So you’ve embarked on this amazing journey, you’re all ready to live the life of your dreams, but for some reason you’re not happy! What the hell gives? I mean we go through this whole process to better our lives and were still feeling the same as we did BEFORE surgery!
Well I’m here to tell you depression and anxiety are VERY real side effects of WLS! I NEVER had depression or anxiety until a year post op. One day I woke up and COULD NOT stop crying. I thought I was going crazy! I mean i didn’t feel sad. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t hurt. But here I was sobbing like someone had run over my puppy. I went straight to my doctor, sobbing uncontrollably the entire time. Turns out I had depression. The big bad D word that NO ONE wants to talk about.
Here some things you need to know!
- You’re not alone. Millions of people suffer varying degrees of depression daily.
- Its treatable with medication, and therapy.
- It a CHEMICAL issue! as we lose weight the estrogen that is stored in our fat cells is released and floods our system. That intern throws our brain chemicals off.
- It’s OK to feel the way you do. Some times all you can do to get through the day is breathe! That is perfectly acceptable.
- It’s OK to talk about it! we have got to stop pretending it doesn’t exist. Pretending a medical condition doesn’t exist makes it worse NEVER better.
- There is light at the end of the tunnel. You may not see it but it’s there I PROMISE.
Listen to your body. I will tell you when you’re “off”. Listen to your emotions they will tell you when you need help. Listen to your friends and family, they may come to you if they noticed your moods changing rapidly. SPEAK to your doctor if you even POSSIBLY think you maybe suffering from depression. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER! Be proactive in your mental health…… Thats the only way you’re going to find your happy in this journey.
We spend so much time on this journey trying to lose the physical weight, that we lose sight of the fact that we also need to lose the mental and emotional weight that got us there in the first place.
While surgery will get you there physically it creates a lot more problems mentally and emotionally that seems to be very taboo to talk about. So as we do with all things and family were opened honest raw and we talk about it.
It is proven that foods high in sugar or carbs physically give us a burst of happiness in our brains. That’s why for so
many of us, when we are having moments of high stress,or moments of sadness or depression, we reach to the foods that make us happy. Our comfort foods that will trigger that happy endorphin release.
However as we all know after surgery that “fix “is no longer an option for us. Not unless we want to gain back everything that our tool has worked to lose.
Does that mean you can never have sugars or carbs again?? NO!!!! It means recognizing when you’re reaching for the bag of cookies that is not coming from an emotional place. It’s being mindful of what your reaction is to the food around you.
So how do we get rid of the emotional and mental weight?
1. Therapy,therapy,therapy!!! Have somebody in your corner that is just for you! Somebody that can have your best interest at heart, and help you navigate the pitfalls of being an emotional eater.
2. Medications: depression and anxiety are both very real side effects of weight loss surgery! As you know our brain runs on chemicals. As we lose weight those chemicals are released from our cells and flood our system causing our brains to go a bit wacky. If you are feeling “off” (emotionally unstable) and you don’t know why please speak to your doctor it could be something as simple as a chemical imbalance that can be fixed with a pill until your weight stabilizes.
3. Support: Find people that you trust to help support you on this journey. People who understand what you’re going through and can lend an ear when things look bleak.
4. Art: Being artistic in any form whether it’s coloring in a book painting by numbers stitching singing dancing can help trigger the same endorphins as a cookie.
5. Meditation/Prayer: Taking 5-10 mins a day to set your brain on the right path of peace and relaxation can help the whole day.
6. Cut yourself some slack. This isn’t something you’re going to “cure” over night. It takes YEARS to create bad habits, and YEARS to break them
Know That you’re not alone, the struggle is very real. It’s manageable with the proper tools and the proper mind frame.
