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Food VS. Me. I need HELP PLEASE!


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My oldest son has significant special needs (completely dependent on me for everything) and I just got bleeped by the state I am freaking out and overwhelmed and stressed beyond belief and I all I want is a large cheese pizza! I just want food because I always turn to food when I need comfort. One of the reasons I started putting on weight when was my son was born and in the hospital all the time so I would eat to feel better. Now here I am trying to change my life so I can be around for my son (and other kids) who will need me until I die and I am so afraid I cant do this. I am fighting this urge to order pizza or go get the giant box of cereal calling my name and say screw the protein shake that I am supposed to have for lunch.

I am sorry to vent but I just feel so overwhelmed and like the food addiction/craving is overpowering my willpower to stick to the plan I set for myself to make myself healthy! I mean what happens after surgery when I feel this way? I can't just eat a large pizza or i'll be physically ill. This just sucks!

Thanks for listening. Any support/advice on how you post opers were able to overcome this need for food to fix your problems would be much appreciated.

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Ouch.  Wish I could offer you up some pearls of wisdom.  Pre-surgery I know how bad that drive can be to stuff your face.  There are countless times I would battle internally with myself over pizza (that was my big crutch too) and eventually I'd just #*@& it and order and devour it anyway. 

 

This temptation or urge has not happened after surgery.  I don't have the stressers and such that you do so I don't know how much of a help that is.  Things...my thoughts, feelings, attitude... are just all so different now after surgery.  I have found I am not as angry of a person (and I often ate because I was angry) as I always thought I was.  There is nothing that has changed as far as I know, aside from dropping weight; so is it all from just that?  I really don't know.  All I know is that right now things are pretty good and those urges to stuff my face with an ooey gooey yummy yummy pizza went away.  I PRAY it remains that way forever, because I worry about my willpower every day regardless.

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I'm sorry for your situation. I can't imagine what that must be like.

 

In my opinion, there's a couple of things to consider. First, you need to develop some other outlet for your anger/frustration. Going on a walk, watching your favorite reality show, going to Zumba, getting on here (oh wait! you already figured that one out! lol :) ), etc.. Just the other day I put a post on here celebrating some of my NSV's as an alternative to eating an entire tub of ice cream. Seriously, it was a close call.

 

Now, some people might disagree with me on this next bit of advice, so take it or leave it. In my humble opinion, if you're having a really bad day and you're stressed and feel like it's the only thing that will bring you comfort, I say have a piece of pizza. I'm talking post op of course. If you're in your required liquid diet phase, or the very restricted post op phase then you can't afford to stray from that. But after several months, or years, you'll need to develop a plan that allows you to have some of those "forbidden" things. The reason I say this is because if you get in a mindset of "I'll never be able to have that ever again" you'll have a very hard time because inevitably you WILL have something "naughty". You need to know that it's ok, that the world wont end, and that you wont get fat overnight because of one piece of pizza. As an example, I have MS and some days I just feel like S**t. The other day I came home from work early, put on my PJ's and laid on the couch doing absolutely nothing. All I could think about was my standard go-to "sick" food of Pizza Hut ham and pinapple pizza. So, after much debate, I finally agreed to let myself have it. I didn't feel like cooking, I was home alone and couldn't ask someone to go get something for me, so I decided to have the pizza delivered. The difference between now and a year ago though, is that I didn't order a large with a bottle of Mt. Dew and breadsticks. I ordered a personal pan size, no breadsticks, no soda.

 

I think the trick to this whole journey is learning how to change our relationship with food. I saw a quote from Bethany Frankel (the "skinny girl" lady) and she said we all have stop thinking we're "good" if we don't have a piece of cake and "bad" if we do. I totally agree with her. We just have to say "yup, I had a piece of cake, it was good, that was that". Don't obsess over it. Don't think "I was bad, I've fallen off the wagon, what's the point... I'll eat the whole thing now". I think one of the greatest gifts the surgery has given me is the ability to look at a treat and realize that I'm not going to gain 85 lbs over night from having a cookie. I can have one, know how many calories are in it, and know that I can burn that off at the gym tonight.

