life, but I suppose I have to a degree. Don't get me wrong, I don't dwell on it and most of the time I don't think about it at all. The problem is that at that point in my life I was too young to really deal with the emotions behind it all and so I resorted to shoving those feelings down with food.

    My appointment is as 12:00 pm but who exactly I'm seeing I have no idea. I know that I have to have blood tests run and all that fun stuff. I assume I'll meet the dietitian at the very least and perhaps have a physical. I'll be kind of annoyed to go all that way for a 10 minute appointment though! :rolleyes:
     
  7. Bling Babe

    Bling Babe Well-Known Member

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    Start Weight:
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    Current Weight:
    10st11lb
    Goal Weight:
    10st0lb
    Lost(%):
    5st10lb(34.63%)
    Surgery Type:
    Gastric Bypass
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Consultant:
    MrJain
    Surgery Date::
    5th April 2018
    Remind me if this is your first appointment? Sorry I’m being lazy I could look back on your posts xx
     
  8. OkieGirl

    OkieGirl Active Member

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    Start Weight:
    28st8lb
    Current Weight:
    26st0lb
    Goal Weight:
    11st0lb
    Lost(%):
    2st8lb(9%)
    Surgery Type:
    Don't know yet
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Yep, it's my first appointment.
     
  9. Bling Babe

    Bling Babe Well-Known Member

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    Start Weight:
    16st7.0lb
    Current Weight:
    10st11lb
    Goal Weight:
    10st0lb
    Lost(%):
    5st10lb(34.63%)
    Surgery Type:
    Gastric Bypass
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Consultant:
    MrJain
    Surgery Date::
    5th April 2018
    on my first appointment I was weighed and had bloods taken, I was given a food diary to fill in which I did very honestly no point in trying to hide bad eating habits if we didn’t have them we wouldn’t be there, I was given details of my milk diet and my next appointment should have been on the last day of that diet but they were short of dietician so my next appointment wasn’t until October, this was in June so I started my milk diet in September and day 27 was the day of my 2nd appointment, in the 3 months between my first appointment and starting my milk diet I had put on another 3kg !! If you have lost at least 5% of your body weight when you go back you are able to continue the assessment. The dietician also asked what my aim was as they are happy to help you learn healthy eating as well as wls, I did wonder what the response would be when I said wls but she was fine about it. She checked my BMI and explained that my result meant I would have to be assessed for 1 year rather than 6 months.my BMI was 37.5 it needs to be 40 or above for a 6 month assessment. You will have quite a few follow up appointments and after you assessment period you’ll see a general physician who will assess your fitness for surgery, then your MDT, then you’ll be where I am, about to meet the Surgeon and anaesthetist and hopefully go on the list....it’s been a long 17 months in one respect but it’s also flown by if you know what I mean. It’s really helpful to have the time it takes going the nhs route to research types of surgery and what to expect post surgery both immediately and long term. Hope this is of some help, may see you on the 9th xx
     
  10. Bling Babe

    Bling Babe Well-Known Member

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    10st0lb
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    5st10lb(34.63%)
    Surgery Type:
    Gastric Bypass
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Consultant:
    MrJain
    Surgery Date::
    5th April 2018
    Sorry I should have said those BMI I mention were also with co-mobidities as I am a type 2 diabetic, without co-morbidities the BMI’s are different xx
     
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  11. OkieGirl

    OkieGirl Active Member

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    2st8lb(9%)
    Surgery Type:
    Don't know yet
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Thanks for that Bling! That gives me a better idea of what to expect this first visit. My BMI when I was referred was 62 and I have high blood pressure that's controlled with medication. Either way, I'm looking at the 6 month assessment. I think what worries me most is the assessment. I'm terrified that even if I do the work that I'll still end up falling flat on my face and get kicked out of the programme. I guess it's one of those one step at a time things really and I need to drill that into my head.