Hello! My name is Alesha and I’m 23 years old. I grew up in Dallas, Texas currently in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. As a child I was always chubby and bigger than the other children so that was always hard on me. By the time I was in 10th grade I was up to 275 lbs. That same year on April 23, 2010, my mother was killed in a tragic car accident. She was overweight as well and was struggling from diabetes, heart problems, etc. She was driving to Oklahoma to attend her own fathers funeral when she had a silent heart attack and her car swerved over into the other lane of oncoming traffic (there was no median). She hit a truck head on and was killed instantly. That was the day my life changed for the worst. I ate and ate to grieve. I got up to 387 lbs over the next 5 years. I could no longer grocery shop, tie my shoes, and everything always made my back hurt. I was pre diabetic and on blood pressure medications. My weight and health was spiraling out of control. I tried every single diet in the book to lose weight and nothing was working. Then, I found a diet that worked for me and I lost 50 lbs, but shortly after I gain that back plus more. My uncle had WLS and was telling me about his experience and all of the positive benefits so I was strongly considering it. I finally decided that would be the only way to save myself. I had VSG on 5/15/17 and I’m down 106 lbs. I’m able to walk around the grocery store, I’m no longer on blood pressure medication, and I’m no longer a pre diabetic in my 20’s. My confidence and self esteem is getting better with each passing day. I’m so excited to see where this journey continues to take me! Thanks for listening and I wish everyone good luck on their journey!
We all start our journeys at different places, I started mine at a very early age. I’ve always been the biggest in the room, always and even 170 lbs later I still feel the same way. About 5 years ago I started to realize that the cycle of diets, starvation, and fads did nothing. I’d lose 20 or 30 pounds then stall – get frustrated and cheat. The cheating would cause the cycle to swing the other way. Pretty soon, I was staring down 400 pounds and wondering what I should do about it. I had a totally unhealthy cycle of mental thought that kept me pinned to the weight and climbing. I wasn’t worth what everyone else was. I wasn’t capable of doing some things that my friends were, and that was ok – I just told myself it was just because we were all different. But, that’s not what it was. I was holding myself back. In September of 2016, at 436 pounds I knew that all had to change. I started the process to qualify for surgery. I worked through my surgeon and insurance company’s qualifications. Even with all that said, I was still woefully unprepared for the changes in my life. February 2017 I had surgery, everything went like clockwork. I hated prep, but I survived. After surgery things seemed – dare I say, easy. I had no complications, but stuck as close to my surgeons rules as humanly possible. If I could give people one bit of advice it would be that. FOLLOW YOUR DOCTORS DIRECTIONS. In truth, things can and do happen, but you can make life a whole lot easier if you do. About 2 months post op, I hit a wall. I was angry and anxious all the time, snapping at nearly everyone – mostly my husband. When I went in for my physical with my primary physician we had a very frank conversation and determined the best option would be to try some anti-anxiety meds and counseling. You cannot underscore the importance of your mental health on this journey. If you need to find someone to talk to along the way – PLEASE make sure you do. So let’s talk about Family. Let’s talk about the most open and giving community I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Because it is. We are truly a family, we curse – we laugh- we cry, but through it all – we have each other’s back. We are a support system. A safe place to vent, to cry, to find your inner power. I don’t know what I would have done without family. I can’t talk about my surgery journey without talking about it. I hope no matter where you are in the process you find the best path for you. We are here. We welcome you. #OhanaStrong
Before my surgery I weighed 317 lbs. I always fell an had health problems an talked to my family doctor about lot of stuff that was happening to me an they came up with me having the roux-en-Y surgery. An before Surgery i could eat anything but after surgery you have to eat certain foods and flow a chart of stuff that they give you. An before I had my surgery you also have to have classes an make a amount of weight you would like to loose or what they think is best for you. An have to eat certain foods for 6 months I think before you go have your surgery an after surgery they give you liquid stuff for a few weeks an stuff an they have you up walking after surgery.. an every since I’ve had it I’ve been having this puking where I can’t keep anything down an I’m 9 months out an had my surgery December 5, 2016 an I weigh 188.2 lbs an haven’t lost weigh by a good way but only because I have puked more than I was supposed to that’s why I have lot more weigh the unhealthy way instead of losing it the right way. My challenges are to loss weigh as best as I can an was to exercise but I haven’t been able to do that because I’ve been puking lot an haven’t felt good or anything.. an my success are to hopefully feel better an to get to do lot more an to work out an to work on losing that extra skin an to get to my goal weight that I have set.. my highs would be I felt lot better before my surgery by the none puking an can eat what I’m aloud to an what I’m not to eat is alright. An my lows would be hopefully to get all of this surgery I have coming up an having good results on it an hopefully it all comes out good an my bad lows would be this surgery is a good one but it doesn’t fit everyone or they don’t come out with the same effect an different experiences from the surgery.. before my surgery I wouldn’t play or do anything really but I’m glad I had it for the sake of my health an for my grandkids an to do lot more with the family an to better my health life an to try to be more fit..