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Mar - Apr 2012

The Newsletter for Bariatric Patient Education and Motivation

This is Not a Diet, This is Life

By Jennifer A. Mason, LCSW LMFT LISW-S


Carl Whitaker, the Father of Family Therapy once said that “Life isn’t mind over matter: it is present over past and present over future.” To change a life’s ingrained behaviors and hope for those behaviors to be fixed for future use when those behavior concern not only food but emotions, is a task which requires courage, strength and insight. Eating provides immediate reinforcement; it relieves anxiety and for a good number of individuals provides life’s major source of gratification.   When a “diet” is started and the eventual “cheating” occurs, there are such negative feelings attached that a myriad of self denigrating thoughts are released. Guilt occurs and triggers depression and worthlessness, which in turn only triggers more eating.
We have sent men to the moon, built machines that can reason but we cannot help the obese lose weight without the old requirements of food reduction and exercise. Successful weight reduction has as its basis a need for you to alter the fundamental importance you put on food in your life.
We must see obesity as primary; it precipitates a great number of other debilitating diseases. It is progressive if left untreated. It is fatal if left untreated. It is treatable, but YOU must be the agent of change and the one to take responsibility for the change. Your bariatric program is here to support you.