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Preparing For Gastric Sleeve Surgery And Beyond

Post # 2

By Susan F WeimerPublished about a year ago 3 min read

I'm back with an update on my progress towards getting gastric sleeve surgery. I just had a psychological evaluation done. It's a required part of the process for gastric sleeve surgery. Because of my bipolar disorder, I already have a therapist and psychiatrist, so I didn't have to look for someone to do the evaluation. (Lucky me.)

When I arrived at my appointment with my therapist, I asked her if she could do the evaluation for me. She said she would, and we spent the entire hour of my session filling out the form they gave me to have the evaluation done.

There were so many things that we had to go over. From how I intend to handle stress to whether I will have someone to support me before and after surgery. I never knew there would be so much detail involved in a psych evaluation.

After that morning appointment, I had my first Zoom group meeting to attend in the afternoon. It was fun.

The leader began by reading an article about why obesity is a risk factor for Covid. The group leader is the Physician's Assistant of the surgeon doing the surgery. It turns out the extra weight pushing on your diaphragm makes it more difficult to breathe if you catch the Covid virus. (I learned something today.)

I'm trying hard to get my diet under control. I have to lose that 5% of my weight. It's difficult to keep my mind on other things besides food. I feel like I'm an alcoholic trying to get sober.

Every time I see a forbidden food in a commercial or in the store, I want it.

Pizza, ice cream, donuts, chocolate — everything this food addict craves.

Food addiction is a real thing, you know. Let me explain.

Behavioral studies on animals and humans show that food can activate the same reward and pleasure centers in the brain that are triggered by drugs like cocaine and heroin. Especially foods that contain a lot of sugar, salt, and fat.

In the same way drugs like cocaine and heroin trigger feel-good brain chemicals, those good-tasting foods do the same. The effects of increased dopamine transmission in the brain's reward pathway associated with eating certain foods can cause people to feel the need to eat again immediately. The same way drug addicts crave another hit as soon as the drug wears off.

It is thought reward signals from these tasty foods override signals of fullness and satisfaction. The result is that people keep eating, even if they are not hungry.

Overeating compulsively is a type of behavioral addiction. The person can become obsessed with a behavior (like eating, gambling, or shopping) that triggers intense pleasure.

In food addiction, a person loses control over their eating behavior. Additionally, they spend an excessive amount of time thinking about food. Overeating and anticipating the effects of compulsive eating becomes an addiction.

Food addicts may also develop a kind of tolerance to food. Over time, they eat more and more, only to find that food satisfies them less and less.

I'm an addict. And like any other addict, my addiction is ruining my life. So, it's time to do something about it.

I understand that this surgery will change my life, especially how I will have to think about food. But I'm ready. I'm ready to give it everything I have to get there. All the doctor visits and the group meetings and fighting to lose that 5% of my body weight.

I'm tired of starting and failing diet after diet. My body is breaking down and I'm coming into the home stretch. I have to do something now. That's why I'm doing this. I need to make my life better. I need to lose weight so that my joints have an easier time carrying me around.

I'm ready to do this thing.

If you liked my article, you can treat me to a cup of coffee. It will go a long way in supporting me as a writer.


About the Creator

Susan F Weimer

I live in a rural area in upstate New York with my fiancé and three dogs. Mine is a simple life filled with simple pleasures.

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