You could have picked me up off the floor!


This is your brain on food


Remember the old commercials?    

This is your brain….   

This is your brain on drugs….   

Well welcome to this is your brain on food!   

Yesterday I was happy to report that I witnessed history on television.  Dr. Oz did a show on weight loss surgery and it was the first time that I’ve seen anyone explain ANYTHING about the surgery.  They even showed what someone would eat before surgery and after surgery.  I think I want to kiss Dr. Oz…   

I’m still in a daze from yesterday and  I awake to news about food, the brain, and addiction.  The article is called …. 


OK I’m officially on the floor now.  I was sure I was dreaming but I wasn’t.  After pulling myself “up off the floor” I realized that it was something tangible that I could share….I could say SEE???  Of course no one had to do a study to tell the food addicts…we knew already.  Will I live to see the world really begin to understand the disease?  I hope so. 

Now there will be new objections to the surgery of course.  Many will say that surgery doesn’t cure addiction, surgery just puts a band-aid on it.  Well I say no to that.  An alcoholic/drug addict must seek sobriety and for me getting to a normal weight and staying there reflects my sobriety.  Why?  Because I haven’t been living in my disease and putting the weight back on.  I figured this out a few years ago and in the beginning they called me crazy.  OK, maybe I’m a little crazy but I wasn’t wrong.  It was because I worked through the addiction that I was able to keep the weight off.  

We have a long way to go.  We must get the right help to attempt to recover and the only way that will happen will be through more education.  

This has been a good, good day.

Hi, my name is Brain and I'm a food addict

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18 Comments on “You could have picked me up off the floor!”

I agree with you whoever heartedly. I had my bypass Sept 28 2010 and just had my 6 month appointment lost 109 lbs so far feel great and no addictions to food. Surgery was the best thing I could have ever done for myself.

Yvonne, How true! After lap band surgery, I have lost 90 lbs and have managed to keep it off for 5 years. I never could do that before. The surgery was the intervention I needed to make it happen. No matter what THEY say, I know it worked for me and continues to. I’m so happy to be alive!

Thanks for your coments, I’m in the middle of all my testing for baratric surgery. My last doctor appointment is July. Yeah! Then it’s the waiting game from the insurance company, At the monent I’m on the 90 day diet part. But can’t loose more than 10 lbs or my BMI will change. I am over weight, but considered small by most. 4’11 and 201 lbs. But they say I will be aproved because of serious health related issues. But I still need to becare of my numbers. I’m almost 62 and I have thought of this for years. I spent many years off and on Steroids and really packed the pounds on. I want to enjoy what years I have. I’ve always felt like I had a big fur coat on, And that I should be able to just un zip and hang in the closet. lol lol But actually it’s not funny at all. People are cruel and very neg about my decission to have the surgery, but to me….. it’s a gift of better life…… Healthy life…….
It’s the long wait, that is the hardest. Thanks for listening

I think it’s awesome that you are doing this at 62!! I met a lady this last weekend that was in her 70’s. I was 47. I like your analogy about unzipping the coat because I felt like that for years. Sometimes when women lose the weight they forget what it’s like before surgery. NEVER FORGET! And as far as people being cruel…well that’s so true. Those people don’t have to live in your body so let them think what they want. I did a video about that so click here to see it. It’s all about the “stigma against weight loss surgery”. It really shouldn’t matter how we got healthy and if those people don’t see that you are saving your life, don’t worry about it. We have spent a lot of our lives trying to please others and it didn’t work did it? It’s time for you to please yourself and it doesn’t matter what age you are. Please keep me posted. I’m so happy for you!!! Hugs, Y

Yvonne,The Dr. Oz spot was actually really pretty good. I appreciated the fact that he included tangible facts and used terminology that not only spoke to the body image issues and psychology that eating disorders entail, he alluded to the chemistry in a professional way. After the show I dug around for a little for more information and I happened to find a article about a study out of Mt. Sinai that discussed the finding  from a study taht shows binge eating causes a spike in dopamine levels, some of the same addictive reactions people have to drug addiction. show made me feel he gave balanced interpretation of what obesity does to a person mentally and that the procedure is a tool to assist in recovery.

Hi, Yvoone, I certainly hope that things are going better for you in your life…God sure does test our faith sometimes, doesn’t he? I know you are very busy, but I’m going crazy reading label,etc, to eat healthy. I know you eat a very small amount of sugars, and I find that just about everything has sugar content. If it’s not an invasion, could you please give me examples of your daily eating habits. Thank you so much for all that you do.