 

Anyway, there's my two cents. I'm really speaking to later on, after you've had the surgery. I hope you can find ways to cope that are healthy and constructive for the time being.

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Can you do something like distract yourself with a video game or something like that?  Maybe one that you can take out some of your anger on?  Or maybe dance it out like they do on Grey's Anatomy.  ;)   I'm a scrapbook addict, so when I am in a mood and want to eat away my anger I will sit down and put together another page for one of my books instead.  Find something you can immerse yourself in and hopefully that will push the pizza right out of your mind.

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Well....from my experience so far...there's nothing you really can do about the stresses of life, but what helps me is to look at everything in a more positive way. Read up on inspirational quotes and how to better your the situation at hand.  As far as the emotional cravings after surgery, you won't have any in the beginning, but as time progresses...those certain cravings will come slowly, but having the surgery is to help you manage your eating habits and learn how to portion your meals, & etc. Not totally sure how the sleeve works, but with the bypass, eating things like chocolate, pizza, wanting drinks( love cokes) was out of the question. It was just like being pregnant, the smell of it made me sick...I am about 2 1/2 years post op now, and I am at the point that I can eat basically the same things I ate before surgery, the only difference is that....I don't want to go back to the way I was, so that makes me very self conscious of the things I do and eat. Always trying to eat 5 small meals, trying not to over indulge on my cravings, and some type of exercise....Just to let you know...Its ok to have pizza on occassion, but not the entire pizza. About 2 slices, & a small cup(8 oz) of drink and that's it! Hopefully, this will give you a little more encouragement!  Take care!

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I know you are in a tough spot! I do not even come close to claiming I know what you are going thru in regards to your son and the state yanking your chain.... but I DO know how food can actually speak to me and tell me that if I eat it... I can ignore all the other stuff going on for just a bit... Let me tell you another thing I know for sure. It does not help!

 

A couple days ago I had a very bad day food and emotions wise (I posted about it on here somewhere)... I am post op, but can eat real easy like and I ate WAY TOO MUCH for someone 40+ days post op.... I buried myself in the foods for the day so I didn't have to cope with the emotional struggles I was dealing with (am dealing with).... Sure, I won't lie, for the length of time the food was going in, I was able to forget what else was going on... But as soon as I was done with the food, the emotions came back. It was an ugly cycle all day long! I ended up consuming just over 2000 calories! And for someone 40ish days post op, well, THAT is a feat! Peanut butter goes down way toooooo easy and adds up way tooooo fast! :unsure:

 

Bottom line. IT WAS NOT WORTH IT!! And you know what else (I've no doubt you know this too!), the crap I was trying to stuff with food, was still right there when I came up for air! AND on top of that, so was the worthless guilt I had over what I had done...

 

I don't think there is anything wrong with pizza, or eating pizza (once one can post op) a bit here or there... I agree with what other poster said, food is just food, not good or bad nor are we good or bad... BUT when I am using said food to stuff my feelings.... Regardless if its with carrot sticks, protein drinks, or pizza... there IS A BETTER WAY!

 

For me it is learning to feel the stuff instead of stuff the feelings.... :) And I am learning... ever so slowly, but learning none the less!

Edited by Becca52
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Well, post op, I can't eat like I used to. So that in and of itself helps--I just cannot put down the quantity that I used to. There's no "get sick if I eat a large pizza"--if I ate ONE FULL SLICE it would be a miracle. I might be able to eat half a slice. Maybe.

What I found post surgery as well is that the greasy, carb heavy foods make me feel bad. I feel greasy. My stomach hurts. It's not a good time. So I stay away from them, for the most part. A bite of hubby's meal is ok, generally, but I usually just want my healthy stuff and that's it.

My mentality has done a 180. Seriously, I don't WANT it most of the time.

That said, it does happen once in a while.

When I feel the urge to snack on something unhealthy, my first line of defense is to get full on something healthy. If I'm full, there IS NO "just a bite". Capacity is capacity. I don't stretch. I puke. Chunky waffle style. I can physically stop myself from indulging in unhealthy eating in this manner.

I have also learned how to turn to exercise. Sometimes that's taking a walk. Sometimes it's a drive. Sometimes it's doing the dishes or cleaning my bathroom.

