What do you say to someone who thinks they understand you, but they don’t?
As I shared in a previous post, I have a friend who is about to get gastric bypass surgery. A new gastric bypass center has opened in our area. From what I hear business is good! I have close connections with several people in the medical community, and a couple of customers of the center who tell me that you need be no more than 60 pounds overweight to qualify for the surgery.
As you can imagine, schedules in the OR for this type of procedure are full. Everyone wants to be thinner and more in control of their lives, it seems.
Me, too. I want that, too, I’ve just chosen a different route to get to my goal weight.
A member of my family of origin (FOO) had gastric bypass surgery in 2005, so I have first hand knowledge of the procedure and what happens after the incision heals. This post is not about avoiding surgery, however, Each person has to decide for him or herself what is appropriate care, and I know from experience that weighing 150-200-300lbs more than one should is extremely difficult. I know.
This post is not about the pros or cons of bypass surgery. It is about being realistic when it comes to change–difficult change.
Being morbidly obese is hard.
Morbid obesity limits.
Morbid obesity kills with every bite.
Morbid obesity destroys relationships.
Morbid obesity crushes joints (literally).
Morbid obesity is spelled: I.S.O.L.A.T.I.O.N.
For these reasons, and more, no one would choose to be morbidly obese. But in my experience, food obsession doesn’t play by the rules. And when I say the rules, I mean the concepts and practices food addicts “think” they can safely rely upon when squaring off with food.
Somehow, along the way to getting morbidly obese, healthy guidelines for eating normal-sized portions flew out the window for me. I think it was a combination of poor education, poor understanding, and poor support that got me in trouble so long ago, but I don’t want to discount the possibility that my perceptions about health and weight control, through some means I don’t fully comprehend even now, was broken.
Or twisted beyond recognition.
Or cast away.
So when I recently had a conversation with my friend about the challenges of changing such a fundamental thing as how one eats, I was quite naturally frustrated with his lack of understanding.
His final statement to me on that day was this:
You know, I was thinking. I will have a lot of changes ahead of me…… but there are a LOT of things in my life now I don’t do or I have to do because of my size or weight. So, the theory will be the same….. just the actions different.
He doesn’t understand.
He doesn’t “get” it.
He hasn’t come to the realization that the majority of people who lose weight gain it all back, and more (especially compulsive over eaters suffer from this problem).
Change is not easy.
Change is not simple.
Change is hard work.
He doesn’t understand. Not yet.
Theory doesn’t arrest compulsive eating, and will power (should there be such a thing in the life of a compulsive eater), has never been much help to me in fighting off food cravings. It’s hard to understand why these strategies don’t work for morbidly obese individuals like me. Again, maybe my problem stems from a broken ability to use will power properly, but if that is the case, I am certainly not alone in experiencing that phenomenon.
I have found that HOPE is a help to the compulsive eater.
SUPPORT definitely helps.
EDUCATION, and TRAINING, and practice, practice, PRACTICE, along with cozying up to SELF-DENIAL on a daily basis and making it one’s friend can help.
Thinking it will be easy to change the way one eats, as easy as deciding not to sit in a particular chair because it might not hold your girth, that’s uninformed thinking. The decision to not sit in the chair is a conscious thought. The decision to not eat the whole bag of chips never was for me. I had to train myself to think in a different way, to act in a different way, to use cues to solidify habits; to train myself to use using a bowl to portion out chips or popcorn, instead of walking away from the cupboard with the bag in my hand. It was not easy and it did not happen quickly. It took time and repetition.
Can change occur for the compulsive eaters among us? YES. I’m proof that it can.
Is it easy or simple, or something as natural as thinking your way through a logical discussion with yourself? No, I never have found it to work that way.
In my experience, there is no easy fix for compulsive eating. What brings results is trying, and then trying again…doing, and then doing again…planning, and then planning again…practicing, and practicing some more, until you finally know what brings lasting results for YOU! It’s never been easy and I don’t expect it ever will be for me. I accept that and I do the hard work to make change happen, because I want to be better, not because it’s easy.
What do you think about change, is it easy? What changes did you make that stuck?