By Jen

This morning I was thinking about the last support group meeting I attended.
We were thrilled beyond measure that our surgeon, Dr. V., joined the group.
It was amazing to just sit and talk with him and pick his brain on things.
That evening I learned a lot about the vertical sleeve surgery, about diet and nutrition, and about myself.

Most surgeons will tell you your sleeve will stretch and that you will have to stay away from certain foods and drinks (like carbonation) for the rest of your life. My surgeon doesn’t adhere to this (neither does Dr. Matthew Weiner). He allows an open diet. According to his research and studies, the sleeve won’t stretch (please keep in mind that a vertical sleeve is NOT the same thing as a RnY gastric bypass pouch – they are completely different entities). That allows much more freedom in diet and beverage choice. (**NOTE: We are not in any way shape or form telling ANYONE to go against their doctor or nutritionists orders. PLEASE follow the directions your surgeon gave you on diet and nutrition!**)

Once, I made the statements, “I wish my doctor had never told me I could have carbonation.” and “I wish he’d never said I could have sugar.”
Because the moment I heard these things, I went crazy.

But … is it REALLY his fault?
Of course not.
He is a surgeon. He’s a medical professional. And he’s REALLY good at what he does.
HE’S A SURGEON. But he’s not a nutritionist. He’s not an addiction counselor.

What I did with the information when I received it is my own doing.
My addict-brain took it and said, “I can have THIS?? O HAPPY DAY!” and went with it.
What I failed to think about was, “Just because I CAN doesn’t mean I SHOULD.”

There are millions of things we CAN do in this world. Technically, we CAN do whatever we like.
But we make choices every day NOT to – we make the choice to NOT stay in bed that day, we make the choice to NOT kill that driver on the road that cut us off, we make the choice to NOT steal, hurt, maim, destroy. We make choices on a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute basis to NOT do things for various reasons.

The number one reason we make a choice to NOT do something is because:
IF WE DO IT, SOMEONE MIGHT GET HURT

I like to think it’s the same with our food/drink choices.
If we eat (A, B, or C) we might get hurt!
Maybe it won’t hurt us in the moment, but down the road it might.

People with actual food allergies have to stay away from certain foods because their bodies have a reaction to them.
According to Alcoholics Anonymous’ “Big Book”, alcoholics have a similar type reaction to alcohol, which is what makes them addicted. The same goes for drug addicts.
Even more recent studies on food addiction and obesity have found that addictions to certain foods such as refined carbohydrates, fats, and sugars are a chemical reaction in the brain that is similar to the chemical reaction that happens in the brain of an alcoholic and drug addict.
That’s right. We are addicted to carbs and sugar because it’s an allergic response!

I’ll let you read more on that on your own, if you like. Two good books that talk about this in detail are Tennie McCartey’s Shades of Hope and Food Junkies by Vera Tarman and Philip Werdell. It’s been a fascinating subject for me, personally, and I’d love to talk to you about it in our Facebook Group!

The point that I’m trying to make in this post today is this:

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN, DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD

I want you to think about that this week.
Don’t change your eating, but rather look at what you’re eating.
Be mindful. When you eat, gauge how you feel after.
If you feel tired, sluggish, or worn down after a meal (and yet, craving more!), you might be experiencing this “allergy response”.

Remember that the road we take, is based on the choices we make!

God Bless You All!