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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Learning to think thin

Presented by Dr. Monica Ganz,director of events and support groups for OH

The difference between thinking as a thin person vs. a fat person is when you need to get somewhere, a thin person will give you street names when they deliver directions. An overweight person gives you eateries as landmarks.

Portion sizes
Eating off standard American dinner plates can lead you to feeling deprived. Using small plates and utensils teach us to relearn to eat – to eat smaller bites and smaller amounts. Monica used a timer to limit herself to one bite every three minutes to teach herself to take a full 30 minutes to eat her meals. She even used miniature pots and pans to cook her meals. Buy smaller leftover containers to portion out your meals.

Taking pictures
You may not want to look at them right away, but you need to have photos to document your pre-op size and your loss along the way. Many post-ops suffer from body dysmorphia, which means that they do not see themselves as the size they truly are. Pictures will help train yourself to see your true size.The amount of time body dysmorphia lasts depends on how long you were obese and how long it’s been since you’ve lost weight. Remember, it takes time for the mind to catch up to the body. And for some, it takes five years to get their brain in line with their appearance.

Taking measurements
Measurements are important because you will lose inches even when you’re not losing weight on the scale. And the record of your measurements will also help drive home the impact of your weight loss.

Drinking water
Be prepared to make sure you get enough fluid. Line up eight 8 oz. bottles in the fridge and make sure you drink all of them before going to bed each night. Or take two 1 liter bottles of water to work with you and drink them before going home. Do whatever it takes to ensure you reach your water goals.

Learn to stop eating
You need to convert to controlling your food instead of letting it control you. Change the way you think about eating. Eat to live; don’t live to eat. Learn to walk away from your plate when you’re satisfied. You don’t have to clean your plate.

Figure out what works for you
If vegetables or beans give you gas, take Beano. Gas is no fun after gastric bypass. Passing it is difficult; it’s best to help your body not make it. Carry Lactaid with you if you’re going to eat dairy products because many post-ops become lactose-intolerance. Keep other condiments with you such as Splenda, Molly McButter, low-carb dressings and even sugar-free mints so that you’re never caught unprepared.

Support groups are so important because the success rate for post-ops is higher among those who attend such groups. It helps keep you accountable. Having trouble staying motivated? Start your own group. Nothing will motivate you more than having to set an example for others.

Fat clothes
Get rid of your clothes as you shrink out of them. You’ll never need them again. Accept that. If they are in your closet, regaining your weight will be an option in the back of your mind. That’s not an option.

Get a full-length mirror
Obese people only look from the neck up. Look at your entire body. Get in touch with how you look. You need to keep looking in the mirror to see yourself as you really look.
Surgery is a toolThis is not a magic pill. America is still looking for that. This is merely a tool, but it’s an amazing tool that will help you reach your ultimate goal.

Dare to dream
Set goals and achieve them and reward yourself for that. Each of us is capable of incredible things if we allow ourselves to do so. Give yourself permission to dream, believe your ability to achieve those dreams and allow yourself to accomplish them.

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