Melissa Bailey Arizpe, Psy.D.

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Food Conversations

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Interesting title don’t you think. I wanted to talk to you today about the conversations we have in our head about food. How many of us struggle with that conversation in our head before we eat something? For example, if you go to your pantry and there is a box of protein bars and a box of Oreos, what conversation do you have in your head about which one you will ultimately pick to eat? It might go something like this, “Well, I know I need to get my protein in for today. But those cookies look really good. I have been pretty good with eating today. Maybe one won’t hurt. But, the protein bar will probably make it so I am not so hungry. Ugh….. ” and so on.

We have these food conversations in our head all the time. And, sometimes, we don’t have these conversations when we just randomly grab food without thinking about it. The bowl of candy at your co-workers desk. The candy at the grocery check-out aisle. It is important that you really start to have more conversations with yourself before you pick up and put something in your mouth. Let’s face it. Today food is convenient and the makers of the food make it that way so you will buy it. It is a lot harder to find something quick and healthy and not expensive these days.

I want you to really talk to yourself before you eat your next meal. Slow down before eating. Eat at a table instead of on the couch or in the car. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Or am I stressed?” Eating is a basic necessity of life but some of us take it to the extreme when we overeat or eat when we are not hungry. It is important to really pay attention to your body. Recognize when you are full. Chewing is actually part of the process that tells us if we are full or not.

Again, like anything, this takes practice. One step at a time. That is how change occurs. If you forget and grab something without thinking, then the next time really make a point to “talk to yourself” when you feel like eating. Eating needs to be a process. A process of reading labels, getting rid of tempting foods (like the Oreos in the pantry), and making a choice each day that you are going to choose to eat 60 to 100 grams of protein a day. Tell yourself, “I am choosing to eat this protein bar instead of the Oreos because I am making small changes to eat healthier.” And you know what, if you are by yourself, you can even say it out loud. Sounds funny, I know, but saying things out loud make it more real and your brain will actually register it more than if you just say it silently to yourself.

What conversations are you having with your food today?

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First Virtual Support Group Time Set

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Greetings,
I wanted to let you know that I have set a time and date for the first “virtual support group” via conference call. Please feel free to call in no matter what phase of the surgery you are at.

Date: September 28, 2010
Time: 7-8pm
Call in: 661-673-8600
Access code: 920391

You can download the flyer by clicking on the link below.

Virtual Support Group Time Set

Make Fluids an important part of your day

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm

A recent article I read talked about how often we do not get enough water throughout the day. Remember our body is made up of about 80% water. We need to keep hydrated. Drinks with caffeine and sugar do not count toward hydrating. So many times I talk to people both before and after surgery who do not drink enough water. The problem with this is that when you don’t drink enough water you become dehydrated. Some of the symptoms of dehydration can be misinterpreted as hunger. Feeling tired, crabby, low energy–all of these these symptoms are often responded with, “I’m hungry.” When really you probably didn’t drink enough fluid. For successful weight loss, you need to be hydrated at all times. That is why often WLS patients are carrying around a bottle of water with them wherever they go.

How much water have you had today? Did you run out the door without some sort of hydrating beverage? Have you planned to make sure you have plenty of water throughout the day? Chances are if you aren’t drinking enough fluid you are feeling run down and will be tempted to eat something that you shouldn’t.

Water. Water. Water.

Preparing for the weekend

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Greetings and Happy Labor Day weekend! Many of us will be celebrating the end of summer and the beginning of fall. This means family parties, backyard BBQs, and lots of food and fun. This is a perfect example of what I have been writing about in the past couple of months about preparing for an event that might have some potential pitfalls for staying on course with the commitment to making good choices post-surgery. Start thinking now how you are going to handle it when Aunt Gertrude tries forcing you to try some of her pie. Also, for those of you who are social drinkers, remember, you will get intoxicated very quickly–so watch out for that. Alcohol also has a lot of calories, carbs, sugars and slows the metabolism.

Here are some tips to deal with the weekend:

Plan ahead–if you know what is going to be served, have in your mind what you can or can’t have.

If you are headed to a BBQ–remember the golden rule of Weight Loss Surgery–Protein first, the veggies, then fruit, and the carbs are last. Most BBQs have a lot of protein with all of the meat served. Just make sure that you eat slowly and thoroughly chew up your food. Protein Protein Protein

Don’t eat just to eat. Remember when you feel that full feeling in your stomach–stop eating. You do not want to regurgitate. That means you are full. This does not mean that you wait 20 minutes and then eat more.

Focus on the social aspect of the event. Pick out someone who you don’t see very often and really try and have a conversation with that person. Pick out a younger person in the group who might not get a lot of adult attention. After all, the REAL point of these events is the social aspect.

If someone says, “Is that all your eating?” or makes other comments, remember the art of changing the subject. Ask the person about themselves. Most people like to talk about themselves and it also gives the subtle message that you don’t want to talk about it.

Many picnics have fun activities. Join in! Get moving! Play volleyball or horseshoes. Go hang out with the kids running around. Get your exercise in. This is often one the most cited reasons why people want to have weight loss surgery! “I want to be able to run around with my kids.”

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids. A person who is dehydrated will often mistake the feelings for hunger. Remember no calorie beverages and of course water. Bring your favorite protein water drink in a water bottle.

Above all, have fun. Make a decision that the event is not about the food. It is about having fun and socializing. Put that message in your head before the event.

Preparation is everything–particularly for those of you who usually are doing everything for everyone else. Make sure you take care of yourself as well.

Have a great weekend!