    The way time flies, and if all goes well over the next few months, I'll probably be in shock that I'll be heading towards surgery! I am glad that there is the time to wrap your head around what's to come and the changes that it'll bring. When I was home I told my aunt about the surgery and the first words out of her mouth were not that she was pleased for me, but a dire warning about two people who had had bypasses but they would just eat until they were sick and start over again and they'v ended up putting everything they'd lost back on and then some! I honestly think it's almost too easy to get it done in the US and there's very little mental prep work done with patients.
     
  12. Bling Babe

    Bling Babe Well-Known Member

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    Start Weight:
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    Current Weight:
    10st11lb
    Goal Weight:
    10st0lb
    Lost(%):
    5st10lb(34.63%)
    Surgery Type:
    Gastric Bypass
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Consultant:
    MrJain
    Surgery Date::
    5th April 2018
    Ah that sounds as if your right, although I’m sure there are many that fail here too as I’m more than aware that the pouch or sleeve can be stretch or it is possible to fill up on the wrong food eg high fat and sugar and gain weight, in fact at my MDT we were told that 20% of bypass patients re gain their weight in 10 years, scary, it really makes you appreciate the fact that wls is only a tool and we must work with that tool. I’m sure you won’t fail, the reward will keep you going but don’t worry too much IF you did gain some they won’t kick you of they will however extend the time and the May increase the amount they ask you to lose so all will not be lost xx
     
  13. OkieGirl

    OkieGirl Active Member

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    Start Weight:
    28st8lb
    Current Weight:
    26st0lb
    Goal Weight:
    11st0lb
    Lost(%):
    2st8lb(9%)
    Surgery Type:
    Don't know yet
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    For those who have read my diary up to this point, I'm sorry that A) it's so damned wordy and B) it's so damned depressing! I promise that I'm not typically a Debbie Downer and do try to have a more positive outlook on life. Taking an honest look at these factors was important for myself though, I feel.

    ~*~

    After looking at all of these things, I have to ask the question: What is the common denominator?

    It's an easy enough question to answer: Me.

    The thread running through all of this is myself. At the end of the day I could sit and blame all the things I've experienced or genetics or whatever for me putting on weight, but if I want to be brutally honest, I am the one who made the decisions to shovel food in or not to be more active. I was the one who eventually gave up hope and gave up trying. It was easier to just accept that this was it for me. Maybe this is too simplistic an approach though and maybe I'm being too hard on myself, but I think it would be totally unrealistic to not accept some responsibility for my state.

    Tomorrow is what I feel is the first real step in putting things right, though. I have my first appointment at Luton and Dunstable to start me on Tier 3. It's strange though. Over the course of this week as my appointment has drawn closer, I have fretted more over what's to come. My fears about completely falling flat on my face are very real. We got a glossy supermarket Christmas catalogue in the post yesterday chock full lovely looking Christmas goodies and I had this terrible twinge of almost sadness at the knowledge that if I do get through this process successfully, this time next year I most likely won't be able to indulge in those tasty treats. Maybe part of this is the fact that I don't have a point of reference. I can't say that I miss those days when I was thin because the only time I was thin was when I was under the age of 7. Maybe this bodes badly for me already, maybe not.

    Maybe I'm putting the cart before the horse and just being stupid about the whole thing and just need to get on with it. Please feel free to say so! Adopting a one day at a time approach to everything will probably be wise, me thinks.
     
  14. OkieGirl

    OkieGirl Active Member

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    Start Weight:
    28st8lb
    Current Weight:
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    Goal Weight:
    11st0lb
    Lost(%):
    2st8lb(9%)
    Surgery Type:
    Don't know yet
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    @Maria61 Here's my reply to you! :)

    Today's appointment went well. I met Xen (who is freakin' adorable imho) and he instantly put me at ease. I've put on weight since my initial referral from my doctor, which I wasn't shocked to discover what with a trip to Oklahoma in my not to distant past. I answered his questions as honestly as I possibly could which was fairly easy because there seemed to be no judgement there. I guess they've heard it all before, but still, it made a huge difference to me. He talked through the process and said that I'll have an appointment with a nurse in December but will do the milk diet after Christmas. He said that they're mean, but not mean enough to make me do the milk diet during Christmas! After that I had my blood drawn and headed home. My hubby drove but we're both knackered. It's a long ol' trek from Lowestoft to Luton and back. I feel quite positive right now!
     
