mind over eating
Patsy’s Full Story
I had been diagnosed as a diabetic for ten years and was experiencing difficulty with my weight and with my overall health. My doctor recommended that I see a nutritionist and therapist and directed me to Prudence and Rachel. Making that first call and first visit was very, very difficult for me as I felt embarrassed and ashamed. But I had never made a wiser choice in my life than to make that call and to embrace the Bariatric and Mind Over Eating Program. I will always feel that what I learned will be with me for a lifetime. When I started the program I was at 250 pounds, taking 12 medications a day and feeling like it was almost a hopeless situation. However, it has been anything but hopeless. I began the weekly Mind Over Eating classes with Prudence and Rachel and felt instantly gratified at the things I began learning about specifically with regards to my own life-changing goal and commitment. The first, and probably the most valuable thing that I learned is that weight challenges are a compulsive disorder and as soon as I faced that fact, I could move forward and meet challenges head on. The very first classroom lesson was one of two that profoundly changed my life. We learned about “mindful eating” and digested what it totally means to be a mindful person. I had lived for 60 years and never knew how much I actually ate, how much I actually chewed before swallowing and quite frankly, I almost never remembered what I even ate. I just ate to eat and I believe in my heart that it was the sole activity that I partook in each and every day. I ate because I was hungry, because I wasn’t hungry, because I was living and breathing, because I was happy, because I was sad, because I was stressed and because I wasn’t stressed. Quite frankly, I came to realize that ate all the time.
The Mindful Over Eating Program made me realize that I had to be accountable for my eating disorder, and the person I had to be accountable to was ME. I began journaling and as each day passed I realized that my intake of food was astronomically out of control. I wrote down everything that went past my mouth, and soon I realized that I embarrassed myself by eating so much. I never lied in my Awareness Journal because I would only be lying to myself. Once I made the connection about what mindful eating meant to me, I WANTED to write down healthy foods and quantities, the rest was history.
On the day of my lap band surgery, I weighed in at 239 pounds and was feeling confident that the band would become my “helper” and not my answer. I still had to make the right decisions and the lap band would be my “support” like Prudence and Rachel had been. The second most important lesson I learned was about building new neuropathways for all of my power and knowledge to be channeled through. I analyzed everything about the foods and beverages I decided to consume. I found that most of those things I was thinking about I really didn’t need and once I made that connection, I also did not WANT them anymore. I built “dreams” and “pathways” in my brain and I promised myself that I would always think before setting myself up to fail.
The support I received from Prudence and Rachel and my fellow classmates cannot be measured. I read anything and everything I could about the medications I had been forced to take because I had never placed such a life-changing challenge upon myself before. I read and re-read my classroom materials and embraced them with all of my heart and soul because they now made complete sense to me. During the past three and a half years, I have had minor setbacks and times where I just didn’t want to face my challenge. Thanks to the support, the lessons in the Mindful Eating and Building New Neuropathways classes, I mustered up the determination I needed to be brave and to change my life, I don’t know that I would have ever been where I am at today without the Mind Over Eating Program. This is not “easy” and it is not a “quick fix”. Bariatric surgery and the Mind Over Eating Program are just tools to assist us towards a lifestyle change. Prudence and Rachel are the angels in my life, they made me see the light and I will be forever indebted to them. The icing on the cake is that they became my friends and I knew that they cared about my well-being as much as I did.
Today I weigh 132 pounds and I still have a goal to meet, 125 pounds. I don’t take any medications but continue to seek support from those that I know can help me in my time of need. I feel that I finally learned how to trust myself and move forward as a healthy person. I would never hesitate to recommend bariatric surgery and the Mind Over Eating Program to anyone who is truly ready.