Melissa Bailey Arizpe, Psy.D.

Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

Commitment–Everyday

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2009 at 2:43 am

One of the things that I often ask patients before surgery is “how is your life going to be different after surgery?”  I usually get an answer like “dramatically” or “I will need to really change my eating habits.”  I then proceed to go over all of the things that are going to need to change.  Sometimes I wonder how much of what I am saying is sinking in.  In the excitement of the surgery, the subsequent life changes can seem like it will just fall into place after surgery.  Not always the case.

One way to stay on track after surgery is to continue to make a daily, and sometimes hourly commitment, to your new lifestyle.  When you wake up in the morning, look yourself in the mirror and say, “I am making a commitment to myself to eat healthier and stay on track.”  Sound silly?  Well, think about all of the people in your life that you have made a verbal or nonverbal commitment to–like your spouse, your kids, your job, your family, your education.  Whether we know it or not, we are making commitments on a regular basis.  The problem is that we often do not make the same level of commitment to ourselves.

Success after surgery is all about planning, sticking to the plan in the face of that favorite snack or meal, getting all the protein when you would rather not, and exercising when you do not really feel up to it.  It is about a commitment to yourself.  This can be tough for some.   I know that many people I interview before surgery have spent their life taking care of other people–pushing their needs aside.  Surgery success does not happen with that kind of attitude.  You need to take a stand for yourself.  You can do it.

Make a commitment right now, to yourself, that you are going to stay on track. You will get all of your protein grams in today.  You will take the stairs instead of the elevator.  You will chose water over soda.  You will slow down your eating and not eat “on the go.”  You will make time for yourself.

You will be amazed at the results.

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Slow it Down

In weight loss surgery on May 11, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Slow it down–not only in life but in the way we approach food. When was the last time that you actually sat down and ate a meal without distractions? No television. No computer. No phone. We are always in such a hurry to do everything, get places, and take care of everyone else that it is tempting to go through that drive-thru or eat on the run. The problem with that is that we hardly remember we ate anything. Or, we eat so quickly that we get uncomfortably full and then regret eating the portion that we did.

Many patients tell me that the hardest part after surgery–especially for lapbanders–is to slow down eating and thoroughly chew up the food.  We have been programed to eat quickly and take a big ole bite of something.  The problem with this after surgery is that it will feel very uncomfortable.  There is a reason why it is important to slow down your eating.   Chewing and actually paying attention to what your are eating is part of the process to help your body and mind know when you have had enough.  When we eat too quickly, our body doesn’t have a chance to tell us that we have overeaten until it is too late.

There are a couple of ways to help with speedy eating.  Try eating only when you are sitting down at a table.  No eating in the car or in front of the television.  Put down the fork in between bites.  Count to 20 or 30 before swallowing your food.  Yes, this might take a bit more planning, but being healthy usually does.   Try this simple steps and see what happens.