Help For Super-Obese Patients
Weight Loss Advice For Super-Obese Patients (Part 2)
Question: Okay, so maybe gastric bypass is no easy fix. But the problem remains, I’m 600 pounds and I can’t seem to control my eating habits. Do you have any motivational ideas I can try, which might help me to lose weight?
Answer: To answer this, I want you to imagine something. I want you to imagine that tomorrow morning at 9am, your body suffers a total collapse. You slump onto the floor unable to move. You’re taken to hospital by paramedics and, even though your eyes are open, the doctors can find no sign of life in your body. You are, as they say, a quadriplegic. Mentally, you are okay, but physically you can do absolutely nothing. You can’t even communicate. Then, quite by chance, a hospital therapist discovers that you can move one of your eyes. This permits you a primitive form of communication, but the rest of your body remains completely shut down.
How would you feel in such a situation? Pretty helpless, I’m sure. I mean, when the only thing you can do is move one of your eyes, you’re well and truly helpless.
And yet, this is exactly what happened a few years ago to a Frenchman (Dominic Blauby) in his late 30s. He went on to dictate a whole book – letter-by-letter, word-by-word, using a series of eye-blinks – describing how he felt. So even in this totally immobile and helpless condition, Blauby still managed to do something to help himself and overcome his terrifying disability.
By comparison, even though you suffer from extreme overweight, you remain in full possession of all your faculties and perfectly capable of helping yourself to overcome your dietary problems. To suggest that super-obesity is anything remotely akin to being a quadriplegic, is ridiculous.
Question: Okay, I admit I’m not as helpless as Blauby, and after listening to his story, I’m beginning to appreciate that I’m not really as helpless as I think I am. But I still need help – I need some suggestions for how to begin losing weight.
Answer: No problem. The good news is, you have accepted that you’re NOT helpless. This is a major step in the right direction. Now you have several other tasks. The first and most important thing, is to give yourself a clean sheet. Forget about your past history, and look ahead.
Question: You mean my previous failures don’t count?
Answer: Exactly. It’s not easy to do, but if you allow your past problems to dominate, you’ll never lose weight.
Next, you need to speak to a dietitian, and get hold of a healthy eating plan – which provides you with a daily calorie allowance of at least 3000 calories. This should be distributed across a variety of meals and snacks, with a maximum of two hours between them.
Question: You mean I should not go longer than two hours between meals?
Answer: That’s right. You should eat something, no matter how small, at very regular intervals.
Question: What if I get hungry?
Answer: No one experiences genuine hunger on 3000 calories a day. What you’re talking about is appetite, not hunger. The only practical way to deal with your big appetite is to retrain it.
Question: I can’t do that. I’m used to eating a lot more than 3000 calories.
Answer: Yes you can do it. Remember, you’re not a quadriplegic, like Blauby. You’re capable of doing anything you want.
Question: I’m not sure whether I can.
Answer: It’s fine to have doubts. After being 600 pounds for so long, and eating so much, you’re bound to have doubts. So you have to cheat.
Answer: Yes. You have to do several things to stop yourself thinking about food.
Question: Like what?
Answer: You’ll have to choose them for yourself, but here are some suggestions.