I work full time. It's easier at work. I don't have a big selection available. I just have what I brought. So logging my stuff and packing my lunch the night before helps enormously as well. :)

You learn tricks to cope as you go along. The restriction is a blessing, as it gives you time to get those evasive maneuvers into place. To get a plan in place.

That's my two cents anyway.

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When I was on the dreaded two-week liquid pre-op diet, I remember craving something (I don't even remember what, but let's say pizza). And I remember thinking, hmmm, if I weren't having the surgery, I could have the pizza, and get back on the diet tomorrow. And realized then--there it is! The diet mentality is, imo, the kiss of death. I didn't have the pizza, because I needed the surgery. And I needed the surgery for a host of reasons. If I could do it without the surgery, I would have. What I'm trying to get to here is this--it is indeed not going to be the end of the world if you have the pizza, but it is a missed opportunity. I think every time we have the urge to eat from emotion, we have the opportunity to examine what is going on inside and then look to other ways to salve the wound that needs attention. The surgery makes it easier to do that because I can't fool myself into thinking I'm ravenously hungry and so deserve and should eat that pizza. You really don't need or deserve the pizza now, either. Food isn't the answer, it just seems like it is. The surgery will make it easier for you to see that. So...whether you end up with the pizza now or not I don't think will affect the way you respond after surgery. 

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Well, post op, I can't eat like I used to. So that in and of itself helps--I just cannot put down the quantity that I used to. There's no "get sick if I eat a large pizza"--if I ate ONE FULL SLICE it would be a miracle. I might be able to eat half a slice. Maybe.

 

 

Man, I wish I still had that kind of restriction! I'm fairly certain that I could eat at least two whole slices if I wanted to.

 

That's something else to keep in mind as you go through this. Counting on "I won't be able to eat that way" isn't a sure thing. You may very well be able to eat that kind of stuff and not have a problem, so you need to get your head in the right place rather than assuming your tummy will do all the dirty work for you. A lot of people say they don't crave the bad foods any more too... that's an awesome gift but I can tell you that for me, I still want every bit of naughtyness. It's a constant battle for me. All of that said, the surgery is an AMAZING tool that helps get you to that point. It's very hard to even comprehend pre-op, but post op you'll have will power you didn't even know existed. So don't feel too bad if you're not to the iron will power stage pre-op. I never was able to get there... even in the weeks immediately leading up to surgery.

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I think the key is finding alternative to the "food coma" that so many of us rely on to get through hard times. I know a lot of the things people suggest - watching a movie, going for a walk, having a cup of tea - seem way not as good at making you feel better. 

 

Venting here is a great one! I'm 100% sure if you pm-ed anyone on this site, they would be happy to chat with you about your troubles, weight related or not. We's good people, and we're here for you. :)

 

In regards to your actual situation, getting the support you're entitled to is like, a must. I hope you guys get it sorted out soon! I find lawyers to be very helpful in some of these situations. O.O

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Something that I have found out is that pizza, fries, or burgers don't taste nearly as good after my surgery. I crave grilled chicken, veggies, and water. Since this is the case it is really easy to stay on track. I don't know what the future holds, but right now I can control things. I wish you luck with everything you are going through. Come here and vent anytime! :)

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Man, I wish I still had that kind of restriction! I'm fairly certain that I could eat at least two whole slices if I wanted to.

 

That's something else to keep in mind as you go through this. Counting on "I won't be able to eat that way" isn't a sure thing. You may very well be able to eat that kind of stuff and not have a problem, so you need to get your head in the right place rather than assuming your tummy will do all the dirty work for you. A lot of people say they don't crave the bad foods any more too... that's an awesome gift but I can tell you that for me, I still want every bit of naughtyness. It's a constant battle for me. All of that said, the surgery is an AMAZING tool that helps get you to that point. It's very hard to even comprehend pre-op, but post op you'll have will power you didn't even know existed. So don't feel too bad if you're not to the iron will power stage pre-op. I never was able to get there... even in the weeks immediately leading up to surgery.