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  15. Ian2Big

    Ian2Big Active Member

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    Start Weight:
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    Current Weight:
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    Goal Weight:
    110kg
    Lost(%):
    53.1kg(30.18%)
    Surgery Type:
    Gastric Bypass
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Consultant:
    Mr Rashid
    Surgery Date::
    23 Jan 2018
    Hi @OkieGirl
    Glad the appointment went ok. The work starts now. I found all of the staff like you to lose some weight between appointments, shows your commitment.
    Stay positive.
    Ian
     
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  16. Maria61

    Maria61 Well-Known Member

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    Surgery Type:
    Gastric bypass
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Consultant:
    Mr Jain Luton and Dunstable
    Surgery Date::
    19th September 2017
    Well done OkieGirl, I am sure you will do well. I wish you every success in your journey xxxx
     
  17. OkieGirl

    OkieGirl Active Member

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    Don't know yet
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    I really struggling the last couple of days I can't really say what's triggered it. Over the course of the last two days I feel like I am fighting this constant battle to not go in the kitchen and just stuff myself silly. Even talking about it makes me want to go eat. I debated leaving out the bad choices in my food diary but figure that it doesn't do myself any favours to try and trick them. Besides, I need to face up to what I've become and why I've gotten that way. So, in spite of feeling immense shame and guilt, I've fessed up in my food diary and was bloody shocked at how hard it actually was. It's embarrassing.

    I've got my next appointment at L&D for 5th January and I suspect that I'll start the milk diet then, but I guess time will tell.
     
  18. SAM55

    SAM55 Well-Known Member

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    7st12lb(31.19%)
    Surgery Type:
    Sleeve
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Consultant:
    Mr Mehta
    Surgery Date::
    5th September 2016
    I blame the weather - I can eat for England when it is cold! :D Seriously, you are starting to process some very difficult emotions and it is natural to go to what you normally do for comfort. Are you getting any psychological support to work through things? I too have been struggling recently as life has been somewhat challenging! I have learnt not to beat myself up and to learn from each experience. It takes time though to get our heads around thinking about food differently. It is hard and it takes time to learn new habits and new ways of reacting. Be kind to yourself, and also take some time for some fun.

    In one of your earlier posts you blamed everything on yourself. I used to do that until a therapist gave me a book to read - 'A Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World is Getting Worse' by James Hillman and Michael Ventura. It opened my eyes to the fact that no one is an island and that society and people are interconnected and therefore we are all in varying degrees depending on the hand that life has dealt us, a product of our life's experiences. We all have shadow sides and no one is all good or all bad. We can take responsibility for our own choices but it isn't good to take on responsibility for things that others have done. x
     
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  19. Bling Babe

    Bling Babe Well-Known Member

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    5st10lb(34.63%)
    Surgery Type:
    Gastric Bypass
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Consultant:
    MrJain
    Surgery Date::
    5th April 2018
    Sam you always have such supportive words of wisdom and I thank you for that xxx
     
  20. SAM55

    SAM55 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,853
    Likes Received:
    1,315
    Start Weight:
    25st2.7lb
    Current Weight:
    17st4.7lb
    Goal Weight:
    14st13.4lb
    Lost(%):
    7st12lb(31.19%)
    Surgery Type:
    Sleeve
    Funding Type:
    NHS
    Consultant:
    Mr Mehta
    Surgery Date::
    5th September 2016
    Thanks B ling. what a beautiful thing to say. You have brought a tear to my eye. x
     
    Bling Babe likes this.
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