Sweet girl you could never be an invasion! I limit my sugar intake to 8 – 10 grams. I still do a protein shake and I know a lot of bariatric docs don’t want someone as far out as me to still drink them but I have to do something for breakfast and that’s the easiest. I eat really boring stuff…a lot of the same stuff every day. Lately I’m trying to switch to more fruits and veggies. It IS important to have something for breakfast! Eat several smaller meals a day instead of 3 bigger ones and don’t eat too late. Lately I’ve gotten hooked on MiO so I’m drinking way more water which has always been difficult. I had to change my relationship with food. It’s just fuel and food can’t be my “go to guy” when I get upset or want to numb pain. It’s not easy to do this…progress, not profection. And one more thing. If you want to lose a craving for a particular type of food, stop eating it. Eating that food keeps the craving alive like a drug that we are addicted to. Taking one bite is like giving an alcoholic a sip. It doesn’t get you past the craving, it keeps it alive. Are you doing anything to move? Please feel free to message me and ask me anything OK? I’ll help anyway I can OK? You are such a sweet soul Miss Roxie. I’m here for you!

Hey Yvonne, i am 20 and in desperateneed of bariatric surgery, I am 5’4 and 386 pounds, my body has stopped losing weight and will not let go of anything i have lived off of fruit for the past 2 weeks simply because nothing else is available and i still gained 20 pounds… ! im not too sure what is wrong with my body but i have been asking around everywhere about how to find a way to get this surgery, i know id be approved. I have no insurance and im trying to get some but no luck yet. I have lost my abilityto get up stairs with out heart pai ns, i sometimes cant event go more than 10 minutes without having heart pains or dizziness when im walking. and even when im sitting down i get heartpains and i want to lay down but of course i cant because i cannot breathe. i am at my wits end and i really dont know how else to approach this. my mentor is telling me to write doctors and news stations and radio shows to see if anyone is willing to help but i dont even know where to start, also how likely is it to have the saggy skin issue after this surgery tht requires reconstruction? if you could please email me with a response that would be great thanks. — J’lisa

Do you have any benefits like Medicare? Sometimes it is covered with that. You can also write the and put your self in line. My heart breaks for you. Next thing….we worry well into the future and worrying about the skin is putting the cart before the horse. You are trying to get healthy and I know so many beautiful women that have never had reconstructive surgery that can cover it well. One day at a time. Right now let’s concentrate on being about to tie your shoes and not die an early death. I do want you to contact [email protected]. There are also other organizations tryng to help but let me know about the Medicare thing. Know that you are worthy and we’ll keep trying to see what we can do. Thanks for reaching out to me J’lisa. Hugs, Y

I have just had my first surgery anniversary on the 5th. I was 558 lbs before surgery. I didn’t know it before surgery but I recently heard in support group, from the doctor, that a study is out that you can actually become incapable of losing weight because of body chemistry. Basically the heavier you are the less able to lose the weight you become. I have heard it all. People had no problem pointing out others who had the surgery and gained their weight back, I was quick to point out they also started drinking alcohol and regular soda (I don’t even drink diet). Before surgery there were some people that tried to tell me it’s not worth the risk of maybe dieing on the table. I told them I might die in surgery, I will die if I stay this heavy. I finally had to forget what all the uneducated people were telling me, and decide for myself. I had quite a few complications after surgery, but I would still do it again today. I would not trade the feeling of getting my life back, of being able to move and fit into cute clothes. I am so glad to find others who share my experience! Thanks for the great blog!

Angela you just did something for me that I’ve never experienced! I finally found someone that said the same thing….that you might die in surgery but you would die if you didn’t get the surgery. I was not as heavy and perhaps my pain was both physical and mental but after 30 years of doing everything but shoot up meth (I wouldn’t have) I was done. There was an entirely different person trying to get out of my obese body and she was really tired of trying to break free of the prison she was in. I LOVE your attitude and that’s what makes the difference. You are at a very important time in your journey because we can go from the high of food to the high of losing. When that stops we have run out of highs and some people switch to other highs like alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, gambling and some just do all of them. I want you to stay in touch with me and if you start to regain I want you to get in touch with me the MOMENT it happens. It is much easier to stop regain or a regain of 20 pounds than to wait out of a feeling of shame and not say anything until it’s 50 or 60 pounds. I also want you to contact me if you think you are starting to cross addict. For instance shopping is OK but if you put yourself in financial ruin or you have clothes that hang in your closet with the tags on them because it’s more fun to buy them than to wear them, it’s time to get in touch. Shame sucks the life out of our soul. We have a disease and if it was cancer there would be no shame. The general public wants to blame us because we can’t push away from the table and they don’t have a clue what they are talking about because they’ve never walked in our shoes. Please join me on my Bariatric Girl facebook page at where we talk about lots of things every day. Congrats Angela and you deserve to celebrate your first surgiversary because you are awesome for being brave enough to save your life.