 

Yes, I know it won't be this way forever.  I have noticed an increase in capacity in the last couple of months.  But this has given me time to get my butt on track and get my head wrapped around eating properly.  I truly do not crave bad foods, most of the time.  And I have learned that if I keep myself sated on good foods, any cravings are SIGNIFICANTLY reduced.  The key for me is keeping my meals small and often... I eat 5-6 times daily, and that seems to help enormously.   I notice that when I do not eat for over 4 hours, I have trouble staying on track.  So I just don't let it happen. 

 

Pre op, of course, while I had the willpower to eat less, it wasn't ENOUGH less... not without resorting to unhealthy means. 

 

We're on the same page.  :)

 

 

Edit:  It's still worth noting that two slices is still not a large pizza.  :)  Pre-op, I could have put down two footlong subway sandwiches, half a bag of chips (not a small bag, either), and half a two liter of soda within twenty minutes.  That is not an exaggeration.  I really could do that.  Now, I'd be sated with half of a six inch sandwich.  I could probably eat the full six inch sandwich given enough time, but I don't NEED to do it... I'm sated with half.  Recognizing the full mark and stopping has been a key point for me as well.  I'm really proud of myself that I've gotten to this point.  :)

Edited by Dees
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Man, I wish I still had that kind of restriction! I'm fairly certain that I could eat at least two whole slices if I wanted to.

 

That's something else to keep in mind as you go through this. Counting on "I won't be able to eat that way" isn't a sure thing. You may very well be able to eat that kind of stuff and not have a problem, so you need to get your head in the right place rather than assuming your tummy will do all the dirty work for you. A lot of people say they don't crave the bad foods any more too... that's an awesome gift but I can tell you that for me, I still want every bit of naughtyness. It's a constant battle for me. All of that said, the surgery is an AMAZING tool that helps get you to that point. It's very hard to even comprehend pre-op, but post op you'll have will power you didn't even know existed. So don't feel too bad if you're not to the iron will power stage pre-op. I never was able to get there... even in the weeks immediately leading up to surgery.

OMG! I could have written this post myself!! I so can eat pretty much ANYTHING!!! I think my pouch is made of LEAD! :eek:

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Edit:  It's still worth noting that two slices is still not a large pizza.  :) 

I was thinking the same thing!! :) :) :)

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I had 2 protein shakes and a string cheese today. I did not eat the pizza or anything else. I shouldn't have skipped dinner but I was to upset to eat. I finally gave in and let the damn break. I sobbed uncontrollably. And guess what....I felt a little better.

So today I beat food. Tomorrow I do it all over again.

I appreciate all the support and kind words. Your advice is much appreciated. It means so much to me! Hugs! Thanks!!! :)

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I had 2 protein shakes and a string cheese today. I did not eat the pizza or anything else. I shouldn't have skipped dinner but I was to upset to eat. I finally gave in and let the damn break. I sobbed uncontrollably. And guess what....I felt a little better.

So today I beat food. Tomorrow I do it all over again.

I appreciate all the support and kind words. Your advice is much appreciated. It means so much to me! Hugs! Thanks!!! :)

Good for you!! I know for me one of the biggest struggles is allowing myself to feel what I need to feel instead of trying to eat them away! :)

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You have received a lot of good advice here!  

 

I am in the camp of still not being able to eat a whole lot at a time and still not craving anything really greasy or sweet.  I had a nibble off my son's cinnamon sticks last night and I thought I was going to puke from all the sugar and butter; and it was a really tiny bite.  I am currently getting pushed to my limit though because my husband just had his knee replaced and I have been living in a hospital or running kids all over the place, working from home instead of at work, and now taking care of hubby now that he is home.  I had my moments of not wanting to eat healthy, but I was able to reel myself back in and tell myself that eating bad isn't going to help me stay healthy to get through all of this.  Has my diet been ideal...no, but it's not terrible either.  
Under normal circumstances, I find that I really like exercise now and get a little antsy (like this week) if I haven't been to the gym, or taken a walk, or rode my bike.  It clears out my mind and I can just focus on me for those few minutes.

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A good cry is sometimes the best thing!! I pray things get better, and that your family gets the support it needs.

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