Many patients of gastric bypass report feeling fearful of succeeding at weight loss after a lifetime of failed diet attempts. In most cases, the fear of success subsides as a patient reaches goal weight and becomes comfortable in their new body. About that time the Fat Monster shows up to scare the hell out of patients.
I thought the fear of success was scary – that is until I met the Fat Monster. The Fat Monster came into my life one night shortly after I achieved my weight loss goal. The Fat Monster terrified me with illusion – in the darkness of night he convinced me that the weight loss was just a dream, that by morning the Little Fat Girl would be back. He convinced me that being thin was too good to be true. I was terrified.
The Fat Monster scared the hell out of me and I believed his frightening stories. Even on days when my behavior was stellar – I followed the four rules – I was convinced he could catch me. Many restless nights I woke frequently to run my hands over my body confirming he hadn’t caught me that night. I needed to know that I was still thin. Many patients are acquainted with the Fat Monster – after years of dieting failure it is common to believe this weight loss is too good to be true.
To this day the Fat Monster keeps me honest. Aloud I can say that looking and feeling great is my motivation to follow the rules, to exercise and maintain my weight. But deep down inside I’m on a dead run trying to get away from the Fat Monster. I don’t ever want to return to being morbidly obese, I hated that life. So when I get on the treadmill I am literally running from the Fat Monster. When I eat my protein and take my supplements I’m building my strength to battle the Fat Monster. I am at war with the Fat Monster and I will never surrender; I am winning!
Other patients are battling their own Fat Monster. One woman believed the Fat Monster had occupied her bathroom scale – she began weighing compulsively around the clock. She had a before work weight, an after work weight, before work-out weight, after work-out weight and on and on. Any fluctuation from normal caused immediate panic and self-loathing. Her husband locked away the scale and she nearly lost her mind! So, they came to a compromise. He would keep the scale – and the Fat Monster – locked away except for the once a week weigh-in. The physical act of locking-up the Fat Monster worked for her. She no longer weighed herself compulsively and her weekly weigh-ins showed she could very successfully maintain a healthy weight without round-the-clock vigilance to the bathroom scale.
Patients do best when they identify their own Fat Monster and learn what behaviors – good or bad – the monster is affecting in your life. Do not surrender control to the Fat Monster but use terror as a source of motivation in your healthy life.
Kaye Bailey © 2005 Kaye Bailey – All Rights Reserved
Kaye Bailey is a weight loss surgery success story having maintained her health and goal weight for 5+ years. An award winning journalist, she is the author and webmaster of http://www.livingafterwls.com and http://www.livingafterwls.blogspot.com
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