This article was originally posted over on Beauty Review in August…
What I am finding so interesting as I get to know and follow others through their bariatric weight loss is just how many things I found to be isolating are quite common shared experiences. One of these things is what I have termed ‘The six month freakout.”
Basically for the first six months after my surgery I lived by the diet sheets according to what stage I was on. If it was not on the sheet it did not go in my mouth. There came a point though where food seemed a little less scary again and I started experimenting. I would have little bits here and there, only a bite or two, every now and then.
This turned into me doing things I really shouldn’t like eating half a chocolate bar at once and I may have developed a little thing for frozen coke. I went from one extreme of not doing a single thing wrong to not being quite so disciplined. Of course I was restricted by the size of my tummy and couldn’t get very much in but I wasn’t always eating the right things. After a little while my body started telling me the things I was eating weren’t agreeing with me and that made it a little easier to get back on track.
I went through it and somehow got out the other side realtively unscathed but it is really distressing when it happens. I think for me because I had so rigidly stuck to the rules mentally I needed a bit of a blowout. I think to a degree its human nature to test the boundaries and break the rules occassionally.
It is really confronting when you finally admit the behaviour to yourself and really look at how you have been behaving with food. I think the first transgression like this after surgery is hard to take and others I know have really beat themselves up about it.
One huge thing I learnt from this was how much after the bariatric surgery this is a head game. Another thing I learnt was that habitual behaviour is really strong. Bad habits are really easy to make and really hard to break. This is a time when you really need to break down for you how much of it is purely your behaviour around food and what it is that’s driving the behaviour.
As well as the six month freakout I also had a bit of a ‘Almost at goal weight freakout.’ I’ve also noticed this seems to be a bit of a trend in other post-op people as well. For me those last five kilos took the absolute longest time (well it felt like it anyway) to come off and I got a bit cocky. Once I refocussed my eating and behaviour around food, what do you know, I got to my goal.
While I do think that my gastric bypass is a great tool and has been the ‘easiest’ way for me to lose and maintain weight it’s the stuff like this that firmly puts it back in the not the easy way out category. It is such a ride of huge ups and downs and really shows you how many factors play a part in the losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.
My advice if you have reached a freakout point and need to get yourself back on track is this: don’t try and do it overnight. It will be too hard and you don’t want to further disappoint yourself. Try making small changes to your behaviour and eating everyday over a week to get your groove back. Be really honest with yourself about what you are eating and when and plan to get rid of and/or make access to anything you shouldn’t be eating hard. Watch your habits and make strategies to make sure you don’t accidentally keep doing any new bad habits you have acquired.
Go back and read my 10 Golden Rules post especially if you are a gastric bypass patient to remind yourself of what you know you need to be doing. Please don’t be too hard on yourself. Admit to yourself what’s going on, accept that it is what it is and then work to get yourself back on track. Look back on some pre-op photos to remind yourself just how far you have come and do some more comparison photos if you need to. You can get yourself out of this I know you can.
Have you had a freakout after surgery? When was it and how did you get yourself back on track? Comment below I’d love to know if you found this too.