I'm officially 1 week post op and today has been rough to say the least. I trying my hardest to convince myself that I am not hungry and that it's all in my head, but I feel like I'm legitimately starving. All I can think about is food. I'm going through mental hoops suppressing the thought. Is this normal? Was this your experience 1-4 weeks post op? Feeling a little discouraged by this. :(
Unfortunately, that is standard because your mind is still living in the past regardless of the surgery! It still occurs for me and I am 11 years Post-op from LapBand and 6 years post-op from Bypass. To be honest, mental therapy was recommended for me and it really helped. There were times where I had to remind myself to eat and others where all I wanted to do was stuff my face. Working with a mental health professional really opened my eyes to help with WHY I felt I was hungry. Was it head hunger or true hunger? Another helpful tip was meal prepping... measuring everything that I put into my mouth and what I was feeling when I ate. I know I am not a VSG Patient, but the techniques you can use to succeed are pretty much the same. Most of us have buyers remorse but it's all worth it in the end. You are still in the beginning stages and I encourage you to NEVER STOP LEARNING. If you see something that piques your interest, bring it to your medical professional for their opinion. What is good for one patient may not be good for you. You haven't made it this far to only make it this far =)
We look forward to celebrating your successes. Big hugs!
Thank you so much for the advice and words of encouragement! It's funny, I had already been looking at therapist for a few weeks now and have been nervous about reaching out to one. But this just confirms that it is the right direction to go in. I know that the root of my obesity has been cause by thoughts--many deeply rooted thoughts. I mean, I ate for everything. I knew this was going to be a complete change going into the surgery and I refuse to let my thoughts get the better of me.
Thank you again! *hugs*
This.Is.Life! The more we are honest with ourselves, the better our outcomes are. Try not to sugar-coat (sorry for the analogy) anything and this will allow you to get down to the nitty-gritty of things. In your research, call around to see if the professionals you may potentially talk to have a background in patients with food-related issues/addictions and work with existing bariatric patients.
Another pointer I can provide is "See something... DO Something"! if you see/feel a bad habit creeping in or a thought you've felt that isn't giving you something you need in a positive way... Do something about it. Shut it up or go with it. Don't dwell on things because it will just cause anxiety. Turn it into something positive!
Therapy is a great idea. In addition, you might look for ways to comfort yourself that don't involve food. Before surgery, I made a list of things I could do when feeling stressed, like drinking a cup of one of my favourite herbal teas, cuddling my cats, or when things get really bad, curling up under the duvet for a bit. These coping strategies have worked well for me. Note that these are all luxurious sensory experiences: tea involves taste and smell, cat cuddling and the duvet involve touch, texture, and warmth.
I woke up after surgery with no appetite and have never really experienced hunger again. I will start to get hungry if I go more than eight hours between eating, but that almost never happens.
I do sometimes experience "head hunger", like seeing something on TV that looks really good and thinking I am hungry for it, but once I start to eat, I really don't want it.
Some people say that they are hungry again and it is not something that I can argue with. If you are hungry, then you are hungry.
The test for whether you are actually hungry is to see if you are satisfied with dense protein, like chicken or turkey. I know it is too early for that. My first weeks I had protein shakes and sugarfree pudding with protein powder added. That kept me extremely full.
Real life begins where your comfort zone ends
I suspect you are experiencing two things: 1) head hunger ("All I can think about is food.") and 2) excess stomach acid causing a physical sensation that's very similar to hunger. Other posts have addressed the head hunger, so I'll talk about the physical sensation.
Right after surgery, you stomach is still producing enough acid for a full-size stomach. Eventually it will adjust. Your surgeon should have prescribed a PPI to help you with this; if not, ask. It's also possible you might benefit from a higher dose, so ask your surgeon about that too. Drinking water will help with this sensation! By week two, I mostly only felt it in the evenings, so with my surgeon's approval I started taking the PPI later in the day, around noon.
After surgery, I didn't experience cravings for specific foods, and at one year out, I still don't. When I get hungry, I may want something sweet or something savoury, and choose my food accordingly. I feel hunger, but the urgency of it is gone. I can think about what type of food will best meet my nutritional needs, rather than being obsessed with some food in particular.
Even with VSG, losing weight and maintaining the loss involves daily feelings of hunger. And that's ok. Hunger is just another sensation/emotion and passes in under an hour if you distract yourself.
I tend to have something that I always feel good about eating in my fridge (lately it's egg salad) and if I don't want to eat that then I'm not really hungry.
For the first 5 months after VSG, I experienced no "true" hunger, just mental longing for foods I knew tasted good. Then at 5 months out, hunger returned and is about the same for me as it was before surgery.
Height: 5'5" SW: 222 lbs CW: 122 lbs