When I began this journey, I was aware that I was an emotional eater. It was my hope that bariatric surgery would prove to be the tool that would help physically stop me long enough for a spiritual solution to take hold and move me to a higher ground. This month that hope became a reality. I believe I am now ready to lay out in detail the events that lead to my NEED to emotionally eat and the victory that I am now experiencing as a result of not being able to physically do so.

Amy Beside TreeOne of the main reasons I chose to have the gastric bypass instead of the lap band is because I knew I was an emotional eater. Sometimes I eat when I am not hungry because food is a way I cope with feelings I do not want to feel.  Seven years ago when I lost then regained 100 lbs thru a popular diet, I experienced the feelings I have had the last month. However, I was unable at that time to pause long enough to deal with the real issue so I gained back all that weight. For me, once the cycle of overeating has started it is nearly impossible for me to stop in the middle and regain control. The gastric bypass provided the physical barrier so this time I was forced to deal with the emotions. I am so blessed to have people in my life who have taught me that when I become upset with someone or something I need to pause, pray and look within myself to see what it is about ME that creates the angst I am feeling. Not being able to “feed” a particular feeling this time, I was forced to deal with myself. Here is what started the cycle this time and what I have learned from the experience:  

I have been traveling out of town almost every weekend for the last two months. I am a very routine driven person so traveling has interrupted my need for consistency. For me, once the routine is gone – I am out the door behind it. I have to be honest … that has been my course of action the last three weeks. I missed a few days of exercising which created a mindset of “failure” and was closely followed by getting physically sick. Now it is a struggle to get back into my exercise routine but that is another topic for another day; however it is the lack of exercise and feeling of failure that opened the door to experience my most recent growing pain thus far on this journey. Having struggled with “body image” most of my adolescent and adult life, I am HIGHLY sensitive to compliments, especially if I am in “failure mode” and feel I do not deserve them. In fact, this very topic was one of the struggles I identified with Lisa, my counselor at Nash Surgical Weight Loss. Knowing it was a struggle and living thru the struggle are two different things. Having lost 94 lbs since my surgery date of Oct 28, 2010 and only having about 17 more to go until my goal, I have completely changed in appearance. This naturally has opened the door to many compliments on my physical success. I am learning to embrace these compliments and choose to believe that people mean them as encouragement - not as judgment on my former self nor an indictment on what I am currently not doing. Sadly, it is clear that as a society we are motivated by people’s outer appearance. I am guilty of this very mindset and it is that guilt that has served as the spring board of my recent emotional growth.

I am good at reading into what people say about me by listening to how they talk about others and how I have viewed others in the past. I do not like this fact about myself very much so it has been my prayer recently that I view people’s heart and soul and not their outer appearance. To love them (as well as myself) for whom they are inside and not judge them for how they look on the outside. Honestly, it is beyond my control what people think of me (good or bad). What I have learned is that for me only one opinion truly matters – God’s. And if I am treating His children with love, regardless of their looks, somehow I perceive what others are thinking of me does not matter so much anymore. This revelation has freed me from one of the biggest reasons I have “fed” my emotions for so long. I am free to be me and love. We are who we are and not for how we look. It is with this thought in mind I can now embrace compliments by simply saying thank you and enjoying the victory in accomplishing a very difficult task!! Thank you Nash Surgical Weight Loss for helping me not only lose weight but transition to a healthier frame of mind!