For many of us, weight was and maybe still is the convenient reason for a lot of the bad things that happen in life, or the best place to levy blame for anything that did not turn out as well as we had hoped.

For some, ‘I didn’t get the job because of my weight’, is easier to deal with, than not being promoted because ‘my work wasn’t the best of those being considered’. Raise your hand if you’ve ever left the house for a party feeling really good in an outfit, only to walk through the door and disintegrate into a hot mess, thinking all eyes were on you for being ‘too big’ rather than you looked great. Yep, thought so. No wonder we feel so much pressure as we unzip and then remove our protective fat suit… underneath it, we’re naked!

When Our Mind is Right, the World is Right! 

Et tu Gwyneth?
I am not implying that carrying around an extra hundred plus pounds doesn’t hinder life, or that there is no true fat prejudice in the world. Only that we manufacture a lot of our own unhappiness by thinking life would be better if we were thinner. However, when looking at our slim friends ‘better’ lives, we are often blind to fact that their life is filled with the same crap as ours – watching a cell phone bounce on the kitchen tile, insurance cancellation when the payment didn’t draft, not making bonus, water heater flood, a disrespectful teen, marital fusses and fights – are not obesity related.

That’s Life!
It may take years, but one day it becomes possible to separate the issue of weight from issues with life. It is hard for me to believe that fifteen years has passed since my bariatric surgery and I am only just now able to wrap my brain around how it went down in my old life.

Painful reflection
I liked myself and loved my life for most of the years before I had bariatric surgery, but as I grew larger during a period of great stress and upheaval, there came a time when what I saw in the mirror no longer matched the photo in my head. Then I began to dislike myself and it completely unraveled from there.

Rolling in the deep
It took just one post op year and a loss of one hundred pounds for me to once again feel safe and secure in my world. I am lucky that I got my groove back without a lot of effort other than the weight loss side. Years later (and after many life lessons), I now get that when I feel worried or frightened, I pad my body with weight as a form of protection. I can look back and see that at the times in my life when my weight was out of control, there was something big going on that made me feel terribly insecure. I did it again a couple of years ago even with bariatric surgery!

Life is good? Life is good!
We can fight fat for 20 years and still be fat because we have not dealt with the underlying cause. As a forever bariatric patient, I have learned that it is better to put the weight issue aside and work on the other issue first; the problem that is screaming ‘I need protection, I am insecure’. My body still responds to my emotional patterns and if I don’t eat right and stop working out, I gain weight. When the need for the protection is gone, or when I start feeling secure, the fat almost melts away with the help of my bariatric surgery. When I am happy and I am right, my world is right and so is my health.

Chicken or egg?
The problem is that we hang around waiting life to improve first. I will focus on eating better when I am not as busy, when the kids are out of school for summer, after we visit your mother next month, when I get my bonus, once we move to the new townhouse. The truth is that when we feel better about ourselves at any weight, that glimmer of happiness jumpstarts the improvement in life. Being happy is a choice and it fixes a lot of what we are waiting for to go away. Stop chasing happiness. Be happy and things will seem better because they are better. When the world is right and things are good, we aren’t thinking about drowning out the bad with a big bowl of macaroni and cheese.

Read Me, out loud!
“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. ” –Alfred D. Souza


23 thoughts on “When Our Mind is Right, the World is Right!

  1. Kay says:

    I am 6 weeks post op lost 27 pounds so far.  Just having problems on figuring out how to eat.   Getting depressed cuz not losing much weight.  I try to exercise, have some good days and bad.  How do you figure out how to do your days..
    Good luck to all who are trying to improve themselves,  

    • Anne says:

      Don’t get discouraged! Twenty-seven lbs is a lot to lose in just 6 weeks! Have you ever been able to lose that amount to f weight in such a short time before? This surgery and resulting weight-loss have been a shock to your system. This stall is the time when your body is catching up to the weight loss. You may not be seeing things happening on the scale, but you will most assuredly see a loss of inches and a difference in the way your clothes fit. Things will work out, trust the process. Please be patient with yourself! Wishing you the best in your continued success.

  2. Chrissie Mac says:

    I had the bypass last year three months after having the lap band removed. I do not get any side effects from any foods of any sort (yes I have tested them all) and I have no restriction. I have lost weight purely on my own by eating healthy and less. I can eat unhealthy and I can eat a whole lot and I have done and most likely will do. I questioned my surgeon as to the worth of the bypass and he has basically put it back on me telling me to eat only 1/2 to one cup at a time…. If I could have done this by myself I wouldn’t have wasted a fortune on the bypass. Feeling very ripped off. I am doing this myself much like every other diet… and so scared of failing like every other diet that I barely eat now.

  3. Mary says:

    Its been 10 yrs since I had bypass surgery and I have maintained a 148 lb weight loss. I really appreciate this article because it is still the emotional piece that is the hardest part to deal with. If I never stop long enough to focus on why I gained so much weight initially, I will never get to and maintain my true goal weight. I am also thankful for the wonderful “Face the regain” articles and the corrective meal plan of 5 protein shakes and 1 protein packed meal for dinner. The “pouch” was always meant to be a tool, NOT a cure all. My surgeon stressed that point at every meeting and appointment. Thanks BE for this forum!

  4. April says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today, I had a conversion from a LapBand to a gastric sleeve a little over 6 weeks ago and I have lost 12 pounds.  I started out in 2005 weighing 230 lbs and now I weigh 166!! I feel like I should have lost more, but after reading this and thinking about my life and the last 2 months this makes perfect sense!! Thank you for this on a Monday morning!!

