The second part of my consultation took place with a psychologist. She was incredibly nice and warm. Basically, her job was to see if there were any underlying issues that would get in the way of my weight loss efforts.
She made sure that I didn’t have any binge-eating or purging issues, or that I didn’t have a tendency to starve myself for days at a time. Fortunately, I have never had any eating disorders… I will overeat every once-in-a-while, but it is not the norm and definitely doesn’t fall into the binge category.
I suffered from depression when I was a teen, but it was situational and I got help for it. Her biggest concern for me was anxiety and stress. I do stress-eat more often than anything else. I do have some social anxiety …. ask me to get up and speak in front of a large group and you will see the beads of sweat start to form!
As I told the psychologist, a lot of that stems from the fact that I don’t enjoy having people look at me. I feel very self-conscious about my size and am very aware of the space I take-up. I worry about whether my clothes fits well…is my stomach creating a roll? Am I all lumpy? Can people tell? Am I wider than the podium? In the end, I am my own worst, and harshest, critic. As I have gotten bigger, I have started to feel this more and more… so it is definitely something I need to work on.
The other BIG and I mean BIG thing… where, if I am really truly honest with myself, I am going to have the hardest time… is GRAZING! There are a lot of snacks in the office – four or five different kinds of chips, pretzels, protein bars, chocolate, candy… there are also carrots, hummus, a variety of fruits… but obviously I gravitate towards the former! When I am concentrating on whatever I am doing in front of my computer, I have caught myself mindlessly eating. I get up from my desk for a stretch and head over to the snacks… a handful of Doritos won’t kill me, right? No… but a handful of Doritos a couple times a day, mixed in with a few M&M’s and a jolly rancher or two throughout the course of the day will!
Bariatric surgery is great at helping people who overeat, because the size of your stomach is so greatly reduced, you just can’t fit it all in… and you feel full a lot faster. However, a lot of the people who end up gaining a significant amount of weight back are grazers! Your stomach is able to handle small “meals” multiple times a day. So a handful of crap a few times a day is possible, and it won’t keep you as full as eating something with protein. As the psychologist noted, this is probably going to be my biggest challenge/struggle. I fully agree!
Ever since my consultation, I am trying to make a very conscious effort not to graze on all the junk food. I will have a snack of carrots and hummus, or a piece of fruit, but will try to withhold the junk food and just wait until my next meal time. I failed miserably the other day, but aside from that I have been doing a lot better. I ate 2 m&m’s the other day, but stopped myself from eating more and just drank some water instead.
The very bright silver lining to all this is that I co-own the company, so I have control over what snacks are bought. Obviously, I cannot control what employees choose to bring into the office, but I can make sure we have more fruit and veggies and healthy snacks in the office. It’s just a matter of taking small steps, acknowledging what your weak points are and learning how to navigate them. For example: I know I like something sweet after I eat… which is often the start of my downfall, because for me sweet=candy… so on my way home from yoga I picked up a watermelon. Aside from making one of my employees ridiculously happy (He LOVES watermelon), it allowed me to have something sweet and that could be portion controlled after my meal… and it wasn’t candy!
It’s a start, right?