Weight Loss Surgery and Mind Games
By: Beth McHugh 2008
Changing your beliefs systems about yourself is just as big a part of losing weight as exercise and diet. The most dramatic example of the enmeshed mind/body relationship as regards weight loss is the unfortunate stories that emerge from people who have undergone radical procedures such as gastric bypass surgery.
Although procedures such as gastric bypass, gastric banding and liposuction can result in dramatic weight loss, and in some cases, even save the person from an early death, unless the reasons for overeating are identified and addressed, the weight often returns.
Where food has become an addiction, surgery only solves part of the problem. Carnie Wilson, daughter of Beach Boy Brian Wilson, is a classic example of how emotional issues have derailed her 1999 gastric bypass surgery. By 2004, Carnie had trimmed down to a US 6 dress size, but despite the surgery which permanently changed the structure of her stomach, she is back to a size 16.
Although her surgery probably saved her life, she is still battling to stay in control. And she is not alone. Many others who have used gastric bypass and banding procedures to obtain a quick weigh loss fix are finding that their mind is lagging far behind their bodies. Their bodies may be slimmer but the thoughts and beliefs that drove their bodies to the elastic limit often remain unaddressed. Hence weight gain re-occurs.
Even Kevin Federline, the beleaguered ex of Britney Spears, is considering liposuction in order to lose the weight he has gained during the custody battle over his children. However, where the primary issue for weight gain is not addressed, even dramatic procedures and stringent diets cannot hope to win again the awesome power of one’s own thoughts.
In some cases, other addictions take the place of food. Alcohol abuse is common among gastric bypass procedure patients, as are illegal drugs. Simply changing the body is not enough, the mind needs to be challenged so that the body/mind system is in alignment, and not fighting a constant battle.
Even for those who opt for more standard diets, weight loss can be substantial, yet precarious. Again, if the root cause of overeating is not addressed, then weight gain is almost inevitable. It is imperative that any weight loss attempt is accompanied by belief changes for permanent weight loss to result.
Counseling can offer a means to change the way you think about yourself,
to address issues that cause you to overeat in the first place and prevent
sabotage of your hard-earned efforts in the long term.