  5. TMc says:

    Thank you for this….  I can really identify with it even if my surgery was fairly recent.  I have lost almost 100 pounds since my pre-op diet started on Dec 15th (my sleeve surgery was March 3rd).  I am feeling better than I have in years and my anxiety is so much better, but I still let my insecure thoughts get the best of me at times.  I want to lose another 100 by the end of the year.  

  6. Meg R says:

    Despite a 100 lb weight loss in 2 yrs, I still tend to focus on the imperfections ( excess skin, rolls of skin, etc). I see what needs to be fixed, rather than celebrating the size 10 – not size 26 and the cute clothes and heels – not the achy feet and ugly colors.

    Yes, I’ve come to understand that I need to do some self healing and work on forgiveness. I can’t turn back time – but I can be happy where I am. this truely sums it up …… “Being happy is a choice and it fixes a lot of what we are waiting for to go away. Stop chasing happiness. Be happy and things will seem better because they are better. When the world is right and things are good”

  7. Sandra says:

    Thank you, Susan. You are my new Best Friend. I had my surgery 5 months ago at 66 years old. This website has been an invaluable resource for information, tips, suggestions, and meal ideas. I’ve been using your products and recipes from this website and I’ve been losing about a pound every week. I have arthritis so my only exercise so far is walking on nice days. I feel healthier, stronger and better everyday. I never look at the scale. I’m not in a rush. I fully expect to be doing this for the rest of my life and you have helped make my transition easier.

  8. BETTY ANN (BA) says:


  9. Maggie Fraser says:

    thank you for posting Sandra I’m 63 and I was wondering has any one here had a revision done?  I’m hoping to have one done this summer. 

  10. Deane says:

    Soooo…. how the heck do we “work on” the emotional problems?  Talk to someone?  Write a letter?  Draw a picture?  I think I’ve done these things and don’t perceive them to have been very helpful…. ideas?

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Sometimes just ‘getting’ that you are eating for a reason helps you to control it. Now that I recognize that when I am stressed I work crazy hours, stay up late and do not take care of myself, I can break that pattern instead of getting caught up in it. It’s still not easy, but I don’t get carried away anymore.

  11. Wendy says:

    Susan, I to had gastrcIc bypass in 2001. I’ve now gained every bit of my weight back. I’m trying to get the weight back off. I’m so lost… I find myself grasping at everything to lose the weight again. I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the last few years trying to get the numbers back down and I think the most I’ve lost is 15lbs but never can keep it off.  I found a brochure fore this website at the hospital where I work. One more attempt to get help. I have issues with my thyroid, I’m peri-menopause, I’m exhausted all the time which makes it difficult to motivate myself to exercise. I need help in the worst way!!!! I can always be the best cheerleader for others…. Just not for myself 🙁

    Not to scare or frighten those thinking of having the surgery, but know that it will still be a struggle…. The surgery is a tool and NOT the end all for being overweight.  I felt great the first few years after surgery. I didn’t have a lot of education to help out post-op like we have today.  There is so much information and support to help. So, feel blessed that you have the tool and resources. USE them, embrace them and you can be successful. 

  12. Christine G. says:

    I am having RNY on August 11, 2015 and I am absolutely dumbfounded that nowhere in the surgery/lifestyle change process is emotional eating addressed. Sure, there is a support group through my hospital, but I would think that professional counseling or therapy would be part of the process to increase success rates. I have also wondered where to head for help with emotional eating, especially when my insurance will pay for traditional therapy but not for any other treatment. I have tons of books on emotional eating and have done the exercises in many of them, but nothing seems to stick. Would love suggestions regarding how to deal with emotional eating. I second what Deane said.

  13. Denise Durham says:

    I had my surgery in march 2011 and I lost 112 lbs but due to financial problems etc I have gained 40 lbs and I still have not reached my goal of 160lbs.  I recently realized that this is an emotional problem and i eat at nights as i can’t sleep.  I don’t know what else to do I am begining to get so depressed again.

  14. Amy says:

    I am 7 years out from my lap band. I’ve had two port revisions due to it flipping. At the beginning I started my journey at 260 or so, and am still fluctuating around 200. I knew I wouldn’t lose as much with this surgery but still feel I need to lose much much more. I work rotating 12 hour shifts, a month on 7a-7p then flip to 7p-7a. My eating  schedule is always different. I know this makes it even harder for me to continue to lose weight. I wish I could find a good, healthy schedule for MY crazy schedule to help keep me on track,,no matter my work pattern. Help with this would be great and much appreciated. I’m open to any a D all suggestions. . My goal is 150-160. Thanks!

  15. Val Holmes says:

    I am almost six months out. I have good days and bad days. The last few weeks I have been really stressed and realized I started to emotional eat. I had not do that in a long time. I disappointed myself. Something that they tell you is that you will never be hungry again with the gastric sleeve. WRONG!!!!!!!! I still get hungry some but I just get full a lot quicker. Also, small bites and small sips annoy me but then again since I have lost 75 lbs I can walk more than ten steps and not be out of breath. I realize losing is one obsticle but keeping the weight off is something totally different. The surgery is hard, not only giving up food but alcohol and cigs too. Worth it but it took me four months after surgery to realize it.

  16. Sharon Lucero says:

    I am so thankful I found this site. I am 11 years out from RNY  with a total weight loss of 144 lbs and over the past 2 years have gained 50lbs. I was at a total loss as iow to get back on track. I have ordered the inspire powder and looking forward to losing again.  I am receptive to and other help. Now I just need to get motivated and exercise. Thank you

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