Hy, I’m Viv and a few months ago i had a weight loss surgery my self at Griffin Bariatrics. I just loved your post about food addiction. I guess alot of us just fail to see how food can sometimes be bad for us. The main thing that keeps us alive ? Nonsense! But nevertheless, when abusing our bodies we can only expect consequences.

I actually say this many times in my blog and it’s always worth repeating. My favorite description of addiction is “Uncontrolled use despite negative consequences“. Whether it’s food, sex, shopping, or even exercising…if we do it too much anything we will make our lives unmanageable. Moderation is all things was said for a reason. Viv I hope your surgery went well and I’m sure you are in the midst of the best part. (The honeymoon period) That’s so exciting! I hope you’ll read some other blog posts. Try searching “honeymoon period on my blog. I have shared 11 years of experience here trying to help others have an easier way on their journey. Congrats!

I am just 5 weeks from my surgery. I am starting to make the important changes in my actions right now… eating without a drink, fitting in the proteins and avoiding the foods I wont be able to eat after the surgery. I have done a lot of research and feel very prepared. I worry a little about the actual surgery, but am lucky enough to have a friend who had the same surgery 5 years ago. She has been a lifeline for me! So have blogs like this, thanks for all you do for people like us!

Sherri you are possibly the most prepared person I’ve ever heard of. I know I’ve seen some people that changed their diet but I think you’re the first that is actually eating without drinking before surgery!! WOW!! I think you are going to be a huge success. Thank you for your kind words and keep in touch. Make sure and speak up the moment you feel complacent or bored or start picking up old habits and definitely if you begin to regain. So many feel shame (they shouldn’t) and don’t say anything until it gets more serious and more difficult to fix. Make sure and check out my Bariatric Girl Facebook page too! Oh and it’s totally normal to be scared of surgery. You’ll get sleepy and then you’ll wake up and it’s done. Just stay ahead of the pain by letting them know if you hurt. It’s wonderful you have a friend too. You are rockin’ it already!

I am 1.3 years post op  lost 110 and total of 150 preop, and postop combined. I found this site, and it makes me happy to see positive energy. Ill be honest, not many know i had the surgery and a friend who had it described itnto me as a tool. But im afraid of the judgement. Although i feel excellent. want to know what else, i fear wt gain.  i dont think ive had an “addiction ” to food persay – i just love the taste of food. so i struggle, not so much with choices, or portion control, but knowimg when to stop before puking. I read you say “don’t eat the food you crave.” It made me get up and toss the chocolate n junk i have. Thank you

Claudia you are so smart to toss that junk! There’s a wonderful saying “If you hang around a barbershop, eventually you’ll get a haircut”. I’m really glad you wrote me because now is a critical time in your journey. Your friend is right…it is ONLY a tool. It was designed to do about 80% of the work in the beginning and right now your honeymoon stage is basically over so you are just like any other woman trying not to gain weight. The surgery puts us on a level playing field with everyone else but everyone else is trying not to gain too.

I believe you are the only person that I’ve ever known that lost 150 pre-op and I have known thousands of post-ops! WOW!! That’s amazing! You should be very proud of yourself. I’m sorry that you feel shame about having the surgery but society has been cruel to us. They think we cheated or took the easy way out and that is far from the truth. If you keep working the way you did before surgery you will be able to do this! Toxic shame sucks the life out of us. (I have a post about toxic shame you should read) We have felt so much shame for so many years that it feels like a comfortable coat that we can’t get rid of. Also there is nothing shameful about being a food addict or an addict at all. It is a disease. I am proud to say I am a food addict because I cannot fix what I don’t acknowledge. My favorite definition of addiction is “uncontrolled use despite negative consequences”. When we choose to continue to eat even when we are 100, 200 plus pounds overweight…that’s negative consequences. When we use food as a way to cope with painful emotions it isn’t just because we like food so much. The other reason it is so important to acknowledge is because we need to be aware of any other cross addictions that seem to be creeping into our lives. Do a search for cross addictions here too. I’d suggest you read through my blog. I don’t post unless I have something important to say so there isn’t that much to read.

If you start to regain please fix it as soon as it starts…while it is small. If you start telling yourself “I’ll start tomorrow” you will wake up a few months later with a 30-40 pound regain. I’m so glad you commented and I’m still just blown away that you lost so much before surgery! Great job!!

[…] Yesterday history was made when Dr. Oz did a positive show on gastric bypass surgery.  Lap banders he did a show for you a few months ago and I posted about that here. […]

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