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Weight Loss Surgery, Overcoming Shame and Losing 150lbs with Sarah Stites

  • Episode
    19
  • Apr 29, 2021

In this episode, Sarah talks about her difficult journey through the process of weight loss, her experience with gastric bypass surgery at the age of 19.  Sharing how she ultimately changed her mindset, learned to deal with her emotions, and lost 150 pounds. She talks about what Wavelength is and why she decided to create it as a platform to help others.

Highlights

  • When Sarah gets a craving, she asks herself “What is it that I need now?” The answer is usually to take a break.
  • Sarah suffered from internalized fatphobia.
  • Gastric bypass surgery is a major surgery and can leave you with long-term negatives.
  • The first few months there was pain and Sarah’s hair fell out. She threw up after almost every meal as she tried to learn to control her eating with the smaller-sized stomach.
  • She wished she had known there were other paths.
  • Sarah decided that she wanted bypass surgery in September and had it in December. Since her surgery was not being paid by insurance it was a fast path.
  • There was very little in the process to protect her from making a poor decision for herself.
  • Because of the shame and stigma involved, she kept the surgery a secret for 10 years.
  • She lost a lot of weight quickly after the surgery and it did feel great but there was also some emotional struggle when people complimented her on her new look. Those compliments highlighted how much she was being judged before the surgery.
  • Sarah lost about 80lbs but then the pouch started to stretch so she could eat a little more and she began to gain weight. It was a slow gain but after a few years, she was back to where she started.
  • The things that Sarah thought that she needed for love were different than what she thought they were.
  • Sarah realized that she needed to change her relationship with food.
  • She started by obsessing about food and counting macros and scrutinizing everything that she ate. But then realized that was not healthy and started to try to understand the neuroscience behind eating.
  • The food environment and system that we currently live in is having a huge impact on people.
  • Eliminating shame is a critical step to mentally managing your eating and the process of changing the relationship with food.
  • Understand that every emotion is a physiological experience.
  • Wavelength tries to get you connected to the idea of yourself as a holistic being that is not contingent on how you eat, what your body looks like, etc.
  • Wavelength takes all of the best research and makes it useful.

Resources Mentioned:
www.joinwavelength.com
www.feelingfull.com
Listen to Episode 1 wavelength
Obesity code, By Dr. Jason Fung
The body keeps the score
The body is not an apology

Sarah Stites
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