Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I am *really* glad I joined the support group. I liked the therapist, I liked the other women (no men joined), I liked the vibe, and I feel that I can learn a lot from everyone and do some valuable, necessary therapeutic work. I felt like I didn't stop talking the whole time; I was just so glad to be with people that spoke my language, so to speak, that I couldn't shut up. The dread I was feeling was totally unfounded, but that is something I do--worry too much ahead of time, and let's face it, anything that has to do with a group of people is a total crapshoot. We actually touched on previous group experiences, and many of them were negative in nature. It seemed to really correspond on the specific mix of personalities, size of the group, etc.

One thing that is going to be interesting for me is that this group includes people who have already had bariatric surgery as well as those who have not--about a 50/50 split, actually. I am especially looking forward to the insights of those who have already had a procedure, but continued to struggle with their weight. I am so afraid of "blowing it" myself due to not having my mind right. I think the importance of getting the mind healthy during before, during, and after this process absolutely cannot be overstated--and in my opinion, it is far too often overlooked, not only by medical professionals, but by people who gauge a woman's worth by her dress size.

The book the group is using is called "Anatomy of a Food Addiction: The Brain Chemistry of Overeating, An Effective Program to Overcome Compulsive Eating" by Anne Katherine, M. A. It is in its third edition and originally came out in 1991. It is a very interactive book that has many writing exercises, self-assessments, etc. I already like it because I feel it has a real-world, comprehensive approach. It classifies food as an addiction and serves to help find the roots of the addiction so that the behavior can then be modified.

The therapist talked a bit about food serving as a painkiller or sedative, how it is thought to be linked to the opioid receptors in the brain, boosting serotonin levels, and having a calming, soothing effect on those who use food in an addictive way. The genesis cannot be known for certain, but there is speculation that some people are just genetically more sensitive, having predisposition to addiction, depression, etc. In many cases, a food addiction begins as an attempt at self-care, usually quite early in life. The therapist posed the question: "If food is the bandage, what is the wound underneath?" The goal is essentially to determine what our individual wound or wounds are, also touching on what will take the place of food, so that we do not replace it with another self-destructive, addictive behavior.

I know this is going to be difficult, but I feel more hopeful than I have in a long time. I already know I am my own worst enemy (as are most people). I also know how hard I am willing to work and how far I have already come working through and against incredible obstacles. I am so lucky to have support and love in my life--leagues more than I have ever had. I know that without it, I would not even be attempting this journey.

Next week is my second wedding anniversary, and we are going away for a couple of days. When we come back, we plan to submit applications for private student loan funding, in the event we can qualify for some as a couple and I can pursue further education in the fall. I'm crossing my fingers!

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This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other
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